Toby McChesney Joins Veggielution Board of Directors
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 18, 2022—Santa Clara University’s vice provost for graduate programs, Toby McChesney, has been elected to the board of Veggielution, an East San Jose nonprofit.
Veggielution’s mission is to connect communities through food and farming. The nonprofit brings people together especially in the diverse, low-income communities of East San Jose surrounding the six-acre Veggielution farm.
McChesney’s relationship with Veggielution began with a student project. Each year, he charges his undergraduate business communication students to address an issue related to a Silicon Valley organization. When one student group chose Veggielution, and went the extra mile to work on a fundraiser for the organization, McChesney was inspired. He began attending events and learning more about Veggielution’s community action.
He found a strong connection between the values of both institutions. Veggielution’s link to the vibrant communities of East San Jose further strengthens Santa Clara University’s relations with surrounding communities, including helping to support Santa Clara’s Community Outreach—a central value of the school’s mission. Veggielution’s mission closely aligns with many of SCU’s ideals such as service to others, community and diversity, and a focus upon sustainability within communities.
“I am delighted to join Veggielution’s Board of Directors and bring new ideas regarding community, sustainability, and fundraising to both Veggielution and SCU,” says McChesney. “I am excited to further improve Santa Clara’s relationships with our surrounding communities through a nonprofit that so closely aligns with SCU’s mission.”
The Center for Sustainability
McChesney has also gained inspiration from SCU’s Center for Sustainability. He is currently participating in a year-long inclusive planning process co-sponsored by the Division of Mission and Ministry to create a sustainability action plan that takes SCU through 2030 inspired by Pope Francis’ landmark environmental encyclical Laudato Si’. SCU is proud to be one of the 130+ founding universities worldwide committed to Pope Francis’ 7-Year Journey Towards Integral Ecology.
As a member of the Academics Working Group (one of five working groups), McChesney will be helping SCU to define and implement unique paths to deepen the campus’ integral ecology in the areas of academics and research, operations, campus life, and outreach. Through the sustainability action plan, the Center for Sustainability also looks to promote community engagement by “welcoming the local community members into the university space, building trust, and finding solutions to local environmental problems.”
“Toby joining Veggielution’s board allows us to gain insight from true leaders in the areas of sustainability and community building,” Center for Sustainability Director Lindsey Kalkbrenner notes. “We hope we can continue to learn about Veggielution’s successful community engagement and empowerment strategies through this partnership.”
Within the low-income, mainly Latinx community of Mayfair that surrounds the farm, Veggielution works in solidarity with local residents to foster self-reliance and leadership via their programs and projects. They address a variety of issues including environmental education, open space stewardship, food distribution, and food entrepreneurship education and training.
"Veggielution is thrilled for Toby McChesney to join our board of directors,” says Cayce Hill, Veggielution executive director. “We look forward to growing our long-standing partnership with Santa Clara University through Toby’s leadership and passion for community building.”
About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see www.scu.edu.
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