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W. DeEdwin Hursey $10K Endowed Memorial Scholarship Established

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(l-r) Lorene Robinson, DSU director of Alumni Affairs; Carole Laster Hursey; Theodore F. Laws; DSU President Harry L. Williams; Reginald Laster; Kyra Laster; Dr. J. Scott King, Madison Laster and Iris Taylor-Smith stand with a display check that establishes the W. DeEdwin Hursey Endowed Memorial Scholarship.

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    The family of W. DeEdwin Hursey, a former SGA president from the Class of 1967, has established a scholarship endowment in his memory.   The family, joined by friends from the Class of 1967, paid DSU President Harry L. Williams a visit July 27 to present him with a $10,000 check to establish the W. DeEdwin Hursey Endowed Memorial Scholarship.   Characterized as a “dedicated and loyal son of DSU,” Mr. Hursey – known as “De” – provided creative leadership and impetus for a project called the “One Hundred by One Hundred Alumni and Friends Twilight March” in the mid-1990s. During an eight-year period, the project raised more than $40,000 to go toward University programs.   A proud native of Bridgeton, N.J., Mr. Hursey passed away suddenly in 2004. In his post-undergraduate years, Mr. Hursey remained connected to DSU and his classmates, celebrating the lifetime bonds that he felt could only be achieved at an HBCU. He was also a proud member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.   Carole Laster Hursey, DeEdwin’s sister, was joined in the visit by her son and also DSU alumnus Reginald Laster, ’92; grandnieces Madison and Kyra Laster; along with class of 1967 classmates Iris Taylor-Smith, Dr. J. Scott King and Theodore F. Laws Jr.   The W. DeEdwin Hursey Endowed Memorial Scholarship is for full-time DSU students from Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties in southern New Jersey who have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and are involved in at least one extracurricular campus activity that promotes goodwill and student excellence.  

DSU Sustainability Garden in Full Produce Bloom

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The DSU Sustainable Garden -- a reflection of the University's Go Green Initiative -- is currently growing 12 varieties of vegetables and fruits.

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        A year in the making, the DSU Sustainable Garden is in full bloom with a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. DSU Cooperative Extension students Jervane Orr, Floawiyo Popoola and Jasmine Portershow off some cantaloupes grown in the DSU Sustainable Garden   The garden – located just to the northeast of the Village Café – boasts the growth of watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, beets, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, cucumbers, kale and collard greens.   The DSU Sustainable Garden was one of the elements that won the University’s the 2011 Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Award at this year’s American College & University President’s Climate Commitment Leadership Summit held in Washington, D.C. on June 23.   The DSU Sustainable Garden is maintained by students from the University’s Cooperative Extension and the DSU Green Ambassadors.   The garden is a throwback to the years when the campus – back in the years when the institution was known as the State College for Colored Students and later Delaware State College in the early to mid-1900s – grew much of the produce that was consumed by the students in its food service facility.  

DSU Explores Possible International University Partnership

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(l-r) Amir Mohammadi, executive vice president of finance; Michelle Zhoug Yi of China; Vijaya Kumaran Nair of Malaysia; Zhang Fu Qiang of China, DSU President Harry L. Williams and Dr. Claibourne Smith, chairman of the DSU Board of Trustees, met along with other administrators to explore the joint establishment of an International University in China.

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    DSU President Harry L. Williams hosted a July 25 visit by a joint delegation from China and Malaysia to explore a potential partnership in the creation of an International University. Dr. Harry L. Williams receives a gift from Zhang Fu Qiang of China   Dr. Williams and other DSU administrators welcomed Vijaya Kumaran Nair, a Malaysian native and founding vice president of the new venture; a Michelle Zhoug Yi, a Chinese native and founding member of the management team of the new venture; and Zhang Fu Qiang, vice president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Beichen, Tianjin, China, where the International University would be based.   The delegation discussed with DSU officials the proposed International University and explored the possibility of a DSU branch campus at the International University, partnering with educators in China, India and Malaysia as members of the proposed global university system.   No decision has been made concerning DSU’s possible involvement in the educational venture, but both sides agreed to continue exploring the possibility.   Joining Dr. Williams and the visiting delegation for the discussion from DSU was Dr. Claibourne Smith, chairman of the University Board of Trustees; Provost Alton Thompson; Amir Mohammadi, executive vice president of finance and University treasurer; Kemal Atkins, vice president of Student Affairs, Dr. Fengshan Liu, associate vice president of International Affairs; Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences; Dr. John Austin, interim dean of the College of Education, Health & Public Policy; Dr. Shelton Rhodes, dean of the College of Business; and Tom Preston, University general counsel.  

Harry Downes Jr. named Police Chief, Director of Public Safety

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Harry W. Downes, Jr., a retired state police major, became the new chief of University Police and director of Public Safety effective July 18.

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    Delaware State University has named Harry W. Downes Jr., a retired Delaware State Police major, as its new director of the Department of Public Safety and chief of University Police.   Chief Downes brings over 25 years of law enforcement and senior-level executive management experience to his new leadership post at DSU. He served from 1983 to his retirement in 2009 with the Delaware State Police, beginning as a trooper and moving up to a progressive number of posts that culminated in his promotion to the rank of major and his assignment as an administrative office on the executive staff in 2005.   During his State Police career, he served as a special investigations detective, a corporal in the Community Service Unit, a sergeant in the Rural Community Policing Unit, a lieutenant for the Traffic Patrol, as well as a training coordinator. As a captain, he developed domestic violence policies and served as an investigator in that area throughout Delaware, as well as served as the director of the Training Academy.   Prior to his state police tenure, Chief Downes served as a cadet and an officer in the Camden-Wyoming Police Department from 1980-1983.   “His extensive law enforcement background from his many years with the Delaware State Police includes areas such as human resources, training, executive leadership and many others responsibilities and are the types of experiences that are important for a university to have in its chief of police and director of Public Safety,” said Kemal Atkins, DSU vice president of Student Affairs. “In addition, Chief Downes has strong ties in the surrounding Dover community and throughout the state that will help the University strengthen its connections and partnerships beyond its campus.”   In addition to his law enforcement background, Chief Downs also served as the director of DSU’s Sussex County satellite site in Georgetown from 2010 to the summer of 2011.   Chief Downes has associate degrees in criminal justice and computer science from Delaware Technical and Community College, a bachelor’s degree in general studies and a master’s degree in public administration both from Wilmington University. He has also completed the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University, Police Supervisor’s School at Penn State University and National Incident Management System from the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C.   A Delaware native, Chief Downes is a 1979 product of Caesar Rodney High School.   “I am very pleased to be the next chief of the DSU Police Department,” Chief Downes said. “However, this post is not about me, but it is about leading an outstanding team of officers to provide the safest environment possible at DSU.”   Chief Downes officially began his new public safety post with DSU on July 18. He succeeds former Chief James Overton, who left the DSU earlier this year after six years in that post to become the director of the Department of Public Safety at the University of Massachusetts.  

Two DSU Professors Publish Book on Migration and Transculturation

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Dr. Myna German, chair of the DSU Dept. of Mass Communications, and Dr. Padmini Banerjee, associate professor of psychology, display the book Migration, Technology and Transculturation, on which they served as co-editor and contributors..

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  Two DSU professors have teamed together as editors and contributors to publish a new book – Migration, Technology and Transculturation: A Global Perspective.   Dr. Myna German, chair of the Department of Mass Communications, and Dr. Padmini Banerjee, associate professor of psychology, co-edited the book and jointly contributed the opening overview chapter in the 14-chapter collaborative work that features scholarly perspectives from academic writers from around the world.   The book examines the complex dynamics of transnational migration and the dual and often multiple lives that entails for migrants – giving rise to the subject of transculturation. This collection of thought-provoking nonfiction writings contributes to the ongoing conversations across borders and disciplines, through empirical and theoretical articles that are presented within an interdisciplinary framework.   According to Dr. German, she and Dr. Banerjee began working on the book in March 2009. Financial support from DSU enabled them to attend conferences that put them in contact with some of the authors who would contribute to this book. The two faculty members also issued a “request for papers” on the book subject and received a number of submissions that way as well, some of which were also incorporated in the collective work.   In addition to authors from the United States, Australia, Brazil, India, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom and elsewhere, there are also other DSU writers who contributed to the work. Dr. Divyesh Raythatha, assistant professor of mass communication, wrote a chapter on “The Role of Media Convergence and Communications Technology in Instantaneous Dissemination of Human Rights Violation Reports.” In addition, Dr. John D. Rich, assistant professor of psychology, contributed the book’s afterword section.   Migration, Technology and Transculturation: A Global Perspective can be purchased online at Amazon.com.    

DSU Receives the 2011 Climate Leadership Award for Go Green Initiatives

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Delaware State University’s dedicated effort to establish sound environmental practices on campus was affirmed on June 23 when the institution received the Second Nature Climate Leadership Award from the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).  DSU President Harry L. Williams (r) receives the Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards on behalf of the University from Dr. Anthony Cortese, president of Second Nature. Presented to DSU President Harry L. Williams at the 5th annual Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the award – which was in the Master’s Colleges and University category – recognizes DSU for the work it has done since it committed to be part of the ACUPCC in 2009.   The University’s Go Green Sustainability Committee – led by Vita Pickrum, associate vice president of Development, and a steering committee of University vice presidents and deans – has mushroomed into seven subcommittees that include more than 80 active members from the University’s business and administration personnel, as well as students, faculty and staff from all walks of DSU academic life.   In addition to accessing a diverse group of intellectual resources from among its employees, DSU’s Go Green initiative has also engaged students in the effort through the creation of a Green Ambassador organization. This student organization continues to be an active participant in the Go Green planning, related events coordination and spearheading the education effort among their student peers on campus.   As a result of the work of these students, the Green Ambassadors’ president Terrell Davis received the 2010 AASHE Student Sustainability Leadership Award. In addition, two other DSU students were selected to be EPA OnCampus Ambassadors to assist in promoting environmentally conscientious initiatives on campus.   On April 20, Delaware State University held a daylong celebration in recognition of Earth Day and the turnout of faculty, staff, students and the community exemplified the University’s enthusiasm and efforts toward climate neutrality and sustainability that extends far beyond one celebrated day of the year. As part of the festivities, DSU art students developed a mini-exhibition entitled “Found Objects,” which used objects that had been left to go to the local landfill and were creatively converted into art sculptures. Amir Mohammedi, vice president of Business & Administration, speaks on how sustainability has become key to DSU's mission.   As a historically black university, the environmental marshalling of its DSU members has led the way among other HBCUs and resulted in Ms. Pickrum being invited to the Dec. 3 United Nations 16th Conference of Parties in Cancun, Mexico, where she gave a presentation on DSU’s Go Green Initiative. In addition, DSU’s environmental efforts were recognized nationally during the 2010-2011 academic year in publications of the ACUPCC, United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine and Black College Today.   During the second day of the June 21-22 ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit, Amir Mohammadi, DSU vice president of Business & Administration, was a panel participate in a work session in which he shared how DSU has financed its sustainability projects.  

DSU Alumnus, Admissions Counselor Named Among Men of McCafe

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            Harold Burnett     Harold Burnett, class of 2007, has been selected as one of five winners of the Men of McCafe Casting Call, a national search for five community service-oriented men who are making a difference in the African American community.   Mr. Burnett and the other winners made their first official Men of McCafe public appearance at the July 1-3 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. They also volunteered with New Orleans-based organizations and assisted with service programs through Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Orleans.   The DSU alumnus was the first-ever Mr. DSU during his 2006-2007 senior year. He currently works at his alma mater as an admissions counselor.  

DSU Board of Trustees Approves 2011-2012 Tuition Rates

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The Delaware State University Board of Trustees today approved the institution’s tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year, which includes moderate increases in the tuition and room & board rates.   During a special June 28 meeting, the board approved a 5.5% increase in tuition ($6,226 in-state and $14,221 out-of-state, both per year). Last year’s in-state tuition was $5,901 and out-of-state was $13,480.   The board also approved a 5.5% increase in both the traditional residential hall room rates (which now range from $6,676 to $7,168) and the meal plan rates (which now range from $3,168 to $3,572).   DSU President Harry L. Williams said that the loss of federal stimulus money that DSU and other institutions of higher education had received factored into the rate increase. “The Trustees kept this year’s increase relatively low, as it has over the past several years, in order to balance giving a high quality education to our students with the recognition that our student population comes with great financial need,” said Dr. Williams.   This year’s increases notwithstanding, Dr. Williams noted that DSU continues to remain competitive with other comparable institutions of higher education in the region and be an educational “best buy.”   The rates for the on-campus University Village Apartments and the institution’s off-campus University Courtyard Apartment complex will be set after those facilities’ Housing Foundation meets in the near future to determine the changes for the upcoming year.   Full tuition and fees details

DSU Establishes New Partnerships in China

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Dr. Harry L. Williams (l) shakes hands with Sanming University Vice President Jian Liu after the signing of the accord between the two institutions. Applauding behind them are administrators from both universities.

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Delaware State University has recently expanded its partnerships in China with agreements with three universities that will bring about 100 Chinese students to DSU in the fall and send DSU faculty members to teach in that Far East country. (L-r) DSU Provost Alton Thompson, Ningbo Univ. of Technology President Haoqi Gao and DSU President Harry L. Williams stop for a photo moment after formalizing the accord that will send DSU faculty to teach there. DSU President Dr. Harry L. Williams and Dr. Alton Thompson, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, recently returned from China where new accords were signed with Ningbo University of Technology, Sanming University and Zhaoqing University.   “We had a good meeting of the minds with these three universities,” Dr. Williams said. “We all want the same thing for our students – to provide them the opportunity to grow intellectually by exposing them to other cultures, something we have agreed to work together to make happen.”   The agreements with Sanming University and Zhaoqing University facilitate student and faculty exchanges with DSU. About 60 Chinese students from those two institutions will attend DSU in the fall as part of the American Cultural Program, in which the students will take English courses to improve their fluency and also courses in American literature and history.   While in China, Dr. Thompson gave an address at the dedication of the Global Village at Jilin Hauqiao Foreign Language Institute, which entered into a formal agreement with DSU in 2010 and will send students here in the fall. Dr. Thompson impressed the audience of more than 1,000 with his knowledge of Confucius, and left no doubt that the Jilin students would be in good hands at DSU.   “Our number one job is to give our students a quality education, such that they will become well-read, well-spoken, technically proficient, socially responsible and globally competent as productive and contributing citizens in our knowledge-based global society,” Dr. Thompson told the audience.   Another 40 Chinese students from Sanming and Zhaoquig will enroll at DSU in a regular degree program during the upcoming school year. According to Dr. Fengshan Liu, DSU associate vice president of International Affairs who also made the trip to China, many of those degree-seeking students will be enrolled in the University’s MBA program.   Dr. Alton Thompson give an addresses during a Julin Hauqiao Foreign Language Institute event, assisted by an unidentified interpreter. Dr. Williams also formalized an agreement with Ningbo University of Technology that will send DSU accounting faculty to that university to teach courses that will introduce the latest curricula, education resources and teaching methods in the United States in the field of accounting, as well help familiarize Ningbo students with international accounting practices and sound business principles.   Dr. Thompson said the agreements will also result in study abroad opportunities for DSU students in China – an opportunity a group of students has already taken advantage of this month. A group of 15 DSU music and science students traveled to China in late May for a learning experience trip. In addition to a wealth of cultural tours, the science students took a course in ecology and the music students gained an appreciation of the culture through a music course. A group of DSU students on a one-month learning experience in China meet up with the DSU delegation in Shanghai.   Diamond Moore, a junior biology major from Newark, Del., said it was exciting being out of the country for the first time in her life.   “It showed me how similar we are to other cultures,” Ms. Moore said. “We are all human and we all do similar things; it’s just language that divides us.”   Dr. Thompson said such international experience will put DSU students in a better position to make their mark on the world.   “To be world leaders, our students need to have a good perspective of other cultures,” Dr. Thompson said. “Upon graduation, we want our students to be globally competent.”          

Nursing's Dr. Mary Watkins Named Professor Emeritus

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    Dr. Mary P. Watkins has been named professor emeritus in the Department of Nursing by a unanimous vote of the Delaware State University Board of Trustees. Dr. Mary P. Watkins, professor emeritus   Dr. Watkins, who is retiring this year as a full professor, first came to DSU from Coppin State College to serve as a visiting chair in 1993. Although the original plan was for Dr. Watkins to return to Coppin State after one year, she ended up staying at DSU where she immediately became the permanent chair of the Department of Nursing. She would serve in that post from 1993-2006 and would continue as a faculty member until her retirement in 2011.   Her impact was felt immediately soon after she became the permanent chair. In 1994 under her leadership, the Bachelor of Nursing Program was enriched by the development of a pathophysiology and pharmacology course, which was also developed into an advance course level for the graduate program.   During her tenure as chair, the department established a Master of Science in Nursing that offers an advanced practice clinical specialty in public health nursing and role development in nursing teaching education. Also developed during her tenure is an additional specialty area in advanced adult health nursing.   Under her leadership, the DSU Department of Nursing has been awarded two national accreditations with the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (eight-year periods, 1995-2003 and 2003-2011) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (10-year, 2003-2013). Her leadership also led to the full accreditation of the Master of Science in Nursing (2007-2012, the maximum five-year period). Dr. Watkins has contributed 15 articles over the years for professional and academic nursing publications, and has begun writing a textbook in pathophysiology in advanced practice nursing. The former nursing chair joins four others who are living DSU professor emeriti -- Dr. Kenneth Bell, former dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Science and University provost and vice president of Academic Affairs; Dr. William Flayhart, former chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy; Dr. Gustav Ofosu, former chair of the Department of Biology; and Dr. Warren Rhodes, former director of the Psychology Graduate Program.    

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