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Canaan Baptist Church Donates $10,000 for Book Scholarships

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Dr. Christopher A. Bullock, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church of New Castle, and DSU President Harry L. Williams hold a display check representing the church’s recent $10,000 donation to the University.

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Canaan Baptist Church of New Castle, Del. has shown its support for higher education by donating $10,000 to Delaware State University. The donation will go toward book scholarships for Delaware students. Eligible students will be able to receive as much as a $250 book scholarship. “We support Delaware State University because we believe in the vision of Dr. Harry Williams, and support the direction and prospects of the University under his leadership,” said Dr. Christopher A. Bullock, Canaan Baptist pastor. “We believe in the power of partnership between church and state, and we believe it is critically important for students who come out of our church and might go to DSU. Therefore we want to be supportive in a tangible way.” Canaan Baptist Church was established in 2003 and currently has about 2,000 members. Dr. Bullock is in his eighth year as the church’s pastor.

DSU's Dr. Andrew Blake Authors New Book

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Dr. Andrew Blake holds a copy of his new book. Dr. Andrew Blake, associate professor of English in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, has published a book titled African Students Studying in America:  Their Experiences and Adjustment Problems at an HBCU, an abridged version. This book explores the adjustment problems and experiences of international students who have studied in the United States of America.  First, it examines the varied adjustments that international students deal with in general.  Second, it investigates the experiences of African students at a historically black institution- Delaware State University, a rare study on Africans studying specifically at a historically black institution.  Dr. Blake has presented papers at national conferences addressing the adjustment problems of international students on U.S. college campuses.  His study is referenced in the Center for Immigration Studies website.  Dr. Blake has also served as a staff writer for newspapers in Delaware and has served in administrative positions at DSU and Lincoln University, PA.  The book can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Reader Store, and many other websites.  

Actor Clifton Davis Comes to DSU to Film an Upcoming Movie

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Dr. Warren Rhodes (l), DSU professor emeritus, enlisted actor Clifton Davis to star in "God's Amazing Grace," a movie in which several scenes were filmed on the DSU campus July 17. Dr. Rhodes is the screenwriter and director of the production.

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7/18/12 Stage/screen/television actor and minister Clifton Davis brought his star power to DSU on July 17 to take part in an upcoming movie, several scenes of which were filmed on the DSU campus. Clifton Davis (l) and members of the cast and crew prepare to shoot a scene in the William Jason Library. DSU's Jackye Fountain (3rd from the right) plays a member of media during a press conference scene. The Dover-based production company Calvary Pictures, Inc.  is producing “God’s Amazing Grace,” which features Mr. Davis starring as one of the primary characters in the later parts of his life in the last part of the film. “God Amazing Grace” tells the true-life story of two brothers from their youth to their adult years. Despite their Christian upbringing, both brothers become involved with violence, drugs and other crimes as teenagers.  One brother – played in his later life by Mr. Davis) is eventually able to break away from the immoral lifestyle to achieve great success in life, while the other brother never escapes the wrong road, eventually reaping the consequences thereof.  The movie reveals the impact of God’s grace and mercy upon the lives of both brothers, despite their very different life choices.  “People ask me why I am doing this movie, and I tell them it is my way of giving back,” Mr. Davis said. “Everyone has to start somewhere, so this is my way of helping this young production company.” Mr. Davis took a break from his performance in the play production Wicked, which is touring the West Coast, to fly out to Dover to do the filming. Scenes for the movie where shot in the auditorium of the Price Building, and on the first and sixth floors of the William Jason Library. Among the local actors starring in the production were Dr. Rebecca Batson, DSU dean of libraries; Jackye Fountain, DSU tutor coordinator in the Department of Academic Enrichment; Maurio Watson, Wm. Jason Library technician, as well as several DSU students as extras. The screenplay was written by Dr. Warren Rhodes, Professor Emeritus of Public and Allied Health Sciences at DSU, who is also the director of the movie. Dr. Rhodes is also an established playwright, having written and directed two gospel musicals, The Sermon and The Sermon, Part 2, which have been performed over the last two decades locally and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Clifton Davis gained prominence in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s starring in the popular TV series, “That’s My Mama” and “Amen”. . Over the years he has also starred in made-for-television movies such as Scott Joplin and Don’t Look Back: The Story of Leroy “Satchel” Paige, as well as big screen films such as Any Given Sunday and Kingdom Come.  Mr. Davis has made guest appearances on numerous TV shows, and currently appears regularly as the host of “Backstage Pass.” Dr. Warren Rhodes (l) discusses a scene in the library with actors Clifton Davis and Dr. Michelle Brown. Mr. Davis, who is also an ordained Christian minister, currently hosts the TV shows Backstage Pass and Praise the Lord on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.  He has also hosted gospel music specials such as Gospel Superfest, Take It to the Bridge, and The Stellar Awards.  Clifton Davis will be in Dover in mid-July for filming and to attend a fundraiser in connection with the film project. Calvary Pictures, Inc. is a subsidiary of Calvary Baptist Church of Dover. The movie – which is also being filmed in Baltimore, Md. and others sites in Dover on other dates – is projected to be released in the spring of 2013.

2012 President's Society -- Photo Slideshow

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(L-r) Mary and Frank Marshall join Drs. Reba and Berlin Hollingsworth for the June 29 DSU President's Society Reception.

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7/18/20 Dr. Harry L. Williams and his wife Dr. Robin Williams recently hosted the June 29 President’s Society Reception in honor of University supporters – comprised of alumni, employees, administrators, and friends of DSU – who have donated $1,000 or more over the last year. See the below photo slideshow for images of the event:  

DSU President Does Community Service as Asst, Basketball Coach

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DSU President Harry L. Williams (far right) serves as an assistant coach of the Team Inferno of the Kent and Sussex Basketball Program. Seated on the far left is his son Gavin Williams, who plays guard on the squad.

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7/17/12 DSU President Harry L. Williams has added a new title to his vita – assistant basketball coach. Assistant Coach (Dr.) Harry L. Williams watches the progress of a game with Team Inferno Head Coach James Culver, a DSU 1998 alumnus. Dr. Williams is an assistant volunteer coach for the Kent and Sussex Basketball Program and coaches a middle school aged boys team called Team Inferno. The youth in the program come from Kent and Sussex counties of Delaware. Dr. Williams is in familiar company on the team: Team Inferno Head Coach James Culver is a DSU alumnus, class of 1998. Oh yes, and Dr. Williams’ son Gavin plays guard on team. The sports activity is a community service effort that also involves Dr. Gwendolyn Scott-Jones, DSU associate professor and Department of Psychology chair, who developed the program in the spring of 2011. Dr. Jones, who serves as the program director, said the program utilizes the sport of basketball as a vehicle to focus on the following aims: educational, psychological, physical and social development. All youth are required to attend mandatory educational seminars monthly while participating in the program. Gavin Williams, Dr. Williams' youngest son, plays guard on Team Inferno. She said organization targets youth ages 12-18 both male and female with an emphasis on identifying at risk youth from low socio-economic backgrounds with familial and social adjustment difficulties.  “Moreover, the program will assist the youth with developing positive sportsmanship attitudes, self-esteem, character building and leadership development,” Dr. Jones said. “These aforementioned qualities will help the youth grow into confident, intelligent men and women.” Dr. Williams' Team Inferno made it to the league's championship finals on July 12, but lost to Team United by 3 points.

DSU's Accreditation is REAFFIRMED by Middle States

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The evaluation team representing Middle State commended DSU in several areas and recognized the more than 40 accomplishments and significant improvements since the previous accreditation in 2002. DSU's next self-study evaluation and accreditation visit will be in the 2021-2022 school year.

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7/10/12 The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) has reaffirmed the accreditation of Delaware State University for demonstrating that it continues to consistently meet the standards of excellence expected of universities DSU President Harry L. Williams says the reaffirmation underscores the quality and relevance of DSU programs The reaffirmation – through which DSU’s accreditation will be ensured through 2022 (the next scheduled evaluation year) – comes after a team of evaluators representing MSCHE reviewed the University’s Self-Study Report and visited the DSU campus April 1-4. The team concluded its visit with its findings that DSU meets all 14 of the following Commission standards: Mission and Goals; Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal; Institutional Resources; Leadership and Governance; Administration; Integrity; Institutional Assessment; Student Admissions and Retention; Student Support Services; Faculty; Educational Offerings; General Education; Related Educational Activities; and Assessment of Student Learning. The evaluation team especially commended DSU for: Its institutional-wide focus on assessment to help in creating effectiveness in each area of DSU’s educational enterprise. The University’s focus on encouraging undergraduate research opportunities between faculty and students. The increase in the E-Books holdings (exceeding 16,280 in the last five years) in the University’s William C. Jason Library. The University’s thoughtful and robust program in assessing the outcomes of student learning. The DSU Self-Study Report, which was found to be honest, concise and well-written. In addition, the MSCHE also commended DSU for its progress to date, for the quality of its self-study report process, and for the quality of its self-study report.  “The reaffirmation of the University’s accreditation, with commendations, by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education underscores the quality, relevance and vitality of all of our programs,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “It ensures that our programs adhere to our land-grant mission and national standards of excellence that range from leadership and governance to faculty competence and educational offerings.” Dr. Alton Thompson, DSU provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, said the reaffirmed accreditation is a testament to the diligent work and commitment of the University’s faculty and staff.    “Accreditation is a key indicator of academic quality and is an external and objective measure of accountability and stewardship,” Dr. Thompson said.  “Maintaining our accreditation will be an ongoing process and will serve as a benchmark as the University continues to expand its enrollment, facilities, academic programs and strategic initiatives in the pursuit of continuing excellence.” The team also noted more than 40 accomplishments since DSU’s previous reaffirmed accreditation in 2002, among which included: Provost Alton Thompson said the faculty and staff are to be commended for the work to get the accreditation reaffirmed. The revision of DSU’s mission statement, vision statement and core values, which all build upon the University’s history while positioning it to take a leadership role in higher education in the state, the nation and internationally. The creation of the DSU Foundation to support fundraising efforts. The University’s reaffirmation of an A+ credit rating from Standard and Poor’s, the top national credit rating agency. The restructuring of the DSU finance area to improve financial reporting and fiscal management. The University’s transparent, collaborative, collegial and shared governance structure and leadership, through which DSU enjoys widespread support of alumni, the Dover community, state officials and its Congressional delegation. The establishment of a Scholarship Leveraging Team that enables DSU to strategically use merit-based scholarships to attract top-tier students as well as assist students with need-based aid, resulting in an increase in enrollment and retention. Delaware State University received its first in accreditation in 1945 from Middle States when the institution was known as the State College for Colored Students. State legislation in 1947 changed the institution’s name to Delaware State College, and then to Delaware State University in 1993. Among the country’s 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, DSU is ranked 15th in the 2012 rankings by the U.S. News & World Report. In 2011, DSU had a school-record enrollment of 4,178 students. The institution has more than 200 faculty members, as well as about 300 executive managers and staff members. In addition to its main campus in the state capital of Dover, the University also maintains satellite sites in Wilmington and Georgetown.  

DSU Announces Tuition, Room & Board Rates for 2012-2013

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7/2/12 Delaware State University announced on July 2 its tuition rates for the 2012-2013 academic year, which includes a moderate 4.5% increase in the tuition and room & board rates. With the increase, in-state tuition and fees will total $7,336 for the year, and the out-of-state tuition and fees will be $15,692. Traditional residential hall rates will range from $6,976 to $7,490. Residential meal plan options for the year will range from $3,310 to $3,732, while the commuter meal plan will be $1,870. DSU President Harry L. Williams said while the University does everything it can to keep the cost of education affordable, this year’s increase is necessary. “In comparison to the increases taking place at other institutions of higher education in the region, the 4.5% increase at DSU is modest,” Dr. Williams said.  

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu Visits DSU

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(L-r) Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, U.S. Rep. John Carney,. U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, DSU President Harry L. Williams and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper stand outside the Mishoe Science Center, which is one of the campus buildings that will be made more energy efficient, a campus-wide DSU initiative that Dr. Chu commended during his visit.

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu paid a July 2 visit to Delaware State University to highlight its initiatives to make its campus buildings more energy efficient.   In welcoming Secretary Chu to the campus and the First State, DSU President Harry L. Williams was joined by Gov. Jack Markell and the entire Delaware Congressional Delegation – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, as well as U.S. Rep. John Carney. Gov. Jack Markell, Secretary Steven Chu and DSU President Harry L. Williams listen to one of the speakers during the July 2 event.   During Secretary Chu’s visit, University officials shared with him DSU’s current initiative to reduce energy consumption on campus by 25% by the year 2013. The University’s energy reduction initiative is part of its role as an institutional participant in President Barack Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge.   To achieve the reductions, DSU has entered into a guaranteed energy performance contract with Johnson Controls, the company hired for the work, which will ensure that the upgrades will result in the reduction goal. The improvements are projected to save the University a net $5.3 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.   Secretary Chu said commended DSU's environmental leadership, and noted that its initiative would serve as a model for other universities and colleges.   “Making our public buildings and schools more energy efficient is one of the easiest ways for universities and local communities to save money,” Secretary Chu said. “As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, Delaware State University is paving the way to long-term benefits for the school and the state. These efforts will reduce energy costs, support jobs, and help build an American economy that lasts.”   Gov. Markell said Secretary Chu’s visit sends a strong message that Delaware State University is on the right path toward helping the environment and reducing its carbon footprint.   “DSU is setting a national example in aggressively achieving new energy efficiency standards,” Gov. Markell said. “The University's accomplishments mean earlier economic and environmental benefits for DSU and Delaware.”   DSU’s project involves the upgrades of 26 buildings on its campus in Dover, all designed to reduce energy consumption and costs. Among the upgrades are:   Upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Installation of technology that will enable the University to control the HVAC levels of each individual campus building from a remote location. Roof replacements. Motion sensitive controls that automatically turn lights off after a room has been unoccupied for a period, and turn them back on when someone enters the room. An office computer management system that will enable the University’s Office of Information Technology to access all computers on campus and place them on sleep mode when not being used during traditional off-duty hours. Dormitory flow control that will retrofit shower heads and toilets to reduce the amount of water being used. Infiltration reduction work will seal leaks in building doors, windows and roof-wall intersections.   Dr. Williams said he is grateful for Secretary Chu’s strong encouragement and noted that DSU’s sustainability efforts are consistent with the University’s vision statement.   “In our goal to be the No. 1 Historically Black University in the country, we have to be an institutional leader in many areas,” Dr. Williams said. “While our Better Buildings Challenge initiative makes it clear that we take our responsibility as environmental stewards seriously, it also shows that we are determined to set a strong example that such achievable actions can indeed bring about achievable energy reductions.” Amir Mohammedi, DSU vice president of Finance and Administration, state Sen. Harris McDowell III, Secretary Steven Chu, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and DSU President Harry L. Williams get together after the event. Sen. Carper commended DSU for taking “this bold approach to energy conservation” with the Better Buildings Challenge. “The cleanest form of energy is the energy we never use, and DSU is working on the cutting edge of this science,” Sen. Carper said.  “I am proud that Energy Secretary Chu has come to Delaware to get a first-hand look at this great example of environmental stewardship."   Sen. Coons noted that energy efficiency programs have the power to lower costs, increase performance and reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil. He said DSU is proving itself to be a model for energy efficiency as it strives to meet its goals as a Better Building Challenge partner.   “As a member of the Senate Energy Committee, I am proud to join Secretary Chu in recognizing DSU's efforts to reduce not only its carbon footprint, but its energy costs as well,” Sen. Coons said. “The Better Buildings Challenge program is a smart partnership between the public and private sectors, and I am thrilled that DSU is taking part.”   Rep. Carney called it a “win-win” for DSU and the state of Delaware.   “Delaware State University is making tremendous progress on its goal of reducing energy consumption 25 percent by 2015,” said Congressman Carney.  “I’m very pleased to have Secretary Chu here on campus to see the great work being done at DSU through the Better Buildings Challenge.   This is a smart investment that protects the environment and reduces DSU’s energy costs, freeing up resources to benefit its students.”   The Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative launched in February 2011 by President Obama to support job creation by catalyzing private sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades.  The Initiative is spearheaded by former President Clinton and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness with the goal of making America’s buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade, which will help reduce energy costs for American businesses by nearly $40 billion. Last year, commercial buildings consumed roughly 20 percent of all the energy used by the U.S. economy.   Amir Mohammadi, DSU executive vice president of finance and the University treasurer, noted that DSU’s initiative is projected to achieve the desired results faster than the established goals of the Obama Administration. “The Better Buildings Challenge is calling for an energy reduction of 20% by 2020, and DSU is projected to achieve a 25% reduction by 2013,” Mr. Mohammadi said.   To make the initiative a reality, DSU has entered into an agreement with Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, Inc. (SEU), to fund the project. The University obtained energy efficient revenue bonds from the SEU as part of its inaugural issue of such funding.   Johnson Controls – the contract company hired to do the upgrade work – began the work on the University in April 2011 and is estimated to complete the project by December 2012.   The total DSU investment in the project is $19.3 million (principal and interest). With a guaranteed utility reduction providing an estimated savings of $24.6 million over 20 years, the net savings to the University during that period will be $5.3 million.   The initiative will also help reduce the University’s deferred maintenance of $58 million by almost 20%.  

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.  

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