Whitehouse is first resource economics major to be named a Legislative Fellow

January 31, 2013 under CANR News

Thomas White house named Legislative FellowThomas Whitehouse, a senior double majoring in resource economics and agriculture and natural resources and double minoring in animal science and political science, has been named a 2013 Legislative Fellow, making him the first ever Legislative Fellow majoring in resource economics.

The Legislative Fellows Program is a partnership between the School of Public Policy and Administration’s Institute for Public Administration and the Delaware General Assembly and will enter its 32nd year with an impressive track record and a well-respected reputation. For the past two years, the program has been run in cooperation with Delaware State University.

The program has over 250 alumni including successful young graduates and established politicians, such as current U.S. Rep. John Carney.

Legislative Fellows are selected through a highly competitive selection process involving the campuses at both UD and DSU. This year, Whitehouse will be one of six undergraduate and six graduate students from UD who will join the legacy and make the commute to Dover three days a week until the end of June to assist the state’s policymakers in the legislature’s four caucuses.

Whitehouse said that he wanted to get involved with the program because he is interested in policy. “I’m thinking about going into policy in the future,” said Whitehouse. “It’s one of the things that I want to do and I thought this would be a good experience.”

As a Legislative Fellow, Whitehouse has been assigned to the House Majority, which is the Democrats, and he explained that most of his duties involve research and administrative duties, such as taking the minutes or helping to run committee meetings.

When it comes to research, Whitehouse explained that a lot of the time, politicians want him to find general and specific information on legislation passed in other parts of the country. “They just want a summary and maybe they want legislation that was passed in other states so they can refer to that and maybe the history of that legislation,” explained Whitehouse.

In addition to being a Legislative Fellow, Whitehouse is also in Animal Science Club and the Alpha Zeta fraternity. So far, he has been involved with a possible bill focusing on chemicals of high concern with regards to consumer products. Whitehouse, who is from New Jersey, said that he has learned a lot more about how the Delaware state legislature works during his time as a Legislative Fellow.

As for what he is most looking forward to, Whitehouse explained that he is interested to see how some hot button issues get resolved at the local level.

To read more about the Legislative Fellows Program and other 2013 Legislative Fellows, check out the article on UDaily.

Article by Adam Thomas


Hong Yin finishes up school with multiple areas of study

January 17, 2013 under CANR News

Hong Yin will graduate in the spring with 3 majors and 2 minorsHong Yin has more majors (3) and minors (2) than years it took to graduate from the University of Delaware (4).

She is majoring in food and agribusiness marketing and management (FABM) and in resource economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), and in operations management in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics — and minoring in economics  and international business with a foreign language. That might seem unmanageable to some, but not to Yin.

Yin, who is originally from China and who attended the University of Delaware’s English Language Institute to learn the English language, has maintained a grade point average of above 3.0 despite taking such a full course load. She said that in addition to the educational advantage of taking so many classes, she took a lot of classes for another reason, as well — to meet more people.

“I’m not from here so I figured, if I take more classes, I will know more people and then I will meet more friends. It worked out really well.”

Yin said that she enjoys all of her areas of study, and especially likes that they are so different. “For example, the FABM is more focused on the agriculture sector. Resource economics is more focused on environmental concerns that businesses are facing today. On the other hand, operations management is more about making everything efficient and eliminating waste.”

Yin singled out Steven Hastings, professor and associate chair in CANR’s Department of Applied Economics and Statistics (APEC), for making his introductory level economics class so interesting that it spurred her to look into APEC to find a major that she liked. It turned out, that she found two.

One of those majors could come in very handy, especially to her parents. “My parents have a company in China. They sell dairy products, like baby formulas,” said Yin. “And they said, ‘If you don’t find a satisfying career in the U.S. after you graduate, the family business could benefit from your education.’ That’s why I added the FABM major.”

Yin now has Hastings as an advisor and she said that he is “really helpful. He helps students plan out what they want and he is always there, always in the office and whenever you email him, even on the breaks, it is really easy to get in touch with him and talk about what you want and then he gives you really good suggestions.”

Of Yin, Hastings said, “I have known Hong for three years, since she declared her second and third majors, both in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. I was immediately impressed with her enthusiasm and motivation.” Hastings added, “While many students take random courses for electives, Hong was adamant — she wanted to take courses that counted for another major. She is a wonderfully pleasant young lady that has accomplished a great deal.”

As for her favorite part about UD, Yin said that she enjoys the outdoor areas available for students to study. “I like The Green a lot because where I’m from in China, there are not many stretches of green areas. In the summer it is really beautiful.”  Yin added that she also enjoys, “the Botanic Garden in the spring. I appreciate the plants much more because of Professor Swasey’s—Professor Emeritus in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences–flower arranging class.”

Article by Adam Thomas

Photo by Danielle Quigley