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Delaware Media First/NPR Radio Station to be Established at DSU

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DSU will be the home of the first National Public Radio-affiliated station in Delaware. The new media enterprise is a collaboration between DSU, the University of Delaware and Delaware Media First.

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Delaware State University and the University of Delaware have joined Delaware First Media (DFM) in a historic collaboration to launch WDDE-FM 91.1 Dover, the first-ever Delaware-focused public radio station. WDDE-FM is owned by Delaware First Media, the nonprofit company that operates the online multimedia news service DFM News. The universities are the lead institutional sponsors of the station, which will be based on the campus of DSU, the host university. WDDE will begin broadcasting into all three counties this summer on 91.1 FM, serving a Delaware audience of more than 800,000 on-air and online listeners with nonpartisan local, national, and international news. “WDDE is a major step in Delaware’s evolution as a state with a strong news media that connects Delawareans downstate and upstate to create a shared community culture,” said Delaware First Media President Micheline Boudreau. “We are thrilled to launch this project with the strong sponsorship of Delaware’s premier universities.” “Delaware State University is proud to be the home of WDDE-FM,” said Carolyn Curry, DSU’s chief of staff and vice president of Institutional Advancement. “This project offers outstanding educational opportunities to students and will provide immeasurable value to communities across the state.” The University of Delaware has been affiliated with Delaware First Media, WDDE’s parent company, since 2010. UD housed the offices and newsroom of DFM News, provided student interns, and co-produced with DFM the Delaware congressional election debates in 2010. “Sponsoring WDDE is a natural outgrowth of our relationship with DFM,” said David Brond, UD’s vice president for communications and marketing. “And at a time when lawmakers, grantors, and the public are seeking creative partnerships, this UD/DSU collaboration has the potential to become a national model for supporting high-quality local journalism.” The cooperative effort responds to the recommendation of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Democracy to “increase the role of higher education, community, and nonprofit institutions as hubs of journalistic activity.” WDDE will generate original, substantive news coverage of Delaware events and people that is urgently needed in a state with few local news sources. “Some Delawareans can tune into out-of-state public radio stations, but when they break for local news, they’re not focusing on what’s happening in Delaware’s legislature, at a Delaware theater, in Delaware schools,” said Boudreau. “On WDDE you’ll find out what’s going on right here where we live.” "Delaware has a national profile far larger than its small size—think a Vice President, companies whose innovations are felt globally, and an Air Force base that serves a unique role in the nation’s defense,” said Governor Jack Markell (D). “Now Delaware will have a public radio station broadcasting within our borders and exporting news about Delaware to the nation. WDDE is a welcome addition to the strong institutions of our state.” The station will bring jobs to the Dover area immediately and will provide the opportunity for Delaware businesses to distribute their messages across the state through underwriting on WDDE, Boudreau noted. WDDE will have a national impact as well. WDDE reports about Delaware will be exported to National Public Radio’s audience of more than 26 million listeners nationwide. NPR officials welcomed the news. “Local stations serving communities across this nation are the strength and backbone of public media,” said NPR CEO Gary Knell. “We are very excited about the prospect of WDDE-91.1FM in Delaware joining the NPR family of member stations.” “I think it’s great that you and your colleagues are working hard to bring public radio to Delaware,” NPR board chair Dave Edwards wrote to the staff. “Public radio is at its best when it is able to serve local communities with quality programming that helps residents stay informed and engaged in public policy issues. A station in Dover will be able to play that role.” A strong team of journalists with decades of public media experience leads the WDDE effort. It includes General Manager George Boosey, former program director of WBUR-FM in Boston and a public radio industry consultant who helped create five nationally distributed public radio programs. News Director Tom Byrne, who helped create DFM News in 2010, will oversee WDDE’s news staff. Byrne and other DFM principals, including Boudreau and board members Nancy Karibjanian and Ann Ahl, have had award-winning careers with nonprofit radio and television stations in Delaware and in major media markets. The WDDE team includes Liane Hansen, the popular 22-year host of NPR’s award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday, with a nationwide audience of 3 million. After retiring from NPR in 2011, Hansen moved from Washington, D.C., to Bethany Beach, Delaware, and joined the effort to launch WDDE. “This is what NPR stands for: supporting the growth of local radio stations that tell the powerful stories of their communities with professional, responsible journalism,” Hansen said. “As someone who has been a part of Delaware life for years and truly loves this state, I’m thrilled that Delaware finally will have its own NPR station, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.” WDDE will be financed through individual and corporate support as well as grants. The station is looking for a groundswell of support over the next several months. “We all, as Delawareans, need to come together to make this happen,” Boudreau said.  “Every day, great stories about Delaware go untold,” Boudreau said. “Important stories about the legislature, about this year’s election, about our vibrant arts community, about innovations in education, about Delaware’s unique legal community, about its industries – we want to start telling these stories now.” Supporters can make a one-time or recurring tax-deductible donation online at WDDE.org.  

Dr. Odun Balogun Receives Fulbright Award

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As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. F. Odun Balogun will teach at the University of Benin in Nigeria and work on a book.

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Dr. F. Odun Balogun, professor of literature at Delaware State University, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture at the University of Benin in Nigeria during the 2012-2013 academic year, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Dr. Balogun will teach American Literature and Culture at the University of Benin in Nigeria while also working to complete a book, titled “Place and Self Identity in Black Literature.” The book deals with the topic of land alienation during slavery in America, the colonization in Africa, and the effect it has had on character formation as represented in narratives by African and African American writers. A DSU faculty member since 1992, Dr. Balogun is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2012-2013. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Forty three Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

DSU Arts Center/Gallery hosts Student Honors Show

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Minnie Leggett accompanies her oil painting (to her right) "A Beautiful High," one of five works she has on display in the Student Honors Exhibition in the DSU Arts Center/Gallery.

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The DSU Department of Art is currently presenting its annual Student Honor Exhibition until April 13 in the Arts Center Gallery located just off the inside lobby of the William C. Jason Library on campus. Subin Huang, a Chinese exchange student, shows she has assimilated well in the DSU art community, as her "Purple and Green" is one of several of her works that have been included in the current exhibition. The exhibition – which can be seen daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – is free and open to the public. The 78-piece Student Honors Exhibition features the artwork of 33 DSU art students. For senior art management major Minnie Leggett, it has given her an opportunity to use the exhibition as her artistic swan song. Ms. Leggett, of Bear, Del., has five oil paintings in the show. She said that while her aspiration is to use her degree in art management to work at a gallery or museum, her experience at DSU has developed a growing love for painting. “If I have it my way, I will have my job (in a gallery or museum) and still paint,” Ms. Leggett said. She added that she is also exploring the possibility of going to graduate school. The diverse exhibition features the works of 33 students – which even includes the art of an exchange student from China, Subin Huang. The featured works were selected through a double jury process and represent the various studio coursework offered in the DSU Department of Art. Department faculty will select several top honor awards that will represent the best in specific medium categories. The awards will be announced during a reception that will be held in honor of the exhibition from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12 in the Arts Center/Gallery. The reception is also free and open to the public.

DSU, UD, Del-Tech Presidents Sign Proclamation with Governor

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(L-r) University of Delaware President Patrick T. Harker, Delaware Tech President Orlando J. George, DSU President Harry L. Williams and Gov. Jack A. Markell show their unity after jointly signing a proclamation that reaffirms the partnerships between the three institutions.

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Gov. Jack A. Markell signed a proclamation March 31 that recommits Delaware State University, the University of Delaware, and Delaware Technical and Community College as higher education partners in the First State. DSU President Harry L. Williams (center) noted that Delaware was one of only seven states in the U.S. that did not cut the budgets of higher education last year, and said that the proclamation sign gave the three presidents a chance to thank the governor and the legislature for that. DSU President Harry L. Williams joined University of Delaware President Patrick T. Harker and Delaware Technical & Community College President Orlando J. George, Jr. to sign the proclamation along with Gov. Markell, who held the signing event in his office in Legislative Hall in Dover. Specifically, the proclamation calls for the three institutions of higher education to “recommit the resources and expertise of these great institutions to preserving the rich history and longstanding  tradition of academic excellence in higher education and to leveraging out institutional partnerships in ways that will support, enhance and protect the future of the state of Delaware.” During the meeting with Gov. Markell, Dr. Williams said that the partnership between the three institutions is important. “We are facing difficult times in this country, and we feel that higher education is the answer to drive opportunity in the state,” the DSU president said. Dr. Harker noted that the research collaboration between the institutions gives the state strong standing in science. “What the federal government is looking for is to bring research into the market,” the UD president said. “This is where Delaware is pretty well positioned.” Dr. George noted that the articulation agreements – which allow students to go smoothly from their two-year degree program at Delaware Tech to four-year programs at DSU or UD – brings great benefits to the students of the state. “We are working every day with people at UD and DSU to connect the pathways,” Dr. George said.

DSU Holds First-Ever Inspired Day of Service

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Eric Suter and Monet LeMon stand with Chrystal Walls, the appreciative future owner of the Habitat for Humanity home in Frederica that DSU students worked on during the March 31 Inspired Day of Service.

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Delaware State University held its first-ever Inspired Day of Service on March 31, with about 250 DSU students working on community service projects at five separate locations throughout the state. See the below slideshow of images from the Inspired Day of Service, followed by more text information: (L-r) DSU students Amy Ruth, Daijah Davis and Bria Shelton help the Western Boys and Girls Club in Laurel to sort through donated books.   The students worked at the People’s Settlement in Wilmington, the Food Bank of Newark, a Habitat for Humanity construction site, the Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club of Laurel, as well as the clean-up of College Road near the campus. The day began with an opening ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center on campus, where all of the students gathered to hear encouraging words from DSU President Harry L. Williams, U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (both senators representing Delaware), state Rep. Darryl Scott, as well as from University supporter and Wilmington activist Bebe Coker. Also in attendance and providing remarks was Mark Edwards, the executive director of Opportunity Nation,  a national organization that selected DSU along with 11 other institutions of higher education as partners to work together in its campaign to promote opportunity, social mobility and access to the American Dream. Sen. Carper and Mr. Edward later joined Dr. Williams in Frederica, where they all pitched in with the students working on the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home. Also working at that site was Dr. Williams’ wife, Dr. Robin Williams, and their son, Gavin. A group of DSU students stayed closed to the campus and collected litter along the area of College Road. Other groups of DSU students did painting at the People’s Settlement in Wilmington, distribution work at the Food Bank of Newark, and landscaping and clean-up at the Boys and Girls Club in Wilmington. The students worked from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a lunch break. The DSU president also went up to the People’s Settlement in Wilmington to assist with the painting project. The Inspired Day of Service was born of the DSU Inspired Scholarship, which requires each recipient to do 10 hours of community service work each semester. The March 31 community service day allowed many of the Inspired Students to fulfill some of that requirement. While the Inspire Scholarship students comprised about half of the students participating in the Inspired Day of Service, the other half were students who had no such requirement, but volunteered anyway.   

DSU's Dr. Pokrajac Achieves Algorithm Advancement

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Dr. Dragoljub Pokrajac, DSU professor of computer and information sciences, stands in front of a poster detailing research that has led to an algorithm advancement that has received a provisional patent. Dr. Pokrajac developed the algorithm along with two scientists from the University of Pennsylvania.

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3/29/12 Dr. Dragoljub M. Pokrajac, professor of computer and information sciences, has joined two other professors at the University of Pennsylvania to come up with a new algorithm that could lead to a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer. The algorithm – which has already achieved provisional patent status – enables the creation of a breast model with specific tissue and ligament compositions that can give doctors quick guidance on the best imaging technique – such as mammograms, MRI, CAT scans, etc. – that should be used to provide the best diagnosis information. (L-r) Dr. Predrag R. Bakic, Dr. Andrew D.A. Maidment, both of the University of Pennsylvania, and DSU's Dr. Dragoljub Pokrajac have developed a new algorithm that could lead to a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer. “Previously, the creation of such models would take days,” Dr. Pokrajac said. “We can do it in 10 seconds.” The new advancement is primarily the work of Dr. Pokrajac, along with Dr. Andrew D.A. Maidment and Dr. Predrag R. Bakic of the University of Pennsylvania. “The best thing about this advancement is that it can determine very quickly the best imagery technique that should be used to visualize the breast, thereby saving a lot of time and money,” the DSU professor said. Dr. Pokrajac said the algorithm allows scientists to quickly create models that can vary the parameters of the breast anatomy and imaging  – such as the ligament and skin thickness, the percentage of fat and even the x-ray voltage – to reach conclusions about the most effective imaging technique that should be used. In addition the algorithm’s medical application, Dr. Pokrajac said it also has application for the analysis of materials. “We are actively looking for someone in material science who would be interested in trying simulated modeling on materials,” he said. The research that resulted in this algorithm was partially funded by a Department of Defense grant, of which Dr. Fengshan Liu, professor of mathematics, was the principal investigator. Dr. Xiquan Shi, associate professor of mathematics, and Dr. Charlie Wilson, associate professor of biological sciences, were co-principal investigators, while graduate students Feiya Chen and Fatima Boukhari also assisted in the research. The provisional patent was funded by the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, which is led by its dean, Dr. Noureddine Melikechi. Support was also provided by the Office of Innovation & Economic Partnerships at the University of Delaware.

Mr. DSU Justin Caesar Wins 2012 Mr. HBCU Title

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3/29/12 Justin C. Caesar, the 2011-2012 Mr. DSU, has added a new crown for his head after recently winning the 8th annual Mr. Historically Black Colleges and Universities Pageant in Jefferson City, Mo. Mr. DSU Justin Caesar, the 2012 Mr. HBCU Mr. Caesar, a senior public relations major at Delaware State University, won the top title over 13 other HBCU university and college kings who competed in the 2012 pageant. The competition consisted of a three-minute oratory and talent category, as well as a question and answer challenge. For the talent category, he came up with a creative monologue – which he gave while lying in an actual casket. “I portrayed our past ancestors as rolling over in their graves while seeing how this generation has taken for granted what they fought for,” Mr. Caesar said. “There just happened to be funeral home near the competition site, and they let me use one of their caskets.” All of the contestants were asked to give three-minute oratory on the theme “HBCUs, the Cornerstone of our History – Black Men, the Catalyst for the Survival of These Institutions.” In his oratory, Mr. Caesar affirmed the value of HBCUs in producing the African American male leaders of the future. “HBCUs were designed to use education as a means of breaking the mental captivities of slavery,” he said in his oratory. “Men such as William Jefferson, the white founder of Morehouse College, had the vision that one day the Morehouse men of today would be the catalyst of change in tomorrow’s society.” In the question and answer category, Mr. Caesar was asked: “If he could switch places with a historical figure, who would it be and why?” “My answer was Thurgood Marshall, and I used his quote that we need to ‘change the way that we see the world’,” Mr. Caesar said. “As African-Americans, we are presented with many barriers and obstacles in life, but we have the ability to change that and overcome.” Mr. Caesar, who is from Newburgh, N.Y.,  is slated to graduate in May. He said that he already has a job waiting for him in Atlanta, Ga., where he will work as a sales specialist for the MillerCoors LLC. It is the second time that a Mr. DSU has won the Mr. HBCU title since the University began crowning a king in 2005. Harold Burnett, Mr. DSU 2006-2007, won the Mr. HBCU title in 2007.  

DSU and Barclays Announce New Internship Program

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DSU President Harry L. Williams (third from left) expresses his excitement over the new Barclays internship program. Standing behind him is the first intern group of DSU students: (l-r) Dwight DeLoatch, Cliff Streater, Tiona Campbell, Palesa Motshidi and Carmen Mikhaiel.

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U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, DSU President Harry L. Williams, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and Barclaycard CEO Amer Sajed. Barclays has launched a new annual internship program with Delaware State University in which six DSU students will work at Barclaycard US in its Credit Risk Organization for a two-month assignment. Amer Sajed, CEO of Barclaycard US, and DSU President Harry L. Williams unveiled the new Barclays Bank Mentor Program during a media event at the Barclaycard site in Wilmington. Also in attendance and speaking in support of the initiative were U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons. “This program underscores the commitment of Barclays to citizenship, community and the future of Delaware – its young people,” said Mr. Sajed.  “We’re focused on ensuring that our energy, ideas, expertise and passion are leveraged to help the different causes we support.  This program illustrates this approach in action because our colleagues will leverage their mentoring skills and share their knowledge to help young people.” Dr. Williams said the program is part of a series of new initiatives to make Delaware State University stronger and enhance its national reputation. “We are very proud that a major company agreed to provide our students with this type of support,” Dr. Williams said. "Initiatives like the Barclays Bank Mentor Program help DSU to achieve the vision by providing an opportunity for our students to build upon their academic training in the skills necessary to become the first choice of employers in this industry. " Each student will have Barclays business mentor and receive important, marketable experience through assignments in gathering data, conducting analysis, leveraging computer programs such as Excel and SAS, working on teams, implementing programs and presenting to a corporate audience. Carmen Mikhaiel, a DSU student and Barclays intern, spoke on behalf of the other interns. “In the business world, this program is great for networking and will boost our resumes -- an advantage after graduation when we go into the work force,” she said. Barclaycard employee and DSU alumna ('98) Lisa Bacot is the mentor of DSU sophomore Tiona Campbell. Sen. Carper said that DSU’s partnership with Barclays is reflective of the direction the University is moving in to prepare its students for success. “DSU is breaking into the top 15 HBCUs and is working toward breaking into the top 10,” Sen. Carper said. “DSU is a school on the move.” Sen. Coons noted the importance of public-private partnerships in driving job opportunities in Delaware. “It is very important for area employers to support our educational institutions,” he said.  “This is a model of what a public-private partnership should be about.” The inaugural group of DSU-Barclays interns, their years and majors are: Clarence Banks, sophomore, finance & banking; Tiona Campbell, sophomore, accounting; Dwight Deloatch, sophomore, finance & banking; Carmen Mikhaiel, junior, accounting; Palesa Motshidi, sophomore, accounting; and Clifford Streater, senior, management information systems.  

DSU at the 2012 MEAC Tourney -- Photo Slideshow

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Dr. Reba Hollingsworth, class of 1949, was honored as DSU's Distinguished Alumni at the 2012 MEAC Tournament. Dr. Hollingsworth shows her award with her family and DSU President Harry L. Williams (2nd from left).

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The 2012 MEAC Tourney attracted some Hornet faithful to the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. for the March 8 quarterfinal matchup between the DSU Hornet men and the Florida A&M Rattlers, where they witnessed an overtime 65-55 loss that kept Del State from moving on in the Tourney. Earlier in the week, the Lady Hornets lost their opening round MEAC Tourney game to South Carolina State 72-66 in overtime. During the tournament, Dr. Reba Hollingsworth, class of 1949, was honored as DSU’s Distinguished Alumni. See the below photo slideshow for images of the MEAC Tourney.

Dr. Devona Williams Sworn In as New Board of Trustees Member

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Dr. Devona E.G. Williams, president/CEO of Goeins-Williams Associates, is sworn in as a member of the DSU Board of Trustees by Dr. Claibourne Smith, board chair.

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The Delaware State University Board of Trustees has added business consultant Dr. Devona E.G. Williams as a member of its body. Dr. Devona E.G. Williams, DSU's newest Board of Trustees member. Dr. Williams was sworn in during the DSU Board of Trustees regular meeting on March 1, and then proceeded to take part in her first meeting as a full member. She replaces former board member Dr. Matthew Mackie, who stepped down after serving his full term. An appointee of Gov. Jack Markell, Dr. Williams has over 25 years of experience in the fields of public policy, planning and public affairs with corporate, government and non-profit sectors. She is the founder, president and CEO of Goeins-Williams Associates (GWA), a successful consulting business designed to help organizations achieve greater productivity in strategic work environments. The list of GWA clients includes AstraZeneca, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Christina Health Systems, the DuPont Corporation, the State of Delaware, and many others. Dr. Williams’ professional experience spans the administration of public programs, the management of corporate public relations, policy issues, strategic planning, organizational and executive leadership. Her experience also includes executive appointments with the DuPont Corporation, as well as service as a U.S. Presidential Intern with the Office of Management and Budget, NASA and the EPA. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware, with specialization in social policy, program planning and analysis. Dr. Williams is a former assistant professor and instructor for the University of Delaware’s School of Urban Affairs. She is a frequent keynote speaker on business, diversity, leadership, motivation and success. She is also a contributing author of the inspirational book Remarkable Women.

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