Genevieve Crum studied Environmental Science at the University of Notre Dame, and during those four years, she developed a deep passion for food policy, sustainability, and social justice. After graduating in 2015, she joined the ESTEEM Program Class of 2016 to further explore these passions and to build upon her technical background by learning firsthand about social entrepreneurship. She was drawn to the program’s mission of empowering entrepreneurs “to be a powerful force for good in the world,” and her thesis project sponsored by the Unity Gardens in South Bend embodied this mission.
Genevieve collaborated with Sara Stewart and Mitch Yaciw at the Unity Gardens, as well as other local horticultural experts and community leaders, to address the problem of vacant lots in South Bend. Her business plan involved the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to optimize the plan for repurposing vacant lots as urban gardens, tree nurseries, and rain gardens. This plan was focused on creating job opportunities for community members from disadvantaged populations, addressing environmental concerns associated with urban areas, and providing a plan for sustainable and cost-effective urban planning.
After graduation, Genevieve completed a summer internship at enFocus in South Bend, during which she completed three different projects: 1) A GIS-based recommendation to optimize maintenance and transportation operations for the South Bend Department of Public Works, 2) An Arduino technology workshop series for local students focused on environmental monitoring and citizen science, and 3) A business plan to plant two lavender labyrinths in vacant lots in an effort to repurpose public greenspace with both environmental and commercial value.
Genevieve received a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to attend the Master in Gastronomy program at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and will complete an internship within the global food industry and a thesis project focused on food policy and sustainable agriculture. Upon graduation in September 2017, she plans to pursue a career that embodies her passions for social justice, sustainability, and food policy within the United States in order to create a food system that is “good, clean and fair” based upon the values of the Slow Food movement.