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DSU Police Swears In Two New Officers

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Magistrate Judge Chandlee Johnson Kuhn (l) swears in DSU newest police officers -- John Skinner and Jennifer Bastianelli.

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The addition of Officers John Skinner and Jennifer Bastianelli brings the DSU force up to 16 police officers. The DSU Police Department have sworn in two new police officers. The Honorable Chandlee Johnson Kuhn, Chief Judge for Delaware Family Court, swore in Jennifer Bastianelli and John Skinner newest two police officers on the force on July 25. Officer Bastianelli, from Monmouth County, N.J., graduated from DSU in 2010 with bachelor’s degree in psychology and accounting (double major). Officer Skinner, a native of Smyrna and Clayton resident, graduated from Wilmington University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Both officers have also completed the Delaware State Police Academy. The addition of the two new officers will bring the DSU force up to 16 police officers and eight security officers.

The AME 1st Episcopal District Christian Ed Congress held at DSU

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The AME Christian Education Congress' leadership had dinner at the President's Residence on July 22. (L-r seated) Janice Hill, Dr. Robin Williams, DSU President Harry Williams, Bishop Gregory Ingram, Dr. Jessica Ingram, Vera Worthy; (l-r top) Dr.. Herbert Eddy, Rev. Winton Hill III, Rev. Ellis Louden, Jewel McAshan, Lynn Rochester, Keith Coston Jr., Dr. Kenneth Saunders Sr. and Rev. Richard Worthy.

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Delaware State University is the site of this year’s Christian Education Congress of the 1st Episcopal District  of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The Christian Education Congress held afternoon and nightly worship services in the Education & Humanities Theatre.   This annual event of 1st Episcopal District – which encompasses AME churches in Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, New England and Bermuda – has attracted about 1,000 AME clergy and lay persons to the July 22-25 Congress. “It is a Congress that is designed to educate all ages, empower leadership and provide inspiration for ministry,” said  Rev. Jay B. Broadnax, the executive director the Congress. He added that the 1st Episcopal District likes hold the event at DSU because it gives its AME young people a sense of what it is like to be on a University campus. The Congress – under this year’s theme of “First Things First” – is being led by Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, the presiding prelate of the1st Episcopal District. The four-day event features spirited worship services replete with dynamic preaching and music as well as a series of core courses specifically designed for ministers, Christian educators, as well as other adult and youth lay persons. The African Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1794 by its founder Richard Allen, who later became its first bishop. Today the AME Church has membership in 20 Episcopal Districts in 39 countries on five continents.

DSU's Cartina Church Selected to be Philly 76er Dancer

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Cartina Church It appears that Delaware State University’s loss will be the Philadelphia 76ers’ gain.   Cartina C. Church, a 21-year-old member of the DSU Del-A-Gance Dance Team has stepped down from that group to move up to the NBA to join the Philadelphia 76ers’ Dream Team dancers.   Ms. Church, a senior DSU marketing major and native of Frankford, Del., earned one of 23 slots on the 2013-2014 76ers’ Dream Team, which dances during 76ers’ home games at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia. The DSU student made the team from among about 180 dancers who tried out for the coveted slots.   A dancer since her childhood, Ms. Church honed her floor moves at the X Squad Dancing Studio of Selbyville, Del. and Crofton, Md. “I studied jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap, hip-hop…. just about anything under the sun,” she said. “I also did competitive dancing with the X Squad.”   Ms. Church is one of 10 rookies who earned a Dream Team dancing slot. She is also only one of two Delawareans who made the team. Ms. Church in one of her 76er outfits. Slated to graduate in 2014, Ms. Church will have to juggle her studies with her new dancing responsibilities in Philadelphia. “Most of my classes are during the day, and I will also work to hand my work in early,” she said.   Dancing aside, Ms. Church said this opportunity is a plus for her marketing aspirations.   “Being around the 76ers’organization, a lot of the people I have met are in marketing and public relations,” Ms. Church said. “So being around them should benefit me.”  

DSU's Dr. Ladji Sacko Translates Popular French Story into English

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  Dr. Ladji  Sacko, DSU associate professor of English and Foreign Languages, has given the English-speaking world of children access to a popular West African story through his written translation of a book from French to English. Dr. Sacko has translated the French book "La petite potiere" by Nana Aissa Toure, a native of Mali who wrote the book in 2001. Dr. Ladji Sacko, a native of Mali, was given permission by the publisher to translate the story into English under the title "The Little Potter."   The story is about a little girl in Mali named Alma, the daughter of a potter. She wanted to read and write, but, like many children like her age in that country, her parent didn’t have the money to send her to school. The book tells the story of how Alma used different strategies to earn money to go to school.  

Dr. Marsha Horton Named Interim Dean of College of Ed, Health & PP

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In the wake of the resignation of Dr. Frederick Asinor, DSU President Harry L. Williams has appointed Dr. Marshà T. Horton as the interim dean of the University’s College of Education, Health and Public Policy.   The new interim dean will begin in that post effective Aug. 19.   Dr. Williams said one of the University’s immediate priorities has been to ensure that the College has the top leadership it needs for the fall to guide its excellent degree programs for its students.   “Dr. Horton, a former dean, comes to DSU with years of proven educational leadership experience and success,” Dr. Williams said. “We are fortunate to have her join our dedicated faculty at this time.”   Dr. Horton most recently served one year as a dean and associate professor at Virginia Union University’s School of Education, Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies. She previously was the regional chair of Wilmington University’s Clinical Studies from 2005-2012 as well as an associate professor at that institution. Prior to that, from 1999-2005 she served in a number of consultant and part-time teaching posts, including as an adjunct professor in DSU’s Education Department from 1999-2002.   From 1993-1999, Dr. Horton was the associate secretary of Assessment and Accountability for the Delaware Department of Education, in which she coordinated the redesign and implementation of the statewide student assessment system. Her 39-year education career also includes her service as an education specialist and director of the Office of Authentic Assessment in the South Carolina Department of Education (1987-1992) as well as a number of college and public school teaching posts.   Dr. Horton has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Magna Cum Laude) from Sweet Briar College in Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois. She has also studied graduate-level developmental psychology at Cornell University.   Dr. Williams said prior to this interim appointment, the DSU leadership immediately began a review of its background check processes.   “Upon Dr. Asinor’s resignation, we began a thorough internal process review of all hiring policies and procedures. The University has also initiated an audit of the budget and financial transactions from July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013, the period of Dr. Asinor’s tenure,” the DSU president said. “The findings of these reviews will be shared with the University’s Board of Trustees.   “Secondly, I wanted an interim dean appointed as soon as possible because the continuity of our academic programs is so critically important,” Dr. Williams added. “That is what we have accomplished today.”

DSU Students in China & Ghana -- Photo Slideshows and Article

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DSU music students learned how to play Chinese instrument during their trip to the Far East.

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One group of DSU students spent some time this summer doing research in China and teaching its students there some of the finer points of band etiquette, while another group of students learned about agriculture practices in Ghana. Photo slideshows from both trips are below. Ten science students and five music students from DSU spent May 26 to June 28 in Ningbo University in China along with several faculty members. The ten science students – Shanice Bennett, Devina Gilmore, Chantell Gissenbaner, Jamil Huggins, Ikenna Ikpeama, Samuel Jenifer, Jessica Miles, Tiarah Thomas, Breonna Tucker and Shana Williams – did a number of research projects during their time in the Far East country. Samuel Jenifer, a rising senior engineering/physics major, did research on anthocyanin in red cabbage and the impact different methods of cooking have on it. Anthocyanin is known to help prevent cancer cells and reduce fatty cells. Mr. Jenifer said the trip has made him culturally sensitive to what it means to be a foreigner in another country. “It allowed me to be someone else’s shoes,” he said. “Doing a simple task that involved communications was a challenge.” The five music students –Aaron Balentine, Grace Batten, Jason Faustin, Devin Schlegel and Cortney Williams – learned how to play Chinese instruments and also performed with some Chinese students who tried their hand at playing play jazz music. Mr. Williams, a rising senior music education major from Bowie, Md., said he learned how to play the Chinese flute. “I got the opportunity to learn a new culture and it broadened my view of music across the world,” Mr. Williams said. “I learned that music is a universal language – that although the Chinese students couldn’t speak English very well, we could communicate through music.” All of the students also visited a variety of Chinese cultural sites in Shanghai, Beijing, and elsewhere. Accompanying the students on the China trip were Dr. Marshall Stevenson, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Randolph Johnson, director of bands; Dr. Fengshan Liu, associate vice president of International Affairs; and Dr. Mazen Shahin, director of the DSU Alliance for Minority Participation Program. They were joined by DSU President Harry L. Williams from June 21-26. From May 21 to June 10, eight DSU undergraduate students learned about the agriculture industry in the West African country of Ghana. The DSU students – Deidre Carter, Kevin Coles, Gabrielle Delima, Hillari Howard, Raequan Jones, Rachelle Purnell, Clinton Williams and Eboni Yearwood – were joined a couple of students from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on the trip. Dr. Sathya Elavarthi, assistant professor of agriculture, led the DSU students in the international experience. “Students experienced all aspects of agriculture, including policy making, infrastructure development, research, production, processing and value addition, as well as marketing and international trade,” D. Elavarthi said. The students also learned about the history and the culture of Ghana by visiting sites of historical importance such as the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial in Accra, Manhiya Palace in Kumasi and the Elmina slave castle in Cape Coast. In addition, the students visited former Ghanaian President John Kufuor, who shared how policies put in place with grants provided by the United States have helped Ghana achieve food security through the Millennium Development project.

DSU Signs New Agreement with France's University of Versailles

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(L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams shakes hands with Jean-Luc Vayssiere, president of the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, after signing an agreement on June 28 in France. The accord will facilitate the exchange of students and faculty between the two institutions.

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Delaware State University recently signed an agreement with the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) in France that will open the door for student and faculty exchanges between the two institutions.   DSU President Harry L. Williams signed the agreement in France with Jean-Luc Vayssière, president of the UVSQ on June 28.   Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, vice president of Research, Innovation & Economic Development, and dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, was instrumental in negotiating the agreement with the UVSQ. He said that the French university is at the forefront of the global pursuit of new knowledge development and it has created innovative multidisciplinary programs that are well connected with the economic fabric of its region.    “We, at DSU, are working toward a similar goal,” Dr. Melikechi said. “This partnership will offer DSU faculty, students and staff a new perspective filled with excellent opportunities while our UVSQ counterparts will have, in DSU, a new solid academic partner in the USA.”   Founded in 1991, the University of Versailles-Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines is a French public university that is located in several cities in the country’s departments (provinces) of Yvelines and Hauts-de-Seine. The university’s major academic focuses are the (natural) sciences, social sciences and humanities, law and political science, as well as medicine. It has an enrollment of 19,000.

July 1 is 20th Anniversary of Del State Achieving University Status

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July 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the renaming of Delaware State College to Delaware State University. (L-r) Then-state Rep. Nancy Wagner, the late state Sen. Herman Holloway, Vermell DeLauder and the DSU President William B. DeLauder flank then-Gov. Thomas R. Carper as his signs the legislation on July 1, 1993 renaming the institution as Delaware State University. With then-DSU President William B. DeLauder and his wife Vermell, then-state Rep. Nancy Wagner and the late state Sen. Herman Holloway present, then-Gov. Thomas R. Carper signed the legislation into law that made the institution a full-fledged University on July 1, 1993. The milestone took place in the institution’s 102th year of existence, a tremendous accomplishment primarily attributed to the presidencies of Dr. Jerome Holland (1953-1960), Dr. Luna I. Mishoe (1960-1987) and Dr. Williams B. DeLauder (1987-2003), who guided the institution from its challenging years of the early 1950s to becoming prominent state university. Now in its 122nd year, DSU is now ranked 13th among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, according to the annual survey by U.S. News and World Report. Currently the University offers 52 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and five doctoral degree programs. The University’s research portfolio continues to soar in the areas of optics, neuroscience, chemistry, natural resources programs, agriculture and other disciplines as well. Optics and Neuroscience faculty have attracted more than $25 million in grants in the last three years. Twenty years ago, DSU’s enrollment was 3,301. By the fall 2012, the student population DSU had grown to 4,425. The institution was established in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students; the state legislature changed its name to Delaware State College in 1947.

DSU Arts and Etiquette Camp Teaches Creativity and Proper Conduct

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Young artists of the DSU Arts and Etiquette Camp stand with their group assemblage work, which they titled "Beautiful Butter Belongings." From l-r, Sydne Jenkins, Terri Crawford, Aurora Lai and Ian Lai.

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Arts and Etiquette Camp member Ian Lai works on a portrait. DSU Arts and Etiquette Camp recently complete its one-week session with children from grades 3-6, providing them with the opportunity to engage their hearts, minds and bodies. While enhancing the youths’ creativity, self-discipline and self-esteem that is necessary for other areas in life, the June 24-28 camp was a hands-on art experience that educated the children in the various art forms while fostering a lifelong appreciation for the arts. The youth also received pearls of wisdom about etiquette, as well as the proper conduct and protocol in various social situations. The week-long camp ended with an Afternoon Tea/Art Exhibit on the last day of class where each student demonstrated the lessons learned.

DSU Reaches Agreement to Lease Sheraton with Option to Buy

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With an eye toward its growing enrollment and increased housing needs, Delaware State University has reached an agreement with K.W. Lands, LLC to lease a DuPont Highway The Sheraton facility will be turned over to DSU by July 27 and will be a residential facility for students beginning in the upcoming fall semester. hotel facility near the DSU campus. The property – the Sheraton Hotel, located about a quarter-mile north of the campus – will provide the University with additional residential space for students as DSU embarks on a plan to renovate and upgrade existing residential halls on campus. The hotel facility will be used to house students while residential halls are being modernized over time. The newly leased facility will also provide the University with swing space for other buildings that are being modernized in the future, as well as a possible site for its future Early College High School that has been approved by the Delaware Department of Education. The University has entered into a $12 million, 15-year lease agreement with the owners of the Sheraton Hotel with an option to buy any time after the end of the second year. During its regular meeting on June 13, the DSU Board of Trustees authorized University officials to move ahead in finalizing the lease agreement. Once finalized, the effective date of the lease agreement is expected to be no later than July 27. DSU President Harry L. Williams said DSU’s growth in enrollment and programs is expected to continue, and the opportunity to lease and possibly purchase the Sheraton Hotel will give the University greater flexibility in its future housing renovations and other program needs. Amir Mohammadi, vice president and University treasurer, led the negotiations on behalf of DSU toward the Sheraton agreement. “We are putting a plan in place to upgrade our residential halls with needed maintenance as well as install amenities that are expected by today’s students.” Dr. Williams said. “As we move forward with those plans, this hotel facility will become a University housing facility where students can reside while residential halls are taken off-line for renovation work to be done.” The negotiations with the owners of the Sheraton were led on behalf of the University by Amir Mohammadi, DSU executive vice president and University treasurer. Dr. Claibourne D. Smith, DSU Board of Trustees chairman, said the lease/purchase agreement is consistent with the future direction of the University. “The opportunities that the Sheraton property affords us are in line with our current vision statement as well as our emerging strategic and master plans for the coming decade,” Dr. Smith said. “It is a public/private partnership which will be a win-win for DSU, the city of Dover and Kent County, as its will expand DSU’s presence as an educational destination.” The current 135,500-square foot Sheraton Hotel sits on a 6½-acre property and contains 153 lodging rooms and 15 meeting/conference rooms.

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