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Author: Beth Bridgeman

Beth Bridgeman / Author

Beth Bridgeman joined the Cooperative Education faculty in 2013. Her professional practice areas are informed by community engagement and student-centered experiential learning pedagogy. She specializes in sustainable agriculture, community resiliency and field-based education. Beth has designed new courses in co-constructed learning, reskilling and resilience, and integrative learning in food, farming and resilience. She is deeply involved in community life at Antioch College.



With twelve years prior experience as an Ohio State University cooperative extension county educator, two years as a faculty member at Kanda Gaigo Gakuin in Tokyo, Japan and service as a Peace Corps agricultural specialist in the Philippines, Beth develops partnerships and field-based agro-ecology, Japanese cultural immersion and experiential education opportunities for Antioch students. In 2015 she created Antioch Seed School, a 7 day seed-sovereignty and stewardship intensive in 2015 and in 2016 offered Ohayo-Ohio: an eight day Japanese symposium of 30 workshops, presentations, and films. Recently Beth designed a four-college residency with the Rich Earth Institute, during which students built a prototype urine-diverting compost toilet and learned about closing the human nutrient cycle. She maintains relationships with alumni and partners in New England, California, Japan and Colorado.

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My Work


·         History of Seed Patent Law in the United States Since 1930, InFACT Seed to Sustainability, Antioch College, October 21, 2017

·         Community Efforts and Environmentalism, Chatham College Food and Climate Change conference October 14, 2017

·         Seed-saving Teaching Methods for School Gardening, OSU Extension Annual School Gardening Conference, October 13, 2017

·         Saving Heritage Seed, Ohio Governor's Residence and Heritage Garden, August 24, 2017

·         Ohayo-Ohio Japanese Symposium, May, 2016.

·         Communities of Sustainable Practice: Seed-saving as Resilience, F.O.C.U.S. Minority, Women and Small Farmers conference, Central State University, 2016.

·         Seed-saving as Community-Building: A four part series, Ohio State University Extension,

·         Outdoor Activities for Ecological Literacy: A Higher Education Perspective, Environmental Education Council of Ohio Annual Conference

·         Antioch College Seed School, a one week immersion workshop, 2015.

       Teamwork and Cultural Literacy for Teens : Building cross-cultural skills.

·         Using Community-Supported Agriculture to Build Workforce Preparation Skills and Community-Mindedness in Teens: An intergenerational model.




Antioch to Offer “Rethinking the Human Nutrient Cycle: Urine as a Resilience Tool”

Dec 07, 2016

The vision of Antioch College is to be “the place where new and better ways of living are discovered as a result of meaningful engagement with the world through intentional linkages between classroom and experiential education.”  In keeping with this vision of “new and better ways of living”, Antioch College has established itself as a national leader in higher education sustainability. In 2014, the College signed the Real Food Campus Commitment and is currently the second highest Real Food campus in the country, utilizing 56% real food; behind only Sterling College. In 2015, the College became a “neonic-free campus”, one of only three in the United States, committing to the Bee Protective Campaign, as recognized by The Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides. Also in 2015, the College signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment and in 2016 The White House Educator’s Commitment on Resilient Design.

Antioch College is now ready to support the next conversation in new ways of thinking: closing the human nutrient cycle.  As water becomes more scarce, droughts become more frequent, and dead zones appear in lakes and oceans due to nutrient run-off, we can no longer afford our current practice of using potable drinking water to flush our waste into treatment facilities and on into rivers and estuaries.

Beth Bridgeman, cooperative education faculty member at Antioch College, has received a $4500 grant from the Yellow Springs Community Foundation for four days of campus and community-wide workshops on advancing the use of human waste as a resource in order to conserve water, prevent pollution, and sustain soil fertility. The workshops will be offered in spring, 2017, led by staff from the Rich Earth Institute, a national change leader in the issue of river and estuary pollution, water scarcity and human waste.  Through research, demonstration, and education projects, The Rich Earth Institute illustrates the positive effect of this approach in important areas including water quality, food security, energy use, soil health, economic sustainability, carbon footprint, public health, and emergency preparedness.

Along with their partner institutions University of Michigan and University of Buffalo, they are the recent recipients of a three million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation. The work of the Rich Earth Institute has been featured in National Geographic, NPR’s The Salt, Modern Farmer, and BBC Mundo, as well as in national professional journals such as Water Environment & Technology, Pumper, Planning, and Public Works. Their constituents include scientific research partners, wastewater engineers, environmentalists, and all people concerned with water quality and sustainable agriculture.

They have presented at conferences and symposia throughout New England; at Tufts, MIT, and six other higher education institutions as well as the 2013 New England Water Environment Association, the 2015 & 2016 Northeast Sustainable Energy Association conferences in Boston, and the 2015 WEFTEC conference in Chicago.  Their programming at Antioch College will be their first higher education presentation in the Midwest.

Workshops will include the hands-on building of a prototype urine diversion dry composting outhouse to be used by Antioch to train additional local and regional community members and organizations in this “new and better ways” technique. These presentations and workshops are being co-sponsored by the Ethos Center at the University of Dayton School of Engineering.  They will take place on the Antioch campus and will be open to the Yellow Springs community, public works officials, area institutes of higher education and interested people and organizations throughout the Miami Valley. Look for details in the coming months.


Ohayo-Ohio, A Japanese Symposium

Aug 14, 2016

IMG_0425Ohayo-Ohio: A Japanese Symposium 
was a very successful ten- day community engagement collaborative, held on campus and at venues throughout Yellow Springs during Japan’s Golden week (the first week of May, 2016). It was designed to promote global citizenship and to provide students with experiential opportunities for cultural awareness and continued collaboration toward the promotion of peace. Funded by the Yellow Springs Community Foundation, the Antioch College Lloyd Fellow Faculty Fund, alumnus Tim Barrett, ’73, with project assistance from Japanese language professor Toyoko Miwa-Osborne, Professor Emeritus Harold Wright, Fulbright Scholar Fumi Aono, and many students, artists and local Yellow Springs residents,855 participants attended thirty separate events over a ten-day period, including four gallery exhibits, nine lectures and presentations, fourteen workshops, a cosplay parade a women’s choir, and more.

IMG_0428 Ohayo-Ohio symposium featured lectures on contemporary Japanese history, Antioch’s connection to post-IMG_0424war peace through the work of Barbara and Earl Reynolds, and a lecture by Harold Wright on the history of the former Antioch tea house and its place on the National Register of authentic U.S. Japanese teahouses. Workshops included raku pottery, paper-making, a “ma” workshop on the Japanese concept of negative space, Japanese natural dye workshops, sushi-making, Japanese embroidery, printmaking, a haiku slam, story-telling, an origami thousand cranes peace project, calligraphy, tea ceremony, a cosplay parade, and an Academy Award nominated anime by Studio Ghibli, When Marnie Was There. 

Kyoto, April 20 2015 - Kimono weaver and dyer Mami Adachi at her atelier in Kyoto

A keystone of the symposium featured two Kyoto artists Mami Adachi and Riko Mukai. Adachi is an internationally recognized  “kusakizome no kinuito o tsukatta shizenha no kimono” artist who has presented her work throughout Japan, England, France and Germany.  Her work involves the natural dyeing of silk with various plant materials which she then weaves into kimono fabric, ultimately creating one-of-a-kind kimono. She is the recipient of numerous awards.  Riko Mukai has a special connection to Yellow Springs as a former Kyoto Seika exchange student at Antioch College. Upon her completion of the Antioch College Kyoto Seika Exchange, she worked in Glen Helen Nature Reserve as an outdoor environmental educator. 

TDB HS 2015 1 copy Another keystone workshop featured MacArthur “genius” award winner and Antioch College alumnus Timothy Barrett, Director of the University of Iowa Center for the Book. He is an internationally recognized “washi” artist. He taught this papermaking technique in a workshop during the week and also offered a well-attended lecture on his experience at Antioch and how it ultimately led him to his life’s path.


Antioch College student Tymber Compher, ’17 led a Haiku slam, and students Katie Olson ’17, Sylvia Newman ’16 and Shannon Hart ’17 participated in the kusakizome workshop, making silk scarfs dyed with acorns, onions and iron.dyeing

Antioch College Japanese professor Toyoko Miwa Osborne was a popular Hello Kitty figure in the cosplay parade. IMG_0443





Bailey Bermond, Miller Fellow, The Antioch School

Aug 02, 2016

Bailey Bermond has spent this past year as a Miller Fellow, working at the Antioch School. The Antioch School is one of the oldest democratic schools in the country and was formerly the lab school for Antioch College education students. Bailey shared her time with students in the Nursery, Forest Kindergarten, Younger Group and Older Group. Pictured here is Bailey with Chris Powell, Older Group teacher. Here is an excerpt from her coo-op reflection paper.

“A natural transition from a week’s end looks like a base camp fit for little humans: Forest Kindergarten.  It’s a beautiful April morning.  I get to ride my bike wearing short sleeves, my favorite.  I breathe in the cool spring air that’s fragranced with wild flowers that we learn about out here.  I feel gratitude for the bird songs floating through the air.  I arrive to our forest classroom in a relaxed manner — we all gather at different times up until 9 AM, when we go out for a hike in the Glen in our backyard.  Today will be a short one — because younger Group will be joining us for some exploration with microscopes and slides.  Last week we hiked for the full day and were picked up at the Raptor Center after an educational presentation.  
Various reporters and journalists joined us to learn more about our new kindergarten program.  First the Cincinnati Inquirer, where I had my picture taken making french toast for snack with one of my favorite students named Kaede.  The story was picked up by associated press and posted in the Washington Times.  I told the Yellow Springs News reporter that Forest Kindergarten is lovely and I feel so lucky to be here.  Witnessing the changing of the seasons in the Glen is brilliant.  Each week we note the shifts in the scenery.  On our hike to the Horace Mann memorial, the kids noted the rich history of their school. “If it weren’t for Horace Mann… None of us would be here right now!” Elijah exclaimed.  The children pondered this deeply.  “If there was no Horace Mann, there would be no Antioch College… and if there was no Antioch College, there would be no Antioch School!  And if there was no Antioch School… Well, I don’t want to talk about it.  It’s too scary.” Elijah continued.  I am grateful to have caught this on film.”


Student Spotlight: Alison Easter ’17

Feb 10, 2016

For her third co-op, Alison Easter ’17 did not have to venture too far from Yellow Springs to have a meaningful co-op experience. She joined the team at the Goodwill Art Studio & Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, “which runs an art program for adults with developmental and physical disabilities.” The program empowers adults with disability to express themselves through the medium of art and creativity while also allowing them to be compensated for their work by featuring their artwork in a gallery. Alison worked alongside the participants and studio managers in various ways, from assisting with finishing touches of color on participants artwork pieces, to preparing artwork for sale, and securing the necessary materials for the artwork to be completed –all the while sharing conversations, laughs, and stories with everyone in the studio. Through her co-op, Alison expanded her knowledge of programs available to individuals with disability and left with a new intrigue in discovering “how communities and creativity are so important to one’s concepts of self and feelings of support, especially people with marginalized identities.”

Check out this touching success story of studio participant, Charlotte McGraw, and the positive impact the Goodwill Art Studio & Gallery has had on her life and the lives of those she is reaching through her artwork!

*excerpts taken from Alison Easter’s blog assignment

Photo Credit:


Student Spotlight: Keegan Smith-Nichols ’17

Feb 10, 2016

For his third co-op, Keegan Smith-Nichols ’17 finds himself commuting to the quaint town of Wilmington, Ohio for his position at the Peace Resource Center of Wilmington College. He spends his time “working in the archive, which houses the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial Collection and the Barbara Reynolds papers.” Keegan has been “[focused] on three major projects: applying for a grant to preserve a collection of historic 16mm films, organizing the information available about the archive, and writing an independent scholarly research article to eventually be submitted to an academic journal.” Keegan is actively working towards the preservation of history, generating new research material and experiencing first hand what working inside an archive, filled with history, is all about. Way to go, Keegan!

*experts taken from Keegan Smith-Nichols’ blog post