UM Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy: Mariah Van Ermen

Mariah Van Ermen

Mariah Van Ermen earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in international studies and Spanish, with a focus on global environment and health. After graduation, she served as an AmeriCorps member at the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago. She worked to foster healthy food environments by coordinating nutrition education, healthy food access, and food waste reduction efforts for the Chicago public school system. Since 2014, she has worked as a wellness policy specialist at the third largest school district in the nation, Chicago Public Schools. For Chicago’s nearly 400,000 public school students, Mariah developed and launched the district’s Farm to School program, established two school-based farmers markets, increased summer meal participation, and coordinated accountability for district-wide student health and wellness policies. She has also served as a consultant with FarmLogix, winning a USDA grant to promote local food system technology. Her policy areas of interest include ethical food systems, sustainable food production methods, and urban agriculture. She looks forward to embracing her Michigan roots and learning from the people and city of Detroit.