Sharon Cech (she/her) is a Program Director at the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College (UEPI). With over a decade of experience working to advance farm to school, farmers’ markets, and other local food systems projects that support small-scale and urban producers, her work aims to achieve more equitable, sustainable, and nourishing local food systems in the Los Angeles region. She brings extensive expertise in federal and state grant writing, management, evaluation, and coordination of regional partnerships. Her current work includes a partnership with UC ANR’s Los Angeles County Master Gardener Program to enhance support for school gardens, collaborating with SEE-LA to develop and pilot an innovative farmers’ market purchasing strategy for farm to school education, evaluating the impact of food assistance programs at farmers’ markets, and leading Occidental’s Urban Agriculture Internship program. As an Adjunct Professor in the Urban and Environmental Policy Department, she is a core member of the food studies faculty, teaching several food systems and food justice courses and serving as Co-Chair of Occidental’s Food Systems Working Group, a cross-campus initiative to increase socially and environmentally responsible food procurement, research, education, and student engagement activities. She also co-chairs the Los Angeles Food Policy Council’s Farm to School & Garden Working Group, is a member of “LA Produces,” a coalition advocating for SNAP incentives in LA County, is a Working Group and Technical Advisory Committee member with the LA County Food Equity Roundtable, and is an LA County Master Gardener. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Bard College and an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA.
Program Director, UEPI; Adjunct Professor, UEP