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Earth Day Marked by Dedicating Sustainability Garden

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Delaware State University highlighted Earth Day on campus by christening a new Sustainability Garden that underscored the institution’s commitment to be faithful environmental stewards.   The University held an April 22 ribbon cutting ceremony for the Sustainability Garden at its site just northeast of the Village Café. In dedicating the garden, DSU President Harry Lee Williams noted that vegetables grown on the plot will be served in the Village Café and sold at the DSU’s Farmer’s Market. The surplus will be donated to low-income families in the community.   “It is equally important that this Sustainability Garden will be an outdoor laboratory for our students to learn the full cycle of the food chain from growing, harvesting, selling and contributing to mankind,” Dr. Williams said. “It will beautify an area that would have been desolate after the removal of a temporary building that previously housed the University’s post office and student bookstore.”   The Sustainability Garden is the latest development in DSU’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 footprints.   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 and fundraising activities, buildings and facilities, as well as in disseminating information about its efforts to the campus community and the surrounding communities.    “The (DSU) colleges, the president and vice presidents, as well as the Student Government Association, are represented on every subcommittee and are actively involved in the greening of DSU,” said Carolyn Curry, DSU vice president of Institutional Advancement.   The DSU Go Green Committee is chaired by Vita Pickrum, DSU associate vice president for development.   More than 30 children from the University’s Child Development Lab took part in the dedication program, reciting an environmental pledge, singing a song, as well as taking part in the planting afterwards. The Sustainability Garden event highlighted a day full of Earth Day activities with a panel discussion, a tour of the DSU Aquaculture Pond Research and Demonstration Facility, and a DSU Lab School Playground Beatification project. The Village Café even served specially prepared “green eggs and ham” to mark the day.   The DSU Earth Days activities will continue on Friday, April 23 with a beautification project at the University Courtyard Apartments complex, a screening of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth at 10:30 a.m. and culminated by a 1:30 p.m. Campus Trees Nature Walk that will begin at the DSU flagpoles near the main gate of the campus.   DSU’s Go Green initiative was featured in the April 19-26 issue of Jet Magazine.      

Dr. Melissa Harrington Named ACE Fellow

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  The American Council on Education (ACE) has named Dr. Melissa Harrington, associate professor of biology at Delaware State University, as an ACE Fellow for academic year 2010-11. The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.   As part of the fellowship, she will spend a semester with a president or senior administrator at a yet-to-be selected university or college. The fellowship also requires Dr. Harrington to focus on an issue of concern to DSU                                Dr. Melissa Harrington Dr. Harrington said she will use the fellowship experience to assist the University in its reaccreditation self-study and strategic plan projects. “During my fellowship year, I would like to learn more about the strategic planning process at other universities, as well as how institutions assess and document their progress in meeting accreditation standards,” she said.   Melissa Harrington earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular Biology from Purdue University and a PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University. She joined the faculty at DSU as an assistant professor in biology in fall 2001 after four years as a faculty member at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga.   Dr. Harrington was promoted to associate professor in 2005 and has been promoted to the rank of professor effective August 2010. Since coming to DSU, Dr. Harrington has led 17 successful grant partnerships that have brought over $13 million in federal funding to DSU for education, research and outreach efforts. In her role as the chair of the DSU Biology Curriculum Committee, Dr. Harrington was the driving behind the successful development of the Neuroscience Ph.D. program and the Forensic Biology Program.   She was nominated for the fellowship by Dr. Harry L. Williams, who submitted her name in his previous capacity as the University’s provost prior to being elevated to the DSU president’s post.    Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.   Dr. Sharon A. McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program, noted that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the nearly 1,700 participants in the first 45 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents, or deans.              

Choral Festival -- Photos and Videos

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Choral Festival directors; (l-r) Damon Dandridge, Cheyney University, Edryn J. Coleman, Lincoln University (Pa.), Dr. Sheila McDonald-Harleston, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Prof. Roland Marvin Carter (guest conductor) Dr. Marymal Holmes, Bowie State University, Dr. Curtis Everett Powell, DSU, along with Dr. Marshall Stevenson, dean of the DSU College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

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In addition to the above photos, performance of the DSU Concert Choir singing "In Bright Mansions" and the Mass Choir sing "Lift Every Voice and Sing can be heard on the below video links: Mass choir   In Bright Mansions   Delaware State University hosted an unprecedented campus event on April 18 when it hosted the "I, Too, Sing America" Choral Festival that featured performances by five outstanding HBCU choirs from Bowie State University, Cheyney University, Lincoln University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the host DSU Concert Choir. Each choir performed three selections and then the choirs came together as a 300-voice mass HBCU choir. The mass choir performed three selections, including James Weldon Johnson's Negro National Anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing" as arranged by Roland Carter (who also directed the mass choir that evening).

McNair Scholars Excel in Research Poster Competition

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McNair Scholars Beta Kappa Chi Research Poster Competition Awardees: (l-r) Yahnique Newkirk, Mosunmola Akinbolajo, Darrynn Harris, Jennifer Gray, Kiona Bean.

 

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  The 2009-2010 McNair Scholars represented Delaware State University well at the March 24-28 67th annual Joint Conference of the National Institute of Science and Beta Kappa Chi in their performance in the poster presentation competitions. In the conference competition, jointly hosted by Dillard University and Southern University in New Orleans, La., the DSU McNair Scholars won the following awards with their poster presentations: 1st Place in Poster Presentations, ($300) Darrynn Harris, 2nd year scholar (Science Education) “Saving an Endangered Species: recruiting African American Males in Education” Mentor: Dr. Cecil Clark, Director of Field Education Experience, College of Education   Kiona Bean, 1st year scholar   (Psychology) “The Biological Risk Factors Found in Children of Schizophrenic Parents” Mentor: Dr. Gwendolyn Scott-Jones, Chairperson, Dept. of Psychology   2nd Place in Poster Presentations, ($200)   Yahnique Newkirk, 1st year scholar (Science Education) “Same Sex Parenting and the Social and Emotional Effect on Children” Mentor: Dr. Joe Amoako, Department of English and Foreign Languages   Jennifer Gray “Obesity: Factor that influence African American Women’s Attitudes toward Physical Activity and Exercise’ Mentor: Dr. Carla Murgia, Department of Sports Sciences   3rd Place in Poster Presentations, ($100)   Mosunmola “Moe” Akinbolajo, 1st year scholar   (Psychology) “Impact of Child Abuse on Violence in Later Life” Mentor: Dr. Anthony Hill, Department of Social Work    

Gov. Jack Markell to be Keynote Speaker at 2010 DSU Honors Convocation

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  Gov. Jack Markell will be the keynote speaker at the Delaware State University’s May 22 Honors Convocation at 6 p.m. in the Education and Humanities Theatre.                                    Gov. Jack Markell The Honors Convocation will recognize more than 100 students from the class of 2010 who have exhibited academic excellence in graduating Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum, as well as those who merit Honorable Mention.   Gov. Markell, a native of Newark, Del., is in his second year as the governor of Delaware. In his first 15 month’s as chief executive of the First State, Gov. Markell has signed landmark energy consumption legislation; signed a bill ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, insurance and employment; Prior his election as governor, he served three elected terms as the State Treasurer; and has pursued education reform with new initiatives in student progress testing, a pilot program to reward success in closing the achievement gap; and has been aggressive in address budgetary challenges amid the current economic downturn.   Prior to being elected in November 2008, Gov. Markell served four consecutive elected terms as the State Treasurer of Delaware. In the elected state position, he instituted state-of-the-art bulk purchasing policies for state government agencies, saving taxpayers more than $25 million; established “The Delaware Money School, a financial literacy program; promoted the awareness of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which provided money to families near the poverty line.   He began his career in the private sector helping lead the wireless technology revolution as the 13th employee at Nextel (a name he coined), where he served as senior vice president for Corporate Development. His other business experience includes a senior management position at Comcast Corporation, work as a consultant with McKinsey and Company and as a banker at First Chicago Corporation.   The Honors Convocation will be open to the public.    

118th Commencement to feature Dr. Steve Perry as Keynote Speaker

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  Delaware State University will feature renowned educator Dr. Steve Perry as its keynote speaker at the 117th Commencement to begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 23 at the Alumni Stadium on campus. Dr. Steve Perry is the founder and principal of the Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Conn. The year-round grade 6-12 school boasts a near 0% dropout rate and 100% of their graduates go on to college. The school’s success has made Dr. Perry a much sought-after speaker throughout the country on education issues.                           Dr. Steve Perry Born of a white teenage mother and black teenage father in the housing projects of Middletown, Conn., the 2010 DSU Commencement keynote speaker was greatly influenced by his mother’s activism in their community. He learned that life is not determined by where you begin, but by the path chosen. As he went on to college – where he earned a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Hartford – he was sustained by the philosophy of commitment and accountability he learned from his mother.   After establishing a non-profit organization for low income high school students aspiring to go to college, Dr. Perry founded the Capital Preparatory Magnet School in 2005. Arguably one of the top schools in country, Capital Prep Magnet School has maintained a 100% college acceptance record in its first five years of existence. Under the leadership of Dr. Perry, the school has established an ultra-high level standard of commitment and accountability for students, teachers, administrators and parents.   Dr. Perry is also the author of several books, including Man Up! Nobody is Coming to Save Us (2006) and Raggedy Schools: The Untold Truth (2009). He serves as an education contributor on CNN and is a widely sought educational expert in the country.  

Choir to Present "I, Too, Sing America" Choral Festival April 18

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The DSU Concert Choir will perform along with five other regional university choirs in the April 18 Choral Festival on campus.

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  Delaware State University’s Office of Choral Activities will present six university choirs in concert in the “I, Too, Sing America” Choral Festival at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 18 in the Education and Humanities Theatre on campus. The unprecedented DSU event that will bring together six different university choirs for one concert is free and open to the public.   The DSU Concert Choir will perform in the Choral Festival along with the choirs from Bowie State University, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Lincoln University, The University of the District of Columbia and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.   Each choir will perform individual selections and then join together as a more than 300-voice mass choir to culminate the Choral Festival with several grand finale selections.   Dr. Curtis Everett Powell, the DSU director of Choral Activities, said it will be a special treat for the DSU community and the public at-large to experience this event.    “This festival will provide an unparalleled opportunity for our students to hear not only the excellent individual choral groups, but also experience a performance by a 300-voice choir under the baton of one of this country’s premiere choral conductors, composers, and arrangers,” Dr. Powell said.   In addition to Dr. Powell, the choirs will be led by Dr. Marymal Holmes (Bowie St.), Professor Damon Dandridge (Cheney), Professor Edryn Coleman (Lincoln), Professor William Jones (Univ. of DC) and Dr. Sheila McDonald, (UMES).   The Choral Festival will also be attended by Dr. Roland Carter, distinguished composer, conductor and pianist, who is also the founder and CEO of MAR-VEL, a publishing company that specializes on the music and traditions of African American composers.   “We are deeply honored to be joined for the festival my mentor, Professor Roland Marvin Carter – composer and arranger of several of the selections performed by the DSU Concert Choir such as  “In Bright Mansions,” “True Religion,” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” Dr. Powell said.   

DSU to Hold Public Forum in New Castle County on April 15

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The April 29 Public Forum in Kent County gave DSU President Harry L. Williams (left) and the Blue Ribbon Commission valuable input from the public.

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  Delaware State University’s Blue Ribbon Commission will complete its series of public forums this week in New Castle County to help it develop a fresh new vision for the University’s future.. The public can attend the forum, which will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 15 at the NCCo Chamber of Commerce, 12 Penns Way, New Castle.   The Commission had a forum for Kent County on March 29 and earlier this week on April 13 in Sussex County. DSU President Harry Lee Williams says that it is important for the citizens of Delaware to embrace and participate in this new DSU initiative that will lay a roadmap for its future success.   “Delaware State University belongs to the state of Delaware, and it is therefore important for the institution to have the input of its citizenry to help it become a premier institution of higher education in the country,” Dr. Williams said. “In doing so, the residents of the state will also share in the greatness that will result from DSU’s earnest work to become one of the best universities for students to fulfill their academic and professional aspirations.”   Persons interested in attending are asked to register in advanced either online at www.desu.edu/BRC-forum or by calling the Office of the President at (302) 857-6001   President Williams established the Blue Ribbon Commission in January and has directed the group to complete is work in crafting a new vision for the University by the end of May 2010. The group is also charged with developing a set of values to help drive excellence.   The co-chairs of the 14-member commission are Dr. Dyremple B. Marsh, dean of the DSU College of Agriculture and Related Sciences, and Wayne Gilchrest, a retired U.S. Congressman from Maryland. They are joined by a diverse group that represents the faculty, staff, students and alumni of DSU, as well as state and federal government, public school system and the business community.   In addition, each member of Delaware’s Congressional Delegation – U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, U.S. Sen. Ted Kaufman and U.S. Rep. Michael N. Castle – is serving as honorary co-chairs of the Commission.   For more information on the Blue Ribbon Commission and the full list of its members, go to www.desu.edu/dsu-president-names-blue-ribbon-commission.      

DSU Receives Grant to Help 1st Year Students

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Scholarships from this grant will go toward 1st year STEM students.

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  The National Science Foundation has awarded Delaware State University a five-year grant of $600,000 to be used for undergraduate scholarships for students majoring in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines (known as STEM). The principal grant writer was Dr. Andrew Lloyd, DSU associate professor of biology. The co-grant writers were DSD STEM faculty members Dr. Chandran R. Sabanayagam, assistant professor of physics, Dr. Cherese Winstead, assistant professor of Chemistry, Dr. Clytrice Watson, assistant professor of biology, and Mazen M. Shahin, professor of mathematics.   “Our long term goal for this scholarship program is to increase the number of financially-disadvantaged, academically-talented students graduating from DSU with Bachelor of Science degrees in the STEM areas,” Dr. Lloyd said. “We will also work to strengthen their preparation for and interest in pursuing a Ph.D."   He said that scholarships will be awarded based on academic merit, level of financial need, commitment to a career in STEM, interest in graduate school and evidence of overcoming obstacles.  

Students Volunteer for Special Olympics

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DSU students (in white t-shirts) pose with Special Olympics athletes from the Charlton School: (bottom l-r) William Walter Pepper, Aaron Watson, Brittany Alston, Jason Anthony; (top l-r) Shawn W. Gordon, Jr., Cayla Lord and Francis Washington II.

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  Delaware State University students helped make it a special day for a host of youngsters as the University once again hosted the April 1 Special Olympics Delaware’s Basketball Skills competition in the Memorial Hall Gymnasium. About 50 DSU students volunteered their time to coordinate the competition events for children from 13 different Central Delaware public schools. The Special Olympics athletes competed in the following events; the Target Pass, Ten-Meter Dribble, Spot Shot and Speed Dribble. Special Olympics Delaware is an organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities.    

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