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Top Dog/Underdog Dramatic Play POSTPONED

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Mark Reid (l) as Lincoln and Aaron Bell as Booth were slated to star in the two-actor Pulitzer Prize winning production "Top Dog/Underdog" in a drama that deals with the issue of sibling rivalry. Mr. Reid, a community actor not enrolled at DSU, was injured in an accident at his home, forcing the play to be postponed the night before its opening night. The play has been rescheduled for Nov. 13.

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  October 9, 2009   The Oct. 15-16 performance of the Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pulitzer Prize winning drama Top Dog/Underdog at DSU has been postponed due to an off-campus accident that injured one of the performers of the two-actor drama.   The play will be rescheduled to place in a 7:30 p.m. performance on Friday, Nov. 13 in the Education and Humanities Theatre on campus. It will be free and open to the public.   Community actor Mark Reid, a non-student, suffered a serious but non-life threatening injury in his home on Oct. 14. He was to have played the role of Lincoln opposite Aaron Bell, a DSU student-actor, who was to have portrayed the role of his brother Booth.          

2010 Commencement date changed

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  September 21, 2009 Delaware State University has changed the 2010 Commencement to May 23 because the previously set date would conflict with the Dover Downs race weekend. Dover Downs informed DSU officials that NASCAR had moved its race weekend dates to May 14-16, prompting the University’s change in the 2010 Commencement date to avoid the conflict with the mass of race fans that come to Dover that weekend.  

Alumna to be honored as Delaware Futures product

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  September 21, 2009 DSU alumnus Ronika Money, class of 2002, will be honored as a successful alumnus of the Delaware Futures Program at the organization’s Alumni Luncheon to be held at the DuPont Gold Room at 12 noon Friday, Oct. 16. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., will be the keynote. Ms. Money, currently a coordinator for the Student Services and Involvement at Pennsylvania State University at Brandywine, is spent five year as part of the Delaware Futures Program while she attended Newark High School, Del. She credits the Delaware Futures Program for being instrumental in preparing her for higher education.   “It allowed for me to complete my four years at Del State by paying for my tuition,” I am a first gen college student, and I didn’t even know what a FASTA Form was before Del. Futures. Since 1994, Delaware Futures provides academic, social and motivational support and cultural enrichment that empowers economically disadvantaged high school students to recognize and fulfill their unrealized potential and become matriculated college students. Not only did Ms. Money earn her bachelor of science in psychology at DSU, but she also went on to earn a master of arts in higher education from Indiana University. For ticket information to attend the Delaware Futures Annual Alumni Luncheon, contact Denise Tolliver, executive director, at 302.652.8609.

DSU Receives $5 million NASA research grant

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  September 30, 2009 Delaware State University has been awarded a $5 million research grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to establish a NASA-URC Center for Applied Optics for Space Science (CAOSS) on campus. Graduate optics student Alissa Mezzacappa speaks about her excitement about being involved with the research the NASA grant will fund. Standing with her are doctoral optics student Maurice Smith and Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, the principal investigator of the research grant.             Photo by Sarah Robertson The grant was announced today during a media event on campus in which DSU Acting President Claibourne D. Smith was joined by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, the research grant’s principal investigator, in celebrating the achievement. CAOSS will foster new NASA-related developments based on optical sciences and technology as well as enhance the national aerospace science and technology workforce. The new center will also develop partnerships with industry, NASA research centers, federal laboratories, and minority and non minority-serving colleges and universities. The CAOSS will also inspire and engage students from underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The research center will work in conjunction with an established optics research center, the Center for Research and Education in Optical Sciences and Applications (CREOSA), which will be funded through the National Science Foundation-Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology program. The two centers will be merged within one year to become the Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR). “Since 1997, the University’s optics faculty has been steadily developing the capability and infrastructure to take on more and more complex research projects,” said Dr. Smith said. “Today’s announcement of another $5 million research grant reflects that America has a sound confidence in our optics scientists.” The principal investigator is Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, interim dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, as well as the chair of the Department of Physics. Dr. Melikechi, who first arrived at DSU in 1995, was the founder and director of both the University’s first Applied Optics Center in 1997 and later CREOSA in 2006. The newly established research center will initiate research programs in Planetary Science, Space Communications & Navigation, and Astrobiology. The proposed projects will support the goals of NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, the Science Mission Directorate and the Space Operations Mission Directorate. The projects will include the development of optical instrumentations for space operations infrastructure, such as space atomic clock and optical gyroscope, polarimetric laser detection and ranging, and an augmented reality visor interface for human-robot interactions and emergency medical support of astronauts. “CAOSS will also be involved with Mars exploration through its research and development of the ChemCam Mars Rover LIBS instrument and a remotely-operated laser scanning confocal microscope for analysis of extraterrestrial environment,” said Dr. Melikechi.” The center will collaborate with Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA/NSSTC Astrobiology Laboratory, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Northwestern University, Juxtopia®, Vassar College and the Delaware Aerospace Education Foundation on various projects.  

DSU TV production students work NASCAR

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DSU television production students Anthony Edwards, John Haynesworth, Salihah Wilson, Kevin Davis and Nicole will assist ESPN and ABC-TV with the broadcasts of this weekend NASCAR races in Dover.

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  September 25, 2009 When ESPN and ABC-TV crews broadcast the Sept. 26-27 NASCAR races in Dover, five DSU mass communication majors will be assisting them in televising both races to worldwide audiences. The five television production students – Anthony Edwards, John Haynesworth, Salihah Wilson, Kevin Davis and Nicole Brown – will work as production assistants for both networks. They will be doing everything from helping with monitors, transporting equipment and anything else is needed.   “It gives us real world experience on how a live production is done,” said Kevin Davis, a junior who has also been selected to work as a production intern for NBC-TV at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.   The opportunities to work with the major networks at this year’s NASCAR races in Dover were facilitated by Vince “Chelli” Ciammaichelli, broadcast studio manager/instructor. “A lot of my efforts are geared to get my students in the broadcast arena,” Mr. Ciammaichelli said. “Anytime I can get the students out of the classroom and into the studio or the field with the broadcast professionals, it is great for their overall experience and growth.”   John Haynesworth, a senior mass communication major, said Mr. Chelli’s efforts are appreciated. “Opportunities like this allow us to see what goes on behind that scenes and gives us a better outlook on what we want to do,” he said. “It allows use to see and be a part of the professionalism that is involved.”  

Alumna and faculty member gives Convocation address

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  September 21, 2009 The 2009 Convocation featured Dr. Cherese Winstead, DSU assistant professor of Chemistry, as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Winstead is also a DSU alumna who has come home to give back academically to her alma mater. Understanding the current DSU Student Government Association’s theme of “Smart is the New Cool.” Dr. Winstead decide to affirm that belief in the following Convocation address she gave on Sept. 10 in the Education and Humanities Theatre: As an alumna of Delaware State University, I once sat where you sit today and believe me, the last thing I ever expected as a freshman is that one day I would stand before you as faculty of Delaware State University. Students, you are living during an exceptional time, attending one of the greatest universities in the first state that helped to elect the first African American President Barack Obama, our nations Vice President from the first state of Delaware, Joseph Biden, the first administration to select the first black Attorney General, Eric Holder and the first Hispanic Supreme Court Chief Justice, Sonia Sotomayor.  These are tremendous advancements in our history of which you all played an important part… and you have the opportunity to pave your own destiny here at Delaware State University.  We know that the decisions we make have a effect on our future. As you make decisions in life, You need to ask yourself, “Will it, help or hinder my progress, and would I be comfortable with that same decision if it were broadcast on CNN or published in the local newspaper?" Now, I want to engage you in another activity and I’ll need full audience participation. I’m going to name two people and I want you to tell me which one made the best choice!  Donovan McNabb ….or Michael Vick? Donovan McNabb is a great leader and well respected quarterback in NFL. Michael Vick is a great athlete still struggling to regain his character. The path you take is about the choices you make! Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson? Both are great fighters but Muhammad Ali is known for his character and leadership –a living legend, and Mike Tyson… well, let’s just say he should have had a good meal before he fought Holyfield. The path you take is about the choices you make! JayZ or TI? Now some of you may have thought I was saying letters of the alphabet but these are actually hip hop artists. The answer is JayZ. He is clearly defined as a hip hop mogul.  I know you like TI, but he’s made poor choices plain and simple — he’s in jail! The path you take is about the choices you make! Lebron James or Kobe Bryant? Even though Kobe Bryant made MVP and took the Lakers to the championship; Lebron James is well respected both on and off the court because of his character. The path you take is about the choices you make! Biggie or Tupac? Both are Hip Hop icons but neither made the best choices! The path you take is about the choices you make! Whitney Houston or Bobby Brown? Well…let’s just leave that one alone. The path you take is about the choices you make! Last but not least… George Bush or President Barack Obama? Please let us learn from our mistakes. The path you take is about the choices you make! So students… To be a great leader… or not. To study or not. To graduate or not. The path you take is about the choices you make … each and every day. Dr. Winstead said success or failure is all about choices. Now the take home message is not to say that you won’t make some bad choices in your life – life is about learning from the mistakes.The key is to minimize the negative effect of your decisions on yourself and others.  Remember, the path you take is about the choices you make. But at the same time, students, let’s not make the type of mistakes that involve academic probation, jail or bail. These are issues that students find themselves in due to poor choices. Please, let us find ourselves making choices such as, "Which graduate school should I attend? Which fellowship/ salary offer I’m going to accept?" or, "Should I go for a PhD, MD, or JD?" Now is the time for you to choose between longevity vs. short term gratification – or the so called "5 minutes of fame" Let me give you examples of the outcomes when choosing one or the other.  A final is coming up in a core course, say Mathematics 101. You choose to cram instead of taking the time all semester to understand the material. And say you pass (by the skin of your teeth no less). You give yourself a high five, dap, pound or whatever. Your whole aim was just to get out the class because you don’t want to...nor will you ever see it again, right? Wrong! Take my word for it you will see it again, in some form or fashion, and you will have to learn it all over again!  Longevity vs. short term gratification… Studying to learn vs. to simply pass. Successful people are those that apply learned concepts. You cannot apply if you never comprehended the concept. Study to learn vs. to just simply pass (heads up: passing the class – that’s the best case scenario). Instead of choosing to be the big man on campus for a couple of years, being the ‘flyest’ female on campus, partying with the frat or sorors, or athletes… telling the stories of your famed football/basketball career and then having to answer the age old question “so you went to Del State…when did you graduate?” and not having an answer to that question (embarrassing). How about being the man on the yard with the high GPA, the football player majoring in physics, the frat/soror with your goals in mind to be both smart and cool. Quick question: out of all entering freshman, who do you think makes up the largest proportion of students interested in science and engineering? African American males make up the largest proportion of students interested and intending to major in science and engineering – but only 8.8% graduate. What happens? Longevity vs. short term gratification. Young men, we need you to finish. So I charge you with setting your standard of being smart and cool. Young men, pull up your pants to be about business here at Delaware State University. Treat your peers with respect and not fashioned after what you hear on the airwaves. Young ladies, have your intellect be the first thing that a young man notices – intelligence is beauty. I promise, you can be a Michelle Obama too! And just remember, our First Lady chose the right man.  In a few years – and it will go fast – when all the parties stop, when your friends have married and moved on to raise families, and you’re working in your respective professions. Smart will still be in style.  Keep in mid that being “cool” without the being smart is merely a trend. At Delaware State University, we think that it’s cool to be smart. We urge all of our students to take charge of their future – no matter what anybody thinks. We encourage you to study hard; do not accept mediocre grades, and to take pride in yourself and your accomplishments. Some of the students here today who recently graduated from high school can attest to feeling that you could have done better, that you could have graduated as an honor student if you had only pushed yourself a little harder. Well, here you have the opportunity to apply yourself and prove to yourself that you can and will do better. So I ask you to become the student you know you can be. And while it’s good to socialize and get together with friends, your main focus should be on your studies. It’s good to have friends and value their opinions, but always remember to be true to yourself – your greater self. Remember the key to a successful academic career is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Hopefully, by now, you realize that the path you take is about the choices you make – so try to make good and informed choices.  When it comes to your studies, expect more of yourself, courses will become more difficult each year. Make sure that you dedicate the time to your courses to ensure a good academic standing and a sound comprehension. We are proud of you and we want you to be proud of Delaware State University. We're glad you're here! Congratulations, God bless, I’ll see you in Chemistry class. Hopefully only once!      

Music students represent DSU in Washington, D.C. and Germany

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  September 18, 2009 A choir student and four brass musicians – all from Delaware State University – continued their musical development on the respective stages of Washington, D.C. and in Germany. James Henry DeShields represented DSU as he sang with the 2009 concert of the 105 Voices of History National Choir, which performed on Aug. 30 at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  James Henry DeShields (right) is all smiles after his performance. With him is Dr. Curtis Powell, DSU director of choral activities, who attended the concert in Washington, D.C.  in support of his student     The concert was the second annual performance of the 105 Voices of History National Choir, which combined 105 outstanding vocalists from historically black colleges and universities across the country to form a remarkable and powerful choir.  Mr. DeShields said it was a great opportunity for him to experience different singing styles. “I learned that singing should not only be a pastime, but should also express one’s inner passion and talent,” Mr. DeShields said. “Under the direction of four national conductors, we, the 105 Voices of History National Choir were introduced to different conducting styles and techniques.” The DSU Brass Quintet also had a memorable summer experience as one of the invited ensembles to attend and perform at the Lichtenberg Brass Festival at the renowned Haus Marteau Chamber Music Institute of Germany. The DSU musicians – Matthew Brown and Williams Pitts on trumpets, Antione Hughes on french horn, Shawn Walker on trombone and James Fair on tuba – were engaged in intensive daily music rehearsals with two other invited ensembles and individual musicians attending the festival. They also experienced the country’s hospitality while they stayed with German host families. (Seated l-r) Matthew Brown, Shawn Walker, James Fair, Antione Hughes and William Pitts take their DSU Brass Quintet musicianship to a new level under festival instructor Jim Thompson watchful eye and sensitive ear. The DSU Brass Quintet and the other two ensembles gave a pre-concert on Aug. 7 in downtown Hof, Germany to promote the festival concert the following evening. During the concert the DSU Quintet performed a stirring rendition of “Remember Me,” in which they not only played their instruments, but also sang a verse. “The concert took place on the ruins of a castle built on the highest spot in the center of the village,” said Dr. Patrick Hoffman, DSU assistant professor of music and the quintet’s director. “The weather all week had been perfect and continued into that night to create the perfect atmosphere for an open-air concert.” Matthew Brown said that it was an amazing experience that he would will never forget. “It really benefited us as a group to tour on the other side (of the world),” Mr. Brown said. “The whole taste of the musicians over there is very baroque and classical; and their mentality of musicianship is on a very different level.” Dr. Hoffman formed the DSU Brass Quintet during the 2008-2009 school year.      

DSU joins other universities in fight against global warming

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  September 15, 2009 Delaware State University has joined a coalition of universities and colleges that have committed to take steps aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating all global warming emissions that come from their institutions. The DSU pledge came with the University’s Acting President Claibourne D. Smith signing of the American Colleges & Universities Presidents Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of 650 other institutions across the country. “DSU understands that global warming is one the greatest environmental challenges of our time,” Dr. Smith said. “Because human activities are responsible for the problem, it will now takes humans to work together to solve it. Serious actions are necessary to halt pollutants that are causing increased global warming, and DSU is committed to playing a vital part in this work.” Dr. Smith has established a “Going Green” Task Force which is creating a comprehensive action plan to move towards climate neutrality. The Task Force, chaired by Carolyn Curry, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, is working towards establishing green standards for DSU’s campuses. The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality – not just a reduction – as its target. This undertaking by America’s colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses. "Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations," said Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and a founding member of the ACUPCC Leadership Circle. "On behalf of all the signatories, I welcome DSU’s Dr. Claibourne Smith to the commitment, we are honored and pleased to have him join us." The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. Under the guidance and direction of the Leadership Circle of presidents, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, and ecoAmerica. Learn more at: www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org      

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