Here you find all the latest news for the CommNS including additions to our faculty and staff and our newest, award winning community-engaged projects. For the latest on our events and upcoming events, please see our events page. We are constantly updating our website with news and events, so please check back frequently.

Most Recent Newsletter

Newest Faculty Leaders

We are exited to announce Dr. Brian McInnes will be joining us in the Fall of 2019 from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He brings a wealth of knowledge surrounding indigenous studies and recently publish a book entitled: Sounding Thunder – The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow.

Projects Updates

Harvesting Data to Grow Farmer’s Markets
Alfonso Morales and the CommNS worked to develop the Metric and Indicators for Impact – Farmers Markets (MIFI-FM).In 2015, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) partnered with the University of Wisconsin–Madison to engage Wisconsin Main Street organizations and farmers markets in the Metrics and Indicators for Impact – Farmers Markets (MIFI-FM) toolkit.  Formulating performance measures and subsequently, collecting and interpreting data is commonplace in business and government, but it can pose challenges for farmers market managers. Managers know that the activities are important but they lack the resources and training to integrate them into their routine practices.  In business and government, reliable performance data drives creative initiatives and decisions, and research indicates that market managers share this need for information.

MIFI-FM provides farmers markets with the means to develop customized knowledge that enhances their internal decision-making and external communication activities.  Markets select metrics that will help them understand and evaluate their performance within the context of their goals, their community, and in this case, the Main Street initiatives.  For example, they are collecting data on visitor attendance and vendor sales, which provides important insight the economic contributions of markets, and they are collecting data on visitor spending at the market and neighboring businesses and visitor transportation to the market, which supports the program’s mission of revitalizing downtowns around the State of Wisconsin.

For more information, please see:



fly-in photo.jpegUnion of Concerned Scientists invited Prof. Alfonso Morales to inform House and Senate staffers on his USDA funded research for “Agroecology Day on the Hill.” He will be returning for more visits and a presentation to USDA on





Congratulations to CommNS Affiliate Shannon Sparks, Academic Partner of the Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health. This organization was one of seven to receive recognition through the 2017 Community-University Partnership Awards last month. The Healthy Hmong Women project is one of the “exemplary partnerships that get to the heart of the Wisconsin Idea.”

Check out the article here: