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Dr. Noureddine Melikechi Named Dean Over Science Disciplines

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Dr. Noureddine Melikechi has been named the permanent dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology after serving for more than one and a half years as the interim dean over those disciplines.

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  Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, a 15-year faculty member at Delaware State University, has been named as the dean of the institution’s College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. Dr. Melikechi had served as the interim dean of that College since October 2008. Dr. Melikechi is a native of Algeria where he graduated with a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures in Physics from the University of Sciences and Technology of Algiers. He then went on to the University of Sussex in England to pursue graduate work in the area of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics and received a Master of Sciences in 1982 and a Doctorate of Philosophy (D.Phil.) in Physics in 1987.  Dr. Melikechi joined Delaware State University in 1995 as an assistant professor of physics. He was promoted to associate professor in 1997 and attained full professor status in 2002. Since his arrival, he has been highly instrumental in the University’s development of optics curriculum and research. In 1998 Dr. Melikechi founded DSU’s Applied Optics Center, and later he was the principal investigator in research proposals through which DSU received two separate $5 million grants – in 2006 and 2009 – for optics research. As the result of those two grants, Dr. Melikechi founded the Center for Education and Research in Optics Sciences and the Center for Applied Optics for Space Science. These two centers are focused on developing the next generation of optical scientists and on developing new technologies that can be used for the early detection of threats, including cancer, and for space application. Dr. Melikechi’s impressive research track record will serve him well in his capacity as dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, as he will oversee other significant research initiatives that are ongoing in the areas of chemistry, neuroscience, biological sciences, computer science, physics and mathematics.      

DSU Awarded $2.5M Grant to Support MARC Program

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The $2.5 million NSF grant will help DSU's MARC Program to guide its top science students to doctoral degree programs and research careers.

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  Delaware State University’s efforts to produce high quality research from among its undergraduate students received a great shot in the arm recently as the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences awarded the institution a five-year $2.5 million grant to support its Minority Access to Research Careers Program (MARC). With the funding, DSU will create and implement a strong educational and research training program to guide traditionally underrepresented groups into STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and into graduate training at the Ph.D. level.   “We are proud that DSU has secured this funding from the NSF because MARC is a major program for our students,” said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. “We look forward to building a strong and sustainable program that will prepare the next generation of STEM researchers.”   In awarding the grant, the NSF validated the proposal for the program developed by Dr. Melikechi, who is also the program director, and his faculty team – Dr. Fatma Helmy, professor of biology and MARC Program coordinator; Dr. Venugopal Kalavacharla, assistant professor of agriculture and natural resources; Dr. Chandran Sabanayagam, assistant professor of physics; and Dr. Cherese Winstead, assistant professor of chemistry.   MARC students must maintain a 3.25 grade point average or above and therefore are representative of the top STEM students at DSU. The program provides students with top notch research skills and exposes them to cutting-edge knowledge in those science areas, according Dr. Melikechi.  

2010 Faculty Excellence Awards Presented

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DSU's 2010 Faculty Excellence Award recipients: (l-r) Dr. Elizabeth Mansley, Dr. Sam Hoff, Dr. Draboljub Pokrajac and Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay.

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  Delaware State University has named the recipients of its 2010 Faculty Excellence Awards. The faculty members are:   Dr. Elizabeth Mansley – Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching An assistant professor of sociology who has been with DSU since 2007, Dr. Mansley’s teaching philosophy is to foster an active, cooperative learning environment that offers students multiple avenues to develop their sociological perspectives. She has developed two new upper-level sociology courses, and in her role as chair of the department’s Curriculum Review Committee she has led the successful effort to split the program into two separate degree-conferring majors.   In her University service, Dr. Mansley has chosen to serve on committees that have the greatest impact on teaching, such as serving as the chair of the Honors Council, secretary of the Academic Affairs Committee, advisor of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Club and as a member of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee.   Dr. Sam Hoff – Faculty Excellence Award for Service A George Washington Distinguished Professor and a professor of the Department of History, Political Science & Philosophy, Dr. Hoff has been with the University since 1989. He currently serves as the director of the DSU Law Studies Program – for which he in credited with being instrumental in establishing – and the graduate director of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.   He serves on the University’s Honors Council and Faculty Senate, and is the chair of the DSU Student Disciplinary Appeals Council, the Faculty Senate Faculty Research Committee, as well as the Academic Policy Committee of the Graduate Council and various other department committees.   Dr. Draboljub Pokrajac – Faculty Excellence Award for Research An associate professor of computer and information sciences who has been at DSU since 2002, Dr. Pokrajac has been the principal investigator on two research grants totaling more than $1 million. He has also been a co-principal investigator on major grants connected with the University’s Center for Research and Education in Optics Sciences as well as the Applied Mathematics Research Center. The total amount of grants for which he has provided grant writing and research leadership at DSU exceeds $11 million.   He is the author of 17 journal papers, 108 peer-reviewed conference papers, two book chapters and has served as the co-editor of two books. Among the numerous graduate and undergraduate students he has supervised, several have won prizes and have participated as presenters and co-authors at research conferences.   Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay – Faculty Excellence Award for Advising A research associate professor in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources who has been at DSU since 2003, Dr. Ozbay is currently supervising four graduate research projects, has supervised nine other previous graduate students, and has served on more than 10 graduate students’ research committees.   Dr. Ozbay has led students and research staffs in research programs in marine aquaculture, habitat restoration and water quality issues. She has also served as an academic mentor with the Office of Student and Academic Support Services.    

561 diplomas awarded during May 23 Commencement

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Jean Hollaway Coursey, a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Lewes, Del. cuts loose some excitement after receiving her diploma.

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  Delaware State University beat the rain Sunday by holding its 2010 Commencement in three smaller indoor ceremonies in which the institution presented 561 diplomas. It was the first Commencement for DSU President Harry Lee Williams, who is in his first year as the University’s top executive officer. Dr. Williams presided over all three Commencement ceremonies, held at 9 a.m., 12 noon and 3 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Gym on campus.    DSU’s 2010’s graduating class totaled 435 bachelor’s degrees, 118 master’s degrees and eight doctoral degrees. The class of 2010 produced 135 honor students, which included 27 Summa Cum Laudes (3.75 GPA or above), 38 Magna Cum Laudes (3.5 to 3.74), 58 Cum Laudes (3.25 to 3.49) and 12 honorable mentions. In addition to the Commencement, on Saturday, May 22 the University recognized its top academic students during its Honors Convocation, which featured Delaware Gov. Jack Markell as its keynote speaker. Keynote speaker Dr. Steve Perry urged the DSU graduates to focus on not only making a living, but also on making a positive difference in the lives of others.     The Commencement ceremonies on Sunday were attended alternately by Gov. Markell, U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle, state Rep. Darryl Scott and Dover Mayor Carlton Carey, as well as DSU Board of Trustees Chairman Claibourne Smith and several other members of the board.   Dr. Williams presented Presidential Academic Excellence Awards to two graduates who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout their undergraduate years –Cameron Hinderer, a physics major from Wyoming, Del., and Adam Johnson, a computer science major from Georgetown, Del.   The DSU president also presented a Presidential Leadership Award to Crysta Nicole Tilghman, a psychology major from Wilmington, Del. In addition to maintaining a 3.5 GPA, Ms. Tilghman served as Miss Junior and Senior Class vice president in the DSU Student Government Association and was a member of several academic organizations. She also served as a peer counselor for the DSU Office of Counseling, a mentor in the Big Sister, Little Sister program and donated her time to several other community service activities.   The youngest undergraduate in the class of 2010 was Jasmine Monique Bolton, a 20-year-old Cum Laude student who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications/Public Relations. The oldest undergraduate was Donna Shelton, a 54-year-old Dover resident who earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. The oldest overall graduate is James D. Lane, a 73-year-old Wilmington resident who earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership.   (L-r)Ashley Miclette and her mother Alberta Miclette graduated together this year, with daughter earning a BA in Education and mom earning a MA in Educational Leadership. The Commencement keynote speaker was Dr. Steve Perry, the founder and principal of the highly successful Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Conn. Dr. Perry is the author of several books, an education contributor for CNN and is a widely sought education expert in the country.   Dr. Perry, who gave his address at all three Commencement ceremonies, told the graduates that while they had achieved something great in earning their degrees, they should look not only toward making a living, but also “making a loving” that will help others make it through their life journey in a positive manner.   “You now all have a responsibility to improve the circumstances of those around you,” Dr. Perry said. He added that with all the people, especially families, who helped support them in getting their degree, the DSU graduates' degree achievements what was expected.   “You need to do now what you’re supposed to do – take care of your family, yourself and other people,” Dr. Perry said.   In her challenge address to her fellow graduates, Senior Class President KaLonna Maull reminded her fellow graduates that they should remain ever steadfast in their support of their alma mater, "to ensure that our institution remains an indispensable catalyst and stepping stone for aspiring intellectuals, so that they too can make their mark on the world."   Sr. Class President KaLonna Maull called on her classmate to continue to support DSU. Ms. Maull noted that the class of 2010 has already expressed that support by becoming the first-ever graduating class to create a giving campaign as its parting gift to the institution. "We dug deep into our own personal pockets and these efforts allowed us to raise, $2,000 in scholarship funding," she said.   During the DSU Commencement weekend, the University honored the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1960 during a reception on Saturday, May 22 in the new Martin Luther King Student Center. Fourteen 1960 graduates of then-Delaware State College  returned to their alma mater this weekend, donned robes and took part in both the May 22 Honors Convocation and the May 23 Commencement.    

Former Hornet Editor-in-Chief honored by NABJ

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   DSU alumnus Michael J. Feeney, currently a reporter with the New York Daily News, has been named the 2010 Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.  NABJ President Kathy Times said Feeney was chosen over other young journalists because he "represents where journalism is and where it's going." "He has covered multiple beats in print and lives in a multimedia world," Times said. "His fresh energy and eagerness to learn are perfect ingredients for an emerging journalist."   Mr. Feeney, who earned a BA in Mass Communication (Print Journalism) in 2005 at DSU, clearly prepared himself to make his mark on the world during his four years at DSU. He worked for The Hornet Newspaper during his entire academic journey, beginning as a writer his freshman year and then serving as the editor-in-chief during his senior year. He also served on the Student Government Association and was a member of the DSU chapter of the NABJ.   DSU alumnus Michael Feeney                  Photo by Pearl Gabel, NY Daily News The pinnacle of his four years at DSU was being honored with the 2005 Presidential Leadership Award.   After graduation, Mr. Feeney was hired immediately as a reporter by the Associated Press. He later wrote for The Record of Bergen County (N.J.) before he moved last year on to his current job with the New York Daily News.   Raised in Teaneck, N.J., Feeney said he hopes to be a role model to other up-and-coming journalists.   "It encourages me to help other people follow their dream," said Feeney, who also writes the pop culture blog Mfeenz.com. "Working at the Daily News is my dream. I'm living my dream right now."   He will receive the award in July at the NABJ annual convention in San Diego.                          

Alumna Quincy Lucas Honored by MEAC and DEMCO

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(L-r) Lorene Robinson, director of DSU Alumni Relations, DSU President Harry L. Williams, Quincy Lucas and Diedre Ottley, president of the DSU Alumni Association, show off Ms. Lucas MEAC award during the conference tourney.

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    DSU alumna Quincy Lucas and her passionate advocacy against domestic violence continued to draw accolades and recognition in the spring 2010 as she was honored by both the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Delaware Multicultural and Civic Organization.   The MEAC presented Mrs. Lucas with its 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award during the MEAC Basketball Tournament in Winston-Salem, N.C. last March. She was honored along with other awardees selected from the other MEAC-member schools.   On May 8, the Delaware Multicultural and Civic Organization made Ms. Lucas one of five recipients of its annual Shofar Community Awards.   Both of the awards were in recognition of Mrs. Lucas and her organization Witney’s Lights, which works to promote domestic violence awareness and advocate for greater legal protection for victims. Ms. Lucas founded the organization in memory of her sister, Dr. Witney H. Rose, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2003 in Baltimore.  

Board of Trustees Approves Tuition and Fees for 2010-11

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  The Delaware State University Board of Trustees today unanimously approved the institution’s tuition structure for the 2010-2011 academic year, which includes modest increases. This comes after a year in which there were no increases. The board approved a modest 3.5% increase for in-state tuition ($100 increase per semester) and a 4% increase for the year for out-of-state tuition ($259 increase per semester). The Student Center Complex Fee will also increase by $25 for a total $225 per semester. None of the other regular fees will be increased.   In addition, the board also approved a 3.5% increase for the room and board rates in the University’s seven traditional on-campus residential halls. The semester cost to reside in traditional student housing now ranges from $3,164 to $3,397. Residential meal plans per semester range from $1,501 to $1,693.   The rates for the on-campus University Village Apartments and the institution’s off-campus University Courtyard Apartment complex will be set after those facilities’ Housing Foundation meets in the near future to determine their charges for the upcoming school year.   DSU President Harry L. Williams said the increases are necessary due to rising energy costs and state budget cuts that stem from the current nationwide economic challenges. “The DSU administrators and the University’s Board of Trustees have worked hard to minimize the impact of these challenges on students and their families,” Dr. Williams said. “The result is an increase that is very modest, especially in light of the fact that it follows a year in which there was no increase in tuition and fees.”   The history of DSU increases over the last two years compares favorably to other institutions such as Norfolk State, Virginia State, Howard University, Hampton University, Temple University, Rutgers University, Cheyney University, Lincoln University and the University of Delaware, which have all increased their tuition between 9% and 14% in that period.   In that same two-year period (2008-09 to 2009-10) DSU increased only by 5.5%.   “Even with this year’s increase, DSU is still a ‘best-buy’ in higher education,” Dr. Williams said.  

Two DSU Students Receive Del. Academy of Science Awards

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  Two DSU students have been honored with the 2010 Delaware Academy of Science Award. Tayyaba Toseef and Tim Pierpoint, both junior biology majors, have been recognized for the award for their scholarship and research endeavors.   Ms. Toseef, of Camden, Del., has been engaged in development neuroscience research with Dr. Princy Mennella, assistant professor of biological sciences. She is going into her junior year with a 3.7 GPA. Tim Pierpoint and Tayyaba Toseef, 2010 Delaware Academy of Science Award recipients, with Academy representative James Neal     Mr. Pierpoint, of Felton, Del., conducted molecular genetics research with Dr. Harbinder Dhillon, assistant professor of Biological Sciences. He will begin his senior year in the fall with a 3.9 GPA.  

Sophomore Guard Jay Threatt Finishes Season No. 1 in Steals per Game

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The defensive intensity of Hornet guard Jay Threatt during the 2009-2010 made him tops in the nation in steals per game average.

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    With the NCAA Basketball Tourney settled and the season statistics tallied, DSU Hornet Men sophomore guard Jay Threatt has emerged with the top steals per game average in the nation.   Threatt, who completed his first Hornet basketball season during the 2009-2010 campaign, led all Division I NCAA teams with a 2.83 steals per game average (82 steals in 29 conference and non-conference games).   The five-foot, 11-inch guard from Richmond, Va., just surpassed the second place player in that defensive category, Duquesne junior forward Damian Sanders, who had 2.78 steals per game.   Threatt was also only one of two MEAC players to make the top 35 in that defensive category; he was joined by Norfolk State senior guard Michael Deloach, who was eighth with 2.63 steals per game.   Establishing himself as a starter in his first Hornet season, Threatt not only lead the nation and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in steals per game, he also led the MEAC in assist/turnover ratio (2.3). He was second in the conference in assists with 4.2 per game and fifth in the league in minutes played per game average (34.4).   In those 29 games, Threatt averaged 7.9 points per game, fifth among Hornet players. His 22 three-point goals were third on the team.   Academically, Threatt is a sport management major.  

DSU Selected to Receive Kresge Foundation Fellowship Award

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DSU President Harry L. Williams stands with the DSU Green Ambassadors, a student organization dedicated to supporting DSU sustainability goals. Such endeavors have helped DSU obtain the Kresge Fellowship Award.

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    Delaware State University has been awarded a 2010 Kresge Foundation Fellowship Award that will provide it with significant opportunities to build upon its current Go Green initiative for sustainability.   The environmental non-profit organization Second Nature, with funding from The Kresge Foundation, has presented fellowship awards to DSU and 24 other higher education institutions that were selected from 60 applicants. The selections were based on a diverse selection committee’s assessment of these institutions’ level of need, statement of interest, and campus sustainability capacity.             The fellowship provides a senior member of the college/university community with education on green building and sustainability in higher education and peer-to-peer networking opportunities. DSU has selected Vita Pickrum, associate vice president of Development and chair of the University’s Go Green Committee, to represent the school in this fellowship opportunity.   This is the latest development in the University’s Go Green initiative that was launched last September when then-acting DSU President Claibourne Smith signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment to lead DSU to climate neutrality. With that pact, DSU joined 650 other universities in committing to reduce the campus’ carbon footprint.   This commitment led to the formation of the DSU Go Green Steering Committee which attracted more than 80 members. Seven subcommittees each play a role in focusing on green environmentally friendly and climate neutral measures that relate to the University’s procurement, curriculum and fundraising activities, buildings and facilities, as well as in disseminating information about its efforts to the campus community and the surrounding communities.   “We are elated to receive the Kresge Fellowship Award, as it will assist DSU in furthering its efforts toward sustainability,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “The award confirms that DSU is on the right path with its environmental priorities.”   “The Kresge fellows are becoming key players in the education for sustainability movement.  We’re thrilled to welcome the selected 2010 fellows to this effort, and we are excited to support them as they champion green building on their own campuses and beyond,” says Dr. Anthony Cortese, President of Second Nature.   A goal of the fellowship program is to offer university executives the information and networks requisite to become successful green building leaders at their own under-resourced campuses. These representatives will attend one of two noteworthy green building-related conferences for the year 2010, where they will have the opportunity for training, networking, and inspiration for campus green building.   The Kresge Fellowship Program is one of the key educational and outreach programs within the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative. This capacity-building initiative, launched by Second Nature and funded by The Kresge Foundation, focuses on addressing some of the crucial challenges faced by under-resourced colleges and universities to ‘build green’ on their campuses. Through this initiative, Second Nature is helping under-resourced higher education institutions build champions for green building and learn about the resources and networks available to construct and renovate campus buildings in ways that save money, reduce environmental and health impacts, serve as educational tools, and increase student enrollment.   For more information on Second Nature's Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative, please contact Ashka Naik, Program Manager, at anaik@secondnature.org. ----   The Kresge Foundation is a $2.8 billion private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six fields: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services, and community development. In 2008, it awarded 342 grants totaling $181 million. Second Nature is a Boston-based nonprofit organization that works to accelerate movement towards a sustainable future by helping senior college and university leaders in making healthy, just, and sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. Second Nature is the lead support organization of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which has been signed by more than 665 school presidents who are committed to eliminating carbon emissions on campus and training students to help society address climate change.       

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