Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.84
Liaison Stephanie Del Rosario
Submission Date May 26, 2022

STARS v2.2

California State University, Fullerton
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 John Bock
Professor / Director
Anthropology / Center for Sustainablity
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
The Urban Agriculture Community-based Research Experience (U-ACRE) Project

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

The U-ACRE Project is a collaboration between Cal State Fullerton, Santa Ana College, Fullerton College, and UC Santa Barbara. The project was established in 2011 by Sara Johnson, Professor of Anthropology at Cal State Fullerton, and has been continually funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hispanic Serving Institutions Education Grants program as well as other sources.

In addition, the U-ACRE project has many community partners, including the Fullerton Arboretum, Monkey Business Cafe, Future Food Farms, American Heart Association Teaching Gardens, Ladera Vista School of the Arts, Pathways of Hope, Beechwood Elementary and Hermosa Drive Elementary.

U-ACRE uses urban agriculture as a lens to understand complex issues facing our community, including food and housing insecurity, nutritional sufficiency, environmental justice, and sustainable development. We do this by engaging our students in community-based research, where our partners take a major role in identifying specific problems, and actively contribute to the research design. This approach has been shown to benefit communities and other participants Through being agents of change, and it has brought important benefits to our U-ACRE students.

Students who engage in research demonstrate higher levels of interest in science, and higher rates of success and retention. Undergraduate research has also been shown to be effective at reducing the achievement gap between students of underrepresented groups and others.

U-ACRE won a Best Practices Award for Sustainability in Academics (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences) from the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in 2017. https://chesc.org/pastaward_winners/2017-2/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Integrating Workforce Training for Foster Youth with a Community Food Web: Culinary Arts, Agriculture, and Nutrition (I-CAN) Project

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

The I-CAN Project is a joint effort by Monkey Business Café . I-CAN provides workforce development for young people who have recently been emancipated from the foster care system, who face considerable challenges in housing, food security, and educational opportunities. Monkey Business Café is a unique farm-to-table enterprise that integrates the Fullerton Arboretum’s urban farm with a neighborhood restaurant. Coupled with applied research activities conducted by U-ACRE, this unique program prepares former foster youth for career pathways through a complete farm-to-table training program.

Participants from Monkey Business Café grow produce in the Fullerton Arboretum farm, in a collaborative mentorship with Arboretum staff and U-ACRE faculty and students, as well as service-learning students from several Cal State Fullerton classes. The participants then use the produce at Monkey Business Café, where they receive training in culinary arts including recipe development and food preparation. The participants also work with U-ACRE faculty and students to conduct nutritional analysis of Monkey Business Café menu items and product line using professional software at Cal State Fullerton.

This project is supported by Community Food Projects grant number 2016-33800-25587 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Urban Forest Improvement Project

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

In 2020, Cal State Fullerton partnered with the City of Fullerton on the Urban Forest Improvement Project funded by CalFire. As a project partner, CSUF has planted twenty oak trees around campus over two semesters, expanding the community’s urban forest. When carefully planned, trees can reduce heat islands, reduce soil erosion and runoff, and absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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