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Chinese alumni make their mark on a global scale

From left, Bing Han, President Harry L. Williams and Chao Yu. Han and Yu both received Master of Science degrees in Applied Optics and Ph.Ds. in Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics from DSU. Halfway across the world, a product of Delaware State University’s master’s and doctoral degree programs is managing a multimillion dollar company while his wife  — also a graduate of the same programs — is teaching university-level mathematics. Bing Han and his wife, Chao Yu, are using the advanced degrees they earned at DSU to propel their careers in business and higher education, respectively. Both earned Master of Science degrees in Applied Optics and Ph.Ds. in Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics. Yu completed her doctoral degree in 2009, while Han finished his in 2012. Both have returned to their native China to make their country a beneficiary of the knowledge they attained at DSU. Han is the general manager of Jinxing Automotive Interior Decoration Inc., a designer and manufacturer of car interior elements for 15 different automobile manufacturers, including General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen, Fiat, as well Inteva, one of the world’s largest global automotive suppliers. The company, which employs more than 1,300 people, brought in more than $19 billion in revenue in 2012. Yu teaches mathematics at Liaoning University in the Chinese city of Shenyang. Han said both he and his wife enjoyed their time at DSU. “We had a lot of support and help from the faculty at DSU, and not just with the courses, but with everything else concerning our time in the U.S.,” Han said. “Dr. Fengshan Liu (DSU vice president of International Affairs) was very important to us.” Han, 32, said his degree work at DSU has made him a more valuable executive at Jinxing. “The mathematics courses helped me to deal better with problems and how to arrive at solutions,” Han said. Not only an advanced student at DSU, Han was also a mathematics instructor and was the University’s first-ever Chinese language teacher. “Teaching classes at DSU helped me greatly with my English,” Han said. “Because a lot of Jinxing’s customers are international, my improved English has helped me to communicate with a lot of them.” Han and Yu have two children, a son named Jiaxu and a daughter, Catherine, who was actually born during their time in the United States, giving the child citizenship in both the U.S. and China. In China, Han said he and his wife get to meet some Chinese students destined to attend DSU. “I tell them to talk with Americans and get to know American society,” he said. “I tell them to learn the culture because the current America is the future of China.” Han and Yu were recently reunited in China with Dr. Liu and President Harry L. Williams, who traveled to the country in June to meet with some university collaborators of DSU. He said he thinks highly of Dr. Williams. “(Dr. Williams) is a nice person who cares about the Chinese people,” Han said. “I believe he will bring a bright future for DSU.” -- Story by Carlos Holmes

Kent Amos '70 focuses life on helping children succeed

Kent Amos was the first African-American vice president of Xerox. He left his position in the 1980s to focus full-time on family and youths, going on to establish the Urban Family Institute, the Kids House after-school program and the Dorothy Height Community Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Kent B. Amos, Class of 1970, describes his undergraduate years at then-Delaware State College as a coming of age story. “I went in as a colored boy, and I graduated as a black man,” said the former Xerox corporate executive and currently nationally renowned educator and Washington, D.C., charter school founder. A significant part of his eternal love for his alma mater stems from the way it embraced him. Raised in Washington by his parents Benjamin F. and Gladys Mae Amos and a Calvin Coolidge High School track star, Amos won an athletic scholarship to attend American University. However, possessing a less-than-adequate focus on academics led him to leave the school after 1½ years. He would subsequently join the Air Force and then switch over to the Army, through which he went to Officers Candidate School. Although he momentarily entertained the idea of a military career, he decided he wanted to give college another shot. His brother Ben recommended DSC. “So with my brother and my father Benjamin F. Amos, we drove onto the campus. … It was a farm … it had cornfields, pigs and cows!” Amos said. “And as we were driving around, I kept saying, “I ain’t going to school on no farm!” His concerns notwithstanding, the Amos trio met with then-DSU President Luna I. Mishoe in his office, where he reviewed young Kent’s American University transcripts. After looking through it, “he looked at the three of us, laid my transcript face down on his desk, slid it to the side and said, ‘Why don’t we just forget that. You are now going to be a freshman at Delaware State.’ ” After the meeting, Amos said he continued to complain to his father about the farm atmosphere of the college. His father, an attorney, reminded him about his AU transcripts. “Nobody but Del State will accept you but for what you are,” his father told him. “They accepted a failure, because they think they can make something out of you. So you don’t have a choice.” Military and time on campus Arriving as a 22-year-old freshman and as a commissioned officer in the Army National Guard, Amos immediately became the freshman class president and would go on to serve as the president of the Men’s Council, the Pan-Hellenic Council and ultimately as the Student Government Association president during his senior year. Because of his greater maturity, he would provide a needed counter balance in contrast to the rebelliousness of others in the Del State student body in the mid- to late 1960s. Noting that period’s nationwide thrust of “I’m Black and I’m Proud” sentiments, student rebellions and anti-establishment sensibilities, Amos said that his perspective was typically different from his college peers. “Having worked in the military police in the Army and having worked in the U.S. Marshal’s Office in the court system, I understood violence at a level they didn’t understand,” he said. “So in the conversations we would have in the dormitory, my roommate and I would always be the odd men out.” Amos vividly recalls driving back to his hometown following the April 4, 1968, assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and seeing billows of smoke rising from different sections of the city from the riotous response to the tragedy. Still serving in the National Guard as a second lieutenant, he was pressed into service and led a unit into the city to help restore the peace. Then a 23-year-old DSC sophomore, Amos — who had served in Vietnam — was the only one in his quickly formed Guard unit that had any combat experience. One of the first things the men under him wanted to know was if they would receive ammunition to quell the riots. “I said, ‘Never, because you ’all are not killing anybody. My goal is to keep you alive and the people alive,’ ” Amos said. By the following month, he had returned to campus in time to serve as a voice of reason during the May 1968 rebellion in which students took over the Grossley Administration Building, prompting the deployment of the Delaware National Guard and State Police to the campus. During the one-day standoff, Amos said he stood with Dr. Mishoe outside of his president’s office window talking to the occupying students, which included then-recently suspended SGA president Leroy Tate. The reasoning of Amos and the president along with others eventually defused the situation, and the students relinquished the building. Amos would later be a part of a Faculty-Administrators-Student Committee that developed recommendations to address the points of contention that brought about the demonstration. One year later, Amos would be the first-ever SGA president to address the DSC Board of Trustees during its regular meeting, at which time he detailed what he planned to accomplish as the top student leader during his 1969-70 senior year. Careers and family Amos would graduate in 1970, but he would miss that year’s Commencement because he was serving the Guard in Cambodia. When he returned stateside, he would make his mark with Xerox, eventually becoming the first-ever African-American vice president of the corporation. He credits his DSC experience with making him comfortable with the ascending leadership positions he would assume as well as in competing intellectually at the highest levels of his domain. “I became a confident black man in the true tradition of confident black men in American history who were exemplified by the DSC (faculty and administrators) I was exposed to — Dr. Mishoe, Earnest Talbert, Dr. Richard Wynder, John Price, U.S. Washington, Harry Washington — all class acts who were able to model for me what my father showed me,” Amos said. In 1982, Amos married his current wife Carmen and became a father to her son and daughter, Wesley and Deborah. In becoming a family man, he learned what the challenges entailed when his son came home one day with three new friends from his high school. “We knew then that if we didn’t change that relationship, they were going to change him. Of course the easy answer was (to send him to) private school,” Amos said. “The more challenging and appropriate answer was to fix them. That is what we did.” So Mr. and Mrs. Amos got to know those boys, opened their home to them and helped provide them with opportunities for positive life outcomes. This led the couple to open their home to many other at-risk youths, offering them a home environment, financial support and a nurturing environment. Amos estimates that he and his wife have taken in about 85 children under their wing in their home. It ultimately led Amos to leave his Xerox executive job in the 1980s to focus full-time on family and youths. When asked about the inspiration for such an undertaking, Amos pointed to his alma mater. “Delaware State looked out for me, so how was I going to turn my back on these kids. DSC didn’t turn its back on me,” he said. The Amoses went on to establish the Urban Family Institute, which provided structure for their initiatives; the Kids House, which was an after-school program modeled on what they did for youth in their home that has expanded to 22 states; and finally the Dorothy Height Community Academy Public Charter School, one of the leading charter schools in Washington. He has shared his story and perspectives on youths, family and education on many local and national radio and television shows, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless newspapers, magazines and books. As Amos approaches age 70 next May, with all he has accomplished, he is still not satisfied. “I ended up being the first black vice president in Xerox history, made my money and all of those things,” Amos said. “But what I want to do now is far more important — to build structures to give children who have been shunted to the side an opportunity to be a success, in a much broader way than the narrow view that too many people have today about education. “My goal is to change the systems nationally,” he said. “We are still not there yet.” For Amos, giving back is as a fundamental part of his being as the blood that courses through his body. He said that goes back to his Delaware State connection where so many people made a difference in his life. “To this day, I operate my business and run my life on the principle that it is not just a nice idea to give back to that which made you who you are. It is an obligation and a responsibility,” he said. “So I don’t have to be told by anyone in the alumni office or administration of DSU or Coolidge that it would be a nice idea to give back. I have no choice. They made it possible for me to be who I am, in addition obviously to my family. My life was changed forever.” -- Story and photos by Carlos Holmes

From the 1950s to now, 6 decades of significant campus growth

The State College for Colored Students began the institution’s history in 1892 with only three buildings — one somewhat substantial mansion structure (by the 1700s standard) and a hastily built president’s cottage and carpentry building. By 1952 — about 60 years later — Delaware State College’s growth in physical infrastructure can barely be called modest, as there were just over 20 buildings on campus, but only seven could be called substantial structures. Fast-forward another 61 years, and to the amazement of residents who have watched the institution’s expansion over the last six decades and the alumni who return to their alma mater after many years, DSU has developed into an impressive physical plant. The development of DSU throughout its 122-year history reflects the degree to which the state of Delaware financially supported the institution it created —  inconsistently low levels of state financial support during its first six decades, followed by much more consistent and unprecedented levels of major capital improvement funding. Of the seven substantial buildings on campus in 1952, state funding paid for only four of them. Loockerman Hall, the former Main College Building, was part of the state’s original 1891 purchase of the property and was paid for out of the $8,000 allocated to establish the institution; 10 years later, the state earmarked $6,000 for the construction of Lore Hall, a women’s dorm. It would be more than 20 years before the state would yield any capital improvement funding for the College. In the 1920s, the state allocated a then-unprecedented $275,000 for the construction of Delaware Hall, an administration/classroom building, and Conrad Hall, a cafeteria. Any hopes, however, that the capital improvement funding might signal a new supportive attitude among legislators was disappointed by the next 20 years in which no new construction money would come from the state. The Library was originally built with funding College President William C. Jason raised. The DuPont Building (the high school on campus) and the President’s Residence were both built with money from philanthropist Pierre du Pont. The 1950s would be the beginning of improved state financial support for the infrastructure growth of the institution. Over the next 60 years (1953 to present), the number of buildings on campus would double. The dramatic physical plant increase during the second half of the institution’s history began with the completion of Tubman Hall in 1953. However, the improved relationship between the state legislature and DSC under the leadership of President Jerome Holland (1953-60) is what established a more favorable environment for infrastructure growth. That relationship with the state would continue in subsequent DSC administrations, which would also be a factor in the institution’s increase in enrollment from a few hundred students in the 1950s to the current 4,000-plus students. The increase in physical infrastructure would keep pace with the growing enrollment, with a prolific construction agenda over the last six decades that included the Mishoe Science Center, two Martin Luther King Jr. Student Centers, a Bank of America Building for the College of Business, a Cooperative Extension/Herbarium Building and a Wellness & Recreation Center, just to name a few of the 40-plus buildings on DSU’s main campus. Holland and his successors, Dr. Luna I. Mishoe, Dr. William B. DeLauder, Dr. Allen L. Sessoms and Dr. Harry L. Williams, can all be credited with the leadership to continue the favorable relationship with the state and the expansion of the University. Under Williams’ leadership, the growth is continuing. The University has received a $10 million allocation from the state for the construction of an Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) Building. In addition, in 2013 DSU is completing its work in crafting a new Facilities Master Plan that will guide the University in its future construction projects. -- Story by Carlos Holmes

DSU recognized for its military friendliness

For the third time, Delaware State University is among the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide named to G.I. Jobs’ Military Friendly Schools list, joining a select group of just over 1,700 institutions out of 12,000 VA-approved schools recognized in 2013 for the support, flexibility and value they offer to active duty military, veterans and their dependents. What makes DSU most unique is that it has a dedicated Office of Veterans Affairs. “It’s one of the benefits we have that most universities don’t,” said Wendelin Henry, who as Veterans Affairs coordinator assists the more than 100 veteran, active duty, National Guard and Reserve, and military dependent students enrolled each semester with all aspects of their DSU journeys. This includes everything from helping to make the application and registration process easier to assisting with understanding how military benefits may translate into college benefits to providing advocacy, coordinating services and encouraging involvement in campus activities. Education benefits  For eligible military students or dependents, DSU’s Office of Veterans Affairs offers personal attention in managing and administering education benefit programs, including Active Duty, the Post 9/11 Montgomery GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon Program, Vocational Rehabilitation, Selected Reserves, and Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance. At DSU, eligible military students who enroll are awarded six elective credits based on their discharge papers. DSU also recognizes the American Council on Education-recommended college credits for professional military education, training courses and occupational experience of service members and veterans. Active duty military students receive in-state tuition, as do National Guard and Reserve members who are stationed in Delaware, Henry said. DSU has entered an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The University matches the VA up to 50 percent of unmet out-of-state tuition and fee charges for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students eligible for Yellow Ribbon. Also under the Post 9/11 program, eligible military students attending DSU’s VA-approved Flight School may currently receive up to $10,970 in tuition and fees per academic year. Advocacy, counseling and activities In addition to financial assistance, the Office of Veterans Affairs works with military students to encourage academic success, positive social interaction on campus and overall enhancement of their experience, making sure their distinctive needs are met while at DSU. The office coordinates vocational, educational and professional counseling, evaluation of abilities and aptitudes, tutoring and rehabilitative services, and VA Work-Study opportunities available from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It initiates contact with military units and commanding officers on a student’s behalf as needed. When a student is deployed, the Office of Veteran Affairs works up front to make sure the readmission process goes “as easy as possible” upon return, Henry said, helping with the transition back to civilian and University life. Henry, herself a retired master sergeant with 21 years of service in the U.S. Air Force at Dover Air Force Base, said it can be a challenge bringing military students — many of whom are nontraditional students with outside lives and families — into campus activities. Though academics are the main focus, the Office of Veteran Affairs tries to get students more involved socially through campus and community events. A military student organization, DSU FORCES, was started in Spring 2011. The FORCES participated in and hosted the first National Roll Call of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom casualties in November 2011, calling the names of more than 6,000 dedicated service men and women. The Office of Veterans Affairs has an open door policy. In her work with military students, Henry uses a holistic approach, aiming to help students full-circle by easing their transition from the military to a University setting and then continuing to assist during their journeys to graduation. “I try to connect them with all of the services they need from the beginning ... and then follow them to make sure they are succeeding in their academic careers,” she said. For more information about veteran services at DSU, contact Veterans Affairs coordinator Wendelin Henry at 302.857.6376 or

Class Notes -- Spring 2013

Alumni participate in College of Business’ Black Executive Exchange Program The College of Business’ annual Black Executive Exchange Program event welcomed keynote speaker Eddie Brown, founder and president of Brown Capital Management and the author of Beating the Odds — Eddie Brown’s Investing and Life Strategies, as well as about 20 visiting business executives who spent the day with students through classroom visits and workshop sessions.  Among the visiting executives were nine DSU alumni: From left are Derek Thompson ’80, Leland Nelson ’96, College of Business Acting Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Director of the College of Business Advisement Center Lisa Dunning, Ron Pinkett ’84, Kevin Washington ’86, President Harry L. Williams, Eddie Brown, Sherman King ’89, Provost Alton Thompson, College of Business Dean Shelton Rhodes, Enid Wallace-Simms ’74, Jamahal C. Boyd ’97, Ernest Ackah ’99 and S. Renee Smith ’88.   From left, Delores and Dr. Donald Blakey, Patricia Randolph, Gov. Jack Markell, Ruth Shelton and President Harry L. Williams. Alumni Shine in Harriet Tubman Program During an event in which Gov. Jack Markell signed a proclamation making March 10 Harriet Tubman Day in Delaware, DSU alumni represented themselves well through music and dramatic presentations. As a kickoff to 10 days of events celebrating Tubman’s historic contributions as the conductor of the Underground Railroad — which coursed through the First State — the proclamation signing was part of a program at the Old Statehouse in Dover. During the program, alumnus Dr. Donald Blakey ’58 gave some relevant black history of the central Delaware area, and his wife and alumna Delores Blakey ’62 portrayed the conductor of the Underground Railroad. The Blakeys were joined later by alumna Ruth Shelton ’96 and Pat Randolph ’69 as part of the Don Del Interdenominational Choir and gave a music selection during the program.   1987 Roslyn Wyche-Hamilton — best-selling author of Finding Joy In Pain, published in 2009, and Finding Joy In Pain 2, published in 2010, received a book deal with Kensington Urban Soul in New York City. Finding Joy In Pain 3 will be in bookstores soon. Wyche-Hamilton graduated from then-Delaware State College with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration.  She has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Wilmington University. 1991 Alisha Broughton of Milton, Del., was named the winner of a Jefferson Award, a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America. As part of the award’s local recognition, she was featured on WBOC-TV Channel 16 in February. Broughton has volunteered more than 1,000 hours in 18 months, including service at the Family Outreach Center Lincoln, Del., where she tutors children in the Milford and Cape Henlopen school districts; she conducts workshops such as bullying, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, study habits, scholarship assistance and more.  Broughton also volunteers at Children and Families First as a trainer.  She has taught classes in  effective interviewing, job placement and how to start a business. She also does seminars each month titled “Seminars by Alisha Broughton, to teach women and men tools for daily living.” Broughton received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Mass Communication from Delaware State University, a master’s degree in Education from Wilmington University and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership (Education) and Business Management.   1994 From left are Brice Watson, a United Airlines pilot and 1994 DSU Aviation Program graduate; Matthew Jones, a senior Aviation Management major and winner of a DSU speech contest on the topic of Tuskegee Airmen; and George Watson Sr., Brice Watson’s grandfather and an original Tuskegee Airman (maintenance mechanic). The Watsons spoke to a group of DSU Aviation students at the Aviation Program’s hangar in March. 1997 Michelle Smith-Sample was named laboratory director at Heritage Medical Center in Shelbyville, Tenn. In her new position, she oversees the hospital’s laboratory, chemistry, hematology, coagulation, serology, microbiology and blood bank. Smith-Sample was previously the area manager for the Eastern Shore for Laboratory Corporation of America in Salisbury, Md. She received an AAS & BT in medical technology, a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Medical Technology from Delaware State University and a Master of Science in Management from Wilmington University. She is currently working on her second master’s degree in Health Care Administration. Sharon N. Williams joined the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas in Seattle, Wash., this year as its managing director. Williams graduated from Delaware State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Television Production and in 2000 with a Master of Business Administration. Williams is the founder of the Mahogany Project, a theater and film organization in Seattle. 1999 Ernest Ackah is the owner of Boss Barbershop in Dover, Del. He previously  worked as an investment accountant, including nine years at BNY Mellon —  previously PFPC (PNC GIS) — in Wilmington, Del., where he held supervisory positions. He has also worked at T. Rowe Price in the Baltimore, Md., area where he held a team coordinator position. Already being an accomplished barber, Ackah pursued his passion, opening his barbershop in 2011. Ackah received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Delaware State University. He received a Master of Business Administration from Goldey-Beacom College in 2006.   Clifton Hayes, assistant principal at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington since 2006, was selected as the 2013 Delaware Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year by the Delaware Association of Secondary School Principals. In addition, he was recently selected as the new principal for Delcastle Technical High School for the upcoming school year. Hayes earned his bachelor’s degrees in Elementary and Special Education from Delaware State University and his master’s degree in Special Education from West Virginia University. He is currently a doctoral candidate at DSU. He was previously a special education teacher in math and social studies at Howard from 2001 to 2004 and a discipline specialist at Delcastle Technical High School from 2004 to 2006.   Kelley Wilson-Everett co-founded Youth Angel Scholars Inc., a 501C3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help youth ages 13-18 transform in the areas of health, civic service, academics, entrepreneurship and leadership. The Youth Angel Scholars Teen Transformation Program provides a variety of yearlong activities designed to cultivate youth members personally and professionally. In March, the organization held the second annual GEAR Up Career Day Exhibition, providing Philadelphia youth with an interactive approach to entrepreneurship and to GEAR Up (Gain Early Awareness and Readiness) for career success. Jamahal Boyd ’97, the program’s keynote “Scholar Guest,” provided youth participants, exhibitors and parents with a wealth of knowledge about understanding personal branding and using it to develop the “elevator speech” to get the job interview.  He also touched on how attire helps make a great first impression. Aaron Wright has been named the director of operations of the Washington (D.C.) Marriott. With nearly 15 years at Marriott International, Wright previously was director of hotel operations since April 2011 at the Bethesda (Md.) Suites Marriott. He began his career as an intern at the Wilmington (Del.) Downtown Courtyard; upon graduation, Wright joined the Philadelphia Airport Marriott as the assistant restaurant manager. Over the years, he has held multiple management positions including dual assistant general manager of both the Renaissance SouthPark and Marriott SouthPark hotels in Charlotte, N.C. Wright received a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Delaware State University. He resides in Maryland with his wife and two sons.

Alice Coleman '66 rebounds from accident, finds career success

Without a doubt, social work was a career destiny for Alice Smith Coleman. Never mind that during her years at then-Delaware State College from 1962-1966, the institution had not yet established its social work degree programs. Alice Smith Coleman '66 was recently honored by the Delaware Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Never mind that one week before she was due to walk across the DSC Commencement stage to receive her diploma, her life was irrevocably altered in a car accident near the College that left her in a wheelchair for life. Coleman would go on from that traumatic accident to further her studies and become a wife, a mother of two sons, a lifelong career social work counselor and an earnest community leader. Oh yes, and a very nice person. “She was always a calm and compassionate person,” said Kenneth Burton, a licensed practical nurse who worked with Coleman throughout most of her 38-year career at the Delaware Psychiatric Center (formerly the Delaware State Hospital). “She always went above and beyond as a social worker.” The former Alice Marie Smith’s pictures from the 1966 DSC yearbook reflect a confident student destined for success — as secretary of the Student Government Association, president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, a member of the Sociology Club and the editor-in-chief of The Statesman. Coleman’s aspirations were in social work. However, because DSC would not establish its degree program in social work until the 1980s, she majored in sociology, largely under the instruction of Dr. Maurice Thomasson and his wife LaVerne Thomasson, a longtime teaching team in the department. She recalled Dr. Thomasson — who was the department chair — as a very deliberate, but not loud speaker. She recollected there was a lot of “meat” in what he said, so it paid for the students to pay attention. “He didn’t put up with a lot of nonsense,” Coleman said. “You either knew it or you didn’t.” Her future seemed exceedingly bright in the spring of 1966, as she was graduating in the top 10 percent of the class. She had dated her future husband Norwood Coleman ’63 since her freshman year and was engaged to marry him, and she had been accepted to graduate school at Atlanta University. All life systems for her appeared to be go. And then the car accident took place that would challenge all of her promise. Coleman said she doesn’t remember the accident, which took place on U.S. 13 (now also known as DuPont Highway) less than a mile north of the College. She said that her car turned over, which resulted in serious injuries made worse by the people who extricated her from the wreck. “They didn’t immobilize my neck when they took me out of the car,” she said. Taken initially to Kent General Hospital in Dover, where the emergency medical staff seemed doubtful about her chances for survival, she was transferred to the then-Delaware Division of Wilmington Medical Center, where the medical staff was a bit more hopeful. “They told me that I would live only about 10 years,” Coleman said. So as her sister Elizabell Smith (now Massey) walked for her at Commencement, Coleman began her arduous journey to dispel those pessimistic prognostications. Building a life In the days and weeks following the accident, Coleman said she was uplifted by the concerns of the DSC community. “Half the graduating class came to visit me, and so did (DSC President) Dr. Luna Mishoe and his wife,” she said. “There were so many flowers in my room, it was almost like a funeral.” At first, Coleman was paralyzed from the neck down. Her then-fiancé Norwood Coleman — a DSC graduate in music who had joined the Air Force Band and was returning to Delaware from an assignment in Alaska at the time of the accident — noted that even in the state of being in traction as the result of her injuries, her natural social work inclinations manifested themselves. “There just happened to be another DSC student in the same hospital room who had been in a totally different accident (hit by a car) and was extremely emotionally distraught. Even in the state of being in traction, Alice talked to her and tried to calm her down,” Norwood said. He added that soon thereafter, a Spanish-speaking patient who didn’t speak English was moved into her room, and from her bed Alice assisted the doctor by using her college Spanish to help interpret. “People didn’t know if she was going to live or die, and here she was giving of herself,” he said. Eventually some nerve functions began returning in her arms. This helped fuel her desire to overcome her circumstances. “There was talk of putting me in the Delaware Home and Hospital for the rest of my life,” Alice said. “I thought then that there was no way I was not going to do anything, because I had worked so hard.” In considering her options while going through six months of rehabilitation, she knew Atlanta University was out. Its social work department was on a third floor at a time when accessibility for persons with disabilities was not yet a law requirement. Coleman found out about the University of Illinois, where it had a program in which people in wheelchairs were accepted. She applied and was invited to come take a test. “I thought it would be an academic test, but the first thing they asked me to do was to get out of my chair,” Coleman said. “They wanted to see how long it would take and if I could take care of my physical needs. They explained that they don’t cater to people in a wheelchair.” She was accepted and completed her Master of Social Work degree in the spring of 1967. Coleman said she was not only academically fulfilled there. “I learned more about myself in a wheelchair.” Meanwhile, Norwood remained a faithful love in her life. In the weeks following the accident, she told Norwood that there was nothing she could do for him. “I told him that he might as well go find someone else,” Coleman said. “But he didn’t.” The couple was married on March 1, 1969, and went on to produce two sons. “I had friends who told me that because of her injuries, I shouldn’t marry Alice,” Norwood said. “But everything that has happened since has confirmed for me that I made the right decision in marrying her. She was able to take care of her responsibilities as a mother, and between us she was the disciplinarian with our sons. She has always been very focused and determined.” Their oldest, Norwood Jr., would become the third member of the immediate family to graduate from DSU (2006 and 2007), as he followed his mother’s career footsteps by earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. He is now a clinical supervisor for the Wilmington Child Development Community Policing Program. Their youngest son, Michael, earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Florida A&M University and is currently continuing his education and working as a mechanical engineering research associate at Florida State University. Career and community service One month after her wedding, Coleman began working for the Delaware State Hospital as a psychiatric social worker. Any doubts that she could do the work were effectively dispelled, as she would continue there until her retirement in 2007. As a social worker, she was responsible for three units in the hospital; her work involved doing intake assessments, helping patients with discharge planning, as well as doing individual/family counseling and other patients’ services. She noted that her career advancement was helped by her determination not to use her wheelchair-bound circumstances as an excuse to do only so much, but instead to continually try to see what more she could do. Being grateful for the opportunities she had also helped, she added. “There have been some challenges, but I just kept trying,” Coleman said. “If the Lord can bring you to it, He can bring you through it.” That includes the chronic pain she has had to live with from her injuries. Nevertheless, with the exception of some time off to give birth to her two sons and a couple of operations, she missed very little time from work during her 38-year tenure with the Delaware State Hospital. Burton, her work colleague, noted that in working in a mental health facility, Coleman had to often deal with patients who “acted out,” but she always kept her composure. “She never took anything personal, and I never heard her raise her voice or make any derogatory comments in response to such challenges,” Burton said. Coleman’s dedicated service was rewarded in 2004 when she was promoted to director of Social Services, a leadership post she maintained until her retirement. Even in retirement, she has not stopped her dedication to social work. She now operates her own private counseling service out of her Stanton, Del., home, focusing on families, children and marriage counseling. “At the State Hospital, I had to work to get people interested in themselves and their treatment,” she said. “That was different from what I do now, because most of these people (adults) have jobs and they want to deal with their issues.” Throughout her life, Coleman has also been prolific in community service work. She has served on the state’s Workforce Investment Board, Vocational Rehabilitation Council and the Division of the Visually Impaired Council, as well as a panel member of the Delaware Child Death Review Committee. She is a member of the state Advocates for Persons with Disabilities, a former vice president and board member of the United Way of Delaware, a former vice president and former board member of Goodwill, and has been involved in numerous other community service endeavors. She is a member and past president of the Delaware Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, which recently honored her with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Among her other numerous honors is her induction into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women (2000) and the Living Legacy Award from the Delaware Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (2011). Looking back, she is glad she didn’t take the easy road after her injuries. “I could have just gone home and my mother and sister would have taken care of me,” Coleman said. “I think people don’t know that no matter what you do, it is only a fraction of what you can do.” -- Story and photo by Carlos Holmes

Cpl. Nicole Parton '01 is first female Del. State Police helicopter pilot

A graduate of the DSU Aviation Program has made history with the Delaware State Police. Cpl. Nicole Carol Parton, who under her maiden name Dimon graduated from DSU in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Airways Management (now called Aviation Management), has become the first female helicopter pilot in the history of the state law enforcement agency. Cpl. Nicole Parton of the Delaware State Police graduated from DSU in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in Airways Management. The accomplishment returns Parton to her original aspiration to fly, which began when she first enrolled in the then-DSU Airway Science Program in 1992. Parton — who grew up in a rural area outside of Tunkhannock, Pa. — attended DSU full-time only during her freshman year, but then became a part-time student so she could work full-time. From 1993 to 1998, she worked for Summit Aviation in Middletown, Del., where at that time the DSU Airway Science Program maintained its planes. She then shifted her professional pursuit to law enforcement when she was hired in 1998 as a trooper by the State Police. After successfully completing the DSP Academy, Parton worked the highways and byways of Central Delaware as a trooper. With the State Police, she found a professional niche that she really enjoys. “It is a noble profession, although it can sometimes be a thankless job,” she said. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but just about everyone comes into (police work) because they want to help people.” Parton said she tries to make any contact she has with the public a positive experience — whether it is responding to a complaint, providing assistance, working with victims or even writing a traffic ticket. Yet she never stopped her part-time journey toward a degree. However, she was forced after 1998 to revise her degree emphasis. Although she had earned her private pilot license in 1993, family matters led her to change her degree pursuit from flying (Airway Systems) to Airway Management. “My dad died in 1998,” said Parton, the adopted daughter of Robert and Kelly Dimon. “I switched over to the management side, because it cost less and it was less pressure on my mom.” She would complete that degree at DSU in 2001, and a couple of years later she was promoted to detective in the Domestic Violence and Major Crimes sections of the DSP Troop 3 in Camden. She also began teaching a section at the DSP Police Academy on “Crimes Against Persons.” As she progressed in law enforcement, she also enhanced that career by continuing her progression in aviation. While working as a trooper, she earned her commercial, instrument and helicopter flying ratings. By 2011, a full-time position as a line pilot (helicopter) opened up, and Parton broke a DSP gender line by becoming the first female trooper to fill that post. She has been in career heaven ever since. “I love it,” she said. “I can’t believe I get paid to go to work every day.” The helicopter pilot says that it is an exciting job in which every day is different. “We provide a unique service. We fly the injured to the hospital and we can give them the best chance for survival by getting them there during what we call that ‘golden hour’,” Parton said. “We get to chase bad guys in pursuits from the air.” Through it all, Parton has found time to raise a family. She is married to Alfred Parton, a retired DSP SWAT commander who is currently in Afghanistan as a contractor. Their union has produced one 9-year-old daughter, and Parton is a stepmother to two boys. -- Story and photo by Carlos Holmes

Col. Nathaniel McQueen '01 makes history in top State Police post

Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr. of the Delaware State Police says the Master of Social Work degree he earned at Delaware State University has helped him deal with countless people issues he is confronted with in law enforcement on a daily basis. His social work knowledge along with the rest of his broad-based law enforcement experience has helped elevate McQueen to a pinnacle of law enforcement — in January he was named by Gov. Jack Markell as the superintendent of the Delaware State Police. Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr. of the Delaware State Police graduated from DSU in 2001 with a Master of Social Work degree. In ascending to that top post, McQueen is the first African-American to serve as DSP superintendent. McQueen — who earned a MSW from DSU in 2001 after earning a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science from Wilmington College in 1996 — is in his 25th year as a state trooper. He said his opportunity to become the highest ranking state trooper was made possible by his predecessor, Col. Robert Coupe. Coupe — who was appointed DSP superintendent in 2009 — brought him on to be a part of his executive staff. “I didn’t really see myself as possibly becoming superintendent until I came on executive staff and got to know the inner workings of the department from that level,” McQueen said. “Col. Coupe saw the executive staff as the future of the DSP, so he had a succession plan in which he worked to develop us.” Coupe’s management style of grooming the DSP’s future leaders was something that resonated with McQueen. “One of the highlights of my career was when I was at the rank of sergeant, because it was the first time I got to manage people and help them develop,” the superintendent said. He added that the “succession plan” will continue under his leadership as head of the DSP. Although born in South Carolina, as a baby he moved with his parents Nathaniel and Carolyn McQueen Sr. to Wilmington, Del., where he grew up. He graduated from Hogdson Vo-Tech High School in Newark, where he studied commercial art. After he joined the State Police in 1988, the commercial art background came in handy, as he served for a time as a sketch artist, one of his career highlights. “I worked one-on-one with victims and helped them take part in solving their case,” McQueen said. “I did crime scene reconstructions, facial and composite drawings.” In working his way up to superintendent, McQueen previously served in an ascending progression of posts, including patrol and detective sergeant, a member of the DSP Critical Incident Stress Management Team, the officer-in-charge of the Honor Guard Unit, a patrol lieutenant at Troop 3 Camden and a deputy troop commander at Troop 2 Bear responsible for the Major Crimes Unit, Domestic Violence Unit, Polygraph Examiner and Youth Aid Unit. In 1991, he received the DSP Police Valor Award. “I assisted the operator of a vehicle that had been struck by a train,” McQueen said. “As a second train was approaching, I assisted the operator by removing her from the area of the track.” After serving as commander at several troop locations, he began his stint on the executive staff as the operations major managing all troops statewide. McQueen said his time at DSU was beneficial to his career progression. “I am part of so many boards and committees that run the gamut of kids, social services, sexual crimes and many other areas, and my social work master’s degree background helps me negotiate through those boards and work with other state agencies,” he said. Most notably, McQueen recalled Dr. John Austin, the then-chair of the DSU Department of Sociology (currently the director of DSU Sponsored Programs), as being very helpful to him in his studies, as well as Dr. Marlene Saunders, current assistant professor of social work, and two deceased instructors, Dr. George Johnson and Dr. Larcy McCarley. -- Story and photo by Carlos Holmes

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.