November 2013


College of Agriculture & Related Sci. Awarded $1.5M in USDA Grants.

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Dr. Jung-lim Lee, assistant professor of human ecology, received an almost $600,000 grant to help him develop new curriculum in genomics.

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The DSU College of Agriculture and Related Sciences has announced the recent awarding of about $1.5 million from USDA’s Capacity Building Grants (SBG)program. These competitive awards will either create new or enhance existing programs in support of the land-grant mission, which integrates teaching, research and extension activities. “USDA is a major partner of the land-grant university system nationally,” says Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences. “The CBG funding will help DSU train students to become future food and agricultural scientific professionals that the nation will need.” The CBG program also aims to strengthen partnerships among the 1890 institutions, other colleges and universities, USDA, and private industry; and to enhance the quality of land-grant programs at the 1890 institutions to more readily establish them as full partners in the U.S. food and agricultural sciences higher education system. The grants were awarded for teaching, extension and research at DSU are as follows: Teaching $599,993 awarded to Jung-lim Lee, assistant professor of human ecology, for his grant titled, Empowering the Next Generation of Food and Nutrition Scientists through  Genomics. This grant will fund the development of new curriculum that will teach genomics. $149,959 awarded jointly to Qian Jia, assistant professor of human ecology and Carol Giesecke, Didactic Program director and State FCS Extension Program Leader, for their grant titled, Developing a Coordinated Program in Dietetics at DSU. The funding will provide scholarships for students engaged in this discipline, assist in the implementation of a recruitment strategy for undergraduate students, and enable the exploration of practice opportunities necessary for the program. Cooperative Extension $237,199 awarded to Andy Wetherill, Small Farm educator, for his grant titled, Expanding Agribusiness Opportunities to Underserved Urban Communities using Cooperative Extension Programs $249,974 awarded to Dennis McIntosh, State Aquaculture specialist, for his grant titled, Delaware State University Mobile Meat Processing Lab (Mmpl) Curriculum Development and Implementation. Research $299,938 awarded to Stephen Lumor, assistant professor of human ecology, for his granttitled, Optimization Of Physicochemical and Sensory Properties Of Reduced-Cholesterol Butter and Cheese. The studies in this area will ehance the research capability of the Food Chemistry program, as the funds will enable the purchase of additional lab equipment and give student more hands-on experience.

The Drama "Nam" to be Performed at DSU Nov. 10-11

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"Nam" cast members (seated l-r) Henry Green (Gen. Chappie James), Terry Gregg (Lt. Commander Thomas Cutler), Mark Harris (Charles "Butch" Harmon), with playwright/director Dr. Donald A. Blakey above them.

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Delaware State University will present the dramatic production “Nam” that tells the story of a DSU connection to the Vietnam War, in 7 p.m. performances on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 10-11 in the Education & Humanities Theatre on campus. "Nam" is written and directed by DSU alumnus Dr. Donald A. Blakey.   The production is free and open to the public.   Musical play, written and directed by DSU alumnus Dr. Donald Blakey, tells the story of two Delaware State College students -- Larry Fletcher Potts and Charles "Butch" Harmon who, on a bet with each other, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp as officers after their 1969 DSC graduation. While both served in Vietnam, only one of them returned home alive.   Potts was in a reconnaisance plane that was shot down. He and other members of the flight survived and initially had radio contact with their unit. But ultimately Potts was missing in action. His remains were never found.   Dr. Blakey research this true story through correspondence from Potts, as well as by interviewing family members and the Charles "Butch" Harmon, who currently resides in Milford.   The cast of local actors include Delores Blakey, Ruth Shelton, Pat Randolph, Henry Greene, Terry Gregg, Rev. John Moore, Rev. Ted Henderson, Nina Spencer, Mark Harris and Robert White.  The production will also feature the music of the DSU Jazz Ensemble, which will perform nostalgic songs from artists such as Sam & Dave, Tina Turner, Tower of Power and others.

DSU's Dr. Eric Kmiec Named INBRE Program Director of Research

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Dr. Eric Kmiec, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry in the DSU's College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, becomes the first DSU scientist to be named as the director of Delaware INBRE Research.

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Dr. Eric B. Kmiec, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry within the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology at Delaware State University, has been named the director of research for the Delaware INBRE program, a statewide biomedical research initiative.   The purpose of the Delaware IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) is to create an inter-institutional biomedical research capability, by developing a statewide pipeline of capable and competitive biomedical research personnel who can successfully compete for biomedical research grants, funded by NIH and other agencies.   Dr. Kmiec, who currently serves as the principal investigator of the Delaware State University INBRE grant, will assume this post immediately. He will be the first director of research for Delaware INBRE at an institution outside of the University of Delaware.   Widely-recognized as a pioneer of gene editing—a technique in which synthetic DNA molecules are used to patch or repair mutations in human chromosomes—Dr. Eric Kmiec is head of the Laboratory of Chemical Genomics at Delaware State University. Prior to his arrival at DSU in 2011, Dr. Kmiec served as the founding director and eminent scholar of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research at Marshall University.   Dr. Kmiec’s research focus is molecular medicine and the development of molecular tools to diagnose human diseases, particularly orphan diseases. Since 1995, research in his laboratory has been supported by the National Institutes of Health in the form of R01 and R21 grants, respectively - the most widely-recognized and prestigious form of funding. He has also received funding from the High Q Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the Tobacco Research Institute, Pfizer, Napro Biotherapeutics and a variety of biotechnology companies.   He is a managing editor of Frontiers in Bioscience and is on the editorial boards of many journals including BioEssays. Dr. Kmiec has authored over 140 peer-reviewed journal publications in highly respected journals and has edited several books on gene therapy. He has more than 30 issued patents or patent applications to his credit and has founded several biotechnology companies. His most recent company, OrphageniX Inc., a biotechnology company located in Delaware, focuses on gene editing in inherited diseases such as Sickle Cell Disease.   Dr. Kmiec said he is honored to be chosen to lead this aspect of the Delaware INBRE program, and noted that he will strive to meet the high bar of excellence and achievement set by Dr. Stanhope.   “Biomedical research has evolved into a multi-disciplinary approach and as such, we will take advantage of and expand our expertise in biophysics and imaging by coupling them with the more traditional biological pathways of discovery,” Dr. Kmiec said. “Such confluence of expertise will create an exciting innovative environment for breakthrough research.”   “We are very fortunate to have Dr. Kmiec leading Delaware INBRE's Developmental Research Project Program,” commented Dr. Steven Stanhope, PI of the Delaware INBRE grant.   Dr. Nicholas Petrelli, member of the INBRE Steering Committee, had this to say of the appointment: “Dr. Kmiec's research experience and his track record in mentoring young investigators to be successful researchers will be a tremendous asset to INBRE. I know the INBRE Research Committee looks forward to working with him and getting INBRE to the next level."   “Delaware is very fortunate to have in Dr. Eric Kmiec a great scientist, a transformative leader, wealth of academic experience and an effective mentor,” said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, DSU’s VP for Research, professor and dean for the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology. “These attributes will serve the NIH INBRE program well and as a result all the DE institutions involved in it.  I am confident that the DE INBRE program is set to reach new highs.” Dr. Melikechi is also a member of the INBRE Steering Committee.  

DSU Counseling Center Holds a Domestic Violence Conference

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(L-r) Andre Gipson, Tiphany Starky and Lauren Boyd, along with other DSU students presented a skit during the conference on how alcohol abuse and bad decisions concerning intimacy can lead to domestic violence.

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DSU students received guidance in some of the pitfalls of social life and intimacy during a Nov.7 “Love Shouldn’t Hurt” Domestic Violence Conference in the MLK Student Center on campus. Paulette Sullivan Moore, vice president of the National Network  to End Domestic Violence, was the conference's keynote speaker. The four-hour conference – which was sponsored by the DSU Counseling Center – included spoken word and dramatic skit performances, a student’s personal domestic violence story, a panel discussion and information about the SARA (Sexual Abuse Response Advocate) Program. The students also heard from keynote speaker  Paulette Sullivan Moore, a Wilmington attorney and the vice president of public policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Ms. Moore leads that organization’s work with Congress and the Obama Administration to support, implement and fund laws, policies and programs that promote safety for victims of domestic violence, as well as provide guidance for the systems designed to assist the and appropriate societal responses for perpetrators of such crimes. “Yesterday’s event was an awareness and prevention program to help our campus community understand the issues around violence in general and intimate partner violence in particular,” said Ralph Robinson, DSU director of Counseling. “Education is power and we want our students to know the facts so that they can make informed decisions about their behavior when it comes to relationships.” Mr. Robinson commended Pauline Meek, DSU counselor, her assistant Silver Debrick, and Candice Moore, director of the DSU International Students Office, for putting together the conference, as well as all others who participated.

Dr. Teri Q. Gray, Del. STEM Council Co-Chair, to speak at DSU Nov. 14

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Delaware State University will welcome Dr. Teri Quinn Gray, president of the Delaware State Board of Education and co-chair of the Delaware STEM Council, as a guest speaker at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 in the second-floor classroom auditorium (room 223) of the Mishoe Science Center South.     Dr. Teri Quinn Gray   The event – which is part of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology’s Dean’s Distinguished Speakers Series – is free and open to the public.   Dr. Gray is New Product Commercialization manager & Six Sigma consultant with DuPont Crop Protection where she leads cross-functional teams that span Asia, Europe, Latin and North Americas.   She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Education Delivery Institute, serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of Delaware, and on the Committee of Distinguished Advisors to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Dr. Gray is chair of the American Chemical Society Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board and consultant with the ACS Women Chemist Committee.    She’s a native of Jackson, Mississippi where she graduated magna cum laude from Jackson State University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. She earned a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park and worked as National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Standards & Technology prior to joining DuPont in 1997.

DSU Named The Top 1890 Land-Grant University of the Year

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The award was given at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Annual Meeting on November 11 in Washington D.C.

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The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) has named Delaware State University as the 1890 Land-Grant Institution of the Year, and also presented DSU with the 1890 Land-Grant Research Award. Dr. John Michael Lee, vice president of the APLU's Office of Success and Access, presents the 1890 Land-Grant Institution of the Year Award to Provost Alton Thompson and Dr. Dyremple Marsh, who both accept the honor on behalf of DSU. The University received the awards during the 126th APLU Annual Meeting on Nov. 11 in Washington, D.C., during which the organization held its inaugural 1890 Land-Grant Universities Teaching, Research and Innovation Awards ceremony. The 14 award categories included:  retention, degree completion, agriculture degree completion, education degree completion, STEM degree completion, intellectual property, innovation, research, international research, experiential student learning, international students, international student development, alumni engagement, and exemplary alumni. The Land-Grant University of the Year Award was given for the best overall performance in each category from 2011-2013. DSU scored the highest of all 1890 Land-Grant institutions for being the only university in the top three in nine out of the 14 categories. DSU President Harry L. Williams said the 1890 Land-Grant University of the Year Award is reflective of the growing mindset that DSU is striving to be the best. “We have a lot of people here – administrators, faculty, staff and students – who have embraced the vision that we can become the No. 1 HBCU in the country and are expressing that belief through their hard work day in and day out,” Dr. Williams said. “As long as we continue to put our best institutional foot forward, DSU will continue to receive honors like this.”  DSU also garnered the Research Award for its 129 percent increase in total federal research funding between 2012 and 2013. “DSU’s success in obtaining such grants demonstrates the significant and intentional growth in our research and innovation enterprise by our talented faculty in focused lines of scientific inquiry at the federal level” said Dr. Alton Thompson, DSU provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “While receiving the Research Award is an honor for the University, it also shows that DSU’s expectations with respect to its research activities are at an all-time high, and we will continue to push the boundaries of knowledge that benefit Delawareans and people across the globe.”

DSU Bands' Activities Suspended as Result of Ongoing Investigation

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Delaware State University has suspended the activities of all band music groups while the institution carries out an investigation of alleged hazing.   The suspension of all band performances – including those of the DSU Approaching Storm Marching Band, the DSU Jazz Ensembles, the Concert Band and the Pep Bands – encompasses all scheduled engagements throughout the remainder of the 2013 fall semester, including the University’s final home football game on Nov. 23.   Decisions concerning band activities during the 2014 spring semester will not be made until the conclusion of the ongoing investigation, which the University is conducting in conjunction with the DSU Police Department.   Dr. Alton Thompson, DSU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said that, as always, student safety is a paramount priority at DSU.   “The University takes these allegations of hazing very seriously, and as such, taking action immediately to suspend the band activities and thoroughly investigate the veracity of the charges is the only appropriate course,” Dr. Thompson said.   That action is in accordance with established University policy that requires an organization to be suspended while there is an ongoing investigation in connection with its activities and actions.   While the band performance activities are suspended, music-related academic classes will continue to take place.  

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