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DSU Jumpstart Freshmen Give History Presentations for State

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DSU students (l-r) Terryon Witkowski, Jordyn Batch, Jasmine Griffin and Gene Gray, dressed in period clothing, participate in the Jumpstart program at the John Dickinson Plantation.

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Eighteen incoming DSU freshmen have gotten a jump on their outreach and community service activities by helping the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs share First State history. Working with John Dickinson Plantation historical interpreters, Jumpstart participant Jasmine Griffin (seated center, dressed in blue) demonstrates potpourri-making for a group of international visitors. The students – all connected with the summer Jumpstart Program -- presented a series of interactive, history-related activities July 18 at four historic sites located in Dover, Del. The programs were developed as a partnership between the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Volunteer Program, the First State Heritage Program, and the DSU Jumpstart Program. As part of the partnership, the 18 participating students were divided into teams with a separate team assigned to each of the four sites. During the activity-development process, which took place from late-June to mid-July 2015, team members were given free rein to discuss any topic related to their respective site’s history or exhibits and to develop enjoyable and educational activities that provide visitors with fresh perspectives on Delaware history. The partnership gave 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. In their program at the John Dickinson Plantation, the students used primary-source documents to highlight the lives of Nathan and Abigail Phillips and their children, a slave family that was freed in 1786. In addition to the Phillips presentation, the students, dressed in period clothing, presented hands-on demonstrations in which visitors participated in paper-quilling, potpourri-making and quill-pen-writing. At the Johnson Victrola Museum, the students created a program that focused on Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson, two African-American vocalists who recorded for the Victor Talking Machine Company. While at the Old State House, the students presented a program that explored espionage during the American Revolution. (Standing, from left) Delaware State University students Arielle Wade, Kobe Washington and Brandon Pretlow conduct a program at the Johnson Victrola Museum. Finally, the program at the John Bell House featured students, dressed in period clothing, exploring the story of the “Dover Eight,” a group of escaped slaves from Maryland who were captured and imprisoned in the Dover, Del. jail, and who subsequently broke out and ultimately made their way to freedom in Canada. In addition to their work at the sites, the students were required to create a poster for each of the four programs that incorporated the subjects of English, math and history. These posters were displayed at the program’s closing ceremony that took place at DSU on July 24. The DSU Jumpstart Program is an academic-enrichment and leadership-development initiative that provides opportunities for academically advanced, incoming freshmen to get a “jumpstart” on their college careers. The article was written by Jim Yurasek, public information officer, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

CAHSS Dean and Chair Give Lectures in China

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Dr. Akwasi Osei, chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, poses with a group of Chinese students.

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A DSU dean and department chair recently traveled to China to give separate series of lectures and also explore possible student exchanges.       Dr. Marshall Stevenson Dr. Marshall Stevenson, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, gave six lectures at three universities in Beijing, China.  At the invitation of Dr. Jianhua Zhang, director of the World History Center of the School of History at Beijing Normal University, Dr. Stevenson discussed African-American history, the origins of race and racism in the United States and prominent African-Americans who traveled to China from 1930-1974.  Dr. Stevenson spoke at Renmin University as well as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences under the general topic of “Why Socialism/Communism did not Take Root in the United States.”  To surmount the language barrier, Dr. Stevenson was accompanied on the trip by Dr. Yinghong Cheng, professor of history, who served as his interpreter during his lectures. Dr. Akwasi Osei, chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, recently returned from a summer trip to China where he engaged in talks with officials from Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) about several possible study abroad scenarios that could be pursued with DSU. Dr. Stevenson also held similar talks with BLCU officials on potential agreements between the two institutions, which would revive a previous relationship between DSU and BLCU that existed from 2006-2009 and resulted in study abroad opportunities for some DSU students. Also while in China, Dr. Osei gave lectures on his research on China’s economic and political activity in Africa.

Dr. Renu Trapathi Receives Grant to Develop Laser Radar

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Dr. Renu Tripathi, associate professor of physics and engineering, and Yury Markushin, optics Ph.D. candidate, will use the $192,000 Army grant to develop an improved laser radar system, which will be more advanced than the one they built in this photo.

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Dr. Renu Tripathi, DSU associate professor of physics and engineering, has been awarded a $192,000 grant from the Army Research Office for the development of a long range, high resolution laser detection and ranging (LADAR) system. LADAR technology development is extremely important for many critical defense applications such as surveillance, autonomous guidance and hazard avoidance. The technology has widespread commercial, military and space applications, which include reverse engineering, process control, autonomous landing and other areas. Dr. Tripathi is working with Yury Markushin, a DSU optics Ph.D. candidate from Russia. The two have already developed a previous LADAR system and are working now to create an improved multifunction system with polarization imaging capability by employing a photon counting and correlation technique. “The difference with this LADAR system is it will be more sensitive and more distance will be built into it,” said Dr. Tripathi, who is also a scientist with University's Optical Science Center for Applied Research. For the last five years, Dr. Tripathi’s laboratory has conducted basic research on developing new ideas and concepts that have been used in the previous LADAR system and will be applied in the new project on which she is embarking. In addition to developing this key technology, the project will create unique opportunities for DSU students to participate in laser radar research, receive hands-on-training in system design and develop a knowledge base in this critical technology.  

Athletics Receives $450,000 NCAA Grant for Academic Support

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(L-r) Fred Reynolds, AD special assistant; Kendra Greene, director of compliance; Dr. Sonja Jackson-McCoy, senior associate AD for academics; DSU President Harry L. Williams; AD Louis Perkins; and Mary Hill, senior women administrator, are shown at the July 24-25 NCAA Accelerating Academic Success meetings in Atlanta, Ga.

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DSU Department of Athletics recently received a $450,000 NCAA grant to support its academic programs that are designed to help its students-athletes. Athletics Director Louis "Skip" Perkins and Dr. Sonja Jackson-McCoy, sr. assoc. AD for academics, will direct the use of the grant funding, awarded to go toward the academic support for student-athletes. The grant was part of more than $4 million that the NCAA recently awarded to nine Division I schools to help them improve the academic success of their student-athletes.  The goal is to support the school’s efforts to meet the requirements of the Division I Academic Performance Program, which was developed to ensure schools provide an environment that supports education while enhancing the ability of student-athletes to earn a degree. The comprehensive grants will be distributed over a three-year period and used to fund increased academic support services staffing and space; technology upgrades (software and hardware); career planning; and increased availability of summer financial aid for student-athletes. Louis “Skip” Perkins, interim associate vice president and athletics director, said he is “elated”   that the NCAA committee selected DSU as a recipient of the Accelerated Academic Success Program grant, and noted that it is consistent with DSU’s PRIDE 2020 Strategic Plan’s goals relating to student success, as well as increased retention and graduation rates. “We will embrace the strengths of our campus – renowned faculty/staff, academic and career enhancement centers, and continue our campus wide collaboration to solidify the academic foundation that is the cornerstone of the DSU athletic program,” AD Perkins said. 

SAP/DSU Partnership Completes Initial Two-Week Training

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DSU faculty immerse themselves in training on the advanced technologies of the SAP ecosystem.

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DSU’s College of Business recently completed a critical step in becoming a Center of Excellence where faculty from other HBCUs will be trained on the advanced technologies of business software giant SAP SE. The College recently completed a two-week training period for DSU faculty who will later conduct training sessions on campus for their academic counterparts from the other HBCUs. For images from last week’s training and related events, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157656027015818/show In addition to the training, separate meetings were held to explain the SAP/DSU partnership to University administrators, Board of Trustees members, and community leaders and elected officials, including Judy Diogo, president of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce; James Waddington, director of Kent County Economic Development; U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Dover Mayor Robin Christensen and State Reps. Harvey Kenton, Dave Wilson and Lyndon Yearick. The SAP officials even took time to visit with students of the Early College High School to expand those youths’ horizons on the career possibilities in connection with SAP technologies. SAP officials note that DSU’s work as a Center of Excellence will help to develop a capable workforce that will be skilled in SAP advanced technologies and available for hire in the SAP ecosystem – by company and others that use its technologies – immediately after college graduation.

Dr. Mukti Rana Receives Young Investigator Program Award

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Dr. Mukti Rana works in a physics lab with Melanie Tubey, a junior physics and engineering/mathematics major from Milford, Del.

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The U.S. Department of the Navy recently announced that Dr. Mukti Rana, associate professor and chair of the DSU Department of Physics and Engineering, has been selected to receive a grant award as part of the Office of Naval Research’s 2015 Young Investigator Program              Dr. Mutki Rana According to the Navy, the Young Investigator Program is one of the oldest and most selective scientific research advancement programs in the country. The program is designed to promote the professional development of early-career academic scientists, both as researchers and instructors. The Navy selected Dr. Rana on the strength of his proposal to establish a new integrated research and education program that will include research designed to improve night vision systems and other technologies such as spectrometers and radiometers. DSU physics and engineering students will be involved with work that includes the design, fabrication and characterization of uncooled infrared detectors, according to Dr. Rana, who is also a part of the University’s Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR). “It is a tremendous honor for me, OSCAR (the Optical Science Center for Applied Research) and DSU to receive Young Investigator Program Award,” Dr. Rana said. “This award will allow my research group to develop uncooled thermal detectors with low thermal conductivity, which is expected to improve the performance of uncooled detectors that could be used in night vision cameras for the U.S Navy and other defense organizations.” Such improvements in night vision technology equipment will also benefit users of the technology in automobiles and other modes of transportation, firefighting, policing, as well as search and rescue efforts. Dr. Rana will also collaborate with Dr. Dennis Prather, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, where a laboratory on that campus will be utilized for this research. Dr. Rana was one of 36 awardees selected out of 383 research proposals that were submitted. Recipients were chosen based on merit and potential breakthrough advances for the Navy and Marine Corps. While the Navy has not finalized the amount of the grants that will be awarded, Dr. Rana’s proposal funding request is just under $360,000.

Early College HS at DSU Set to Begin 2nd Year

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ECHS teacher Alyssa Wright addresses the students in a class during the five-week summer program at Memorial Hall.

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With the successful completion of its inaugural ninth grade class, the Early College High School at Delaware State University (ECHS@DSU) is welcoming a new class of freshmen that will join the 10th grade class in the novel secondary school. With retirement of former director Dr. Judi Coffield, the ECHS@DSU is now under the leadership of Dr. Evelyn Edney, the former principal of Dover High School. Dr. Edney has hit the ground running by establishing a summer five-week program for the students that will give them an opportunity to earn some credit hours – including college credit. The mission of the ECHS@DSU is to provide highly motivated Delaware students with a curriculum concentrating on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that is integrated with the relevant curriculum at DSU. Students will graduate with 30 to 60 college credit hours, which will enable to them to finish college in only 2-3 years once enrolled in an institution of higher education. Dr. Edney said she wants to take the possibilities beyond students earning 30-60 college credit hours. “I’d like to see students finishing with an associate’s degree,” the new director said. “We have to make sure that they have the skills to get there.” Toward that end, Dr. Edney has upgraded a Summer Bridge Program – which last summer served as an orientation for new students – into a five-week program of coursework for both the ninth- and 10th- graders. The ninth-graders are taking a college credit micro-computer course, along with a ½ -credit physical education course and a freshmen literacy course. The 10th-graders are taking a college credit lifetime fitness and wellness course, a physical education course and a sophomore literacy class. The Summer Bridge Program for both grades is being held on the DSU campus in Memorial Hall. As of mid-July, the ECHS@DSU total enrollment is at 207 students (9th and 10th grade combined). Classes for the regular school year will begin on Aug. 24 and take place in the west first floor portion of the DSU Living and Learning Commons Building.    

Legos and Robotics Summer Camps -- Photo Slideshow

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Two youths from the Mindstorm Robotics Camp at DSU use the computer to assist them in coming up with engineering solutions.

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Two groups of youths are learning how science, technology, engineering and math impacts the lives people on a daily basis through two summer programs – Legos! Legos! Legos! for grades K-3, and the Mindstorm Robotics, both being held at DSU For images from both camps, click on https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157655525667408/show The Legos program – which is held during three different periods throughout the summer –  provides the youths with a hands-on program designed to capture their curiosity. The youths discover how science and technology impact the world around them and features a real-world challenge – to be solved by research, critical thinking and imagination. Each week they are tackling different challenges by using Legos to build simple machines using gears, pulleys, levers, switches and cranks. The students are able to display their creativity as they work together as a team to research and build models that solve problems engineers and scientists face every day. The Mindstorm Camp allows students with the fundamental understanding of the Mindstorm robotics kits to demonstrate their skills and knowledge by creating more advanced and challenging robots and programs. The grade 4-8 youths learn all about sensors, which are the essential component of the Mindstorm robots, and how to program robots with sensors. Students in the Mindstorm Camp are also exploring how to create advanced programs, learning about data wires and how to process sensor values. They are also doing math on the EV3/NXT programming software and learning how to make the robot remember things with variables. They will combine all of these programming techniques to create a robot that has multiple functions.

Dr. Wilma Mishoe Appointed as DSU Board of Trustees Member

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Dr. Wilma Mishoe stands outside of the home -- The President's Residence --  where she grew up. She is the first offspring of a Del State president to become a member of the University's Board of Trustees.

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Gov. Jack Markell has appointed longtime higher education administrator Dr. Wilma Mishoe to serve a six-year term on the DSU Board of Trustees. Dr. Wilma Mishoe has been appointed to a six-year DSU Board of Trustees term. The appointment returns Dr. Mishoe to the campus where she grew up as a teen. She is the daughter of Dr. Luna I. Mishoe, who was the president of then-Delaware State College from 1960-1987, and his wife, First Lady Hattie B. Mishoe. In joining the board, Dr. Mishoe succeeds former board member Bennie Smith, whose six-year term expired in 2012. Mr. Smith continued to serve as a member of the board until January 2015. Her appointment to the DSU Board of Trustees is a continuation of her impressive career in higher education, which most recently included providing critical leadership to Wilberforce University (WU) in Ohio, one of the oldest historically black universities in the country. Dr. Mishoe was drawn out of retirement to serve on a Presidential Transition Team in October 2013 at Wilberforce, where she was a member of its Board of Trustees since 2003. That board later appointed Dr. Mishoe as acting president at Wilberforce, an interim leadership post she held until October 2014 when the institution hired Dr. Algeania Marie Warren Freeman as its new permanent president. Dr. Mishoe continued as a special assistant to Dr. Freeman to assist in the transition. At Wilberforce, Dr. Mishoe is credited with providing much-needed stable leadership during a time of declining enrollment, a budget deficit, accreditation sanctions and overall low morale. Under her period as acting president and special assistant to the president, Wilberforce experienced significant improvements in all areas and recently hosted a site visit by its accrediting agency. During her tenure as a WU Board of Trustees member, Dr. Mishoe chaired its Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Compliance Committee and was its board secretary. In addition to her board service at Wilberforce, Dr. Mishoe also served on the College Board of the Middle States Regional Assembly from 2004-2009. In 2010, Dr. Mishoe retired from a 30-year career at Delaware Technical and Community College, where she held number of administrative leadership posts, including dean of the Office of Instruction and dean of Student Services, federal programs coordinator, Affirmative Action officer, and other positions. From 1975-1980, Dr. Mishoe served as the dean of students and director of Financial Aid at then-Wilmington College, working under the school founder Dr. Donald E. Ross. A longtime resident of Dover, Dr. Mishoe was a member of the Capital School District Board of Education from 1994-1999, and its board president from August 1997 to July 1999. She has served on numerous state and local boards, including the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, the Delaware Foster Care Board, the Dover Housing Authority Board of Directors and many others. She is currently serving a seven-year term as an appointee to the Delaware Public Integrity Commission; she was elected its chairwoman for a two-year term that ended in 2014. In 2013, Dr. Mishoe was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women. Dr. Mishoe has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology (1971) and a Master of Education degree in Student Personnel Administration, Guidance and Counseling (1972), both from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in Adult/Vocational Education (1994) from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Mishoe’s DSU Board of Trustees term will expire on June 11, 2021.    

Luncheon raises $15,600 in pledges, gifts for Holland Statue

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The attendees of the June 25 Dr. Jerome Holland Luncheon pose for a photo at the end of event, which raised $11,100 in donations and $4,500 in pledges toward a memorial statue honoring the institution's sixth president.

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The Dr. Jerome H. Holland Statue Committee recently held a June 25 luncheon with a group of DSU alumni, which culminated in $11,100 in donations toward the permanent memorial that is to be erected in honor of the sixth president in the history of the institution. DSU President Harry L. Williams and Dr. Jerome Holland Statue Committee members hold up a display check representing a $10,000 donation by the Class of 1965 toward a permanent memorial honoring the DSU's sixth president. The committee shared details concerning the plans to commission a sculptor artist to create a statue likeness of Dr. Holland that will be placed on an outdoor location on the DSU campus. During the event, it was also announced that the DSU Class of 1965 has donated $10,000 toward the effort. Combining that gift with the June 25 luncheon donations and other previous gifts, more than $29,000 has been raised toward the statue. During the lunch there were also a number of people who made pledges to donate, totaling $4,500. Dr. Holland – president from 1953-1960 of then-Delaware State College – is credited with providing the critical leadership needed to navigate the College through the most difficult decade of its history. Amid forces in the state that threatened to close the institution, Dr. Holland brought about improvements at DSC that ensured its survival and established a foundation that future presidents would build upon. During the luncheon, a number of alumni who were students during the Holland years shared remembrances of the celebrated president. Halvin Blockson, Class of 1961, said he came from a “dirt-poor” family. He said he reached a point in his undergraduate years that it appeared he couldn’t continue at DSC, because he had run out of money. He credits Dr. Holland with keeping him in school. “Dr. Jerome ‘Brud’ Holland personally came to me and told me ‘We are going to find a way for you to stay’,” said Mr. Blockson. “So he gave me a job at his house.”

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