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The New 2011-12 Mr. and Miss DSU Crowned -- Photo Slideshow

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Ericka Kim Grant and Justin C. Caesar were crowned as the 2011-12 Mr. and Miss DSU during the Homecoming Week Coronation Ceremony in the Education & Humanities Building.

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  Mr. and Miss DSU, Justin C. Caesar and Erika K. Grant were officially crowned on Thursday, Oct. 27 during the Royal Progression’s presentation of the 2011 Coronation Ceremony, which was carried out under the theme “Coming to America. See the below photo slideshow, followed by more information:       Justin C. Caesar, Mr. DSU, is a senior Mass Communications/Public Relations major from Orange County, N.Y. whose career aspiration is to work in corporate communications. Erika Kim Grant, Miss DSU, is a senior accounting major from Waldorf, Md., whose career aspiration is to be a certified public accountant. The rest of the DSU Royal Court are: Mr. and Miss Senior Joseph Fields, a Movement Science major from Fayetteville, N.C. Paula A. Abolo, a Middle-Level Education major   Mr. and Miss Junior Keith W. Gauff II, an Agriculture Business major with minor in finance, from Zachary, La. Tynisha S. Owens, a Social Work major from Washington, D.C.   Mr. and Miss Sophomore Jonathan Harris, an Accounting major. Chascidy Reeves, an Elementary Education major from Brooklyn, N.Y.   First Attendants Nelson Roland, a Criminal Justice Ryane Cheatham, a Music Industry major.  

DSU Presents Exhibition by Artist Kevin Cole

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    Kevin Cole, with his etched aluminum work titled "Jacob's Ladder, Do Lord Remember Me."     The Delaware State University is currently featuring the work of Atlanta artist Kevin Cole in an exhibition entitled "Seeking Higher Ground" from Oct. 3 to Nov. 11 in the DSU Arts Center/Gallery located in the William C. Jason Library on campus.   The 14-piece exhibition features works that include embossed prints, mixed media, aluminum works and other mediums. The Arts Center/Gallery -- which is located just inside the entrance of the William C. Jason Library -- is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.   The public can meet the artist during a reception in honor of the exhibition from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 in the Arts Center/Gallery. Earlier that day, Mr. Cole will spend some time with DSU art students in the Department of Art classes that are going on that date.   Mr. Cole works in a range of mediums, using repetitive forms and color to create three dimensional structures that invite those who experience his work to reflect upon abstracted references to a necktie used for status, beauty, fashion and the destruction of human life. “Cole's work celebrates history, survival, and a personal memory of a time and place,” said Dr. Halima Taha, author of Collecting Works on Paper and Canvas (1998).   Both an artist and art educator, Mr. Cole, is a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and has resided in Atlanta, Ga. since 1985 where he has received numerous awards both as an artist and arts educator.  He has a B.S. in Art Education from the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff; a M.A. Art Education / Painting from the University of Illinois; and  M.F.A in Drawing from the Northern Illinois University. A recurring theme in Mr. Cole’s works is necktie imagery, of which he offers the following explanation: “When I turned eighteen years old, my grandfather stressed the importance of voting by taking me to a tree where he was told that African-Americans were lynched by their neckties on their way to vote.  The experience left a profound impression in my mind.  While evolving from a more expressionistic place to one of abstraction, the tie has also evolved.  Since 1992, I have deeply explored the interplay between color and music, particularly influenced by the musical art forms born out of African American culture: such as jazz music, R&B, hip-hop, gospel, and Blues.  Additionally, my journey has led me to the incorporation of other idioms and symbols that go beyond American existence.”  

DSU Holds Research Showcase on Capitol Hill, Washington DC (Photos)

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U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and DSU President Harry L. Williams discuss the DSU research on display during the Oct. 18 DSU in Motion showcase on Capitol Hill in the nation's capital.

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  Delaware State University officials and scientists traveled to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 18 to host its first-ever Research Showcase for the Delaware congressional delegation and their staffs. The DSU Research Showcase took place at the Bistro Bis, a 15th E. Street restaurant about a block from the U.S. Capitol Building. The university contingent included DSU President Harry L. Williams, Provost Alton Thompson, Dean and Vice President for Research Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, Dean Dyremple Marsh and more than two dozen university researchers.   The event was attended by U.S.  Sen. Thomas R. Carper, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, staff members of all three Delaware congressional offices and some DSU alumni members, including DSU Alumni Association President Dr. Bernard Chase.    The group was enlightened on DSU groundbreaking work in the areas of such as optics, neuroscience, bio-energy, natural sciences, human nutrition, economic development, advanced algorithms for security purposes, bioinformatics and more.    

DSU Breaks its Enrollment Record for the 2nd Consecutive Year

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    DSU President Harry L. Williams said while the record enrollment is exciting news, it is only one of many accomplishments to come.     For the second consecutive year, Delaware State University broke its enrollment record with a fall semester 2011 total enrollment of 4,178 students – which marks the first time the institution has gone over the 4,000 threshold   The record 4,178 enrollment surpasses the previous record of 3,819 set in in the fall of 2010. The 2011 enrollment included 3,745 undergraduates, 333 master’s degree students, and 101 doctoral students.   The University also set a record this fall of 1,086 new freshmen, exceeding the previous record of 940 new first-year students in 2005.   DSU President Harry L. Williams said the record enrollment is clearly a reflection that “it is an exciting time” to be at DSU.   “While it is great to see the growth, it is just the beginning. We are continuing to work towards the fulfillment of the University’s vision statement we established last year, and we are developing a new strategic plan and a facilities master plan,” Dr. Williams said. “We are looking at how we can sustain this growth and continue to move up in the rankings.”   The DSU president noted that the University received more than 9,000 applications from prospective students this year. “A lot of students want to be a part of DSU,” he said.     Last month it was announced that DSU has moved up from 17th to 15th in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.    

Princeton Review Names College of Business Among Top Business Schools

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    The Princeton Review has included Delaware State University’s College of Business in the new 2012 edition of its book “The Best 294 Business Schools.”   The Princeton Review notes that 95% of the graduates of the DSU College of Business are employed three months after graduation at the average base starting of $55,000 per year. The review recognizes the College of Business’ Master of Business Administration Program for its convenient location and for its attention to the needs of the working professionals and aspiring managers, especially with respect to offering evening and weekend classes.   The review also notes that the College of Business offers an accelerated MBA program that is geared toward the working adult.   The DSU College of Business totaled 644 undergraduate students enrolled in its degree programs in 2010-2011 and 139 graduate students enrolled in its MBA Program.   The Princeton Review (www.PrincetonReview.com) is an education services company headquartered in Framingham, MA, with locations across the U.S.A. and abroad. It is known for its classroom and online test-prep courses, education programs, tutoring services, and more than 150 books published by Random House. The Princeton Review reported its annual college rankings in 62 categories in August in its book, "The Best 376 Colleges."   In September, The Princeton Review with Entrepreneur magazine reported its annual lists of top 50 schools for entrepreneurship programs. In February, The Princeton Review reported with USA TODAY its annual lists of the 50 "Best Value Colleges." Other Princeton Review books include its annually published "Best 168 Medical Schools," plus guides for college and graduate school admission tests and professional licensing exams.   “The Best 294 Business Schools” is published by Random House/Princeton Review and went on sale on Oct. 11. It can be obtained online at www.princetonreview.com/business-school-rankings.aspx.   The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.    

Yatta Kiazolu Wins the DSU Constitution & Citizenship Speech Tourney

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Yatta Kiazolu, who plans to go to law school to become an immigration and human rights attorney, focused her winning speech on the need to extend educational opportunities to undocumented immigrant youths.

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    Yatta Kiazolu, a DSU senior history major from Smyrna, recently won the Delaware State University 2011 Constitution and Citizenship Speech Tournament held Sept. 29 on campus.   Ms. Kiazolu, a native of Botswana, South African, has resided in the United States since 1997 and is a 2008 graduate of Smyrna High School. She took 1st Place in the tournament – which is held in recognition of the annual Constitution Day observance – with her speech “The Dream Act,” which focuses on the importance of educational opportunities for immigrant children, regardless of their immigration status.   “I am fortunate to be here in a legal status, but because I recognize the importance of education, to see a large population be educationally denied is wrong,” said Ms. Kiazolu, who plans to go to law school and aspires to be an immigration and human rights lawyer. “Undocumented immigrant children can go to elementary and high school, but it is harder from them to go on to college because they can’t apply for financial aid. They therefore can’t fulfill their dreams and contribution unless they can pay their tuition out of their pocket.”   The following is her winning speech in its entirety:   The Dream Act        President John F. Kennedy once said “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” As citizens, legal immigrants, and foreign students in the United States, we had and continue to have fundamental rights to our education. So, I ask you to consider the 2.1 million children and young adults that reside in the U.S. as undocumented immigrants whose fundamental right to higher education has been denied. Every year, 65,000 young adults, of this population graduate from high school and face the tremendous obstacle of furthering their education or joining the military. The vast majority of these students were brought to the US illegitimately by their parents through no fault of their own. These positive and determined students contribute incredibly to the American society through their willingness to serve the nation that has afforded them so much. As human beings, none of us were given the option to choose our nation of birth, our economic sphere, or even the overall circumstances in our life. It follows that the same is true for these children and young adults. I urge each of you as beneficiaries of the US education system and as agents of change with great influence over public policy; we must stand behind these students and aggressively push for the enactment of the DREAM Act.        The DREAM Act, formally known as the Development Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act is a piece of bipartisan legislation that aims to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented alien minors and provides a way to join the military or receive a college education. They will be able to continue making great contributions to this society and utilize their skills and talents. In addition to supporting Human Rights, there are three significant reasons we must advocate for the enactment of the DREAM Act:   It allows these newly legalized immigrants to invest in the U.S. economy. Opponents maintain that the DREAM Act is expensive; however, the degrees these students will receive will allow them to contribute and estimated $1.4 trillion to $3.6 trillion in taxable income. It makes the U.S. competitive in the global economy. The US is currently ranked 12th in world in the number of college graduates, according to the College Board Policy and Advocacy Center. It allows the Department of Homeland Security to focus their energy on deporting criminal aliens and others that pose a threat to the U.S. The process requires that all applicants to be subject to rigorous criminal and background checks and reviews.     In summation, we cannot stand by and allow for talent in such a large and growing demographic to go undeveloped, especially when the U.S. is in such a weak global position. In danger of being the first generation to be less educated than our parents, there can be no more inaction on our part. WE will suffer the consequences or reap the benefits. Each of you can support the DREAM Act by contacting your State Representative’s office and urging him or her to co-sponsor Senate Bill 952. We must act now, strengthen the U.S. economy, redirect Department of Homeland Security resources to locating and deporting aliens that threaten the US security, and increasing this country’s ability to compete globally.    

DSU Celebrates First-Ever Graduation of its MBA Cohort in Vietnam

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The Vietnamese graduates of the DSU MBA Program celebrate their graduation at the Sept. 23 Commencement there. Seated in the 1st row: Dr. Nanda Viswanathan, DSU assoc. professor of management; DSU President Harry L. Williams; Nguyen Viet Anh, VNU ETC vice director; Amir Mohammadi, DSU exec. V.P. of Business & Admin.; Kishor C. Sheth, DSU MBA program director; Tony Sanichar, VNU professor; and Dr. Fengshan Liu, DSU assistant vice president of International Affairs.

 

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DSU President Harry L. Williams (shown with an unidentified interpreter) addresses the DSU MBA graduates at their Commencement in the historic National Temple of Vietnam Delaware State University’s Harry L. Williams recently led a DSU delegation to Vietnam to celebrate the first graduating class of its Master of Business Administration program that it offers in that country. Dr. Williams traveled to the Asian country with Amir Mohammadi, vice president of Business and Administration, Dr. Fengshan Liu, assistant vice president of International Affairs, Kishor Sheth, director of the DSU MBA Program, and Nanda Viswanathan, professor of marketing, to take part in the Sept. 23 Commencement ceremony at the 1,000-year-old historic Temple of Literature in Vietnam.   Forty-three students comprised the first graduation class of the DSU MBA Program, which is offered at Vietnam National University in Hanoi. Dr. Williams said it was a “proud and historic moment” for DSU.   “It made you feel good about DSU’s global outreach and how we have seen this dream become a reality,” the DSU president said. “It is the result of the visionary leadership that was here before I began as president; I have inherited those visionary results.”   In addition to the Sept. 23 graduating class, there is another 23-student cohort that will graduate in December, and another 21 students who have begun pursuing the MBA through the program.                                                                During the trip to the Far East, Dr. Williams and the DSU delegation traveled to China to attend the kickoff ceremony of the joint accounting program run by DSU and Ningbo University of Technology. Dr. Williams greeted the 80 students in the program during the ceremony and gave them encouraging words concerning their academic journeys and professional futures. The visiting DSU delegation (in front) sits with a group of students  from the joint DSU-Ningbo University of Technology Accounting Program in China.   Dr. Liu said with the program fully established, the University projects that it will recruit 120 students annually in China for the program.   The DSU delegation also held discussions with Ningbo University officials on future student exchanges between the two institutions.      

DSU to Explore Establishment of Charter School on Campus

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If established, it wouldn't be the first time a secondary school was based on campus. Between the 1920s and early 1950s, the current Health Center building served as the only high school in Kent County for blacks. Another facility would be used for the Charter School if it is established.         

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Delaware State University and representatives of the local community have partnered with Innovative Schools, a Delaware-based non-profit public school support organization, to submit a charter application to the Delaware Department of Education this December. If approved, the proposed charter high school would implement the state’s first Early College High School, a nationally recognized school design brought to Delaware through a partnership between Innovative Schools and EdWorks, and would be located on the DSU campus in Dover. The school would be designed specifically to serve first generation college-bound students.    In the Early College model, high school and college combine to form a coherent educational program in which students work toward a high school diploma and up to two years of college credits in four years of high school.  Located on a college campus, the model directly challenges the belief system of under-prepared poor and minority students about their ability to do college level work and get a postsecondary degree.    Housing a high school on the DSU campus is not unprecedented in the University’s history. In the 1893-94 school year, the then State College for Colored Students established a two-year preparatory school to help students get ready for a college education. In 1917, a Model Grade School was established by DSU, which granted a high school diploma to graduates. Capital improvement donations by philanthropist Pierre du Pont in the 1920s included funding to construct a new school building named the Du Pont Building. That building served as the only high school facility for African Americans in Kent County until 1952, when the high school for blacks moved to a larger school facility in the then-Dover city limits.   “Adding an Early College High School on DSU’s campus is consistent with the University’s historic mission and would strengthen the University’s ability to serve first generation college-bound students and underrepresented minorities from the greater Dover area,” said Dr. Alton Thompson, DSU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “It would provide them with an exceptional academic program that truly prepares them for success in college and beyond.”   Students participating in the Early College High School model launched by EdWorks in Ohio have an average graduation rate of 91% and out-perform state averages in high stakes graduation tests for reading, writing, and mathematics.  At the completion of four years in high school, 100% of student attending Early College High Schools have earned a minimum of 30 hours of college credit, and as many as 60% of students earn an associate’s degree, or the equivalent of 45-60 college credit.    The University intends to blend the Early College Charter High School with its existing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Initiative.    “The Early College High School at DSU will be an innovative learning environment designed to inspire students who have the potential and motivation to be the first in their families to graduate from college,” said Dr. Thompson. “We are committed to making this school a good fit for our community.”   As part of the charter application process, members of the Early College Charter High School Founding Board are asking members of the Kent County community to share their opinion to determine the interest and demand for the proposed charter school. Students, parents, educators and other community members can learn more about the Early College High School, view videos of the school design in action, and complete an online survey at www.makemineamodelschool.org. All responses are confidential and will be used to help determine the demand for new schools.     About Delaware Charter Schools Charter schools are free public schools open to all Delaware students. In Delaware, charter schools are authorized by Del. C., Title 14, Chapter 5 which was enacted in 1995. The creation of the charter school legislation is intended to improve student learning; encourage the use of different and innovative or proven school environments and teaching and learning methods; provide parents and students with improved measures of school performance and greater opportunities in choosing public schools within and outside their school districts; and to provide for a well-educated community. There are currently 21 charter schools operating across the state of Delaware. The proposed charter school, if approved, would open to students in the 2013-2014 school year.   About Innovative Schools the Make Mine A Model School Campaign: Innovative Schools is a non-profit public school support organization that empowers educators and communities to adopt modern school models proven to inspire passionate teaching and learning. As a comprehensive center for school innovation, the organization provides the strategies, tools, and ongoing support needed to select the right school models and ensure its successful operation. As part of its work, Innovative Schools has developed the Make Mine A Model School campaign, a community-based tool to mobilize Delaware educators, students, families, and citizens who want modern schools that inspire passionate teaching and learning. The goal of the Make Mine A Model School Campaign and Innovative Schools work is to modernize Delaware's public school system by providing schools and students with choices for academic programs that offer new and engaging ways of teaching and learning, and that prepare students to become members of a global community. The Early College High School model is one of four unique high school designs being brought to Delaware by Innovative Schools, in partnership with national school design organizations. Learn more about this school design and about the work of Innovative Schools at www.innovativeschools.org.     About Delaware State University: DSU has a long and proud history as one of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and is among the top 15 of 72 ranked in the nation. Founded in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students, DSU has evolved in its 120-year history into a comprehensive University that offers a wide array of bachelor, master and doctoral degree programs. While the University is predominantly African American, it enjoys a rich, ever-growing diversity of students from other backgrounds, including those from more than 27 countries. To learn more about Delaware State University, visit www.desu.edu.  

Donna Brazile Speaks at DSU -- Photo Slide Show

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Not one to rush off after she spoke to an DSU audience of 200 on Oct. 4, Donna Brazile graciously remained for a bit afterwards to meet some of the University's students, faculty and administrators and pose for some photos with them. She is seen here (7th from the left int he beige outfit) with SGA students.

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DSU welcomed renowned veteran Democratic political and campaign strategist Donna Brazile, who as the featured guest speaker on Oct. 4 told an audience of about 200 in the Education & Humanities Theatre that Obama supporters had an important role to play in the 2012 Presidential Election.   “If everyone in the Tea Party votes against Obama, there still won’t be enough votes to beat him if everyone that voted for Obama in 2008 votes for him in 2012,” Ms. Brazile said .   See the below slide show for photos of the event. Photos by Carlos Holmes:  Ms.Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, vice chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former chair of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute. She has the distinction of being the only African American to serve as the head campaign manager in a presidential election when she led Al Gore’s 2000 bid for president, in which he was narrowly defeated by George W. Bush in a highly contested election. Aside from working for the full recovery of her native New Orleans, Ms. Brazile's passion is encouraging young people to vote, to work within the system to strengthen it, and to run for public office, a point she made repeatedly during her presentation.   After she spoke, Ms. Brazile graciously responded to some questions from the audience and then took time pose for the above photos.      

DSU's Dr. Vulinec Makes her Mark as a Bat Ecologist in Brazil

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DSU's Dr. Kevina Vulinec carries out her Fulbright-funded research with a Brazilian scientist during her trip to the South American country last spring.

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    Dr. Kevina Vulinec records a captured fruit bat as part of her Fulbright research project.    Marvel Comics is not the only place you can find “Batwoman.”   While not counted among the pantheon of superheroes, Dr. Kevina Vulinec, an associate professor of natural resources, believes her missions relating to bat preservation are vitally important to the ecological balance that needs to be maintained.   Dr. Vulinec, who is also known as a bat ecologist, returned last summer from her spring semester in Brazil as a Fulbright Fellow, where she shared her bat expertise with scientists there who are working to preserve species of the fruit bats that are indigenous to that Amazon region.   Fruit bats are so-named because unlike the predominant insect-eating bats in North America, these Brazilian bats eat the fruits of the rain forests and then while in flight expel the fruit seeds back down to the ground, which is important in replenishing the forest.   “I was looking at areas of Brazil forest that have been cut for cattle pasture, interested in the impact on the bat habitat,” Dr. Vulinec said.   However to better understand fruit bat habitat and the foraging habits of the species, Dr. Vulinec spent a lot of her time capturing bat sounds that she believes will help scientists there better identify the different fruit bat species.   “A catalogue of bat sounds exists for North American species, but very few bat calls had been recorded in Brazil,” Dr. Vulinec said.   In Brazil, Dr. Vulinec and scientists of that country set up nets in the forest,captured bats and attached a leash to their legs. Once a bat calmed down (Dr. Vulinec said upon capture, the bats initially were screeching bloody murder) and began sounding its normal bat calls, the scientist recorded its sound.   “The recording device is sensitive and is specifically for high frequencies that humans can’t hear,” Dr. Vulinec said. “Certain species have bat calls that are distinct from others.”   A Brazilian fruit bat up close. Dr. Vulinec said she has returned to DSU with 200 gigabytes of bat sounds that she will analyze and then share that information with the Brazilian scientists. With that information, scientists there will be able to better understand more about bats, their migration habits, as well as the impact of forest destruction on the species.   While working to help Brazilians with their bat preservation issues, Dr. Vulinec also has challenges to the North American bat population to be concerned with as well.   Because most North American bats are insectivores, these species feast on pesky flying insects, reducing the number around to irritate and vex human populations and farm crops. However, that importance is being challenged by a disease – White Nose Syndrome – that is threatening bat populations.   “White Nose Syndrome” is a fungus that gets on the nose of bats while they are hibernating in caves,” Dr. Vulinec said. “The fungus makes the bats wake up prematurely, and then they fly out of the cave and starve to death because there are no insects out there in the wintertime.”   In addition to be threatened by White Nose, some bats are meeting their makers prematurely at the blades of turbine wind farms. “The bats either get whacked up by the blades circulating at 120 mph or the vacuum that is created causes bats to explode,” she said.   “There will be a big surge in the insect population if the population of bats is reduced,” Dr. Vulinec said.   Dr. Vulinec is in the beginning stages of a collaboration with researchers from Delaware Technical & Community College and the University of Delaware to study and gain a better understanding of White Nose Syndrome.   Dr. Vulinec is also guiding a student who is currently researching golf courses as a possible habitat for bats. “Golf course water hazards are good places for aquatic insects, a source of food for bats,” she said. “Bats really like places with big trees and mower cut grass,” she said.   A DSU faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences since 2001, Dr. Vulinec focused her Ph.D. dissertation work on primates and dung beetles. However, upon arriving at DSU, chair Dr. Richard Barczewski directed her to identify a research specialty related to Delaware. That directive moved her into the bat realm.   “Dr. Vulinec has a diverse background in wildlife conservation and biology,” Dr. Barczewski said. “She has been able to take her good mix of experience and make it applicable to our state and region.”   In addition to being an ecologist and scientist, she is also an award-winning artist who actually did scientific drawings to help support herself while in college.  

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