Office of Sustainability

University of Mississippi

AmeriCorps VISTA Member

AmeriCorps VISTAs work towards alleviating poverty through education. This position focuses on food security and healthy futures.

The VISTA will serve students from low-income communities and under served schools to increase youth science education related to environmental issues, teach self-sustaining gardening/farming techniques and conservation practices, improve awareness of food justice issues, and improve community access to healthy, fresh food leading to improved health and the overall sustainability of these communities.

To learn more about what it means to be a Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA) or to search for other service sites, click here.

The August 2016-August 2017 term has been filled! The application for the 2017-2018 term will be posted in the summer of 2017. 


Current and Past VISTAs

DBDenae Bradley, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, 2016-2017

Denae, from Jackson, Mississippi, graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology and African American Studies. She is currently serving with the North Mississippi VISTA Project as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. She is expanding programs for youth at the Office of Sustainability, which involve education on environmental issues as well as providing better access to healthy and local food. She hopes to expand community gardens within the Lafayette County School District, while also jump-starting an environmental education traveling trunk program and allowing mobile markets to become more readily available to low-income families. In her free time, Denae enjoys traveling, DIY projects, trying new food, and thrift shopping.

Ellen OlackEllen Olack, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, 2015-2016

Ellen graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Spanish. She is currently serving as the Office of Sustainability’s first AmeriCorps VISTA member. She is a firm believer in equal access to fresh, healthy foods. After her service, she looks forward to continuing to work in the field of sustainable agriculture and food securityDSC_0998. When she isn’t on the clock, Ellen enjoys knitting, traveling and trying new recipes.

“My time as a VISTA was truly amazing. Although I enjoyed the many projects I worked on, the UM Garden Club is what I am most proud of. I hope it continues to thrive and to work towards decreasing food insecurity by increasing access to local produce to students, faculty and staff. I would encourage anyone with a passion for sustainability and a desire to alleviate poverty and food insecurity to apply.”