March 2014


DSU Fan Mixer at 2014 MEAC Tourney -- Photo Slideshow

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In addition to dancing and eating, the DSU Gospel Choir thrilled the Fan Mixer gathering in Norfolk, Va., with their spirited a cappella rendition of "Ride on King Jesus."

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The DSU Hornet basketball teams might have exited early in the 2014 MEAC Tournament, but you would not have known it by the Del State spirit exhibited at the March 14 DSU Fan Mixer event in the Norfolk Plaza, in Norfolk, Va. For images from the DSU Fan Mixer, click on the below photo slideshow:

Charles Ogletree, Obama mentor, to be May Commencement Speaker

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Charles Ogletree, a prominent legal theorist and a former law professor of both President Barack Obama and his wife Michele, has written a number of books on race and justice.

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Delaware State University will feature Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., prominent legal theorist, civil rights attorney, mentor to President Barack Obama and author, as the keynote speaker                 Charles J. Ogletree Jr. of the 2014 Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 11.   The 10 a.m. Commencement will be held outdoors at DSU’s Alumni Stadium (weather permitting).   Charles Ogletree, a Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law.   Both President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were students of Professor Ogletree when they attended Harvard Law School. He has continued to be a close friend of the First Couple and a confidant for the chief executive on a number of issues.   Professor Ogletree is the author of several important books on race and justice, including The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America (2010); his historical memoir All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education (2004); Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities (1995), as well as others.   Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, Calif., where he attended public schools. He earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.   DSU President Harry L. Williams said that the University is excited that Professor Ogletree will be this year's May Commencement keynote speaker. He also expressed the University's appreciation to two DSU alumni, Frank and Mary Marshall, who are friends of Mr. Ogletree and were instrumental in his acceptance of the invitation to speak at the graduation.

DSU Board of Trustees Approves New Campus Master Plan

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The Board of Trustees approved the latest Campus Master Plan at its March 20 regular meeting.

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The DSU Board of Trustees has approved a new Campus Master Plan that will govern the physical growth of the University over the next 10-20 years.   The Campus Master Plan (CMP) was approved during the board’s March 20 regular quarterly meeting.   The newest CMP is designed to both address the University’s immediate needs while also outlining a set of long-term physical growth and existing building improvement recommendations in support of the University’s Mission Statement and Strategic Plan and consistent with the academic quality of the institution.   The CMP consists of: 1.) “Emerging Urgencies” building projects to be launched within the next five years; 2.) a Mid-Term Plan for building projects over the next 6-10 years; and 3.) a Long-Term Plan for the next 10-20 years.   One of the “Emerging Urgencies” has already begun with the start earlier this year of the construction of the first phase of the Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) Building.   Also within the next five years, the CMP calls for the construction of a building that will house the University’s new Early College High School, as well as its Department of Education and its Health Services. Once this new building is complete, the University will then turn its attention to renovating the existing Education and Humanities Building.   The Mid-Term and Long-Term aspects of the CMP – encompassing the next 6-20 years – call for the construction of several new academic and department buildings, which would include labs and offices.   Dr. Claibourne D. Smith, chair of the DSU Board of Trustees, said that it is important to ensure DSU's facilities – current and future – are supported and maintained in order to carry out the University’s Mission Statement and Strategic Plan. As such, he said, the Campus Master Plan will be an essential tool to inform the decision-making by the board and the administration over the next two decades.   “This updated Campus Master Plan has input from all sectors of the University, including faculty, staff, students and the community,” Dr. Smith said. “Also, this plan is designed to be evergreen, making it flexible and subject to changing circumstances.”   DSU President Harry L. Williams noted that the growth of DSU is expected to continue.   “This must include provisions for the growth of the campus facilities,” Dr. Williams said. “This Campus Master Plan will guide us in infrastructure improvements that will accommodate the projected increases in enrollment, the new academic offerings that will be added, and the University’s commitment to enhance campus life and its educational experience.”   The CMP Executive Committee was chaired by Amir Mohammadi, executive vice president and University Treasurer. Serving with him on the Executive Committee were:   Wes Perkins, Board of Trustees member and chair of the Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee Dr. Alton Thompson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, advisor to the CMP Committee and chair of the Strategic Planning Committee Bernice Whaley, deputy director, Delaware Economic Development Office Dr. Teresa Hardee, vice president for Finance and Administration Noureddine Melikechi, vice president for research, innovation and economic development, and dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology Kemal Atkins, vice president for Student Affairs Tom Preston, general counsel Dr. Bradley Skelcher, associate provost Zafar Chaudhry, associate vice president Denese Lindsey, associate vice president Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences Terrell Holmes, registrar Dr. Chandra Aleong, Faculty Senate Finance Committee member Dr. Charlie Wilson, chair of the Faculty Senate (2011-2012) Jessica Horton, SGA president (2011-2012) Shelbe Hudson, SGA president (2012-2013)

Rape Documentary to be Screened with Filmmaker at DSU March 24

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Delaware State University will present a film screening of NO! The Rape Documentary and a discussion with filmmaker Aishah Shahidah Simmons at 7 p.m. Monday, March 24 in   Aishah Shahidah Simmons the upstairs parlor of the Martin Luther King Student Center on campus. The event – sponsored by the DSU College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – is free and open to the public. Aishah Shahidah Simmons – the producer, writer, and director of the film – is an award-winning African-American feminist lesbian independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist based in Philadelphia, Pa. She is presently an adjunct faculty member in the Women’s Studies and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Studies programs at Temple University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, which examine the her/histories and contemporary realities of cisgender women and/or LGBT people – as well as those who question their gender – in all of their diversity. Her classes include unique courses such as Gay and Lesbian Lives, Audre Lorde: The Life and Work of a Silence Breaker, and Graduate Introduction to Feminist Studies.  She has also moderated and participated on several Temple University sponsored roundtables and panels; personally inviting and hosting a wide range of nationally and internationally renowned scholars, cultural workers, filmmakers and activists to be a part of the events. Ms. Simmons is currently an Erma Taylor O’Brien Distinguished Visiting Professor at Scripps College during their spring semester of the 2013-2014 academic year.

John Ridgeway '75 Named DSU's Distinguished MEAC Alum

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John Ridgeway, DSC Class of 1975, is shown (center) posing with his Alumni of the Year Award along with a couple of MEAC officials after receiving the award on March 13.

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DSU alumnus John Ridgeway recently added a new honor to his list of life achievements as he was recognized by the Mid-Eastern Athletics Conference (MEAC) as the DSU Alumni of the Year. The Conference annually recognizes Alumni of the Year honorees from all of its member institutions during its MEAC Basketball Tournament, which this year took place in Norfolk, Va. Ridgeway was recognized along with the other honorees, during halftime of the March 13 evening men’s quarterfinal games. Ridgeway earned his bachelor’s degree from then-Delaware State College in 1975.  For more than 10 years, he has served on DSU’s Business Advisory Council for the College of Business and as chair until March 2013. He is an inducted member of the DSU College of Business Hall of Fame. He serves as the Corporate Manager of Toyota Financial Services (TFS) in Owings Mills, Maryland.  His primary responsibility is managing over 350 associates, who provide services to both Toyota and Lexus customers and approximately 1,100 dealers on the East Coast. John has over 30-years of executive management experience in operations. He is responsible for charitable giving in the area and championed launching the Kaizen continuous improvement programs at TFS. In the community, John supports ongoing TFS community service initiatives in the Baltimore area. Some of these initiatives include Northwest Hospital Cancer Center, Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore, and Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland.  John is a lifetime member of the DSU Alumni Association, a member of the DSUAA Alumni Legacy Hall of Fame and has been recognized by the New Castle County (DE) Chapter of the DSUAA. In addition to supporting his alma mater, he has supported several HBCUs to include Bowie State University, Coppin State University, and Morgan State University. He currently serves on the president’s Advisory Council for Stevenson University in Stevenson, Md.  John is a member of Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc. and chairs the organization’s philanthropic arm, the Groove Fund. Over the past two years, he has supported the efforts of Groove Phi Groove to award $50K to Morgan State and 25K to Delaware State. He also holds memberships in--and has been recognized by--several other professional organizations, including the Union Masonic Lodge #21, Boys & Girls Club of Baltimore, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and the Monday Club of Wilmington, Del. He is also a NAACP lifetime member.  

DSU Signs Cooperation Agreement with Celel Univ. of Turkey

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(L-r) Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, Amir Mohammadi, Dr. Anjan Biswas, Dr. Fengshan Liu, DSU President Harry L. Williams; Celal Bayar University delegation: CBU President Mehmet Pakdemirli, Dr. Ersel Obuz, Dr. Yunus Ozdemir; and DSU's Dr. Fengshan Liu.

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Delaware State University has expanded its international possibility through the launching of a new relationship with Celal Bayar University (CBU) of Manisa, Turkey. DSU President Harry L. Williams presents a DSU shirt to CBU President Mehmet Pakdemirli. DSU President Harry L. Williams joined CBU President Mehmet Pakdemirli in jointly signing a Memorandum of Cooperation between the two institutions of higher education on March 24. The agreement, signed at DSU, opens the door for possible joint research and teaching activities, faculty and student exchanges, collaborations in business, administration, sciences and education, and the exchange of pedagogical material.

3rd Annual Inspired Day of Service -- Photo Slideshow

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DSU students are shown hard at work at the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford, one of seven sites in the state where Delaware State University made its community service presence known on March 29 during the University's annual Inspired Day of Service outreach.

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About 250 DSU students spread out throughout the state on the morning and afternoon of Saturday, March 29 to do community service work as part of the 3rd annual Inspired Day of Service. For images of the students at work, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by more information about the outreach effort:   The students did community service in all three counties of the state at the following locations: the A.I. DuPont Middle School in Greenville, the Bellevue Community Center and the West End Neighborhood House (both) in Wilmington, the Brandywine Counseling Center in Newark, the Simon Circle Boys & Girls Club in Dover, the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford, and First State Community Action in Georgetown. U.S. Sen. Tom Carper showed up at the Bellevue site to give the students some encouragement as well as lend a helping hand. Not only did DSU President Harry L. Williams show up to put in some work with the students at the Simon Circle and Food Bank sites, but so did his family – DSU First Lady Dr. Robin Williams and their two sons, Austin and Gavin. The work included cleaning, painting, gardening and minor renovation work. While the annual Inspired Day of Service was created as a way for DSU Inspire Scholarship students to work off some of their required community service hours, many other students who are do not have such a requirement also participate in the outreach.

DSU Showcases Research on Capitol Hill -- Photo Slideshow

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U.S. Sen. Tom Carper greets Dr. Marsha Horton, interim dean of the College of Education, Health & Public Policy, at the DSU Research Showcase held March 6 on Capitol Hill.

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Delaware State University hosted its second annual Research Showcase for the Delaware Congressional Delegation and Staff on March 6, demonstrating how federal grants are enabling DSU researchers to tackle some of our science’s most challenging issues.  At the event at the Capitol Visitors Center -- attended by both Delaware's U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons -- DSU researchers highlighted research in diverse areas such as optics, molecular genetics, economic development, cyber security, energy and movement science. For images from the event, click on the below photo slideshow:

Two Students Win iPads, Two More Remain for Survey Completion

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Elaine Johnson, a senior from Baltimore, Md, was the first student to win an iPad for completing the National Survey for Student Engagement. She receives the technology prize from Genevieve Tighe, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs/Institutional Effectiveness, and DSU President Harry L. Williams. The University has given away two iPads, and will give away two more after April 8.

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Two DSU students have been rewarded with new iPads Airs for completing the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and two more will be given away. Leslie Ebert, a DSU senior, also won an iPad for participating in the NSSE.   Elaine Johnson, a senior movement science major from Baltimore, Md., and Leslie Ebert, a senior nursing major from Wilmington, are the first two recipients of the 32 GB iPads.   DSU students still have a chance to win one of two more iPad that will be given away to a couple of lucky students who take the time to complete the NSSE. The survey collects information about the students’ participation in programs and activities designed to impact their learning and personal development.   Students at DSU have until April 8 to complete the survey and be eligible to win one of the iPads. For instructions on how to access the survey, students should refer to the March emails sent from DSU President Harry L. Williams about the NSSE.   “DSU is thankful to each student who has provided valuable feedback on our programs by completing the NSSE Survey,” said Genevieve Tighe, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs/Institutional Effectiveness.   Two more winners will be selected from among the students who complete the survey by April 8, 2014.  Students who started the survey, but did not complete it, still have time to finish the survey by that date.  

DSU to Present Shaolin Jazz on March 18-19

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Shaolin Jazz will present a fusion of hip-hop, jazz and art during two days of events.

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A fusion of jazz, hip-hop and art will take place as Delaware State University presents Shaolin Jazz – The 37th Chamber from Washington D.C. on March 18-19. Gerald Watson, creator of Shaolin Jazz The Shaolin Jazz events – which are free and open to the public – will consist of: A Shaolin Jazz public workshop at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 18 in the Education & Humanities Theatre on campus. A Shaolin Jazz art show from 4:30-6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18 in the Art Center/Gallery in the William C. Jason Library on campus. A Shaolin Jazz concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 in the Education & Humanities Theatre. Conceived by Gerald Watson and produced by DJ 2-Tone Jones, Shaolin Jazz – The 37th Chamber is a testament to the stylistic connection between both jazz and hip-hop. It is a mix project whereby various jazz songs and breaks are fused with a cappella and vocal samples from the iconic hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. The music and lyrics are astutely crafted to match both in cadence and tone, with the jazz selections used also to help further accentuate the essence and intensity of the Clan. The initial inspiration for Shaolin Jazz came by way of graphic designer Logan Walters, who recreated a series of Wu-Tang album covers to resemble those of earlier Blue Note and Impulse Jazz album covers. Much like albums by Digable Planets, Buckshot LeFonque, and Guru’s Jazzmatazz series, Shaolin Jazz is a work of art that not only re-emphasizes the greatness of the artists involved, but serves to further the connection between jazz and hip-hop, while also educating those unfamiliar about both genres. The artists hope that fans of hip-hop will have a better understanding of the origins of the music they enjoy, while jazz aficionados gain more of an appreciation for various aspects of hip-hop.

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