David Trujillo, Alumni
David was brought on to the program through a USDA/FIU high school internship where he conducted research under graduate student supervision in the field of Agroecology. Once enrolled at FIU, David was awarded a four year USDA Multicultural Scholars Program Scholarship of $24k. During this time he assisted in the development of the FIU Organic Garden, now awarded USDA’s “People’s Garden”. He also contributed his time on several topics such as Horticultural Therapy, Native Buffers, Agro-Forestry, Organic Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture but he is best known for his work in the fields of Urban Agriculture and Spirituality.
Nasser Brahim, Alumni
Nasser Brahim is a member of the first cohort of Agroecology certificate recipients. After completing his studies at FIU, he worked at the Florida Department of Transportation's planning and environmental management office in charge of infrastructure in Miami and the Florida Keys. He went on to complete his Masters of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. While at Yale, he focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation, serving a variety of clients in the public, private and non-profit sectors. He is now working in Washington DC at the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) - the largest international climate finance partnership in the world - housed in the World Bank. He helps the 49 developing countries participating in the CIF by documenting emerging knowledge and facilitating South-South exchanges on low carbon, climate resilient development.
Luke Thema, Alumni
B.S degree in environmental studies with a specialization in environmental biology. Under my degree, I am also pursuing certificates in both agroecology and conservation biology. Currently my area of focus is biodiesel production, where I am converting the waste vegetable oil that is produced on campus into useable biodiesel.
Herma Pierre, Alumni
Education: Chemistry, B.S. and Certificate in Agroecology
Major: Environmental Studies
Research Interests: Quantitative analysis of compounds that defend against anthracnose development in mangoes (Mangifera indica L.)
Stephany Alvarez- Ventura, SEAS Program Manager
Stephany Alvarez-Ventura is the Agroecology Program Coordinator in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University. Ms. Alvarez-Ventura received both her BS (09’) and master’s degree (11’) in environmental studies, along with a certificate in Agroecology and Conservation Biology, from Florida International University.
Dr. Pushpa Soti, PhD, Post doc
I am doing a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies and I joined the program not only to graduate with the certificate, but to also gain useful experience in the different fields of my major. I am hoping that in the near future I will find a career path through the research opportunities the program offers.
Mariah became an FCCAgE scholar in 2013. She is graduating from FIU in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with Environmental Focus and her certificate in Agroecology
My career aspirations include running a Community Supported Agriculture farm, designing food forest landscapes, empowering communities with size-efficient gardens, and entering academia as an updated professor in Agriculture. My research aspirations include tropical systems composting, tropical agroforestry for small farms, vermiculture methods, soil conservation and regeneration of soil microbial life. In 5 years I see myself working for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in any of their many engaging sections. In 10 years I see myself running a farm and empowering incoming farmers to farm in a closed-loop system without the need for chemical inputs through proper management of natural resources.
Monica is pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Geography in the Global Sociocultural Studies Department. Her interest in environmental justice is what drove her to enroll in the Agroecology certificate program. Agriculture is the second most environmentally impactful human activity (only after mining and the extraction industries.) Through this program, and her mixed methods research on Miami-Dade County's local food system, Monica hopes to better understand the dynamics that govern and influence a society's relationship to the production, distribution and consumption of food, and thus the environment. She plans to further her education and obtain a PhD in food systems studies so as to bring about more sustainable processes in the production and consumption food.
A South Florida native, Nicholas became an FCCAgE scholar in 2014. He is graduating from FIU in December 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability and the Environment and a certificate in Agroecology.
Education Background: Master of Science in Environmental Studies graduate
My graduate studies were funded by the National Needs Fellowship with my thesis project involving evaluation of the effectiveness of several alternative techniques for controlling the troublesome weed purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus). Concentration treatment effects for the allelopathic seed powders of watercress and turnip were tested in a field trial while seed powders of yellow mustard and sunflower were tested in a potted trial. The allelopathic amendments were found to significantly delay weed emergence but long-term effectiveness was hindered by several factors while Roundup provided the best season long control of the weed. I currently work as the lab manager of the Agroecology, Soil-Plant-Microbiology, and Soil-Plant Analytical laboratories at Florida International University.