News

You are here


DSU President Received National TRIO Award

Description: 

Dr. Harry L. Williams (far left), with his 2016 TRIO Achievers Award, stands with fellow recipients: (l-r) Victor Woolridge, Univ. of Massachusetts Board of Trustees chairman; Jacquelyn Elliott, President of Central Arizona College; Marco Davila, professor of oncologic sciences at Morsani College of Medicine, Univ. of S. Florida; and Josè Cruz, exec. director of Barrio Logan College Institute.

Body: 
Delaware State University President Harry L. Williams has been named among the honorees of the 2016 National TRIO Achiever Award in recognition of his career accomplishments. The award was presented Sept. 1 at the 35th annual Council for Opportunity in Education Conference in San Diego, Dr. Williams was among the six 2016 honorees who all received guidance and assistance from a TRIO program during their high school and/or freshmen years and have gone on to experience great success in their professions. The federally funded TRIO programs provide college preparation, mentoring and college admission assistance to low-income and first-generation students. Those established throughout the country include the Upward Bound, McNair Scholars and Student Support Services programs. Dr. Williams, who came from a low-income family in North Carolina, enrolled as a freshman at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., in 1982. He was immediately embraced by the TRIO’s Student Support Services Program at that university, which he credits with giving his higher education journey a good start. “It is without a doubt that I wouldn’t be president of Delaware State University without the support I received from TRIO during my undergraduate years,” Dr. Williams said. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Communication Broadcasting, his academic journey continued with a Master of Arts in Education Media (also from Appalachian State) and culminated in 2000 with an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University. Meanwhile, the native of Greenville, N.C., also found his calling to be in higher education, leading to his service in a number of ascending administrator posts at Appalachian State and at the University of North Carolina, and later his 2008 appointment as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Delaware State University and ultimately as the University’s president in 2010. “It wasn’t until I became a higher education administrator that I came to understand the full breadth of TRIO,” Dr. Williams said. “I have since come to know countless students who were blessed with the support of a TRIO program, many of whom – like me – credit such support as having great and positive impact on the subsequent academic and career success that followed.” Dr. Williams is the first president of a Historically Black College or University to ever receive the TRIO Achiever Award. Since he became the 10th president in the history of DSU, the University’s enrollment has increased from 3,819 to 4,560 students. Among the other numerous accomplishments of the institution under Dr. Williams’ leadership: He achieved the support of state government to establish the Inspire Scholarship Program. The University has been awarded more than $108 million in research-related grants. The construction of the Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) Building was completed in 2015. DSU was recognized as the 1890 Land-grant Institution of the Year in 2013 and as the 1890 University of the Year in 2015, both by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. DSU’s initiatives to increase student success have led to partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education “First in the World” program, resulting in $3.6 million in grants in support of the University’s work in these areas. The University has established the Early College High School that features a STEM-emphasis curriculum as it prepares students for higher education.

Washington Nationals Manager Dusty Baker Visits DSU

Description: 

Washington National's skipper Dusty Baker shares his experience with the Hornets baseball team during an Aug. 29 visit to the DSU campus.

Body: 
Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker paid a visit to Delaware State University and showed students that one can have a highly successful career while at the same time remaining down-to-earth with everyday people.  (L-r) Dr. Akwasi Osei, Dusty Baker, DSU President Harry L. Williams and Ezrah Aharone pose for a photo after chatting in the President's Office. The Aug. 29 visit by the 20-year Major League Baseball manager came as a result of his friendship with Ezrah Aharone, a DSU adjunct associate professor in the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy. During his time on campus, Baker met with DSU President Harry L. Williams and then spoke to the Student Government Association executive officers (“The Movement”) and the Men of Color Alliance (MOCA). Baker also shared his experiences and wisdom with the Hornets baseball team, speaking about his father (who was also his Little League coach), his early professional baseball years, and the critical role that hard work and prayer has played in his career. Hornets baseball Head Coach J.P. Blandin said it was a treat for DSU’s student-athletes to hear Baker talk about his experiences. “The thing that stood out the most was his eagerness to interact and engage with our kids,” Coach Blandin said. “It was very easy to understand why he has been desired in so many clubhouses over the years after the short amount of time he spent with the Hornets baseball program today.” Currently Baker’s Washington Nationals are one of the top teams in the Major Leagues and are the runaway first place team in the National League East Division. Baker has been the skipper of four teams throughout his managerial career (San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds, in addition to the Washington Nationals). A three-time NL Manager of the Year awardee, he led the Giants to the 2002 National League pennant and also reached the playoffs with the Cubs and the Reds. His managing career was preceded by a 19-year playing career (1968-1986) as a hard-hitting outfielder primarily with the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger Awardee, and was a member of the 1981 World Champion Dodgers. He was also the NL Championship Series MVP in 1977. Dusty Baker (3rd from the left)  poses with several of the MLK Student Center staff. His easy-going manner and willingness to talk with everyone he came in contact demonstrative his love for everyday people.  

DSU Explores Possible Ivory Coast Partnerships

Description: 

(L-r) DSU's Dr. Constant Beugré, DSU President Harry L. Williams, and Guy Beugré, founder/president of the Groupe Scolaire Les Benoits -- a leading high school in the Ivory Coast -- pose for a photo after meeting to discuss a future possible partnership.

Body: 
Toward what could be a future new international partnership, DSU President Harry L. Williams recently met with Guy Beugué, who is the founder and president of the Groupe Scolaire Les Benoits (GDB) -- a leading high school in the West African country of Ivory Coast. Located in the city of Divo, the high school has a total enrollment of 2,000 students. Dr. Williams and Mr. Beugué – who is the cousin of Dr. Constant Beugré, professor of business administration – explored the possibilities of GSB graduates enrolling in DSU.  They also discussed possible future collaborations between DSU and a new private university Mr. Beugré and his cousin are planning to open in a few years. Dr. Beugré also participated in the meeting’s discussions.

DSU Welcomes Opportunity Scholarship Recipients

Description: 

The grateful and excited group of 34 DREAMers are ready to begin their academic journey at DSU. The students are the beneficiaries of the Opportunity Scholarship provided by TheDream.US.

Body: 
The Opportunity Scholarship has become an exciting reality at DSU for 34 immigrant students who otherwise would have virtually no higher education option in the United States. (L-r) Alejandro Montoya, Daniela Rivera, Rafael Arce and Olivia Delphine Bekale are among the new members of the DSU campus family to arrive via the Opportunity Scholarship. The scholarship recipients -- known as DREAMers after the scholarship provider TheDream.US -- are undocumented immigrants who as children came with their parents into the United States and attended public schools, excelling academically. Through no fault of their own, they found themselves locked out of state institutions of higher education – either by being declared out-of-state students (with unaffordable out-of-state tuition costs) or by laws in certain states that prohibit the enrollment of undocumented students at state colleges and universities. Because Delaware State University has joined Eastern Connecticut State University as the two institutions to accept such students, it has become an elusive dream come true for these new Hornets. “I was working construction and would have kept doing that,” said Rafael Arce, who moved with his parents from Mexico to the United States when he was age 7. Despite doing well in the public schools of Napa, Idaho, he could not enroll in that state’s higher education system due the cost prohibitive out-of-state tuition costs. “This opens up a million doors for me,” said Mr. Arce, who will major in electrical engineering at DSU. It was out-of-state tuition that also made a college education seem out of reach for Daniela Rivera. She said although pursing a nursing degree was a great dream of hers, she felt it would be selfish to expect her father – who she noted worked “all day and night, just to support my family” – to make it happen. “I feel that this scholarship was an actual miracle,” said Ms. Rivera, whose Mexican family eventually settled in Georgia. “I had pretty much given up on college.” Alejandro Montoya, who graduated from a high school in Marietta, Georgia, says he is excited about pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. “It is a blessing,” Mr. Montoya said. “I can better myself, and when I get done,  I want to go back to my community and help others achieve their dreams.” While most of the 34 students are Hispanic, a few of the Opportunity Scholars come from elsewhere. Olivia Delphine Bekale was born in Gabon in West Africa, but moved to the U.S. with her parents and eventually settled in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – another locked out state. “I thought I was going to have to wait for something to change in the U.S. immigration policy before I could enroll in college,” said Ms. Bekale, who is majoring in forensic biology and also wants to go to medical school after her undergraduate years. The scholarships have been provided by TheDream.US, an organization created for this purpose and founded by Donald E. Graham, chairman of Graham Holding Company and the former CEO and chairman of the Washington Post. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell was approached by Mr. Graham about the program, and the governor then met with DSU President Harry Williams who in turn opened the doors of Delaware State University to the Opportunity Scholarship students. (L-r) Alondra Dueñas and Arely Blanco, like other DREAMers, worked hard during their public school years, putting themselves in the position to obtain the Opportunity Scholarship. The 34 recipients at DSU fit the general profile of undocumented college students as noted in a study published in 2015 in Inside Higher Education – they are highly motivated, resilient and have worked hard to succeed despite the odds. All of the Opportunity Scholarship students well meet DSU’s admission criteria. Their average high school GPA of 3.62 reflects a group of students who applied themselves in high school, and their diligence has provided them to access to this higher education opportunity. “I knew my parents didn’t have the money for college, so I worked hard in school,” said Alondra Dueñas, a Mexico native who came with her parents to the U.S. at age 5 and completed public schooling in North Carolina. “Without this scholarship, I would have kept working and saving money for school.” Ms. Dueñas is majoring in hospitality and tourism management. Arely Blanco, who moved to the U.S. at age 8 with her mother (to meet her father who was already in the country) and completed high school in South Carolina, said she is not very familiar with Mr. Graham or Gov. Markell, but noted he has given the scholars an opportunity that they could not get in the states they lived in. “(Both are) a very kind person,” said Ms. Blanco, who is will majoring in criminal justice and has aspirations to eventually become an immigration attorney.  I’m grateful they thought of people like us who have had such obstacles to a college education.” Most of the students were born in Mexico, but some are natives of Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, as well as Trinidad/Tobago, Gabon and Gambia. They come from the locked out states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Idaho, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Indiana and Louisiana. Kevin Noriega, a DSU alumnus and currently an academic advisor, has been selected to be the advisor of the DREAMers. Mr. Noriega (standing to the left) hold his initial meeting with the scholars. “They have demonstrated that they work hard to overcome barriers,” said Tania Wilcox, the TheDream.US director of college partnerships who conducted a workshop with DSU administrators in advance of the new students’ arrival. “Through no fault of their own, they have been denied higher education in the states they lived in, and that does not follow the principles of this country in which everyone should have the right to education.” The Opportunity Scholarship will cover DSU tuition, fees, housing and meal costs for four years for each student. “When DSU began in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students, it was an institution that provided higher education opportunity to black students who could not get into Delaware College (which later became the University of Delaware) because of their race,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “We are proud and excited to continue that same legacy with these undocumented students who are just as deserving as anyone to achieve their higher education aspirations.” “They are now officially DSU Hornets!” the DSU president added.

DSU's Edgar Ortiz Named HBCU All-Star

Description: 

Edgar Ortiz has been selected along with 72 other students nationwide as an HBCU All-Star in recognition of his academic excellence, leadership and civic engagement. Mr. Ortiz is a junior Aviation Management major with currently a 4.0 GPA.

Body: 
The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) has named Delaware State University junior Edgar Ortiz among its 2016 HBCU All-Stars. Mr. Ortiz, a 4.0 GPA aviation management major from Freehold, N.J., was selected along with 72 other HBCU students from among 300 nominations for the honor. The HBCU All-Stars were chosen for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement. In addition to his academic success, Mr. Ortiz was a residential assistant at Evers Hall and this year is a senior residential assistant at the University Village Apartments. He also does community service work during DSU’s annual Inspired Day of Service. Mr. Ortiz said he was surprised by the honor. “I didn’t think I was going to get it,” Mr. Ortiz said.  “They didn’t have to pick one from each school.” Mr. Ortiz, who aspires to be an air traffic controller, is the second DSU student selected as an HBCU All-Star. Leah Williams, a 2015 and 2016 DSU graduate represented DSU as an HBCU-All Star in 2015. Over the next year, the students will serve as ambassadors by providing outreach opportunities and communicating with other students about the value of both education and the initiative as a networking source. Using social media, relationships with community-based organizations, and sessions with industry professionals, the students will share proven practices that support opportunities for all young people to achieve their educational and career potential. They will also participate in the White House HBCU Week Conference, national and regional events, and webinars with Initiative staff and other professionals on a range of disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and professional development. “During the course of one academic school year, the 73 All-Stars will distinguish themselves as exemplars of the talent that HBCUs cultivate and as noble ambassadors of their respective institutions,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “The Initiative is looking forward to working with this third class of All-Stars and is confident this opportunity will allow the Initiative to meaningfully connect with HBCU students and advance academic excellence at their schools.” The All-Stars were selected from over 300 students from 24 states, the District of Columbia, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Virgin Islands. They will work together and as a group and network with one another to achieve their goals. Mr. Ortiz will also meet with his HBCU All-Star colleagues for an event at the White House in October. It will be the second special trip he has taken representing DSU; in early 2016 he traveled with two other students to Seattle, Washington, to be a part of the HBCU Town Hall event hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

DSU Awarded $215,000 DoD Instrumentation Grant

Description: 

Dr. Mukti Rana, chair of the DSU Department of Physics and the principal investigator of the DoD grant, holds a blank substrate to his left and a substrate on his right that has been imprinted with an electronic circuit design. The DoD grant will fund DSU's purchase of a Photomask Aligner, which will give University researchers the capability to imprint such circuit designs.

Body: 
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Delaware State University a $215,000 research instrumentation grant that will enable the purchase of a Photomask Aligner (PMA). This is a wafer substrate that has had an electronic circuit design imprinted on it through a Photomask Aligner (PMA) The PMA – a tool used to impose electronic designs on a base where electronic circuits are built – will be used in connection with ongoing and future research projects in the Optical Science Center for Applied Research on campus. “Photomask aligner is technology that transfers electronic circuit design to the base (called a substrate) through an opto-chemical process to fabricate electronic chips,” said Dr. Mukti Rana, chair of the DSU Department of Physics and the principal investigator of the successful grant. Most immediately, according to Dr. Rana, the PMA will be used for the design and fabrication of nano-machined pyroelectric detectors with ultra-low conductance, a DSU research project that is being funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research.  He said the PMA will also be used in another NASA-related project, which involves the fabrication of uncooled infrared detectors with nanometer-sized studs. Dr. Rana’s proposal was one of 176 to receive instrumentation funding from the DoD. Those meritorious proposals were selected from among 622 that were submitted for consideration.

1st Cohort Completes Inaugural DSU Mobile App Training

Description: 

The 1st Cohort to complete DSU's Mobile App Academy: (l-r, seated) Curtis Winslow, Chris Worsley, Marlon Offei, Jakeera Davis, Will Shuler; (standing) Hadiyah Mujhid (instructor), Alex Stuff, Edward Baise, Chris Williams, DeAndre Barnes and Iyasu Watts (instructor). 

Body: 
The inaugural cohort of the first-ever Del State Mobile App Academy recently completed a six-week technology “boot camp” in which the participants learned coding skills that enable them to design apps. Will Shuler, a Mobile App Academy participant, explains how the mobile app he developed works. The first nine people to complete the academy were celebrated on Aug. 12 during a program at the DSU Living and Learning Commons in which they were able to receive their certificates and show off the apps they each were able to develop. DSU President Harry L. Williams and other DSU administrators joined representatives of Barclays Bank to celebrate the first cohort’s completion of the academy. The six-week training program was made possible by a generous $200,000 grant from Barclays, a financial institution that has partnered with DSU over the last few years as a solid source of internship opportunities Del State students. “This has been the next stage in our relationship, as we worked to figure out how DSU could be a technology hub,” said Jocelyn Stewart, director of Barclays’ Community Investment. During the Mobile App Boot Camp, the participants – some of whom are recent DSU graduates and current students – became certified in Android mobile architecture and Java programming language, highly sought-after skill sets in the regional job market.  (L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams, Dr. Vita Pickrum, Barclays Bank's Jocelyn Stewart, Amer Sajed and Clint Walker celebrate the partnership that made the Mobile App Academy happen. Hadiyah Mujhid, one of the Mobile App Academy instructors, said in offering such training, DSU is filling a void. “In Silicon Valley, technology companies are struggling when it comes to having diverse workforces,” she said. “This helps fill the demand for such diversity.” The DSU president said the Mobile App Academy is an exciting addition at the University. “These young people now have something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives,” Dr. Williams said. “We couldn’t be the host site of this training without the support of Barclays.” The University plans to offer the course again within the next year.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper Meets with President, Administrators

Description: 

U.S. Sen.Thomas R. Carper meets with Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the college of Agriculture and Related Sciences, and other administrators and faculty, one of several meetings Delaware's senior senator had at DSU on Aug. 11.

Body: 
U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (l) receives a briefing on the latest DSU developments from University President Harry L. Williams. U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper paid DSU a visit on Aug. 11 to be updated on the latest developments at the University as well as learn the ways in which his congressional office could help DSU achieve its goals of student success and sustainability. Sen. Carper and his aides met with DSU President Harry L. Williams and other DSU administrators in the Claibourne Smith Administration Building on campus. Delaware’s senior U.S. senator and his staff were briefed on DSU's plans to offer fully online course degree programs, the enrollment of undocumented students as part of TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship program, the enrollment projections for the approaching fall semester, and other areas. College of Business Dean Donna Covington poses with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper after meeting with him The hot summer temperatures notwithstanding, Sen. Carper and his aides then walked over to the Bank of America Building, where they met with Donna Covington, dean of the College of Business. Dean Covington gave a report on DSU’s partnership with SAP, the advanced technologies training that it is yielding, and how Del State is reaching out to other Historically Black Colleges and Universities to offer them the same training. Sen. Carper ended the afternoon at the Ag Annex Building where he and his aides met with Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences, and other faculty and received and update on the numerous research projects tin that college. In all of the meetings, Sen. Carper asked the DSU officials how his congressional office could help the University. He noted that he would be happy to assist in connecting Del State with companies that could provide DSU students with internship and job possibilities.

Dr. Myna German Selected for Dow Jones Academy

Description: 

(L-r) Hugo Perez of New Mexico State, Gwyneth Doland of the Univ. of New Mexico, Dr. Myna German of DSU, and academy training Luis Hernandez take a break from the multimedia training to pose for a photo.

Body: 
Dr. Myna German, professor of mass communications, is bringing back the latest in emerging journalism technologies after she was selected to take part in the seventh annual Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Academy held at the University of Texas in El Paso. Held May 20-26, Dr. German was among 16 instructors from minority-serving institutions selected from among more than 75 applicants for training. The intense multimedia-journalism academy is geared to help the instructors better prepare their students for the fast-changing future. The participants learned and got hands-on experience in new storytelling skills utilizing the latest multimedia technology. “I did a lot of radio reporting and fell in love with audio documentary as a form of digital storytelling,” Dr. German said. “I spent a week learning multimedia skills to bring back to fellow faculty and the classroom.” All of the participants were from Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

DSU Students Follow Black History Trail to Nova Scotia

Description: 

A group of DSU students recently visited Africville Museum in Nova Scotia, where they learned of the stories of blacks who escaped slavery in U.S. and fled into Canada. The students learned that while no longer slaves, the black immigrants faced significant discrimination and bigotry in Canada.

Body: 
A group of DSU students spent a week learning Black History that actually extends into Canada through their “Nova Scotia Study Abroad Summer 2016” experience. Dr. Kami Fletcher (l) and her 11-year-old son Jayvyn point to their last name on a historic sun dial memorial in Nova Scotia, indicating that they may have roots in Canada. Nine DSU students and a faculty member and staff member participated in a July 25-31 educational excursion to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Through this trip, the students learned about the fates of the runaway slaves who successfully escaped the Peculiar Institution to begin new lives in Canada – stories often obscured by the traditional Black History narratives of that period. During the trip the students also learned of the black soldiers who fought on the British side during the Revolutionary War who also settled in the Nova Scotia area.   Through a guided tour led by Dr. Carolyn Thomas and her team at African Heritage Tours, students visited many historic African communities such as Preston and Africville.  The students also spent a day at Dalhousie University and St. Mary’s University where they toured the campuses, attended lectures and conversed with fellow undergraduates and professors.   Led by Dr. Kami Fletcher, DSU assistant professor of African-American history, the trip allowed students to learn about the challenges and accomplishments of former American runaway slaves and other African immigrants in Nova Scotia as well as see firsthand the cultural/historical/social significance of these sites to the African Diaspora as a whole.   “The long struggle to freedom that is emphasized during the years of institutionalized slavery is filled with stories of ‘Canaan.’  Africans/Blacks risked life and limb to get to Canada and many made it while others died trying.  So what happened to our ancestors who made it?” Dr. Fletcher said. “This trip allows students to cross over into the ‘Land of Canaan’ – as our foremothers and forefathers did – and peer through the historical looking glass understanding the life they created and the society in which it was created.” Africans and Blacks who fought on behalf of the British during the American Revolution were relocated to Nova Scotia after the British lost.  These Africans/Blacks were freed and promised land and a chance to prosper.  However, the same racism followed them there.  In spite of that, many thrived.  Each of them is documented in the Book of Negroes, which the DSU group looked through and learned about the lives of those listed in it. Some students even discovered their last names in the book, indicating that they may possibly have Nova Scotian roots. Jomana Begum, a DSU sophomore Secondary Education major from Cherry Hill, N.J., said it was a tremendous experience. “The trip changed my perspective on what happened to the slaves when they went to Canada, because I thought they had escaped to realize freedom and a new and better life,” said Ms. Begum, a native of Bangladesh who has lived in the U.S. since age four. “But we found out that the people in Canada treated them badly, and that their life wasn’t much better than when they were in slavery.” Tommie Moore, who at age 72 was the oldest graduate in the Class of May 2016, also went on the trip. “We got a chance to sit in some seminars where we learned about the Black Loyalists, a group of Africans who settled in the Africville area of Nova Scotia. They were disenfranchised and had their land taken from them by the English Settlers of Nova Scotia,” said Ms. Moore, now 73, who earned a Bachelor of Social Work. “Some chose to go back to Africa and some chose to remain. There was so much to history to learn.” Ms. Moore added that the DSU group was able to interact with descendants of the original African settlers, some from families going back as far as eight generations in Nova Scotia.    

Pages