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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.

If you are interested in serving as a VISTA member in the Office of Sustainability, e-mail To learn more about what it means to be a Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA) or to search for service sites, click here.



Denae 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. During her service with the Office of Sustainability, she worked to expanding programs for youth, involving education on environmental issues as well as providing better access to healthy and local food. In spring 2016 Denae worked with the Oxford Community Market to host “Neighborhood Table: A Community Meal,” at Burns-Belfry Multicultural Center. The event was designed to facilitate dialogue about food insecurity in the Lafayette-Oxford-University community.

Ellen 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 served as the Office of Sustainability’s first AmeriCorps VISTA member. She is a firm believer in equal access to fresh, healthy foods. During Ellen’s time with the office she founded the UM Garden Club, which maintains the university’s campus garden. Members grow fresh produce for themselves and the UM Food Bank.

“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.”