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B-CU Students Get Special Invite to the White House

Daytona Beach, FL/Washington, D.C. - Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) students recently returned from the nation’s capitol after being invited to participate in President Obama’s National Week of Making event at the White House.  B-CU students were invited to this event after impressing the panel of observers at this year’s HBCU Making for Change Showcase.  Students, Fatin Cooper, Tanya Pia and Jodi Sanderson, along with advisor Dr. Brandon Noel, traveled to D.C. to represent B-CU. The group created a food toxicity tester intended to provide help for homeless people who are dependent upon discarded food for survival.  The B-CU team was one of only 10 presenters at the National Week of Making event. 

B-CU students participated in the HBCU Making for Change Showcase along with nine other HBCU's. The participating institutions were tasked with attempting to address a community problem using a small set of resources from different corporations (the starter kit).  B-CU students were concerned about homeless people and their reliance on discarded food.  Therefore, the students designed a toxicity food tester from the materials provided. This made such an impression on the folks involved in the HBCU Making for Change Showcase, that they extended a special invitation to the White House to share their innovative idea. 

According the White House website, the National Week of Making, featured makers from across the country and included participation by federal agencies including: the Department of Education, National Science Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NASA, Corporation for National and Community Service, Department of Homeland Security and the Smithsonian.

The website also notes that the initiative was launched last year, on June 18, when President Obama hosted the first-ever White House Maker Faire and issued a call to action that “every company, every college, every community, every citizen joins us as we lift up makers and builders and doers across the country.” At last year’s Faire, President Obama welcomed people of all ages who are funneling their ingenuity into amazing projects, developing creative solutions to important problems and bringing their innovations to market.

For more information about the National Week of Making, click the link -  For media inquiries, please contact Keisha Boyd - or (386)214-3653. 

Office of Communications

Keisha Boyd
Director of Communications
PH: 386.214.3653
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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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