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College of Business Opens New Business Analytics Lab

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(L-r) Dr. Devdeep Maity, asst. professor of business admin.; Jim Waddington, Kent County Economic Dev. executive director; Judy Diogo, Central Del. Chamber of Commerce president; Leah Williams, DSU MBA graduate student; DSU President Harry L. Williams; Julian Vanderhost, DSU alumnus and SAP Product Specialist; Donna Covington, dean of the College of Business; Dr. Teresa Hardee, chief operating officer; and Vita Pickrum, vice president of Institutional Advancement.

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Julian Vanderhost, DSU alumnus (recently graduated) and product specialist for SAP, shows off some of the computer hardware and analytics software that are part of the College of Business' new Business Analytics Lab DSU President Harry L. Williams and the College of Business (COB) officially dedicated the new Business Analytics Lab that will be a premier research center for data analytics and as a cutting-edge workspace for the analysis of big data. Joined by Donna Covington, the dean of the College of Business, and other officials, Dr. Williams cut the symbolic ribbon at the new lab during a Nov. 6 ceremony. “I’m excited about this space and what it will do for our students,” Dr. Williams said. “With our priority on student success, this is a clear example of how we are here for our students.” The Business Analytics Lab, located in Room 309 of the Bank of America Building, is equipped with several mobile computer stations, curved monitors, a cabinet full of laptops with charging stations, the latest software and other tools. The dry erase painted walls promote creative thinking with its writable/erasable surfaces that allow thoughts and ideas to be jotted straight on the wall.   Dean Covington, who has led the integration of new analytics curriculum and technology in the undergraduate and graduate degree programs of the COB, noted that business analytics is one of the fastest growing skill sets in the world today. She said the ability to analyze data, predict outcomes and improve performance to guide decision making is now essential for all students in higher education to ensure that they graduate with a skill set that will allow them to be successful in the workplace. COB Dean Donna Covington said the Business Analytics Lab will be the classroom of choice for teaching business analytics. “In addition, ensuring our students are knowledgeable in examining big data to uncover patterns and predicting outcomes is not enough. We want to ensure our students are also well-versed in the application of analytics technology,” Dean Covington said. “We want them to have hands-on experience in using the leading-edge tools that can be used to make business, companies, organizations, government and academia help to anticipate and solve critical problems.” She added that that lab will be the classroom of choice for courses teaching concepts in business analytics and will be used to teach and instruct other HBCUs in the most current analytics software. The College of Business dean expressed appreciation to the DSU Office of Development for funding the purchase of 40 laptops for the lab, and also to SAP, which donated the analytics software as part of its partnership with DSU. “Of course none of this would be possible without the teaching, effort and direction of this great (COB) teaching staff,” Dean Covington said.

DSU Neuroscience Program Receives $535,000 Grant

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(L-r) Dr. Melissa Harrington, principal investigator, and Dr. Murali Temburni, co-principle investigator, will use the five-year grant to establish an undergraduate summer research program in neuroscience.

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Dr. Melissa Harrington and Dr. Murali Temburni have been awarded a five-year, $535,000 grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to establish an undergraduate research program in neuroscience. The summer program, offered in partnership with the DSU-headquartered Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research, will be focused on recruiting undergraduates from underrepresented groups and integrating them into a vibrant community of neuroscience researchers across the state of Delaware. Each year, 12 undergraduate students from Delaware State University, Delaware Technical and Community College and Wesley College will spend 10 weeks over the summer carrying out neuroscience research with faculty researchers at DSU, the University of Delaware and the Nemours, A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. The students will also have the opportunity to travel to present their research at a national conference such as the Annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience or the Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM, an undergraduate research conference sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the Delaware Neuroscience Symposium. Dr. Harrington, the principal investigator of the grant, said that it is documented that the best way to get students excited about science and focused on becoming part of the next generation of scientific researchers is to give them hands-on experience  working in a research lab tackling a real scientific problem. “That is why we are so excited about our new program. It will give students at DSU, DTCC and Wesley the chance to be a part of our Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research by working on a research problem in neuroscience with the supervision and mentorship of the neuroscience researchers affiliated with our center,” Dr. Harrington said. “Our expectation is that our program is going to give these students the desire to go onto graduate school in neuroscience, as well as give them the skills and experience so that they can succeed there.” The Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research is an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, virtual center founded in 2012 with support from a grant from the National Institutes of Health.   Information and application forms for interested students will be available through the Neuroscience Center website (www.delawareneuroscience.org) in early November.  Students will be selected for the program in April and over the following month will have the opportunity to meet with prospective mentors, hear about their research and tour their labs.  By the time the program starts in late May, the students will have selected a faculty mentor and identified the research project that they will work on full time for the 10 weeks of the summer program. In addition to work in the lab, the program includes twice-weekly sessions on bioethics and the responsible conduct of research, career seminars and professional skills, as well as how to think like a scientist. By combining a high-quality research experience with participation in a neuroscience-focused community and skill-building activities designed to help students think like a scientist, the program will help build the students’ preparation and enthusiasm for graduating with a STEM bachelor’s degree and pursuing a doctorate in an area related to biomedical research.

DSU Finalizes New Accords with Two Asian Universities

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DSU President Harry L. Williams and Dr. Yang Huamin, president of Changchun University of Science and Technology (seated l-r), pose after signing an accord that will facilitate students of the Chinese institution to study at DSU and then continue those studies online while working in Orlando, Fla., as part of the Disney Theme Parks and Resorts College Program. Officials from both institutions stand behind the two university presidents.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams shakes hands with Dr. Ho Sung Lee, president of Yeungnam University College of South Korea after a new agreement was signed by the two institutions. Delaware State University recently formalized new agreements with two Asian institutions of higher education. DSU and Yeungnam University College of South Korea have agreed to establish a joint bachelor’s degree program in accounting and management. Yeungnam students will complete the first two years of the degree program in South Korea and the last two at DSU. Both institutions will issue diplomas to students who complete the joint program. The University also recently acquired a new Chinese institutional partner. DSU and Changchun University of Science and Technology have reached a three-year formal agreement that will also include the Disney Theme Parks and Resorts College Program. Changchun students will study for four weeks at DSU and then travel to Orlando, Fla., where they will spend six months as part of the Disney program. While in Orlando, the students will continue to study the DSU curriculum online. DSU also recently received a visit from officials from Ningbo University of Technology of China. DSU President Harry L. Williams and other administrators and faculty met with the Ningbo officials to discuss the institutions’ joint accounting program and potential future programs.  

DSU Breaks Ground for Dr. Jerome Holland Statue

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Participating in the Jerome Holland Statue Groundbreaking Ceremony are (l-r with shovels) Vita Pickrum, vice president of DSU Institutional Advancement; J.C. Boggs, grandson on the late Gov. J. Caleb Boggs; DSU President Harry L. Williams; Dr. Donald A. Blakey, DSU alumnus and co-chair of the Jerome Holland Statue Committee, DSU Provost Alton Thompson and Reba Hollingsworth, DSU alumna and statue committee member.

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DSU President Harry Williams presents J.C. Boggs, grandson of the late Gov. J. Caleb Boggs, with a photo of his grandfather and Dr. Jerome Holland. Delaware State University held an Oct. 23 groundbreaking ceremony in recognition of the campus site that has been selected for the planned Dr. Jerome Holland statue. The statue will stand yet site is just inside the entrance of the campus pedestrian mall on the grassy triangle that is adjacent to the brick wall. Dr. Holland was the sixth president of then-Delaware State College (1953-1960) and is credited with navigating the institution through the most challenging period of its history. At the time some were calling for the institution’s closure, but Dr. Holland was able to earn the support of then-Gov. J. Caleb Boggs and the Delaware General Assembly, resulting state financial support for the college that was unprecedented at the time. “We are because he was,” said Dr. Donald A. Blakey, co-chair of the Holland Statue Committee. “Without his timely leadership, the College would not have survived and we would have never become Delaware State University.” The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by J.C. Boggs, the grandson of former Gov. J. Caleb Boggs. The former governor is credited with bringing Dr. Holland to Delaware to become the DSC president and for giving the College strong support through his tenure. The University is currently seeking a sculpture artist to create the statue. A fundraising drive has also been launched to raise money for the project. For more info about Dr. Holland, the statue project and how to contribute, go to http://www.desu.edu/hollandstatue. The Dr. Jerome Holland statue will be erected on the triangle plot of grass (where the sign sits) located at the front end of the University's Pedestrian Mall.  

DSU OSCAR Awarded New $5M NASA Grant

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(L-r) Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, OSCAR director, talks about the research that will be done as a result of the NASA grant while Gov. Jack Markell and DSU President Harry L. Williams listen.

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Delaware State University has recently been awarded a $5 million grant for a NASA research and education program that will continue its partnership with the space agency. OSCAR scientists listen to the announcement of the $5 million NASA grant. Built on the success of a previously NASA-funded program at DSU, this new program will strengthen the partnerships and collaborations with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Delaware; enhance the research capabilities at DSU; and provide a rich intellectual environment for training our students.  Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, Distinguished University Professor of Physics, founder of the University’s Optics Research Program and director of the Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) at DSU, is the principal investigator of the grant. “It is with great pride that DSU will continue to be connected to NASA’s Mars mission through the work of Dr. Noureddine Melikechi and OSCAR,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “The research funded by this grant will not only make its mark on the world, but far beyond it on the Red Planet.”  The program includes four major research projects on developing optics-based space science technologies.: Dr. Melikechi along with Dr. Yuri Markushin and Dr. Jun Ren, professors at DSU, and Dr. Roger Wiens of Los Alamos will lead the efforts to develop new optical technologies for space exploration – of major relevance to the ongoing (2012 and 2020) NASA MARS exploration missions.  Dr. Renu Tripathi, associate professor of physics, and her team will develop a ground-based sodium-Lidar instrument in collaboration with Goddard scientists. This instrument will be used to perform high-resolution time and space measurements of the atmospheric sodium density, temperature, and vertical wind velocity from the mesosphere region of the atmosphere. The study will provide critical understanding of radiative cooling in the mesosphere, which is highly relevant to NASA’s Heliophysics Science Goals.  In collaboration with Goddard researchers, Dr. Amir Khan and Dr. Hacene Boukari aim to develop the next generation of  infrared-based technologies for ultrasensitive detection of chemicals present in the atmospheres of planets.  Some of these chemicals could be associated with the presence of life.   The fourth project – led by Dr. Mukti Rana, chair of the Department of Physics – seeks to design and fabricate an infrared detector that does not need an active cooling system, which would be a major step in the development of  low-cost, high-performing, and low-weight detectors suitable for future space flights.   "The Optics Program at Delaware State University continues to make strides in research and development, and this grant from NASA will help it go even further in its goal of enhancing space exploration," said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. "They are putting the school - and Delaware - on the map when it comes to optical research, and helping the school become a hub for Kent County economic development."            U.S. Sen. Chris Coons said this NASA grant an imperative for the scientists to continue their leading edge research in the newly completed OSCAR building. “I know many hours of hard work by he and his team went into researching and preparing for this award, but now the real work begins, as his team embarks on several research projects over the next five years,” Sen. Coons said. Dr. Matt Bobrowsky, OSCAR’s director of Special Programs, will lead the education and outreach component of the project, which includes programs for both university students and pre-college students, including nationwide outreach to ensure geographic diversity in DSU’s educational marketing and outreach efforts.  The education plan is consistent with NASA’s Strategic Plan, which includes the cultivation of scientific literacy and a strong future workforce through STEM education, with particular efforts to include those in historically underrepresented groups. Gov. Jack Markell said that DSU understands the tremendous value in providing its students and faculty with access to leading edge tools and technology. “OSCAR is a testament to DSU’s commitment and this NASA grant will support the University’s efforts,” Gov. Markell said. “We congratulate DSU on this award and are excited to see the results of their research in the coming years.” Through OSCAR, the optics program at DSU has had long-standing relations with NASA’s Mars Mission through Dr. Melikechi’s work as a member of the mission’s ChemCam team. The ChemCam technology installed on the Mars Rover – which landed on Mars in 2012 and subsequently did laser-based analysis of the Red Planet rocks and soil – sent data back to Earth, which Dr. Melikechi and Dr. Alissa Mezzacappa (recently awarded her Ph.D. for work on this topic) worked on with their colleagues from ChemCam. U.S. Rep. John Carney this latest NASA grant reinforces DSU’s well-earned position as a leader in the field of optics and photonics technologies.   “Because of this funding, OSCAR scientists will continue to be on the front lines of space exploration, including NASA’s next Mars mission,” Rep. Carney said.  The grant also enhances DSU’s standing as a world-class educational institution that prepares some of our brightest young people for careers in this field.”  

DSU Announces $1.2M Grant Award from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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(L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams announces the $1.2 million grant awarded to the University by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as Gov. Jack Markell, Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and U.S. Rep. John Carney listen during a Oct. 26 media event.

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On October 26, Delaware State University was joined by Gov. Jack Markell, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, U.S. Rep. John Carney and other dignitaries to announce a $1.2M grant award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The announcement of this grant is significant news for the University. “The partnership between our University and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one where the Foundation is partnering with institutions that are transforming their higher education models so that more students -- especially low-income and first generation students -- graduate at higher rates, with high-quality degrees or credentials at an affordable price,” said Dr. Teresa Hardee, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Delaware State University. “Partnering with Gates will support our work by using data to support student success,” said Hardee. The University has developed “personal” Individualized Development Plans (IDPs) for each and every entering freshman. This allows for a tailored academic experience to ensure student success. This process also includes counseling, tutoring and virtual services for any student who may need assistance. This individual attention will allow for aggressive, intrusive and predicting advising of each student. “This partnership is not solely focused on Delaware State University,” said President Harry L. Williams, but is national in scope. They will be looking closely at the results of our initiative here at DSU, with an eye for sharing with other institutions of higher education across the country once its effectiveness is proven.

A Statement from DSU President Harry L. Williams

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A STATEMENT FROM DSU PRESIDENT WILLIAMS CONCERNING THE OCT. 24 VEHICULAR ACCIDENT DURING HOMECOMING Dr. Harry L. Williams, president of Delaware State University, has released the following statement concerning the vehicular accident that took place on Oct. 24 that injured seven persons – including one seriously – during Homecoming activities on campus. “It was an unfortunate accident that took place on Saturday evening, and our thoughts and prayers are with all persons who suffered injuries in the incident,” said Dr. Williams. “Our primary priority continues to be the safety of our students, employees and visitors.”  “Staff from Student Health Services stand ready to provide support to our students during this difficult time.”  The accident took place on DSU's Dover campus at 7:28 p.m. where Homecoming activities were going on all day.  The Dover Police Department is the lead agency investigating the incident with assistance and full cooperation with the DSU University Police Department. 

Aiah Senesie and Tria Stallings Crowned Mr. & Miss DSU

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The 2015-2016 reigns of Mr. and Miss DSU Aiah Senesie and Tria Stallings will be focus on the empowerment and uplift of students, according to University's top royal representatives.

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Delaware State University launched the reign of the 2015-16 Mr. and Miss DSU with the crowning of Aiah Senesie and Donametria Stallings during an Oct. 18 Coronation Ceremony. For images from the Coronation, click on: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157659649462908/show The ceremony was entitled “A Royal Encounter,” which included a plotline borrowed from the Eddie Murphy movie “Coming to America” which helped to highlight the historic selection of Mr. Senesie as the first-ever native-born African to be named as Mr. DSU. Mr. Senesie, nicknamed The Trendsetter, is a native of Sierra Leone. He is a senior English major with a minor in political science. He is planning to continue his education in law school and then become an international attorney. His platform is “Reclaiming Your Royal Roots.” “I want to awaken the kingship and queenship in all of us by motivating, inspiring and empowering everyone I can on campus,” said Mr. Senesie, who is also in his second year as the president of the Honors Students Association and is a member of the Men of Color Alliance. Ms. Stallings, who goes by the nickname “Tria,” is a native of Newark, Del., and describes herself as a “God-fearing woman.” She is a senior political science major and plans to pursue a master’s degree in either political science or women’s studies. Her platform is “Building Your Empire – Empowering You to be You.” “I want to empower the women on this campus to be themselves, know their worth and understand that they are all queens,” said Ms. Stallings, who conducts a bible study group on campus. She is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

DSU Exhibits "Alienated and Armed" in Art Center/Gallery

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Kyle Ripp's installation work addresses the challenging subject of bullying and violence. Her art will be on exhibition until Nov. 6 in the DSU Art Center/Gallery.

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Kyle Ripp's installation exhibition is inspired by her childhood experiences of being bullied. DSU’s Arts Center/Gallery is currently featuring the installation work “Alienated and Armed” by Wilmington mixed media artist Kyle Ripp. The installation work – which will be exhibited until Nov. 6 in the Arts Center/Gallery in the William C. Jason Library on campus – is free and open to the public. The public can meet the artist during a reception from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 at the Arts Center/Gallery The exhibition is reflective of Ms. Ripp’s personal childhood experiences of being bullied. The installation provocatively confronts the loss of innocence that occurs when children realize that the world isn't always "rainbows and sunshine." Her works also use familiar childhood images to confront our views on violence, fear, aggression, innocence, and the difficult realization that we live in a flawed society. “I know the installation will provoke many levels of discussion including violence in society and gun control,” said Jennifer Gunther, director of the Arts Center/Gallery. “We will have a reflective response component, our own evolving installation, which will allow the DSU community and the public to respond to the issues raised by Kyle's installation.” Ms. Ripp has a studio at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art in Wilmington. Her work is known for being expressive, quite personal and often tackles challenging subject matter.

Dr. Teresa Hardee Completes Harvard's Ed Mgmt. Institute

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DSU Chief Operating Officer Dr. Teresa Hardee not only completed Harvard  University's prestigious Institute for Educational Management over the summer, but her photo is also featured in an advertisement about the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education published in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Dr. Teresa Hardee, DSU senior vice president and chief operating officer, recently completed Harvard University’s prestigious Institute for Educational Management (IEM) program. Held during the summer, the two-week IEM program consisted of intense study on management and leadership in higher education taught by Harvard’s world-renowned faculty at that institution’s Graduate School of Education. Amid a highly selective admission process, Dr. Hardee was one of about 100 higher education leaders selected from around the world. The IEM program is designed for senior-level administrators who have both the responsibility and authority to shape institution-wide policy, and/or for presidents, vice presidents, and other members of the executive cabinet who participate in strategic decision-making that shapes the future of the institution. The program’s objectives include developing skills in: 1) Leading successfully in a changing context, 2) balancing internal and external leadership roles, 3) working effectively as a member of the senior leadership team, 4) fostering and supporting organizational change, and 5) articulating a powerful institutional vision and enlisting others in pursuit of that vision. Dr. Hardee, who earned her doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, said that the educational experience was on for the top highlights of her career. “Being around educational leaders from around the world has given me a tremendous framework for applying the concepts that I learned at DSU,” she said. “In fact, I use the knowledge that I’ve gained every day.” Dr. Hardee also noted that based on the topics discussed at the IEM program, she received powerful confirmation that DSU is working on things that are at the forefront of the most current thinking in higher education leadership.

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