Sarah Brown

Sarah BrownSarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Secondary Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After teaching in Philadelphia and Seattle, she moved to Detroit where she became involved in urban agriculture. Upon moving to Syracuse in 2010, Sarah quickly became involved in Syracuse Grows by joining the Advisory Board. Serving on the Syracuse Grows Advisory Board allows Sarah to combine her 10 + years of classroom-teaching experience with her love of community gardening, while working toward a healthier food system for all. Sarah is passionate about empowering a younger generation to take part in creating a more just food system. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband and two children cultivating their backyard vegetable garden, outdoor activities, reading, yoga, traveling, cooking and tending her honeybees.

Jonnell Robinson

Jonnell RobinsonJonnell is a founding member of Syracuse Grows and the director of the Syracuse Community Geography Program at Syracuse University, a program that uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and a participatory approach to examine community concerns. A native of Central New York, Jonnell returned to Syracuse in 2005 to work with the Syracuse Hunger Project, a coalition of social service providers, activists, and faith leaders that was created in 2003 to better understand and combat hunger in CNY. Syracuse Grows emerged out of discussions among Syracuse Hunger Project participants who were interested to expand urban agriculture and community gardening in Syracuse. Jonnell enjoys engaging with community members through community gardening and creating opportunities for university students to participate in grassroots food efforts. Jonnell enjoys gardening and cooking at home with her husband and children. Jonnell received her Master of Public Health and PhD in Geography from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Rose Tardiff

Rose TardiffInterested in food justice and sustainable agriculture, Rose first connected with the Syracuse Grows community as a student at Syracuse University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Geography with a minor in Ceramics. Rose has previously worked on an educational farm in Lake Placid, as a researcher at the Syracuse Community Geography Program, and as a Geography Intern at National Geographic. She spent two years doing mapping and design at the environmental consulting firm TIG Environmental before returning to organic farming in 2018. Outside of growing food and flowers, Rose enjoys making pottery, cooking, and trail running with her Rotski dog Akira.



Amy Grover

Amy GroverAmy is the Sports Medicine and Wellness Program Coordinator for Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS). She has been in the Sports Medicine realm for fourteen years and employee wellness for the last six years. It’s in this position that she’s been able to dive into her passion to increase food security and help families learn how to cook with local ingredients. Amy enjoys growing a variety of vegetables out of her own three gardens at home and sharing how she prepares the food, both as it’s harvested and how it’s preserved for the winter months. She believes anyone can start or share a garden in their home or community to have nutritious foods available to them year-round.

Amy received her BS in Athletic Training & Exercise Science from Ithaca College and MS in Athletic Training from A.T. Still University in Arizona. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, gardening, reading, and camping. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and pets. Amy joined the Syracuse Grows Board in June of 2021 as well as the Syracuse Board of Directors for the American Heart Association (AHA) and Co-Chair of the AHA’s Community Action Committee, in which one of the Greater Syracuse priorities is increasing food security.

Phil Wong

Phil WongPhil Wong is a Brooklyn transplant, who works as a Design Engineer at a consulting firm in downtown Syracuse. He studied Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University but also enjoyed taking courses from the emerging food studies program at SU. In his free time, you can find him tending to the 315 Community Garden, cooking or playing drums in the basement.

Alicia Prestianne

Alicia PrestianneOriginally from southern New Jersey, Alicia grew up riding past vast fields of produce. She has vivid memories of the purple soil beneath the blueberry fields, shucking corn still warm from the sun, and the unique smell of a freshly picked tomato.

Alicia earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Operations from Drexel University and a Masters of Business Administration from Villanova University and is currently a Project Manager at Hill-Rom. Her first introduction to urban agriculture and fresh food access came during a consulting project during her time at Villanova. Alicia joined the Advisory Board in 2021 after searching for an organization focusing on food accessibility in the community.



Evan Weissman

Evan WeissmanEvan is a Syracuse native and founding member of Syracuse Grows and the Westcott Community Garden. Evan is an assistant professor in the new food studies program at Syracuse University. His research examines grassroots efforts to address food disparities in urban America and he teaches introductory and upper-division courses in food studies through hands-on approaches. Evan would like to see Syracuse develop comprehensive food policy that includes urban agriculture and community gardening. In his spare time, Evan enjoys cooking, eating, drinking, and merry making with his partner Erin, his three children, and a wonderful group of friends. The family can often be found tending the Westcott Community Garden during growing season.