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Sojourner-Douglass College Delegation Seeks Aquaculture Advice from Cheyney University

September 17, 2012

A delegation from Maryland's Sojourner-Douglass College visited Cheyney University on Friday, September 14.  While on campus, they had an opportunity to meet Cheyney University President, Michelle Howard-Vital,  Vice President of University Advancement, Nancy Jones, Chief of Staff, Sheilah Vance, and Director of the Aquaculture Research and Education Center (AAREC), Dr. Steven Hughes.

Led by their President, Dr. Charles W. Simmons,  SJD representatives included Jamal Mubdi-Bey, Director, Office of Community Outreach, Mujahid Veniey, Deputy Director, Office of Community Outreach, and John H. Morris, Jr., Dean, School of Urban Planning and Community Economic Development, and Aaron and Pam Morgan, directors of the SJD Aquaculture Program. Other participants included  Naomi Booker, Consultant, David Love, Ph.D., Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Keith Brockington, Oldtown Resident and member of the interim board for Change4Real Community Corp.  and Devon Wilford-Said, Oldtown Resident and member of the Interim Board for Change4Real Community Corp., and student Sarita Wahba.

The highlight of the visit was a tour of the Aquaponics facility.  Dozens of hungry talapia jumped for food as Dr. Hughes scooped it into the pools and the visitors basked in the sharp sweet smell of the fresh basil growing in the nearby ponds.

Dr. Hughes explained that the purpose of the visit was twofold. The primary reason was to begin to formalize plans for Cheyney to aid SJC as they seek to develop an aquaculture program and to allow SJD administrators and collaborators to see, in person, the aquaponics greenhouse which is operated on the Cheyney campus as part of the public/private partnership with Herban Farms, LLC. It is hoped that this model can be duplicated in Baltimore. The second reason for the visit was to begin to formulate collaborations between the two universities that will promote and aid urban renewal projects in the impact areas of both campuses. The general consensus was that the meeting was very successful for both areas of interest.

Sojourner-Douglass College became an independent institution under Maryland law and was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education in 1980. Maintaining its original mission, Sojourner-Douglass College draws students generally from the large population of adults in the Black community, using a program designed to stimulate, motivate and enhance the students' development of positive self images while also empowering members of the community.