September 2009

Alumna and faculty member gives Convocation address

  September 21, 2009 The 2009 Convocation featured Dr. Cherese Winstead, DSU assistant professor of Chemistry, as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Winstead is also a DSU alumna who has come home to give back academically to her alma mater. Understanding the current DSU Student Government Association’s theme of “Smart is the New Cool.” Dr. Winstead decide to affirm that belief in the following Convocation address she gave on Sept. 10 in the Education and Humanities Theatre: As an alumna of Delaware State University, I once sat where you sit today and believe me, the last thing I ever expected as a freshman is that one day I would stand before you as faculty of Delaware State University. Students, you are living during an exceptional time, attending one of the greatest universities in the first state that helped to elect the first African American President Barack Obama, our nations Vice President from the first state of Delaware, Joseph Biden, the first administration to select the first black Attorney General, Eric Holder and the first Hispanic Supreme Court Chief Justice, Sonia Sotomayor.  These are tremendous advancements in our history of which you all played an important part… and you have the opportunity to pave your own destiny here at Delaware State University.  We know that the decisions we make have a effect on our future. As you make decisions in life, You need to ask yourself, “Will it, help or hinder my progress, and would I be comfortable with that same decision if it were broadcast on CNN or published in the local newspaper?" Now, I want to engage you in another activity and I’ll need full audience participation. I’m going to name two people and I want you to tell me which one made the best choice!  Donovan McNabb ….or Michael Vick? Donovan McNabb is a great leader and well respected quarterback in NFL. Michael Vick is a great athlete still struggling to regain his character. The path you take is about the choices you make! Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson? Both are great fighters but Muhammad Ali is known for his character and leadership –a living legend, and Mike Tyson… well, let’s just say he should have had a good meal before he fought Holyfield. The path you take is about the choices you make! JayZ or TI? Now some of you may have thought I was saying letters of the alphabet but these are actually hip hop artists. The answer is JayZ. He is clearly defined as a hip hop mogul.  I know you like TI, but he’s made poor choices plain and simple — he’s in jail! The path you take is about the choices you make! Lebron James or Kobe Bryant? Even though Kobe Bryant made MVP and took the Lakers to the championship; Lebron James is well respected both on and off the court because of his character. The path you take is about the choices you make! Biggie or Tupac? Both are Hip Hop icons but neither made the best choices! The path you take is about the choices you make! Whitney Houston or Bobby Brown? Well…let’s just leave that one alone. The path you take is about the choices you make! Last but not least… George Bush or President Barack Obama? Please let us learn from our mistakes. The path you take is about the choices you make! So students… To be a great leader… or not. To study or not. To graduate or not. The path you take is about the choices you make … each and every day. Dr. Winstead said success or failure is all about choices. Now the take home message is not to say that you won’t make some bad choices in your life – life is about learning from the mistakes.The key is to minimize the negative effect of your decisions on yourself and others.  Remember, the path you take is about the choices you make. But at the same time, students, let’s not make the type of mistakes that involve academic probation, jail or bail. These are issues that students find themselves in due to poor choices. Please, let us find ourselves making choices such as, "Which graduate school should I attend? Which fellowship/ salary offer I’m going to accept?" or, "Should I go for a PhD, MD, or JD?" Now is the time for you to choose between longevity vs. short term gratification – or the so called "5 minutes of fame" Let me give you examples of the outcomes when choosing one or the other.  A final is coming up in a core course, say Mathematics 101. You choose to cram instead of taking the time all semester to understand the material. And say you pass (by the skin of your teeth no less). You give yourself a high five, dap, pound or whatever. Your whole aim was just to get out the class because you don’t want to...nor will you ever see it again, right? Wrong! Take my word for it you will see it again, in some form or fashion, and you will have to learn it all over again!  Longevity vs. short term gratification… Studying to learn vs. to simply pass. Successful people are those that apply learned concepts. You cannot apply if you never comprehended the concept. Study to learn vs. to just simply pass (heads up: passing the class – that’s the best case scenario). Instead of choosing to be the big man on campus for a couple of years, being the ‘flyest’ female on campus, partying with the frat or sorors, or athletes… telling the stories of your famed football/basketball career and then having to answer the age old question “so you went to Del State…when did you graduate?” and not having an answer to that question (embarrassing). How about being the man on the yard with the high GPA, the football player majoring in physics, the frat/soror with your goals in mind to be both smart and cool. Quick question: out of all entering freshman, who do you think makes up the largest proportion of students interested in science and engineering? African American males make up the largest proportion of students interested and intending to major in science and engineering – but only 8.8% graduate. What happens? Longevity vs. short term gratification. Young men, we need you to finish. So I charge you with setting your standard of being smart and cool. Young men, pull up your pants to be about business here at Delaware State University. Treat your peers with respect and not fashioned after what you hear on the airwaves. Young ladies, have your intellect be the first thing that a young man notices – intelligence is beauty. I promise, you can be a Michelle Obama too! And just remember, our First Lady chose the right man.  In a few years – and it will go fast – when all the parties stop, when your friends have married and moved on to raise families, and you’re working in your respective professions. Smart will still be in style.  Keep in mid that being “cool” without the being smart is merely a trend. At Delaware State University, we think that it’s cool to be smart. We urge all of our students to take charge of their future – no matter what anybody thinks. We encourage you to study hard; do not accept mediocre grades, and to take pride in yourself and your accomplishments. Some of the students here today who recently graduated from high school can attest to feeling that you could have done better, that you could have graduated as an honor student if you had only pushed yourself a little harder. Well, here you have the opportunity to apply yourself and prove to yourself that you can and will do better. So I ask you to become the student you know you can be. And while it’s good to socialize and get together with friends, your main focus should be on your studies. It’s good to have friends and value their opinions, but always remember to be true to yourself – your greater self. Remember the key to a successful academic career is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Hopefully, by now, you realize that the path you take is about the choices you make – so try to make good and informed choices.  When it comes to your studies, expect more of yourself, courses will become more difficult each year. Make sure that you dedicate the time to your courses to ensure a good academic standing and a sound comprehension. We are proud of you and we want you to be proud of Delaware State University. We're glad you're here! Congratulations, God bless, I’ll see you in Chemistry class. Hopefully only once!      

Hornet Football 2009 Outlook

  August 28, 2009     Coming off the team’s first losing season since 2004, the Delaware State Hornets look to regain the championship swagger the team had just two years ago. A belief in sports is that a team can sometimes learn more from a loss than a win. Last season, the Hornets suffered three losses of six points or less (two in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play) and will look to use those experiences to move to the top of the MEAC once again.   The Al Lavan era continues at DSU, entering its sixth season. Lavan (36-23 overall, 34-22 MEAC) returns 38 lettermen from a team that finished tied for second in the 2008 MEAC Standings. Lavan and the DSU coaching staff will have some key holes to fill, including the team’s leading passer, leading rusher, leading receiver and four of the squad’s top five leading tacklers from a year ago.   Overall, 11 starters (6 offense, 5 defense) return for Delaware State, including four of the team’s five starting offensive linemen and five members of a defense unit that finished ranked No. 13 in the nation in total defense (288.36 ypg).    Quarterbacks The Hornets will look to replace a four-year starter in Vashon Winton, who compiled a 33-14 record (25-6 MEAC) as DSU’s quarterback. Anthony Glaud (6-3, 215, r-Jr) and Nick Elko (6-2, 200, r-Fr) will battle for the starting quarterback position.   Glaud has the most experience in the DSU huddle among the two quarterbacks, completing 47-of-75 pass attempts for 523 yards and two touchdowns last season. The Sicklerville, N.J., native compiled a 122.0 efficiency rating during his first season with the Hornets. Glaud had a solid spring, throwing for 120 yards on 8-of-11 passing, including one touchdown during the first half of the annual Red/White Spring Game. Elko, a highly-touted quarterback out of the state of Maryland, redshirted during the 2008 season and will use the knowledge gained last season towards making a major push to become the DSU starting signal caller. The Odenton, Md., product completed 8-of-18 passing for 66 yards in the spring.      Micah Brown (6-2, 200, Jr.) was returned to quarterback this summer after competing at linebacker in 2008.   Wide Receivers The 2009 receiving corps returns three starters from last season, including Larrone Moore (6-0, 185, Jr) and Erick Jones (6-3, 200, r-Sr). Moore grabbed 32 passes for 319 yards and one touchdown. The team’s fastest player, Moore averaged 29.0 yards-per-game and 10.0 yards-per-catch. For his career, Moore has tallied 471 yards on 45 receptions and one touchdown. Jones made 13 catches for 167 yards and a team-high four touchdowns. The Washington, D.C., native averaged 15.2 yards-per-game and 12.8 yards-per-catch. Moore has 17 catches for 202 yards and four touchdowns during his three seasons at DSU. Jones registered 84 receiving yards on four catches, including a touchdown during 2009 Spring Game. Zacharri Charles (5-11, 185, Sr) started the first eight games of the 2008 season before suffering an injury. The Winter Haven, Fla., native registered 13 catches for 122 yards, averaging 15.2 yards-per-game and 8.4 yards-per-catch.   Sophomore Darius Jackson (5-10, 185) will look to be in the mix this season. The Quincy, Fla., native recorded 18 catches for 300 yards and one touchdown during his first season at Delaware State. Jackson recorded a game-high six catches (63 yards) in the spring. Donnell Dixon (5-10, 175, r-Fr), Travis Tarpley (5-7, 170, r-Fr) and Justin Wilson (6-1, 160, r-Fr) will compete for playing time.   Tight Ends The Hornets will look to replace tight end Jahmel Bashir (7 rec., 49 yds., 1 TD) with Barrington Tolliver (6-2, 230, r-Sr.) and newcomers Kristian Johnson (6-3, 255, Fr) and Ryan Langdon (6-4, 235, Fr). Tolliver was a wide receiver and special teams standout in 2008. Johnson and Langdon  are products of Philadelphia, Pa., and are expected to make an immediate impact on the DSU passing game. Johnson joined the Delaware State roster as a mid-year signee and took part in the team’s annual Red/White Spring Game. Langdon caught 14 passes for 272 yards during his senior year at Father Judge High School, earning Philadelphia All-Catholic League First Team selection and All-City Honorable Mention honors in 2008.   Running Backs Delaware State will also be looking to fill the void left by the graduation of running backs Chris Strother (577 yards) and Kareem Jones (407 yards). Redshirt sophomore Jaashawn Jones (6-1, 225, r-So) and Jason Randall (5-11, 195, Jr) are poised to take over the role as starting tailback. Jones proved to be a key short-yardage back, scoring three touchdowns on 18 carries for 31 yards in 2008. Jones scored the go-ahead touchdown during the Hornet’s 34-28 comeback victory over Norfolk State (Nov. 15, 2008). Randall appeared in four games last season as a reserve running back. The Bowie, Md., native averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry during this year’s Red/White Spring Game.   The Hornets added Tahree McQueen (5-10, 200, r-So – transfer from Cincinnati) to bring more depth to the running back position. McQueen did not see action with the Bearcats, but comes to DSU as an offensive threat. McQueen was an AP all-state quarterback at Eastside HS in Paterson, N.J.   Newcomers Nick Williams (fr.) and James Rosseau (fr.) will also battle for playing time this season.   Offensive Line The Hornets return three starters to the offensive line. Kellen Kemp (6-3, 315, Sr), Nick Richmond (6-3, 300, r-Sr) and Mike Maloney (6-6, 290, Sr) combined for 44 starts last season. The 2008 DSU offensive line guided Delaware State to 1,501 yards on the ground. The Hornets will be looking to replace 2008 Second Team All-MEAC selection Adrian Brown.     Seniors Steven Steinbacher (6-5, 295), Marcus Ponder (6-3, 330), junior Brandon Purnsley (6-3, 300) along with sophomores Thomas Threadgill (6-5, 275) and Nail Muradymov (6-7, 330) give Delaware State an extremely deep offensive line. The Hornets will have newcomers Aaron Boyd (6-5, 325, Fr) and Darryl Hicks (6-4, 300, Jr) in the mix.   Defensive Line Despite the loss of Alimayo Wilder, Ronn Spinner, Jr., and Akiel Russell, the Delaware State defensive line has no shortage of talent and experience. Andre Caroll (6-2, 260, r-Jr), Fabian Dunn (6-4, 275, r-Sr), Tyron Hurst (6-2, 295, Sr) and Joe Mendes (5-11, 220, Sr) return for the Hornets. Caroll appeared in all 11 games (eight starts) last season, registering 43 total tackles (12 unassisted), including two tackles for loss. Dunn tallied 23 total tackles (13 unassisted) with 1.5 tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry in 11 contests. Hurst played in eight games (missing three due to injury), notching 10 total tackles (four unassisted) with four tackles for loss. Mendes led all Hornets with 3.5 sacks, recording 21 total tackles (11 unassisted) with three quarterback hurries.   Braheim Haywood (6-2, 250, r-Jr) and David Izebere (6-5, 285, r-Fr), along with newcomer George Bansah (6-1, 265, Fr) will join the fold.   Linebackers The Hornets return starter Mike Gable (6-2, 210, r-Sr) to the linebacking corps this season. Gable, a converted defensive back, registered 40 total tackles (15 unassisted) with 6.5 tackles for loss. The Bel Air, Md., native also was credited with one forced fumble, his first-career interception and two quarterback hurries in 2008. DSU will look to fill the void left by the departure of middle linebacker Kevin Conner and Josh Pope. Conner led the Hornets with 95 total tackles, three fumble recoveries, one sack and four and one-half tackles for loss. Pope finished the 2008 season with 32 total tackles (15 unassisted) with two sacks and one forced fumble.     A group of talented linebackers will continue to provide depth, led by junior Quentin Ferguson (5-11, 190), senior Ahmad Harris (6-0, 230) and redshirt senior Eric Sewell (5-11, 245).   The Hornet coaching staff is hoping for contributions from Keith Hunt (6-0, 220, So.), Salahuddin Gadson (5-11, 225, r-So), John Sutton (6-1, 250, Jr), Marquis Spann (6-2, 200, So) and Aaron Richardson (6-1, 220, Fr).   Secondary Three of the four starting defensive backs return for the Hornets. Senior Avery Grant (6-0, 180) returns as the team’s leading tackler and anchors a defensive backfield that ranked No. 5 in the nation in pass defense (143.18 ypg). Grant started at strong safety in 10 games last season, registering 68 total tackles (34 unassisted) with 8.5 tackles for loss. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native recorded two sacks along with one forced fumble and three pass breakups. Joining Grant in the defensive backfield will be free safety Jerome Strums (6-0, 190, r-Sr). Strums started every game for the Hornets in 2008, tallying 40 total tackles (20 unassisted). The Windsor, Conn., native picked off a team-high three passes last season, including the game-winning interception in overtime versus Florida A&M (Sept. 4, 2008). Also returning to the Delaware State defensive backfield will be cornerback Francis Adjei (6-2, 175, r-Jr). Adjei also picked off three passes with the second-best pass breakup total on the team last season (8). The Silver Spring, Md., product registered 40 total tackles (32 unassisted).   Gerald Bouknight (5-11, 190, Jr) and Greg Ligon (5-9, 180, r-Sr) are expected to battle for the final starting spot in this year’s secondary. Bouknight appeared in nine games last season, registering three tackles and one pass breakup. Ligon did not see action in 2008 but has been a member of the Hornets since 2005.   B.J. Conely (5-8, 175, r-Sr), Calvin Miner (5-11, 185, So) and Tavis Tabb (6-2, 190, r-So) will battle for playing time this season.     Kicking Game Redshirt senior Riley Flickinger (5-9, 240) returns for the second-straight season as the Hornets’ place kicker. The Gresham, Ore., native converted 10-of-20 field goal attempts and averaged 56.0 yards-per-kickoff last year. Flickinger’s 10 field goals were the fifth-most in a single season at Delaware State. The 5-foot-9 senior also converted 24-of-25 extra point attempts in 2008.   Senior Nick Lochner (6-1, 160) enters his second season as DSU’s punter. One of the top punters in the MEAC, Lochner averaged 39.2 yards-per-punt. The Webster, N.Y., native registered 54 punts for 2,118 yards with 22 punts placed inside the 20-yard line. With 12 50(+)-yard punts, Lochner finished the 2008 season with the fourth-best punting average at DSU in a single season (39.2).   Kick/Punt Returns DSU returns its top two return men from last season. Larrone Moore and Zacharri Charles led all Hornets in kick returns as Moore averaged 21.8 yards-per-return and Charles averaged 20.8 yards-per-return. Moore returned six kicks for 131 yards and a long of 60 yards. Charles made a team-best 16 kick returns for 332 yards and a long of 40 yards. Entering the fray will be Darius Jackson, who will look to give the Hornets a variety of options in the return game.   Charles will also be looked upon to be the main punt returner in 2009. Charles returned three punts last season for 20 yards and will look to fill the hole left by the departure of Brandon Hudson (13 returns for 112 yards).   The Schedule The Hornets began the 2009 season with a Sept. 5 trip to Tallahassee, Fla., where they lost 21-12 to the Florida A&M Rattlers. In the first MEAC opening season in the DSU career of Head Coach Al Lavan, the Hornets were competitive but were plagued by costly mental errors throughout the game. There were, however, several positives -- including DSU quarterback Anthony Glaud's completion of 17 of 32 passes for 188 yards and one 30-yard touch down pass to Sacharri Charles.    Following an open date, the Hornets will then travel to Newark, Del., for an historic regular-season battle on Sept. 19 with the University of Delaware Blue Hens. DSU will host a Hornets Fan Center from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the practice field adjacent to the UD Stadium. The Week Three game will be the first-ever, regular-season meeting between the state’s two Division I schools. DSU and UD met for the first time in 2007, facing each other in the first round of the FCS Playoffs (Nov. 23, 2007). The Blue Hens finished last season with a 4-8 record (2-6 CAA). DSU continues its three-game road swing to start the season with a Sept. 26 game at Hampton. The Hornets will be looking to avenge a 17-14 loss to the Pirates last season (Oct. 4, 2008) at Alumni Stadium. Hampton (6-5, 5-3 MEAC last year) will host Delaware State in the 35th-meeting all-time between the two schools and the first-ever with new HU Head Coach Donovan Rose.   Delaware State’s home opener will take place on Oct. 10 as the Hornets host the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Coming off a 26-20 win in Daytona Beach, Fla., last season (Oct. 11, 2008), the Hornets own a 20-13 advantage in the all-time series history with B-CU. DSU has won four-straight against Bethune-Cookman. B-CU finished 8-3 (5-3 MEAC) last year.   DSU hits the road the following week, traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich., in the team’s first-ever meeting with the Michigan Wolverines (Oct. 17). With a capacity of 106,201 Michigan Stadium will be the site of the largest crowd to ever witness a Delaware State football game. Michigan is coming off a 3-9 record (2-6 Big Ten) in 2008. The game will mark DSU’s first-ever game with a member of the Big Ten Conference.   Morgan State is Delaware State’s opponent for Homecoming 2009. The Hornets host the Bears on Oct. 24 and will look to rebound from a 20-3 loss at Morgan State last year (Oct. 25, 2008). MSU holds a 28-22 edge in the series history with Delaware State winning three of the last four meetings.   The Hornets return to the road for a two-game swing away from Alumni Stadium, starting with an Oct. 31 outing at South Carolina State (10-3, 8-0 MEAC in 2008). The defending MEAC Champions downed DSU last season (23-17 on Nov. 1) and hold a 23-15 advantage in the series history. A week later, Delaware State will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on Winston-Salem State (Nov. 7). The Hornets own a 4-3-1 record versus the Rams, following last season’s 27-26 loss on Nov. 8, 2008. The last meetings two between DSU and WSSU have been decided by a combined four points.   Two-straight home games close out the 2009 season. On Nov. 14, the Norfolk State Spartans come to Dover. DSU has won six-straight games versus NSU, including last season’s 34-28 comeback victory at Dick Price Stadium (Nov. 15, 2008). The Hornets trailed by 21-points late in the first half before rallying for a six-point win over the Spartans. The Hornets close out the year with their traditional meeting with the Howard Bison on Nov. 21. Last season, DSU defeated Howard, 10-6, on Nov. 22, 2008. During the game, DSU forced a season-high six turnovers en route to the team’s fifth conference win of the year. The Hornets have faced the Bison more than any other MEAC school (DSU leads 35-30-1).