The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Delaware State University signed a renewed memorandum of understanding (MOU) on April 11 to continue to work together to enhance research, teaching, outreach, career development, and stewardship in the environmental sciences at the university.

Also joining in the MOU were the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS).

“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 was signed at a campus ceremony to formalize the 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 Delaware State University President Wilma Mishoe. “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.”

“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 M. 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.”

“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, a board-certified family physician. “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.”

Building on the success of the original MOU signed in 2012, the renewed MOU aims 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; and

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 to increase opportunities for Minority Academic Institutions to participate in federal programs.  EPA works with these schools to increase participation in ways that will strengthen them by promoting faculty development, increasing institutional capacity, and fully developing the diverse talent pool that constitutes our nation.