DSU renews research partnership with EPA

From left, DSU President Wilma Mishoe, Cindy Caporale, deputy director of EPA’s Laboratory Services and Applied Sciences Division, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, and DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker prepare to sign the agreement. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a renewed memorandum of understanding with Delaware State University to continue to work together to enhance research, outreach, career development and “stewardship” in the environmental sciences at the university. The partnership originally began in 2012.

New to the partnership, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services also signed on to participate.

“EPA has a long history of partnership with Delaware State University, and the Trump administration is pleased to build on that success today,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “This partnership will link education, outreach and hands-on work experience to strengthen interest in environmental careers and encourage environmentalism. The partnership also strives to ensure that careers in science reflect the diversity of the communities we serve and our nation as a whole.”

The MOU, signed at a campus ceremony Thursday, formalizes the renewed partnership.

“This partnership is consistent with our top priority of student success as it will expand the inroads to career possibilities for our graduates in the environmental-related professions,” said Wilma Mishoe, the university president. “This agreement also aligns well with the University’s Core Value of ‘Community’ as it will also promote a heightened consciousness among our students of their individual responsibilities to protect the environment.”

DNREC believes their involvement will increase the availability of internships to students.

“Today, we are continuing a partnership that unites our three government agencies with Delaware State University to work toward the common goal of providing broader opportunities for students in environmental science, public health, and related fields,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “This partnership also gives us the opportunity to promote talent development and recruitment of students to form the next generation of our environmental workforce.”

Similarly, DHSS feels their participation will enhance the university’s reach and will support a highly skilled future workforce.

“We are excited about the potential of this partnership in developing the public health employees of the future, whether in state government or in the private or nonprofit sectors,” said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker. “Plus, we look forward to strengthening our existing relationship with Delaware State University as we further community initiatives across our state that will help us build a stronger and healthier Delaware.”

The university says they hope to “build on the success of the original MOU” signed in 2012, by aiming to:

•Promote student recruitment, internships, career development and employment in agricultural and environmental sciences, public health and related fields

•Enhance professional development between partners

•Support the enhancement of DSU’s environmental and public health sciences curriculum

•Enhance the involvement in sustainable environmental and public health initiatives within the DSU campus community and surrounding off-campus communities

•Support capacity-building efforts directed to increase DSU’s participation in federal programs at EPA and state programs at DNREC and DHSS

•Coordinate summer environmental programs for students from DSU and local high schools.

The MOU is part of EPA’s Minority Academic Institutions Program, which was created with the intent to increase opportunities for Minority Academic Institutions to participate in federal programs. EPA works with these schools to attempt to increase participation.

For more information about EPA’s Minority Academic Institutions Program, visit: intranet.epa.gov/r3intran/ocr/minority_institutions.html.

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