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Dean’s Welcome

Welcome Letter

Dean Jones HeadshotWelcome to the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). UDC is the only urban, land-grant university in the nation. CAUSES was formed, in 2010, as the university’s land-grant college. This means we engage in applied teaching and research that helps to improve the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of the District of Columbia and others around the world, through traditional academic degrees, and through non-degree, non-credit bearing, skills-building programs, such as green infrastructure and urban agriculture.

CAUSES is unique in its organizational structure and its mission: an interdisciplinary college, where academic programs, such as architecture, urban sustainability, health education, nutrition and dietetics, and nursing, train a forward-thinking generation of professionals who will ensure that the world has “Healthy Cities–Healthy People.” The college houses the only doctoral-level program in the nation that focuses on urban leadership and entrepreneurship.

CAUSES is comprised of the following undergraduate and graduate degree programs:

Architecture (B.S.)
Nursing (RN to BSN)
Nutrition and Dietetics (B.S.)
Urban Sustainability (B.A.)

Ph.D. in Urban Leadership and Entrepreneurship
Architecture (M.Arch.)

Professional Science Master’s Degree Programs

  • PSM in Water Resources Management
  • PSM in Urban Agriculture
  • PSM in Urban Sustainability

Land-grant universities were established by Congress to provide a broad segment of the population with a practical education that is relevant to everyday life. The role of land-grant universities has expanded, over the years, to include higher education. CAUSES is the land-grant component of the university, serving the residents of the District of Columbia.

The university’s land-grant programs are administered, in CAUSES, through four land-grant centers:

  • Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education
  • Center for Urban Resilience, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health
  • Center for Urban Research, Engagement and Scholarship

I am privileged to serve as Dean of CAUSES, a college with a unique past and a bright future. We hope you will join the CAUSES Team and myself in the capacities of a team member, student, program participant, volunteer, donor, or partner, to help us build a better future world.

On behalf of the University, CAUSES, and this great leadership team (bios below)—WELCOME!

Growing Together,
Dwane Jones, PhD
Dean of CAUSES + Land-Grant Program

Healthy Cities – Healthy People

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is an urban land grant university that offers associate, baccalaureate, and graduate programs, certificate programs, and community outreach programs to learners of all ages. The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) embodies the land-grant tradition of UDC. We offer cutting-edge academic programs in urban sustainability, water resources management, nutrition and dietetics, urban architecture, and community planning. We also offer a wide range of programs that serve individuals and organizations in our community and beyond.

Making a Difference

The Community is our Classroom. We teach steeped in sound theory and the knowledge we draw from the community and region around us. We also offer a wide range of research and community outreach programs for all ages through the 143-acre Firebird Research Farm and four unique land-grant centers.

Knowledge for a Lifetime

We are deeply committed to being relevant to the residents of the District of Columbia. Given our three-pronged approach of teaching, research, and community outreach, we seek to make a measurable, positive difference in people’s lives right where they live and work. As a result, our programs focus on improving economic conditions, social and cultural circumstances, and the health of people and their living environments. Yet, our community-based programs are more than local. They also serve as a model for relevant learning far beyond our region.

Preparation for a Global Marketplace

CAUSES programs recognize that, like ecosystems, we are connected to people and places right here in our neighborhoods and those halfway around the world. Pollution travels, resources are not always consumed where they are generated, and job markets are increasingly global and knowledge-based. Given these realities, we aspire to teach you to think in systems, work in diverse teams, and focus on connectivity and innovation. We apply these principles to all of our programs, including our Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree programs, professional development certificates, and community outreach and youth programs.

The faculty and staff of CAUSES look forward to discussing with you how our programs and initiatives can best serve you. Please contact us at 202.274.7124 or at

Deep Dive With CAUSES!

EXCLUSIVE: A “Deep Dive with CAUSES” serves as a bi-monthly video series on behalf of the College that provides engaging and real-time college updates on land-grant and academic programs, research and student opportunities, campus news, and much more. Check it out!

Watch and Learn More About CAUSES!

(CAUSES overview video)

CAUSES Leadership Team

Dean Jones HeadshotDR. DWANE JONES
Dean of CAUSES and Land-grant Programs


  • Urban Sustainability
  • Urban Storm Water Management
  • Environmental Policy
  • Urban Design
  • Public Health


  • Ph.D. in Urban Design, North Carolina State University
  • M.S. in Environmental Planning & Industrial Technology, East Carolina University
  • B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning, East Carolina University

Dwane Jones is currently the Dean at the University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences. He is a leader with over 20 years of combined experience in leadership, green infrastructure programs, research, urban design, environmental planning and program management with government, academia, nonprofit and community-based agencies, and international governments and universities. Dr. Jones uses design thinking to problem-solve, innovate, prototype, execute, and research human-centered challenges while using sustainability as a lens to address these problems. He was Founder of the Low Impact Development Certification Program at North Carolina State University (which became a national model for certification programs in green infrastructure), has led national and international innovation programs, and most recently led the launch of a PhD Program in Urban Leadership + Entrepreneurship, aimed at developing the next generation of innovative thinkers to address issues that are primarily urban. Dr. Jones is also an Executive Leadership Coach who specializes in launching + scaling start-ups. He has degrees in Urban Planning, Environmental Planning, Urban Design, and Evidence-Based Coaching.


Associate Dean for Academic Programs/Founding Director, School of Health and Clinical Sciences


  • Public Health
  • Cardiovascular Research


B.S. in Biology, Oakwood University
Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics, Howard University

Dr. Ricardo A. Brown serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Programs/Founding Director, School of Health and Clinical Sciences at CAUSES. Dr. Brown assists the Dean with the management of administrative functions of CAUSES academic programs. He collaborates with the Dean on planning college strategic initiatives and supports college fundraising. Dr. Brown’s administrative leadership in areas of curriculum development, institutional assessment and improvement, human resource, faculty development and performance appraisals, budget and finance, and facilities planning and management.


William Hare Headshot

Associate Dean of Land-grant Programs


  • Soil Nutrients
  • Water Resource Management
  • Water Quality
  • Agroecology


  • Post-graduate Studies, University of Kentucky
  • MSc. in Soil Science, Purdue University

William Hare serves as the Associate Dean for Land-grant Programs. He is a research/extension scientist and grant administrator with over 15 years of excellent leadership, management, and land-grant University experience in the specialty areas of Soil Nutrients and Water Resources Management, he served as Director of the DC Water Resources Research Institute for over 12 years and also as Associate Dean/Director of the Cooperative Extension Service in the Community Outreach and Extension Service for close to ten years. Associate Dean Hare has taught Chemical Analysis for Water Quality I & II, Wastewater Management, and Integrated Sciences and Agroecology in the College. He served a four-year term representing the Northeast Region Extension Directors to the National Extension Board call Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) and Chaired ECOP’s Personnel Subcommittee. He currently represents the NE Region Extension Directors on The National 4-H Council Board of Trustees and the Northeast Aquaculture Center Board of Directors. His research interests include enhancing the water and nutrient use efficiency of ethnic and specialty crops as alternative niche crops to tobacco for small and minority farmers. William is a Fulbright Scholar, with MSc. in Soil Science from Purdue University and post-graduate studies at the University of Kentucky, Ph.D.


dr rush

Assistant Dean for Programs and Administration


  • Ph.D. in Higher Education, Florida State University
  • M.S. in Counseling, North Carolina A&T State University
  • B.S. in Journalism/Public Relations, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

As the Assistant Dean for Programs and Administration, Dr. Rochelle Rush serves as the Dean’s lead for administrative affairs and operations, and the systems that support those functions and services. Beyond providing leadership, supervision, and direction for college staff, she is also responsible for planning, organizing, and managing services associated with land-grant and academic programs, student recruitment, volunteer management, outreach/admissions, testing, student employment, human resources,
USDA reporting and compliance, student, faculty, and staff orientation, career planning, academic support, student discipline, and student behavioral intervention. Dr. Rush also serves as a liaison between the College and various external agencies, internal departments, and other educational institutions.