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Two New DSU Alumni Scholarship Endowments are Established

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(L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams, Laurie Bickham Gray and Bryant Bell hold a display check symbolizing the $134,000 Scholarship Endowment established by the late Jane Virginia Waters Bickham (Ms. Bickham mother and Mr. Bell Aunt).

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DSU recently recognized two separate endowments that have been established by alumni during the Sept. 19 President’s Pre-Game Reception. (L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams; Kristin Brinkley and Anthony Brinkley (daughter and husband of Peggy C. Brinkley) and Michael Miller, director of Major Gifts, all hold a display check for the endowed scholarship and named scholarship established in Mrs. Brinkley's name. A $134,000 endowed scholarship has been established  by the late Jane Virginia Waters Bickham, who made the decision to make a lasting gift to her alma mater prior to her death in December 2014. Mrs. Bickham, a native of Greenwood, Del., earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1961 from then-Delaware State College. Afterwards  she found joy in teaching and remained in the profession for 36 years, mostly as a kindergarten teacher in California’s Covina Valley School District. The Jane Waters Bickham Endowed Scholarship will benefit students majoring in education. A $10,000 endowed scholarship as well as an additional $5,000 scholarship, have both been established in the name of the late Peggy Cuffee Brinkley by her family. She passed away in June 2015. Mrs. Brinkley graduated with honors in 1979 from then-Delaware State College with a degree in Economics and Business Administration. She went on to enjoy a career with Pepco Holdings. According to her family, Mrs. Brinkley often credited the preparation she received at DSC as a key factor to her success in corporate America. The $5,000 scholarship will benefit Delmar High School students matriculating to DSU. The family of Brinkley – a 1975 Delmar High School graduate – said that it wanted to ensure that any intellectually gifted students from that school would have the opportunity to attend DSU. The $10,000 Peggy Cuffee Brinkley Memorial Endowed Scholarship will be available to any student attending DSU.

DSU's Leah Williams Introduces VP Biden at HBCU Conference

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Leah Williams (l) chats with Vice President Joe Biden off-stage before she introduced him at the HBCU Week Conference in Washington, D.C.

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Leah Williams, DSU College of Business graduate student, represented Del State greatly on Sept. 22 at the HBCU Week Conference in Washington, D.C., where she was selected to introduce Vice President With Vice President Joe Biden to her left, DSU College of Business graduate student Leah Williams introduced him before he spoke at the HBCU Week Conference in Washington D.C. In her introduction, she told the gathering that Vice President Biden "is a very family-oriented and charismatic man, and through all of his accolades has always remembered to build others up along the way, to help them live with purpose, live to inspire and live to elevate others for generations to come." Joe Biden, who spoke on the last day of the event. In addition to introducing Vice President Biden, Ms. Williams also shared with the conference gathering her appreciation of DSU with the conference attendees. “I have had an awesome HBCU experience thanks to my DSU president, Dr. Harry L. Williams; my College of Business dean,  Donna Covington; my band director Randolph J. Johnson, and all members of the esteemed Delaware State University family,” said Ms. Williams. “I believe that HBCUs give students the chance to enhance themselves as they find themselves while working toward their dreams.” Ms. Williams was presented with the prestigious opportunity at the conference as the result of her induction as a 2015-2016 HBCU All-Star Ambassador. The conference – held at the Washington Marriott Hotel –  was sponsored by the White House Initiative on HBCUs. Afterwards, Ms. Williams said she was blown away by the conference. “The Class of 2015-2016 All-Stars is so inspiring and powerful; I had a wonderful time and left so excited about the future,” Ms. Williams said. “The attorney for the Trayvon Martin case actually spoke to us and told us his story with the message of making sure you make the right choice when no one is looking and when God puts you in the situation to do so.” Ms. Williams, who in May graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, was the 2015 recipient of DSU’s Presidential Academic and Leadership Awards. She has chosen to remain at DSU to earn her MBA. She is also working for SAP, a global technology company, on a new SAP-DSU initiative called Project Propel, to provide HBCU students with opportunities in the corporate sector.

DSU Receives $2.6M First in the World Grant

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The funding supports DSU's Access to Success initiative that seeks to increase the applications, enrollments and retention in higher ed of at-risk and underrepresented students who are from low-income families. DSU was one of 17 recipients of the First in the World grants; and those grant awardees were selected out of more than 300 applicant institutions.

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The U.S. Department of Education announced this week that Delaware State University has been selected among 17 colleges and universities to be awarded funding under the First in the World grant program. As part of that program, DSU will receive $2,647,764 that will be used in support of its Access to Success initiative, which seeks to increase the applications, enrollment and retention in postsecondary education of at-risk and underrepresented students who are from low-income families and would be first-generation college students. "A major part of the land-grant legacy of Delaware State University is to provide access to underrepresented students," said DSU President Harry L. Williams. "This grant demonstrates that DSU and the Obama Administration are on the same page when it comes to better preparing first-generation and at-risk students for higher education, as well as helping them to stay in school and graduate." DSU was one of 17 recipients of the First in the World grants; and those grant awardees were selected out of more than 300 applicant institutions. DSU’s Access to Success program partners the University with the American College Application Campaign, ACT (a nonprofit education organization), and the National Student Clearinghouse. The partnership will develop a college match and fit tool and implement a postsecondary enrollment model that high school guidance counselors can use to assist at-risk students in determining a list of institutions from which they are most likely to be enroll and graduated following high school. Delaware's Congressional delegation -- U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and U.S. Rep. John Carney -- helped DSU get the grant through letters of support for the Access to Success initiative. "As a parent and as someone who has had the honor to serve Delawareans at both the federal and state level, few issues have been more important to me-and continue to be more important to me-than raising student achievement," said Sen. Carper. "Outside factors, including the cost of higher education, can force students to give up on their dreams of a diploma. While I believe education is a shared responsibility among the student, parents, schools and government, this federal grant will go a long way toward keeping our students on track to graduate." U.S. Rep. John C. Carney, Jr., agrees that improving access to higher education is one of the most critical challenges facing our country today. “DSU has long been a leading force in our state for providing educational opportunities to disadvantaged students,” Rep. Carney said. “Through the Obama Administration’s First in the World program, DSU will have the chance to build upon their efforts and to implement new, innovative ways to expand access to young people who need it most.” The First in the World grant program is part of the Obama Administration’s ambitious agenda to drive innovation and keep a higher education within reach for all Americans. “We all know that innovation can take many forms and as a key part of the Administration’s goal to promote college access and affordability, the First in the World program aims to support a wide range of innovation to improve student outcomes,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "We are pleased to support these educational leaders who are driving exciting innovations to achieve those goals.”

DSU Receives $400,000 NSF Grant for Mathematics Initiative

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This team -- (seated l-r) Dr. Sharon Smith, director of the Quantitative Reasoning Center and Integrated Academic Support Services; Dr. Rebecca Fox-Lykens, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning: (standing) Anna Cortese, tutorial supplemental instruction coordinator; Dr. Nicola Edwards-Omolewa, interim chair, Dept. of Mathematics; and Dr. Delayne Johnson, asst. professor of Mathematics -- will implement the Cyber Infused Mathematics Initiative.

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The National Science Foundation has awarded DSU a $400,000 Targeted Infusion grant in support of the Cyber Infused Mathematics Initiative (CIMI).  The three-year grant will be used to redesign the teaching and learning environments in introductory mathematics courses.  Faculty members in the Department of Mathematical Sciences will partner with colleagues in the STEM fields to create active learning classrooms infused with online mastery learning. The initiative will focus on student-centered instruction in technologically equipped classrooms. Students will also be supported by trained supplemental instruction (SI) leaders in class and in SI sessions. The initiative is also designed to establish a foundation for sustained professional development that utilizes inquiry and collaboration, as well as to develop a cadre of interdisciplinary faculty committed to implementing best practices in mathematics teaching.  The goals of the initiative are to transform mathematics instruction at DSU, to improve students’ learning outcomes and engagement with STEM topics, and to reduce the number of non-credit bearing mathematics classes offered at the university. “The CIMI team will introduce various instructional strategies in the preliminary mathematics courses.  These strategies are intended to increase student understanding of mathematics and its applications.  In the long run, we hope to contribute to an increase in retention and graduation rates at Delaware State University,” said Dr. Nicola Edwards-Omolewa, interim chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the principal investigator of the grant. Co-principal investigators include Dr. Delayne Y. Johnson, assistant professor of the Department of Mathematical Sciences; Dr. Rebecca Fox-Lykens, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning; and Dr. Sharon Smith, director of the Quantitative Reasoning Center and Integrated Academic Support Services.  Ms. Anna Cortese, Tutorial and Supplemental Instruction Coordinator, serves as senior personnel on the project.  

2015 Employee Recognition Awards -- Photo slideshow

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The 2015 Employee Recognition Awardees: (l-r) LaShawne Pryor, Charity Shockley, Pamela Adams, Evita Oldenburg, Dr. David Pokrajac, Dr. Mukti Rana, Kendrick Joyner, Wanda Curry-Brown, Marquita Thomas Brown, Randolph Johnson, Kendra Greene, Eric Hart and Erin Hill.

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Thirteen DSU employees were honored for their work ethic and professionalism at the Sept. 17 Employee Recognition Ceremony. For images of the event, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157658790790345/show DSU President Harry L. Williams presented the annual Inspire Excellence Award to Erin Hill, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management. The following employees were presented the Vice President Choice Award: LaShawne Pryor, director of Annual Giving, Office of Development Charity Shockley,  grants manager, Office of Development Pam Adams, University chaplain, Office of Student Affairs Evita Oldenburg, residential director, Housing and Residential Education Dr. David Pokrajac, professor, Dept. of Computer & Information Sciences Dr. Mukti Rana, associate professor, Dept. of Physics & Engineering Kendrick Joyner, resource counselor, Office of Admissions Wanda Curry-Brown, assistant VP, Office of Student Accounts Marquita Thomas Brown, director, Graduate Student Services Randolph Johnson, director of bands, Dept. of Music Kendra Greene, Associate AD for Compliance, Dept. of Athletics Eric Hart, senior associate AD for Athletics Development, Dept. of Athletics The event -- which was held in the MLK Jr. Student Center -- was directed by Brenda Farmer, director for University Events & Ceremonies.

5th Annual President's Prayer Breakfast -- Photo Slideshow

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(L-r) Dr. Wilma Mishoe, Chaplain Pam Adams, Bebe Coker, Rev. Rita Paige, Rev. Silvester Beaman, DSU President Harry L. Williams, Michael Miller, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, Dr. Germaine Cheatham and Vita Pickrum stand with a display check that shows the $29,000-plus success of the 2015 Scholarship Sunday campaign among Delaware churches to raise fund to help DSU students.

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The fifth annual President’s Prayer Breakfast was held Sept. 11 in the MLK Jr. Student Center, an event that brought community members from all over Delaware to join the DSU family in intercession on behalf of the First State's only Historically Black University. For images from the President's Prayer Breakfast, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157656156337543/show This year’s Prayer Breakfast featured guest speaker Rev. Silvester S. Beaman, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, as well as music from nationally known gospel artist Norman Hutchins, who is also the pastor of Frontline Ministries of Dover. The DSU Gospel Choir Alumni Ensemble also sang a gospel selection. The event also featured the presentation of the first-ever President's Faith Partner Award to Rev. Rita Mishoe, pastor of Star Hill AME Church near Camden. She is also the daughter of former Del State President Luna I. Mishoe (1960-1987). More than 350 people attended the Sept. 11 Prayer Breakfast.

$5.9m Del. Airpark Improvements to Benefit DSU Aviation

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(L-r) DRBA Commissioner Rick Downes;  Lori Pagnanelli, Manager, Harrisburg Airports District Office, FAA Eastern Region; DRBA Chairman Bill Lowe; U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons; DSU President Harry L. Williams; Donna Covington, dean of the DSU College of Business; Hans Reigle, DSU Aviation Program chair, and David Harding, UPS pilot and DSU Aviation Program alumnus (1995), all pose next to a rendering of the Del. Airpark improvements.

 

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DSU Aviation Program students will have a safer environment for their flight training as the result of a $5.9 million federal grant for improvements to the Delaware Airpark. Delaware U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons announce the funding alongside DSU President Harry L. Williams, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Airport Administrator Stephen Williams, (L-r) President Harry Williams meets Aviation Program alumni Robert Bryant (Class of 2002, Fed Ex pilot), Ryan Padmore, (2000, United Airlines), Willie Gonzalez (2015 Air Wisconsin), Mathu Baynes (2000, United), and Dave Harding, (1995,UPS) who were in attendance at the Del. Airpark funding announcement. alumni of DSU’s Aviation Program who are now working in the aviation industry, along with other officials. The overall project will provide for a runway, taxiway and apron system, capacity for adequate runway length, and airport expansion to meet the current and anticipated demand.  In addition to serving the general aviation needs of central Delaware and the capital city of Dover, the Delaware Airpark is home to DSU’s Aviation Program. As the Airpark’s primary user, DSU bases its flight training and maintains its fleet of aircraft at the facility. President Williams said about 75 current professional pilot students and those who follow them will have a safer airport environment in which to earn their flying certifications. “Our DSU aviation students will benefit greatly from the improvements, especially the longer runway that will eliminate a power line obstacle they have to currently deal with in landing and taking off,” the DSU president said. “As the University continues to produce professional pilots whose proficiencies have resulted in a 100% hiring rate, DSU, the Delaware River and Bay Authority, the Delaware Congressional delegation and the federal government can all share in the credit for helping in its success.” David Harding, a 1995 graduate of the DSU Aviation Program who now flies for the United Parcel Service, spoke at the event and told the DSU Aviation students in attendance that the safer environment will help them in their training. "The assistance  (of the funding) and the improvements are what you are going springboard on to achieve your flying aspirations," he said. Sen. Carper said an improved Delaware Airpark will be impactful in Central Delaware. “The general aviation industry contributes more than $150 billion annually to our economy and employs more than 1.2 million people throughout the country,” Sen. Carper said. “This grant award will help the Delaware Airpark expand and attract new clients to the area, and hopefully businesses in the surrounding area will also reap these benefits.” Sen. Coons said that the great is great news for the Delaware Airpark, the DRBA and the many pilots who use this airport on a daily basis. “The improvements that will be made on the runway and other aspects of the airport will improve pilot safety for years to come,” Sen. Coons said. “This project is also about updating our nation’s infrastructure. When we think about infrastructure, we think roads and bridges, but here we have a great example of what we can achieve when we invest in our airports as well.” Mr. S. Williams, the DRBA administrator, said the project could not have been possible with the instrumental support of the FAA and Delaware’s Congressional delegation. “This important aviation infrastructure project illustrates Delaware’s ongoing commitment to the aviation business sector.”

DSU and CASE of Jamaica Finalize Agreement

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Post signing photo pose. (L-r) Seated: DSU President Harry L. Williams; Dr. Mary-Ann Nichols, CASE president; standing: Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Ag. and Related Sci. (CARS); Dr. Kornel Brown, DSU/CASE Partnership Coordinator; Federica Williams, CASE student; Dr. Marikis Alvarez, CARS assoc. dean; Julian Jones, CASE student; Dr. Dian Williams (CASE VP of academics; Ambassador Derrick Heaven, CASE board chairman.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams recently returned from a trip to Jamaica where he and other DSU officials finalized a new agreement with the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), one of the Caribbean's premier institutions of higher education   (L-r) Dr. Dyremple Marsh, DSU President Harry Williams and Dr. Marikis Alvarez inspect an experimental banana field. Joined by Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the DSU College of Agriculture and Related Sciences (CARS), and Dr. Marikis Alvarez, CARS associate dean for research, Dr. Williams signed a memorandum of understanding with Rev. Dr. Mary Nichols, CASE president. The agreement opens the door for future study abroad/student exchanges as well as collaborations in research and other academic pursuits between the two institutions. CASE is nestled on a 254-hectare campus caressed by the lush green hillsides and pristine coastline of the parish of Portland in eastern Jamaica.

DSU's Leah Williams Selected as HBCU All-Star Ambassador

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Leah Williams was selected for the honor by the White House Initiative on HBCUs in recognition of her scholarship, leadership and civic engagement.

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The academic journey of excellence of Leah Williams, DSU Class of 2015, has caught the attention of the White House Initiative on HBCUs and has led to her selection as a 2015-2016 HBCU All-Star Ambassador. In a year-long commitment as an HBCU All-Star Ambassador, Ms. Williams will promote the White House initiative by communicating to fellow students the value of education and the outreach opportunities that are available. She will help present the Initiative as a networking resource that can help students to realize their educational and career potential. Ms. Williams, who in May graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management, was the 2015 recipient of DSU’s Presidential Academic and Leadership Awards. She has chosen to remain at DSU to earn her MBA. She will be officially inducted as an HBCU All-Star Ambassador at the Sept. 20-22 HBCU Week Conference in Washington, D.C.

DSU Students Get Sustainability Lessons in Costa Rica

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Don Jose, who owns the Finca Canaveral Farm in Costa Rica, teaches DSU students and those from other institutions about his process of growing and producing coffee beans.

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Six DSU students recently returned from a three-week study abroad trip to Costa Rica where they were able to gain a greater understanding of agriculture sustainability. They joined eight students from Alabama A&M University and Tuskegee University in activities that focused on sustainable agriculture/agroforestry, sustainable tourism, and natural resource conservation. The instruction consisted of a rich combination of field trips, group discussion and exercises, interviews and interaction with researchers and producers. Clockwise from bottom right) DSU students Chelsea Morton, Lasheda Brooks, Covel McDermot, and Dr. Sathya Elavarthi, take a boat to the Bri Bri tribal village in Costa Rica. The group of students – which included DSU’s Lasheda Brooks, Janet Cordero, Covel McDermot, Chanel Moffitt, Chelsea Morton and Ashley Wilson – had an opportunity to experience production and value chain management of several different crops including cocoa, bananas, coffee and pineapples. The main feature of the mission was the interdisciplinary team guiding and teaching approach by faculty from the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre (CATIE) to facilitate interaction among the varied backgrounds and majors of students. The highlight of the trip was travel and stay at the indigenous Bri Bri tribal village on the Costa Rica-Panamanian border. Ms. Cordero, who is pursuing a master’s degree in plant science, said the trip allowed her to focus on an agriculture area outside of her primary graduate studies research. “My specialty is urban forestry, and on this trip we got to see a lot of agro-forestry systems,” said Ms. Cordero, who is from Dover. For Ms. Moffitt, a senior Spanish major, it wasn’t her first time in Latin America; she previously did an entire year of study abroad in Chile. She said while it was interesting practicing Spanish in a different dialect, she got a lot out of the field trip that focused on sustainability. “In the experiences we had in sustainable agriculture, tourism and development, it showed how as individuals we can control those areas by the things we do,” Ms. Moffitt said. Dr. Sathya Elavarthi, associate professor, and Dr. Marikis Alvarez, associate dean for research, both  from the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences, were the trip leaders. “The success of this study abroad program is a testament to the partnership between our institutions (DSU and CATIE),” said Dr. Elavarthi. “CATIE faculty and staff were very hospitable; they really extended themselves to make this inaugural student learning experience memorable.”

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