Utah State University
Since beginning my work with sustainability at Utah State, I have begun to see the positive impact concerned individuals can make in society. My hope is that by continuing to show up and stand up, I can aid others in our mutual effort to improve the environment and community.
Terra is well into her second UCC AmeriCorps term with the Sustainability Council. In this position, she oversees the Green Office certification program and brings passion and dedication to her work. Perhaps Terra’s biggest accomplishment as an AmeriCorps sustainability intern has been the successful creation of USU’s campus-wide Earth Day event, including speakers, films, scavenger hunts, service projects, and community information tables. Terra served on the planning committee in 2017 and is serving as the lead organizer for Earth Day 2018. She wrote a successful grant to fund the event and has a successor on her committee to ensure that it continues. Terra is also an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow for “Communicating Sustainability” and serves as a mentor for students. On top of Terra’s sustainability work, she is also a USU Community Engaged Scholar. Her Earth Day project will serve as her scholar capstone and leave a lasting legacy.
Dr. Jessica Lucero practices what she teaches. Whether she is mentoring students through community-based research projects, contributing to program planning at a local non-profit, or raising her three little girls with her husband, empowerment and encouragement are always her priorities. Students who enroll in her social work classes finish her courses with a new sense of purpose and confidence in their abilities to make a difference. As a founding member and officer of the Cache Refugee and Immigrant Connection, her insight into needs and assets of all community members has helped CRIC develop from a handful of volunteers to a healthy, growing non-profit. Her work of connection is a twenty-four hour a day occupation. Along with her colleague Dr. Jenn Roark, Jess founded the Transforming Communities Initiative, a program that places Bachelor of Social Work students in the thick of research in their communities.
Jordy seeks opportunities to develop partnerships that result in a better community for all. Her collaborative work to connect USU with the larger community through shared bike paths contributed to USU and Logan receiving the League of American Cyclists Bike Friendly Silver status. Jordy is a founding member and the current chair of Cache Clean Air Consortium, a non-profit that fosters collaborations in pursuit of improved air quality. This organization conducts community education programs, facilitates a community solar discount program, and started a clean air community round table series aimed at turning concern into coordinated action. Lastly, Jordy is a member of Logan City Council’s Renewable Energy and Conservation Advisory Board (RECAB). RECAB recently designed a renewable energy plan to achieve 50% renewable energy by 2030 and the resolution passed unanimously. Jordy’s involvement enhances the vibrancy of the community, and people long into the future will benefit from her efforts.
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Café Femenino Foundation
Mission: “Enhance the lives of women and families in the coffee-producing communities throughout the world.”
The Café Femenino Foundation, named in honor of 464 courageous Peruvian women who made a decision to try to improve their own lives though their work in coffee production, was formed in December 2004 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The foundation provides grants to programs and projects that enhance the lives of women and their families in coffee-producing communities around the world.
The foundation works within existing socioeconomic structures to foster change. Despite ongoing progress, gender inequality, poverty and abuse continue to be rampant in many coffee production regions. Although most women coffee producers participate in all farm activities, they have few rights and little voice when it comes to selling their coffee or making decisions on how the family income will be spent. With no control of income and very few options, these women hold out hope for a better life.
The foundation helps promote the integration of women coffee farmers into social, political and occupational organizations by providing grants that help support the women’s efforts and enhance their status within the community. In doing so, the foundation is able to help improve the overall quality of life for the entire community and support a sustainable economic system.
The uniqueness of the Café Femenino Foundation is that it opens its ears and hearts to listen to what the needs are of these poor coffee families. This is why the foundation works through a grant request program. The foundation can review and support all types of needs, as opposed to just working to fund one particular need. It is also unique in the fact that it works directly with producers and other organization to oversee projects. This provides the opportunity to help in ever so many ways and in so many different countries. It also can provide the greatest amount of benefits to the greatest amount of people with the donations it receives.
In 2017, Café Femenino Foundation partnered with Utah State University’s Center for Civic Engagement & Service-Learning to conduct a workshop and construct a community greenhouse in the coffee producing community of Coral de Piedra in Northern Peru. This project was identified by the women coffee producers as a way to combat food insecurity in their community. Rather than importing fancy materials and bringing in North American “expertise,” this project brought in an expert on school greenhouses who lived in rural Peru and spoke Quechua. The greenhouse was constructed utilizing locally sourced materials that could easily be replaced. USU students learned and worked alongside local community leaders to construct the greenhouse. Through Café Femenino Foundation, women coffee farmers were given the opportunity to define the need and USU students were given the opportunity to apply the principles of Fair Trade Learning. The community is now planting vegetables in the greenhouse and several new greenhouses are being constructed. USU plans to return to Peru to work with Café Femenino Foundation during the summer of 2019.