GradImpact: Increasing Cooperative Impact through Community and Collaboration

    Charlene Higgins, a graduate student in the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, has worked with the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS) for several years. ORIS, an ethnic community-based organization, aims to aid refugees resettled in New Hampshire and help them become self-sufficient. Higgins’s familiarity and passion for the work translated into her Master in Community Development capstone project.


    The New American Sustainable Agriculture Project (NASAP), a program within ORIS, assists new Americans by helping them, “build sustainable farm enterprises that are consistent with their culture and lifestyle aspirations and that strengthen regional, sustainable food systems as a whole.” Higgins’s capstone project included helping the NASAP farmers increase their impact by providing technical assistance and training with an end goal of “effective co-op management and access to consistent, secure and profitable markets.”


    “The co-op farmers are [now] equipped with additional tools, skills and knowledge to help them successfully reach their self-defined goals within the co-op, and within their communities,” Higgins says. “My education has benefited my work by providing me with the understanding that unique individuals-- with unique cultural backgrounds, life-histories, and personalities-- will have different self-defined needs, desires, and priorities.” To learn more about Charlene’s work visit the University of New Hampshire website.


    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.



    Photo Credit: Charlene Higgins



    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


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