Conway faculty and alums participate in “lightning talks” in Northampton

The Pioneer Valley Grows (PV Grows) Higher Education Working Group, a network of people working at the intersection of food systems and institutions of higher education in the Pioneer Valley, presents an evening of snacks, “lightning talks,” networking, and information.

Three of the speakers are connected to The Conway School–Abrah Dresdale ’10, core faculty member Jono Neiger ’03, and adjunct faculty member Keith Zaltzberg. Talk organizer Madeleine Charney (Chairperson of PVGrows Higher Education Working Group) is also a Conway alum from the class of 2003.

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School|
80 Locust Street Northampton, MA


  • Simple fare of local origin (beginning 5:30)
  • 5-minute food-related “Lightning Talks” from an array of higher ed people (6-7pm)
  • Facilitated networking experience (7-8pm)
  • Information table

$5/suggested donation

Announcing the 2011 Lightning Talk Presenters:

Tovar Cerulli, Graduate student, Communication, UMass
Tovar Cerulli is a vegan turned hunter. He will discuss “meat and meanings,” his graduate research into how “adult-onset hunters” talk about their involvement in hunting.

Abrah Dresdale, Instructor, Food and Farming, Greenfield Community College
Abrah Dresdale will discuss Northampton’s food security plan Feed Northampton, which she co-authored, and her use of the plan as a template to develop service learning-based curricula at GCC.

Kathleen Allen and Rebecca Johnson, Student Volunteer Programs, Springfield College
(with assistance from Charlene Elvers) will discuss the 100% student run Campus Kitchens project to redirect leftover food to individuals and families.

Meghan Little, Undergraduate student, Environmental Science and Spanish, UMass
Meghan Little, a leader of one of the first permaculture gardens on a public university campus to supply sustainably grown produce to its dining services, will discuss its development.

Jono Neiger, Faculty, Conway School of Landscape Design; Principal, Regenerative Design Group
Jono Neiger will speak about opportunities for permaculture and regenerative agriculture in the Pioneer Valley and wider region.

Craig Nicolson, Director, Academic Sustainability Programs in the College of Natural Sciences, UMass
Craig Nicolson will discuss the development of the new Masters program in Sustainability Science at UMass and its concentration in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.

Richard Stein, Professor Emeritus, UMass; Founding Member, Pioneer Valley Biochar Initiative
Richard Stein will discuss biochar, a form of charcoal that can be used as a soil additive to stimulate plant growth and increase productivity.

Keith Zaltzberg, Regenerative Design Group
Keith Zaltzberg will speak about a toolbox for community resilience planning, developed by students, faculty and community members in a Smith College course last spring.

For more information, contact Madeleine Charney, Chairperson of PVGrows Higher Education Working Group at 413-577-0784,