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Susan Lightfoot Schempf

M.S. Candidate
Susan Lightfoot Schempf

Susan Lightfoot is a community food systems development professional with 15 years of hands-on experience in food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and youth development programming. After co-founding and directing the Noyo Food Forest, a 501c3 non-profit organization based in rural northern California, Susan designed and implemented an innovative regional Farm to Fork program to increase smallholder farmers' income and improve school feeding programs in the region. A 6-month sojourn to work with the Organic Technology Extension and Promotion of Initiative Centre, a young farmers' association in western Kenya, renewed Susan's passion for international collaboration and inspired her to return to her home state of Louisiana to pursue a Masters of Science in International Development.

In her first year of studies at Payson, Susan was a Research Assistant for Dr. Eamon Kelly and Dr. Annette Nassali in their work with the Uganda Fund, served as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Anna Monhartova in her course on Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, participated in Making Cents International’s Youth Economic Opportunities Summit and attended the 2015 Food Security Summer Institute in Bolsena, Italy. She also serves as the Academic Committee Chair of the Payson Graduate Student Association and enjoys hosting fellow students for monthly social gatherings at her home in New Orleans. Susan will complete her degree in Spring 2016 following an internship with the Information Management and Knowledge Unit of the United Nations World Food Programme in Panama and hopes to secure a program management position with an international NGO focusing on community food systems development following graduation.

Primary Classification: 
  • B.A., Humboldt State University, Cultural Anthropology, 2001. Summa Cum Laude.
Country Experience: 
United States

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