CAUSES In Action | July 2021
Meet The Associate Dean
Please welcome the newest Associate Dean of
Ricardo A. Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Ricardo A. Brown received a bachelor's degree in Biology from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., earned a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from Howard University, and recently achieved certificate training in Six Sigma (Healthcare) from Villanova University. He completed postdoctoral research training at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Brown began his academic career as an Assistant Professor of Physiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan where he became a tenured Associate Professor. Dr. Brown subsequently transitioned to academic and research administration, holding positions such as Professor and Chairman of Biology at Morgan State University, Health Scientist Administrator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs for Howard University, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs with the University System of Maryland and Dean of the College of Public Service at Jackson State University.

He has researched and published extensively on the cardiovascular effects of alcohol consumption and is recognized for medical education training; directing training programs designed to increase participation of underrepresented minority students in STEM programs, biomedical sciences and medicine; and serving university administrative and national committees.

He also led Jackson State's efforts to establish a School of Public Health, the first in the State of Mississippi and among HBCU’s that have accredited public health programs. Dr. Brown has a longstanding record of community service, most recently serving on the Board of Directors for the United Medical Center and the corporate board of So That Others Might Eat (SOME) in Washington, DC. Lastly, he is a founding board member of DC Innovates, a non-profit providing diverse DC-based technology-driven businesses
with an ecosystem of financial, technical, and administrative resources to spur innovation.

We welcome Dr. Brown to the CAUSES Family!
A Must Read: Newly Published article by Matthew Richardson and Caitlin Arlotta, Differential Yield and Nutrients of Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. Genotypes when Grown in Urban Production Systems
Learn how urban agriculture is expanding
while facing economic and environmental
challenges in the latest periodical from Matthew Richardson and Caitlin Arlotta.

• One way to mitigate the impact of climate
change on food security in cities with a
temperate climate is to grow crops adapted
to the hotter temperatures expected by the
middle of the twenty-first century.
Article Highlights

• Hibiscus sabdariffa is an important tropical crop and was tested in urban production.

• Yield, pests, and nutrients are influenced by genotype and production system.

• Local adaptation is most likely to lead to successful cultivation.

• H. sabdariffa can be grown in temperate, urban systems.
New Book Launch: "Learning Organizations," Featuring Co-Author Dwane Jones!
Today, knowledge is more than an idea - it is an economic commodity.

An organization's knowledge capital is a competitive and comparative advantage. Every organization must now invest in the knowledge assets of all its employees. Learning is the engine that creates and renews knowledge capital.

Learning Organizations delves into why learning is an essential business operation; how modern learning is different from industrial-era training; how to discover learning sources and opportunities; how to design a learning environment and learning strategies that optimize the potential of every employee.
Who Can Benefit?

This is essential reading for business managers, human resource professionals, and academic researchers studying knowledge economies, knowledge, and intellectual capital.
Ward 7 Community Member, Tanisha Williams, Receives Achievement Award and Hosts Virtual Industry Event Again!
Black Botanists Week is a celebration of
Black people who love plants. This plant love shows up as tropical field ecologists, plant geneticists, horticulturalists, and botanical illustrators. The event embraces the multiple ways that Black people engage with and appreciate the global diversity of plant life.

Tanisha Williams’ many notable research and contributing efforts in the botany field have landed her the opportunity to rehost this year's social media event -

Ms. Williams was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for Plant Science Outreach by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists at its Annual Botany Conference.

Origin: ​First organized in 2020 to promote, encourage, create a safe space for, and
find more Black, indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) who love plants -
you won't want to miss this event.
Who Should Join?

​If you identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC) and you love plants, please sign up below.

If you would like to promote, connect with, and learn more about this curation of plant-loving people, please email us at
CAUSES CARES: The Firebird Research Farm Donates over 1,200 Pounds of Fresh and Nutritious Produce to DC Communities!
In the month of June, UDC's beloved Firebird Farm has donated 1,205.8 pounds of fresh and nutritious produce to Jones Memorial Church in Ward 8; DC Central Kitchen, and Bread for the City from the controlled environmental agriculture systems (hydroponic and aquaponic), and the fields.

These donations were grown and harvested by Victoria Mirowski, project assistant for UDC; Dr. Lavell Merritt, Jr., and Purple Mountain Organics, whom all help manage space at Firebird.
Donation Breakdown:
384 pounds to Jones Memorial
508 pounds to Bread for the City
313.8  pounds to DC Central Kitchen
Calling All Seniors & Their Families: UDC Offers Assistance Programs for Senior Citizens
The University of the District of Columbia's
senior assistance programs operate to improve the lives of seniors who need assistance to live independently in their homes and communities with our community programs.

We work to enhance the quality of life through health, wellness, and fitness so you can live longer and more productive lives. We also work to improve social engagement and cognitive ability through University courses for the District's senior citizens.
Upcoming Session Dates

  • Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Dates: August 18, 2021 and September 15, 2021

If you have any questions, please contact James Lee -
How We Can Help?

  • Senior Companions assist their adult clients in basic, but essential, ways: offering companionship and friendship to isolated older adults, assisting with simple chores, providing transportation adding richness to their clients’ lives.

  • The Respite Aide Program provides in-home assistance to seniors living alone. The program also provides support to caregivers. The service helps individuals and families deal with the challenges of living independently in older adulthood.

  • The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health (CNDH) designs virtual workshops to meet the nutritional needs of the community and students enrolled at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC).
DC Master Gardener Program Returns in Spring of 2022
Applications for the fall session of the DC Master Gardener basic training are now CLOSED, and we are looking forward to welcoming our 24 new trainees in September! 

We will be reopening a NEW class in the spring of 2022. To stay updated, please visit our program site or subscribe to the CAUSES' email list.
If you have any questions, please contact Patricia Bon at (202) 941-7923 or
Newly Published: Food Connects Washington DC in 2050—A Vision for Urban Food Systems as the Centerpieces of a Circular Economy by Dr. Sabine O'Hara
Food serves as the connecting link for an inclusive, adaptive, and resilient urban economy embedded in the region. This food economy values natural resources, cultural diversity, and commitment to nature-based innovations.

This article presents a vision for an urban food system in Washington DC in 2050 that serves as the centerpiece of a circular economy for the capital region of the United States.

The vision is the result of a three-pronged methodology of (1) community engagement; (2) a thoughtful, process-focused transformation; and (3) the scaling up of existing urban food initiatives. We argue that small, hyperlocal, neighborhood-based initiatives can become crucial game changers and catalysts of change for entire neighborhoods, cities, and regions.
The economy is nested in a culture within a society, which in turn is nested in the environment and nature. Our communities are sinks; our families are too. The planet is running out of its sink capacities.
said Dr. Sabine O’Hara.
If you have any questions, please contact Sabine O'Hara at
Student Spotlight
Student Success Story: Meet Christina Ashe!
Meet Christina Ashe, a current student pursuing her master's in Nutrition and Dietetics:

"One of UDC's best opportunities was my internships with the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES). I wanted to be in the field and experience various environments associated with nutrition and dietetics. It was an experience I will never forget, and I will use what I learned as I continue my career."

Every Firebird is unique! Here at CAUSES, we are eager to learn more about YOUR particular interests, needs, and aspirations and how it can positively help today's communities.
Testimonial Talk
"My experience at UDC has provided me with a significant foundation as I continue to build my business, Healthy Haven. I am currently building a wellness business that helps individuals improve their physical wellness focusing on the importance of gut health using nutritional therapy. Providing guidance to create unique habits to achieve health goals without restrictions. I also offer personal training to accelerate the journey to achieving health goals. I am walking in my purpose to help individuals improve their health and advocating to diversify dietetics."

Click below to learn how YOU can take part in the essential role UDC's Center of Urban Agriculture and Garden Education (CUAGE) plays in today's global challenges like urbanization, food, and nutritional security.
Staff Spotlight
UDC's Distinguished Economist Dr. Sabine O'Hara is featured in Ms. Magazine's latest article release!
UDC's Dr. Sabine O’Hara, the distinguished economist and founding dean of UDC-CAUSES, was interviewed by Ms. Magazine about her latest restorative economics work.

O’Hara stated that what interests her most days is the sink functions. “These have to be maintained like resources have to be maintained. We draw down water, and rain replenishes but, over time, we have diminishing amounts; diminishing returns happen with soil, too. Eventually, resources are gone. What became intriguing for me was: What happens to sink functions? Can they be depleted too?” 

Take a read from the latest edition 
Connect with CAUSES!
Our social media channels help us engage with the YOU to promote our many great offerings and upcoming events weekly. 

Click below to learn how UDC–CAUSES can benefit you professionally or academically. Stay engaged!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Follow us on social and stay updated! #UDC1851

FREE Summer Virtual Courses and Training Programs are Open to All!
Interested in learning a new skill or industry knowledge on topics like sustainability, health, nutrition, etc.?

Sign-up today to be skillfully equipped,
trained or certified from a program or course of your choice.

All community education programs are at no cost and open to all.
To apply or for questions, please contact Marshelle Hailstock, Project Coordinator, Outreach and Recruitment, at
Calling Ward 5 Residents:
UDC Bertie Backus Community Garden is Still Accepting Garden Plot Applications!
Available garden space is located at the UDC Bertie Backus Campus! The well-known Community Garden consists of twenty-six (26) 3.5' x 7' raised garden beds.
The Community Garden's Board of Directors, in conjunction with CAUSES, assigns plots to applicants on a first-come, first-served, and waiting list basis. The garden is currently free and does not collect any membership dues or fees. 

Note: Upon completing the application, immediately send proof of identification with current address (Washington D.C., Driver's License, Voter Registration, etc.) and residency (utility bill, lease, etc.). Your application is not complete until we have received all of these materials.
Note: No gardening experience is needed. New, amateur, and experienced gardeners welcome!

For more information regarding the Bertie Backus Community Garden, contact
NEWS: CAUSES Launches Customer Service Line for the Community.
Need insight on a program, course, or training of your interest? Call CAUSES! We are here to help!

We are now offering a chatline service providing one-on-one informational sessions for program interests, incoming, or returning students.

This new service is OPEN to ALL. Connect with us!
  • Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health (CNDH)
  • Center for Urban Agriculture and Garden Education (CUAGE)
  • Center for Sustainable Development and Resilence (CSDR)
Connect with CAUSES
Schedule a Meeting with our Centers (M-F between 3-5 PM)
Upcoming Events & Workshops
Virtual Open House: RN to BSN
Learn how you can complete your degree in 16 months or less by enrolling in our fully online, accredited, RN to BSN degree program.

About this Event
Do you have an associate degree in nursing? A 2.7 cumulative GPA or higher? A nursing license (now or in the next few months)?

Mark your Calendar
Please join us for an overview of the program on September 8, 2021, from 5:00–6:00 PM. At this event, we will cover the program curriculum, credits, costs, funding opportunities, and explore career possibilities. We will also answer commonly asked questions in detail. The nursing program will provide all registrants with a link for attendance.

For general inquiries and application support, contact Kenneth J. Cooper, Ph.D., Student Recruitment and Academic Advising Specialist/
RN to BSN Program, at
Please visit our program site to learn more about the RN to BSN program.
Join SNAP-Ed Educators to learn about healthy eating and food safety for older adults.

Classes include how to read and understand nutrition facts labels and money-saving tips for grocery shopping.

Each class will include a cooking demonstration with Chef Herb Holden!

Class Returns: 8/2/21
For further information, please contact Miranda Desmarais, SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator,
UDC-CAUSES Urban Agriculture Soil-Less Certificate Program Returns!
This course gives participants a glimpse into the past and looks at current soilless advancing trends in today's agricultural world. Participants will dive into the basic needs and choices of system design, material selection, the best options for fish and plants, and the implementation of the first steps. 

See below for program highlights:
  • Time Offered: August 1 - September 15, 2021.
  • Length of Course: 11 courses; 15 hours. 
  • Classes range from 30 minutes – 90 minutes.
  • Course Fees: FREE

If you are interested in this course and becoming certified, please contact Victoria Mirowski at or 202-819-5704.
Mark Your Calendar

Classes begin August 1

Spots are limited!
Trending Virtual Programs
DC Master Gardener Continuing Educational Workshop Series
Learn tips and tricks for planning a successful garden.

Classes Include:

  • Garden Planning & Seasonality 101 with Samaria King from Dreaming Out Loud;
  • Composting for Soil Health with Brenda Platt from the Institute for Local Self Resilience
  • Tree communication with Richard Jones, Board Certified Master Arborist
  • Prune with a Purpose with Jake Hendee from the Smithsonian.

All classes are FREE

Series Begins: 8/3/21
Please contact Patrica Bon at
Are you interested in advancing your expertise and skill set in food safety management?

This virtual course is designed to teach food safety management principles to create an adaptive food safety culture. The course also includes how to identify and avoid harmful food contaminants,
proper employee health and hygiene, cleaning and sanitation principles, and safe food handling practices. Classes reconvene on 8/13!

Bonus: Participants will have the opportunity to earn a Professional Food Manager certification if they pass the national certification exam with a score of 70% or better.
For additional information about this course, please contact Paul Brown, Jr. at or 202-841-1902.
Welcome to the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). UDC is the only urban, land-grant university in the nation. CAUSES was formed, in 2010, as the university’s land-grant college.

We engage in applied teaching and research that helps to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of the District of Columbia and others around the world, through traditional academic degrees, and through the non-degree, non-credit bearing, skills-building programs, such as green infrastructure and urban agriculture.

CAUSES is unique in its organizational structure and its mission: an interdisciplinary college, where academic programs, such as architecture, urban sustainability, health education, nutrition and dietetics, and nursing, train a forward-thinking generation of professionals who will ensure that the world has “Healthy Cities–Healthy People.” The college houses the only doctoral-level program in the nation that focuses on urban leadership and entrepreneurship.

For more information or inquiries, feel free to contact us at

Socially Active? Connect with Us!

About the University of the District of Columbia
University of the District of Columbia is an HBCU, urban land-grant, and the only public university in the nation's capital, The University of the District of Columbia is committed to a broad mission of education, research, and community service. Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, the University of DC offers Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Degrees and a host of workplace development services designed to create opportunities for student success. The University is comprised of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a Community College, and the David A. Clarke School of Law. To learn more, visit The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University's EO Policy Statement, please visit The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education - 3624 Market Street - Philadelphia, PA 19104 - 267.284.5000.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, familial/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, this information is available in languages other than English. To file a complaint alleging discrimination, please complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at, or at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to US Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. Submit your completed letter or form to USDA via fax: (202) 690-7442; or email: To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action institution. The University prohibits discrimination or harassment against any person on the basis of the actual or perceived actual race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, marital status, personal appearance, genetic information, familial status, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, place of residence or business, or status as a covered veteran, as provided for and to the extent required by District and Federal statutes and regulations. This policy covers all programs, services policies, and procedures of the University, including admission to educational programs and employment. The University emphasizes the recruitment of minorities, women, disabled individuals, disabled veterans, Vietnam-era veterans, and other eligible veterans.
El Departamento de Agricultura de EE. UU. (USDA) prohíbe la discriminación en todos sus programas y actividades por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, religión, sexo, identidad de género (incluida la expresión de género), orientación sexual, discapacidad, edad, estado civil, estado familiar / parental, ingresos derivados de un programa de asistencia pública, creencias políticas, represalias o represalias por actividades previas de derechos civiles. (No todas las bases prohibidas se aplican a todos los programas.) Las personas con discapacidades que requieren medios de comunicación alternativos para obtener información sobre el programa. (por ejemplo, Braille, letra grande, cinta de audio, lenguaje de señas estadounidense, etc.) debe comunicarse con la Agencia responsable o con el TARGET Center de USDA al (202) 720-2600 (voz y TTY) o comunicarse con el USDA a través del Federal Relay Service al (800) 877-8339. Además, esta información está disponible en otros idiomas además del inglés. Para presentar una queja alegando discriminación, por favor complete el Formulario de Queja por Discriminación del Programa del USDA, AD-3027, que se encuentra en línea en, o en cualquier oficina del USDA o escriba una carta dirigida a Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos, Oficina del Subsecretario de Derechos Civiles, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 y proporcionar en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Envíe su carta o formulario completado al USDA por fax: (202) 690-7442; o correo electrónico: Para solicitar una copia del formulario de queja, llame al (866) 632-9992. USDA es un proveedor, empleador y prestamista con igualdad de oportunidades para todos.
La Universidad del Distrito de Columbia es una institución de Acción Afirmativa en Igualdad de Oportunidades. La Universidad prohíbe la discriminación o el acoso contra cualquier persona sobre la base de la raza, color, religión, nacionalidad, sexo, edad, discapacidad, orientación sexual, identidad o expresión de género reales o percibidos, responsabilidades familiares, matrícula, afiliación política, estado marital, apariencia personal, información genética, estado familiar, fuente de ingresos, estado como víctima de una ofensa intrafamiliar, lugar de residencia o negocio, o estado como veterano, según lo dispuesto y en la medida requerida por los estatutos del Distrito y Federal y regulaciones. Esta política cubre todos los programas, políticas de servicios y procedimientos de la Universidad, incluida la admisión a programas educativos y empleo. La Universidad enfatiza el reclutamiento de minorías, mujeres, personas discapacitadas, veteranos discapacitados, veteranos de la era de Vietnam y otros veteranos elegibles.