Class Notes -- Spring 2013

Alumni participate in College of Business’ Black Executive Exchange Program

The College of Business’ annual Black Executive Exchange Program event welcomed keynote speaker Eddie Brown, founder and president of Brown Capital Management and the author of Beating the Odds — Eddie Brown’s Investing and Life Strategies, as well as about 20 visiting business executives who spent the day with students through classroom visits and workshop sessions.  Among the visiting executives were nine DSU alumni: From left are Derek Thompson ’80, Leland Nelson ’96, College of Business Acting Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Director of the College of Business Advisement Center Lisa Dunning, Ron Pinkett ’84, Kevin Washington ’86, President Harry L. Williams, Eddie Brown, Sherman King ’89, Provost Alton Thompson, College of Business Dean Shelton Rhodes, Enid Wallace-Simms ’74, Jamahal C. Boyd ’97, Ernest Ackah ’99 and S. Renee Smith ’88.


From left, Delores and Dr. Donald Blakey, Patricia Randolph, Gov. Jack Markell, Ruth Shelton and President Harry L. Williams.

Alumni Shine in Harriet Tubman Program

During an event in which Gov. Jack Markell signed a proclamation making March 10 Harriet Tubman Day in Delaware, DSU alumni represented themselves well through music and dramatic presentations. As a kickoff to 10 days of events celebrating Tubman’s historic contributions as the conductor of the Underground Railroad — which coursed through the First State — the proclamation signing was part of a program at the Old Statehouse in Dover.

During the program, alumnus Dr. Donald Blakey ’58 gave some relevant black history of the central Delaware area, and his wife and alumna Delores Blakey ’62 portrayed the conductor of the Underground Railroad. The Blakeys were joined later by alumna Ruth Shelton ’96 and Pat Randolph ’69 as part of the Don Del Interdenominational Choir and gave a music selection during the program.



Roslyn Wyche-Hamilton — best-selling author of Finding Joy In Pain, published in 2009, and Finding Joy
In Pain 2, published in 2010, received a book deal with Kensington Urban Soul in New York City. Finding Joy In Pain 3 will be in bookstores soon. Wyche-Hamilton graduated from then-Delaware State College with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration.  She has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Wilmington University.


Alisha Broughton of Milton, Del., was named the winner of a Jefferson Award, a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America. As part of the award’s local recognition, she was featured on WBOC-TV Channel 16 in February.

Broughton has volunteered more than 1,000 hours in 18 months, including service at the Family Outreach Center Lincoln, Del., where she tutors children in the Milford and Cape Henlopen school districts; she conducts workshops such as bullying, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, study habits, scholarship assistance and more.  Broughton also volunteers at Children and Families First as a trainer.  She has taught classes in  effective interviewing, job placement and how to start a business. She also does seminars each month titled “Seminars by Alisha Broughton, to teach women and men tools for daily living.” Broughton received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Mass Communication from Delaware State University, a master’s degree in Education from Wilmington University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership (Education) and Business Management.



From left are Brice Watson, a United Airlines pilot and 1994 DSU Aviation Program graduate; Matthew Jones, a senior Aviation Management major and winner of a DSU speech contest on the topic of Tuskegee Airmen; and George Watson Sr., Brice Watson’s grandfather and an original Tuskegee Airman (maintenance mechanic). The Watsons spoke to a group of DSU Aviation students at the Aviation Program’s hangar in March.


Michelle Smith-Sample was named laboratory director at Heritage Medical Center in Shelbyville, Tenn. In her new position, she oversees the hospital’s laboratory, chemistry, hematology, coagulation, serology, microbiology and blood bank. Smith-Sample was previously the area manager for the Eastern Shore for Laboratory Corporation of America in Salisbury, Md. She received an AAS & BT in medical technology, a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Medical Technology from Delaware State University and a Master of Science in Management from Wilmington University. She is currently working on her second master’s degree in Health Care Administration.

Sharon N. Williams joined the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas in Seattle, Wash., this year as its managing director. Williams graduated from Delaware State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Television Production and in 2000 with a Master of Business Administration. Williams is the founder of the Mahogany Project, a theater and film organization in Seattle.


Ernest Ackah is the owner of Boss Barbershop in Dover, Del. He previously  worked as an investment accountant, including nine years at BNY Mellon —  previously PFPC (PNC GIS) — in Wilmington, Del., where he held supervisory positions. He has also worked at T. Rowe Price in the Baltimore, Md., area where he held a team coordinator position. Already being an accomplished barber, Ackah pursued his passion, opening his barbershop in 2011. Ackah received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Delaware State University. He received a Master of Business Administration from Goldey-Beacom College in 2006.  

Clifton Hayes, assistant principal at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington since 2006, was selected as the 2013 Delaware Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year by the Delaware Association of Secondary School Principals. In addition, he was recently selected as the new principal for Delcastle Technical High School for the upcoming school year. Hayes earned his bachelor’s degrees in Elementary and Special Education from Delaware State University and his master’s degree in Special Education from West Virginia University. He is currently a doctoral candidate at DSU. He was previously a special education teacher in math and social studies at Howard from 2001 to 2004 and a discipline specialist at Delcastle Technical High School from 2004 to 2006.
Kelley Wilson-Everett co-founded Youth Angel Scholars Inc., a 501C3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help youth ages 13-18 transform in the areas of health, civic service, academics, entrepreneurship and leadership. The Youth Angel Scholars Teen Transformation Program provides a variety of yearlong activities designed to cultivate youth members personally and professionally. In March, the organization held the second annual GEAR Up Career Day Exhibition, providing Philadelphia youth with an interactive approach to entrepreneurship and to GEAR Up (Gain Early Awareness and Readiness) for career success. Jamahal Boyd ’97, the program’s keynote “Scholar Guest,” provided youth participants, exhibitors and parents with a wealth of knowledge about understanding personal branding and using it to develop the “elevator speech” to get the job interview.  He also touched on how attire helps make a great first impression.

Aaron Wright has been named the director of operations of the Washington (D.C.) Marriott. With nearly 15 years at Marriott International, Wright previously was director of hotel operations since April 2011 at the Bethesda (Md.) Suites Marriott. He began his career as an intern at the Wilmington (Del.) Downtown Courtyard; upon graduation, Wright joined the Philadelphia Airport Marriott as the assistant restaurant manager. Over the years, he has held multiple management positions including dual assistant general manager of both the Renaissance SouthPark and Marriott SouthPark hotels in Charlotte, N.C. Wright received a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Delaware State University. He resides in Maryland with his wife and two sons.