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DSU continues partnership with EPA, adds two state agencies

From left: DSU President Wilma Mishoe, EPA MidAtlantic Laboratoy and Applied Sciences Division Deputy Director Cynthia Caporale, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker

Delaware State University renewed a partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday, and expanded its scope.

The initial agreement was signed in 2012. The EPA has since offered internship opportunities to DSU students while helping to bolster the university’s environmental sciences curriculum.

Among other things, the partnership facilitated DSU’s water analysis lab—a program for students to work with EPA experts to analyze environmental water samples. That group is working towards an accreditation to test drinking water.

Officials say the accreditation may make DSU’s program an asset to the EPA.

Victoria Smith is an EPA Capstone Student and graduating Senior at DSU. She says students may be assisting the federal agency in dealing with the high PFAS levels in the Dover Air Force Base drinking water.

“The water at the Dover Air Force Base is polluted and the EPA can’t pay for it. So that’s a perfect opportunity for us to test the water and research ways to clean it, filter it, you know, deal with contamination,” said Smith. “That’s like a perfect way for us to show our importance in the real world as students.”

This new contract between DSU and the EPA renews the original arrangement and adds Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services and its Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to the partnership.

DSU President Wilma Mishoe says the state agencies will now offer formal internship opportunities to DSU students as well.

“There is no other state agency in this state that does more of that service to community than DHSS,” said Mishoe. “So our students are preparing for those career fields as well.”