2016 Get Local Party

Introducing Groundwork’s Summer Fellows

July 5, 2017 | |

From left to right, Sarah Perez-Sanz, Zada Harris, Katie Wheeler and Abby Hackman.

Three fellows recently joined the Groundwork team for a nearly three-month period. Food Equity fellow Sarah Perez-Sanz is working with Food & Farming Director Meghan McDermott on food equity and access; Farms, Food and Health fellow Katie Wheeler is working with Senior Policy Specialist Diane Conners on Community-Supported-Agriculture (CSA) wellness programs, and Clean Energy fellow Abby Hackman is supporting Clean Energy Policy specialist Dan Worth. Meanwhile, former fellow Zada Harris continues to work with Program Director Jim Lively on the Great Lakes Business Network and the effort to shut down the Line 5 oil pipeline.


Abigail Hackman, a native of northern Michigan, grew up in Harbor Springs, attended Castleton University in Vermont and majored in environmental studies with a concentration in economics. She also led a community service project that started composting at all Castleton facilities. Hackman is a lover of the outdoors and everything nature offers.


Sarah Perez-Sanz grew up in suburban Chicago and spent summers in Frankfort. She studied biology at Colorado College then worked as a garden intern and garden manager for five summers at the Youth Garden Project in Moab, Utah. Through her involvement with Moab’s local food system, she became further interested in the complex issues surrounding food equity. Perez-Sanz was drawn to Groundwork for its multi-faceted and dynamic approach to community resilience, and for the opportunity to build experience in outreach and advocacy work related to food equity.


Katie Wheeler was raised on red and green chiles in the high deserts of New Mexico. Her passion for food and its connection to the land was nurtured by the stunning natural environment in which she was raised and the kitchen table where her family shared home-cooked meals. As an environmental studies major at Eckerd College, she became involved in food education and policy work, school garden projects and farmworker rights activism. Through this work, Katie was inspired by the way in which food can be a source of healing for human health, social justice and the environment while creating community and helping to build a relationship with the land.

About the Author

Jacob Wheeler is the communications manager at Groundwork. Contact him at [email protected]

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