August 2013

DSU Appoints Dr. Judi Coffield First Director of Early College HS

Delaware State University has established the top leadership of its planned Early College High School with the hiring of Dr. Judi L. Coffield.                    Dr. Judi L. Coffield   Dr. Coffield will serve as the director of the public charter school that is slated to open in September 2014.   A resident of Magnolia, Del., Dr. Coffield comes to the new post after serving for two years as the director of K-12 services in the Christina School District in New Castle County, Del. Prior to that she was a policy analyst/executive director and education associate for middle/high school support for the Delaware State Board of Education from 2004-2011. She also served as an instructional technology supervisor for K-12 for the Red Clay School District in New Castle County from 2000-2004.   Her education career – which began in 1988 – also has included teaching stints in the Red Clay School District, Capital School District, Lake Forest School District, overseas in the Department of Defense Dependents School, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware and the University of Pennsylvania.   She has a 1986 Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from West Liberty State College in West Virginia, a 1996 Master of Instruction from the University of Delaware, and a 2006 Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Delaware. She also has certificates in Introductory and Advanced Educational Technology from Delaware Technical & Community College.   Dr. Coffield will lead the organization of the new charter school in preparation for its opening next fall.   The planned charter high school will be the state’s first Early College High School, which will be designed specifically to serve first generation college-bound students. The Early College High School is a nationally recognized school design brought to Delaware through a partnership between Innovative Schools, a Delaware-based nonprofit public school support organization, and EdWorks, a nationally known consultant that specializes in high school innovations.   The University will blend the Early College Charter High School with its existing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiative.

DSU Neuroscience Program Receives New $433,645 Research Grant

DSU’s Neuroscience Research Program has been awarded a three-year, $433,645 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Melissa Harrington will give some of her students hands-on experience in the spinal motor neurons research the grant is funding. The grant is an Academic Research Enhancement Award that will fund DSU’s research into the development of spinal motor neurons – the nerve cells that drive contractions of skeletal muscle.   Dr. Melissa Harrington, DSU professor of biological sciences and director of the joint DSU/UD Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research, is the principal investigator of the research grant. She said that two graduate students and one undergraduate student will work with her on the research.   Dr. Harrington’s lab will use electrophysiology to measure the activity of motor neurons and confocal imaging to visualize motor neuron synapses.  These experiments will help determine what neurotransmitter is released at synapses formed by motor neurons on other neurons, and investigate how contact with muscle cells and the formation of neuromuscular junctions influence which neurotransmitter is released.   It is hoped, in turn, that the findings will lead to new insights into the pathophysiology of neuromuscular disorders, including developmental motor neuron diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy and muscular dystrophy.   This research will build on previous published work by Dr. Harrington’s lab concerning motor neurons.  

DSU's Renovated Conrad Cafeteria Unveiled


Tara Kazirim, Conrad head chef, shows the new "Action Island" to Dr. Stacey Downing, associate vice president for Student Affairs.

The Conrad Hall Cafeteria has been renovated and is ready for the incoming students for the fall semester 2013. Aramark, the University’s contracted food service provider, gave University officials a tour of the remade facility, which will complement the Village Café facility located on the (L-r) Tara Kazirim, Conrad head chef, tells Phillip Holmes, interim director of Housing and Residential Education, about the new features of the cafeteria. In the center is Jeff Mulveny, assistant director of Conrad. southeast end of the campus. A new “Action Island” has been installed that will include a soup station, a deli station and salad bar. Tara Kazimir, Conrad head chef, noted that Aramark operates a four-menu cycle that will ensure that Conrad and the Village Café will always have different menus from each other each day. She added that there will be a “Soul Food Night” once a week at both locations, featuring food staples such as fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, beans (red and black-eyed) greens, and other items. The Conrad Cafeteria will be open from 12-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.