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April 29, 2021

As the 2020-21 school year comes to an end we want to appreciate and celebrate the contributions that our team of student workers has made to the Swette Center. The Swette Center has been made stronger thanks to each of their contributions, creativity, and good humor. We’ll miss them in our weekly team meetings, and wish them the best on what comes next in their academic careers! 

The Swette Center student worker team:

Jane Coghlan

Jane Coghlan

I'm Jane and I’m a rising senior at ASU studying sustainable food systems. I’ve been the Student Ambassador for the Swette Center since November 2020, and I’ve greatly enjoyed all the work I’ve done here. The faculty and other student workers are a wonderful support system that makes working here a delight. 

The highlight of my work as Student Ambassador was organizing their first Food Systems Career Panel. It was a great experience to lead this project from start to finish. I learned event planning and promoting skills, and gained valuable connections to various food system professionals. Aside from that, I wrote a blog for the Center’s website about their Gather film & panel event, and another one about the Gardens at ASU campus food tour that connected students to ASU’s edible landscape. I also interviewed one of the Center’s affiliated faculty, Michael Dalrymple, and wrote a blog post about his work in food systems. 

Other work I did with the Swette Center included conducting a survey to gain insight on the best student engagement strategies, auditing the Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) courses to make sure they are up to date, updating educational powerpoints, taking notes during staff meetings, and organizing the soon-to-launch student page for the Swette Center website.

I am so grateful to have gained work experience under the guidance of such passionate and inspiring food system experts. I am very excited to continue working with the Swette Center this upcoming summer to develop experience and skills doing research.  

Katie Halmekangas

Katie Halmekangas

I’m Katie and I will be a senior studying sustainability with a certificate in sustainable food systems. I have been working with the Swette Center since June of 2020 as a Student Research Assistant. I have had the pleasure of being able to work with Gabe and Jane in a series of ongoing projects that involve building a foundation for the Swette Center’s community outreach. I was able to assist Sharla Strong with organizing data from the National Young Farmers’ Coalition Certification process, as well as have a hand in creating the coursework requirements for the sustainable food systems minor and updating the major course list. 

Being able to have experience working with such a diverse and educated team has made my passion for food systems ignite with inspiration! The relationships that I have made within the Swette Center are rooted in the value of kinship and stewardship for the planet and its people. 

Gabe Sheppard 

Gabe Sheppard

Hello, My name is Gabe Sheppard and I am an upcoming junior studying Sustainable Food Systems at ASU! I have been working with the Swette Center team since June 2020, and have enjoyed every moment of it! It has been a wonderful experience working closely with the team on a variety of projects in the past year, including student outreach, collecting an extensive list of the clubs at ASU and their relation to food systems, developing social media outreach strategies, developing the upcoming student page on the Swette Center Website, helping to create the Student Ambassador program, working on a class audit for the Sustainable Food Systems major, taking notes during staff meetings, and compiling improvements for the online course format for SFS classes. One of my favorite parts about being with the Swette Center has been attending the staff meetings every week and hearing about all of the incredible work being done by the team.

It has been wonderful to gain insight on what the Swette Center does behind the scenes, it makes me even happier to be a part of the program!  Having the opportunity to gain experience working with a dedicated, knowledgeable, kind and fun group of food systems experts at the Swette Center has been enriching for my college career and life. I have been so thrilled to be a part of the Swette Center Team and greatly look forward to doing further work with them in the future!