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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Travis Kraus prioritizes community needs in Iowa while developing resources and teaching courses

Travis Kraus is an Associate Professor in the University of Iowa School of Planning & Public Affairs and is the Director for the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities, a community engagement program that helps create more sustainable futures while enhancing teaching and learning at the University of Iowa. Travis views Strategic Doing as a tool to enhance the capacity of rural and urban communities in Iowa to address the environmental, equity, economic, and cultural issues they face today. […]

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