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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.

DSU President Receives Distinguished Alumni Award from Alma Mater

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DSU President Harry L. Williams has been honored by his alma mater, Appalachian State University, with its 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his achievements during his 23-year higher education career.   Dr. Williams was presented the award on June 8 during a ceremony at the Boone, N.C. university. The award is given annually to an Appalachian graduate who has attained extraordinary distinction and success in his or her career field and has demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership in the community. Dr. Harry L. Williams is honored by his alma mater, Appalachian State University, where he earned his bachelor and master degrees.   Dr. Williams was described in the ceremony program as “a first-generation college student and a fierce advocate for higher education and for those hoping to pursue a college degree.” It also noted the numerous accomplishments that have taken place at DSU in his first 3½ years as president, including the research portfolio expansion, the University’s rise in HBCU rankings to 13th, as well as the leadership he has shown in testifying to a U.S. Senate committee on the escalating costs of higher education, student debt and what the federal government can do to make college more affordable for all Americans.   A native of Greenville, N.C., Dr. Williams credits Appalachian for providing him with a strong foundation for success. “I can tie all the wonderful things that have happened in my life back to Appalachian State University,” Williams said. “While Harry may physically be in another state, his roots and his heart are here at Appalachian,” said Director of ASU Parent and Family Services Traci Royster.     Susan McCracken, director of ASU External Affairs, added “He credits his mentors here – faculty, supervisors, staff and colleagues – with providing him with the skills and experiences he needed to test his wings, then to fly. We are all so proud that he is an Appalachian State University alumnus.”   At Appalachian State, Dr. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication, a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Media, and an Education Specialist degree in Higher Education, Administration. He then went on to earn an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University.   After graduating from Appalachian, he became its vice chancellor for Enrollment Services. He later served with the UNC General Administration as interim associate vice president for Academic Affairs and then interim senior associate vice president for Academic and Student Affairs. The latter allowed him to focus on access and outreach for all 17 campuses in the UNC system.   Dr. Williams began the DSU portion of his career story in 2008 when he was hired as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs   He began his tenure as the 10th president in DSU history in 2010.

2013 President's Society Reception -- Photo Slideshow

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(L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams, NASCAR driver David Starr hold a display check to DSU presented by John Ridgeway, corporate manager of Toyota, during the May 30 President's Society Reception in the MLK Student Center.

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DSU took time out to honor some of its faithful supporters as it held its 2013 President’s Society Reception on May 30 in the Martin Luther King Student Center. Under the theme “Racing for Scholarship” and coinciding with NASCAR weekend in Dover, the reception was supported by the Toyota Corporation, the premier sponsor event. The event was in honor of President’s Society-level supporters – donors who give $1,000 or more annually. For images from the event, click on the below photo slideshow:

DSU Presents its 2013 Faculty Excellence Awards

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DSU has named four faculty members as the institution’s 2013 Faculty Excellence Award recipients.
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The 2013 DSU Faculty Excellence Award recipients: (l-r) Dr. Anuradha Dujari (University and Community Service), Dr. Mingxin Guo (Research and Creative Activity), Dr. Dawn Lott (Advising), and Dr. Dorothy Dillard (Teaching)

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Delaware State University has named four faculty members as the institution’s 2013 Faculty Excellence Award recipients.   The University has selected the below faculty members in the following categories of Teaching, Research/Creative Activities, University/Community Service and Advising:   Faculty Excellence in Teaching Dr. Dorothy L. Dillard, associate professor of sociology, is an engaged educator who makes assessment a constant part of her teaching work. She uses her 25 years of evaluation and research experience to assess her teaching efforts as well as the department’s impact on student learning. She has developed and implemented a Writing in the Major course and has worked to improved her University Seminar and Internship courses. She has been involved with other faculty in the development of an integrative assignment involved mass communications and sociology/criminal justice students in the production of a public service announcement.   As the chair of the department’s Assessment Committee, she has been instrumental in developing improved course learning objectives and initiated a pre/post curriculum measure of student learning. Dr. Dillard also serves on the University’s Teaching Effectiveness Committee and Institutional Effectiveness Committee.   Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Dr. Mingxin Guo, associate professor of soil and water sciences, has attracted almost $1.9 million in research funding as a principal investigator (PI). In total, his involvement  in 17 competitive research grants as a PI and a co-PI have total $6.6 million. Dr. Guo has accomplished 13 research projects and has published 20 peer-reviewed scientific papers, book chapters and conference proceedings.   He has supervised 27 undergraduate and graduate students as well as postgraduates in their research projects. His supervision was instrumental in the generation of 18 scientific presentations (of which two won presentation awards) and five published research papers by his students. Dr. Guo is an active member of 12 academic committees and professional societies, serves as an associate editor for three scientific journals and as a reviewer for 10 scientific journals.   Faculty Excellence in University and Community Service Dr. Anuradha Dujari, professor of education science education, is an institutional role model when it comes to University service. Among the many capacities she has served in outside of her teaching responsibilities, Dr. Dujari served for many years as the Education Department’s personnel chair and search chair, as the chair of its Standard V Committee for NCATE accreditation reaffirmation, as well as a member of the College Curriculum Committee. In service to DSU, she served for two years as the chair of the University’s Promotion & Tenure Committee, as a NASA faculty advisor for pre-service teachers, has mentored many students for Honors Day presentations, and has developed Hindi curricula and teaches it as an adjunct.   She serves as the secretary of the DSU chapter of the American Association of University Professors. Outside of DSU, Dr. Dujari is a member of the Journal of College Science Teaching Advisory Board and has been a reviewer of science projects and essays for the Toshiba Exploravision competition and the DuPont Science Challenge.   Faculty Excellence in Advising Dr. Dawn Lott, professor of mathematics, has advised a number of department students as well as students involved with the DSU Honors Program, for which she serves as director. Dr. Lott maintains regular contact with all advisees, making sure she knows their individual names and the background about their personalities, experiences and family support. She makes herself available to her students via telephone or email. She researches each student’s academic curriculum and provides mentorship regarding opportunities that are appropriate, as well as recommends support staff on campus when student need assistance beyond her advising capacity. Her rule with advisees are: “If you display proper moral and legal character and you do not have an advocate, I will advocate for you.”   DSU President Harry L. Williams and Provost Alton Thompson joined representatives each college in presenting the awards during a May 30 recognition luncheon on campus. Each recipient received a monetary award of $2,500.

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