Laura Martin builds authentic relationships with community partners and EPIC-Network colleagues

Dr. Laura Martin brings nearly 15 years of experience working on poverty alleviation programs at the grassroots and public policy levels. After college, she facilitated service learning trips and managed a community development project in rural Nicaragua. Most recently, Laura worked as a Policy and Research Coordinator at the Texas Association of Community Health Centers, where she analyzed legislation and regulations impacting health centers, and coordinated trainings for a federal grant to conduct CHIP and Medicaid outreach and enrollment in the Rio Grande Valley. As Legislative Director for Texas State Representative Armando Walle, Dr. Martin developed legislation regarding juvenile justice and stemming the high school dropout rate. […]

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EPIC-N Announces Virtual 2021 EPIC-Network Conference, October 5-7

Madison, WI, August 27, 2021 – The Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities -Network (EPIC-N) , a global non-profit organization that unites the human capital of universities with local governments and communities to improve quality of life and social wealth, announced its upcoming #2021EPICN Conference. The virtual, interactive event will focus on updating the membership on the growth and proliferation of the EPIC Network, the trending topics affecting EPIC programs, and the resources available to tackle them. Taking place October 5-7, the event offers attendees from across EPIC-N’s global community the opportunity to connect with peers and gain fresh ideas on how to enhance EPIC programs at every level, from beginner to mature programs.  […]

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Mike Greco connects Minnesota local government agencies with the resources, research, and talent at the University of Minnesota

Mike Greco has more than a decade of experience connecting Minnesota local government agencies with the resources, research, and talent the University of Minnesota has to offer. He has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the U of MN’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, with a specialization in environmental planning and sustainability, and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mike is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, raising chickens, and hiking on the farm he and his wife call home. When he’s not outdoors, you may find him cooking, playing guitar, catching live music, attending local theater, or curling at the Dakota Curling Club in Lakeville. […]

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Dr. Fernando Burga develops community oriented projects that matter alongside UMN students

H. Fernando Burga is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota with a dual appointment at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and University of Minnesota Extension. His research, teaching, and service focus on urban planning, particularly the incorporation of immigrant populations into planning, and urban food systems. Fernando‘s work is informed by three principles: a reflexive inquiry into the ethics of expert knowledge and the use of qualitative research; the application of design to build awareness, harness data, and enable urban planning and public policy advocacy; and a commitment to engage community actors who are disenfranchised from the fields of planning and public policy due to their race, class, and citizenship status. Fernando has a background in architecture, urban design, and urban planning. Before transitioning into academia, Fernando worked on an array of sustainable urbanism projects. His experience includes the designing of Hope VI communities, mixed-use infill developments, transit-oriented developments, and military communities. Following his professional tenure, Fernando obtained his doctorate degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a fellow at the Center for Research on Social Change at UC Berkeley and a lecturer at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and San Jose State University. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Fernando conducted qualitative fieldwork with Latino immigrants to assess the application of planning tools in addressing housing, transportation, education, economic development, and nutrition needs. This project won the 2016 American Planning Association Academic Excellence Award for Northern California and subsequently the California State-wide Award. Currently, Fernando is involved in several planning and food justice related projects in Minnesota. He is also writing a book on Cuban American empowerment and planning in Miami, Florida, under contract by University of Toronto Press. Fernando’s research has been published by Harvard University Press under an anthology sponsored by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, entitled: “On the Spatial Epistemologies of Politics, or how we know Politics through Space: Essays for Design Studies.” […]

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Welcome Max, EPIC-N’s new Event Associate

Max Prestigiacomo is a new addition to the EPIC-N team. Max is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is pursuing a public policy and sociology degree. Max is from Madison, WI, and has been involved in organizing efforts around the Climate Crisis in his community. In September of 2019, Max joined Climate Activists from across the Globe at the United Nations Climate Summit. Before joining EPIC-N and COWS, Max ran for office and won a seat on the Madison Common Council representing most of the campus area. […]

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Welcome Alina Yazek, EPIC-N’s new Communications Associate

Alina Yazek just finished her first year at the University of Chicago. She’s a student-athlete at the U of C participating on their softball team! Alina was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, where she will be spending the summer of 2021. During which, she is interning for COWS and is excited to be doing some work with EPIC-Network to help document the amazing work done by network members. […]

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Welcome Ada Inman, EPIC-N’s new Program Support Coordinator

Ada Inman is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she obtained a degree in Environmental Studies and International Studies along with a certificate in Public Policy. Since graduation, she has started a full-time position with the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), a think-and-do tank that promotes high road solutions to social problems. At COWS, Ada is working as the Communications Manager for ProGov21. Along with her work at COWS, she will also be assisting EPIC-N with outreach and community/program engagement. […]

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Dr. Nuttavikhom (Kay) Phanthuwongpakdee joins EPIC-N as the Asia Program Coordinator to nurture successful expansion and EPIC program growth

Kay is a lecturer at Puey Ungphakorn School of Development Studies at Thammasat University. He is also a deputy director at the SDG Research and Support Programme (SDG Move) and a researcher at the Urban Futures and Policy Research Unit. Kay is a passionate academic researcher and communications professional with experience working with developing communities, regional and national policymakers, and private sector stakeholders in Thailand and Southeast Asia. […]

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Lori DiPrete Brown believes networks like EPIC-N help us accelerate change

Lori DiPrete Brown believes networks like EPIC-N help us accelerate change

Lori DiPrete Brown, a co-chair of the UniverCity Alliance at UW-Madison, is a public health leader and educator who advances health, equity, and quality of life worldwide. She employs rights-based approaches and the UN sustainable development framework in system strengthening efforts across sectors, both in the US and around the world. Her teaching in the School of Human Ecology and the School of Medicine and Public Health is informed by 15 years of global health practice in 21 countries, and has spanned public health, human rights, civil society, community studies, quality improvement and innovation. Her scholarship includes over 40 articles and reports and a textbook entitled Foundations in Global health Practice (Wiley, 2018). She is a graduate of Yale College, the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and the Harvard Divinity School. […]

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Jessica Barlow transforms higher education and supports communities as EPIC-N Board member and SDSU director

Dr. Jessica Barlow is a professor at San Diego State University (SDSU), and she is the executive director of the SDSU Center for Regional Sustainability. Barlow founded and directs the Sage Project, which partners with local governmental and community organizations in the greater San Diego-Tijuana region via replication of the EPIC Model. Barlow is a founding board member and currently serves as the Vice President of the EPIC Network. In this capacity, she oversees efforts to grow the network internationally through collaboration with national and international agencies. […]

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