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Mr. and Miss DSU Coronation -- Photo Slide Show

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The 2012-13 Royal Renaissance -- (l-r) Mr. & Miss Sophomore Quira Parker and James Jones, Mr. and Miss Junior Dejon P. Stokes and Charles Robinson-Snead,  Mr. & Miss DSU Jamesa McDonald and Eric Brown Jr., and Mr. & Miss Senior Master Brown and Serenity Goodridge.

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Delaware State University kicked off Homecoming Week with its Oct. 14 coronation of Eric Brown Jr. and Jamesa McDonald as the 2012-13 Mr. and Miss DSU. The campus king and queen were crowned during the annual Coronation Ceremony, held under this year’s theme of “Harlem Nights” in the Education & Humanities Theatre. For images from the coronation, click on the below photo slideshow, which is followed by information on the new campus king and queen. Eric J, Brown Jr., of Felton, Del., is a senior mass communication major with a 3.6 GPA, who is focusing on public relations and advertising. His career aspiration is to be a technical communicator. Mr. Brown said as Mr. DSU he hopes to inspire the student body to be the “change” that they want to see. “Often people look to leaders to implement positive change,” Mr. Browns said. “Imagine what can be accomplished if everyone decided to be that change.” Jamesa A. McDonald, of Temple Hills, Md., is a senior political science major with a 3.6 GPA, whose aspiration is to be a lobbyist/advocate for children. Ms. McDonald said that the reconstruction of the mind, body and soul will be her platform as Miss DSU. “Concerning the mind, I want to focus on empowering people and inspiring them to have confidence. With the body, I want to focus on heart disease because it is the #1 killer among African American women,” Ms. McDonald said. “And concerning the soul, I will promote having intense pride this historically black university. The Royal Renaissance Court also included: Mr. and Miss Sophomore, James Jones and Quira A. Parker Mr. and Miss Junior, Charles R. Robinson-Snead and Dejon P. Stokes Mr. and Miss Senior, Master L. Brown and Serenity E. Goodridge Little Mr. and Miss DSU, Jordan Davis and Qira Hutchens  

2012 Parent's Day Luncheon -- Photo Slideshow

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DSU President Harry L. Williams talks to a student and his mother during the Oct. 13 Parents Day luncheon.

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DSU held its annual Parents Day on Oct. 13 with more than 400 moms and dads attending the event on campus. During an opening session, the parents heard about the latest development at DSU from University President Harry L. Williams, as well as remarks from other DSU officials. The parents then took advantage of morning workshops on financial planning for college, the University’s Health Services, and DSU Career Services. The parents than attended a luncheon in the MLK Student Center. Many also attended DSU’s victorious 31-10 game against South Carolina State University. For images from the Parents Day luncheon, click on the below photo slideshow:

DSU Arts Center/Gallery Features Works of Lydia Thompson

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Delaware State University will feature an exhibition of unique ceramic sculptures by Lydia Thompson entitled Roots, Connections and Pathways from Oct. 4 to Nov. 9, in the Arts Center/Gallery in the William C. Jason Library on campus.   The exhibition and the below mentioned discussion and reception are all free and open to the public.   Ms. Thompson – an Ohio native who is the chair of the Art Department at the Mississippi State University – is displaying a 14-piece exhibition that is a combination of ceramic sculptures and collage works. She will be on the DSU campus from Oct. 16-19 and will add an onsite installation piece to the exhibition at that time.   Artist Lydia Thompson’s current research investigates various geographic landscapes and how natural resources impact culture and social practices in the surrounding communities. Lydia Thompson's ceramic, wood and paint work "Return 360, Nesting" is one of pieces on display in her current exhibition in the Arts Center/Gallery.   Ms. Thompson’s show reflects an examination of organic formations. The artist notes that the presenting artwork is also a reminder of the physical process of reduction made by nature; animals and human beings create pathways that define migration patterns.    “Agricultural objects in my work speak subtly to the notion of valued commodities, which determine also insights into one’s cultural traditions,” Ms. Thompson said.   A combination gallery discussion and reception will be held with the artist on Oct. 18 in the Arts Center/Gallery. The gallery discussion will take place at 4 p.m.; the reception will be held from 5-6 p.m.   During her time at DSU, Ms. Thompson, will present a guest lecture to DSU Department of Art students and provide some critiques of their works.   The DSU Arts Center/Gallery – which is located inside the main entrance of the William C. Jason Library – is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

DSU President Hosts Grant Awardees Reception -- Photo Slideshow

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Dr. Harry Williams and his wife Dr. Robin Williams stand with a group who were among the principal and co-principal investigators that brought in a school-record of more than $30 million in grants into the University over the last year.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams and his wife Dr. Robin Williams hosted an Oct. 10 gathering of principal and co-principal investigators from DSU who combined in the last year to bring in a school-record of more than $30 million in grants. The event was held at the president’s residence. For images from the event, click on the below photo slideshow:

American Honda Foundation Funds Explorer's Club at DSU

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(L-r) Dr. Ana-Rita Mayol, Explorer's Club co-director, stands with senior counselors Ashli Henderson and Cynthia Mattison; junior counselors Karisma Hooker, Aaron Villette and Charles Mungai; along with Dr. Nirmaljit Rathee, co-director, and Dr. Eric Cheek, faculty advisor.

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Delaware State University has received a $75,000 grant from the American Honda Foundation to create the Explorer’s Club program for the 2012-2013 academic year. The Explorer’s Club involves two organizations namely, DSU and the Boys & Girls Club, combining resources, to provide an incredible after school and summer learning experience for students attending elementary and middle schools in the Capital School District in Kent County, Delaware through the newly created Explorer’s Club program.  Through a partnership, the Boys & Girls Club maintains a site based on the main campus of DSU in Dover, Delaware.   The Explorer’s Club is a project-based, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) directed, and evidence based program that is specifically designed to increase math and science skills. The program will be administered by Dr. Ana-Rita Mayol, director of Special Programs, College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, and Dr. Nirmaljit Rathee, assistant professor, College of Education, Health and Public Policy.  The target population consists of youth, ages 6-12, who are enrolled in the Boys & Girls satellite site on the DSU main campus in Dover, Del. The target population consists of students who have scored below standard in Mathematics and Science in the DSTP test. The ethnicity of the students includes 94% African American and six percent of other ethnic groups. The intended impact of the program is to achieve academic improvement, school connectedness and to assist students to become productive adults. The DSU Explorer’s Club program will target elementary age students in grades K-7 at schools in the Capital School District. The feeder schools for the program are East Dover Elementary, South Dover Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Booker T. Washington Elementary, William  Henry  Middle  School,  and  Central  Middle  School  in  Dover,  Delaware.   There is currently no STEM related after school program being provided to the students attending these schools and there is a need for quality after-school programming. Providing a summer and after school camp for STEM enrichment is an opportunity to assure student growth and retention in the areas of science and math through the months they are out of school. Structured STEM programming will be housed in the DSU Boys & Girls Club site. At the foundation of the Explorer’s Club program is the curriculum, created by DSU professors. The project-based learning curriculum promotes hands-on, relevant activities and experiences. In addition, the curriculum emphasizes higher order thinking skills, which deepens the students understanding of the lesson. The program will occur at the Boys and Girls site on the DSU campus after school and will be held twice weekly for two semesters.  In addition, summer activities will occur twice weekly for a period of six weeks Established in 1984, the American Honda Foundation (AHF) makes grants to non-profit organizations that benefit the people of the United States in the areas of youth and scientific education, with a specific focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment. AHF engages in grant making that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. Since its inception, more than $29 million have been awarded to organizations collectively serving approximately 115 million people in every state in the U.S.  For more information please visit http://www.foundation.honda.com.

DSU to Feature Guest Lecture Oct. 9 on Sustainable Chemistry

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Jennifer Kmiec, executive director of the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance. Delaware State University will feature a guest lecture on “Sustainable Chemistry” presented by Jennifer Kmiec, a prominent advocate of environmentally responsible chemistry in Delaware, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 in the Mishoe Science Center north auditorium (rm. 139) on campus.   The guest lecture is free and open to the public.   Mrs. Kmiec, the executive director of the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA), will explain the concept of sustainable chemistry and its importance to Delaware, as well as how the First State is a major player in this environmental endeavor.   She is also the wife of Dr. Eric Kmiec, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry.   Sustainable chemistry – also known as “green chemistry” – is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry applies to the entire life cycle of a chemical product, including its design, manufacture, and use.   DESCA is dedicated to encouraging sustainable innovation in chemistry throughout the greater Delaware region. Formed in 2010, DESCA's mission is to foster sustainable chemistry innovation among key stakeholders in the public and private sectors.   Working with thought leaders in industry, government and academia, DESCA helps link resources in ways that can both optimize the funding essential for R&D and translate the benefits of new and sustainable discoveries in chemistry into commercial opportunities.   The guest lecture is a part of the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology. 

Three College of Ag & Related Science Faculty Awarded Grants

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          Dr. Sathya Elavarthi Three faculty members in DSU’s College of Agriculture and Related Sciences recently received funding through the USDA Capacity Building Grant Program. Dr. Sathya Elavarthi, assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, received a grant titled,  “Integrating Agricultural and Cultural Experiences in Student Training: A Study Abroad Program to Ghana,” in the amount of  $299,975.  “This is an excellent opportunity for DSU students to gain international experience and the best part is the grant will pay for travel expenses for all selected students,” Dr. Elavarthi said. This grant will expand the limited study-abroad choices usually available to minority students by providing participants with opportunities for direct interaction with individuals and institutions involved in Ghanaian Dr. Rose Ogutu, a horticulture specialist for the DSU Cooperative Extension and a grant recipient, works in a high tunnel at DSU's Outreach and Research Center, which is used to extend the growing season of crops. agriculture. Through this program, undergraduate students will learn about and appreciate the culture, agriculture and economy of Ghana, while gaining workforce preparedness in global agriculture. Delaware horticulture crop growers are facing growing demand from consumers for locally produced foods and increased concern about the environmental impacts of agriculture. In response, Dr. Rose Ogutu, State Horticulture specialist for Delaware State University Cooperative Extension, received funding for her grant, “Increasing Horticulture Based Outreach and Extension Program Activities by Delaware Cooperative Extension,” in the amount of  $247,230. This project will help local growers improve their production techniques and yields by providing them with greater access to agriculture demonstrations, including organic production, and season extension models at the DSU Outreach and Research Center in Smyrna. Growers will also learn the value of networking, using direct marketing, and developing an electronic and social media presence to help promote their products. “Six acres of land at the Outreach and Research center will be converted to organic production for this purpose,” says Dr. Ogutu. “DSU Cooperative Extension will supply our clientele a diverse set of resources to help them sustain profitable and environmentally friendly enterprises.”  Dr. Kalpalatha Melmaiee, research scientist in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, received $149,000 to fund her grant titled, “On-farm Training Program for Students from Non-farm Backgrounds.”  This program targets students majoring in agriculture fields who come from non-farm backgrounds,providing them with field-based experiences that will enrich their knowledge.                        Dr. Kalpalatha Melmaiee  “Hands-on field experiences will provide students with the skills and experiences that are hard to acquire through classroom education,” says Dr. Melmaiee. “Students selected for this summer program will work closely with local farmers and also take part in field trips and workshops.” This on-farm training program will support 24 summer internships to CARS students over the next three years. This program will help strengthen the partnerships among farmers, K-12 institutions and land grant colleges. Additionally, the grant will also establish a first generation club and a student resource center in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences at DSU, providing students with the guidance and resources needed to succeed in their studies and prepare them for their careers.  

DSU's Employee Recognition Ceremony -- Photo Slideshow

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(L-r) Chief Harry Downes Jr., James Whitaker, Rhonda Holt, Dr. Cherese Winstead, Erin Hill, Nyonohpyne Ethel Harris, Keith Coleman, Gerre Depp and Brenda Farmer were the celebrated award recipients at this year's Employee Recognition Ceremony.

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DSU held its annual Employee Recognition Ceremony and Dinner on Sept. 27 in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center. For images of the event, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by more information about the awardees: The following persons were presented the Vice President Choice Award: Chief Harry Downes Jr. of Public Safety, James Whitaker of the Office of Testing, Rhonda Holt of the Office of Financial Aid Services, Cherese Winstead of the Department of Chemistry, Erin Hill of the Office of Admissions, Nyonohpyne Ethel Harris of Custodial Services, Crystal Canon of the Payroll Office, Gerre Depp of the Office of the Provost, and Brenda Farmer of the Division of Institutional Advancement. The recipient of the Inspire Excellence Award was Keith Coleman of Residential Education.

DSU CREOSA Awarded NSF Optics Research Grant

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(L-r) DSU Provost Alton Thompson, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Dr. Noureddine Melikechi (principal investigator of the competitive grant), DSU President Harry L. Williams, U.S. Chris Coons, and U.S. Rep. John Carney gather after the announcement Sept. 27 of the $5 million research grant awarded to DSU.

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The National Science Foundation’s Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology has awarded Delaware State University a five-year $5 million grant in support of DSU’s Optics Program. Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, founding director of DSU's Optics Program, said this grant will help the University produce the next generation of optical scientist, many of whom will come from underrepresented minority groups.   DSU officials formally announced the grant at a Sept. 27 media event held in the University’s Administration Building.   The grant represents the NSF’s validation and financial renewal of DSU’s Center for Research Excellence in Optical Sciences and Applications (CREOSA) as a multidisciplinary program of research, education and outreach.  The five-year grant will fund CREOSA’s phase II work that will build on the accomplishments it has achieved over the previous half-decade.   CREOSA has been instrumental in the prolific development of DSU’s Optics Program. Over the last five years, CREOSA has established master and doctoral optics programs (DSU is the only school among Historically Black College and Universities with a Ph.D. optics program), has helped lead to the graduation of a new generation of optical scientists mostly from minority groups underrepresented in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) area, and assisted in the creation of a DSU culture of innovative integration to foster interdepartmental and multidisciplinary research and education.   Through this NSF funding, CREOSA will move to the next level of excellence and national prominence in research and education in the optical sciences, said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, DSU’s dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology and the vice president of research. He added the funding is critical to the growth of the DSU Optics Program and allows it to reach a point where it can be sustained.   “This grant provides mechanisms to inspire, encourage and train the next generation of optical scientists, and in particular students from underrepresented groups.” Dr. Melikechi said. “We will contribute to the growth of the ever growing field of optics by performing cutting-edge research that has the potential for profound impact on human health through the development of novel nano-opto medical technologies that can be used to detect early signs of diseases.”   According to Dr. Melikechi, who is the founding director of the Optics Program (established in 1998), DSU optics scientists will focus on three interconnected areas during phase II:   Spectroscopy and imaging of biomacromolecules in crowded and complex media. Spin polarization in nanodiamond for nanoscale sensing and imaging. Interactive data mining in experimental optics.   DSU President Harry L. Williams said the University is proud of the accomplishments of its Optics Program.   “Our Optics Program has truly taken on a profound life of its own, and this grant validates all the work that has led to its research accomplishments, collaborations with NASA on the current Mars mission, state funding support for a new optics research facility on campus, and many other achievements,” Dr. Williams said. “This communicates to DSU and the world that the National Science Foundation approves of our direction in optics and wants to see it continued.”   With the support of Delaware’s Congressional Delegation – who were all in attendance at the Sept. 27 media event – administration officials at DSU were able to secure funding to continue this cutting edge program.   “I am proud of DSU for receiving this funding, which will help to prepare a diverse student population to meet the global, scientific and technological challenges of tomorrow,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper, who along with Sen. Coons and Congressman Carney, worked with the DSU on its application to the NSF.  “DSU’s Optics program is vitally important because it is helping transform the university into a premier research institution.”   U.S. Sen. Chris Coons noted that the advanced research such as that which is taking place at DSU is helping to fuel innovative new business and create the next generation of manufacturing jobs.   “DSU's global — interplanetary — leadership in the field of optics is on display right now aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars,” Sen. Coons said. “This National Science Foundation grant will help DSU’s innovative research continue to inspire the next generation of scientists and expand the potential for this fascinating field of study.” Sen. Tom Carper chats with Dr. Renu Tripathi, assistant professor of optics.   U.S. Rep. John Carney noted that in just a few short years, Delaware State University has developed a world-class optics research center that has already accomplished a great deal. The congressman said that he is looking forward to the seeing what the future holds for DSU’s Optics Program.   "I'm excited that the funding announced today will continue the project well into the future. The Optics Center attracts some of the nation's best and brightest students, gives them unparalleled opportunities while in school, and prepares them for successful careers after graduation,” Rep. Carney said. “It also strengthens the economy by creating jobs and adding more trained, qualified people to the workforce.”   The NSF grant is the latest in a line of funding support that the DSU Optics Program has attracted since its inception. Over the last six years, it has secured $23 million in federal funding. CREOSA was initially created in 2006 by a $5 million NSF grant. Three years later, the Optics Program received a $5 million NASA grant for the establishment of a Center for Applied Optics for Space Science (CAOSS) on campus.   In addition, last year the state of Delaware allocated $10 million toward the construction of a new optics research facility on campus. The University is currently in the design phase of that major capital project.   The two centers now operate under the University’s Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR). A group of optics faculty and students join Dr. Noureddine Melikechi for a celebratory photograph.                    

Royal Drummers & Dancers of Burundi to Perform at DSU Oct. 2

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The performance is free and open to the public. In the Education and Humanities Theatre at 8 p.m. on campus.
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The Burundi drummers and dancers will perform in the Education and Humanities Theatre on campus.

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The Burundi dancers are known for their graceful yet athletic moves. The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi, one of the greatest percussion ensembles in the world, will give a performance at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 in the Education and Humanities Theatre at Delaware State University.   The performance is free and open to the public.   The dancers and drummers – which come from the African country of Burundi – will share their sacred rhythms and dance, which have been passed down through many centuries and preserved in this performing art form. Their performances are born of ceremonies, such as births, funerals and the enthronement of kings. The performing group uses a variety of large drums.   In Burundi (east-central Africa), drums are sacred and represent, along with the king, the powers of fertility and regeneration. As the origins of their performances are shrouded in ancient legend and mystery, the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi channel the energy and creative spirit of a nation through these drums and the rituals surrounding them.   The group utilizes a variety large drums – Ingoma – that are made from hollowed tree trunks covered with skin. The thunderous sound of the drums with the graceful yet athletic dance that are joined together in this masterful performance represents an important part of Burundi’s musical heritage.  

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