USF to host Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow

Florence Reed

Florence Reed

University of St. Francis (USF) has invited Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Florence Reed, founder and president of Sustainable Harvest International, to its main campus from March 24-28, 2014. Reed’s intensive week-long visit will include her participation in several class lectures and activities, including a public address on Monday, March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Turk Theater in the Moser Performing Arts Center, 500 Wilcox Street, Joliet.

In 1997, Florence Reed founded Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with rural Central American communities to implement sustainable land-use practices. Since then, Florence has grown SHI from working with only a dozen families to working with nearly 2,200 families in four Central American countries to plant 2.8 million trees, convert 14,000 acres of degraded land to sustainable farms, and save an estimated 70,000 acres of tropical forest from slash and burn destruction.

Prior to founding SHI, Reed served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama from 1991–1993, focusing on agro-forestry and environmental conservation. In recent years, Reed has received two honorary doctorates for her work from the University of New Hampshire and Southern New Hampshire University, along with many awards such as the Yves Rocher Women of the Earth award, the Traditional Home Classic Woman award, the Harden Club of American Distinguished Service award, and most recently, named the Sargent Shriver Distinguished Humanitarian– the highest award given by the National Peace Corps Association. In 2009, Florence was painted by artist Robert Shetterly as part of his Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait series.

“Florence Reed will be a perfect fit for the USF community. The chance to meet an internationally renowned environmental activist with extensive knowledge like Reed’s will help our students achieve a deeper understanding of relevant issues, and develop new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds,” said Frank Pascoe, USF provost. “We’re delighted that she’ll get to explore our classrooms and meet our students and faculty members.”

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, DC, brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other professionals to campuses across the United States for a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions. For 35 years, the Visiting Fellows have been introducing students and faculty members at liberal arts colleges to a wide range of perspectives on life, society, community, and achievement.

For more information about Reed’s visit to USF, contact Dr. Bill Bromer, professor of biology and environmental science, at or (815) 740-3467.

The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit

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