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DSU Formalizes Agreement with Mauritania Institution

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DSU President Harry L. Williams (seated left) shakes hands with Mauritania Ambassador Mohamed Lemine Haycen after signing an agreement that will facilitate joint projects and exchanges between DSU and the National School for Agriculture Training and Extension. Standing behind (l-r) are DSU administrators Dr. Fengshan Liu, Provost Alton Thompson, Dr. Marshall Stevenson, Dr. Dyremple Marsh, Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, Dr. Adul-Aziz Diop and Dr. Bradley Skelcher.

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  Delaware State University has expanded its international partnerships with the signing of a formal agreement with National School for Agriculture Training and Extension of Kaedi, Mauritania.  DSU President Harry L. Williams signed the five-year agreement on June 29 with Mauritania Ambassador Mohamed Lemine Haycen during a meeting on the DSU campus.   The agreement facilitates joint research projects, joint academic seminars, as well as student and faculty exchanges.   Ambassador Haycen noted that “knowledge is light,” and that technical knowledge is especially needed in Mauritania.   “Knowledge is the noblest that can be given, because through it you can bring a population into the light,” Ambassador Haycen said.   “It is out intent through this partnership to make significant research, training and extension contributions in the subject areas of horticulture, dry land agriculture, protective agriculture and bio-energy,” said Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the DSU College of Agriculture and Related Sciences. “Successful completion of well-thought out projects in these critical need areas will serve to address the sustainability issues in both countries.”  

Del. Congressional Delegation Youth Conference held at DSU

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(L-r) U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and U.S. Rep. John Carney talk with participant of the Delaware Congressional Delegation Youth Conference.

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Delaware State University’s MLK Jr. Student Center was the site May 18 of the Congressional Delegation Youth Conference, hosted by U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and U.S. Rep. John Carney. More than 100 high school students from schools all over Delaware spent the day with the Delaware Congressional Delegation members, and received the elected officials’ perspective on the topic of College Affordability, Equal Pay for Women, Increasing Minimum Wage, and Getting Rid of Standardized Testing for High School Student   The Delaware Congressional Delegation take a photo opp with more than 100 students who attended their Youth Conference in DSU's MLK Jr. Student Center.  

Class of 1965 Presents Record Alumni Group Gift -- $104,000

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Presenting the Class of 1965 gift: Evalynn Young Brunswick, Tina Strong, Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard, Jimmie Strong, Sharon Dixon Drew (represent her husband Dr. Martin Drew), Maurice Pritchett, Delores Harris and DSU President Harry L. Williams.

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Members of the Delaware State College Class of 1965 not only celebrated their 50th anniversary by their presence at the DSU 2015 May Commencement, but they also used the occasion to show their love for their alma mater by presenting a donation of $104,000 – the largest gift ever presented to DSU by an alumni class. The Class of 1965 made the presentation during a reception hosted by DSU President Harry L. Williams and his wife Dr. Robin Williams at their residence on May 16. For images from the reception, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157652700735228/show "This is historic, because you made a commitment and you exceeded it," said the DSU president. “This gift is not only tremendously remarkable as a reflection of your love for your alma mater, but also as a new standard for alumni support of DSU.” The fundraiser was born when five members of the Class of 1965 – Jimmy and Tina Strong, Dr. Martin Drew, the late Don Wright and the late Wilbur “Bigsby” Johnson (who both passed away in 2013) – were attending the 2011 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament in Winston-Salem, N.C.,  and got into a discussion about what they could do to better support their alma mater. “It originally began with the idea that if we could get 20 alums to give $5,000, then we would raise $100,000 for the University,” said Mr. Strong. As the fundraising concept began taking shape, the question became what to call it. “At some point, Don Wright said, ‘Let’s call it the Culture of Giving’,” said Tina Strong. The “Culture of Giving” not only stuck with the Class of 1965’s fundraising commitment, but also became an important part of the general language at DSU to inspire a new mindset where alumni support of DSU is concerned. Meanwhile the original steering committee expanded, as class member Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard joined the original committee, which had already begun making calls to class members that they could reach and working to locate others that they had lost track of over the years. “Martin  (the fundraising chairman) was a running telephone when it came to reaching out to alumni from the class,” said Tina Strong. Fast-forward five years later, and the pledge has become a fulfilled reality. A total of 62 people – other members of the Class of 1965 as well as family and friends – contributed to the fundraising drive.  “It is our hope that our efforts to raise $104,000 will inspire other alumni to share our spirit in creating a culture of giving for the University,” Hebsgaard said.   While hoping other alumni will follow their lead, the Class of 1965 is not done. Members of the class have pledged to set aside $25 per month to add to the historic amount they have already raised.  

May 17 Commencement -- Article and Photo Slideshow

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While these graduates may have had to throw on panchoes to stay dry, the alternating moderate to light rain did not dampen the spirit of the Class of 2015 as they endured the rain with smiles and received their diplomas.

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More than 500 graduates walked across the stage to celebrate the completion of their degrees during the May 17 Commencement Ceremony at Delaware State University’s Alumni Stadium. For images from the Commencement weekend, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157653058716985/show Because DSU’s Finals Week just ended on Friday, May 8, the spring semester 2015 grades and the final graduation totals will not be finalized until the coming week. The Commencement Ceremony, held outdoors  at the University’s Alumni Stadium amid alternating moderate to light rain, was presided over by DSU President Harry L. Williams. Also in attendance were U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, DSU Board of Trustees Chairman David Turner, as well as a number of other Board of Trustees members and elected state officials. The 2015 Commencement marked the first visit by a former head of state to the DSU campus. His Excellency John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor, a former two-term president of Ghana, was the keynote speaker. President Kufuor, who has continued in his post-presidential years to work on the issues of food security, hunger and poverty, as well as climate change, told the Class of 2015 that the time has come for their generation to aspire to leadership that would be globally transforming. “You can only do this when you join and associate with forces that seek the ultimate good of all humanity,” President Kufuor said. “Hunger, poverty, disease, deadly migratory voyages, social and economic deprivation and inequalities anywhere and everywhere in the world, especially in the least developed countries and conflict areas, should be of concern to you.” The former head of state noted that the global society will need their sharpened observation and critical faculties in the long term management of world issues. “Wherever you will find yourselves – whether in politics, business, industry, medicine, law, agriculture, academia or whatever – you will be required to play your roles with clarity of vision, a strong sense of mission and conviction, focus, consummate knowledge of not only your respective nations, but the world at large, so as to add real value to the quality of life of humanity as a whole,” President Kufuor said. The University presented President Kufuor with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree. Dr. Williams also presented Presidential Academic Excellence Awards to four graduates, all of whom maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout their undergraduate years: Chelsea Kimbler, a psychology major from Seaford, Del. Kacie Minner, an agriculture major from Harrington, Del. Rebecca Pugh, a political science major from Leipsic, Del. Leah Williams, a management major from Cheltenham, Md. The 2015 May Commencement was unique because the Presidential Leadership Award was also presented to the above Ms. Williams, marking the first time that a graduate won both presidential awards. Ms. Williams – who plays nine musical instruments – served as a student conductor and band director in the DSU Approaching Storm Marching Band as well as other band groups. She was also the founder and president of the newly established Christian group F.O.R.C.E. (Focusing on Renewing Christ-like Existence). Among the five doctoral degrees awarded Sunday, Leon Taleh of the Central African country of Cameroon was the first-ever doctoral product of the DSU Optics Program. He was presented with a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Optics. The youngest graduate was Ms. Hala Link of Dover, Del. The 19-year-old earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. The oldest graduate was 72-year-old Mr. Ronald Spriggs of Dover, who received a bachelor’s degree in social work. With the Class of 2015 (which includes graduates from the December 2014 Commencement as well as the May 17 graduation), the institution has surpassed the 20,000 mark of four-year diplomas and above that have been awarded in the 124-year history of Delaware State University.

DSU President hosts A Gentlemen's Brunch -- Photo Slideshow

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Ronald Spriggs, the Class of 2015's oldest graduate at age 72, is greeted by Dr. Harry L. Williams at the Gentlemen's Brunch event.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams held his first-ever A Gentlemen’s Brunch to celebrate the men of the May Commencement’s Class of 2015. For images of the event -- which took place in the MLK Jr. Student Center -- click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157652479225218/show

A Ladies' Tea in May -- Photo Slideshow

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Some of the women attending Dr. Robin Williams' A Ladies' Tea take a moment to pose for a group photo.

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Dr. Robin Williams celebrated the women of the May Commencement graduating class by hosting A Ladies' Tea in the MLK Jr. Student Center. For images of the tea, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157652819763336/show  

DSU and SAP SE Announce New Partnership

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DSU students Julian Vanderhoist and Leah Williams, College of Business Dean Donna Covington and Ann Rosenberg, vice president of Global SAP University Alliances talk with a interviewer during the recent SAPPHIRE NOW Conference of the Americas' SAP Users' Group in Orlando, Fla.

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Delaware State University (DSU) announced today that it is working together with SAP SE, a market leader in enterprise application software, as well as the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) to become a Center of Excellence in critical enterprise technological advancements, to be shared with students from DSU and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) around the country. The “Project Propel Empowered by SAP” initiative spearheaded by DSU, ASUG and SAP (through the SAP® University Alliances program and Black Employee Network) is intended to enable HBCUs to empower their students with knowledge of the latest SAP technologies. The goal is to better prepare HBCU graduates with critical skills that are in demand among companies in the SAP ecosystem, enhancing their academic and career outcomes. SAP enables more than 291,000 customers worldwide to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively. ASUG is the world’s largest independent SAP user group, made up of more than 100,000 individuals in more than 17 industries across the SAP ecosystem, with a mission of providing ASUG members with the resources, tools and connections they need to maximize the return on their SAP investment. “ASUG members are seeking graduates with skills in SAP S/4HANA and analytics solutions from SAP, as well as knowledge of the latest industry trends including the Internet of Things, the business network, Big Data and user experience,” said Geoff Scott, CEO of ASUG. “We look forward to connecting our community to talented graduates of HBCUs skilled in these areas to enable our members to further drive innovation with their SAP investments.” “Delaware State University is honored to be partnering with SAP, one of the tech industry’s biggest leaders,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “We are excited to be the HBCU Center of Excellence for this initiative.  As a result of this partnership, Delaware State University will support faculty from HBCUs across the U.S., enabling students to gain hands on experience in SAP’s latest technologies as part of their degree programs. This initiative is truly a monumental movement in ensuring the exposure of emerging technologies to students.”  “HBCUs represent a tremendous source of emerging talent that will help SAP, our customers and our partners to fuel innovation and succeed in a rapidly changing world,” said Brian Reaves, senior vice president and global head of d.studio, Products & Innovation for SAP. “I am thrilled that SAP University Alliances and SAP’s Black Employee Network are teaming with ASUG and DSU to drive strong engagement with HBCUs to enhance their students’ academic and career outcomes.” The mission of SAP’s Black Employee Network is to help foster a best-run culture that cultivates awareness and inclusion for SAP employees of African descent by prioritizing recruitment, bolstering retention, providing mentorship and empowering upward mobility. The SAP University Alliances program is a global initiative that builds the next generation of talent for the digital enterprise and drives innovation from universities to the SAP ecosystem. At more than 2,000 member institutions in over 85 countries, SAP University Alliances works with faculty to develop highly qualified graduates with critical skills for the 21st-century workforce.

DSU Holds Its Annual Data Day

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Data Day Poster Contest winners: 1st Place -- Jerami Frazier, senior computer and information science major; 2nd place -- Cara Gomez, movement science instructor. Not pictured with Ms. Gomez: Megan Maloney, who developed the post with her.

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Dr. Jodi Levine Laufgraben of Temple University led the Data Day workshop. DSU held its third annual Data Day in an effort to positively impact student success through the analysis of assessment measurements. Held in the parlors of the MLK Jr. Student Center on May 13, faculty and staff from all of the University’s academic colleges and departments took part in sessions led by Dr. Jodi Levine Laufgraben, vice provost for Academic Affairs, Assessment and Institutional Research at Temple University. Dr. Laufgraben conducted sessions on understanding and using rubrics as they relate to the direct evidence of student learning and how to use such evidence. The gathering also collaborated in reviewing program assessment plans and data. This year’s Data Day also featured an assessment poster contest. Members of the gathering voted on the top posters that were on display in the parlors. Jerami Frazier, a senior computer and information science major, won first place for his poster on “A Systematic Course and Program Outcome Assessment Tool.” The second place prize was awarded to movement science instructors Megan Maloney and Cara Gomez for their joint-poster on “Comprehensive Curricular Revision in Movement Science Programs.”

DSU OSCAR Science Team Awarded $330,000 Research Grant

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Dr. Hacene Boukari, associate professor on the OSCAR science team, is spearheading DSU's involvement in the research that is being funded by the grant.

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Highly sensitive detection and analysis of nuclear, chemical and biological materials is the goal of a new joint research and educational project recently awarded to the Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) to train Delaware State University students.  Funded by a $330,000 grant from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) – an agency within the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) – the project will familiarize students engaged in OSCAR programs with the NNSA mission. It will open up future employment opportunities in NNSA laboratories as well as collaborative projects for the OSCAR faculty. “This is a logical step that OSCAR researchers are taking,” says Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, director of OSCAR and dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology.  “Excellence of our work is gradually but surely being recognized.  Being part of a major effort that could potentially yield new discoveries and technologies is an honor and a privilege.  OSCAR students will have excellent opportunities to contribute to a global scientific and technological challenge.” DSU will join eight other universities and three DOE National Laboratories, (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex) in work to enhance a collaboration that will integrate the academic activities of the universities with the research objectives of the national laboratories.  OSCAR faculty will lead these activities at DSU. The effort is a $4.6 million project lasting three years, with DSU’s share being $330,000.  Some DSU students will do the research work in OSCAR and other University laboratories, while others will spend time at one of the DOE National Laboratories. The project is entitled “Research on the Science and Engineering of Signatures,” or ROSES.  “Signature” in this sense refers to indications or evidence of specific materials being present, in the same way that a person’s written signature is evidence of his or her presence.  The signature of a particular nuclear compound or toxin, for example, might involve detecting specific colors (or wavelengths) of light emitted by the substance. DSU’s participation in ROSES is led by Dr. Hacene Boukari, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Engineering and a member of the OSCAR science team. “This program provides great opportunities to our students and researchers to familiarize themselves with the NNSA mission and research activities.,  Dr. Boukari said. “DSU is well-positioned to contribute in this growing field by integrating our strength in diverse areas of optical sciences with the research interests of NNSA.”  

"Rethink Your Drink" Launched as New Health Initiative at DSU

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The "Rethink Your Drink" is aimed at educating the public about the amount of sugar contained in many soft drinks.

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The Delaware Center for Health Promotion, based at DSU, and Kent Kids, a local advocate coalition for the well-being of children and their families, have jointly launched a campaign to get people to “Rethink Your Drink” and curb the consumption of sugary beverages. Showing the Kent County Levy Court resolution supporting the "Rethink Your Drink" initiative are Michael Petit de Mange, Kent County administrator; Marianne Carter, director of the Del. Center for Health Promotions; and Kate Layton, acting president of Kent Kids. Kicked off on May 11 during a media event in the MLK Jr. Student Center, the campaign urges Kent County residents to take the “Rethink Your Drink Pledge," a 30-day challenge during which they commit to eliminate or drink fewer sugary beverages. The goal of this campaign is to educate residents about these beverages and encourage healthier choices, like water.  “This is an exciting step in the right direction to reduce overweight and obesity rates in Kent County," said Marianne Carter, registered dietitian and director of the Delaware Center for Health Promotion at DSU.  "Most sugary beverages contain little to no nutritional value, yet they provide lots of excess calories." The campaign has been launched against a backdrop of six consecutive years that Kent County is rated the least healthy county in Delaware. Based on a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the ranking is caused in part by Kent County’s obesity rate, which is higher than the state average. Regular consumption of sugary beverages (e.g. regular soda, fruit punch and sports drinks) has been linked to obesity, especially in children.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, one-half of Americans now drink sugary beverages daily.  An average 20-oz. soda contains 16 teaspoons of sugar and 240 calories. Kent Kids, a coalition of partner agencies from across the state that advocates for the health and well-being of children and their families in the county, has given the campaign its support.  "The Rethink Your Drink Campaign fits right in with our vision.  This small change toward healthier beverages can have a big impact on our residents’ health,"  said Kate Layton, Kent Kids' acting president. The campaign also has been endorsed by the local county government. Kent County Levy Court recently passed a resolution affirming its support for the initiative. Funding for the campaign was made available by Nemours Health and Prevention Services. Learn more about Kent Kids, the “Rethink Your Drink” campaign and the 30-day pledge by visiting the Kent Kids website at www.KentKidsDE.org.

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