Sunday, September 16, 2007

Delaware Tech helps


Delaware Tech has recently concluded a successful project management training program in Romania to assist Romania’s National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority with mitigating the threat of avian influenza in the agricultural sector. The program resulted in the training of 75 veterinarians, supervisors and officials from 45 counties and local veterinary facilities as well as ANSVSA’s executive management.

The authority (ANSVSA) is a government agency with a mission similar to those of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the veterinary pharmaceutical and food safety responsibilities of the Food and Drug Administration.
Delaware Tech’s training program, led by Dr. Charles Poplos, helped project managers learn through their own real-world projects for planning and response to animal diseases. Poplos also introduced participants to the Delaware Model, a unique collaboration of Delaware’s poultry industry, institutions of higher education and government working to mitigate the threat of disease.

All participants who completed the course received an official Certificate of Attendance from Delaware Tech. Those participants who completed additional requirements also earned a Certificate of Associate in Project Management and an official Delaware Tech transcript. The graduation ceremony, held in Romania on July 11, was attended by officials from Delaware Tech, ANSVSA, USAID and the World Bank.

According to Carla Stone, who directs Delaware Tech’s international technical assistance programs, “This program has fundamentally changed how Romania will plan for and implement projects for disease prevention and response. The training has enabled ANSVSA veterinarians and administrators to establish a single set of standards of response and has improved communication among veterinarians and other personnel across the country.

We are proud to be part of a project that will help Romania be better prepared to prevent and respond to any type of animal disease, food safety, or environmental issue – not just avian influenza.” To commemorate this project and to honor the close ties formed between Delaware Tech and Romania, the College will host a concert by two young Romanian pianists on Thursday, Oct. 25 in Georgetown. The pianists also will visit special arts magnet schools in Delaware and have the opportunity to interact with their contemporaries.

This project is the fourth time Delaware Tech has helped countries in Eastern Europe respond to avian influenza or severe environmental concerns. From 2003 to 2005, the college aided Bulgaria in establishing a wastewater training center similar to the college’s Environmental Training Center in Georgetown. In 2005-2006, Delaware Tech led a World Learning/USAID project for Kosovo to increase poultry industry capacity and improve influenza policies. In Croatia, Delaware Tech developed and implemented graduate level courses in environmental project management training at the University of Zagreb.

This year’s project management training in Romania is part of a larger USDA grant to the Delmarva International Poultry Partnership, led by the University of Delaware and Delaware Tech, to provide training and technical assistance to Romania for controlling avian influenza. The grant, which ended in August, also funded several other Delaware Tech projects including the development of a new training laboratory for the University of Agronomical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest.

The new laboratory was unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony later in August.

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