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Endowed Scholarship Established by the late Aleatha Short

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(L-r) Joan and Greg Short hold a display check with DSU President Harry L. Williams, which represents an endowed scholarship established for Indian River School District students by the late Aleatha Short, a DSU alumna from the class of 1949. Greg Short is the son of the namesakes for the endowment.

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A new $25,000 scholarship endowment has been established by the late Aleatha H. Short, class of 1949, who included her alma mater in her will. Mrs. Short, who passed away on Aug. 25, 2009, stipulated in her will that the money go into an endowed fund called the Harrison and Aleatha Short Scholarship. Mrs. Short directed that an annual scholarship of $500 be awarded to a student of the Indian River School District. Mrs. Short was a retired teacher who taught students with learning disabilities in the Indian River School District. Her husband Harrison Short, also a DSU alumnus from the class of 1950, was an assistant principal in the Indian River School District. Mr. Short passed away in 1994. The endowment donation was presented by her son Gregg Short to Dr. Harry L. Williams on June 27. The selected student must have a grade point average of at least 2.5. The Sussex County Chapter of the DSU Alumni Association and the DSU Scholarship Committee will recommend the student, with the selection to be based on financial need, exemplary character and the submission of two reference letters. Mr. and Mrs. Short were residents of Millsboro, Del., and were longtime members of the Sussex County Chapter of the DSU Alumni Association. Their ice cream shop, the Chat and Chew, was a very popular spot for people visit and fellowship from miles around. 

Sixteen DSU Students Spend a Month Studying in China

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DSU students who studied in China -- top row: Myles Johnson-Gray, Donavon Higbee, Leah Williams, Rebecca Weideman-Mera; second Row: Atiya Overton, Krystina Grayson, Pengrui (Peter) Hui, Dr. Mazen Shahin, Tynisha Hearne, Cearra Jones, Ashley  Stevenson, Andrew Dixon, Brittney Watson; third row: Randa Shahin, Miranda Spina, Kasey Cosden, Krysten Bowersox, Deidre Carter, Andre Kerr, and Charles Mungai.

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After watching Chinese exchange students learn about life in America on their Dover campus over the last year, a group of 16 DSU students traded places with them by spending a month studying in China and learning about the culture there. From l-r: DSU music students Tynisha Hearne, Andrew Dixon, Krystina Grayson, Donavon Higbee and Leah Williams give a performance on the traditional Chinese instruments they learned to play. DSU sent 11 students from the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and five music student to China, where the studied at Ningbo University, in the Zhejiang province of China from May 19 to June 21 The DSU music students learned the Chinese system of music and each learned a different traditional Chinese instrument from Chinese music instructors. Tynisha Hearne, a senior education music major from Wilmington, Del., said that she found Chinese approach to music interesting. “They stress putting the music into your heart,” Ms. Hearne said. “They told us to sing the music before trying to play it.” Ms. Hearne, who plays the violin, viola, cello and bass, learned to play the Erhu, which is a Chinese violin. Andrew C. Dixon, a music performance major, learned how to play a pipa, which is similar to a guitar. “The thing I most enjoyed about China though was how all of the students and teachers at Ningbo University were so friendly, Mr. Dixon said. “My Pipa teacher and student teacher were always encouraging me during lessons – although I think that I really am not as good at Pipa as they made me out to be. Leah Williams, a sophomore business economics major with minor in music, said the hardest part was learning Chinese music notations. “They use numbers for notes and they use lines for rhythm,” said Ms. Williams, who learned to play the goo cheng (a harp-like instrument). “And they don’t use the notes A through G, but instead us do, ra, mi fa, so, la ti, do.” Donovan Higbee, a senior music major from Dover who learned to play the dizi (Chinese flute), was impressed by the Chinese students’ serious approach to their studies. “Chinese students were very much focused on their work,” Mr. Higbee said. “We got a real Chinese experience,” said Krystina R. Grayson, a music education major who learned to play the yuang chén (a xylophone/piano-like instrument). “They live simple lives there.” Atiya Overton, a senior chemistry major from New Castle, Del., was one of the 16 DSU STEM students who worked on research projects. Ms. Overton, who researched the use of electrolysis for the early detection of diabetes, said she was impressed with the resourcefulness of the Chinese people. “Their resources are limited, so they learn to utilize everything to the fullest extent,” Ms. Overton said. Miranda Spina, a junior physics engineering major from Milford, said language was definitely a challenge. “My Chinese professor’s English was very good, but the graduate assistant that worked with couldn’t speak much,” she said. Ms. Overton said that she and her non-English speaking graduate assistant used Google Translate to bridge the language gap. DSU Students Ashley Stevenson and Kasey Cosden give a presentation on the research project they did in China.   Kasey Cosden, a sophomore biology major from New Castle Del., said that she was friends with a bilingual Chinese student who was an English major. “She taught me a lot about traditional Chinese food, the culture and history,” she said. Ms. Cosden, who did research on the Camellia flower and its introduction into the Chinese tea market, said she liked the Chinese food. “The ingredients they use over there are different (from American-Chinese food), and the way that they cook it is not as rich as it is here in the U.S.,” she said. “But I think it is healthier the way they cook it there.” Brittany Watson, a senior biology major from Felton, Del., said she found her algae research “amazing” and was grateful for the opportunity to study abroad. “Even with the language barrier, everyone knew how to get the work done,” Ms. Watson said. “Once we had a goal, it was easier; we communicated by doing the work and showing the results.” DSU President Harry L. Williams, who was on an Asian trip, stopped at Ningbo University to check his students. He was treated to a concert by the DSU students on the Chinese instruments they had learned to play and research presentations by the STEM students. Accompanying the students on the China trip were DSU faculty members Dr. Patrick Hoffman, Dr. Charlie Wilson and Dr. Mazen Shanin. The trip was funded by a $30,000 grant from the Delaware Office of International Trade and Development and by $30,000 from the National Science Foundation through its Alliance for Minority Participation Program.  

DSU President Harry Williams Takes Part in ACE Crises Roundtable

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     DSU President Harry L. Williams DSU President Harry L. Williams presented his perspective as a roundtable participant at the June 22 American Council on Education (ACE) Presidential Roundtable on “Leadership in Times of Crisis” held in Washington, D.C. Dr. Williams was one of 17 university and college chief academic officers who along with several other higher education expert took part in the day-long discussion. The participants shared their experiences concerning how crisis events have been handled at their institutions and some of the challenges that were encountered. “We were able to share how crisis situations have been handled at each of our universities and colleges, and many of the valuable lessons that were learned,” Dr. Williams said. “We were not dealing in hypotheticals, but in the higher education crisis controversies that have taken place recently at Penn State, the University of Virginia and elsewhere. It was a valuable and informative experience.”   Dr. Rod Erickson, current president of Penn State University, gave a presentation on “Living through a Crises with the Scars to Prove it,” in which he talked about how his institution was rocked by the sex abuse scandal that has been a dominant news story since last November. Dr. Williams, the 10th president of DSU, was joined for roundtable event by the ninth president of DSU, Dr. Allen L. Sessoms, who is now the president of the University of the District of Columbia. 

Dr. Harry Williams Attends Morrill Act Commemoration in D.C.

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Dr. Mary Sias, president of Kentucky State University, stands with Dr. Harry L. Williams at the wreath that was laid in commemoration of the Morrill Act. Dr. Sias is also the president of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities Council of Presidents, the first African American to serve in that leadership post.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams is reunited with former DSU President Allen L. Sessoms, who is now the president of the University of the District of Columbia. Dr. Sessoms brought Dr. Williams to DSU in 2008 when he hired him as provost DSU President Harry L. Williams traveled to Washington, D.C. on June 25 to be among 70 presidents and chancellors from public colleges and university across the country to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Morrill Act. The commemoration took place during the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities Council of Presidents’ Summer Meeting in the nation’s capital, culminating a day of meetings with an observance program held in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act of 1862 that allowed for the creation of land grant colleges in the Union states during the Civil War. The June 25 observance also celebrated the Morrill Act of 1890, which provided land-grant funding for the establishment of black colleges in the country. The second Morrill Act gave birth to Delaware State University – then-called the State College for Colored Students – in 1891. Both Morrill Acts gave great impetus to the establishment of public institutions of higher education in the United States. “It was quite an honor to join these land grant presidents in Washington, D.C. to celebrate our institutions’ beginnings through the Morrill Acts of 1860 and 1892,” Dr. Williams said. The presidents and chancellors gather at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial after the Morill Act observance. DSU President Harry L. Williams can be found on the left side in the second row.              

DSU President Harry Williams Attends ACUPCC Steering Meeting in DC

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DSU President Harry L. Williams, serving in his role as a newly-appointed member of the Steering Committee of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), attended an important June 21 meeting at American University in Washington D.C. to help chart the course of the coalition of institutions of higher education working to reduce global warming impacts. DSU President Harry L. Williams Dr. Williams was among an ACUPCC Steering Committee made up of 33 chief academic officers from colleges and universities throughout the country. Delaware State University is the only historically black institution of higher education currently represented on the ACUPCC Steering Committee. The steering committee discussed the latest updates in its continued institutional recruiting efforts, successful partnerships and grants, communications initiatives as well as other ACUPCC business. The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. Delaware State University’s standing as a committed institutional member was affirmed in 2011 when it received the Second Nature Leadership Award from ACUPCC for its dedicated effort to establish sound environmental practices on campus through the University’s Go Green Sustainability Committee.

DSU's Dr. Arthur Tucker Named Professor Emeritus

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Delaware State University’s Board of Trustees recently unanimously voted to name Dr. Arthur O. Tucker as professor emeritus. Dr. Arthur O. Tucker is the seventh outstanding DSU faculty member to be named professor emeritus. Photo by Troy Darden. Dr. Tucker is retiring this summer after 36 years as a research professor in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences. Dr. Tucker is an internationally renowned botanist and is the co-founder and director of DSU’s Claude E. Phillips Herbarium. In 1977, Dr. Tucker and the late Dr. Norman H. Dill, professor of biology and agriculture, established an herbarium, which began as two cabinets of plant collections in the Baker Building. Because of the need for a such a facility on the Delmarva Peninsula, it took on a life of its own attracting the donation of numerous valuable plant collections, and ultimately resulting in the University’s construction of the current Claude E. Phillips Herbarium facility within the U.S. Washington Cooperative Extension Building. In addition to being the only such facility on the Delmarva Peninsula, DSU’s Herbarium is the only functioning one among Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country. Dr. Tucker has been a prolific botany writer, having co-authored five books, including two on rare and endangered vascular plant species in Delaware and Maryland, and three on herbs. He has also contributed chapters to 29 books and co-authored more than 90 refereed journal articles, as well as countless other non-refereed article and conference publications. Dr. Tucker’s expansive expertise includes herbs and essential oil plants, perfumes, the plant varieties of Delaware and Maryland, rare and endangered plants, forensic plant identification, and other areas. “His career in academia encompasses the land grant philosophy in that he has been prolific in his research program, developed effective teaching programs, and he extends his research and knowledge in outreach to the community,” said Dr. Richard A. Barczewski, chair of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. Dr. Tucker joins six others who are currently professor emeritus of DSU: Dr. Kenneth Bell, former dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences and University provost and vice president of Academic Affairs; Dr. William Flayhart, former chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy; Dr. Gustav Ofosu, former chair of the Department of Biology; Dr. Donald A. Parks, former art professor and director of the Arts Center/Gallery; Dr. Warren Rhodes, former director of the Psychology Graduate Program; and Dr. Mary P. Watkins, former chair of the Department of Nursing.

Dr. Harry L. Williams Discusses Higher Ed Affordability on Capitol Hill

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DSU President Harry L. Williams went before a U.S. Senate committee June 6 to give his perspective on the issue of college affordability during a June 6 roundtable discussion of the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee. The DSU president participated in a Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee hour-long roundtable discussion that focused on the escalating costs of higher education, the resulting student debt load increase, and what the federal government can do to make college more affordable to all Americans. DSU President Harry L. Williams told a U.S. Senate committee that escalating higher education costs especially impact minority students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Williams came before the committee at the invitation U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.). The DSU president was joined by leaders from 13 other colleges, universities, and education advocacy groups, who were all given an opportunity to share their ideas on how to make higher education more affordable. Dr. Williams told the committee that making college more affordable for students is a never-ending priority for the University. “Because of the increasing challenges of higher education affordability, Delaware State University constantly works to raise funds to help students make it through college without interruption due to financial reasons,” Dr. Williams said. “Dreams deferred often become dreams cancelled, and it motivates DSU to do all it can to keep students on their journey toward earning a degree.” Noting that minority students are unfortunately the ones suffering the most due to the rising costs of college, Dr. Williams shared research findings that show how the rising costs of college results in decreased enrollment at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Sen. Coons said that when it comes to finding ways to make college more affordable, all options should be explored. He noted that many students are delaying college because of the astronomical costs that are associated with obtaining a degree. “Today’s meeting was helpful in facilitating an open discussion among members of the Senate and leaders in the education world and I thank Dr. Williams for joining us and sharing his insight and wisdom,” Sen. Coons added. “I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Williams to help more Delaware students to access and complete college.” Sen. Coons also discussed legislation he has introduced that would help at-risk students prepare for and complete college. The American Dream Accounts Act, which he introduced in March, encourages partnerships among schools, colleges, non-profits and businesses to develop secure, Web-based student accounts that contain information about academic preparedness, financial literacy and high-impact mentoring and would be tied to a college savings account.   The Communities Committed to College Tax Credit Act, which he introduced in April, is designed to help spur private investment in scholarship-funding trusts to make higher education more accessible and affordable for generations of Americans. During the meeting, Dr. Williams also told the committee how DSU’s focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education is prompting the university to establish an early college high school on campus by the fall of 2013.  The DSU president said that through this effort, the University hopes to encourage more minority students to pursue careers in STEM fields as well as reduce their cost of college. Sen. Coons has also been an outspoken advocate for promoting STEM education. There has been a lot of discussion in Washington recently on college affordability and ensuring that students can get a higher education that doesn’t cripple them financially. Today’s meeting comes a week after the New America Foundation released a report showing that children can be more successful at saving for college when it starts early and they are given the infrastructure to save. The release of the New America Foundation report coincided with the U.S. Department of Education announcement on Thursday that the College Savings Account Research Demonstration Project will make an $8.7 million commitment of federal GEAR UP funds to support college savings accounts for students participating in the GEAR UP program.

DSU 2012 President's Banquet for Retirees -- Photo Slideshow

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(L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams stands with the following 2012 retirees: Brenda Brown (30 yrs.), Dr. E. Everard Cornwall (21 yrs.), Claudia Johnson (16 yrs.), Dr. Arthur Tucker (36 yrs.), Betty Price (6 yrs.), Benjamin Turner (23 yrs.), Dr. Sylvia Sheffler (16 yrs.), Gary Wayman (30 yrs.), and Nancy Wagner (4 years).

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Delaware State University held the annual President’s Banquet for Retirees on June 5 to honor the retirement class of 2012. See the below photo slideshow for images from the event, followed by a list of the retirees. The 2012 retirees honored at the President's Banquet: Brenda Brown, Office of Financial Aid, 30 years. Dr. E. Everard Cornwall, Department of Education, 21 years. Claudia Johnson, Department of Nursing, 16 years. Betty Price, Office of the Provost, 6 years. Dr. Sylvia Sheffler, Department of Nursing, 16 years. Dr. Arthur Tucker, College of Agriculture and Related Sciences, 36 years Benjamin Turner, Custodian Services, 23 years. Gary Wayman, Custodian Services, 30 years. Nancy Wagner, Institutional Advancement, 4 years.

Erika Grant Named Among Ebony Magazine's Top 10 Queens

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Erika Grant, the 2011-2012 Miss DSU, may have graduated, but her accolades have continued as she has been selected among the Top 10 Campus Queens of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Erika Grant will represent DSU as one of Ebony Magazine's Top 10 HBCU campus queens in its September issue. Ms. Grant, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in May, has been selected to be among the Top 10 campus queens that will be highlighted in Ebony Magazine’s annual Campus Queen feature in its September 2012 issue. Ebony flew her out to Chicago for a June 1 photo shoot in preparation for the feature. “It was an out-of-body experience,” she said. “It was a lot of pressure under the camera, but it was a lot of fun.” The Top 10 competition was based on which queens could attract the most online votes, Ms. Grant -- who made the top 10 out of a field of 41 competing queens -- said she had great support on Twitter and Facebook to attract voting support. The Ebony Campus Queen competition is in its fifth year, but this year is the first time a Miss DSU has made the top 10. “I am excited to be representing DSU in this national magazine,” Ms. Grant said. Currently Ms. Grant is completing an internship with the accounting firm of Ernst & Young, and she is looking forward to begin working in the fall for the investment management firm of Vanguard.

DSU Names Tamika Louis as Women's Head Basketball Coach

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DSU President Harry L. Williams presents Tamika Louis, the new Lady Hornet basketball head coach, with a DSU jacket and hat.

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A new Delaware State University women’s basketball coaching era has begun, as DSU President Harry L. Williams today introduced Tamika L. Louis, a former championship junior college head coach and Division I assistant coach, as the new Lady Hornets head coach. Head Coach Tamika Louis said she expects to establish a winning culture among the Lady Hornets basketball team. In introducing the new head coach at a May 31 media event, Dr. Williams said that he is “very happy” that Coach Louis has decided to become a member of the One Hornet Nation Family. “I expect that she will bring a high-level energy and excitement to our Lady Hornets’ basketball program,” the DSU president said.  Coach Louis arrives at DSU with 14 years of coaching and recruiting experience. Most recently, she served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator during the 2011-2012 season at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. From 2009-2011, Coach Louis was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for St. John’s University. In addition to organizing all recruiting initiatives, game scouting, overseeing player academic progress and off-court mentoring, she was responsible for the development of St. John guards, including 2nd Team All-Big East and Freshman All-American Shennieka Smith. She served as an assistant coach and a recruiting coordinator for the University of Illinois from 2007-2009. Coach Louis was instrumental in signing the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked 2009 class in the country (according to ESPN Hoop Girl and Blue Star rankings), which included All-Americans Destiny Williams and Karisma Penn. From 2002-2005, she was head women’s basketball coach at Mott Community College in Flint, Mich., where the team’s record was 58-33 over those three seasons. The highlight of her MCC coaching tenure was the 2004-2005 season in which the team boasted a 16-0 conference record (27-7 overall), was the champion of Region XII of the National Junior College Athletic Association and earned a bid in the NJCAA Tournament. During that stellar season, Coach Louis received the Michigan Community College Athletic Association and the Region XII Coach of the Year awards.  From 1998 to 2002, she also had stints as an assistant and associate basketball coach at Central High School in Fresno, Calif., Rhodes High School in Cleveland, Ohio, and Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. After playing her freshman year (1993-1994) at West Virginia University, she transferred to Fresno State where she was the starting point guard and captain from 1995-1998. It was also at Fresno State where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree, both in communications. In addition to her career progression in athletics, Coach Louis also worked for General Motors in management, product development, sales and marketing from 1999 to 2007, during which time she received the Corporate Woman of the Year Award in 2003. Coach Louis said that as the Lady Hornets’ head coach, she will be a servant-leader and hopes her energy, dedication and work ethic will be infectious to the young women she will coach and mentor. “We will establish a winning culture here with an expectation to excel in the classroom and on the court resulting in MEAC championships,” Coach Louis said. “Just as important, we will develop future leaders who, upon graduation, will make an immediate impact in our global society and positively represent DSU.” Interim AD Eric Hart join Coach Tamika Louis along with her mother Joyce Louis and Faye Sterling, her aunt, after the media event. The decision to hire Coach Louis culminated a two-month search process that began in late March. Serving on the Search Committee for the head coaching post were Dr. Gwendolyn Scott-Jones (committee chair), chair of the Department of Psychology; Dr. Jan Blade, faculty athletics representative; Candy Young, interim senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator; Dr. Joe Amoako, professor of English and member of the Athletics Council; Dr. Josette McCollough, DSU alumna and former Lady Hornet student-athlete; Dr. Sonja McCoy, associate director of Mentoring and Advising; Dr. Bradley Skelcher, associate provost; and Kianna D’Oliveira, current Lady Hornet student-athlete. Eric Hart, interim DSU athletics director, praised the search committee for its hard work and expressed great hopes for the Lady Hornets basketball program under Coach Louis. “We are starting a new chapter in women’s basketball and I am confident that Coach Louis will be able to build upon a strong basketball legacy here at Delaware State University,” Mr. Hart said. “Coach Louis has built a reputation on the Division I landscape as being a fierce recruiter and has built top tier programs at Illinois and St. John’s, and was on her way to building a strong class at George Washington University.” Coach Louis succeeds former Head Coach Ed Davis, who retired in March after leading the program for 12 years.  

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