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Susan Johnston, Wesley College 1st Lady, Shows Art at DSU

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Susan Johnston, the wife of Wesley College President William Johnston, stands between her paintings (l-r) “Full Basket” and “Tractor,” which are among 28 of her watercolor artworks on exhibition at the DSU Art Center/Gallery until Sept. 12.

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The Delaware State University Art Center/Gallery is currently exhibiting a show of watercolor works entitled “Chapters, Then and Now” by Dover artist Susan Johnston, the first lady of Wesley College. Susan Johnston stands next to her watercolor entitled “Wintergreen,” which is among her works on display at the DSU Art Center/Gallery. The exhibition – which will be on display until Sept. 12 – as well as a Sept. 4 reception are both free and open for the public to attend. The Art/Center Gallery is located inside the entrance of the William C. Jason Library on campus. A Meet the Artist reception will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4 in the Art Center/Gallery. Mrs. Johnston, who is the wife of Wesley College President William N. Johnston, has been an artist since her childhood. The exhibition of 28 works – which were created from 1986 to present – represents various topics of exploration during her artistic journey. “Chapters are to a book as a series is to an artist’s body of work,” Mrs. Johnston said. “The books and chapters, as a metaphor, also become their own story rather than the pages that house their original purpose.” The artist describes each one of the series she has done as a problem to explore rather than solve. “Each show reveals my reverence for the mysteries of nature, but also the beauty of familiar places and things,” Mrs. Johnston said. “Each series is a chapter in my own life.” Mrs. Johnston said watercolors have appealed to her throughout her life as an artist, and notes that the medium demands drawing and practice. “Poets claim to write for months in order for one poem to emerge,” she said. “A painter must be willing to do the same.” Susan S. Johnston is one of three artists based at Parke Green Galleries located at 327 and 331 S. State Street in Dover. The gallery – which is a historically significant landmark site where Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787 – is open to the public and features original paintings, prints and artistic gifts.  

Sen. Chris Coons Announces Manufacturing Ed Bill at DSU

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U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (r) holds a media event in front of the OSCAR Building construction site to announce the bipartisan American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act. He is joined in that announcement by (l-r) Dr. DSU President Harry L. Williams and Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology.

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U.S. Sen. Chris Coons used DSU as the site to hold a media event just outside of the under-construction OSCAR Building in order to announce new mechanical engineering legislation he has introduced.Joined by DSU President Harry L. Williams and Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology and vice president of Research Innovation and Economic Development, Sen. Coons explained the bipartisan legislation just outside of the OSCAR Building construction site. The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act is designed to help institutions of higher education to strengthen their engineering programs to meet the growing demands of 21st century manufacturing. Following his media event on the proposed manufacturing education legislation, Sen. Chris Coons (center) receives an update from Dr. Noureddine Melikechi and DSU President Harry L. Williams on the construction progress of the OSCAR Building.  “I’m excited about Delaware State University’s steady growth as a leader in science and technology education, research and training,” he said. “And I have visited dozens of manufacturers in Kent and Sussex counties that have a common concern about needing more young people they can hire to be future employees both as engineers and as skilled workers.”According to Sen. Coons, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act would award grants to universities designed to help better align educational offerings with the needs of modern manufacturers.“Manufacturing plays a critical role in our country’s economy,” Sen. Coons said. “Accounting for nearly $2 trillion of our nation’s output, more than 12 million Americans are directly employed in manufacturing.” “Given the importance of manufacturing in the United States, it is critical that federal manufacturing policy be effective,” the senator said. “However, because the sector is diverse, no one federal department or agency deals exclusively with manufacturing.”Dr. Melikechi said that University officials support the bill and the university may consider applying for the money if the legislation passes in Congress.“It’s a continuum. You need a great education, you need good business leaders, you need a strong innovation and so forth, but also you do need that manufacturing component to have an economy that’s viable,” he said.After the media event, Sen. Coons went over to the construction site, where Dr. Williams and Dr. Melikechi updated the senator on the progress of OSCAR – Optical Science Center for Applied Research – Building

DSU Aviation Program to Benefit From Runway Expansion

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(L-r) Stephen Williams, DRBA director of airports; Richard Downes, DRBA commissioner for Kent County; Scott Green, DRBA executive director; U.S. Rep. John Carney; DSU President Harry Williams; U.S. Sen. Chris Coons; Lori Pagnanelli, FAA Harrisburg District manager; U.S. Sen. Tom Carper; and j William Lowe, DRBA vice chairman pose for a group shot after announcement of funding for runway expansion at the Del. Airpark.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams joined U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, U.S. Rep. John Carney and Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Executive Director Scott Green on Aug. 18 to announce a $5 million dollar grant to update and expand the Delaware Airpark. U.S. Sen. Chris Coon (r) gets some aircraft pointers from DSU aviation sophomore Justin Thompson. The DSU Aviation Program – which maintains its fleet of 11 planes and conducts its flight training at the Delaware Airpark – will benefit greatly from the runway expansion that the grant will fund. The announcement took place during a media event held that the main hangar of the airpark. Also in attendance were Capt. Stephen Speed, DSU Aviation Program director, instructors and students, as well as other officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the DRBA. This project is Phase XI of an ongoing multi-year project to expand the airport by constructing a new runway, its parallel taxiway, connector taxiways and apron system. It will include site preparation, environmental mitigation and construction of a new airport perimeter road. “DSU is a major tenant at the Delaware Airpark, and these updates will help with the safety of the facility,’ said Dr. Williams. Sen. Carper said the grant award announcement is a “win-win” for Kent County. “The improvements will not only create jobs, but it will provide a better training facility for students at DSU,” Delaware’s senior senator said. “This is a great example of the federal government creating a nurturing environment for job growth and job training on the local level.” “We must continue to invest in America’s infrastructure,” said Sen. Coons. “Investing in our roads, bridges, highways and our airports lead to economic opportunities. As Delaware Airpark continues to develop, it means more job opportunities and significant improvements for the aviation students at Delaware State University and commercial entities who utilize the airport.” Capt. Stephen Speed, director of the DSU Aviation Program (left, being interviewed by WDDE-FM's Karl Malgiero), said the longer and wider runway will give students more landing space. “My most important role in Congress is finding ways to put Delawareans back to work, and proper funding and updates to our infrastructure makes that job a lot easier,” said Congressman Carney. “A runway extension at Delaware Airpark helps the airport compete for business regionally, enhances Delaware State University’s pilot training courses, and puts Kent County in a better position to take advantage of economic opportunities.  It’s a good project for Kent and all of Delaware.” In addition to being the home of the DSU Aviation Program, the Delaware Airpark also serves the general aviation needs of central Delaware and Dover.  Capt. Speed said the improvements will convert a current runway into a taxiway and create a new and longer east-to-west runway that will also be wider than the existing one. “It will improve the safety margin and give our instructors more flexibility in what they allow the students to do in their training,” he said.

DSU Receives $1.7M Grant to Join Nemours in Establishing Delaware Comprehensive Sickle Cell Research Center

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Dr. Dula Man, right, assistant professor of chemistry, is a co-investigator of the grant through which DSU will partner with the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders to establish a Delaware Comprehensive Sickle Cell Research Center. Dr. Cherese Winstead, assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry, will also work on a project as part of the grant.

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Delaware State University has received a five-year, $1,783,188 grant to partner with the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders to establish a Delaware Comprehensive Sickle Cell Research Center.The funding to DSU is part of a $10.2 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the genetic mutation that causes sickle cell disease and to improve care and outcomes for affected children. Dr. Marie Stuart, director of hematology research at Nemours, is the principal investigator of the grant, designated as an NIH Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) award.Dr. Dula Man, DSU assistant professor of chemistry, is a co-investigator of the grant, along with Dr. Robin Miller and Dr. Steven Reader, both from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.Dr. Man’s work in the laboratory will manipulate the affected sickle red cell by a novel process of gene editing in an attempt to correct the abnormal hemoglobin in the red cell without harming other cell functions. Dr. Eric Kmiec, DSU professor of chemistry, will mentor Dr. Man.In addition, Dr. Cherese Winstead, DSU assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry, will work on another project that will involve the growth of hematopoietic stem cells on multilayer nanofiber scaffolds.Dr. Miller’s project, under the mentorship of Dr. Stuart, involves a clinical trial on the use of n-3 omega fatty acids for relief of pain and inflammation associated with sickle cell disease. Dr. Reader’s project with Nemours mentor Dr. Anne Kazak will modify the psychosocial assessment tool developed by Dr. Kazak to screen for risk in the pediatric population with sickle cell disease.“This is a positive effort to enhance biomedical research in the state and the region,” said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology and vice president for Research, Innovation and Economic Development.  “It is the result of many years of interaction between scientists at DSU, Nemours and other institutions in Delaware to create a community of researchers interested in working on technologies that can be applied to make advances in diseases such as sickle cell anemia.”Dr. Melikechi added: “We are grateful to Nemours and the other collaborating institutions. This is a major step forward and we look forward to taking more steps that will raise the research and educational portfolio in the state of Delaware.”A genetic disorder of the red blood cells, sickle cell disease is a chronic and potentially debilitating disease of childhood which, in its severe form, can affect multiple organ systems and ultimately shorten the life span. Many patients face barriers that may impact quality of care and health outcomes. The grant is focused on prevention of symptoms associated with sickle cell, strong psychosocial support for families, studying the quality of care provided, and identifying genetic approaches to treatment and cure.The grant also includes a three-year pilot study by Dr. Divya Moodalbail of Nemours, whose research will try to identify children most at-risk for developing  sickle cell-related chronic kidney disease, an initial step in preventing or slowing the progression of long-term kidney damage.In the important realm of data management, Dr. E. Anders Kolb, director of the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, and co-investigator Dr. David West, will work to link advances in health informatics and electronic data recording with clinical research to improve patient outcomes.“This federal support will ensure an outstanding program to meet the ongoing needs of Delaware’s children and young adults with sickle cell disease and their families. It is a tribute to the excellence of the team in what is an extremely competitive funding environment,” said Dr. Vicky Funanage, director of Nemours Biomedical Research.

DSU's Dr. Noureddine Melikechi Named To Serve on NASA's MARS 2020 Team

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Delaware State University’s Dr. Noureddine Melikechi has been named by NASA to serve on a select team that will be involved in the development of a sophisticated instrument – the SuperCam – that will be used on the space agency’s planned Mars 2020 mission.Dr. Melikechi – dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology; vice president for Research, Innovation and Economic Development; and the founder of the DSU Optics Research Program – is presently a member of the NASA ChemCam Team that is connected to the current Mars Mission taking place on the Red Planet.NASA’s search for life on the planet Mars will continue with the launch in 2020 of a rover similar in design to the current mission’s Curiosity Rover.  Last week NASA announced the seven sophisticated instruments that it selected to be part of this new scientific mission.These instruments together will provide an unprecedented set of tools to the team to explore the planet Mars. The seven instruments will use a multitude of detailed measurements, including geophysical, geochemical and atmospheric. These will provide clues to determine the past and/or present potential for habitability of the planet. One of the instruments selected – the SuperCam – will consist of a laser; its second harmonic will provide tremendous spectroscopic capabilities to the mission. “This new instrument will have more potential and more capabilities than the current one on the Red Planet,” Dr. Melikechi said. “I am delighted that SuperCam was selected to be one of the instruments for the Mars2020 mission. This selection demonstrates the power of the laser and its great potential to help solve some of the biggest scientific and technological questions of our times. Our students will no doubt benefit from this mission in one way or another.”

DSU Hosts 2nd Annual HBCU Philanthropy Symposium

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DSU's Division of Institutional Advancement recently hosted a number of regional HBCUs at its second annual Historically Black College and University Philanthropy Symposium on July 24-25, 2014.

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DSU's Division of Institutional Advancement recently hosted a number of regional HBCUs at its second annual Historically Black College and University Philanthropy Symposium on July 24-25 in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.The Symposium’s objective is to build a consortium of regional HBCU institutions to establish a process among the participating institutions in which philanthropic outreach solutions and best practices can be shared. Schools are thereby empowered to effectively address the challenges they face in fundraising. The consortium allows each institution to better leverage funding opportunity in an increasingly competitive market for philanthropy dollars.The attendees of DSU's 2nd annual HBCU Philanthropy Symposium take time out for a group photo moment.The keynote speaker this year was Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. "I applaud Delaware State University's leadership in convening a group of our public HBCUs to prepare themselves for fundraising success." The keynoted share his sage perspective, noting that in order to attract significant donors, HBCUs to focus their work on things that matter “People with dollars want you to solve societal problems,” Mr. Taylor said. “We have to go out and reposition the work we do. Areas like national security, future water shortages and Africa, people will give you money for work in those areas.” DSU Harry Williams addressed the symposium about the current state of HBCUs.  Symposium attendees included the host school Delaware State University, Bowie State University, Cheyney University, Coppin State University, Lincoln University, Morgan State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the University of the District of Columbia. The participants engaged in interactive dialogue to determine feasible initiatives that could immediately become collaborative efforts among all of the participating schools.  The most significant issues discussed were increasing student philanthropy and strategies to get more support from university presidents and trustees.   In addition, several strategies were discussed on how to increase annual giving, engage alumni, and strategically make asks for transformational gifts to the respective universities. Representatives from Delmarva Power, JP Morgan Chase, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and CFRE International also participated in the symposium, sharing their knowledge as guest speakers and panelists. 

DSU Jumpstart Freshmen Work Project With Local Museums

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DSU Jumpstart freshmen Ayanna Hatcher, Ashanna Goldsboro, Zaniyah Godley, Dallis Gerald, Joy Brown and Isaiah Collins participate in a paper-marbling training session at the John Dickerson Plantation in preparation for their Aug. 2 presentation at that state historic site.

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A group of incoming DSU freshmen – who have already started their academic journey through participation in the University’s Jumpstart Program – are already getting hands-on experience in Delaware State’s core value tradition of community service by working on a project with local museums. In connection with partnership between DSU Jumpstart Program – an academic enrichment/leadership transition program for first-time freshmen – and the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 28 new DSU students are working with four local museums to come up with interactive history-related programs that are specific to each one of those sites. The students have been split up into separate teams between the four sites and are developing the interactive activities that specific designed to help tell the story of the museum in which they are assigned. They will present their activities between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2 at the following Dover-area locations: The First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located in the Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Blvd. The John Dickerson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road. The Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St. The Old State House, 25 The Green. The partnership is giving the students a unique opportunity to experience how museums develop public programming through efficient time-management, teamwork, critical thinking and creativity – valuable skills that the students will need as they move forward in their lives. The Aug. 2 events at all of the above four museums are free and open to the public. For more info about the events, call the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs at (302) 736-7411.

STARS Summer Program -- Photo Slideshow

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STARS participants got a lot of hands-on experience in research techniques during the July 6 thru Aug. 2 DSU summer program.

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Science and Technology Academy for Residence Scholars (STARS) is a summer enrichment program at DSU designed to stimulate and extend the interest of high school students in the fields of mathematics, science, and information technology. Its purpose is to encourage them to investigate careers in these disciplines. STARS offers enjoyable, hands-on experimentation combined with an extensive use of technology. For images from the program, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by additional information: Every day the students participate in two academic sessions in the morning and two sessions in the afternoon. In the evenings, the students are engaged in SAT Preparation sessions and follow up activities. There are field trips on the weekends.

2014 GEMS Summer Program -- Photo Slideshow

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The GEMS students got microscopic looks at DNA during their summer program at Delaware State University.

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DSU's Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) Program offers middle students the opportunity to explore new pursuits in Crime Scene Investigation and expand upon their current interests with unique hands-on experiences.For images from the GEMS program that took place from July 14-18, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by additional information:The students are rising 6th-9th graders and have the title of ‘Student Interns.’ Throughout the summer program period (July 7 thru Aug. 1), there is a new group of students each week. Lisa Escobar Hertzog of the Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security is the lead teacher and program leader.  The following DSU students are also involved as peer mentors to assist in the instruction of the young participants: Vanessa Cruz  (head peer mentor), Jaime Watson, Taylor Brown and Keiyanna Wright.Mr. Gabe Jimenez is primary DSU coordinator, and is assisted by Dr. Clytrice Watson, associate professor of biological sciences, and Dr. Leonard Davis, chair of the Department of the Biological Sciences.The GEMS Program is funded by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System. This joint DSU/U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program is offered at no cost to the student. Students will earn a $100 stipend for attending and successfully completing a one-week session.

DSU Reaches New Accords with Schools in Ghana & China

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Seated (l-r) Dr. Huadong Yu, President of Changchun University of Science and Technology (CUST), and DSU President Harry L. Williams sign two agreements for joint academic program between the two institutions. Standing behind them (l-r): Ms. Yadong Bai, CUST associate director of International Affairs; Dr. Yong Yang, CUST Provost; Dr. Yanzhong Li, CUST vice president; Dr. Fengshan Liu, DSU Asst. Vice President for International Affairs; and an unidentified CUST staff member.

                 

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DSU President Harry L. Williams recently traveled to China and Ghana, where he signed new agreements with five different institutions that will facilitate cooperative degree programs, faculty/student exchanges and other collaborations.DSU President Harry L. William joins Professor William Otoo Ellis, vice-chancellor of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in signing an agreement that will facilitate faculty/students exchanges.Dr. Williams and representatives of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences -- Dr. Dyremple Marsh, college dean; Dr. Albert Essel, associate dean for Cooperative Extension; and Dr. Marikis Alvarez, associate dean for research – were in the West African country of Ghana June 14-19 where agreements were signed with the University of Cape Coast, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.The Memorandum of Understanding documents signed between DSU and the Ghanaian institutionsl of higher education will facilitate faculty/student exchanges, research collaborations, joint grant proposals and other academic and development activities.Dr. Williams and Dr. Fengshan Liu, associate vice president of International Affairs, also traveled to China, where new agreements were signed with Changchun University of Science and Technology and Dalian University of Technology’s School of Continuing Education.Two eight-year formal cooperative degree program agreements with Changchun University (located in the Chinese province of Jilin) will provide Chinese students with an opportunity to study computational mathematics and optical information science/technology at DSU during their senior year after completing the degree requirements of their first three years at Changchun. A five-year formal accord with Dalian University (located in the Chinese province of Liaoning) will enable qualified students to enroll in DSU’s Master of Business Administration program. The Dalian students will be able to enroll in the MBA Program at either DSU’s main campus in Dover or at its DSU@Wilmington location.The students from both Changchun and Dalian will pay out-of-state tuition for their time at DSU. The recent agreements with these two Chinese universities are an expansion of faculty/student exchange agreements reached with DSU several years ago.“These agreements are solid evidence that international institutions of higher education are finding outstanding academic value in Delaware State University and great opportunities for their students to achieve their academic aspirations by studying abroad at DSU,” Dr. Williams said. “We will continue to work to expand our international portfolio and establish this institution as a highly desired global educational destination.”With the recent agreements in China, DSU now has joint academic programs with five Chinese universities. In addition to Changchun and Dalian, there are also joint programs with Ningbo University of Technology, Sanming University and Jilin University of Finance and Economics.Currently DSU has agreements with 32 institutions of higher education outside of the United States in the countries of China, Ghana, Korea, France, South Africa, Bangladesh, India and Mexico.

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