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Del. Black Caucus Holds Historic Public Forum on Campus

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Prior to the public forum, the Black Caucus gathered for a reception at the President’s Residence. Seated (l-r): Councilman Earnest “Trippi” Congo, Rep. Stephanie T. Bolden, Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, HW, RW, Councilwoman Hanifa Shabazz, Councilwoman Pat A. Jones, former Dover City Councilman Rueben Salters. Top (l-r): Rep. James “J.J.” Johnson, Councilman Charles Potter, Councilman Eric Robinson, New Castle County Councilman Jea Street; Rep. Dennis P. Williams; Wilmington Mayor James Baker, Rep. Donald Blakey, and Councilman Justen Wright

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In a historic first, a strong representation of the Delaware Black Caucus – made up of African American elected officials on the state and local levels – gathered at DSU on Feb. 22 to hold a public forum in the Longwood Auditorium in the Bank of America Building. The Public Forum – co-sponsored by the DSU Young Democrats and the Delaware Black Caucus – was moderated by state Sen. Margaret Rose Henry. Black Caucus panelists included state Rep. James J.J. Johnson, state Rep. Stephanie T. Bolden, state Rep. Dennis P. Williams, State Treasurer Chip Flowers, New Castle County Councilman Jea Street, Wilmington Councilwoman Hanifa Shabazz, Wilmington Councilman Charles Potter., Jr., Wilmington Councilman Eric Robinson, and Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker. See the below slideshow for photos from the Public Forum and the preceding reception hosted by DSU President Harry L. Williams and his wife Dr. Robin Williams at their home. The slideshow is followed by additional information about the events. Dr. Harry L. Williams extolled the gathering as an historic event for the DSU campus "It is significant to have the Delaware Black Caucus on this campus, because it shows the support the University is receiving not only in the community at-large around the state, but also in the black community," Dr. Williams said. "As an HBCU, that is critical." Following the reception at the President's Residence, the evening public forum began as the panelist discussed a wide range of topics that included education, labor issues, healthcare, incarceration/re-entry, the economy, public safety, crime, and voter registration. Other Delaware Black Caucus members who attended the Feb. 22 DSU events included state Rep. Donald A. Blakey (also DSU alumnus); from the Wilmington City Council, Councilmen Earnest “Trippi” Congo and Justen Wright; Seaford Councilwoman Pat A. Wright; and former Dover City Council member Rueben Salters. 

DSU Arts Center/Gallery Host Lori Crawford Exhibtion

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Lori Crawford exhibition "Paper Bags, Photographs & Paintings" include this work entitled "Bag Lady: Kicking Out Sexism." Her works will be on display until March 23

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Lori Crawford stand with her "Sugar on the Floor" painting which was inspired by an Etta James song. Delaware State University’s Arts Center/Gallery is currently exhibiting the show “Paper Bags, Photographs & Paintings of Lori Crawford” from Feb 20 to March 23. The artist and her exhibition will be honored in reception from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 in the Arts Center/Gallery located inside the main 1st floor entrance of the William C. Jason Library on campus. The reception and the run of the exhibition are free and open to the public. Lori Crawford is a DSU associate professor of art who has been at the University since 1996. She said her current exhibition represents the synthesis of art appreciation, music appreciation and social exploration. Paintings, photographs or digital portraits are but a few creative processes in which she used to become energized and pacified in producing this signature collection of works. Ms. Crawford’s work with paper bags began in graduate school and attempts to shock or shed light on the absurdity of a decades old practice within the Black community that implemented the “Brown Paper Bag Test,” which involved comparing ones’ skin color to that of a paper bag. “If ones’ complexion was the same or lighter than the bag then one ‘passed the test’,” Ms. Crawford said. “But if the opposite was so, then one failed and did not gain entrance into that organization, church, school or any other designated function.” Lori Crawford's 28-piece exhibition includes "paper-bag" portraits. She said although this test is no longer used, skin color biases and many other intra-racial biases still plague the world today. The Brown Paper Bag work asks each of us what are “bag issues are,” she added. In addition to teaching art at DSU, Ms. Crawford currently serves as an member of the Delaware State Arts Council, to which was appointed by Gov. Jack Markell in 2010. The Arts Center Gallery is open from 9 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  

DSU Unveils Mobile Entrepreneurial Training Bus

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Participating in the MET Bus ribbon-cutting are (l-r) Bruce Weaver of the USDA; Jayne Armstrong, state director of the Small Business Administration; Dr. Shelton Rhodes, College of Business dean; Dr. Dyremple Marsh, College of Ag & Related Sciences dean; Lillie Crawford, director of the DSU Ctr. for Enterprise Development; Ilona Figat, MET director; DSU President Harry L. Williams, U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper; state Rep. Lincoln Willis, and Dover Mayor Carlton Carey.

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DSU’s Delaware Center for Enterprise Development (DCED) and its College of Agriculture and Related Sciences’ Cooperative Extension have unveiled a new Mobile Entrepreneurial Training Program (MET) that will take business and agriculture-related education to underserved rural areas of Lower Delaware. The Mobile Entrepreneurial Training Bus will take business and agriculture-related workshops to the rural areas of Kent and Sussex counties. DSU President Harry L. Williams was joined by U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper for a ribbon-cutting held at the Martin Luther King Student Center. A central feature of the new program has been the renovation of a DSU bus into a mobile classroom that will allow the DCED and the College of Ag to take workshops into underserved areas in Kent and Sussex counties. The bus is outfitted with computers, lighting, Wi-Fi capability, desktops and seating areas Dr. Williams and Sen. Carper were joined in a ribbon-cutting dedication of the MET Bus by Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences; Dr. Shelton Rhodes, dean of the College of Business; Lillie Crawford, director of the DCED; Jody Raskind, chief of the Small Business Administration; Bruce Weaver, USDA program specialist; and Ilona Figat, MET director. Sen. Carper said that supporting “budding entrepreneurs” is one of the best things that can be done for economic recovery in Delaware and the nation. “This classroom on wheels will bring the resources and tools to those in rural parts of our state who might not ordinarily have easy access to business training,” Sen. Carper said. “As Governor, I supported this type of education through the Delaware Center for Enterprise Development, and I am so thrilled to see this concept ‘hit the road’ to reach potential entrepreneurs in our state.” Dr. Williams noted that such outreach is a strong characteristic of the University’s core values.  “This new community outreach is consistent with the established vision of DSU,” said DSU President Williams. “In taking our business and agriculture workshops out to the underserved rural areas, we are helping the people who access such education to be more successful and thereby invigorate the economy more in Delaware.” The DCED will offer workshops on topics such as financing, marketing, business plan development, and other areas. The College of Ag’s Cooperative Extension will offer workshops that address the needs of the small farmers and other micro-entrepreneurs. Christopher Garland, College of Business IT manager, checks out the MET Bus computers along with U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, DSU President Harry L. Williams, and Ilona Figat, MET director. Ilona Figat, a DCED consultant, is serving as the founding director of the MET Program. She has been with the DCED for 12 years and has been instrumental in the development of various other programs such as the Child Care Business Development and Small Business Institute programs. Ms. Figat said that in the course of scheduling the workshops over the years, it was evident that transportation was a barrier for people in the underserved rural areas.  “We kept hearing ‘we can’t come up to Dover,’ which led to thoughts about how to bring our trainings to them,” she said. “Developing our MET classroom was a great fit, and we are very excited about servicing these areas in a mobile classroom with high-tech computers and Wi-Fi capability.” The MET Bus is also refurbished in ways that are consistent with the University’s “Go Green” environmental sustainability efforts. The bus refurbished features are designed to reduce energy consumption, which includes energy efficient computer workstation that draws less than 25 watts each. Florescent and LED lights have also been installed. The bus is being converted to run on locally produced bio-diesel. The DCED has been supported in this program with funding from a three-year $175,500 Small Business Administration PRIME grant as well as a one-year $72,000 USDA Rural Development grant.

2012 Delaware Diamond Extravaganza Photo Slideshow

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The 2012 Delaware Diamond Extravaganza were honored on Feb. 3 at the Dover Sheraton.

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Eight individuals were honored for their outstanding contributions to women in sports and education at the 2012 Delaware Diamond Extravaganza on Feb. 3 at the Dover Sheraton. The eight honorees are Delawareans or individuals with ties to the First State and must have been nominated for the honors. See the below photo slideshow for pictures of the honorees and other attendees, followed by more text information on the event. The 2012 Delaware Diamond Extravaganza honorees are as follows: Robert Hastings - Seaford High School tennis coach with 27 years of service and 190 wins. Mary Ann Hitchens - Retired University of Delaware Administrator with over 40 years of service as a student, coach and nationally recognized administrator at UD. Maxine Lewis - Delaware State University Hall of Famer, First Sports Information Director at DSU, pioneer and role model for media relations professionals. Dr. Josette McCullough - Supervisor of Special Education, Appoquinimink School District, Kent County Administrator of the Year; three-sport athlete while at DSU; holds three degrees from DSU. Chris Morgan - former Goldey-Beacom College Director of Athletics; school ranked third nationally in Division II for gender equity compliance; recognized in 2008 by the NCAA for overall excellence in diversity; current Kean University Athletic Director. Mable Morrison - Delaware State University Grand Marshall; 49 years as a music faculty member at DSU. George Pepper - Cape Henlopen High School girls track head coach since 1979; longest serving head girls track coach in the state of Delaware; holds five state titles. John Travis - Created a scholarship foundation for female softball players in the memory of his daughter McKenzie Travis. "There are numerous individuals in Delaware who have played significant roles in providing opportunities to women in athletics," commented Candy Young, DSU Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator.  "It's important that we express our gratitude to these leaders and their inspiration to young women in leadership roles." The program began in 2009 as a way to recognize, celebrate and honor individuals in the state of Delaware that have helped women's athletics grow and excel in addition to creating additional scholarship and financial support to aid female athletics programs.  The DDE identifies coaches, administrators, athletes and contributors who meet the following criteria:  

DSU to Offer Training in Recognizing Child Sex Abuse

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(L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams, Delaware Tech President Orlando J. George, Jr., state Attorney General Beau Biden, University of Del. President Patrick T. Harker, and Dr. Jim Wilson, Wilmington University vice president of Academic Affairs, stand united to use the resources of these institutions of higher education to facilitate Steward for Children training in Delaware.

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Delaware State University and several other of the state’s institutions of higher education have announced its commitment to help facilitate training that will help people identify children who have been the victim of sexual abuse. DSU President Harry L. Williams joined University of Delaware President Patrick T. Harker, Delaware Technical & Community College President Orlando J. George, Jr., along with Dr. Jim Wilson, Wilmington University vice president of Academic Affairs, and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden in announcing the institutions’ plans to facilitate training during a media event held Feb. 16 at the University of Delaware’s Visitor Center. The program – entitled Stewards of Children Training – teach how to recognize the signs and symptoms of sexual child abuse in children, the preventive measures that can be taken, and the mandatory reporting actions that must be taken when such sexual child abuse is suspected. Last September, Attorney General Biden, the YMCA of Delaware, and Prevent Child Abuse Delaware announced a collaborative partnership to train 35,000 Delawareans, or about 5% of the state’s population in the Stewards of Children program in five years. The program is already being implemented in 48 states and 10 countries. Del. Attorney General Beau Biden, who commended DSU and the other institutions of higher education for their commitment to facilitate Stewards for Children training, stands with DSU President Harry L. Williams, and Dr. Gwendolyn Scott-Jones, who will lead the training at DSU. “DSU is proud to join the University of Delaware, Delaware Tech and the Attorney General’s Office in this important training initiative,” said Dr. Williams. “I am confident that from the facilitating efforts of these three state institutions of higher education, Delaware can achieve its goal of training 35,000 people in the state.” The DSU President announced that Dr. Gwendolyn Scott-Jones, chair of the DSU Psychology Department, would lead DSU’s involvement in facilitating the training on campus and out in the community. “Dr. Scott-Jones became one of the first certified (Steward for Children) facilitators in Delaware in April 2011,” Dr. Williams said. “Through Dr. Scott-Jones and others’ work, DSU was the first higher education institution in Delaware to partner with Prevent Child Abuse in Delaware (PCA) to implement the on-site training in the State of Delaware. The Steward for Children training will be provided this year to DSU’s more than 900 employees, as well as to community stakeholder groups. Dr. Scott-Jones said she is excited about partnering with community stakeholders and implementing the trainings here on-site at Delaware State University.   “The training program teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsible to child sexual abuse,” she said. “More specifically, the implementation of this program here at DSU is a monumental opportunity to increase knowledge/awareness, improve attitudes, and change child protective behaviors.” Attorney General Biden said that it is not a child’s job to protect him or herself from abuse, but it is the job of adults. He noted that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18, yet only one in ten abused kids reaches out for help. “This program gives adults the tools and the information we need to protect kids, who in 9 out of 10 cases are victimized by someone they know,” Attorney General Biden said. “Everyone in Delaware is a mandatory reporter – we are all obligated to intervene when we see a child in danger, but we don’t always know what to look for. When only one in ten abused children reaches out for help, we know that it falls to the adults to see the signs and make the call.”

DSU Mourns the Passing of Dr. Fatma Helmy

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             Dr. Fatma Helmy, 1927-2012 Feb. 15, 2012 Delaware State University is mourning the loss of Dr. Fatma M. Helmy, who dedicated her academic career to preparing some of the University’s top science students to go onto doctoral studies and research careers. Dr. Helmy, the founding director of DSU’s Minority Access to Research Careers Program, peacefully passed away on Monday, February 13, 2012, at her home in Smyrna, Delaware. She was 84. At time of her death she was a full professor in the DSU Department of Biological Sciences, where she taught from 1975 until May 2011. Before she came to DSU, she taught in the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Ky.; Tulane University, New Orleans, La.; and the University of New Orleans, La. It was in the Minority Access to Research Careers, commonly known by the acronym MARC, in which she made her  indelible “MARC” on the University, positively impacting the career path of many of the University’s top science students Dr. Helmy made it her mission to ensure the minority students were provided an environment that would make research careers possible for them. Toward that goal, she was awarded the Minority Biomedical Research Support grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1980 to 1991. She initiated the DSU Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program through a NIH  MARC grant in 1988. That grant that was successfully renewed throughout her directorship of the program until 2008. The DSU MARC Program produced 22 students who went on to earn Ph.D.s in biomedical sciences disciplines from prestigious universities throughout the country. Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, said Dr. Helmy’s dedication, passion, drive and love provided energy and a vision that led to major successes for the MARC program for a period of 20 years.  “Her hard work provided opportunities for students to be prepared to pursue their doctoral degrees at top institutions in the USA,” he said. “The success of these students is invariably connected to her and the MARC program.”  Other faculty peers also express a deep respect and admiration for her dedicated years at DSU. “Dr. Helmy’s skill as an educator, her mentorship to promising young minds, her tenacious commitment to integrity, and her dedication and generosity to Delaware State University are unequaled in my world,” said Richard Driskill, a retired assistant professor of biology who continues to teach at DSU, and was a colleague of Dr. Helmy throughout her entire tenure. “Although I will miss her friendship and kindness dearly, she will remain a wellspring of inspiration for me.” “Dr. Helmy’s dedication to students for over 35 years at DSU has positively impacted thousands of students and set a high standard of teaching for us all to aspire,” said Dr. Leonard Davis, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. “However, she will be forever remembered for the focus on her MARC students that has created a nationwide legacy of successful scientists.” Dr. Marquea King, a 1997 DSU MARC graduate, completed her Ph.D in toxicology from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and currently works as an toxicologist/environmental scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. She credits Dr. Helmy as being critically instrumental in her academic and professional development. “The enriching environment that Dr. Helmy, a.k.a. the MARC Program, has provided me as a fledgling student while in high school, into undergrad, and onto graduate school has no doubt made a profound impact on my life,” Dr. King said.  “The preparations and provisions bestowed upon me by Dr. F. Helmy and to dozens of other very fortunate individuals have laid the foundation for constant success.  Dr. F. Helmy has afforded me both the tools and the opportunities to be a true presence and role model in society as well as a key figure in the future of other promising students’ lives.” Dr. Anthea Aikins, a 2004 MARC graduate, said that Dr. Helmy's wisdom and guidance helped her through her graduate program at the University of Missouri. Dr. King noted that the following passage in Dr. Helmy’s most recent NIH Summary Statement sums her standard of dedication: “The strength of this program is the dogged determination of the program director, Dr. Helmy…There is no other institution in the country that can boast such a high rate of success.  Her dedication and commitment must be applauded.” Dr. Anthea A. Aikens, a 2004 DSU MARC graduate who has returned to her alma mater as a visiting professor, said Dr. Helmy took on a role as her mentor when she was freshman and continued to be one after she entered graduate school. She said Dr. Helmy's desire to see all of the MARC students succeed was quite evident in every encounter she had with them. "One of the techniques Dr. Helmy used to bring the best out of us was in how she always found creative ways to speak 'life' into us," said Dr. Aikins, who completed her Ph.D. in microbiology in 2010 at the University of Missouri. "This challenged all of the MARC students to live up to her expectations." Dr. Melikechi added that Dr. F. Helmy was an excellent mentor who established long-term relationships with her students, and would be forever remembered for her lifelong commitment and numerous contributions to the educational needs of students, particularly those from minority groups. “Dr. Fatma Helmy has left a mark on DSU, its students, its programs, and its future. I am grateful for her life, her service to others,” the dean said.  “As she leaves us, Dr. Fatma Helmy gives us one more lesson: Great educators never die; they simply move on before us.” Dr. Helmy (l) received the Minority Access Inc.'s National Role Model Faculty Award in 2008 from an unidentified representative of the organization. In addition to teaching, Dr. Helmy published 67 scientific articles in scientific refereed journals. She presented her research at 37 international and national professional scientific meetings. She was a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), International Association for Women Bioscientists, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, American Association of Anatomist, Sigma Xi, New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Chemical Society. Due to Dr. Helmy’s dedicated work in teaching, research and mentoring, she received the DSU College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Special Award for Excellence in Service for two years, and she was nominated “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” She was the recipient of the DSU Presidential Excellence Award, the DSU Merit Award, the DSU Alumni Association Making a Difference Award, and the 2008 Minority Access Inc. “National Role Model Faculty Award” for Exemplary Achievement in Educating and Motivating Students. Dr. Helmy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Cairo, in her native Egypt; her Master of Science degree in Hematology and Histology also from the University of Cairo, and her Ph.D. at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. She was married for 33 years to Dr. Marvin Hack, who died in 1999. She is survived by her sister, Dr. Ehsan Helmy of Smyrna (who is also a longtime DSU professor of physics). There will be a visitation at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 at Torbert Funeral Homes downtown Dover location at 61 S. Bradford Street. The family will be there to receive condolences. A vehicle funeral procession will depart from the funeral home sometime after 10:30 a.m. that same morning to travel to the Lakeside Cemetery on South State Street (next to Silver Lake), where a graveside service will begin at 11 a.m. According to the funeral home, memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, 92 Reads Way #205, New Castle, DE 19720.  

DSU Mourns the Loss of Honors Student Akiah S. Powell

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Akiah S. Powell (left), a senior political science major who passed away on Feb. 4, was close friends with Samantha Holsey, also a DSU senior political science major.

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  The DSU community is mourning the loss of Akiah S. Powell, a senior political science major who passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 4 due to natural causes.   The death of Ms. Powell was made all the more poignant by her projected graduation this upcoming May and her plans to enter law school immediately afterward.   Formerly of the Bronx, N.Y., her family had moved to Bushkill, Pa., about five years ago, according to her mother, Marilyn Powell. By all accounts, Akiah was a dedicated student who was known to be service oriented, a faithful friend and destined for success. She was on the Dean’s List throughout her entire academic journey at DSU. Akiah S. Powell would have graduated in May and expected to enrolled in law school in the fall.   A political science major with a minor in pre-law, Ms. Powell had already taken the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and applied to a number of law schools. “When it came to legal studies, I believe that Akiah found her niche and a path to a successful career,” said Dr. Sam Hoff, the director of the DSU Law Studies Program. “She had demonstrated the requisite skills to become an attorney and she was on the precipice of being accepted to law school.”   Dr. Hoff noted that Akiah possessed strong opinions about certain cases he taught in her Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties class.   “She had a sort of righteous indignation about injustices that cannot be taught,” Dr. Hoff said. “It is a trait that made me confident that she would have been a stellar attorney and would have contributed significantly to the legal profession.”   Akiah had been a McNair Research Scholar since the spring of 2011 and within that program had demonstrated a passion for education and her love for fellow students, according to Tonia P. Conley, director of the DSU McNair Program. Ms. Conley said upon becoming a McNair Scholar, Akiah quickly bonded with her peers in the program and demonstrated her leadership and innate strengths among them.   “We could always depend on the warmth of her personality and the beauty of her smile,” Ms. Conley said. “Akiah epitomized our program’s slogan: ‘Pursuing Excellence Without Excuse.’ She was certainly more than a student… she was a scholar!”   She said as a McNair scholar, Akiah had conducted research with Dr. Hoff (also a professor of political science) on a project entitled “The Continuing Impact of Religion on Public Policy,” and was to have presented that paper at a research event in Nashville, Tenn., in March 2012.     Dr. Akwasi Osei, chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy, as well as another advisor of Ms. Powell, said that she was a grounded and focused student who always had a smile and was eager to help.   “She had a quiet strength,” Dr. Osei said. “She was strong in a quiet way and she made her presence felt quietly.”   During Akiah’s undergraduate journey, she distinguished herself as an inductee of both the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society/Upsilon Chapter, as well as the Pi Gamma Mu International Social Science Honor Society/Delaware Alpha Chapter. She was a co-recipient of her academic department’s 2011 George Washington Leadership Award, a Thurgood Marshall scholar, and was a member of the DSU Honors Program. She had been selected to be an alternative legislative fellow at the Delaware General Assembly.   Ms. Powell also worked in the Division of Academic Enrichment as a supplemental instruction leader and Writing Lab specialist/tutor during the 2011-2012 school year. According to Kenneth Hunt, a supplemental instruction coordinator, Akiah showed exceptional knowledge in the field of English; and as an English SI Leader and writing lab specialist, she demonstrated outstanding leadership and dedication to each student.    “In addition to the students gaining a strong sense of confidence, the overall class average increased as a result of her method of teaching,” Mr. Hunt said. “She gracefully served both positions within the division with honor and distinction.” Akiah S. Powell (2nd from the right) enjoys a fellowship moment with some friends.   Jean H. Gilroy, academic support coordinator, added that “Akiah was a role model to all the students with whom she worked. Many lives have been touched, and many students will succeed and graduate from DSU due to her efforts.”   Among her student peers she was good friend and someone who could always be counted on to be helpful.   Samantha Holsey, also a senior political science major, has been a close friend of Akiah ever since their freshman year when they shared an honors suite in Wynder Towers. Ms. Holsey described her good friend as “very genuine and independent” and as being one who was interested in others’ success as well as her own.   “Instead of trampling over you to get to first-place, she would bring you with her,” Ms. Holsey said.   Akiah Shekira Powell was born to Hillary (Piper) and Marilyn Powell on March 12, 1990, in Bronx, N.Y.  Akiah loved the Lord and was a member of the Smyrna Seventh-Day Adventist Church located in the Bronx.  She attended the R. T. Hudson Elementary School and graduated from Northeastern Academy in New York City.  She began her academic career at DSU in August 2008.                     Akiah S. Powell   The following is an excerpt of a personal statement that Akiah wrote concerning her motivations and goals for her life:   “One of my favorite quotes by Aristotle says, “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  This quote inspires and motivates me throughout my educational journey and helps to remove the negative connotation and assertion by some that people are the product of their environment.  Rather, I am committed to ongoing studies, research, improving myself, and sharing and encouraging others to do the same; by doing so, I hope to impact not only my community but that of others.” – Akiah S. Powell   Funeral services will be held on Sunday, Feb. 12, with a viewing from 3-5 p.m. and a homegoing service immediately afterward at 5 p.m. at Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church, 101 W. 123rd St., in the Harlem in New York City. The burial will take place the following day, Monday, Feb. 13) at 10 a.m. at the George Washington Cemetery, Paramus, N.J.  

DSU to Present the Student-Production "Fabulation" Feb. 9-10

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(L-r) Christine Taylor as Stephanie the secretary, Tiffany Trawick as lead character Undine, and Dorian McDonald as the accountant, perform a scene from Fabulation: The Re-Education of Undine.

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Delaware State University’s Theatre Program will present dramatic student production of Fabulation: The Re-Education of Undine during two 7:30 p.m. performances on Feb. 9-10 in the Education & Humanities Theatre on campus. Erin Chance as Dr. Khadir and Amber Rainer as Grandma. Both performances are free and open to the public. (L-r) Tony Arce, Tiffany Trawick, Justin Allman, and Francis Washington, portray Undine and the men in her life. Self-Made entrepreneur and socialite Undine Barnes Calles (portrayed by Tiffany Trawick) is too busy building her public relations empire to notice that her husband, Herve’ (Anthony Arce), has absconded with all her money and left her pregnant.  "Fabulation is comeuppance tale with comic twist," said the production’s director Dr. Shirlyn Brown.  Winner of a 2005 Obie Award for best new play, Fabulation: The Re-Education of Undine by Lynn Nottage is presented by the DSU Theatre Program through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. In addition to Ms. Trawick, the production features DSU student-actors, Francis Washington, III, Candice Victory, Dorian McDonald, Christine Taylor, Amber Rainer, Erin Chance, and TyQuan Hollman. Technical support is from the Theatre Society, a student drama organization, and costume design by Aeboni Ebron, a senior textile and apparel major. Fabulation is the first of two productions the Theatre Department will produce in spring 2012. The second, I'm Not Rappaport, written by Herb Gardner, will be staged on a date to be announced in March. For additional information please call 302-857-6573 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              302-857-6573      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.  

DSU Choir to perform in the Scwartz Center's Journey of the Spirit

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The DSU Chorus will perform with the Wesley College Choir and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra during the Feb. 17 concert.

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The Delaware State University Chorus will join the Wesley College Chorus and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in a concert entitled “Journey of the Spirit – A Celebration of African American Heritage Through Music” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at the Schwartz Center for the Arts (226 S. State St.) in downtown Dover.   The three music groups will join together to bring one unforgettable evening of music and song to the Schwartz Center stage. In celebration of Black History Month the program will focus on pieces either composed by or for the African American community, dating back to the seventeen and eighteen hundreds to present.   The program will feature seven compositions, two of which will be performed by the DSU Chorus and two which will be performed by the Wesley Chorus. The two chorus groups will combine for two selections.   In addition, DSU alumnus Rev. John Moore will serve as the narrator in a composition with the Delaware Symphony titled “New Morning of the World (Daybreak for Freedom).” Accompanied by the Orchestra’s music, Rev. Moore will recite the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   The evening will begin with a pre-concert talk begins at 7 p.m. Scholars will discuss the history of vocal and choral music for orchestra by composers of African American descent and how these artists worked on music and their craft as compared to today. Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 senior citizens and military members, $25 for students, and $18 for children age 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the Schwartz Center box office or online at www.schwartzcenter.com.  

Kappas Reunite at DSU for Convergence Weekend Feb. 4

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The Kappa Convergence Weekend marked the first time such a fraternity reunion has taken place at Delaware State University

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Feb. 5, 2012   An unprecedented fraternity reunion took place during the weekend of Feb. 4 as the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. held a Convergence Weekend on campus.   The Convergence Weekend gathered Kappa brothers from as far back as the 1940s (when the first Beta Sigma Kappa Chapter was established at then Delaware State College in 1946), and also included Kappas from other institutions nearby institutions such as the University of Delaware and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.   See the below photos slideshow for some images from the Convergence Weekend, followed by more information below about the Kappa events     While some of the Kappas arrived in Dover on Friday, Feb. 3 for a Crimson and Cream Meet and Greet event at the Hilton Garden Inn, the bulk of the activities took place on Saturday, Feb. 4.   After a breakfast at the University Village Cafe and a morning guided tour of the campus, the Kappas shared their life experiences with current DSU students in a Kappa Connection – Career Networking event. Other activities included the sharing of golden memories from some of the older Kappas, a step show, and a presentation about the current state of affairs at DSU by University President Harry L. Williams.   The Convergence Weekend culminated at the Norfolk State vs. DSU basketball game, in which the Kappas witnessed the Hornet Men’s impressive upset of the 1st place Spartans.   The Kappa Convergence was spearheaded by faithful Kappa and DSU alumni Norman Oliver, class of 1985.  

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