Community-Based Research with South Madison Farmers Market

Course Title: Environmental Studies 600 Section 005: CBR with SMFM
Semester: Fall 2013 and Spring 2014
Instructor/CUE Affiliate: Dadit Hidayat, Alfonso Morales, and Margaret Nellis
Community PartnerSouth Madison Farmers Market (SMFM)


Abstract: SMFM is looking for a more effective strategy to educate South Madison community about fresh, safe, and affordable food.  The new strategy is expected to improve local market (buyers) as well local vendors participation in the market (sellers).

Student Learning Goals:

  • learn specific methodological skills for conducting community-based research
  • conduct research on informal market which will address the area of multifunctionality agriculture (sustainable agriculture, local food, community development, and health promotion)
  • identify and implement community organizing tactic

Deliverable Product or Service:

  • identified strategies for community actions
  • strategies implementation through community organizing efforts

CUE Project AreaSouth Madison

Grant involvedCharlotte Zieve Community Environmental Scholars Program


  • syllabus
  • CBR with South Madison Farmers Market, CUE Newsletter Vol II Issue 2

Shannon Sparks

Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies


  • Maternal & child health and well-being
  • Health care decision-making & treatment seeing behavior
  • Health disparities and their determinants
  • Child caregiving & alternative caregivers
  • Medical anthropology
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Ethnographic & qualitative methods

[Email] [Webpage]

Project AreaSouthwest Madison

Project Course:

  • School of Human Ecology’s courses on community-based research, Fall 2012 [syllabus] and Spring 2013 [syllabus].

Brian D. Christens

Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Faculty Affiliate, Community & Environmental Sociology
Faculty Affiliate, Population Health Sciences
Associate Director for Research, Center for Nonprofits

Expertise: community development, youth development, health promotion, action research, community-based research

[Email] [Webpage]

Project Area: Southwest Madison

Project Course:

  • School of Human Ecology’s courses on community-based research, Fall 2012 [syllabus] and Spring 2013 [syllabus].

Sam Dennis, Jr.

Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture


  • Landscape architecture (parks and park systems; urban outdoor spaces; not residential landscaping)
  • Community design (working with communities to design and build shared community spaces), Children’s environments (planning, design and evaluation of outdoor spaces where children spend a large part of their lives such as: daycare, preschool, K-12, church, hospital, museum)
  • Nature play: research on importance of free play in natural settings for health and well-being of children and youth
  • Built environment and health: research concerning the environmental supports and barriers to active living, particularly with medically underserved populations

[Email] [Webpage]

Project Area: Southwest Madison

Project Course:

A Copernican Moment: Engaged Scholarship in Research and Teaching

New Graduate Course Fall 2013

Research that frames theory and methods to address public issues, transcends disciplinary siloes, and engages fellow citizens.

Teaching that connects classroom learning with public issues and develops undergraduate students’ democratic skills and dispositions.

Graduate students who think of themselves as engaged scholars and how they engage in the public.

A class with theory/principles, experiential component, and direct application.

A class with layered approaches that move students towards a direct application in their field of study.


  • Copernican Moment: a new paradigm of university and public scholarship and engagement
  • Higher education: the big picture and historical context of outreach
  • The University and the Community: scholarship in the public and academic spheres.
  • Translational Issues: writing and visualizing for the public
  • Engaging Controversial issues: conflict and controversy in and out of the classroom
  • Engaged Scholarship and the Humanities
  • Interdisciplinary Dynamics
  • Professional Challenges and Opportunities

Learn more by contacting Helyn Luisi-Mills, Interdisciplinary Studies Department in the School of Human Ecology.  Also see CUE Newsletter Vol I Issue 1 for additional info about this course.

South West Madison Community Organizers

SWMCO is an independent, informal organization which welcomes all interested individuals to participate. The Mission is to empower citizen by organizing and supporting actions that create and sustain equitable, peaceful, and welcoming neighborhoods.

Their objectives are:

  • Improve and increase cross-neighborhood communication
  • Replicate the organizing process used in Meadowood in other neighborhoods
  • Build leadership within neighborhoods
  • Engage youth and develop youth leadership
  • Provide problem-solving and other support for groups that are doing good things in the neighborhoods
  • Establish a website where current activities, agendas and minutes are posted
  • Support and sustain Meadowridge Library and Meadowood Community Center
  • Be administratively self-sufficient by 2013
  • In the long term: hire a organizer

Contact: | Email | Website |

Partnership with UW-Madison:

CUE Affiliate: Randy Stoecker

Margaret Nellis

Manager, Academic Partnerships, University Health Services & Faculty Associate, Interdisciplinary Studies, School of Human Ecology

Expertise: Connecting key health and community development issues to the academic work of the university through place-based learning, service learning, cultural tours and community-based research. Partnering with faculty development initiatives on campus to identify and promote educational practices that foster student learning, health and well-being. Linking students and instructors with the people, places and cultural assets of South Madison to learn while contributing to the revitalization of the Park Street corridor (the gateway to campus).

[Email] [Webpage]

CUE Projects:

Southwest Madison

Overview: CUE has been involved with the South West Madison Community Organizers (SWMCO) and their associated work groups since fall of 2011.  SWMCO is a group of southwest Madison residents, UW faculty and students, and Madison/Dane County Public Health Department nurses that work to build leadership in the community as a way to promote holistic health and well being. CUE began to participate when SWMCO expressed becoming overwhelmed with UW student and faculty requests for involvement in community-based learning & research.

Objectives: CUE’s role is to help SWMCO with documenting  their community organizing process and model, and to act as a sort of “traffic cop” to coordinate and organize university requests for partnerships. Additionally, CUE is also identifying resource gaps and find ways that students, faculty and staff can help fill them.

Project Courses:

  • Community and Environmental Sociology service learning capstone course on neighborhood free space; Spring 2012. [project course page] [syllabus]
  • Community and Environmental Sociology service-learning capstone course on ….Fall 2012. [project course page] [syllabus]
  • School of Human Ecology’s courses on community-based research, Fall 2012 [syllabus] and Spring 2013 [syllabus].
  • Environmental Studies service learning capstone course on youth gardening; Spring 2013. [project course page] [syllabus]

Additional Information

News/articles about Southwest Madison: