A PhD Candidate and NSF GRFP Fellow recipient.
I have a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Florida International University with a certificate in Agroecology and a certificate Biodiversity Conservation and Resource Management. I was awarded a research grant to study second generation biofuels in Bangalore and Tamil Nadu, India in 2010 and later returned to Florida International University to complete an MS in Environmental Studies. I focused my efforts on managing the university organic garden for experiential learning and mentoring undergraduates in the Agroecology program. I am well versed in organic and sustainable agriculture, particularly in urban environments. For my thesis, I converted invasive plants into biochar and measured soil carbon sequestration and impact on crop growth at several rates of application. After graduating, I taught two courses at Florida International University, Environmental Science and Global Environment and Society, and confirmed that academia is a great fit for me. I chose to come to Ohio State in 2015 to merge my background in natural sciences and social science through the Environmental Social Science PhD program. I was awarded a University Fellowship for 2015-2016 and awarded an NSF GRFP Fellowship in 2016.
I am an environmental sociologist utilizing social movement and social psychology theories to advance the field. Much of my work prior to my PhD was in the physical sciences on a variety of projects tied to climate change, biofuel production, conservation, and agroecology.
My current work is at the intersection of social movements, sustainability, and food systems research. My dissertation focuses on the spectrum of alternative food movements and the frames and motivations for actors and organizations. More specifically, I am exploring the convergence of food sovereignty, agroecology, climate justice, and the environmental justice movements in Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria.
I am also heavily involved in a large project focused on institutional procurement of local and sustainable food at Ohio State University and understanding the capacity of anchor institutions to create resilient, sustainable food systems.
- Alternative food movements: local food, food justice, agroecology (as practice and movement).
- Building resilience for a changing climate through regional food systems planning.
- Converging social movement organizations: climate justice, environmental justice, and food justice
- Identities and values in pro-environmental activism
Velez, Thelma. 2018. Grassroots Mobilization for Puerto Rico's #JustRecovery: Understanding the Historical, Socio-Political Context of Disenfranchisement. Sustainability.*Submission target - January 2019.
Velez, Thelma, Moonilall, Nall, Reed, Stewart, Scinto Leonard J., Jayachandran, Krishnaswamy. 2018. Impact of Melaleuca quinquenervia biochar on Phaseolus vulgaris L. growth, soil nutrients, and microbial gas flux. Journal of Environmental Quality. * November *
Ard, K., Colen, C., Becerra, M., Velez, T. 2016. Two Mechanisms: The Role of Social Capital and Industrial Pollution Exposure in Explaining Racial Disparities in Self-Rated Health. Intl. Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13,10:1025-37.
Velez, Thelma and Kerry Ard. 2018. Green Spaces in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Cities around the World: Struggles and Solutions to Urban Life. ABC-CLIO. In Press.
Velez, Thelma. 2018. Treehugger Organic Farm: Sustainability Visions in Urban Agriculture (Chapter 22). Palgrave Handbook of Sustainability Case Studies, eds. Sandra Garren and Robert Brinkman. Palgrave MacMillan.
Snyder, Brian et al. 2018. Purchasing 40% Local and/or Sustainable Food by 2025: The Ohio State University Panel on Food Sustainability Final Report, December, 2018
Hoy, Casey, et al. 2017. Purchase of Local and Sustainable Food by 2025: The Ohio State University Panel on Food Sustainability Progress Report, May 2017.
Velez, Thelma. 2017. The changing politics of organic food in North America. Author: Lisa F. Clark. Agriculture and Human Values. Feb. 2017.
Kerry Ard, advisor