Viniece Jennings

Regional Network: 
Southeast Regional Network
Class Year: 

Passionate, Purpose-Driven, and Public Servant are a few words to describe ELP Senior Fellow, Viniece Jennings, Ph.D. She has over a decade of experience with the federal government where she previously served as a research scientist with the USDA Forest Service. She often explores urban green space and health in the context of ecosystem services, environmental justice, and social determinants of health. Her research has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, PLOS One, Environmental Justice, Healthcare, and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. In 2019, she served as the lead author of the first publication to synthesize literature on urban green spaces, social cohesion and health promotion. She was also the visionary and lead author of articles on urban green space as they relate to health disparities and social determinants of health across the United States. These articles were recognized in 2015 and 2017 as top research for practice in a document published by the National Recreation and Parks Association. In 2018, she was nominated and selected as a JPB Environmental Health Fellow by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University. In 2017, she was nominated and selected as a 'Hidden Treasure' for Women of Excellence in Science by a foundation in Atlanta and featured as a 'Smart in Beautiful' leader in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Technology, Arts, and Mathematics) careers by REIMAGE Beauty. Viniece was also a expert featured in Atlanta Magazine and Live Happy Magazine for her contributions to research on city parks and well-being. Prior to her role at the USDA, she interned at the White House Council on Environmental Quality for the Obama Administration.

In 2010, she was the only student selected to represent in the United States at the Youth Encounter to Sustainability (YES) course in Switzerland. During this program, she learned about international sustainability issues, group dynamics, environmental policy and the arts. She previously served in numerous leadership roles at Florida A&M University to include President of the Environmental Science Students Organization (ESSO) and an appointee to the Environment and Sustainability Council. As an undergraduate student, Viniece initiated and served as the campus recycling coordinator at Delaware State University. She also served as a local and regional officer for the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) organization, and member of the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program.

She can be reached at [email protected].