South Cumberland Plateau VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) project expands

The South Cumberland Plateau VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) project is a partnership between the University of the South and the South Cumberland Community Fund. This month Sewanee’s Office of Community Engagement welcomed two new AmeriCorps VISTA members who will work closely with other University offices.

erica teasleyErica Teasley (left), C’11, graduated from the University of the South with a degree in biology and completed a master’s in ecology at the University of Georgia. She has been a physical science teacher at Franklin County High School, and holds a particular interest in water resources. She hopes eventually to work in stream/wetland/river restoration/environmental consulting.

As a VISTA economic development coordinator, Teasley will collaborate with the Babson Center for Global Commerce and the Grundy County Mayor’s Office to conduct research and establish an economic development plan leading to increased job opportunities for individuals with low incomes in Grundy County.



kelly farinaKelly Farina (left) graduated in 2014 from Augustana College (Illinois), where she studied geography and political science. She looks forward to working to make a positive impact across the South Cumberland Plateau. Eventually, Farina would like to pursue a career where she can continue to provide nutritional assistance to youth in need.

As a VISTA healthy living coordinator, Farina will work with Sewanee Dining to develop and implement a summer feeding program that will serve the South Cumberland Plateau and ensure that low-income children and their families have access to nutritious meals. The program aims to work with the USDA to raise awareness about hunger and ways to address the “nutrition gap” low income children face during the summer.