Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, August 6, 2014

School nominates two alumni

The La Follette School has nominated two recent graduates as 2015 Forward under 40 honorees.

The two are Jonny Hunter (2010) for his work on sustainable food practices and Carly Hood (2012) for her work in public health.

The award by the Wisconsin Alumni Association honors University of WisconsinMadison graduates under the age of 40 who are making an impact on the world by living the Wisconsin Idea, the inspiration for this award. The winners will be announced later this year.

Hunter is co-founder of the Underground Food Collective, a catering company that emphasizes the use of sustainable agriculture and local foods.

His nomination, in part, notes:

Jonny Hunter, with a local, national and international reputation, is an inspiration to all locavores. He has blended his degree in public affairs with real, grounded policy issues involving the economics, production, safety and sustainability of the food chain. While a student, he founded Underground Food collective, which now includes Underground Butcher (small butcher shop), Forequarter Restaurant, Underground Meats, and Underground Catering. As well as the founder, he has been the head of business development, culinary development and business operations.

One solid recent example of his ties to the community and the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea is the work he has done to address food safety through an open source web project involving curing meat. Jonny said "we worked hard to incorporate a lot of ideas around open source and I think the project will have a long lasting effect."

Hood has recently moved to southern Belize, where she has accepted a position as clinic and public health director at a clinic. She left a job at the Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellowship, where she was a fellow for two years after completing dual master's degrees in public affairs and public health.

After graduation, her nomination, in part, notes:

Carly focused her fellowship activities on improving the health of Wisconsin's most vulnerable populations. Through her core belief in social justice and health equity for all Wisconsin people, she was called upon to present, facilitate and act as keynote speaker at public events around the state.

Carly believes the benefits of health, wellbeing and equity transcend state and national boundaries, and in as much, recently accepted a position as Clinic & Public Health Director at a clinic in southern Belize. In this role, she will simultaneously work to improve the health of rural, poor Belizeans while developing curriculum to train medical, pharmacy, and physical therapy students on global health concepts.

Seven university graduates were selected as winners last year for their work which included fighting AIDS in Rwanda; fostering an appreciation for art among youth groups around the world; working with UNICEF to combat childhood blindness; and maximizing agricultural yields in thirty-five countries.

"I continue to be amazed at the innovative, hard-working, creative and idealistic alumni that our university produces on a yearly basis, and selecting outstanding examples from a pool such as this is no easy task," said WAA president Paula Bonner in announcing the 2014 winners.

Hilary Shager, La Follette associate director, says Hunter and Hood are just two of a long list of La Follette alums who could be nominated for the award.

"Our alumni are winners regardless of who is chosen," she says. "More importantly, citizens around the world are served by the knowledge, experience and excellence of all our alumni, old and young."