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President of Benson Idahosa Univ. visits DSU

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(L-r) Dr. Akwasi Osei, chair of the DSU Dept. of History, Political Science and Philosophy; Dr. Mopelola Adegoke, associate professor in the DSU Dept. of Human Ecology; Rev. Laurie Idahosa and her husband President F.E. Benson Idahosa; DSU President Harry L. Williams; Dr. Claibourne Smith, former DSU Board of Trustees chairman; Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences pose for a photo to document the visit. 

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DSU President Harry L. Williams hosted a visit to campus by Rev. F.E. Benson Idahosa II, president of Benson Idahosa University and his wife Rev. Laurie Idahosa, who also serves as director of the BIU Campus Life Division. Benson Idahosa University is a private Christian University in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, that was founded by President Idahosa’s father, the late Archbishop Benson Andrew Idahosa. The University is nationally accredited, offers degrees ranging from associate to doctorates, and has an enrollment of more than 4,000. During the visit, Dr. Williams and President Idahosa discussed the possibilities for a future partnership between the two institutions.

Two DSU HBCU-UP Students Excel at ERN Conference

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(L-r) Andrew Blake Jr. and LaTaijah Crawford -- both DSU biological sciences majors -- won 1st place and 2nd place in different categories, respectively, at the Emerging Researchers National Conference recently held in Washington, D.C.

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DSU made its mark at the recent Emerging Researchers National Conference in Washington, D.C., as two of the University’s HBCU-UP students brought back 1st place and 2nd place finishes in the competitions that were held. Andrew Blake Jr., a senior biological sciences major from Dover, surpassed more than 60 other competitors and won first place in the Undergraduate Research Poster competition in the biochemistry, biomedical, cancer and physiology disciplines. Mr. Blake – who is the son of Dr. Andrew Blake Sr., an associate professor in the DSU Department of English and Foreign Languages – took first place with his poster titled “The Role of Acetylcholine Release in the Locomotion of Drosophila Larvae.” His advisor is Dr. Hakeem Lawal, associate professor of biological sciences. He said that acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter present in many animals, including humans. “It is responsible for movement, memory, and aging,” Mr. Blake said. “Declines in acetylcholine in humans have been found to be associated with Alzheimer's disease.”  LaTaijah Crawford, a junior biological sciences major from Baltimore, Md., took second place in the Oral Presentation/Biological Sciences competition on “Mycorrhizae in Abiotic Stress Tolerance.” Her advisors are Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay, professor of natural resources, and Dr. Karuna Chintapenta, a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Ms. Crawford said her study examined the use of mycorrhizal as a bio fertilizer and the role it can play in countering the challenges drought and salinity present to crops. She added that such solutions will be critical as the predicted negative effects of global climate change make food production more challenging worldwide. “Mycorrhizae can efficiently uptake nutrients even under stress conditions (such as drought and salinity) and is one of the key factors for sustainable agriculture,” Ms. Crawford said. Held on Feb. 25-27, the Emerging Researchers National Conferences is one of the largest gatherings for undergraduate STEM researchers in the nation. Eleven DSU student researchers attended and competed at the event. The students’ involvement in the conference was made possible by the National Science Foundation funding of the DSU HBCU-UP Program. Dr. Mazen Shahin, professor of mathematics and Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) director, and Dr. Tomasz Smolinski, associate professor of computer and information science, were instrumental in facilitating the trip.

DSU's Dr. Tripathi Selected As Gender Summit Delegate

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Dr. Tripathi will serve as a delegate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the April 28-29 Gender Summit 8 North America 2016 Conference in Mexico City.

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Dr. Renu Tripathi, DSU associate professor of Physics and Engineering, has been selected to be a delegate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)  at the Gender Summit 8 North America 2016 conference on April 28-29 in Mexico City. The Gender Summit 8 is a North American conference that will be focused on new methods, studies and tools that can help understand and analyze the gender dynamic and dimensions as components and as research variables of collective, individual and institutional conditions determining behavior. The summit will explore topics such as equity in assessment of scientific merit, the research variable of human diversity, quantifying the socio-economic impact of gender in equality in science, policies for systemic and lasting change and the policy makers that will make them happen, as well as other areas. Dr. Tripathi is a scientist with DSU’s Optical Science Center for Applied Research, where she is currently leading a research group that is developing a new generation of imaging laser radar systems, optical coherence tomography, and nanoparticle-based super-resolution imaging. She has been selected as an AAAS delegate for the summit along with Dr. Lilliam Casillas-Martinez of the University of Puerto Rico, Dr. Melody Schieffino of San Diego State University, and Dr. Jamison Kovach of the University of Houston.

College of Business Holds First-Ever DEEP Day

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The DEEP Day activities engaged College of Business students in resume reviews, mock interviews and panel sessions with visiting top level executives.

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The DSU College of Business recently held its first-ever Delaware Executive Exchange Program (DEEP) Day to provide its students with professional development sessions while interacting with visiting top level executives. (L-r) Keondra Watts, senior human resources management major; keynote speaker Jewell Parkinson, head of Human Resources, SAP; and Clifford Terrell, sophomore sports management major. The three led one of the DEEP Day sessions. Held Tuesday, Feb. 23, DEEP Day included resume reviews, mock interviews and panel discussions. It also featured keynote speaker Jewell Parkinson, the head of Human Resources for SAP North America. The DEEP Day events also included a Business Case Competition, which was held among College of Business students. The winner was a team of students that included Zachary Corrothers, Courtnee Harris, Kayla Reynolds, Justin Rorie and Shereen Winfield. The visiting executives involved in the panel discussions included: Cindy Crompton-Barone, a senior vice president of Human Capital Management for WSFS Bank; Terrence Dickenson, a 25-year Human Resources professional; Judy Diogo, president of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce; Peggy H. Eddens, executive vice president and chief capital officer for WSFS Bank; Troy C. Farmer, founder and CEO of Empowerment that Values All (EVA); and John Fleming, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Other executives taking part DEEP DAY panel discussions were: Jessica Gibson, program director of the First State Community Action Fund; A. Richard Heffron, president of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce; Brian Nixon, plant manager for INVISTA Koch facilities; Misa Rawlins, SAP service line chief of staff at Deloitte Consulting; Ayanna Wilcher, diversity recruiting manager for KPMG’s Mid-Atlantic Region; and Dr. Devona Williams, president and CEO of Goeins-Williams Associates Inc. Participating in the mock interviews and resume reviews were: Kevin Bacot, a lead talent strategy and workforce planning consultant for Pepco Holdings, Inc.; Patrick Best, associate vice president and senior human capital business partner at WSFS Bank; Erika Broadwater, senior talent acquisition manager at Nixon Uniforms; Reba Businsky, president and co-founder of Alexander Businsky Consulting; Kelli Collins, president and CEO of Information Security Solutions; Vicki Feehery, senior human resource business partner for BarclaycardUS; Diarra Gordon, federal auditor of KPMG, LLP; Courtney Jackson, head of the office of the president for BarclaycardUS; Maria Jameel, human capital management business partner at WSFS Bank; Crystal Lewis, senior vice president and staffing executive at Bank of America; Janie Libby, vice president of Human Resources at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino and for the Dover International Speedway; Teresa Rinaldi, a human resources professional, BarclaycardUS; and Eleisha Smith, vice president at JPMorgan Chase.

Two New Appointments Announced for Student Affairs

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DSU welcomes Jasmine Buxton as a new associate vice president, while Terrell Holmes takes over as the interim associate vice president of Enrollment Management.

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Delaware State University has announced the following appointments:                Jasmine Buxton Jasmine Buxton, a new arrival to DSU, has been appointed as associate vice president of Student Affairs. She will report to Dr. Stacy Downing, vice president of Student Affairs, and will oversee the Wellness and Recreation Center, as well as the departments of Student Leadership and Activities, and Spiritual Life. Ms. Buxton has worked at several universities throughout her 10-year higher education career, including most recently at Bowling Green University, where she served as the assistant dean of students. A native of Dayton, Ohio, she has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Black World Studies with a concentration in African American Literature from Miami University of Ohio, as well as a master’s degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Indiana State University. In addition, Terrell Holmes has been appointed as the interim associate vice president of Enrollment Management. He will report to Dr. Downing and will oversee Student Financial Aid Services, as well as the offices of the Registrar and Admissions.             Terrell Holmes Mr. Holmes has been with the DSU Office of the Registrar since 2005, serving as associate registrar, Banner functional lead, as well as the registrar since December 2008. A native of Laurel, Del., he has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science (Summa Cum Laude) from Voorhees College in Denmark, S.C., and a Master of Science in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. Dr. Downing said that the new appointments are consistent with the transformation currently taking place at DSU. “Having Student Affairs and Enrollment Management under one umbrella is another step to ensure that we are keeping student success as a priority,” Dr. Downing said. “Mr. Holmes and Ms. Buxton are great additions to the leadership within the division and I am confident they will do a fantastic job within their respective roles.”

Endowed Scholarship Established to Honor Dr. Dan Coons

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Products of the Aviation Program under Dr. Daniel Coons: (l-r) Yoki Johnson, '98; David Simpson (non-alum); Mathu Bynes, '00; Joe Williams '99, Dr. Coons; Dave Anthony Harding, '95; William Charlton, '95; and Ray Johnson, '99. The pilots and DSU alumni contributed donations for the endowed scholarship to honor their former instructor.

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A group of pilots – mostly products of the DSU Aviation Program – have established a $12,500 endowed scholarship in the name of the founding director of the program, Dr. Daniel E. Coons. (L-r) Vermell DeLauder, Dr. Dan Coons and his wife. and Dr. William B. DeLauder, who was the president of then-Delaware State College when the Aviation Program was established in 1987. The Daniel E. Coons Endowed Scholarship will benefit students who major in aviation at DSU. The students must be enrolled full-time, be a sophomore or above, and have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 or higher. Financial need will be a priority consideration. The fundraising for the endowed scholarship was spearheaded by retired Air Force Gen. Ernest Talbert, Jr., currently a consultant for the DSU Aviation Program and Dave Harding, a 1995 graduate of the program. A number of DSU aviation graduates contributed to the endowment. Dr. Coons was present for the announcement of the endowment, which was made at an Alumni Appreciation reception on Feb. 20. “I feel honored by the generosity of my former students, and I will forever be in their debt,” Dr. Coons said. “The Aviation Program has been a dream come true for me, and this is a wonderful legacy to leave behind, hopefully forever.” Dr. Coons was the founding director of the then-Airway Science Program at DSU from 1987 to 1992. After leaving for a few years to do consultant work in Egypt, Dr. Coons returned to the University to serve as the special assistant for aviation from 1995-2005. Considered a visionary in the development of the program, his creative proposals resulted in the University’s acquisition of 10 aircraft, making DSU the only Historically Black University and College in the country that owns and maintains its own fleet. “Dr. Coons founded the DSU Aviation Program in 1987 with no funds, no fleet and no faculty,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “Today, the program has a fleet of aircraft, which includes Piper Senecas, Piper Warriors and Piper Tomahawks.” DSU’s Aviation Program currently boasts a 100% hiring rate for its professional pilot graduates and ranks among the top five of all aviation programs in the country.

DSU Presents "Salute to African-Americans on Broadway"

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(L-r) Taylor C. Brown, Brittany Peterson, Jahselah White, Dr. David Tolley, Courtney Porter and Tyrone J. Ashley, Jr., rehearse a song that will be performed in the DSU Theatre Program's tribute to African-American Broadway performances. 

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(L-r) LaQuita Williams and Rick Jackson rehearse a scene from August Wilson's Fences that will be performed as part of "A Salute to African-Americans on Broadway." Delaware State University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Theatre Program will present “A Salute to African-Americans on Broadway” on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27, both at 7:30 p.m. in the Education and Humanities Theatre. The show – which represents the final event as part of DSU's observance of Black History Month – is free for DSU students and $5 for the general public. The show features monologues and musical selections from Tony Award-winning Broadway productions such as The Sweetest Sounds, Fences, Dreamgirls, Aladdin, Top/Dog UnderDog, Aida, The Color Purple and others. The tribute features DSU students Taylor Brown, LaQuita Williams, Kelli Smith, Dana Matthews, Rick Jackson, Keturah Braithwaite, Courtney Porter, Moala Bannavti, Jahselah White, Brittany Peterson, Troy Davis, Bria Borders, Danielle Williams, Anthony McLver, Arryn Harris-James and Marcel Sawyer. The show also features performances by DSU alumni Tyrone Ashley, Jr.,  Theophilus "Jack" Jackson and Ray Ward. The show is directed by Rev. Dr.. Shirlyn Brown, an adjunct instructor, theatre advisor and a frequent director of DSU Theatre Program productions.

Sen. Carper Holds College Affordability Meeting at DSU

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(L-r) Stephen Ampersand, assistant vice president of Financial Aid Services; students Keda Dorsica and Adam Bruns; President Harry L. Williams, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper; students Melayna Hall, Diekolola Ibironke and Madison Christensen; and Dr. Teresa Hardee, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Finance and Administration, all participated in the senior U.S. senator's College Affordability Roundtable. Not pictured is Dr. Bradley Skelcher, associate provost.  

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U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper took time out of his busy schedule to hold a College Affordability Roundtable at Delaware State University on Feb. 19. U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper (center) leads the College Affordability Roundtable in the Hardcastle-Selby Board of Trustees Conference Room on Feb. 19. The event gave Delaware’s senior U.S. senator an opportunity to hear first-hand from students and administrators about the challenges of college affordability and the issues around accessing financial aid to assist in shouldering that cost. Sen. Carper met with five DSU students: Adam Bruns, an agriculture major from Milford; Madison Christensen, a mass communications major from Dover; Keda Dorina, a political science major from Georgetown; Melayna Hall, a textiles and apparel studies major from Smyrna; and Diekolola Ibisonke, a political science major from Smyrna. Also joining in the discussion were DSU President Harry L. Williams along with Dr. Teresa Hardee, senior vice president and chief operating officer; Stephen Ampersand, assistant vice president of Student Financial Services; and Dr. Bradley Skelcher, associate provost. All of the participating students are Inspire Scholarship Scholars. Each one shared their personal story of how the Inspire Scholarship has helped them as well as their individual experiences in seeking financial aid. The students noted the importance of applying for as many scholarships as possible and meeting application deadlines. Dr. Williams noted the emphasis put on students finishing their degree within four years, and said that students would be helped with that goal by a restoration of the summer Pell Grant, which has been eliminated.

State Archives Unveils 125th year DSU Exhibit

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(L-r) Stephen M. Marz, state archivist, points out to DSU President Harry L. Williams an aspect of the exhibit that celebrates the 125-year history of Delaware State University.

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The Delaware State Archives has opened an exhibit that celebrates the rich history of Delaware State University -- the First State’s only historically black institution of higher education. The exhibit is featured throughout the public lobby of the State Archives, located on the corner of Legislative Ave. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (across MLK Jr. Blvd from Legislative Hall). It will be on display until early June and is free and open to the public. Dr. Lloyd Mallory Jr. directs a contingent of the DSU Concert Choir as they perform during the ceremony in which the State Archives opened a new exhibit celebrating the 125-year history of Delaware State University. DSU President Harry L. Williams said it is an exhibit that everyone should experience. “It is very appropriate that this exhibit is being unveiled during Black History Month, because the story of DSU is a part of the history of African-Americans in this country, as well as being the lone representation from the state of Delaware in the story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in this country,” Dr. Williams said The exhibit – which features a wealth of photos and information covering DSU’s 125-year history – was unveiled during a Feb. 10 ceremony in which Gov. Jack Markell presented a proclamation celebrating Black History Month and also in which he signed a Joint House Resolution in which Delaware formally apologized for the slavery that took place in the state. The ceremony ended with a contingent of eight members from the DSU Concert Choir performing the DSU Alma Mater.

DSU Participates in Slavery Apology Ceremony

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(Center) State Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and State Rep. Stephanie T. Bolden (also a DSU alumna) hold up the Slavery Apology Joint House Resolution that they crafted as the primary sponsors and was signed by Gov. Jack Markell (standing next to Rep. Bolden) during a Feb. 10 ceremony at the State Archives. On the far left are DSU President Harry L. Williams and Rev. Rita Paige (daughter of former DSC President Luna I. Mishoe), who both were also a part of the ceremony.

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Delaware State University took part in a ceremony that featured Gov. Jack Markell’s historic signing of a Joint House Resolution that formally expressed Delaware’s apology for slavery. DSU President Harry L. Williams participated in the event, which took place at the Delaware State Archives and also had a healthy representation of DSU students, faculty and alumni. Gov. Markell signed House Resolution 10, which he explained apologizes “for Delaware’s historic role in enslaving people of African descent.” State Rep. Stephanie T. Bolden, who is a DSU alumna (Class of 1969), and State Sen. Margaret Rose Henry were the primary sponsors of the legislation. “The egregious sin of prior generations is not merely a fact of our state’s past. We cannot separate slavery from the challenges we face today in pursuit of ensuring Delawareans of all races have the opportunities to pursue their dreams and realize their potential,” Gov. Markell said. “A candid acknowledgement and acceptance of our past is the only way to understand our present and take full responsibility for our future.” After Gov. Markell signed the joint resolution, a contingent of eight members from the DSU Concert Choir sang the Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” For Rep. Bolden and Sen. Henry, the signing represented a legislative victory of historic proportions. “This is an important step in the history of this State, being the first state to ratify the constitution and the last to nullify slavery,” Rep. Bolden said. “I conclude as I began, asking God to bless the people of this Great State of Delaware as it heals from separate but equal, Jim Crow, the whipping post and all the ills of slavery.” The DSU president said it was appropriate for DSU to be a part of the Slavery Apology Joint Resolution signing. “The very property that is now known as Del State’s main campus was formerly owned by the Loockerman family, which owned slaves on this very land. In fact, there are bricks in the current Thomasson Building on campus that came from the slave quarters that existed on the property more than two centuries ago,” said Dr. Williams. “Just like the State of Delaware has come a long way, so has DSU.”

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