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Tim Pierpont

Tim Pierpont Graduate student and PhD candidate, Cornell University Biology, 2007   DSU: What made you decide to major in your field of study? TIM: Actually, I couldn’t decide between art or biology when I was registering, so I had taken the freshmen classes required for both. I was amazed how much we already knew about the most fundamental processes of life. Through the first semester I became pretty enthralled with learning more about it and I started to realize that the subject is inescapably relevant to me personally as well as every other living organism on the planet. I decided I wanted to keep learning more and while I’m still amazed about how much has been discovered in the field, I’m now excited about how much more there is left unknown.   DSU: What was your experience like as a student at DSU? What memories do you have from your time on campus? TIM: I was a commuter, so most of my experiences at DSU were in the science building. Near the end of my degree, it felt like half of the Biology department was part of an extended family, both faculty and students. I made several good friends that I still try to stay in contact with. I also met some interesting people outside my field when I took Japanese for my language elective, including a few computer science majors who screened Japanese animation on the third floor of the science center and a music major who was part of a pretty good rock band. I’m sure I missed out on getting to know a lot of other really interesting people at DSU, but happy to have gotten to know all the ones I did. DSU really is as diverse as you would expect.   DSU: How were you involved as a student on campus? TIM: I participated as a supplemental instructor (or a teaching assistant) for both basic math and general biology. I also helped out as staff for the Delaware Brain Bee, which DSU hosted the last two years I was there. It was a pretty cool neuroscience-based open house and competition between some really smart Delaware high school students. I’m not sure if teaching is in my future, but it was rewarding to share what I knew with others at DSU.                DSU: What advice would you have for a student majoring in your field? TIM: Take your research experiences seriously and do your best to figure out what you’re actually trying to learn from your experiments, don’t just have some general idea. Take advantage of more than one research experience, and also presenting that research. Try hard to prepare and deliver a good presentation; even if it’s just for the practice, you’ll get better every time and it’s important to be decent at it. I’ve seen amazing data presented poorly and it can really change how your work is evaluated and interpreted by others. Obviously, grades can be important in this field; don’t let yourself earn too many bad ones, take them as serious as you need to for your goals. Finally, make sure you enjoy what you’re doing (most of the time). It is challenging work and very easy to lose motivation if you never find the fun in doing it.  

Yesenia Rosado

Yesenia Rosado  RN at Delaware Hospice, RN at Kent General Hospital Nursing, 2014   DSU: Why did you originally decide to come to DSU? YESENIA: DSU was not my first choice but it ended up being the best choice for me. I initially came to DSU because of the scholarships I was awarded through both academic and extracurricular activities. Financially, it was the best decision for me coming from a family with a single parent, and being a first generation college student I didn't want to be buried in debt. In the end I got an experience that I never expected! DSU: What was your experience like as a student at DSU? What memories do you have from your time on campus? YESENIA: The nursing major required time, hard work and dedication. And I knew I came to DSU to graduate in four years, so I made the necessary sacrifices to be able to achieve my overall goal. Some of the best memories that I have had at DSU have been due to the programs and events that were hosted by the many different organizations on campus. DSU: How were you involved as a student on campus? YESENIA: When I first arrived at DSU, I became involved by being the most school-spirited freshman. When I become a part of a community, I become the biggest cheerleader for that organization or community – and DSU was no different. I tried to become involved in the Student Government Association by running for freshman class president; I didn't win, but it was OK. I was involved in the Latino Student Association and later became a finer woman of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Through my sorority membership we hosted programs, fundraisers, attended community service events and outreach. I also became involved in the Student Nurses Association and became a mentor with connecting generations at Central Middle School and Dover High School. DSU: What advice would you have for a student majoring in nursing? YESENIA: Nursing is a very tough and demanding major which requires dedication and hard work. I would advise the incoming class of nursing majors to study hard, know when to have fun and make the necessary sacrifices now so that you can live later. Never become discouraged … once you make it through, being a nurse will be the most life-fulfilling job you have ever had.  

Alumni Welcome Home Breakfast

Alumni Welcome Home Breakfast

Please join us and fellowship with our alumni and their families at the newly renovated Conrad Hall

The DSU Office of Alumni Relations in partnership with former DSU Board of Trustees member and alumnus Norman Oliver invites you to the Alumni Welcome Home Breakfast for a pre-Homecoming game celebration.

Remarks by DSU President Dr. Harry L. Williams

Two ways to purchase tickets:

KaLonna Maull

KaLonna D. Maull  Supervisor, Perdue Farms Inc.'s Further Processing Department BS in Food and Nutritional Sciences, 2010 MS in Food Science, 2012   DSU: What made you decide to major in Food and Nutritional Sciences? KALONNA: I was interested in that major because (a younger family member) was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. My whole family’s focus was on that. At that time, diabetes wasn’t discussed as much, and we as a family had to learn about it. My mom was kind of devastated and I wanted to help her learn how a child with diabetes should deal with it. The biggest challenge is the monitoring of your diet, and that is a lot for a little kid.   DSU: What was your experience like once you started in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences? KALONNA: I had a great experience as an undergraduate. I was senior class president, and I wanted to work hard to help our students be involved. … Because we were at the back of the campus, and because some of our students commuted, sometimes we weren’t always as well-connected with what was going on with the rest of the campus. So I tried to make sure other students knew about things going on outside of the college. I had a great time in my college and my department.  One of my main goals was to give us more exposure. Many people on campus didn’t know we had a nutrition program in the college. DSU: What other activities were you involved in outside of your college? KALONNA: In addition to being senior class president, I was – and still am – a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. I was also a member of the Alpha Pi Honor Society, Food and Nutrition Club (FAN Club), DSU Chapter of the NAACP, as well as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). DSU: How would you describe your overall experience at DSU? KALONNA: Overall, it has not only given me two academic degrees, but also a degree in perseverance. It prepared me for life. As a result of my experience at DSU, I make sure I have all my things in line, especially concerning money. I learned the importance of saving documentation, which some students had a problem with. DSU has prepared me for the real world. It was also interesting to be a part of the then-new master’s degree program in Food Science. We were the first graduating class to do our research on campus (we previously did research at a USDA facility in Pennsylvania).  

Fifth Annual Holiday Dinner Dance

The Sussex County Alumni Chapter

Fifth Annual Holiday Dinner Dance and Scholarship Fundraiser

5:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 6, 2014

Millsboro Town Center
(formerly Millsboro Civic Center)
322 Wilson Highway • Millsboro, DE 19966

$45.00 per person

Tony Anderson

  Tony Anderson   Digital Journalist, BET Mass Communications, 2007   DSU: How did you first decide to come to Delaware State? TONY: Well, I had been accepted to a few colleges, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do coming out of high school. Like most young people, I didn’t really have much direction as to what my future would be. But my cousin had gone to Delaware State University. My father and I would go and pick her up from school, and every time we’d go there, it just looked like so much fun. She used to hate coming home and I just said, that’s the experience that I want.   DSU: So how did you end up in Mass Communications after not really knowing what you wanted to do? TONY: I was always the class clown, so I knew I wanted to do something in entertainment and television. When I first got to school, I was an undecided major, and I took television classes and computer classes.  One of my classmates asked me to host his on-campus television show. I had no experience, I didn’t know what I was doing, but I just did it. The show ended up becoming really popular and from there, we just caught the bug. We began to produce plays on campus and tape all of the events, and I started doing interviews with the students and putting them on the campus television show. Once it became popular on campus, our confidence grew. And from there, I just kept going with it. Then I switched my major to Mass Communications with a concentration in Television Production and then Broadcast Journalism.   DSU: Did your classwork translate to your current job? TONY: Absolutely. As a digital journalist at Black Entertainment Television, I shoot, edit, write and produce my own stories, all things that I had been doing during my time at Del State. A lot of the opportunities I had in the Mass Communications department led me to where I am today. For instance, my classmates and professors encouraged me to attend a conference held by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) my senior year. I was able to show people my reel – which was a collection of interviews I had done at Del State – and they were really interested in helping me. That’s how I landed my first gig at Channel One. If my peers in the Mass Communications department hadn’t urged me to attend the conference, I might not have been able to get my reel into the right hands. I really encourage all aspiring journalists to get to the NABJ conference at some point.    DSU: Do you have any other advice for incoming students? TONY: Take advantage of all the opportunities that are offered to you. Pick up a camera and shoot your own show – there aren’t a lot of places where you can get hands-on your freshman year – or go in after class and ask for some extra help. In my experience at DSU, everyone was more than willing to give it. My classmates and I would help out with each other’s television shows, work together in class, share advice and contacts. Our professors really noticed when we were putting the work in and would do everything they could to help us succeed.   

Ralph Wesley

Ralph Wesley   P.A. Announcer for the Washington Wizards Mass Communications, 2005   DSU: How did you originally decide to come to Delaware State? RALPH: I visited the campus while I was in high school; I believe it was 2000. I really wanted to see the Department of Mass Communications, and one of the students took us around the facility and showed us everything. When he told me that I could get hands-on with all of the video and audio equipment as soon as I got there, I was really excited. He also said that if I wanted to, it was possible to have my own show as a freshman. I loved the fact that I’d able to get my feet wet as soon as I stepped on campus.   DSU: Did you end up taking advantage of that? RALPH: Definitely. I was a bit shy when I first got to school, but I realized fairly quickly that there were a lot of other students in the same situation, with the same interests that I had. I talked to a few people, and a classmate invited me to come hang out with him at the on-campus radio station. He showed me the ropes and let me stand in for him a few times when he couldn’t make it. From there, I started getting involved in the television side. After getting involved in a few other shows, my friend and I launched our own sketch comedy show, “Consider the Following.” It was the first unscripted comedy show of its kind on campus.   DSU: What kind of reaction did the show get from your fellow students? RALPH: Everyone seemed to love the show. I think our classmates appreciated that there was programming put on by other students who took it seriously and were in tune with what the student population wanted to watch. They’d recognize us on campus and be really excited about the show. That was a great thing about Del State – all of the camaraderie. There’s a lot of diversity, students from all different walks of life, but since it’s a relatively small campus, everyone learns to work together and support each other. I think that’s something that’s pretty unique to DSU.   DSU: Did you have any other unique experiences at Delaware State? RALPH: One experience that really stands out in my mind is the one that got me started in public addressing work. I had mentioned to a few people that I was interested in becoming a PA announcer on campus, and I was put in touch with Dennis Jones, who oversaw that at the time. He took a few minutes to talk with me and invited me to come out to a baseball game and see what it was all about. Dennis gave me a few tips and told me to announce the batter’s name. I remember being really nervous, and I looked around at the few other people in the press box, who seemed shocked. I guess I did okay, because he had me start announcing the football games the following season!   DSU: So that was your first step toward becoming the voice of the Washington Wizards? RALPH: It was. The work I did as a PA announcer for the Del State sports teams definitely put me on the path toward my job today. In addition to working with the Wizards, I’m also a producer at ESPN 980, a radio station in D.C. The work I've done in radio led me to launch a career in voice-over as well, allowing me to work with other notable organizations. It's been the focus of my goals for a few years now. So all of the time I spent in the studio at DSU is coming back to me. It was great to get a leg up – to not only figure out what I love to do, but to actually gain hands-on experience during my time in school.  

Jenel Cobb

  Jenel Cobb   Project Manager, Niiki Pharma Biology, 2003   DSU: How did you originally decide to come to Delaware State? JENEL: In the spring of 1999, I believe, I went on a tour of a few Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I loved the overall feeling of Delaware State. I remember thinking that the campus itself was beautiful, and that the students seemed to really be enjoying themselves there. During my visit, I had the opportunity to speak with the president at the time, who looked at my transcript and application and told me about some of the scholarships that would be available to me. I discussed it with my family and we decided DSU would be a great fit for me.   DSU: How did Delaware State help you on your career path? JENEL: The position that I have now requires a strong research background, a lot of which I gained during my time at DSU. My freshman year general biology professor was the first to lead me in that direction – he introduced me to a researcher at the University of Delaware, where I interned and realized my love of research. But I’d say the biggest impact Delaware State had was leading me on the path to earning my Ph.D. in Pharmacology. I was involved in the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program, which gave me more research experience and guided me toward graduate school.    DSU: Can you speak a little more about the MARC Program? JENEL: The MARC program is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and aims to help underrepresented students in the sciences be better prepared for education at the Ph.D. level. Starting my junior year, I was able to get financial support from the program, in the form of a scholarship and stipend. We also attended weekly meetings where we were introduced to researchers from different universities and exposed to the career possibilities that were available to us. I also completed my own undergraduate research each summer.      DSU: What other memories do you have from your time at DSU? JENEL: One of my favorite memories is all of the time spent at football games, watching the band. There are certain songs that the band plays where everyone in the stands gets up and does a dance. It’s a really fun atmosphere. Even for people who weren’t necessarily interested in football, the games were a place to socialize and get into the spirit. The energy at the games is something that I think is really special to Delaware State.

Erika Grant

  Erika Grant   Audit Intern, Ernst & Young; Accepted in Vanguard’s Acceleration into Financial Professionals Program Accounting, 2012   DSU: You’re at an internship with Ernst & Young now, preparing for a full-time position with Vanguard. How’d you get into the field? ERIKA: One thing that definitely helped was the size of the accounting program at DSU. Our graduating accounting class was only about 15 students, so we were a little bit more close-knit. Since we were all from different areas, we had a wide variety of networks and contacts to share. Additionally, we were all also members of the Accounting and Finance Club. Every year the club attended the National Association of Black Accountants’ Eastern Region Student Conference. We would spend time prepping our resumes, send them in and then Fortune 500 companies and the Big Four accounting firms would sign up to interview us. It was an incredible opportunity, and that’s how I received my position at Vanguard.    DSU: How did your time in the College of Business prepare you for your position? ERIKA: Well, in addition to the opportunities I had through the Accounting and Finance Club, I got a lot out of my classes. There are state-of-the-art new facilities for the College of Business, including a couple of Bloomberg Terminals that kept us involved and interested in the stock market. Again, the small class size was great in that it helped me build a personal relationship with my professors and classmates alike. My ability to interact with people from all walks of life is one of the great things I took away from Del State, and one of my biggest assets on the job.   DSU: What else were you involved in on campus?   ERIKA: I was Miss Delaware State University my senior year, which got me really involved in the Student Government Association. We were the voice of the students and worked to improve life on campus. It was a big responsibility, but a great experience! I was also a resident assistant my sophomore and junior years and a D’Elegance dancer with the Approaching Storm Marching Band throughout school.    DSU: What was your time in the band like? ERIKA: The band is awesome. When you hear the drum line, you say, okay I’m about to dance. They really add so much power and life to the event. Whatever event they’re at, it’s an amazing turnout. Being in a band I gained a lot of discipline; it was a lot of hard work and it really brings out your true character -- especially regarding commitment. I learned to be accountable to people other than myself. Everyone in the band is a family, and even when you leave, you’re still considered band family. It’s really a great experience learning and getting to know other people. And then even for students who haven’t played an instrument before, there’s still room for them. They can try out and, if they’re able to catch on, the section leaders really take them under their wing and make sure everyone has a great experience. 

Deondra Short

Deondra Short   Student Trainee, Department of Defense Forensic Biology, 2012   DSU: You’re beginning your career with an exciting position at the Department of Defense. How did you get started on this path?  DEONDRA: Actually from the moment I started out freshman year, I had freshman seminar classes that helped in the area of professional development. I was able to build a resume that detailed all of my skills and areas of expertise, which put me in the mindset to start preparing for my career. After that, my advisor referred me to a forensic science research program at Pennsylvania State University, which helped me hone my research skills and figure out which areas interested me. I also did research at DSU as a student worker through the Smile Program. My job now is largely research-based, so all of those experiences gave me a head start.    DSU: What other things were you involved in on campus? DEONDRA: I’m a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the National Society for Collegiate Scholars and the Forensic Biology Club. It was great to have a mix of social activities and academic ones, because each brought something different to my college experience. I also served as the president of the Honors Program from 2009 through 2011.   DSU: Can you speak a bit more about your experience in the Honors Program? DEONDRA: The Honors Program was something that had a big impact on me. It not only helped me focus academically, but prepared me for life after college. The program’s advisor was a role model for me, and was a great help when I was applying for jobs and graduate schools. I also lived in the Towers, which houses Honors students, my freshman year. That really added to my experience and was a great way for me to get to know other students with my same academic goals.          DSU: Is there anything else that stands out about your time at DSU? DEONDRA: Well, one of the first things I noticed about the school was that so many people went out of their way to help me. With such small class sizes, it’s much easier to build a one-on-one relationship with professors. It felt like, by the time I was a sophomore, everyone in the department knew my name. I was especially thankful for that when I needed some extra help with my classwork and, ultimately, when it came time to get recommendation letters. Also, regarding scholarships, my professors and other faculty were always telling me to apply for awards that I qualified for. Thanks to that, I earned the Departmental Scholarship through the Department of Biological Sciences, along with the Silver Scholarship and a few other privately funded scholarships. It was obvious that the faculty and administration were all dedicated to helping the students get ahead.