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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.    

New Student Center Complex Dedicated

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(L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams, Dr. Claibounre D. Smith, DSU Board of Trustees chairman, and the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, the event's keynote speaker, display the wall plaque for the new Martin Luther King Student Center. A photo gallery of the event can be seen by clicking on /administration/gallery-mlk-building-dedication-featuring-rev-walter-fauntroy.

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  Delaware State University christened its new Student Center Complex with a Feb. 25 Dedication Ceremony in its new Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center, ushering in a new era of campus life for the institution. The dedication of the Complex – which includes the Strength & Conditioning Facility, the Wellness & Recreation Center with its connected swimming pool, and the MLK Student Center – combined the event with DSU’s annual observances of Martin Luther King’s Birthday and the University’s Founders’ Day. The Rev. Walter Fauntroy gave the keynote address.   The Honorable Walter Fauntroy, civil right activist and former U.S. congressman, gave the keynote address. Rev. Fauntroy worked with Dr. King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.   Rev. Fauntroy said he was elated that Martin Luther King Jr. would remain the namesake title of the Student Center at DSU.   “My hope and belief is when they write the history of the Obama era, they will write that there lived at DSU great faculty and students who worked to finish the goal of Martin Luther King – to redeem the soul of America,” Dr. Fauntroy said. “We can live together if we follow Martin Luther King’s dream, which is rooted in the American Dream.”   Remarks were also given during the ceremony by DSU President Harry Lee Williams; Kathleen Charlot, current DSU Student Government Association (SGA) president; Leroy Tate, Delaware State College alumnus and the 1968 SGA president; Dr. Claibourne Smith, chairman of the DSU Board of Trustees; and Diedre Ottley, DSU Alumni Association president.   “With a student population of more than 3,600, we can proudly say that with the completion of the Student Center Complex, the University is providing an outstanding campus life infrastructure for its students,” Dr. Williams said. “These structures join the Education and Humanities Theatre, the Longwood Auditorium and other facilities at DSU to provide an unparalleled capacity for college life.”   Dr. Claibourne D. Smith, chairman of the DSU Board of Trustees, said that the Student Center Complex will make students’ experience at DSU more meaningful. “We understand that the intellectual, emotional and social growth they experience will come not only from the academic classrooms, but from the overall campus life to which they are exposed,” said Dr. Smith, who also served as acting president from September 2008 to January 2010. “We believe with the completion of the Student Center Complex, we have greatly enhanced the environment for that growth.” (L-r) Dr. Claibourne D. Smith and DSU President Harry L. Williams cut the ribbon for the Student Center Complex, while the University's First Lady Robin S. Williams and Dover Mayor Carlton Carey Sr. look on.   The DSU Concert Choir provided a particularly poignant moment during the event with its moving performance of the medley “His Light Still Shines.” The 81-member choir -- directed by Dr. Curtis Powell, director of Choral Activities, positioned themselves along each aisle and the back section of the auditorium, alternating their singing with an oratory that focused on how Dr. King’s light still shines at DSU. A number of people in attendance could be seen wiping tears from their eyes by the end of the performance.   In addition to the ribbon cutting ceremony, University opened a 1968 time capsule that had been embedded in the cornerstone of the original Martin Luther King Student Center and extracted during its demolition. That time capsule contained items that were related to a May 10, 1968 Dedication Ceremony for that original student center.   Items for a new time capsule have been collected to be placed in the cornerstone of the new MLK Student Center. Those items will include letters from Dr. Williams and DSU Board of Trustees Chairman Claibourne D. Smith, photos, campus publications, a current campus map, a brick from the original MLK Student Center, an undergraduate studies Viewbook, a 2009 Homecoming guide, yearbooks and several other items that reflective of campus life in the current era.   The completed 54,000 square foot Wellness & Recreation Center includes dual basketball courts with seating areas and men and women’s locker rooms on the first floor. The second floor has a variety of Lifestyle weight machines and free weights as well as a running track that winds around the exercise areas and overlooks the basketball courts on the floor below. The facility also has a juice bar with tables and seating, as well as areas for aerobic and other fitness classes.   The Wellness Center & Recreation Center – finished in the summer of 2009 – was the second phase of a $22.5 million project that began with the fall 2008 completion of the first phase’s Strength & Conditioning Facility for student-athletes. That facility features a large Division I-A weight training area and modern locker rooms for Hornet teams.   Connected to the Wellness & Recreation Center is a $5.6 million swimming facility that connects to the Wellness Center’s locker rooms. The recreation pool features a fountain at its center, three lap lanes, an inter-pool bench with water jets, and four inter-pool basketball hoops. The swimming pool was completed in the fall of 2009.   The Wellness & Recreation Center was recently recognized among seven indoor facilities in the country to be awarded the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association’s 2010 Outstanding Sports Facility Award. The DSU Concert Choir provided a memorable musical moment with their rendition of "His Light Still Shines."   The Complex project culminated with the late 2009 completion of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Center. It is about three times the size of the previous one-floor MLK Student Center that existed from 1967 to 2006. The $23.4 million facility provides students with more space then ever to spend their social time, conduct their organizational activities, while at the same time giving the community a new facility for holding events. The first floor of the Student Center features an Austin Grill dining facility, which includes a Tex Mex menu that may be enjoyed in an abundant seating area. The first floor also has an enlarged DSU Bookstore and Post Office, vast open lounge areas and a modest stage. The Student Center’s second floor includes a large 7,656 square foot-auditorium that may be partitioned into three separated areas or it may be a large single area where dances, concerts or other types of large gatherings may be held. In addition, the second floor also includes a game room, a meeting room and open and closed lounge areas. The Student Center’s third floor provides ample office meeting spaces for the Student Government Association’s Executive Council, The Hornet student newspaper, Mr. and Miss DSU, and the Graduate Studies Council. The third floor also includes the administrative offices of Student Leadership & Activities, Career Planning, Judicial Affairs, Auxiliary Services, as well as the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs. The primary architects for the project were Holzman, Moss, Bottino Architecture (HMBA) of New York, N.Y., and the construction management firm was EdiS Company of Wilmington, Del. Leroy Tate, 1968 SGA president, lifts up an item from the 1968 time capsule while Brenda Farmer(far right), event emcee, describes it for the audience. Joining Mr. Tate on stage are fellow 1968 classmates (l-r) Peggy Trout, Vivian King and Pat Randolph.   HMBA and DSU worked together to develop a et of environmentally-responsible goals for the project. Sustainable features incorporated into the final design included the implementation of a waste management program for demolition of the original student center, reduced disturbance to the site, use of regional and natural materials, a natural ventilation system for lounge and dining areas, large overhangs at the south and west sides to reduce heat consumption, reduction of net to gross area ratio by providing efficient circulation, light-colored roofs to reduce solar gain, as well as the use of salvaged bricks.

DSU Names 2011 Faculty Excellence Award Recipients

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The 2011 DSU Faculty Excellence Award recipients: (l-r) Dr. Mazen Shahin, Dr. Venu Kalavacharla, Dr. Nicola Edwards-Omolewa and Dr. Dahlia Jackson-O'Brien, all holding the award they each individually received.

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        Dr. Nicola Edwards-Omolewa holds the FEA plaque she and the other recipients received.     Delaware State University has named four faculty members as the institution’s 2011 Faculty Excellence Award recipients.   The University has selected the below faculty members in the following categories of Teaching, Research/Creative Activities, University/Community Service and Advising:   Faculty Excellence in Teaching Dr. Nicola Edwards-Omolewa, assistant professor of mathematics, has been recognized for her outstanding contributions to program and curriculum development, as well as her dedication to teaching and student development. She has a student-centered teaching philosophy that is innovative yet still directed toward the basic learning and understanding of mathematics.   She serves as the coordinator for K-8 math courses for teachers – incorporating a curriculum that she co-designed – and has initiated an undergraduate teaching assistant program for math majors. Her dedication to teaching is apparent by her involvement in reforming the curriculum and improving the quality of educations provided by the department.       Dr. Venu Kalavacharla Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Dr. Venu Kalavacharla, associate professor of plant science, has established a Plant Molecular Genetics & Genomics Laboratory that serves as a resource center for the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences and the University. He has submitted a number of successfully funded research proposals totaling $5.2 million and is the DSU principal investigator for the Delaware EPSCoR program funded by the National Science Foundation.    Recently, Dr. Kalavacharla spearheaded the establishment of the Center for Integrated Biological and Environmental Research in collaboration with Delaware Technical and Community College and Wesley College.           Dr. Dahlia Jackson-O'Brien Faculty Excellence in University and Community Service Dr. Dahlia Jackson-O’Brien, assistant professor of animal science, conducts applied research to assist local and regional sheep and goat farmers to produce healthy animals. She has planned, coordinated and presented at 30 regional and national programs over the past four years, serving approximately 5,500 youth and adults.    She is a contributor to a regional newsletter and was the recipient of the 2008 Directors Spirit Award and the DSU Cooperative Extension Employee of the Year award. She also serves on a number of departmental and University committees and has mentored 33 high school, undergraduate and graduate students.             Dr. Mazen Shahin Faculty Excellence in Advising Dr. Mazen Shahin, professor of mathematics, is the director of several student-centered funded projects including Bridge to Doctorate (BTD), Sciences and Math Initiative for Learning Enrichment, Alliance for Minority Participation and Science and Technology Academy for Residence Scholars. He has served as an advisor for 41 graduate students in the NSF-funded BTD program. His responsibilities include indentifying and working with faculty co-advisors and departmental chairpersons to ensure the student’s successful completion of the program and transition into Ph.D. programs.   His success as an advisor and dedication to students is apparent in the success rate of students completing the BTD program. Dr. Shahin regularly attends on and off campus advisement trainings and surveys students to determine how to better meet their advising needs.    Each recipient received a monetary award of $2,500.  

DSU Names Dr. Shelton Rhodes as new Dean of College of Business

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    Delaware State University has appointed Dr. Shelton Rhodes to be the dean of the College of Business.               Dr. Shelton Rhodes   He will join DSU on June 6. Dr. Rhodes succeeds Dr. Robert L. Minter who ended his tenure as permanent dean of the College of Business in 2008. Since that time, Dr. Youngski Kwak has served as the interim dean.   Dr. Rhodes arrives at DSU after serving as the founding dean of the Howard S. Brown School of Business and Leadership at Stevenson University (formerly Villa Julie College) in Stevenson, Md. from May 2008 to August 2010.    Prior to that deanship, Dr. Rhodes spent 18 years at Bowie State University as a faculty member who reached the rank of full professor. Also his years at Bowie included serving as the director of the Center for Community and Economic Development from 2002-2004, as well as the founding director of the Procurement Acquisition Center of Excellence and as the chair of the Department of Management, Marketing and Public Administration in the School of Business, both from 2004-2008.    He formerly served as president of New Millennium Solutions, a management consulting firm from 1997 until 2011.   Dr. Rhodes holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from The Virginia Military Institute, a Master of Public Administration from Howard University's School of Business, and a Ph.D. from Old Dominion University’s School of Business in Urban Services Management. He also completed a post doctorate fellowship from the University of Washington in Strategic Management and a Franchise Certificate Program from Virginia Union University.   He is a 2002 graduate of Leadership Fairfax County.    Dr. Rhodes is a retired Army Major. His military service includes a variety of progressively important command and staff positions culminating with an assignment at the Pentagon. He also has worked as a consultant and as a research fellow in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense.   Dr. Rhodes's professional affiliations include the Board of Directors for Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board, the Society of Human Resource Management, American Management Association, Academy of Management, as well as the Retired Military Officers Association. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Capital Society, the Washington Project and on the National Contract Management Association’s University Outreach and Relations Committee.    An active scholar, Dr. Rhodes recently served as a reviewer for the Academy of Management in the areas of human resource management and strategic management. He has published numerous articles and he currently writes online for Examiner.com. He writes a local blog on human resource management and a national blog on minority and women-owned businesses: http://www.examiner.com/minority-business-in-national/shelton-rhodes     In addition, Dr. Rhodes is the co-author of the book A Piece of the Pie (published by Diversity Press, 2003), which profiles successful minority entrepreneurs. He also contributed a chapter in the 2003 book Principles and Practices of Public Administration.   The dean search committee was chaired by Dr. Bradley Skelcher, associate provost. Members included: Carolyn Curry, vice president of Institution Advancement; Dr. Michael Casson, acting dean of Graduate Studies; Dr. Michael Katz associate professor of accounting and finance; Dr. Constance Beugre, Department of Management chair; DSU Board of Trustees member Jose Echeverrí; Eutrice Augustus, College of Business administrative assistant; Dr. Martin Nunlee, assistant professor of management; and DSU alumnus John Ridgeway.   The committee’s charge was to send three unranked candidates to the Provost and the President for a final decision.  

2011 Commencement Photos Slideshow

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  Joy abounded during the 2011 Commencement weekend, as 617 diplomas were awarded to bachelor, master and doctoral degree students. During the May 21 Commencement for graduate and doctoral students and the three May 22 Commencement ceremonies for undergraduates, keynote speakers Quincy Lucas, Jeff Johnson and Queen Latifah gave the graduates a wealth of encouragement for the future. Meanwhile the Class of 1961 returned to their alma mater and made a collective donation of $10,000 to go toward scholarships.   Click here to order your 2011 Commencement DVD, or fill out our online survey and tell us how we did?       Click on the below slide show to see photos from the 2011 Commencement weekend:  

DSU Presents 617 Diplomas During its 2011 Commencement Ceremonies

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    Delaware State University awarded 617 diplomas during its 2011 Commencement ceremonies, which included five 4.0 GPA students. Some DSU graduates of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences take the Alumni Pledge during the 3 p.m. Commencement.   It was the first planned multiple commencements weekend at DSU. The University held a 2 p.m. commencement for master’s degree and doctoral graduates May 21 in the E&H Theatre, and three undergraduate commencements on May 22 in Memorial Hall Gymnasium at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.   Among DSU’s 2011 graduating class 617 degrees were: 500 were bachelor’s degrees, 112 master’s degrees and five doctoral degrees. This graduating class produced 121 honors students, which included 23 Summa Cum Laudes (3.75 GPA or above), 40 Magna Cum Laudes (3.5 to 3.74), 42 Cum Laudes (3.25 to 3.49) and 16 honorable mentions.   Dr. Williams presented Presidential Academic Excellence Awards to five graduates who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout their undergraduate years –  Kelly Cheng, a Movement Science major from Australia; Martina Ferrari, a political science major from Italy; Suzanne Klein, an art education major from Middletown, Del.; Parth Patel, a computer science major from India; and Jasmina Woodson, an accounting major from Newark, N.J. Presidential Academic Excellence Awards were earned by Andrew John Hobbs, a computer science major from Laurel, Del., and Anna Ratnikova, a criminal justice major from Russia, neither of whom were able to attend their Commencement ceremony.   The DSU president also presented a Presidential Leadership Award to Jennifer I. Gray, a biology major from Dover, who received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology on Sunday. In addition to maintaining a 3.3 GPA, Ms. Gray served as the founder and president of the DSU Minority Association for Pre-medical Students, president of the DSU NAACP chapter, vice president of the Students Against a Godless Society, a Ronald McNair Scholar, as well as in a number of community service activities on and off campus.   During the DSU Commencement weekend, the University honored the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1961 during a reception on Saturday, May 21 in the new Martin Luther King Student Center. Thirteen 1961 graduates of then-Delaware State College returned to their alma mater this weekend, donned robes and took part in all three May 22 Commencement ceremonies.             Jeff Johnson   The Class of 1961 showed itself to be “culture of giving” that has been developing among alumni by presenting the DSU president with a donation of $10,000 to go toward scholarships.                      Quincy Lucas   The Commencement ceremonies featured Quincy Lucas, DSU alumna and domestic violence prevention advocate, during the May 21 graduate/doctoral Commencement. She told the story of her perseverance to earn her undergraduate degree amid the tragic domestic violence murder of her sister Witney and how she went on to earn her master’s degree at DSU. She urged the graduates to use their master’s and doctoral degrees to make a better world.   The 9 a.m. and the 12 noon Commencement ceremonies on May 22 featured journalist, social activist and political commentator Jeff Johnson, who encouraged the bachelor’s degree recipients to “mesmerize” people so much with their individual excellence that “when people see you coming they will rush to get themselves together with what they are supposed to be doing.”   The 3 p.m. Commencement featured hip-hop artist and actress Queen Latifah, who told the students to be fearless. “Set your goals, go out in the world and get it,” she said. “Life is for the living. Your goals are still there to be reached.”  

Photo Slide Show of First Lady's Senior Tea

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(L-r) Safiyah Howell, Tirzah Grimes, Zakiya Nashid, Kathleen Charlot, Kaelin Carr and Shirley Caldwell -- stand with (seated middle) Jasmina Woodson who models the winning hat they made at the First Lady's Senior Tea.

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Dr. Robin Williams, DSU First Lady, hosted her first-ever Senior Tea for the Class of 2011 ladies on Friday, May 20 in the Martin Luther King Student Center.  In addition to a lunch, Dr. Williams -- the wife of DSU President Harry L. Williams -- held a drawing for some gifts and also challenged the ladies' hat making skills. Seven teams competed for the most creatively made and expressed hat, and the winning team -- Hats, Hearts and Hands -- won 1st place and each member (six in all) won $100 each. Click below to see the photo slide show from the First Lady's Senior Tea:

Three DSU Students Receive the William P. Frank Scholarship

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Deborah Miller and Desiree Williams (center l-r), William P. Frank Scholarship recipients, are joined DSU President Harry L. Williams (far left) and Provost Alton Thompson (far right) at the Gridiron event where they received the awards.Krystina Muhammad, another DSU recipient, is not pictured, as she was competing that night in the MEAC Track & Field Championships.

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    Three Delaware State University mass communication students have been selected to receive the William P. Frank Scholarship, which is awarded to Delaware students for excellence in journalism and communications.                      Krystina Muhammed   The DSU winners of the William P. Frank Scholarship are:   $10,000 scholarship Deborah Miller, a junior broadcast journalism major from New Castle, Del. Her career goals include becoming a writer and publicist.   $5,000 scholarship Krystina Muhammad, a junior print journalism major from Newark, Del. Her career goals include to become a reporter/writer and to create her own magazine. Desiree Williams, a junior public relations major from Dover. Her career goals include to become a magazine writer.   The students were presented the scholarship at the May 7 First State Gridiron Dinner & Show, held at the Chase Center in Wilmington. All three will be seniors during the 2011-2012 school year.   William P. Frank (1905-1989) was one of Delaware’s best-known journalists of the 20th century. His career spanned 65 years, during which he became a prominent newspaper columnist and radio commentator. He was also a Delaware historian, a Judaic scholar, a Shakespearean actor and a social activist. Although he was listened to and read by powerful people, he made the concerns of ordinary people his concerns, according to the Gridiron event program.  

Gov. Markell Announces His Proposed $10m Investment for DSU Optics

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DSU optics graduate student Franz Delima shows Gov. Jack Markell some of the technology used by the University’s optics researchers.

 

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    (L-r) DSU Board of Trustees members Jose Echeverri, James Stewart, David Turner; Amir Mohammadi, vice president of Finance & Administration; Gov. Jack Markell; Carolyn Curry, vice president of Institutional Advancement; Provost Alton Thompson; and DSU President Harry L. Williams come together after the governor's announcement.     Delaware Gov. Jack Markell used DSU as the site May 6 from which he announced his proposal to make significant investments in the three state institutions of higher education – Delaware State University, University of Delaware and Delaware Technical & Community College.   In the media event at DSU’s Mishoe Science Center, Gov. Markell made the announcement as part of the unveiling of his “Building Delaware’s Future Now” job plan which recommends investments in early childhood and higher education to get people to work now and improve economic opportunity in the future. His plan proposes to make a $30 million one-time investment to build and expand research and training facilities at DSU, UD and Delaware Tech.    “Education can’t begin the first day a child shows up for kindergarten and, whether it’s job training or college, education can’t end the minute someone receives their high school diploma,” Gov. Markell said. “When deciding where to expand or where to locate, many businesses take a hard look at a state’s institutions of higher education, including the research those schools produce and the quality of their graduates to see if they could get right to work helping those companies grow.”   After being introduced by DSU President Harry L. Williams, Gov. Markell announced his proposal to invest $10m for an Optics Research Facility at Delaware State University.   Gov. Markell said these one-time state funds will be utilized to leverage additional federal dollars to establish a state-of-the-art, world-class Optics Research Facility. The facility will position DSU to be a national leader in establishing an Optics Institute.   DSU’s optics pursuits has developed into the most prolific research area at the University. Under the leadership of the program’s founder Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, since its beginning in 1998, DSU optics research has attracted outstanding scientists whose work along with Dr. Melikechi has inspired significant confidence from the federal government. DSU's Optics pursuits have developed into the most prolific research program at the University under the leadership of Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, vice president of research (left, being interviewed by WMDT-TV's Alyana Gomez after the governor's announcement).   That confidence has translated into federal financial support for DSU optics research endeavors. Within the last five year, DSU’s optics researchers have attracted a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (2006) and another $5 million grant from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).   Earlier this year, the University celebrated its first-ever transfer of a DSU-research-created intellectual technology -- a optics Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy-Tag method that has been licensed to Photon Machines, Inc., to be developed into a diagnostic device to be used in hospitals and labs.   The DSU’s diverse optics research projects continue to be overseen by Dr. Melikechi, who is currently the dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology as well as the University’s vice president of research.   Dr. Williams said Delaware State University is extremely appreciative of the importance Gov. Jack Markell places on higher education in Delaware and today’s announcement is further evidence of that.   “We, like the Governor, know that higher education can be a competitive advantage, fueling a knowledge-based economy,” the DSU president said. “DSU is proud of its unique breakthroughs in optics and the STEM areas and this infrastructure funding will allow the University to further secure a niche for Delaware in research, job creation and professional workforce development.”   With representatives of UD and Delaware Tech present, Gov. Markell also announced that his proposal would provide: $10m for expanded research lab capacity at the University of Delaware – This one-time additional investment of state funds will be allocated between Allison Hall, the Animal Research Facility and Brown Lab. Allison Hall is the centerpiece of UD's Department of Education, the Animal Research Lab provides critical technology for the state's leading industries and Brown Lab will be equipped with important Nuclear Magnetic Resonance equipment. $10m for Delaware Technical and Community College to connect Delawareans with good-paying jobs in the sciences– $10 million of one-time state resources will be utilized by Delaware Technical & Community College for several projects. This funding will support the expansion of facilities in the following program areas: (1) the Aviation Power Plant Program, by helping to fund a new 10,000-square foot facility in Sussex County; (2) the Dental Hygiene program, by helping to fund renovations that will allow 500 additional patients to be served per year on the Wilmington Campus; (3) the Nursing and Science programs on both the Terry and Stanton campuses, creating additional lab space and interactive classrooms in the areas of Physics, Biology and Chemistry. “We’re going to make investments that put people to work building new research and training facilities at our colleges so they can graduate more students with the strong science backgrounds the fastest growing industries demand,” Markell said.  

DSU Announces its 2011 Commencement Keynote Speakers

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Hip hop artist and actress Queen Latifah will be the keynote speaker at the 3 p.m. May 22 DSU Commencement.

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  Delaware State University will hold its 119th Commencement exercises in four separate indoor ceremonies May 21-22 in which about 600 graduates will celebrate the completion of their degrees. A separate Commencement exercise for master and doctoral degree graduates will be held on Saturday, May 21, and three separate undergraduate Commencements will be held on Sunday, May 22. The Commencement will be closed to only those having tickets provided by graduates.   Headlining an outstanding trio of keynote speakers will be hip-hop artist and actress Queen Latifah, who will speak at the Sunday, 3 p.m. Commencement. In addition, journalist and activist Jeff Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the 9 a.m. and 12 noon Commencements; and DSU alumna Quincy Lucas, a domestic violence prevention advocate, will give the keynote address at the Saturday 2 p.m. Commencement for master and doctoral students. (Bio info is found on the subsequent pages of this release).   Commencement schedule is as follows:   Saturday, 2 p.m. – Education & Humanities Theatre Keynote speaker – Quincy Lucas All graduating masters and doctoral students   Sunday, 9 a.m. – Memorial Hall Gymnasium* Keynote speaker –Jeff Johnson The College of Agriculture & Related Sciences The College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology   Sunday, 12 p.m. – Memorial Hall Gymnasium* Keynote speaker – Jeff Johnson College of Business College of Education, Health and Public Policy   Sunday, 3 p.m. – Memorial Hall Gymnasium* Keynote speaker – Queen Latifah College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences   * -- Bachelor’s degree graduates only.   In addition, the Department of Nursing will hold its traditional Nurses Pinning Ceremony at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 21 in the Education & Humanities Theatre.   The Commencement Speakers   Queen Latifah As a hip-hop artist, television and film actress, recording label president, author and entrepreneur, Queen Latifah has blossomed into a one-woman entertainment conglomerate.   She is a 1994 Grammy Award-winning rapper for her hit “Go Ahead” and has also garnered six other Grammy nominations for her music works. As an actress she has starred in more than 27 feature films – including her Oscar-nominated performance in the 2002 Chicago – as well as numerous other television movies and sitcoms and dramas. A number of the movies were the result of her production company Flavor Unit Entertainment. Ms. Latifah has also authored two books: Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman, as well as her latest released in 2010, Put on Your Crown: Life Lessons from the Queen.                     Jeff Johnson   She also serves as the co-chair of the Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Foundation, Inc. which provides scholarships to students who excel scholastically, but are limited in financial resources.   Jeff Johnson As a Washington, D.C.-based award-winning investigative journalist, social activist and political commentator, Jeff Johnson’s work to inspire the next generation of leaders has established him as an authentic voice for change and a trailblazing social entrepreneur.   Mr. Johnson is a MSNBC contributor and White House correspondent for The Grio, an African-American website owned by NBC. He is the only U.S reporter to obtain a post-inauguration interview with current Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first-ever elected female head of state. As a BET Network personality, he received the National Association for Black Journalists’ 2008 Salute to Excellence Award for his “Life & Death in Darfur” segment that was broadcast on his “Jeff Johnson Reports” series.   Over the last decade, Mr. Johnson has merged the worlds of politics and popular culture as he has served as a senior advisor for Media and Youth Outreach for People for the American Way, as national director of the Youth & College Division of the NAACP, as well as vice president of the Russell Simmons Hip-Hop Network Action Network. In 2009 Mr. Johnson released his first book, Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am: Discovering your Personal Best.   Quincy Lucas The founder and president of Witney’s Lights, Inc. Ms. Lucas is a two-time graduate of DSU, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.   It is through her advocacy for domestic violence prevention that Ms. Lucas has made her mark on the world. The tragic 2003 domestic violence death of her sister, Witney, in Baltimore propelled Ms. Lucas into that advocacy and resulted in her establishment of the non-profit Witney’s Lights, through which she has emerged as a leader on that issue. Her domestic violence prevention work brought her in then-U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden, Jr.’s camp, as her advocacy was used to help educate Americans about his enacted Violence Against Women Act.                 Quincy Lucas   Ms. Lucas has also played a significant role in the ushering of the Obama administration. She gave the official nomination of former Sen. Biden as vice president, and later accompanied then President-elect Barack Obama on his Whistle Stop Train Tour on his way to his inauguration. During the train trip, Ms. Lucas introduced the president-elect during a stop in her home city of Baltimore, Md. She has been invited to numerous White House events and roundtable discussions and served in 2009 as the keynote speaker for National Crime Victims Rights Week sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Organizational Leadership at Wilmington University.    

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