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Dec. 12 President's Scholarship Ball -- Photo Slideshows

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During the fundraiser, DSU Community Partner Awards were presented to (l-r): DSU alumni Marion Gibbs, Dr. Reba Hollingsworth, Norman Oliver, and Bayhealth Medical Center CEO Terry Murphy, who are joined in the photo by DSU President Harry L. Williams.

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The annual President’s Scholarship Ball was held Dec.12 in the ballroom of the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. The well-attended fundraiser was emceed by alumni and actor Aaron Spears and featured the singing of Broadway legend and recording artist Jennifer Holliday. Ms. Holliday performed a number of songs from her career, including selections from Dreamgirls (the long-running Broadway production in which she was an original Tony Award-winning star) as well as from her latest album “This Song is You,” prompting several standing ovations from the crowd during the evening. Both Mr. Spears and Ms. Holliday graciously posed for photos with a number of DSU officials and supporters. For images of Ms. Holliday with others, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157662229270251/show For images for Mr. Spears with others, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157661787555660/show For other images from the President’s Scholarship Ball, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157661666251319/show

DSU Eminent Students Donate Toys to B&G Club

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Keith Wilson, Jahi Ross and Kevin Smith, officers in the Eminent student organization, stand with toys that the group donated Dec. 11 to go to the youths of the Boys and Girls Club of Simon Circle in Dover.

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Christmas for the youths at the Boys and Girls Club of Simon Circle was made merry by Eminent – a DSU student organization – which showed up to their Dover location bearing gifts. The officers of Eminent – Jahi Ross, Keith Wilson Jr. and Kevin Smith – delivered the gifts to the Boys and Girls Club on Dec. 11 to be shared with the children that are a regular part of that facility. The Eminent officers said community service is an important part of their organization. “We hold ourselves to a higher standard as kings and queens of Delaware State University, said Mr. Wilson, the Eminent vice president. “As members of this group, we work to be prominent and well-respected in our professions, in order to leave an Eminent legacy for others to follow.”

DSU Excels in Neuroscience Symposium Poster Competition

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(L-r) Joseph Lombardo, a DSU post doctorate, celebrates his first place poster competition award with Dr. Melissa Harrington, DSU professor of biological sciences, and Dr. Jeff Rosen, president of the Delaware Chapter of Society for Neuroscience and University of Delaware professor of psychology & brain science. Mr. Lombardo took the prize at the Dec. 4 Neuroscience Symposium and Poster Session in Newark.

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A DSU post doctorate research fellow, a Ph.D. candidate and an undergraduate recently made their mark  at the 8th annual Neuroscience Symposium and Poster Session, from which they brought back research poster competition awards to Delaware State University.                Karla Sanche Joseph Lombardo, a DSU neuroscience post doctorate from Torino, Italy, won first place in the post doctoral/research assistant category for his poster entitled “Prolonged Spinal Network Activation Induces Adaptive Alterations in Spinal Motoneuron Intrinsic Excitability.” Karla Sanchez, a neuroscience PhD candidate from Bowie, Md., took second place in the graduate division for her poster “Astrocyte Neuron Interactions in Synchronous Bursting Behavior.”                Xenia Davis Xenia Davis, a sophomore biological science major from Wilmington, Del., won the third place award in the undergraduate division with her poster “Synergistic Damage of Commercially Available Environmental Toxins in Parkinson’s Disease Models.”  The Dec. 4 Symposium was held at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute in Newark. The competition featured 38 poster presenters – six in the post doctoral/research assistant category, 18 in the graduate division and 14 in the undergrad division.  

President's Holiday Open House for Students -- Photo Slideshow

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DSU President Harry Williams takes a Kodak moment with Tommie Moore at his annual Holiday Open House for Students. Ms. Moore is a senior social work major who may be the oldest graduate who will walk across the stage at the May 2015 Commencement.

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Dr. Harry L. Williams welcomed DSU students and young ones from the University Child Development Lab at his campus residence for his annual Holiday Open House – which featured warm fellowship, good food and photo ops. For images of the DSU students at the President’s Residence, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157659683785873/show For images of the Child Development Lab young ones at the President’s Residence, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157661841493722/show

DSU's Nivette Perez-Perez Awarded NOAA Scholarship

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The $36,000 scholarship from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration will go a long way in helping her research on the early life of red deep sea crabs and her completion of her master's degree in Natural Resources.

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Nivette M. Pérez-Pérez, a DSU graduate student who is working toward a master’s degree in Natural Resources, has been awarded a $36,000 Graduate Research and Training Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Ms. Pérez-Pérez is a part of the DSU College of Agriculture and Related Sciences’ Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC). Her current research is focused on the survival and development of eggs and larvae of red deep sea crabs and testing the effects of diet and temperature in laboratory conditions. Her research project is a collaboration between Dr. Matthew Poach from NOAA’s James J. Howard Laboratory, Sandy Hook, N.J.; Dr. Bradley Stevens of the LMRCSC of University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Dr. Stacy Smith, senior research scientist, her advisor Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay, professor and extension specialist of natural resources, both of DSU, as well as the Atlantic Red Crab Company of New Bedford, Mass. This study will develop protocols to help maintain red deep-sea crab larvae in laboratory conditions. The immediate goal of this project is to collect baseline information needed to open new lines of experimentation with this species including topics of climate change, ocean acidification, advance development, and behavior. The long-term objective is to study the factors affecting the larval stages of the red deep-sea crab. Ms. Pérez-Pérez said that the scholarship is a significant development. “It puts me in touch first-hand with NOAA researchers and broadens my network within the NOAA community,” she said. “It will also broaden my skills and mold my future steps in my academic career.” A 2013 graduate of the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor of Science in Coastal Marine Biology, Ms. Pérez-Pérez is slated to complete her master’s degree at DSU in December 2016. Afterward she plans to pursue a Ph.D in fisheries. In addition to the scholarship, she will also receive a maximum of $7,000 from NOAA to cover costs for travel to present her finding at conferences. The Graduate Research and Training Scholarship Program is a pilot program designed to provide opportunities for graduate students that are supported at the Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions Cooperative Science Centers, like the LMRCSC, to participate in research at a NOAA facility with guidance from a NOAA mentor.   

Neuroscience Researcher Awarded $695,700 NIH Research Grant

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Dr. Hakeem Lawal, assistant professor of biological sciences, said the findings of his research could provide more insight concerning how neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease develop.

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Dr. Hakeem Lawal, assistant professor of biological sciences, has been awarded a $695,700 National Institute of Health/National Institute of Aging research grant that will support his work in better understanding neurotransmission system. The grant will fund a five-year study entitled “Cholinergic Neurotransmission during Aging,” which explores how deficits in the acetylcholine neurotransmission system result in cognitive and memory impairment in the aged.  The research will involve the use of the fruit fly to explore this neurological question, providing more insight into how neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease develop. More specifically, the research will determine how changes in acetylcholine release may cause alterations in behaviors (such as memory impairment) that occur as individuals age. The study also seeks to determine how gradual deficits in acetylcholine release affect properties of acetylcholine neurons during the aging process. Acetylcholine neurotransmission is necessary for performing normal tasks, such as movement, learning and memory. “The findings from this work could contribute to our understanding of the changes in the brain that cause age-related behavior decline,” Dr. Lawal said. “It could also ultimately help develop effective therapeutic strategies to address such behavior deficits.” Dr. Lawal, who has been a faculty member at DSU since 2013, is a researcher with Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research based at DSU in the Mishoe Science Center.    

Five Senior Capstone Artists Exhibit Works in Arts Ctr/Gallery

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Davon White of Dover, Del. stands with two of his digital imaging works that are part of the Current Senior Capstone Exhibition.

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DSU’s Department of Art is currently featuring its latest Senior Capstone exhibition in the Arts Center/Gallery in the William C. Jason Library on campus. Ashlynn Zulinsky stands with her thought provoking work. She is one of five Senior Capstone artists currently exhibiting works at the Arts Center/Gallery The exhibition is free and open to the public. The Arts Center/Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays thru Fridays. All of the current Senior Capstone artists are art majors who are in their final year at DSU. They include: Morgan Campbell of Dover, Del., who is exhibiting digital imaging works that tell the story of her family’s travail after her father’s death. She is slated to graduate in December 2015. Patricia Deel of Louisiana, who is exhibiting works that are expressions of her spiritual connection to her home state. “This is why I love Louisiana, her swamps, her bayous.” She is due to graduate in December 2015. Jeanene Motley of Bear, Del., who is exhibiting original characters from her children’s book in digital, colored pencil, acrylic paint and string. She is due to graduate in December 2015. Davon Winn of Dover, Del., is exhibiting a digital imaging collection. He is scheduled to graduate in May 2016. Ashlynn Zulinski of Wilmington, Del. who is exhibiting a mixed media collection of printmaking, pen/ink and watercolor. The works tells the story of everyday people who have found ways to deal with the stresses of life, but not in the best way. She is slated to graduate in May 2016.

DSU's Deshaun Crawford Awarded Apple Scholarship

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Deshaun Crawford will spend next summer as an Apple intern working on the computer giant's Special Projects Team as part of his selection as an Apple HBCU Scholar.

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The aspirations of junior computer science major Deshaun Crawford have expanded with his selection into the Apple HBCU Scholars Program. The computer giant’s selection of Mr. Crawford means that he will receive a $25,000 scholarship for his senior year at DSU, and also participate in a summer internship program with the company. He is one of 30 recipients of the Apple HBCU Scholarship selected from among HBCU students across the country. The program is the result of a partnership between Apple and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Diversity Initiative. “I will learn a lot about my major through working with Apple and it will improve my leadership skills,” Mr. Crawford said. “It could also lead to a job at Apple.” A native of New Brunswick, N.J. and a graduate of Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, Del., Mr. Crawford’s plans after DSU are to work in the corporate world for a period time and then ultimately creating his own company. The Apple HBCU Scholars Program is a boost to Mr. Crawford’s already robust academic experience. In addition to maintaining a 3.82 GPA, he works as a research assistant under Dr. Gary Holness, associate professor of computer and information science. “We are working on the development of an autonomous wheelchair, which once programmed will take a person where he or she wants to go without doing anything else,” Mr. Crawford said. He is also a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, as well involved in STOMPP (Skills, Talents, Opportunities through the Movement of Project Propel), which is a student organization that stems from the partnership between DSU’s College of Business and SAP, a major software corporation. As part of the Apple HBCU Scholars Program, Mr. Crawford will participate in a year-round program in which he will be paired with an Apple employee mentor who will help prepare him for his post-graduation career. The DSU junior will also serve as an ambassador for the program to build awareness at DSU about the Apple and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Diversity Initiative.

DSU Awarded Almost $900,000 in USDA Grants

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The USDA grant will support DSU projects in research, teaching and cooperative extension.

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DSU’s College of Agriculture and Related Sciences recently received almost $900,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture grant funding in support of projects in the areas of research, teaching and cooperative extensions. The funding to DSU was part of more than $18 million that the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has recently awarded through 53 competitive grants to support research teaching and extension activities at 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities. The grant awarded to DSU will go toward the following projects: A $499,982 research grant for “The Development of Epigenomic Tools in Legumes – Global Understanding of Biotic Stress Methylomes and Transcriptomes in Common Beans.” Dr. Venugopal Kalavacharla, grant principal investigator (PI) and associate professor of agriculture and natural resources, and his team will use cutting-edge molecular genetics and epigenomics techniques to better understand the resistance and susceptibility mechanisms for rust resistance in beans. This is a collaborative project between researchers at DSU, the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mayville State University. A $149,838 teaching grant for “Nanomaterial Detection in Food, Water and Environmental Waste by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry.” This grant will enable DSU to acquire a Mass Spectrometer instrument to support the teaching nanotechnology concepts to food science students. Students will learn hands-on preparation of nanoparticles currently used in food applications and nanoparticles analysis through this mass spectrometer. The project has relevance to food science and agriculture, and will contribute to the development of the next generation of agricultural and food scientists. Dr. Daniela Radu is the PI for this grant. A $249,993 extension grant for a “Collaborative Initiative to Assess and Develop Intervention Programs to Combat Obesity among Low-Income Families.” This project will develop outreach initiatives to improve nutrition education to help consumers understand serving size demonstrated on food packages and promote the reading of “Nutrition Facts” panels as important tools to combat obesity and other eating disorders. This project also aims to strengthen collaboration between DSU’s Food and Nutritional Sciences Program and its Cooperative Extension to develop educational programs that can be effective in changing poor dietary habits in socioeconomic disadvantage communities. Dr. Samuel Besong, chair of the Department of Human Ecology, is the PI of this grant.  

DSU Former President W.B. DeLauder Receives Morrill Award

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Former DSU President William B. DeLauder (left), shown here at a past University event with U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and DSU President Harry L. Williams, recently was presented the Justin Smith Morrill Award in recognition of his long contributions to food and agriculture sciences.

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        Dr. William B. DeLauder The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently presented DSU President Emeritus William B. DeLauder with the Justin Smith Morrill Award in recognition of his long contributions to food and agricultural sciences. Presented on Nov. 15 at the Association of Public and  Land-grant Universities Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., the recognition coincided with Dr. DeLauder’s presentation during the event’s Justin Smith Morrill Lecture entitled “1890 Land-Grant Universities: 125 Years of Providing Access and Opportunities for Success.” The NIFA praised Dr. DeLauder for his service as an educator and leader at land-grant universities. He was credited with conducting studies that would better such institutions of higher education and serving on boards to further science and agriculture research and education. Dr. DeLauder was president of Delaware State University from 1987-2003.  

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