Thursday, December 18, 2014

RN to BSN Nursing Students Hold Pinning Ceremony

Congratulations to the graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, who celebrated their achievement with a pinning ceremony. Dr. Pier Broadnax, director of Nursing, explains:

"In a traditional pinning ceremony, nursing students are "pinned" to signify the rite of passage from one level of preparation to the next. Whereas physicians have a white coat ceremony, nurses have a pinning ceremony. In the case of our students, they are graduating from being associate degree-prepared nurses to baccalaureate prepared nurses. 

BSN Nursing faculty
As faculty, we also see the psychological transition the students make; this is very important because they saw themselves in a different light. The ceremony is also an opportunity also for them to acknowledge they are no longer the same as when they first entered the program. Not only are they are prepared to meet the future of nursing, they know they are prepared and have the confidence to implement change--because we have provided them with the skills to do so. As professional nurses, it is critical for them to be change agents, implementing what is needed to meet the complex needs of the 21st century patient."

Student Opportunities

Copyright DCRA
DCRA Seeking to Fill Entry Level Positions
The Green Building and Sustainability Program of the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), is looking to immediately fill two contractor positions. The Green Building Program seeks to assist in the DCRA mission to protect the health, safety, economic interests and quality of life of residents, businesses and visitors in the District of Columbia. The Green Building Division is responsible for regulating construction that falls under the regulations of green codes including the Green Building Act, Green Construction Code and Energy Conservation Code. Recent graduates who are looking to enter the green building industry are encouraged to apply. Contact DCRA’s David Epley for more information. 

National Energy Education Summit Seeking Volunteers
The National Council on Science and the Environment is seeking volunteers for the 2015 National Energy Education Summit. The event will be hosted Jan. 26 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. The Summit provides an opportunity for energy, environmental and STEM educators to gather with leaders from business and industry, government and civil society to expand the impact effectiveness of energy education.  The Summit is designed to catalyze new initiatives and partnerships in energy education. The agenda will include issues at both the classroom (content, curriculum and pedagogy) and at the programmatic levels (degree and sub-degree programs). NCSE is looking for volunteers to assist with registration and room set-up.  If you choose to commit a minimum of 3 hours, you will receive a complimentary registration. Volunteers are needed for 2 shifts 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. & 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Please email and include your name, a contact number and the times you are available to volunteer. 


  • Tyrome "Chef T" Henson has started his holiday cooking classes at the Washington Parks & People Riverside Healthy Living Center, located in Ward 7. He reports that his first class was well attended and included Ward 7 ANC Gary Butler. The class covered: kitchen safety basics; food safety; equipment and daily nutrition. Participants worked together to prepare healthy fried rice. The class which is free for D.C. residents continues Dec. 20, with additional dates to be announced in early 2015.

  • In other chef-ly news, Chef Herb of the Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health recently appeared twice in the Washington Informer. Check out his recipe  a healthy, nutrient-rich soup recipe. He makes another appearance in "Wellness Center Opens in Ward 8," commenting: "I encourage people to get out of the box and to explore more options in their diet – things like reading food labels, buying fresh fruit and vegetables and substituting some of the foods we normally eat with healthier ingredients are ways to improve your health. I conduct demonstrations all over the metro area and use foods that are in season so that folks understand that even with a limited budget, it’s possible to eat well and to eat healthier.” Read the full article.
  • Our friends at Bread for the City received a generous grant from the Washington Hebrew Congregation to build a covered gazebo at City Orchard, designed and built by Sandy Springs Builders. The gazebo will be used to support events and educational programming. City Orchard is based at Muirkirk Farm in Beltsville, Maryland. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Upcoming 2015 CAUSES Certification Courses

The CAUSES Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) recently announced a number of certification courses, workshops and classes that will be offered in 2015. CSD provides relevant and innovative applied research and education to students, District residents and the world in the areas of sustainable infrastructure, sustainable spaces, urban economics and entrepreneurship and behavioral and social change:

Integrating Urban Agriculture & Urban Stormwater Management: For the first time in recorded history, in 2008, more people began living in urban areas than rural. Simultaneously, many studies show that the millennial generation and other consumers prefer to live in urban environments with access to local foods. This movement has created a dilemma where more people in urban areas rely on a declining farm population. It has also created an increased interest in urban agriculture. Associated with the rise in the popularity of urban agriculture stems a need to mitigate the impact of urban stormwater runoff. This workshop will highlight the University of the District of Columbia's Sustainability Program, which in part, aims to integrate urban agriculture and urban stormwater management. The workshop will highlight green infrastructure, low impact development, federal, state, non-profit and for profit partnerships, and a unique partnership with the DC Housing Authority. It will also include an evaluation of economics and social impacts. Participants will engage in a design charette for an integrated urban agriculture/urban storm water project in DC. The course will be offered Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and repeated on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The course will be held at the UDC Van Ness campus. There is a $50 fee. For more information, contact Dwane Jones, Ph.D., at or (202) 274-7182. 

Innovative Rainwater Harvesting Workshop: Rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems are extremely useful practices for supplementing and replacing potable water resources; however, if designed appropriately, these systems can also be used to meet stormwater management goals. This workshop describes the different types of RWH systems and presents innovative design modifications for increasing the stormwater management benefits of these systems. These modifications include passive and active release mechanisms, excess irrigation and water usage adjustments. The NCSU Rainwater Harvester Model will be demonstrated and participants will learn how to use the new version of the model to design systems and estimate stormwater management benefits. Held at the UDC Van Ness campus, the course will be offered Tuesday, March 3, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and has a fee of $150. Taught in conjunction with North Carolina State University. For more information, contact Dwane Jones, Ph.D., at or (202) 274-7182. 

4-H Update

What's new in 4-H?

Under the leadership of Jaime Brown, 4-H students at Bruce Monroe Elementary School at Park View raised quails as part of their Embryology STEM project. The quails were born in a classroom, but have since moved to the Hard Bargain Farm as the winter break approaches. Bruce Monroe was built in 1916 and has been recognized as a historic landmark. At core of their curriculum is a Dual Language Immersion Program that provides each student with daily rotations between English and Spanish instruction. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Donate to CAUSES!

You have the opportunity to support CAUSES during the end-of-year giving season. The City Council of the District of Columbia has issued to UDC a challenge of raising $1,000,000.00. The Council will match the donations up to $1,000,000.00, and CAUSES will receive 50% of the donated amount, with the rest going to the University.

To donate to CAUSES online, please select "a specific college or school" and then select CAUSES under the College field. Or, please make your check payable to the UDC Foundation and make a notation of the fund to receive your gift in the memo section. 

CAUSES has several funds in which your gift may be deposited:
  1. CAUSES  Master Initiative
  2. CAUSES  Friends of Architecture
  3. CAUSES  Institute of Gerontology
  4. CAUSES  Scholarship Fund. 
All donations are tax-deductible. Thank you to the DC government for this opportunity, and thank you for your support!

Info at a Glance: Institute of Gerontology

Are you or do you know a senior who resides in the District of Columbia? As we begin a new year, why not encourage them to participate in one of the offerings from the UDC Institute of Gerontology! Learn more about the: Senior Companion/Respite Aide, Bodywise and Senior Tuition programs.

THE SENIOR COMPANION PROGRAM touches the lives of adults who need extra assistance to live independently in their homes and communities. They serve frail older adults, adults with disabilities and those with terminal illness. Senior Companions assist their adult clients in basic, but essential ways: offering companionship and friendship to isolated older adults; assisting with simple chores; providing transportation; and adding richness to their clients’ lives. Senior Companions and Respite Aides are also have the opportunity to attend a monthly In-service training.   

THE RESPITE AIDE PROGRAM provides in-home assistance to seniors living alone. The program also provides support to caregivers.  This service helps the individual and/or families deal with the challenges of living independently in older adulthood. Learn more about the Senior Companion and Respite Aide programs.

Recipes: Autumn Harvest Stew and Stir-fry

Chef Herb Holden of the CAUSES Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health provides an autumn harvest stew and stir-fry recipe, while we are in the midst of the holiday season. 

"Since we are at the end of the growing season in this region, all we have left are root vegetables. Here’s a wonderful and easy stew recipe using some of the vegetables that we've harvested over the fall season to enjoy now."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Washington Parks & People's Riverside Center Celebrates Reopening

CAUSES was on hand to help celebrate the reopening of the Washington Parks & People's Riverside Healthy Living Center on the evening of Dec. 8, 2014. Along with CAUSES, a host of other partners were on hand, as well as Mayor Vincent Gray, and dozens of community residents.

"This center can become a hub for this community," explained Executive Director Steve Coleman.  "We've come a long way. We've still got a little further to go, but we've got a lot to celebrate."

Site of the historic nightclub where Marvin Gaye first performed professionally, the newly restored Riverside Healthy Living Center is owned and operated by Washington Parks & People as a hub of park-based community revitalization, health, and peace. For the past 14 years, Parks & People has led the community partnership to transform Marvin Gaye Park as a model for the entire city, using the park to advance public and environmental health, urban forestry and agriculture, youth development, fitness, arts and culture, and job training.

"They said what's been done here could not be done!" said an enthusiastic Mayor Gray. "This is a focal point where people can come and celebrate what's happening around this neighborhood."

Class: Cooking for the Holidays

Friday, December 5, 2014

CAUSES TV: A.J. Cooper and Freedom Farms

We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of A.J. Cooper, who  unexpectedly passed away on Dec. 3, 2014. In addition to his political aspirations and commitment to his hometown of Washington, D.C., A.J. was also on the front line of the District's urban agriculture movement, and therefore, a frequent partner of CAUSES. As the owner of Freedom Farms, a socially and environmentally responsible business that views food production as a central element in improving the health, well-being, and economic condition of D.C. residents, he and Dr. O'Hara recently discussed the movement in detail on CAUSES TV. 

A.J. Cooper will be missed by many. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Muirkirk Farm Greens Donated to DC Central Kitchen

Prof. Pearson shows off his hoop sack.
In celebration of Thanksgiving,
CAUSES donated freshly grown produce to DC Central Kitchen (DCCK), to feed their clients during the Thanksgiving holiday. CAUSES donated kale grown on the UDC Research Farm and harvested by several volunteers, on Sat., November 22.

"This is a great opportunity for the University to give back to DC residents. This is their farm and their taxpaying dollars make this possible," said Center for Urban Agriculture Director, Che' Axum. "To give nutritious food back to the citizens is what should be done. It's service that counts, and we're glad to do it."

Food donation campaigns usually receive processed and pre-packaged goods, often lacking in nutrition. Kale is loaded with vitamins as well as calcium, iron and antioxidants. One cup of kale meets the daily requirement of vitamins A, C and K, and is good for the heart and eyes.

"This time of the year, we think about people who are less fortunate than we are. We hope that our fresh produce will enhance the Thanksgiving meals for many people," commented CAUSES Dean Sabine O'Hara.

UDC MANRRS Club represent!

UDC Farmers Market Closes for the Season

The time has come for the UDC farmers market to close for the season. Located in front of the David A. Clarke School of Law, the market has been open on Saturdays since May 17. The season ended on Nov. 22, to give patrons the opportunity to use the market as a resource for their Thanksgiving meal preparation. In addition to all of the vendors, special thanks to Kelli Webster,  and Andrea Herrera, who managed the market under the leadership of Dr. Wayne Curtis. And of course, thanks to the Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health for the tastings and demonstrations provided by Chef T on a regular basis. Farmers market staff, customers and vendor reflect on the season:

Dr. Wayne Curtis, Project Specialist, CAUSES Center for Sustainable Development - This farmers market season was my first, and I learned a lot more about the sense of community and the sense of interaction beyond the purchase of goods and services. You got to know the community and the vendors better, and I think it's one of those traditions that should continue for a long time. Chef T's presence at the market allowed us to show people how to prepare the different produce being sold, and also gave people the chance to interact with us and talk about menus and food preparation. I think it added to the overall sense of community. 

Associate Dean William Hare Participates in United Nations Forum

On Friday, Nov. 21, CAUSES Associate Dean of Programs, William Hare, participated in a United Nations panel discussion as part of the symposium: Education as an Imperative for a Transformative Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda in observance of Universal Children’s Day 2014. The theme comes 25 years after Rights of the Child were adopted as part of the Millennium Development Goals. 

“I recommend that more investment be placed in universities. Public-private partnerships using universities as unbiased monitors of projects will ensure a seamless, sustainable system of continuous improvement so that our children—the future generation-- will have the opportunity to a great college education,” Associate Dean Hare said before the audience of high-level policy makers.

He continued: "If you look at the current system, it omits the role of the university in the sustainable change that's supposed to take place; and that's a flaw because all of the funds have been going to NGOs, which are only as sustainable as their funding timeframe. Our model that we use in CAUSES continuously improves upon itself. It's transformational because it takes time and partnerships are built at the local, regional and international levels to ensure the continuity of progress."

CAUSES Hosts Caribbean Summit Roundtable

At a recent session of the Caribbean Symposium, CAUSES hosted a roundtable Research and Education Partnerships for Agribusiness Value Chain. The goal of the academic session was to provide an overview of current research interests and priorities up to the year 2020. Participating institutions outlined prospects for establishing and extending partnerships. Caribbean institutions shared emerging issues and challenges, and opportunities as related to Caribbean agribusiness value chain and economic development. 

Most of the participating colleges and universities were from island nations. D.C. is not an island, but with our unique location and governance, it often feels as though we are an island unto ourselves.The roundtable featured representatives from American universities, as well as many Caribbean nations, including: the University of the West Indies, University of Trinidad and Tobago, University of Suriname, University of Nicaragua, University of Maryland - Eastern Shore, Medgar Evers College, Morgan State, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. 

A common them among the Caribbean participants was the future of the industry. Today, students are electing to pursue management degrees, but not necessarily on the agribusiness side. This increases the perception that the industry is not viable. "We are in the process of redefining agribusiness and the value chain in a constant intersection with people," explained Dean Sabine O'Hara.