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DSU Students' Community Service at St. John's Sch. -- Photo Slideshow

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These DSU students spent a beautiful Indian Summer morning doing community service at St. John's Lutheran School.

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Eighteen DSU students donated part of their Indian Summer morning on Nov. 2 to give some community service help to St. John’s Lutheran School on Walker Road in Dover. The community service opportunity for the DSU students was set up by Jordin Williams, director of the DSU Health & Recreation Center, who is also the University’s representative on Leadership Central Delaware (a Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce organization). The LCD selected St. John’s as their community service project, which led to the DSU students’ involvement. For images from the DSU students’ community service at St. John’s, click on the below photo slideshow:

DSU Breaks Enrollment Record for 4th Consecutive Year -- 4,505

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DSU President Harry L. Williams (3rd from left), shown talking with students, says that the new record enrollment also reflects a rise in academic quality, including an average grade point average of 3.0 among incoming freshmen.

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For the fourth consecutive year, Delaware State University has broken its enrollment record with a fall semester 2013 total enrollment of 4,505 students – which marks the first time the institution has gone over the 4,500 threshold.   The record 4,505 enrollment surpasses the previous record of 4,425 set in the fall of 2012. The 2013 enrollment figures include a record 4,061 undergraduates – marking the first time DSU has surpassed 4,000 undergraduates – and a record 288 transfer students.   The University enrolled 922 new freshmen this fall.   “In addition to another year of record enrollment, our academic quality continues to increase,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “This year our incoming freshmen have an average grade point average of 3.0, the highest ever at DSU.”   Dr. Williams also noted that the University also now has the largest program cohort of Inspire Scholarship students ever – 484. “Because the Delaware legislature and governor made the funding possible for the Inspire Scholarship, the state is a contributor to the record enrollment we had over the last few years,” the DSU president said.   Last month it was announced that DSU has moved up from 13th to 9th in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual national ranking of Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.

Dr. Sylvester Gates,Renowed Physicist, Guest Speaker at DSU Nov. 7

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Delaware State University will welcome Dr. Sylvester J. Gates, Jr., a prominent American theoretical physicist and a 2013 National Medal of Science recipient, who will be a guest speaker at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 in the second-floor classroom auditorium (room 223) of the Mishoe Science Center South.      Sylvester J. Gates, Jr.   The event is free and open to the public.   Dr. Gates is an University System Regents Professor, a John S. Toll professor of physics, at the University of Maryland, College Park and is a former appointee of the President’s “Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.   He is known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory.  In 1984, working with M.T. Grisaru, M. Rocek and W. Siegel, Dr. Gates co-authorized Superspace, the first comprehensive book on the topic of supersymmetry.  He is a member of the board of trustees of Society for Science & the Public and the Board of Directors for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.   Dr. Gates has been featured extensively on many NOVA PBS programs on physics, notably “The Elegant Universe” in 2003, and ‘‘The Fabric of the Cosmos’’ in 2011.  In 2006, he completed a DVD series titled Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality for The Teaching Company composed of 24 half-hour lectures to make the complexities of unification theory comprehensible to non-physicists.    He is past president of the National Society of Black Physicists, and a NSBP Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Physics in the U.K.  He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the American Philosophical Society.    Dr. Gates was presented the Medal of Science, the highest award given to scientists in the U.S., by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony in 2013 and elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first African-American physicist so recognized in its 150-year history.  

DSU Interfaith Council Students Attend Washington D.C. Conference

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(L-r) Clinton Williams, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,  James Smith, Ashton Haynes, Lennea Davis, Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and DSU Chaplain Rev. Pamela Adams.

 

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Four DSU Interfaith Campus Ministry Council students joined DSU Chaplain Pamela N. Adams to attend the 3rd Annual President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge National Gathering at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.   The students heard from experts in the field and met top governmental officials who share a commitment to interfaith engagement.    “Our Interfaith Campus Ministry Council students that attended definitely represented DSU in a very positive light, and were approached repeatedly to speak with administrators from other universities because of their poise,” said Chaplain Adams.    Among the officials in attendance, the students were able to meet U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Wendy Spencer, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

DSU's Michelle Fisher Named as a Delaware Black Achiever

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DSU and family supporters celebrate Michelle Fisher's Black Achiever honor -- (l-r) Stacey Downing, associate vice president of Student Affair; Kemal Atkins, vice president of Student Affairs; Estelle Harding (Ms. Fisher's mother); Ms. Fisher, director of Student Health Services (with her award); Sharon Addison and Mariah Williams (Ms. Fisher's sister and granddaughter, respectively); Gloria Minus, retired Health Services office manager; and Paula Duffy, director of Student Judicial Affairs.

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10/25/13 Actor Hill Harper and Michelle Fisher meet during the VIP reception that preceded the Black Achievers Ceremony in Wilmington.   Michelle Fisher, director of the DSU Student Health Services, has been named among Delaware’s 2013 Black Achievers in Business and Industry, an annual awards ceremony held by the Walnut Street YMCA in Wilmington, Del.   Ms. Fisher was presented her Black Achiever award by Hill Harper, actor/author/role model activist, who was the keynote speaker for the Oct. 24 event. She was among 17 honorees selected this year.   The fall of 2013 has been a season of honors for Ms. Fisher. In September, she received two DSU honors – the Student Affairs Vice President’s Choice Award and the Inspire Excellence Award.   Kemal Atkins, DSU vice president for Student Affairs, called Ms. Fisher a consummate professional who through her excellence and work ethics, leads by example.   "Under Ms. Fisher's leadership, DSU has a Student Heath Service Center that would rival health services provided at institutions twice our size," said Mr. Atkins. "She works hard to keep our students informed on health issues, promote wellness on campus, and to address any medical issues that arise at the University. She also has diligently worked to ensure that students are knowledgeable about the current health insurance laws -- known commonly as part of Obamacare -- and how it impacts them.   Ms. Fisher began at DSU in 1999 as a nurse practitioner and was elevated to her current director of Student Health Services post in 2005. She has a BS in nursing from Adelphi University and a MS in nursing from Wilmington University.  She is currently working on her doctorate at Wilmington University.   Among her community involvement pursuits, Ms. Fisher has served on board of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, has conducted HIV awareness activities with different local organizations, has participated in the American Heart Association Heart Walk, is an active member and former board member of the American College Health Association, and serves as an active member of her church, the New Life Family Worship Center of Camden, Del.  

DSU Presents Student Production "Steel Magnolias" Nov. 2-3

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The actresses of the DSU production of "Steel Magnolias": (l-r) Dana Matthews, Candace Victory, Jasmin Walker, Brandi Hydleburg, Tiffany Trawick and Shakira Abdul Rashid.

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10/25/13 The actresses of the DSU production of "Steel Magnolias" form a human magnolia.   Delaware State University will present a student production of “Steel Magnolias” in three performances on Nov. 2-3 in the DSU Education and Humanities Theater on campus.   There will be a performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, and two performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3. The comedy-drama play is free and open to the public.   The play, written by Robert Harling, stars the following students: Dana Matthews (freshman English education major) as Truvy, Candace Victory (junior nursing major) as Annelle, Shakira Abdul Rashid (sophomore mass communications major) as Ms. Clairee, Jasmin Walker (freshman business major) as Shelby, Brandy Hydleburg (senior integrated studies major) as M’lynn, and Tiffany Tradwick (senior psychology major) as Ms. Ouiser.   Directed by the Rev. Dr. Shirlyn Henry Brown, an adjunct professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, she describes the comedy-drama as a “dazzling, entertaining show.”   “The characters are six distinctive women in the South who are known to be as strong as steel, but as gentle as sweet magnolias,” Dr. Brown said. “These women have a bond of friendship and sisterhood that can’t be broken and always meet in the town beauty salon. Together the ladies share their joy and pain in support of one another.”

DSU Chemistry Dept. Receives $326,138 Federal Research Grant

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Dr. Daniela Radu, assistant professor of chemistry, is the principal investigator of the solar research grant. The funding will expand the DSU research portfolio to include solar energy research and will support work designed to develop a sustainable ultra-thin iron-based material for high efficiency solar devices.

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10/23/13   Delaware State University has been awarded a grant that is further expanding the University’s research portfolio into the area of solar energy. Dr. Daniela Radu, principal investigator of the Department of Energy research grant, show the nanoparticle ink used to coat the solar cell substrates that is being developed.   DSU’s Department of Chemistry has been awarded a U.S. Department of Energy $326,139 research grant to launch the first-ever solar research and education program at DSU. The principal investigator of the grant is Dr. Daniela Radu, assistant professor of chemistry.   The proposal received tremendous support both internally at DSU and externally by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA), an organization that has the strongest impact in Delaware's renewable energy from sustainable resources.   The grant will fund the establishment of a new solar classroom course, as well as initiate a solar research program that will begin with the development of a novel ultra-thin-film photovoltaic technology using iron-based solution and nano-precursor absorber layers in solar devices.   The solar-related course will prepare participating students toward considering employment in industrial and research-related solar applications. Two graduate students assigned to this project will be fully prepared to obtain employment in the solar-energy arena.   The research will involve the fabrication of sustainable ultra-thin iron-based material for high-efficiency solar devices. Sustainable, low-cost materials such as iron sulfide derivatives could address environmental and economic concerns raised by other thin film materials. Iron-based materials are believed to be a viable alternative due to their sustainable nature and small amount of material involved in the devices. The solar cell substrate being developed by Dr. Radu.   Dr. Radu said that solar energy represents a major pillar of sustainable energy production and as solar power becomes more cost-effective, it has the potential to fulfill a larger share of growing U.S. energy needs.   “The expansion in solar energy usage will drive a growing need for more workers – manufacturing workers to make solar panels, construction workers to build power plants, solar photovoltaic installers to install solar panels, and more,” Dr. Radu said. “In this context, providing solar-related education to students from underrepresented groups is aligned with this job opportunities growth and with the need of having a diversified workforce in solar-related jobs.”   Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology and vice president of research, innovation and economic development, said the grant award demonstrates clearly that the Department of Chemistry and DSU’s newly formed Renewable Energy Research and Education Center – an interdisciplinary center that combines faculty from the departments of Physics and Engineering and Chemistry – are on the right track.    “Dr. Radu has done a tremendous job in securing this grant in a very competitive environment,” Dr. Melikechi said. “Our plan to achieve national prominence in research and education in renewable energy is now effectively launched.”   Dr. Eric Kmiec, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry, said Dr. Radu’s grant writing success is to be commended.   “This grant is at the top  of grant hierarchy and reflects the new momentum and attitude in the department. DOE has made just two awards in this competition and DSU is the only HBCU that has been selected for an award; University of Texas at San Antonio being the other awardee,” Dr. Kmiec said. “These types of awards provide solid support for undergraduate and graduate students  seeking to do research in credible lab settings.”   Dr. Kmiec added that the grant project is consistent with the department’s new scientific emphasis on sustainable chemistry, which is aligned with the University Provost’s  sustainability initiative  and the public/private partnership with the Delaware Sustainable Chemical Alliance. “The academic and research fruits of this grant will contribute to the expected robust expansion of that emphasis and alliance,”  he said.   Rebecca Fox-Lykens, the director of DSU’s Center for Teaching and Learning, has assisted Dr. Radu in the development of the solar course, and notes that the work the grant is funding is consistent with the University’s Strategic Plan.   “The grant will allow DSU to be innovative in its approach to explore alternative energy sources and the course Dr. Radu is developing will help students become aware of the opportunities in green jobs,” Dr. Fox-Lykens said.   Dr. Radu noted that the University of Delaware also played a role in helping the University launch this research.   “As we are moving toward building the necessary infrastructure, Dr. Robert Birkmire, director of UD’s Institute of Energy Conversion, along with his colleague, Dr. Kevin Dobson, has graciously made it possible for DSU to access some equipment and characterization tools at UD that are needed to achieve our prototype,” Dr. Radu said.

Gov. Markell Meets with Education Majors on Teacher Preparation

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Delaware Gov. Jack Markell share his vision for teacher preparedness with education majors during an Oct. 22 meeting in the MLK Jr. Student Center.

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10/22/13 Gov. Jack Markell challenged the DSU education majors to aim high, work exceptionally hard and become teachers in Delaware. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell met Oct. 22 with about 150 education majors to share the state’s direction with its new teacher preparedness requirements and emphasis their importance for the state and especially for young elementary and high school students. In his address in the MLK Jr. Student Center, Gov. Markell noted that a recent state report done in collaboration with Harvard University showed that only three out of 10 Delaware students make it from ninth grade to their second year of college. He further noted that 65% of the jobs in Delaware will require college graduates by 2025. “We can’t sugarcoat the challenges we face,” he said. Gov. Markell said that the research clearly shows that teacher quality is the most important school-related factor in a student’s academic success.   Toward ensuring that success, Gov. Markell told DSU’s education majors that the state wants to make a deal with them. “We are asking you to work exceptionally hard, to meet higher standards than ever and to become a teacher in Delaware,” he said. “We need you to aim high. You will be evaluated more rigorously than those who sat in these seats before you.” Gov. Jack Markell (far right) poses with student members of the DSEA/NEA Student Association. (L-r) Nefertiti Washington, Devon Conventry, Diogenin Matos, Jessica Brower, Justine Jenkins, Renee Horne, Raykeem Ward, Jasmine Manley, Davon Lewis and Rayshaun Ward.   Earlier this year, Gov. Markell signed Senate Bill 51 that established a more rigorous standard for teacher preparations in the state. "It raises the requirements for what it takes to teach in Delaware," he said. Among the new requirements, all teacher preparation programs will be required to conduct regular reviews of candidates, followed by exit assessments. All new educators must then pass a state performance assessment in addition to a written exam to ensure that they understand and can apply the content they will teach. Gov. Markell told the DSU education majors that if they make the commitment to qualify for and pursue a teaching jobs in Delaware’s schools, they will find that the state is determined to provide the resources and other support they will need to have a successful and fulfilling career.   The governor noted the following state education initiatives that are either already underway or being worked toward:   The state has recently launched www.joindelawareschools.org as a one-stop easy-to-use resource to find and learn more about education jobs throughout the state. The governor said his administration is committed to reworking the teacher pay structure, which  would include raising starting salaries and rewarding educators who provide leadership to their peers, as well as those who teach high-need students or hard-to-staff subject areas such as math and science. The state has established “professional learning communities” to provide interactive opportunities for educators to learn from each other. Gov. Markell gave the DSU education majors an opportunity to ask questions. He fields a question from Aqsa Siddiqi. “This is an exciting time to be involved in education in Delaware,” Gov. Markell said. “I am realistic about the challenges we face, but also extremely optimistic that we will continue to see great progress.” He added that to make that progress a reality, the state needs high-quality students like the education majors at DSU to stay and teach in the First State. The governor ended the meeting by fielding a number of questions from the education majors.

GIMPA Group from Ghana Visits DSU

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The Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) receives a cooking demonstration from Donna Pinkett Brown, a registered dietitian/nutritionist with the DSU Cooperative Extension.

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10/22/13 The Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration receives a tour of the College of Business' kitchen incubator.   DSU has once again hosted a group of students from the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA)   The Ghanaian students visited DSU and sites in Wilmington on Oct. 16-22. On the DSU campus, the group spent time with officials of the University’s Delaware Center for Enterprise Development learning about business marketing and receiving demonstrations in the Food Business Incubator Center in the Bank of America Building.   The group also paid a visit to the city of Wilmington’s Economic Development Office and toured the commercial  Wilmington Riverfront area.   DSU and GIMPA have been engaged in international collaboration for several years, with DSU hosting students from GIMPA on study tours as well as DSU faculty and administrators being hosted by GIMPA during trips to Ghana. The GIMPA group pause for a photo during the first-day reception DSU held for them.          

Filmmaker Lee Daniels Tells His Story at DSU

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Dr. Dolores Finger Wright, associate professor of sociology, gets some love from Lee Daniels follow his Oct. 17 guest speaking engagement in the Education and Humanities Theater on campus.

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Filmmaker Lee Daniels kept it “real” at DSU Education & Humanities Theater on Oct. 17 The director of the critically acclaimed and box office hit Lee Daniel’s The Butler was the guest speaker as part of the DSU Office of Student Affairs’ Make Your Mark Speakers Series. Mr. Daniel shared with the well-attended gathering his life story from his youth to his successful career in the film industry. For images of Mr. Daniels’ visit, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by more information on the event. At the end of the article, there is also a link to a video clip of a DSU Inside Perspective interview of the filmmaker. To see an interview on DSU Inside Perspective, click on the following DSU YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozItw74Dsf4 Mr. Daniels began by noting that he did not finish college, and told the students in attendance that they are blessed. “You should enjoy your tenure here at Delaware State University,” he said. The Philadelphia native noted that he became involved in the film industry at a time before black directors began to have some success. “There weren’t any mentors, no Spike Lee yet, no blacks working behind the scene,” Mr. Daniels said. “Survival instincts took me from early college to Hollywood.” While he began by directing small theatre ensembles in Baldwin Hills, Ca., he also took a job as a receptionist for a nursing agency. Then with a keen sense of opportunity, Mr. Daniels started his own nursing agency. “I stole five of their clients and took all the black girls (nurses) with me,” he said, to the humor of the gathering. After making what he said “an enormous amount of money” he sold his business and refocused his efforts on the film industry. He went to work as a casting director and an actors’ agent, contributing to the casting of films such as Prince’s Purple Rain and Under the Cherry Moon. Lee Daniels gave a frank account of his life and career at a well-attended gathering in the E&H Theater on campus. “I learned from the ground up what it was like to be on the (filming) set,” Mr. Daniels said. “That was my school.” He was later hired by Warner Brothers to be its head of minority talent, a post that brought him in contact with a lot of talented black actors. He was later inspired by the Broadway show “Dreamgirls,” which inspired him to launch his own casting agency. However, he said, there was still not an abundance of significant acting jobs for African American performers. “Then I got the idea for (the 2001 film) Monster’s Ball and produced it,” Mr. Daniels said. He added that there were many who predicted that the film would not do well. “I am very proud of the fact that Halle Berry was the first black woman to win the Academy Award (for Best Actress),” he said. He eluded to his past drug problem, he noted that night Ms. Berry received the Award, he could not attend the celebration party afterward because he was at home “with his crack pipe.” He said his responsibility to raise his adopted children prompted him to give up drugs for good soon thereafter. “I thought I was saving them, and they ended up saving me,” said the filmmaker, who noted that he has been drug-free from illegal substances for 17 years. Mr. Daniel detail there rest of his filmography journey: The Woodsman, a 2004 film he produced about a pedophile trying to assimilate back into society after serving a jail sentence; Shadowboxer (2005), his first directorial effort; Tennessee (2008), which he produced starring singer Mariah Carey; Precious (2009), which he directed and produced and resulted in a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Mo’Nique; The Paperboy (2012); as well as The Butler. “When Halle Berry won the Oscar, I thought it doesn’t get any better than this,” Mr. Daniels said. “But God said, ‘no Negro, it does’ .” As he shared his life story, he quite frankly talked about his gay sexual orientation and the challenges it has caused for him. At the end of his presentation, he took numerous questions from the audience and gave some advice to those who aspire to make it in the film industry, noting toughness is required. “It is a cutthroat business,” Mr. Daniels said. Watch a video interview with Mr. Daniels on a segment of DSU Inside Perspective.  

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