May 2012


Hornet Editor-in-Chief Recipient of William P. Frank Scholarship

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Synquette K. Wilks, editor-in-chief of The DSU Hornet student newspaper, is the 2012 recipient of the $10,000 William P. Frank Scholarship.

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Synquette K. Wilks, a junior mass communications major at Delaware State University, has been awarded a $10,000 William P. Frank Scholarship. The scholarship was presented during the May 5 annual First State Gridiron Dinner in Wilmington. Ms. Wilks is majoring in the convergence (journalism) concentration of mass communications undergraduate degree program. Since the fall of 2011 she has served as the editor-in-chief of The DSU Hornet student newspaper and has written for the campus publication since her freshman year. She is also in the McNair Research Program at DSU. Ms. Wilks, of Wilmington, said that the Frank Scholarship will greatly help her development as a journalist. “It will enable me to continue my education as well as learn more about print and internet journalism,” Ms. Wilks said. “I believe this opportunity will provide me with the foundation to build up my journalism career and give me the skills that I will need to compete in the journalism world.” A graduate of Newark High School, Ms. Wilks is the daughter of Kevin Moore and  Shavon Wilks-Taylor William P. Frank (1905-1989) was one of Delaware’s best-known journalists of the 20th century. His career spanned 65 years, during which he became a prominent newspaper columnist and radio commentator. He was also a Delaware historian, a Judaic scholar, a Shakespearean actor and a social activist. Although he was listened to by powerful people, he made the concerns of ordinary people his concerns, according to the Gridiron event program. In 2011, three DSU students were awarded the William P. Frank Scholarship – Deborah Miller ($10,000) from New Castle, Del.; Krystina Muhammad ($5,000) from Newark, Del.; and Desiree Williams ($5,000) from Dover.

2012 DSU Commencement -- Photo Slideshow

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The 2012 Commencement presented diplomas to a record 656 graduates during the May 20 ceremony. Click on the below photo slideshow to see images from the event:

DSU's Vita Pickrum Named Certified Fund Raising Executive

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CFRE International has named Vita Pickrum, associate vice president of development at DSU, as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Ms. Pickrum joins more than 5,299 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation. Vita Pickrum, associate vice president of Development and a Certified Fund Raising Executive Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International, which include tenure in the profession, demonstrated fundraising achievement, and  a commitment to service to not-for-profit organizations. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skill and abilities required of a fundraising executive; they have also agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and Donor Bill of Rights. CFRE recipients are awarded certification for a three-year period. In order to maintain certification status, such fundraising executives must demonstrate ongoing fundraising employment and fundraising results, as well as continue their professional education. CFRE International is an independent organization dedicated to the certification of fundraising executives by setting standards in philanthropic practice. Consistently meeting the highest standard of certification excellence, the CFRE International is itself accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies. Ms. Pickrum has been a fundraising executive at Delaware State University since September 2008.  

2012 DSU Faculty Excellence Award Recipients Named

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The 2012 Faculty Excellence Award recipients (l-r) Dr. Aristides Marcano (research and creative activities), Dr. Sathya Elavarthi (teaching), Dr. Sam Hoff (advising), with DSU President Harry L. Williams. Not pictured is Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay (University and community service).

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Delaware State University has named four faculty members as the institution’s 2012 Faculty Excellence Award recipients. The University has selected the below faculty members in the following categories of Teaching, Research/Creative Activities, University/Community Service and Advising: Faculty Excellence in Teaching Dr. Sathya Elavarthi, assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has been recognized for his innovative teaching techniques that utilize many varied tools to engage his students and retain them in the department’s majors. He is known for “going the extra mile” to expose his students to as many hands-on learning opportunities as he can. Dr. Elavarthi has developed six agriculture and plant science courses for the department, currently serves on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, as well as on the University’s Learning Communities Steering Committee. He has been a DSU faculty member since the fall of 2010. Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Dr. Aristides Marcano, associate research professor in the Department of Physics and Pre-Engineering, came out on top in the highly competitive category as the result of his prolific research activities in the areas of applied spectroscopy and optics. He has co-authored 9 peer-reviewed scientific papers that were published in high ranked scientific journals, and co-authored two book chapters. Dr. Marcano is the principal investigator of two scientific grants and the co-principal investigator of two others that combined were multimillion dollar endeavors. He is the co-author of a scientific patent on an optical fiber detector. He has also advised 14 undergraduate research projects and 12 graduate research projects, while also tutoring three graduate students. He has been a DSU faculty member since the fall of 2006.              Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay Faculty Excellence in University and Community Service Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay, associate research professor and Cooperative Extension specialist in water quality for the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has been honored for her numerous outreach endeavors that extend to writing and editing science publications, professional organization service and community service relating to her science areas of expertise. She has promoted a public oyster gardening program and the Mid-Atlantic Drinking Water Program, as well as been involved with the Delaware Bay Oyster Restoration Program. Dr. Ozbay has planned and presented more than 100 events regionally and nationally over the last nine years, reaching approximately 2,500 youths and adults. She has also lent her expertise in water quality and environmental issues through international outreach efforts as a lecturer and consultant in Belize, the Marshall Islands and Kenya. She has been a DSU faculty member since 2003. Faculty Excellence in Advising Dr. Samuel Hoff, George Washington Distinguished Professor in the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, has been recognized for his outstanding accessibility as an advisor and the results as demonstrated by his students. Dr. Hoff has served as the advisor of students in the Law Studies Program (of which he is the director), graduate students in the Historic Preservation Program, and has served on curriculum committees pertaining to his department and college, as well as on the subcommittee of the University’s Graduate Council. He has also served as a coach and advisor of the DSU Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, as a judge for the DSU Oratorical Contest, as the creator of the DSU Constitution and Citizenship Speech Tournament, and as a member of the Faculty Senate Teaching Effectiveness Committee. Dr. Hoff has been a DSU faculty member since 1989. Each recipient received a monetary award of $2,500.

DSU Donates Strength/Condition Equipment to Five High Schools

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(L-r) Trae Anderson, DSU project manager; Jeremy Jeanne, Glasgow H.S. athletics director; Marques Brown, Christiana H.S. assistant football coach;and Andrew Mears, Smyrna H.S. athletics coach, at the former Wellness Center to select the available donated equipment..

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Delaware State University is literally helping to strengthen the athletics programs of five Delaware high schools through its donation of used strength and conditioning equipment. University officials are donating a variety of fitness machines and equipment to the following high schools – Brandywine, Christiana, Glasgow, Brandywine, Mount Pleasant, and Smyrna. Since the 2009 completed construction and opening of the DSU Wellness and Recreation Center, the previously used Wellness Center – a 3,000-square-foot module building next to the Village Cafeteria – has remained idle. Because only new strength and conditioning equipment was installed in the new facility, the equipment formerly used in the old Wellness Center remained in that building. With plans in place to move the module building to another part of the campus to make room for a planned Optics Center on that site, University officials decided to offer the equipment to five high schools on a first-come, first-serve basis. After DSU contacted the state concerning the availability of the equipment, the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association sent a notice to all the high schools in the First State. The abovementioned high schools were the first five to respond. Athletics representatives from the high schools visited DSU last week to select the equipment – which included a variety of Tuffstuff strength machines, Trotter treadmills, stationary bikes, and other equipment.  

DSU's Dr. Francine Edwards Wins Mrs. Delaware USA Pageant

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DSU’s Dr. Francine Edwards, an associate professor of Mass Communications, is now representing the First State and the University as the 2012 Mrs. Delaware USA. DSU's Dr. Francine Edwards is crowned the 2012 Mrs. Delaware USA by outgoing Mrs. Delaware USA Angie Bell at the end of the May 11 pageant. Dr. Edwards, who primarily teaches public relations, found out that two times was the charm and the victory, as she won the Mrs. Delaware USA Pageant held on May 11 at Everett Meredith High School in Middletown. The previous year she came close, finishing as the first runner-up. The 43-year-old wife and mother noted that it was a challenge competing against eight other women in their 20s and 30s. “You never know what the judges are looking for,” Dr. Edwards said. “After finishing first runner-up the previous year, when you get that close and when you want to do it for the right reasons, you know that you have a good chance.” For Dr. Edwards, the “right reason” was to address the need for more role models who value marriage and family while balancing that with career responsibilities. “I am not perfect, but I have committed myself to my family and have been able to find a balance between that commitment and my happiness in my career,” Dr. Edwards said. “I have to invest as much time in the marriage as I do in work; I still have to be there for my husband and my children.” While clearly an attractive woman, Dr. Edwards said she liked the Mrs. Delaware USA Pageant because it doesn’t just focus on beauty. “This pageant values intelligence, and there is also an emphasis on service.” Dr. Edwards said her platform for the pageant was titled “Blended and Blessed; Stepparent Support,” a platform she was already well-versed in. She is the wife of Micah Edwards, and she is the mother of two (Tyler, 6 and the only girl; and Joshua, 2) and the stepmother of two others (Jordan, 14, and Madison, 11). Throughout the year leading up to the pageant she worked her platform by meeting with other stepparents one-on-one and in small groups to discuss the challenges of raising step-children and help them talk through some solutions to issues. “As I stepparent, I have found that you have to work on communicating,” Dr. Edwards said. “You have to focus on the children and not on the issues that the two parents might have.”    The pageant contest categories included: the interview, evening gown, fitness and on-stage question. She had the highest score in the interview (where she was able to share the work she had done on her platform) and fitness categories. Dr. Edwards said in the excitement of winning, she never found out how well she scored on the on-stage question: “If you were married for 25 years, what advice would you give a newly married couple?” Dr. Edwards said that she hopes her accomplishment shows her students that it's good to get out of one's comfort zone to learn and grow. In her answer, she used some sibling wisdom. “My sister is celebrating her 25th anniversary next month and she would say to keep the lines of communication open, put Christ first in your marriage and keep each other laughing” As the 2012-2013 Mrs. Delaware USA, Dr. Edwards said that she will continue to promote her platform as well as to promote literacy. “I also want to recruit more minority women for the pageant,” Dr. Edwards said. “I would love to see a diverse pool year after year, because it would represent the world that we live in.” Dr. Edwards, a native of Landover, Md., has been a DSU mass communications faculty member since 2006. As an associate professor who focuses on the public relations discipline, Dr. Edwards said her pageant accomplishment is reflective of what she teaches her students.  “I tell them that we market ourselves every single day,” she said. “I want to present myself as genuine, knowledgeable about whatever I am talking about, and always understand that the first impression is a lasting impression. When I go into the classroom every day that is how I try to present myself.” She hopes the take-away for her students from her Mrs. Delaware USA title is that you can accomplish anything you want to. “But sometimes you needs to step outside of comfort zone to learn and grow,” Dr. Edwards said. “Entering the pageant was new to me, and it gave me a way to grow and learn as a role model.”  

DSU Shines at Small Business Administration Awards Gala

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(L-r) Lillie Crawford, director of the DSU Center for Enterprise Development; Dr. Shelton Rhodes, dean of the DSU College of Business; and Nick Callazzo, DSU adjunct instructor, hold the awards they were presented by the Delaware District of the Small Business Administration.

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Two Delaware State University faculty members and a dean were honored by the Delaware District of the Small Business Administration (DSBA) during its 2012 Small Business Week Awards Gala. Tony Leta, Delaware SBA director, presents Outstanding Advocacy Award to Dr. Shelton Rhodes, dean of the DSU College of Business. The DSBA presented awards to DSU’s Dr. Shelton Rhodes, Lillie Crawford, and Nick Callazzo during a May 14 event held at the Executive Banquet and Conference Center near Newark, Del. Dr. Shelton Rhodes, dean of the College of Business, was presented the DSBA Outstanding Advocacy of Small Business Award. Dr. Rhodes was recognized for DSU’s creation of a College of Business Advisory Board that seeks input on how the University can better meet the needs of the Delaware business community; for reaching out to the DSBA, AstraZeneca, DuPont, and veterans’ business organizations to partner on veterans’ business initiatives; and other endeavors, said Tony Leta, DSBA director, who presented the award. “His community outreach has raised the profile of Delaware State in the small business community and positioned it as a leading player in Delaware’s economic growth,” Mr. Leta said. “Under his leadership, Delaware State is walking the walk for small business.” Lillie Crawford, director of the DSU Center for Enterprise Development, received the DSBA Minority Small Business Champion of the Year Award for the state and the region. She was honored for her leadership of the center, along with the numerous outreach efforts and partnerships that have resulted under her watch. Nick Callazzo, adjunct instructor in the College of Business, was honored with the DSBA Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year Award for his renowned support of the small businesses throughout the region over the years.  

DSU Celebrates Mable Morrison's Honorary Doctorate

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DSU Department of Music, past and present turn out to honor Dr. Mable Morrison. (L-r) Randolph Johnson, Dr. Yvonne Johnson, Dr. Howard Brockington, Dr. Morrison, Dr. Lapointe Davis and Dr. Reppard Stone.

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It was a genuine celebration in which all were on one accord in their feelings about Dr. Mable Morrison, DSU’s latest honorary doctorate recipient. DSU President Harry L. Williams and his wife Dr. Robin Williams hosted a May 22 reception at the President’s Residence in celebration of her 50 years as a DSU music faculty member as well as the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters she received during the May 20 DSU Commencement ceremony Click on the below photo slideshow for images of the celebration, followed by more information about the event (and a vintage photo): The DSU president noted that never before had there been so many people in attendance at an event at the President’s residence during his two-year-plus tenure – clearly reflective of the love, admiration and The 1965 DSC Department of Music: (l-r) Beatrice Henry, Mable Morrison, Dr. Reppard Stone and Dr. Howard Brockington. respect the campus community has for Dr. Morrison. In addition to many of the present DSU community attended the celebration, the event also attracted many others from DSU past, such as former DSU President William B. DeLauder and his wife Vermell, former early 1960s music chair Dr. Reppard Stone, former 1960s to 1990s music chair Dr. Howard Brockington,  former dean and provost Kenneth Bell, former dean of students Gladys Motley, and many others. Dr. Morrison was presented with plaques and tributes from Department of Music, The College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, the Office of the Provost, as well as from the state House of Representatives, the state Senate and the Gov. Jack Markell. Thompson Hospitality provided lunch and a contingent of DSU music students and faculty member provided some jazz music.

DSU Faculty and Administrators Selected for AACU Summer Institute

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The AACU's Summer Institute is designed to help faculty and administrators to develop plans to integrate major programs with general education and to assess broad  student learning outcomes within individual departments and majors.

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Seven faculty members and administrators from Delaware State University have been selected to take part in the American Colleges and Universities’ “Summer Institute on Integrative Learning and the Departments” from July 11-15 in Burlington, Vt. Among the DSU contingent attending the Summer Institute are: Genevieve Tighe, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs/Institutional Effectiveness; Phyllis Brooks-Collins, director of Academic Enrichment; Dr. Rebecca Fox-Lykens, director of the DSU Center for Teaching and Learning; Dr. Joe Amoako, interim chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages; Dr. Andrew Lloyd, associate professor of biological sciences; Dr. Aristides Marcano, associate research professor of physics; and Dr. Niklas Robinson, assistant professor of history and political science. This Summer Institute is designed for colleges and universities interested in building faculty and departmental leadership for essential 21st century learning – knowledge of multiple disciplines, inquiry and critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and particularly, integrative learning. The institute helps institutions develop plans to integrate major programs with general education, and to assess broad student learning outcomes within individual departments and majors. Among the 18 institutions of higher education with teams in attendance, DSU will be joined by several other Historically Black Colleges & Universities. AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,250 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, and universities of every type and size. AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education at both the national and local levels and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

United Baptist Convention of Del. Establishes Book Scholarship

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Dr. Lonnie E. Rector, president of the United Baptist Convention of Del., and its representatives Rev. Herbert  J. Owens Sr., Mildred F. Mosley, Rev. Gilbert S. Hamm Sr., Rev. Beryl S. Yancey, and Dr. Samuel Richardson III, join DSU President Harry L. Williams in celebrating the establishment of the Rev. Tommie Lee Brown Memorial Book Scholarship.

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A Baptist organization has joined Delaware State University in its effort to keep education affordable. The United Baptist Convention of Delaware (UBCD) has established a $16,410 Rev. Tommie Lee Brown Memorial Book Scholarship endowment to help Delaware State University students who are part of the organization’s member Baptist churches. Dr. Lonnie E. Rector, president of the UBCD and pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Newark, along with a delegation from the Baptist organization paid a visit to DSU President Harry L. Williams at his office to celebrate the endowment. The UBCD president said it is appropriate for the Baptist church organization in Delaware to support DSU. “When I was in South Carolina, I was accustomed to working with black colleges there,” Dr. Rector said. “When I arrived to Delaware, I noticed that we weren’t supporting our (HBCU) college here in Delaware as we should.” He added that a book scholarship is much needed as it is a big challenge for students to cover the cost of expensive college textbooks. “Making a financial contribution to DSU helps students to focus on the intended purpose of higher education, which is to achieve academically rather than having to constantly worry about how they can afford to stay in college,” Dr. Rector said. “Together, we can make this happen.” The late Rev. Tommie Lee Brown, the namesake of the scholarship, was pastor of New Hope Baptist Church and served two tenures as president of the UBCD, the last of which ended with his passing in 2002. UBCD officials note that Rev. Brown had a passion for learning, and therefore the scholarship was a good way to memorialize his leadership.

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