Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CAUSES TV: Healthy Eating Habits

It's time to SPRING into a healthier lifestyle now that winter is finally over. And there is no better way to improve our health than improving our eating habits. When we eat well, we feel better; healthy improves our quality of life. We obviously have to eat to stay alive; but how many of us also eat because it feels good or tastes great? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Honors Speaker Series Features Dean Sabine O'Hara

Dean Sabine O'Hara served as the March guest speaker for the UDC Honors Speakers Series. The program was established in 2009 with the Office for International Programs & Exchanges to incorporate global concerns through the curriculum. 
The Honors Speaker Series offers students and the campus community a chance to come together to discuss ideas and issues that affect us all, explained Dr. Howe, Director of the Honors Program. "The series invites prominent scholars and experts from a variety of fields to discuss issues fundamental to our humanity and our shared existence in a world that becomes smaller, and more fragile, with each passing day."

Dean O'Hara, who holds 
degrees in Environmental and Agricultural Economics, and specializes in sustainable economic development, lectured on The Five Pillars of Economic Development: Building Sustainable Communities. This type of development as she explained focuses on quality of life and must address the five pillars of: health, education, social and cultural amenities and access to transportation. The five pillar theory is derived from the development theory of the 1970s, that looked at building capacities in underdeveloped countries to strengthen their ability to fend for themselves. 

"Sustainable development must be long term, providing economic resources in a manner where there is enough leftover for those who come after us," Dr. O'Hara explained to the Honors students.

After her lecture, during the 'Q & A' portion of the evening, the audience asked questions about her experience and in particular, wanted to know more about beginner gardeners and the UDC farmers market.

According to Dr. O'Hara, f
arming techniques are no longer being passed down from generation to generation, and people need to be reintroduced to where food comes from and what it take to produce it. As an example, she told an anecdote about two third graders who planted beans but kept pulling out the sprout out of curiosity over the below-ground growing process!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Around CAUSES and Upcoming Events

Here's what's been happening around CAUSES!

CAUSES students from Environmental Sciences, Nutrition, Architecture, Nursing and the Professional Science Master in Water Resources will be presenting their end of year presentations on Tuesday, April 29, and Wednesday, April 30, in the Auditorium of Building 44. The presentations are full day events, so stop by and show your support if you have time to spare. Good luck students!

UDC and CAUSES will host the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) on Friday, April 25. NAFEO has partnered with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to assist in identifying and preparing eligible students for career opportunities with NCRS. Students from Delaware State to South Carolina State will have the opportunity to hear from UDC's agriculture, biology and engineering experts, and will also tour the Muirkirk Research Farm in Beltsville, Maryland.

Speaking of the farm, special guests from the Hay-Adams Hotel recently visited, where they toured our greenhouses, aquaponics facilities, herb garden and orchard. The luxurious hotel, known for it's infamous view overlooking the White House, last year signed an exclusive contact with our farm, purchasing fresh herbs and vegetables, many of them ethnic crops, which are not native and difficult to find around the D.C. metro area.

CAUSES students have been collaborating on a semester-long integrated research project on the Lincoln Heights neighborhood, with the Go Dutch Consortium. Located in Ward 7 of the District, Lincoln Heights offers low-income housing east of the Anacostia River. The students are preparing to next month present their findings next month before the District's Office for the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development and the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Healthy Recipes

Recommended by our Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health, here are some healthy spring recipes,  courtesy of NIH.  This month's recipes are Chicken and Mushroom Fricassee and Spinach and Limas. Enjoy!

Prep time   - 10 minutes        
Cook time  - 15 minutes        
Yields   - 4 servings 
Serving size  - 1 cup of limas and spinach

2 C frozen lima beans
 ½ C onion, chopped
1 C fennel bulb, rinsed and cut into 4-inch strips
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
¼ C low-sodium chicken broth
1 bag (10 oz) leaf spinach, rinsed
1 Tbsp distilled vinegar
⅛ tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp dried chives

Nutritional InfoCalories 93
Total fat               2 g
Saturated fat     1 g
Cholesterol         0 mg
Sodium 84 mg
Total fiber           6 g
Protein 5 g
Carbohydrates  15 g
Potassium           452 mg

1  In a saucepan, steam or boil lima beans in unsalted water for about 10 minutes.  Drain.
2  In sauté pan, sauté onions and fennel in oil.
3  Add beans and chicken broth to sauté pan, and cover.  Cook for 2 minutes.
4  Stir in spinach.  Cover and cook until spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.
5  Stir in vinegar and pepper.  Cover and let stand for 30 seconds.
6  Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Monday, April 7, 2014

CAUSES TV: Preparing for Spring Gardening

On this Spring Gardening episode of CAUSES TV, Dean Sabine O'Hara interviews  Che Axum, CAUSES' Director of the Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education. 

"Feeling the dirt between my fingers; the moist and warm soil is just the best feeling and seeing the first light green or fresh sprouts reminds me that there is new life, growth and new possibilities all around me," explains Dean O'Hara about her love of gardening.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chef Herb Holden Wins Cooking Award

by Marshelle Hailstock
Herbert Holden, Chef/Nutrition Educator with the Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health, won third place in the main dish category at the 10th Annual “Distinguished Men Cookin’ with the Deltas,” which was held Saturday, March 22, 2014, at Howard University’s Blackburn Center.  

Over 80 men competed in the event, which supports academic scholarships and community programs in Washington, DC, and is sponsored by the DC Alumnae Chapter and Alumnae Foundation of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.  Celebrity Chef Carla Hall of ABC-TV’s “The Chew” presented Chef Holden’s award.

Congratulations, Chef Herb!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Honors Speaker Series with Dean O'Hara

Dean O'Hara serves as the March speaker for UDC's Honors Speaker Series at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, presenting The Five Pillars of Economic Development: Building Sustainable Communities. This event is free and open to the public so please join us at the Van Ness Campus, Building 44, A-03. For more information, please contact Dr. Alexander Howe, Honors Program Director, at ahowe@udc.edu or (202) 274-5658.

High-School Students Tend to UDC's Garden 
A group of 9th grade students from Edmund Burke School, a progressive, urban, co-ed college prep school for grades 6-12, are learning about climate change science in their earth science class. To fulfill a service-learning project, their teacher has coordinated a community garden project with the University, where they will be working on our Garden of the Senses over several weeks. The project will be documented on Just CAUSES, so stay tuned! For more information, contact Coy McKinney.

HBCU Forum Visits UDC
UDC was pleased to last month host a delegation of architecture students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The HBCU Forum included Morgan State, Prairie View and Howard Universities. Students toured one of CAUSES' aquaponics facilities and participated in the Post-Oil City panel on food and water security, as environmental considerations are essential in design.    

Friday, March 21, 2014

What's New in 4-H?

McKinley Tech "3-peat" Winner of the DC LifeSmarts Competition

UDC recently hosted the 4-H LifeSmarts Competition, a program that creates savvy consumers and develops marketplace skills among teens in a fun and engaging format. LifeSmarts Consumer Education for Teenagers, a program of the National Consumers League and is run locally through the division of the Center for 4-H and Youth Development, a land-grant program under CAUSES. For the third year in a row, McKinley Technical High School was named the winning team. 

Complementing high school curricula, Lifesmarts is run as a game-show style competition for 9th through 12th grade students every March. Teams from DC area high schools competed in the areas of personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology and consumer law. 

Other participating high schools were: Calvin Coolidge High School, Columbia Heights Educational Campus, The Preparatory School of D.C. and the United Planning Powerhouse team. Each team included five youth and an adult coach.

As the D.C. champions, the McKinley Tech team will travel to Orlando, Florida, to vie for the National Championship April 26-29. Congratulations, McKinley Tech!

Jaime Brown introduces the competition.
CAUSES is committed to building strong, vibrant communities of active and engaged citizens. The Center for 4-H and Youth Development develops innovative programs that emphasize experiential learning opportunities for young people and their families. Through "hands-on" interactive programming, participants develop life skills, leadership abilities and an ethic of civic stewardship.

For more information or if you would like to volunteer for the event, contact LifeSmarts Extension Agent, Jaime Brown, at (202) 274-7136 or jsbrown@udc.edu. For more information on LifeSmarts, visit www.lifesmarts.org. Learn more about the District’s 4-H program here.

Continue reading for upcoming 4-H events! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

CAUSES in the News

You may have read about the University of the District of Columbia in the news recently. CAUSES  is honored to have received such positive press for our endeavors as of late!

For starters, our Professional Science Masters degree program was just featured in the Washington Post's Guide to Graduate Education

In the first feature, we take a look at the Professional Science Masters degree at the University of the District of Columbia. We also learn just how important it is to bridge the gap between scientific know-how and business savvy to take students to the next level of their careers.

How can this be accomplished? Read "New Academic Program Pairs Scientific Know-How with Business Savvy" for thoughts from Dean O'Hara, Dr. Deksissa and PSM alum, Toni Davidson.  

Then there was the popular Post Oil City exhibition, hosted with our friends at the Goethe Institut-Washington. We were grateful to be reviewed by the Washington City Paper and for Penn State, a fellow land-grant university, helping us to spread the word

And of course, being awarded three Sustainable DC grants has made several headlines, such as the Northwest Current and appearances in the Examiner, Office of the State Superintendent of Education's blog and Economic Development HQ

Keep reading for additional 
publications featuring CAUSES!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Water Resources Research Institute and Environmental Labs

Established in 1973, the mission of Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) is to provide the District of Columbia with interdisciplinary research support to identify DC water resources problems and contribute to their solution. What's it all about? It's about conducting state-of-the-art research on the utility, viability and sustainability of water and water systems in the mid Atlantic region and especially for the residents of the District of Columbia. Particular attention is given to water consumption and utilization for recreation and environmental concerns.

Areas of focus include drinking water source protection, stormwater management and planning, water safety, and watershed stewardship. The Institute coordinates, facilitates, and disseminates water resources-related research projects through seed grants to faculty members from the consortium of universities in the greater DC Metro. The Institute supports collaborative training and research that engages not only faculty members and students, but also a broad array of stakeholders to address regional water issues in a holistic way.

Professional Science Masters in Water Resource Management

The PSM program in Water Resources Management is a unique professional degree that combines graduate studies in water quality, hydrology and environmental sciences with coursework in business, management communications, project management and sustainability entrepreneurship. It is a multidisciplinary graduate program that includes an internship in an employer workplace. This hands-on oriented program prepares graduates for effective science communication and problem solving skills, entrepreneurship and technical innovation in order to meet the global environmental challenges related to water availability, quality and sustainability. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be prepared for competitive and innovative water resources management positions. 

This degree is strongly focused on students finding gainful employment after graduation. Through the required internship, students gain experience in the field while still in school. Students also have access to WRRI’s state-of-the-art lab to conduct environmental quality analysis and modeling and simulations. Due to the technical nature of this degree, students graduate with applicable skills needed for the workplace including data collection, analysis, water-resource planning, natural resources management, water quality investigations, ground water students, project management, consulting, sustainability entrepreneurship as well as research and teaching.

Continue reading for the PSM course description.