August 2009

DSU Alumna Becomes Psychology Chair

  July 09, 2009 Dr. Gwendolyn N. Scott-Jones counts the ability to return to one’s alma mater and give back as evidence of professional success.  Such success has not only brought her back to serve as a faculty member at the University from which she graduated twice, but also to lead the Department of Psychology from which she earned her 1996 bachelor of science degree.  The 36-year-old native Delawarean has been tapped to chair the department after serving only one year as an assistant professor of psychology. She brings a wealth of field and life experiences to her new leadership post — and an abundance of enthusiasm — that she believes will benefit the faculty and students in her department.  After earning a 1999 Master of Social Work at DSU, Dr. Scott-Jones proceeded to fill her professional resume with a number of career-building experiences. She served in several mental health clinician positions for the Delaware Department of Correction, as a  psychology assistant with the St. Jones Center for Behavior Health and the Delaware Psychiatric Center, as well as a psychiatric social worker at the State of Delaware Crisis Prevention Service. Dr. Gwendolyn Scott-Jones   While working those jobs, she continued with her advanced studies at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she earned a master’s degree and a doctoral degree both in clinical psychology. Her Psy.D includes a sub-specialty in forensic psychology.  Dr. Scott-Jones said that she has been interested in psychology since her Lake Forest High School days in Kent County, Del. “Knowing that there is hair-thin line between saneness and insanity is fascinating,” she said. “I have always been interested in forensic psychology and in abnormalities from a psychological perspective.”  The new psychology chair provides DSU with a well-connected member of the professional mental health community. She was selected to be the keynote speaker at the 2008 People of Color Mental Health Conference in Wilmington. Through her work in state agencies throughout the First State, Dr. Scott-Jones has mental health professional connections throughout Delaware and beyond. She has also developed a Chisum Youth Basketball Program based in the Lake Forest School District in which DSU psychology and athletics students are gaining valuable community service  skills while working with middle school-age children.  Dr. Scott-Jones said her experiences with challenges and adversities have taught her that “the occasion (of something adverse) does not have to lead to the conclusion.”  She is willing to pass this lesson on to any student or mental health client that she works with.

Dover HS Senior Takes Part in Hydrogen Storage Study



Dover High School Senior George G. Gallo (left) works in the controlled environment of the "glove box" as part of the hydrogen storage research, under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Goudy, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry.

  July 27, 2009 While most high school students looked forward to the summer out of school as a three-month opportunity for fun or to make some employment money, it can be said that George G. Gallo, a Dover High School senior, was looking for the same. However, the fun he was seeking had nothing to do with sports, music or teenage girls. Instead, it revolved around his passion for science. After reading a local newspaper article about Delaware State University’s ongoing hydrogen storage research project, George decided to offer his curiosity and desire to learn about research toward the cause. Although Dr. Andrew Goudy, the director of the DSU Hydrogen Research Center, did not have the involvement of any high school student programmed in his research program, when young George asked if he could participate in the studies, his sincerity and earnestness won over the chemistry professor.  After receiving strong recommendations from George’s Dover High School teachers, Dr. Goudy brought George on board and began teaching him about the hydrogen storage research and its alternative energy ramifications.  Established in 2005 through federal funding, the DSU Hydrogen Storage Research Center has been earnestly seeking ways in which to store and release hydrogen – thought to be a promising alternative fuel and energy resource – in greater quantity than is currently possible. The center was recently awarded $1.4 million in additional Congressional funding to continue seeking suitable hydrogen storage material. George Gallo (right), who has previously distinguished himself by earning awards from the Delaware Science Olympiad for his science projects, convinced Dr. Andrew Goudy (left) to allow him to become a part of DSU's Hydrogen Storage Research project. Once Dr. Goudy sufficiently oriented George on the fundamental challenges presented by hydrogen storage, he began involving the Dover High School senior in the actual research work and guided him through tests on magnesium hydride. As a storage material, magnesium hydride can hold a lot of hydrogen, but needs a high temperature to release it. Because fuel cells need low temperatures to work effectively, George and DSU doctoral chemistry student Saidi Sabitu have been mixing additives to the magnesium hydride in an attempt to come up with a lower storage temperature capability. “They have been having some success and we are planning on publishing the findings by the end of the summer,” said Dr. Goudy, who is also the chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry. George said the hydrogen storage research work has been a valuable and thrilling experience for him. “This is groundbreaking stuff,” George said. “It is exciting in that what we find out here, we know before anyone else does.” For George – who says chemistry and physics interest him the most — it has been an exciting summer in which he has not only been able to feed his voracious appetite to attain science knowledge, but also learn about some of the challenges of research. “I’ve learned that research is all about patience, because it takes a lot of time,” George said. “Tests need to be done a number of times and sometimes you can run into problems.” Dr. Goudy said that George possesses the requisite characteristics of scientific curiosity and enthusiasm. “He likes to ask a lot of questions. He always wants to know what’s going on and why.”