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Donna Covington Announced as New College of Business Dean

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Delaware State University has named Donna T. Covington as its new dean of the College of Business.        Donna T. Covington   Ms. Covington arrives at DSU after serving over the previous year as the interim dean of the College of Business and Computer Science at Kentucky State University. Prior to that, from 2010 to 2013 she served as director of Title III and Special Projects at KSU.   Her tenure in academia was preceded by more than 25 years in director and executive posts in the corporate world and two years as an executive director in church administration.   After serving in managerial posts early in her career at Texas Instruments and IBM, Ms. Covington served in an ascending succession of director and executive posts with Lexmark International Inc. from 1991 to 2007. During that 16-year period, she held director posts in a diverse variety of areas including global reengineering, supply chain, and business systems. She would later be elevated to vice president of supply chain and vice president of customer service.   She also served as an executive director for Bethel Harvest Church in Nicholasville, Ky., from 2007-2009, and as an administrative and leadership development director for Consolidated Baptist Church of Lexington, Ky.   Ms. Covington possesses a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Centre College in Danville, Ky., a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.   She will begin her tenure at DSU College of Business dean on Aug. 4

June Accomplishments and Events

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    DSU Public Safety Represents in Annual Special Olympic Torch Run Officers from the DSU Police Department recently participated in the 2014 Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run, which raised funds for Delaware Special Olympics. Taking part in the Torch Run were Cpl. Joy Simmonds (above left carrying the torch), Ptl. Heather Golding, Ptl. Jennifer Bastianelli, Ptl. Carter Skinner and others. Yury Markushin Ph.D. Candidate Awarded Scholarship Yury Markushin, a founding officer of a newly established DSU chapter of SPIE (an international academic society for optics and photonics), has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the national SPIE organization. Mr. Markushin, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics and Engineering, has been awarded a 2014 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship by SPIE for his potential contributions to the field of optics, photonics or related field. His research is focused on design and implementation of a polarimetric scanning Laser Detection and Ranging System (LADAR). He is also a founding member and a vice-president of SPIE student chapter at Delaware State University, which was formally established in May. “I am proud to accept the SPIE Optics and Photonics Educational Scholarship and honored to be a part of SPIE as a student member,” said Mr. Markushin. “That gave me a priceless opportunity to learn about the latest innovations and findings in the field of Optics and Remote Sensing.”

DSU's Dr. H. Boukari Awarded $175,000 Research Technology Grant

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The new Spectrometer funded by the grant will advance Dr. Hacene Boukari's research on fluorescent molecules, the assembly processes of macromolecules and the complex interactions of diverse proteins.

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Dr. Hacene Boukari, an associate professor of physics and a scientist in Delaware State University’s Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR), has been awarded a $175,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense that will fund the acquisition of a world-class fluorescence correlation spectrometer. The spectrometer will give OSCAR a state-of-the-art capability in quantitative imaging. The technology will enable DSU scientists to apply a fluorescence correlation spectroscopy technique that exploits the specificity of fluorescence to investigative diverse physical and chemical phenomena as well as biological functions at near single-particle level. “It will impel the research activities of my group, which focuses on understanding the fundamental properties of intramolecular processes in fluorescent molecules, the assembly processes of macromolecules such as tubulin proteins, sickle-cell hemoglobin, and the complex interactions of diverse proteins or other biomacromolecules embedded in their host environments.” said Dr. Boukari, who has been striving to establish a vigorous research program in soft-matter physics and optical sciences at the University. Projects from other DSU researchers will also benefit from the new technology acquisition. In addition, some DSU students will be exposed to and trained in this advanced multi-disciplinary technology where different complementary disciplines are combined, including optical instrumentation and microscopy, optical physics, physics-based modeling of particles interactions, signal-processing, nanochemistry, and cellular biology.    “I am very excited about this award,” said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, and vice president for research innovation and development at DSU.  “It is another strong testament from the Department of Defense to the quality of research we are pursuing at Delaware State University, especially in the area of optical sciences.”

2014 President's Society Reception -- Photo Slideshow

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A group of DSU alumni pose in front of a NASCAR racer that was parked in front of the MLK Student Center where the President's Society Reception took place.

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Delaware State University honored its President’s Society-level donors – who contribute $1,000 or more annually to the University for scholarships – during a May 29 reception in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.For images from the President’s Society Reception, click on the below photo slideshow:

DSU Announces 2014 Faculty Excellence Award Recipients

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The 2014 Faculty Excellence Award recipients and categories: Dr. Dawn Lott (university/community service), Dr. Jung-Lim Lee (research and creative activity), Dr. Raymond Tutu (teaching), and Dr. Clytrice Watson (advising).

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Delaware State University has named four faculty members as the institution’s 2014 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. Raymond Tutu, assistant professor of history, political science and philosophy, has become noted for his student-centered teaching philosophy that inspires innovative and critical thinking. His teaching methods include class interactive discussions, field trips, seminars, and oral presentations and the use of appropriate technology. Regarding program and curriculum development, through the inclusion of a Geographical Information System he has revised the Population Analysis elective course in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. He and another colleague were awarded a DSU PRIDE Grant to further enhance and integrate the University’s internationalization through curriculum development and student/faculty exchanges. Dr. Tutu contributed to student enrichment activities through a grant awarded him by the U.S. Institute of Peace Public Education for Peace-Building for a guest lecture series on the Arab Spring. Dr. Tutu has also been a co-advisor to the African Students Association. His participation in workshops organized by the Association of American Colleges and Universities is a demonstration of his involvement in teaching development activities. He has developed a tool for evaluating global competence among students (the first results would be presented by one of the students he mentored during Honors Day in April 2014).   Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Dr. Jung-Lim Lee, assistant professor of food and nutritional sciences, has been an exemplary faculty member in the Department of Human Ecology. To initiate actual research activities in the Human Ecology Department, he set up the department’s first laboratory named “Food Microbiology lab” in 2011. Dr. Jung-Lim Lee has been successful in attracting funds to support his research endeavors. Of the 15 grant proposals he has submitted, eight have been successfully funded, resulting in a just over $1.4 million in federal grants for DSU.   In two years (between 2011 and 2013), Dr. Lee published five peer-reviewed articles; he currently has four manuscripts under review. Additionally, he has been invited to two international conferences as a guest speaker and has presented five posters at professional meetings as a representative of DSU. As a research advisor, Dr. Lee has trained and mentored a total of 17 undergraduate and graduate students through various projects. Two graduate students received a 2nd place award in oral presentation at the Associated Research Directors (ARD) meeting in 2013 and in poster presentation at the DSU graduate research symposium in 2012 respectively, and one undergraduate student was awarded 1st place in oral competition at the ARD meeting in 2013.   Faculty Excellence in University and Community Service Dr. Dawn Lott, professor of mathematics, has demonstrated a commitment to service that is easily seen in the multiple roles she has served in her department and college as well as on the University level. While she has served on numerous committees for her Department of Mathematics and her College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, she has also served the University on the: Excellence Award Committee, Living-Learning COMMONS Committee, Provost Council, Student Affairs Strategic Planning Committee and University Strategic Planning Council. In addition, Dr. Lott has been the director of the DSU Honors Program since 2009, in which she has created a four-year Honors Program curriculum that allows students to integrate honors courses into their departmental academic schedule.   Outside of DSU, she served as a reviewer in numerous journals in her field; she also belongs to many professional associations, including the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) Mentor Network, Institute for Broadening Participation, Mathematics Association of America (MAA), Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics and others.   Faculty Excellence in Advising   Dr. Clytrice Watson, associate professor of biological sciences, has made advising and mentoring a major focal point of her DSU tenure, which began in 2006. In addition to serving as an academic advisor, she has advised students – ranging from high school to graduate – in scientific research. Tracking the success of her students has been critical in improving her advising and mentoring practices to ensure that she provides her students with the adequate tools they need to succeed beyond DSU.   Dr. Watson is the primary advisor for forensic biology majors and minors, an academic program she was instrumental in developing. She keeps diligent records for all of her advisees and tracks their progress through their curriculum from their freshman year until graduation and beyond. She provides extended hours during pre-registration to ensure students are adequately advised. Students received an email directing them to make their advisement appointment two weeks prior to the pre-registration period. Dr. Watson has a well-established advisement meeting process, in which students prepare a draft of their schedule for Dr. Watson’s review, which leads into discussion about any academic difficulties and the plan for the following year.   The 2014 Faculty Excellence Award recipients were honored during a May 29 luncheon hosted by DSU President Harry L. Williams and Provost Alton Thompson. Each recipient received a monetary award of $2,500.  

No Tuition, Fees and Housing Increase for 2nd Year in a Row!

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Students coming to pay their student accounts bills at the DSU Administration Building will not feel any increased financial pressure, as the DSU Board of Trustees has voted not to increase tuition, fees and housing for the 2014-2015 school year.

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For the second year in a row, Delaware State University is making affordability a priority by not increasing its tuition, housing and fee rates for the upcoming 2014-2015 academic year. While tuition costs may be increasing elsewhere, both the annual in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees for DSU in 2014-2015 will remain the same as they have been in the previous two school years – $7,336 and $15,692, respectively. The annual traditional fees that will remain unchanged are the fees for student activities, technology and the Student Center Complex. In addition, the cost to live in the campus’ traditional housing will be unchanged from the current year costs – remaining in the range of $6,976 to $7,490, depending on the residential hall in which a student resides. The cost of meal plans is also unchanged, with the options ranging from $1,926 to $3,844. The DSU Board of Trustees decided not to increase the tuition rates during a special executive board meeting on May 21. “This is a major step on our part to recognize our responsibility as members of the higher education community to control our costs and alleviate the burden on our students and their families,” said Dr. Claibourne D. Smith, board chair. “We have chosen to make major changes in how we operate so that we do not have to increase the weight of tuition and fees on the backs of students.” DSU has not raised its tuition and fees since the 2012-2013 school year. DSU President Harry L. Williams said the Board of Trustees’ decision not to increase tuition, fees and housing costs for the second consecutive year is consistent with higher education affordability goals of the Obama Administration. “With the country coming out of a recession, I am pleased that the DSU Board of Trustees understands the challenges our students and their families are facing,” Dr. Williams said.

DSU is Site of State's First-Ever Maternal Transport Course

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A "patient" is moved out of the Price Building as part of Maternal Transport Nurse Course recently taught at DSU as continuing education for area nurses.

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DSU was recently the site of the first-ever Maternal Transport Nurse Course offered in Delaware entitled “Safety on the Road.”   The April 30 course was the result of a unique collaboration of Delaware Section of the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (DE AWHONN), Delaware March of Dimes – Perinatal Cooperative, DSU Department of Nursing, Christiana Care Critical Care Transport Team Care Net, the Delaware Child Death, Near Death Still Birth Commission’s Every Mother Initiative and the Standards of Care Committee of the Delaware Healthy Mothers and Infants Consortium.   Carol Ann Faedtke, RN, critical care transport manager and Access Center manager for Christian Care Health System, was the course instructor. She brought the ambulance and crew that conducted the “transports” on the DSU campus.   Dr. Margaret-Rose Agostino, DSU assistant professor of nursing at DSU, chair of the Delaware Maternal Mortality and immediate past section chair for DE AWHONN, was the course coordinator responsible for setting up the transport simulation with two senior nursing students who served as patient models.   The DSU Department of Nursing’s Practice Lab was transformed into a Labor & Delivery Unit to create the simulation environment complete with fetal heart monitors needed for the care of pregnant women.   Ten registered nurses from Delaware area hospitals completed the pilot course.   The course will be offered once a month at DSU beginning in September 2014 and continue through 2015 until all designated nurses completed the training. The overall goal is to improve perinatal outcomes for women being transported via ambulance between facilities. It will also enhance the competence and confidence of nurses designated to care for pregnant women during transport via ambulance between facilities.   Upon completion of this course the nurses will incorporate into practice knowledge & skills to safely transport a pregnant patient via ground transportation. The course has been awarded 3.5 Contact Hours by the DSU Department of Nursing, an approved provider of Nursing Continuing Education by the Delaware Board of Nursing.

2nd Annual Data Day held at DSU

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More than 100 DSU faculty, staff and administrators attended the Data Day event held in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.

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Dr. Jodi Levine Laufgraben The DSU Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs held its second annual Data Day on May 14, an event in which faculty and staff met to discuss their assessment data and to create action plans for impacting future data.  Dr. Jodi Levine Laufgraben, vice provost for Academic Affairs, Assessment and Institutional Research at Temple University, was the keynote speaker for the Data Day event. Dr. Laufgraben has 24 years of experience in higher education, which includes administration, accreditation management, teaching, faculty development, program evaluation and assessment. Her presentation entitled “Closing the Loop: What it really means and how to do it effectively” was well received by more than 100 Data Day attendees.  During the afternoon session, faculty, staff and administrators applied some of these principles to improve the assessment processes in their units. A recording of Dr. Laufgraben’s presentation will be available in the Assessment Office; contact Bina Daniel at bdaniel@desu.edu for more information. 

DSU, Amir Mohammadi Recognized for Financing Innovation

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The Mishoe Science Center was one of a number of the buildings on campus that received energy upgrades made possible by a financing innovation that was brainchild of Dr. Amir Mohammadi, executive vice president and University treasurer. The innovation was recently recognized by the Obama Administration's Better Building Challenge as a financing solution for institutions.

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– The sustainability efforts and financial creativity of DSU and Dr. Amir Mohammadi, its executive vice president and University treasurer, were recently recognized by Obama Administration’s Better Building Challenge.     Dr. Amir Mohammadi   During the May 7-9 Better Building Challenge Summit in Washington, D.C., DSU was among seven entities recognized for “Sharing Innovative Solutions” to achieve energy reductions.   Specifically, DSU was recognized for coming up with an innovative way of mobilizing capital – the brainchild of Dr. Mohammadi – to finance energy upgrades on campus that will save the University millions of dollars in energy cost over the next 20 years.   In order to achieve its sustainability goals of reducing its energy consumption through energy technology upgrades, DSU had to first overcome the strict debt capacity limits. To accomplish that, r. Mohammadi developed a novel “on balance sheet, off-debt capacity approach, in which the University obtained permission from the state of Delaware to utilize previously restricted appropriations to create a revenue-neutral debt structure.   That enabled the University to access large-scale bond financing to support energy efficiency upgrades on campus. DSU worked with a variety of Delaware stakeholders – including the Office of the Governor, the State Senate Finance Committee, the Bond Council, State Office of Management and Budget, the state Department of Natural Resource and Environmental Control, the state’s Sustainable Energy Utility, as well as a number of financial advisors and external auditors – to make the new approach a practical reality.   As the result of this “on balance sheet, off-debt capacity” approach, DSU was able to obtain bond financing totaling $19.3 million, which paid for energy efficiency work. The energy upgrades has been validated by a Guaranteed Energy Saving Agreement (GESA) with Johnson Controls, the company that won the contract for the work. The agreement ensures that the University will realize the long-term energy savings as a result of the upgrades.   As a result of the GESA, DSU will experience at total of $24.6 million in savings over 20 years, with a net savings of $5.3 million as well as a 26% reduction in greenhouse gases.   According to the U.S. Department of Energy website, “DSU has pioneered a unique financing approach for state universities” that will enable to overcome similar debt capacity limitation challenges that are prevalent throughout the country for other institutions.   Dr. Mohammadi noted that without the novel financial approach, the university would not have obtained the necessary bond financing for the GESA energy upgrade work.   “The implementation of this approach was made possible by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and by State Sen. Harris B. McDowell III, who both through their leadership and support made this financing solution a reality,” Dr. Mohammadi said.   DSU shared the “Innovative Solutions” spotlight with six other honorees – the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the City of El Paso (Texas), the City of Gillette (Wy.), HEI Hotels & Resorts, Saint-Gobain Corp., and TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund).   The Better Business Challenge is a national leadership initiative launched by President Barack Obama in 2011 with the goal of making American commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. Beginning with about 60 university, corporate, community and industrial partners, DSU was one of the invited 10 higher education partners when the initiative was launched, and the only HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) that was included.

Detroit Alumni Donate $25,000 for Scholarship

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(L-r) Woodrow Hayward, class of 1964, DSU President Harry L. Williams, and Loretta Washington, class of 1978, hold a display check representing a donation of $25,000 by the Greater Detroit Michigan Alumni of DSU.

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The Greater Detroit Michigan Alumni of Delaware State University have donated $25,000 to the DSU Foundation. The donation establishes the Greater Detroit Michigan Alumni Scholarship, which will provide an annual $5,000 to full-time DSU students in need, with out-of-state students from Detroit given priority. Representing the Detroit alumni, Woodrow Hayward, class of 1964, and Loretta Washington, class of 1978, presented the check to DSU President Harry L. Williams on May 10. In addition to the efforts of Mr. Hayward, Ms. Washington and other Detroit-area DSU alumni,  the late Colene Pearson, Esq., class of 1971, is also credited for being a driving force in the creation of the fund.

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