Mills-Novoa headshot

Emerson Fellow

Megan Mills-Novoa

16th Class, 2009-2010

Field Placement: New Mexico Community Foundation (Albuquerque, NM)

Megan worked with middle school students to organize around issues of nutrition, wellness and hunger within their schools. She facilitated a youth photo project that explores how food informs students’ cultural identity and promotes cross-cultural understanding among students, parents, and teachers of different ethnic backgrounds. In collaboration with the Albuquerque Public Schools Health Advisory Council, she also conducted a study of the strategies and challenges facing the member councils across the district as they work to increase student and staff wellness.

Hunger Free Community Report:

Harnessing Youth Voice In The Fight Against Hunger: The Role Of Youth In Evaluating Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs Within Albuquerque Public Schools provides an overview of Albuquerque Public School students’ views on school meals and the pervasive problem of hunger in their community. The report also discusses the importance of incorporating youth feedback in the evaluation of school nutrition programs.

Policy Placement: National Family Farm Coalition (Washington, DC)

Megan developed a national farm mentorship toolkit that integrates existing mentorship networks with new alliances to preserve and strengthen the role of family farms in the U.S. food system.  She developed resources for interested farmers, including a compilation of best practices and potential challenges based on interviews with administrators of existing farm mentoring programs, and an annotated list of mentoring programs by state.

Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:

A native Minnesotan, Megan graduated with honors and phi beta kappa from Lewis & Clark College in 2009 with a degree in environmental studies and conservation biology.  Megan created and led a youth garden education program at a public housing development, worked as a Global Engagement Coordinator, and co-led new student trips focused on sustainable food systems and service. She has also studied and conducted research in Cuba, Turkey, Greece, and New Zealand, and completed an honors thesis on agricultural adaptation to climate change.