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DSU Features Diane Lorio Exhibition "Zigzag."

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This work entitled "Ice" is one of the paintings by Diane Lorio on exhibition currently in the DSU Arts Center/Gallery. The works will be on display until Sept. 23.

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The Delaware State University Art Center/Gallery is currently exhibiting a show of pattern works entitled “Zigzag” by Dover artist Diane Lorio. Diane Lorio stands to her work entitled "Magnify," one of the paints included in her current exhibition. The exhibition – which will be displayed until Sept. 23 – is free and open to the public. The Art Center/Gallery – which is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – is located on the right inside the lobby entrance of the William C. Jason Library on campus. Ms. Lorio, the Delaware Division of the Arts’ award-winning partner artist, has been painting for decades, as well as teaching art and encouraging peer artists. “The exhibit has a correlating pattern that goes through all of my paintings,” said Mrs. Lorio, who is also the wife of Edward Lorio, DSU associate professor of art and a sculpture artist. “When I put this show together, I needed a pattern that could coincide with each other, an energetic pattern.” The artist describes the works as patterns inspired by African tribal art, with each piece as a unique way to show the same energetic pattern. There will be a “Meet the Artist” reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15 in the Art Center/ Gallery, which is opened from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The reception is also free and open to the public.  

NEH Chairman William Adams Visits DSU

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(L-r) Dr. Susan West, DSU associate professor and Del. Humanities Forum (DHS) chair; DSU President Harry L. Williams; National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman William Adams, Marilyn Whittington, DHS executive director, Theresa Del Tufo widow of the DHS founder and former DSU professor Joseph Del Tufo, and Dr. Akwasi Osei, chair of the DSU Dept. of History, Pol. Sci. & Philosophy.

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Dr. William D. Adams, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, visited DSU on Sept. 7. Dr. William Adams, NEH chairman (far right), meets with DSU faculty and students in the OSCAR Building to exchange ideas on humanities. Dr. Adams, who has served since 2014 as the 10th chair of the NEH, is also the former president of Bucknell University (1995-2000) and of Colby College (2000-2014). During his visit, he met with DSU President Harry L. Williams, he stopped at the campus’ historic Loockerman Hall and spoke to a gathering there, and ended his day at by meeting with a group of students and faculty at the Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) Building. In addition to promoting the humanities through his conversations at DSU, Dr. Adams also inquired about the humanities academic offerings and activities that are available at the University. He was escorted around campus by Dr. Susan West, associate professor in the University’s Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy. Dr. West is the chairperson of the Council of the Delaware Humanities Forum; other members for the DHF also joined Dr. Adams on the visit to DSU. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

DSU's Dr. Kevina Vulinec Named Fulbright Ambassador

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Dr. Kevina Vulinec, who was first named a Fulbright Scholar in 2011, recently was selected to represent the program as a Fulbright Ambassador. In that capacity she will travel to other universities and colleges to talk about her Fulbright research experiences and share information about the program. She is shown here on a recent research trip in Honduras.

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Dr. Kevina Vulinec, who because of her longtime research on bat species has been referred to as “batwoman” and as an “ambassador of bats,” has had her titled expanded to include “ambassador of international scholars." Dr. Vulinec, DSU professor of wildlife ecology, has been named a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador who will help to promote the prestigious scholars program. A DSU faculty member since 2001, Dr. Vulinec was a Fulbright Scholar in 2011. At that time, she won the competitive grant to lecture and do research in Brazil as part of her ongoing work on bat species. Since that time she has continued to work is support of the Fulbright Program in various capacities over the last five years. Now she will visit other universities and colleges to talk about her experiences as a Fulbright Scholar and to share information about the program. “It is quite an honor,” Dr. Vulinec said. “Fulbright is the flagship program for the Council of International Exchange of Scholars, and it fosters communications and scholarship among 160 nations. Before going on the road for Fulbright, she will attend Fulbright presentation training in Austin, Texas. She said in addition to preparing her for the new Fulbright duties, the training site will have a great perk for her. “They have all these bats that live under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin,” Dr. Vulinec said.   According to the Bats Conservation website ( http://www.batcon.org/index.php/our-work/regions/usa-canada/protect-mega-populations/cab-intro ), the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin has the largest urban bat colony in the world, attracting hundreds of people every summer night to watch what is estimated to be 1.5 million bats fly from under the bridge to conduct their nocturnal activities. Given the extensive research Dr. Vulinec has done in her career on bat species, the locale of her Fulbright Ambassador Training should be a great comfort zone for her. For more than 70 years, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education, has served as the collaborating agency for the U.S. Department of State in administering the Fulbright Scholars Program. The worldwide success and stellar reputation of the Fulbright Scholars Program has been built on the talent, commitment and professionalism of scholars who have served as Fulbrighters at universities and research institutions in more than 155 countries.

DSU Opportunity Scholarship Students Meet Benefactors

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The Opportunity Scholarship "Dreamers" got to meet the people that made it happen -- Don Graham, the founder of The.Dream.US, Gov. Jack Markell and DSU President Harry L. Williams. Joined by U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and others, the meeting was culminated with a large group photo with the new DSU students.

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It was a meeting between the “Dreamers” and the people who have made their academic dreams come true. Don Graham chats with the Opportunity Scholarship students. On Sept. 6, a group of 34 new DSU students – undocumented immigrant youths who came to this country with their family when they were younger – met Don Graham, the founder of TheDream.US and its Opportunity Scholarship that has made their enrollment at DSU possible. The students, well-dressed in professional attire as an expression of their respect and gratitude, also met two other individuals who helped open the doors of Del State to them – Gov. Jack Markell and DSU President Harry L. Williams. DSU is one of two schools that has agreed to accept the Opportunity Scholarship students – known as Dreamers – who come from states in the U.S. that make it virtually impossible for them to enroll in state institutions of higher education because of immigration status. Mr. Graham said that he got cooperation in Delaware that was hard to find elsewhere. “There were governors that wanted to do this, but couldn’t get the politics right in their state,” he said. “And there were other governors that didn’t want to be a part of this.” However, he got a receptive response from Gov. Markell, who in turn received an immediate commitment from the DSU president to accept the Opportunity Scholarship students. “We are invested in every single one of you,” Mr. Graham told the group. “You are here because of Gov. Jack Markell and Dr. Williams.” Gov. Jack Markell told the students that they were not only welcomed at DSU, but also welcomed to remain and work in Delaware after they graduate. Gov. Markell said he was already impressed with the students and hoped after they complete their degrees that they will remain in Delaware. “You should be able to live out the American Dream,” said Gov. Markell. “We are going to do our level best to provide you with the platform and foundation to do that in Delaware.” Dr. Williams said he is confident that these students will do well at DSU. “These students already have proven themselves at American high schools across the country and their academic excellence at that level made it possible for them to take advantage of this valuable opportunity,” Dr. Williams said. “They were all above the admission standard of the University, which was a requirement to receive the scholarship.” U.S. Senator Tom Carper and Dr. Christine Cannon, executive director of the Arsht-Cannon Fund of the Delaware Community Foundation, were also on hand to wish the student an intellectually prosperous academic journey. “You’re here, and you didn’t come to just any university,” Sen. Carper said. “You came to Delaware State University, which is an outstanding institution of higher education.” Fernando Morales said he and his fellow Dreamer students are profoundly grateful for this opportunity. After the meeting, 34 new DSU Hornets posed for photos with Mr. Graham, the governor, the DSU president and spent some precious time to get to know them even better. Fernando Morales, a Dreamer student from Arkansas, said the sense of gratitude that he and his Opportunity Scholarship colleagues feel is too profound to put adequately into words. The Mexican native noted, however, his high respect for Mr. Graham. “He is very humble person,” said Mr. Morales, who is majoring in Movement Science at DSU. “I admire him for helping people who don’t get very many opportunities in this country.”

DSU President Received National TRIO Award

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Dr. Harry L. Williams (far left), with his 2016 TRIO Achievers Award, stands with fellow recipients: (l-r) Victor Woolridge, Univ. of Massachusetts Board of Trustees chairman; Jacquelyn Elliott, President of Central Arizona College; Marco Davila, professor of oncologic sciences at Morsani College of Medicine, Univ. of S. Florida; and Josè Cruz, exec. director of Barrio Logan College Institute.

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Delaware State University President Harry L. Williams has been named among the honorees of the 2016 National TRIO Achiever Award in recognition of his career accomplishments. The award was presented Sept. 1 at the 35th annual Council for Opportunity in Education Conference in San Diego, Dr. Williams was among the six 2016 honorees who all received guidance and assistance from a TRIO program during their high school and/or freshmen years and have gone on to experience great success in their professions. The federally funded TRIO programs provide college preparation, mentoring and college admission assistance to low-income and first-generation students. Those established throughout the country include the Upward Bound, McNair Scholars and Student Support Services programs. Dr. Williams, who came from a low-income family in North Carolina, enrolled as a freshman at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., in 1982. He was immediately embraced by the TRIO’s Student Support Services Program at that university, which he credits with giving his higher education journey a good start. “It is without a doubt that I wouldn’t be president of Delaware State University without the support I received from TRIO during my undergraduate years,” Dr. Williams said. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Communication Broadcasting, his academic journey continued with a Master of Arts in Education Media (also from Appalachian State) and culminated in 2000 with an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University. Meanwhile, the native of Greenville, N.C., also found his calling to be in higher education, leading to his service in a number of ascending administrator posts at Appalachian State and at the University of North Carolina, and later his 2008 appointment as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Delaware State University and ultimately as the University’s president in 2010. “It wasn’t until I became a higher education administrator that I came to understand the full breadth of TRIO,” Dr. Williams said. “I have since come to know countless students who were blessed with the support of a TRIO program, many of whom – like me – credit such support as having great and positive impact on the subsequent academic and career success that followed.” Dr. Williams is the first president of a Historically Black College or University to ever receive the TRIO Achiever Award. Since he became the 10th president in the history of DSU, the University’s enrollment has increased from 3,819 to 4,560 students. Among the other numerous accomplishments of the institution under Dr. Williams’ leadership: He achieved the support of state government to establish the Inspire Scholarship Program. The University has been awarded more than $108 million in research-related grants. The construction of the Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) Building was completed in 2015. DSU was recognized as the 1890 Land-grant Institution of the Year in 2013 and as the 1890 University of the Year in 2015, both by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. DSU’s initiatives to increase student success have led to partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education “First in the World” program, resulting in $3.6 million in grants in support of the University’s work in these areas. The University has established the Early College High School that features a STEM-emphasis curriculum as it prepares students for higher education.

Washington Nationals Manager Dusty Baker Visits DSU

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Washington National's skipper Dusty Baker shares his experience with the Hornets baseball team during an Aug. 29 visit to the DSU campus.

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Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker paid a visit to Delaware State University and showed students that one can have a highly successful career while at the same time remaining down-to-earth with everyday people.  (L-r) Dr. Akwasi Osei, Dusty Baker, DSU President Harry L. Williams and Ezrah Aharone pose for a photo after chatting in the President's Office. The Aug. 29 visit by the 20-year Major League Baseball manager came as a result of his friendship with Ezrah Aharone, a DSU adjunct associate professor in the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy. During his time on campus, Baker met with DSU President Harry L. Williams and then spoke to the Student Government Association executive officers (“The Movement”) and the Men of Color Alliance (MOCA). Baker also shared his experiences and wisdom with the Hornets baseball team, speaking about his father (who was also his Little League coach), his early professional baseball years, and the critical role that hard work and prayer has played in his career. Hornets baseball Head Coach J.P. Blandin said it was a treat for DSU’s student-athletes to hear Baker talk about his experiences. “The thing that stood out the most was his eagerness to interact and engage with our kids,” Coach Blandin said. “It was very easy to understand why he has been desired in so many clubhouses over the years after the short amount of time he spent with the Hornets baseball program today.” Currently Baker’s Washington Nationals are one of the top teams in the Major Leagues and are the runaway first place team in the National League East Division. Baker has been the skipper of four teams throughout his managerial career (San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds, in addition to the Washington Nationals). A three-time NL Manager of the Year awardee, he led the Giants to the 2002 National League pennant and also reached the playoffs with the Cubs and the Reds. His managing career was preceded by a 19-year playing career (1968-1986) as a hard-hitting outfielder primarily with the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger Awardee, and was a member of the 1981 World Champion Dodgers. He was also the NL Championship Series MVP in 1977. Dusty Baker (3rd from the left)  poses with several of the MLK Student Center staff. His easy-going manner and willingness to talk with everyone he came in contact demonstrative his love for everyday people.  

DSU Explores Possible Ivory Coast Partnerships

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(L-r) DSU's Dr. Constant Beugré, DSU President Harry L. Williams, and Guy Beugré, founder/president of the Groupe Scolaire Les Benoits -- a leading high school in the Ivory Coast -- pose for a photo after meeting to discuss a future possible partnership.

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Toward what could be a future new international partnership, DSU President Harry L. Williams recently met with Guy Beugué, who is the founder and president of the Groupe Scolaire Les Benoits (GDB) -- a leading high school in the West African country of Ivory Coast. Located in the city of Divo, the high school has a total enrollment of 2,000 students. Dr. Williams and Mr. Beugué – who is the cousin of Dr. Constant Beugré, professor of business administration – explored the possibilities of GSB graduates enrolling in DSU.  They also discussed possible future collaborations between DSU and a new private university Mr. Beugré and his cousin are planning to open in a few years. Dr. Beugré also participated in the meeting’s discussions.

DSU Welcomes Opportunity Scholarship Recipients

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The grateful and excited group of 34 DREAMers are ready to begin their academic journey at DSU. The students are the beneficiaries of the Opportunity Scholarship provided by TheDream.US.

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The Opportunity Scholarship has become an exciting reality at DSU for 34 immigrant students who otherwise would have virtually no higher education option in the United States. (L-r) Alejandro Montoya, Daniela Rivera, Rafael Arce and Olivia Delphine Bekale are among the new members of the DSU campus family to arrive via the Opportunity Scholarship. The scholarship recipients -- known as DREAMers after the scholarship provider TheDream.US -- are undocumented immigrants who as children came with their parents into the United States and attended public schools, excelling academically. Through no fault of their own, they found themselves locked out of state institutions of higher education – either by being declared out-of-state students (with unaffordable out-of-state tuition costs) or by laws in certain states that prohibit the enrollment of undocumented students at state colleges and universities. Because Delaware State University has joined Eastern Connecticut State University as the two institutions to accept such students, it has become an elusive dream come true for these new Hornets. “I was working construction and would have kept doing that,” said Rafael Arce, who moved with his parents from Mexico to the United States when he was age 7. Despite doing well in the public schools of Napa, Idaho, he could not enroll in that state’s higher education system due the cost prohibitive out-of-state tuition costs. “This opens up a million doors for me,” said Mr. Arce, who will major in electrical engineering at DSU. It was out-of-state tuition that also made a college education seem out of reach for Daniela Rivera. She said although pursing a nursing degree was a great dream of hers, she felt it would be selfish to expect her father – who she noted worked “all day and night, just to support my family” – to make it happen. “I feel that this scholarship was an actual miracle,” said Ms. Rivera, whose Mexican family eventually settled in Georgia. “I had pretty much given up on college.” Alejandro Montoya, who graduated from a high school in Marietta, Georgia, says he is excited about pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. “It is a blessing,” Mr. Montoya said. “I can better myself, and when I get done,  I want to go back to my community and help others achieve their dreams.” While most of the 34 students are Hispanic, a few of the Opportunity Scholars come from elsewhere. Olivia Delphine Bekale was born in Gabon in West Africa, but moved to the U.S. with her parents and eventually settled in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – another locked out state. “I thought I was going to have to wait for something to change in the U.S. immigration policy before I could enroll in college,” said Ms. Bekale, who is majoring in forensic biology and also wants to go to medical school after her undergraduate years. The scholarships have been provided by TheDream.US, an organization created for this purpose and founded by Donald E. Graham, chairman of Graham Holding Company and the former CEO and chairman of the Washington Post. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell was approached by Mr. Graham about the program, and the governor then met with DSU President Harry Williams who in turn opened the doors of Delaware State University to the Opportunity Scholarship students. (L-r) Alondra Dueñas and Arely Blanco, like other DREAMers, worked hard during their public school years, putting themselves in the position to obtain the Opportunity Scholarship. The 34 recipients at DSU fit the general profile of undocumented college students as noted in a study published in 2015 in Inside Higher Education – they are highly motivated, resilient and have worked hard to succeed despite the odds. All of the Opportunity Scholarship students well meet DSU’s admission criteria. Their average high school GPA of 3.62 reflects a group of students who applied themselves in high school, and their diligence has provided them to access to this higher education opportunity. “I knew my parents didn’t have the money for college, so I worked hard in school,” said Alondra Dueñas, a Mexico native who came with her parents to the U.S. at age 5 and completed public schooling in North Carolina. “Without this scholarship, I would have kept working and saving money for school.” Ms. Dueñas is majoring in hospitality and tourism management. Arely Blanco, who moved to the U.S. at age 8 with her mother (to meet her father who was already in the country) and completed high school in South Carolina, said she is not very familiar with Mr. Graham or Gov. Markell, but noted he has given the scholars an opportunity that they could not get in the states they lived in. “(Both are) a very kind person,” said Ms. Blanco, who is will majoring in criminal justice and has aspirations to eventually become an immigration attorney.  I’m grateful they thought of people like us who have had such obstacles to a college education.” Most of the students were born in Mexico, but some are natives of Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, as well as Trinidad/Tobago, Gabon and Gambia. They come from the locked out states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Idaho, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Indiana and Louisiana. Kevin Noriega, a DSU alumnus and currently an academic advisor, has been selected to be the advisor of the DREAMers. Mr. Noriega (standing to the left) hold his initial meeting with the scholars. “They have demonstrated that they work hard to overcome barriers,” said Tania Wilcox, the TheDream.US director of college partnerships who conducted a workshop with DSU administrators in advance of the new students’ arrival. “Through no fault of their own, they have been denied higher education in the states they lived in, and that does not follow the principles of this country in which everyone should have the right to education.” The Opportunity Scholarship will cover DSU tuition, fees, housing and meal costs for four years for each student. “When DSU began in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students, it was an institution that provided higher education opportunity to black students who could not get into Delaware College (which later became the University of Delaware) because of their race,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “We are proud and excited to continue that same legacy with these undocumented students who are just as deserving as anyone to achieve their higher education aspirations.” “They are now officially DSU Hornets!” the DSU president added.

DSU's Edgar Ortiz Named HBCU All-Star

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Edgar Ortiz has been selected along with 72 other students nationwide as an HBCU All-Star in recognition of his academic excellence, leadership and civic engagement. Mr. Ortiz is a junior Aviation Management major with currently a 4.0 GPA.

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The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) has named Delaware State University junior Edgar Ortiz among its 2016 HBCU All-Stars. Mr. Ortiz, a 4.0 GPA aviation management major from Freehold, N.J., was selected along with 72 other HBCU students from among 300 nominations for the honor. The HBCU All-Stars were chosen for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement. In addition to his academic success, Mr. Ortiz was a residential assistant at Evers Hall and this year is a senior residential assistant at the University Village Apartments. He also does community service work during DSU’s annual Inspired Day of Service. Mr. Ortiz said he was surprised by the honor. “I didn’t think I was going to get it,” Mr. Ortiz said.  “They didn’t have to pick one from each school.” Mr. Ortiz, who aspires to be an air traffic controller, is the second DSU student selected as an HBCU All-Star. Leah Williams, a 2015 and 2016 DSU graduate represented DSU as an HBCU-All Star in 2015. Over the next year, the students will serve as ambassadors by providing outreach opportunities and communicating with other students about the value of both education and the initiative as a networking source. Using social media, relationships with community-based organizations, and sessions with industry professionals, the students will share proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential. They will also participate in the White House HBCU Week Conference, national and regional events, and webinars with Initiative staff and other professionals on a range of disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and professional development. “During the course of one academic school year, the 73 All-Stars will distinguish themselves as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate and as noble ambassadors of their respective institutions,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “The Initiative is looking forward to working with this third class of All-Stars and is confident this opportunity will allow the Initiative to meaningfully connect with HBCU students and advance academic excellence at their schools.” The All-Stars were selected from over 300 students from 24 states, the District of Columbia, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Virgin Islands. They will work together and as a group and network with one another to achieve their goals. Mr. Ortiz will also meet with his HBCU All-Star colleagues for an event at the White House in October. It will be the second special trip he has taken representing DSU; in early 2016 he traveled with two other students to Seattle, Washington, to be a part of the HBCU Town Hall event hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

DSU Awarded $215,000 DoD Instrumentation Grant

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Dr. Mukti Rana, chair of the DSU Department of Physics and the principal investigator of the DoD grant, holds a blank substrate to his left and a substrate on his right that has been imprinted with an electronic circuit design. The DoD grant will fund DSU's purchase of a Photomask Aligner, which will give University researchers the capability to imprint such circuit designs.

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The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Delaware State University a $215,000 research instrumentation grant that will enable the purchase of a Photomask Aligner (PMA). This is a wafer substrate that has had an electronic circuit design imprinted on it through a Photomask Aligner (PMA) The PMA – a tool used to impose electronic designs on a base where electronic circuits are built – will be used in connection with ongoing and future research projects in the Optical Science Center for Applied Research on campus. “Photomask aligner is technology that transfers electronic circuit design to the base (called a substrate) through an opto-chemical process to fabricate electronic chips,” said Dr. Mukti Rana, chair of the DSU Department of Physics and the principal investigator of the successful grant. Most immediately, according to Dr. Rana, the PMA will be used for the design and fabrication of nano-machined pyroelectric detectors with ultra-low conductance, a DSU research project that is being funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research.  He said the PMA will also be used in another NASA-related project, which involves the fabrication of uncooled infrared detectors with nanometer-sized studs. Dr. Rana’s proposal was one of 176 to receive instrumentation funding from the DoD. Those meritorious proposals were selected from among 622 that were submitted for consideration.

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