The York University Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom (C4) program in Summer 2022 brought together our diverse group of individuals across many different disciplines. We worked towards discovering innovative solutions for a challenge question about societal inequities and societal improvement, and taking action towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We are dedicated to the values of respect, inclusion, collaboration, innovation, and commitment. Our interdisciplinary cohort focused on a challenge question regarding food insecurity, food sovereignty, and food sustainability while focusing on fostering the wellbeing of people and the environment.
The challenge question was: How can a community-maintained, sustainable food growth and sharing ecosystem be developed for the benefit of all human and non-human members of a given community?
The C4 program in Summer 2022 consisted of six dedicated groups named Team Connectors, Team Knitters, Team Maintainers, Team Growers, Team Preservers, and Team Reusers, which altogether created Grown in Woburn. These teams worked collaboratively to understand the needs of people in the Woburn community, create innovative solutions, and enact these projects to address the Challenge Question and help people in the community thrive.
Nine diverse members from around the world strive to establish relationships that benefit community members.
A group of seven students “knit” together to offer access to a healthy food initiative to encourage at-home food growing in the community, while ensuring the program’s long-lasting legacy.
Nine interdisciplinary students come together as a team to collaborate with each other, creating a positive impact on the community.
A group of ten highly motivated and hard-working students engage with the community members in their food-growing journey.
Eight individuals from various backgrounds are brought together as a team to address some of the barriers the community members regularly face by enacting an innovative solution to address the preservation of food.
Twelve students work together to develop a project with the mission of repurposing food waste.
Co-founder of the York Capstone Network (YCN)
Franz is an Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Program Director for Space Engineering at York University. He has taught the Engineering capstone at York for the past 4 years and has been looking for ways for students to work across the campus on projects that matter, to tackle all facets of them and to learn from each other. He loves the ways in which the YCN team challenges our assumptions about capstone education, our disciplines, and ourselves.
Co-founder and Executive Director of the York Capstone Network (YCN)
Danielle is an Associate Professor at York University who is affiliated with the programs in Dance, Theatre, and Communication and Culture. She has taught capstone courses for more than a decade, which led her to co-found (with Franz Newland) the York Capstone Network in 2018 and C4: The Cross Campus Capstone Classroom in 2019, both of which are supported by grants and fellowships from the York University Faculty Association and Academic Innovation Fund. She is thrilled to be leading such an incredible team of passionate, hardworking, and innovative capstone advocates.
Leadership Team member
Andrea has been teaching in the post-secondary education sector for over 20 years, having spent the last 15 years as part of the York University community. As an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Social Science, she has had the honour and privilege of mentoring students through a multitude of educational challenges. An award-winning teacher, she has committed herself to facilitating transformative teaching and learning experiences for York’s undergraduate students. Highly skilled in advanced research methods (both qualitative and quantitative), her commitment to their practical application to solve real world problems makes her a great fit with the YCN team. She’s excited about the opportunity to apply her skills, knowledge and expertise in such a unique and innovative educational context, but she is especially excited about being able to collaborate with like-minded educators and innovative students. She looks forward to the unique journey we will all be taking together, and is prepared to enthusiastically embrace the challenges ahead!
Leadership Team member
Zemina has 10+ years of project management experience in the academic space where she has been able to work directly with students, staff, and faculty on large-scale, transformative projects. Through this time, she realized that she is particularly interested in understanding how systems (society and higher education, for instance) are built and how they, in turn, affect who we are as people. Zemina is able to think about and understand, deeply, the system of higher education. She leverages her diverse range of professional and educational training (from business to neuroscience to design/systems thinking/futures) to help create meaningful educational experiences. Zemina’s mission in life is to challenge the status quo in the economic and educational domains of our society. Right now, Zemina is but one out of many facilitating work around the decolonization of our educational and economic systems. She looks forward to working with the YCN team so we can make a better world for everyone.
Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion and Spokesperson for Woburn Local Planning Table (Primary Student Mentor)
Leah is a community relations expert who was here to support students as they developed the project. She attended the class weekly and provided subject area expertise, feedback on presentations and the project journey, and facilitated the team members’ relationships within the community along the way.
Primary Student Mentor
Maira came to class at the Teaching Team’s or student’s invitation to provide subject area expertise and/or feedback on presentations and the project journey.
York University, Glendon Campus (Secondary Student Mentor)
Sovann provided strong support for the students as they developed the project, by coming to class as needed and providing subject area expertise, feedback on presentations and the project journey, and facilitating any student activities on Glendon campus.
A teaching staff supervisor and 8-10 high school students assist with tending garden beds and plants during the school term. Students are part of a committee to make decisions on what to do with food that is harvested. Team Maintainers, Team Growers, and Team Connectors collaborated with Woburn Collegiate Institute.
Eco club teaching staff and their students are interested in growing seedlings in their own classrooms, transplanting them into the community garden, and visiting the garden throughout the school year. Team Reusers collaborated with Woburn Jr Public School.
Grade 7 and 8 classes are interested in engaging with growing seedlings and starting their own community garden. Team Reusers and Team Connecters collaborated with St Thomas More Catholic School.
TCH residents engage with gardening in their raised garden beds for mental health benefits.
The Cedarbrae Public Library Staff were a vital part of the creation and implementation of the Team Knitters’ inaugural and successful pop-up seed library.