July 7, 2011
Institute of Public Service Associate Professor Marie Wong was named a 2011-12 Seattle University Youth Initiative Community-Based Research Faculty Fellow. For her project, “Making Food Matter,” she will develop lesson plans about urban agriculture and nutrition for young people with the direction of Tom Im, Community Planner for InterIm Community Development Association. “The program addresses issues of urban sustainability by using a non-traditional classroom setting to engage students and educate them in agricultural practices and environmental and human health,” Wong said. “It will also help foster the development of good nutritional eating habits to combat childhood obesity.”The Seattle University Youth Initiative is a long-term commitment by Seattle University faculty, staff and students from all disciplines to join with parents, the Seattle School District, the City of Seattle, foundations, faith communities, and more than 30 community organizations to help children in the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood, which is adjacent to the university. Lesson plans for “Making Food Matter” have three main components. “Seed to Plate” focuses on growing food, harvesting vegetables, and cooking through the experience of gardening. “Seeding the Community” provides students with opportunities to interact with the greater community through workshops, festivals, and events that focus on the neighborhood’s low-income residents, businesses, children, and community stakeholders. “Seed to Market” emphasizes the economies of market production, selling the homegrown food, and alternatives to grocery stores as systems for “marketing.” Wong has been a community planner for thirty years. She received her Ph.D. in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington and joined the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2002. Her teaching and research interests include land use and community development, urban, and architectural history and Asian American studies. Her book Sweet Cakes, Long Journey: The Chinatowns of Portland, Oregon chronicles the history of Portland's Chinatowns from their early beginnings in the 1850s until the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in the 1940s (University of Washington Press). She is completing work on a new book that chronicles the settlement of Seattle's pan-Asian community and life in single-room occupancy residential hotels.The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degrees.
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