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Taking a pause for a photo cause, the attendees of the Global Resilience Day Conference gathered for a group shot in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.
In this photo: Taking a pause for a photo cause, the attendees of the Global Resilience Day Conference gathered for a group shot in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.
On Campus

DSU-USAID Global Resilience Day Conf. held on campus

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

As one of the fruits of the 2021 agreement signed between Delaware State University and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the partners held a Global Resilience Day Conference on April 26-27 in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.

For images of the conference, click on the below link:


The Global Resilience Day Conference provided an opportunity to highlight the ongoing work that has taken place in the last two years between Delaware State University, USAID and other universities resulting from the 2021 agreement.

During the Conference, there were addresses by University President Tony Allen, Paloma Adams-Allen, USAID Deputy Administrator, and Clinton White, USAID Agency Counselor, as well as Dr. Devona Williams, Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees.Dr. Kimberly Milligan (far left) talks about the Water Analysis Lab at Delaware State University.

Dr. Kimberly Milligan, Associate Professor of Chemistry, gave a presentation on her work as the Director of the University’s Water Analysis Lab – which under her leadership has obtained a National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation. The Lab is the only HBCU and only one of two institutions of higher education to obtain that accreditation.

There were other presentations and roundtable sessions on what can be done amid the complex human challenges in confronting global warming and climate change. Participants featured representatives from other universities, environmental organizations and federal entities. The conference participants took a campus tour of the University’s Agriculture Complex, including its greenhouses, the Vertical Farming Project, the Water Analysis Lab and large animal production.

The 2021 Memorandum of Understanding signed by University President Tony Allen and the then-USAID Administrator Samantha Power was the first agreement between that agency and a Historically Black College or University. The MOU was signed to “advance agriculture-led economic growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation and hygiene” in conjunction with USAID’s “Feed the Future” research initiative.

The conference has been one of many achievements stemming from the 2021 agreement.

  • Delaware State University master’s degree graduates Abigail Ayorkor Armah, Oluwatomi Esther Jacobs., and Venkata Hemanth Limmada (Food Science and Biotechnology, Plant Genetics and Bioinformation, and Plant Sciences, respectively) have been accepted into a Thomas Wyatt Turner Fellowship at Cornell University for the 2022-2023 school year, and have completed their  academic work there. In addition, with these students’ completion of their master’s degrees, they are now positioned to enter Ph.D. programs – opportunities created by the 2021 MOU.
  • Delaware State University and Cornell University have participated in the faculty lecture exchanges annually over the last two years. Dr. Kalpalatha Melmaiee was the most recent University faculty member to travel to Cornell to give a guest lecture.
  • Led by Dr. Marikis Alvarez, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture, Sciences and Technology, the University completed a Data Analysis of Big Data project to assist Kansas State University.
  • The University also participated in an October 2022 Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement Global Conference in Senegal, West Africa. Tony Boyle, Senior Vice President of Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Terry Jefferies, Assistant Dean of Graduate, Adult and Extended Studies, as well as the abovementioned Dr. Milligan and Dr. Alvarez, all gave presentations at the conference.

According to Mr. Boyle, who has been an instrumental University facilitator in the partnership with the USAID, said the 2021 agreement has already resulted in $1 million coming to Delaware State University to support the above work.