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The CAHSS Wins Battle of Colleges for 2nd Straight Year

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Representatives of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences -- Natalie Belcher, Rhonda Thompson, Dr. Donald Becker, Dean Marshall Stevenson, Dr. Adenike Davidson, Karen Robinson, Stephanie Hardwick-Brown -- display the Battle of the Colleges Trophy the college will hold for the second consecutive year.

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For the second consecutive year, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) has emerged at the top of Battle of the Colleges fundraising competition. The CAHSS once again surpassed the other four DSU colleges by raising $8,033.54 – surpassing its 2013 first-place winning total by a little more than $1,000 (7,023.01). While the CAHSS did some fundraising through a spring social gathering and a basketball tournament, the majority of funds its raised came from the personal donations of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends in the community. The CAHSS edged out the second place College of Business, which raised $7,908.00. “I’m sure I speak for all of the faculty, staff and students who are members of the CAHSS that we are proud and privileged to once again be called “The Best of the Best” in the Battle of the Colleges,” said Dr. Marshall Stevenson, CAHSS dean. “I want to thank this year’s Battle Captains Dr. Francine Edwards, Dr. Sam Hoff and Dr. Raymond Tutu and Mr. and Miss DSU, Charles Robinson-Sneed and Chascidy Reeves, who “rallied the donors” via social media, door to door appeals, phone calls, student newspaper ads and other activities such as our ‘Last Week of Class Bash’ and ‘Dollar Days’.” DSU President Harry L. Williams congratulates interim Dean Marsha Horton for the College of Education, Health & Public Policy's recognition as the Participating Challenge winner. The 2014 Battle of the Colleges featured a new competition this year – the Participation Challenge, which recognized the college that had the highest percentage of faculty and staff who made donations in this fundraising contest. The College of Education, Health and Public Policy (CEHPP), which raised the third highest amount ($4,628.12), won the Participation Challenge with 72 percent of its faculty and staff making donations. As the Participation Challenge winner, the CEHPP received $2,500. Rounding out the fundraising efforts, the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences raised $4,563.00; and the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology raised $1,200.00. In its second year, the Battle of the Colleges raised a total $26,332.66. Each college will use the money it raised to benefit its programs.

DSU Bands to Present Annual Spring Concert April 29

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The Spring Concert will feature performances by the Delaware State University Symphonic Band and the Delaware State University Jazz Ensemble. It is free and open to the public.

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The DSU Bands will hold their annual Spring Concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 29 in the Education and Humanities Theatre on campus. The Concert will be free and open to the public. The Spring Concert will feature performances by the Delaware State University Symphonic Band and the Delaware State University Jazz Ensemble.  Both groups are led by Randolph Johnson, director of bands.

DSU to Host Debate on Brown vs. Board Legacy April 30

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The Debate is free and open to the public.

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In observance of the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision that determined that segregation in public schools unconstitutional, Delaware State University will hold a panel debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 30 in the Longwood Auditorium (room 113) in the Bank of America Building. The event – entitled “Debating the Legacy of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education Ruling of 1954” – is free and open to the public. The panel will include: Jason Riley of the Wall Street Journal Kimeu Boynton, attorney and DSU adjunct professor Dr. Dolores Finger Wright, DSU associate professor of Social Work and civil rights advocate Jeff Shafer, of the Alliance Defending Freedom Leroy Tice, attorney and DSU Board of Trustees member In addition to a spirited exchange of ideas and thoughts by the participating panelists, there will also be opportunities for perspectives and questions to be shared by audience members. The debate is co-sponsored by the DSU Law Studies Program and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Dr. Amir Mohammadi to Assume New Post at Slippery Rock Univ.

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Dr. Mohammadi has held executive administrator posts at DSU since his arrival in 2006.

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Dr. Amir Mohammadi, who has been an instrumental part of the growth of Delaware State University since 2006, will be leaving the institution to assume a new post at Slippery Rock University (SRU) in Western Pennsylvania.   After serving a succession of executive administrator posts at DSU, culminating currently as executive vice president and University treasurer, Dr. Mohammadi will become the vice president of Finance and Administration at SRU, which has an enrollment of 8,300.   Dr. Mohammadi said that it has been a great pleasure to be a part of DSU for the last eight years.   “I am leaving with mixed emotions as my new career chapter means I must leave many friends and colleagues who I have come to deeply appreciate,” Dr. Mohammadi said. “It has been exciting to be part of the institution’s remarkable growth and development. DSU has a solid university infrastructure that is contributing greatly to its success, and I will continue to pay close attention to the ongoing fulfillment of the University’s potential in the coming years.”   He arrived at DSU in 2006 after serving in administrative posts at West Virginia University, where he was promoted 10 times in 15 years. At DSU he was promoted six times in his eight-year tenure. Among his positions, he first served as DSU’s vice president of Student Affairs from 2006 to 2007. He then was appointed as the vice president of Finance and Administration and University treasurer from 2007 to 2011. His title became executive vice president and University treasurer from 2011 to present.    In addition Dr. Mohammadi held other concurrent DSU posts: president of the Student Housing Foundation (2006-present), controller of the DSU Development Foundation (2008-present), board member and treasurer of the DSU Early College High School, and interim dean of the College of Business (2013-present).   “Dr. Mohammadi’s diverse array of responsibilities over the last eight years has resulted in a great number of successes at Delaware State University,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “He has been an integral part in increasing and managing DSU’s enrollment growth and has importantly helped DSU become one of the top ranked institutions among America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”   Among the accomplishments that took place under Dr. Mohammadi’s leadership:   Oversaw the development of the latest Campus Master Plan that will guide DSU in its physical infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years. Provided the leadership in negotiating a $12 million lease with an option to buy the 140,000 square foot Sheraton Hotel near the campus, which provides the University with an additional 300 residential beds for its on-campus student population as well as a site for its Early College High School. Created a partnership for energy reduction with the U.S. Department of Energy, resulting in DSU’s selection nationally as one of the nine institutions of higher education to become part of the Obama Administration’s Better Building Challenge in December 2011. Dr. Mohammadi’s finance creativity led him to develop an innovative financing alternative which has received national recognition. Reduced DSU’s energy consumption by $5.3 million, decreasing deferred maintenance by $6.2 million, while reducing the University’s carbon footprint by 26%. This was accomplished through measures that increased efficiency and upgraded important facility systems by using innovative options for financing capital improvements with energy savings. Negotiating three MOUs with China, Malaysia and India, as well as negotiated a DSU presence in Vietnam. Led the acquisition of the Kirkwood Facility – formerly a U.S. Army Reserve Center in New Castle County – resulting in an expansion of the University’s academic offering in the northern part of Delaware. Provided the financial leadership in reaffirming and obtaining an A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s. Led the planning for the construction of DSU’s Strength and Conditioning Facility,  its Wellness & Recreation Center and DSU’s new Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center.   Dr. Mohammadi will begin his new post at SRU on May 19.     -0-  

DSU National Society of Leadership & Success -- Photos Slideshow

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The Executive Board of the DSU National Society of Leadership and Success repeat their leadership oath during the inaugural Induction Ceremony for the new organization.

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The DSU National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) held its inaugural induction ceremony for its first class of members – 358 students – on April 24 in a packed EH Theater. Characterized as a “journey of self-discovery, courage building, pursuit of true success, and continual action towards purpose” the event was the culmination of an inaugural semester that included over 10 hours of leadership development for students that completed the program. For images from the Induction Ceremony, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by information about faculty and administrators who were honored at the event : The inaugural Induction Ceremony included the presentation of awards to faculty and administrators, which were selected by DSU NSLS students. Honored were: Excellence in Service to Students Award Dr. David Tolley, Music Education Dr. Kylie Parrotta, Sociology Dr. Ladji Sacko, English and Foreign Languages.   Excellence in Teaching Award Dr. Francine Edwards, Mass Communications Dr. Susmita Roye, English and Foreign Languages Dr. Joe Amoako, English and Foreign Languages   Honorary NSLS Membership Dr. Harry L. Williams, University president Dr. Alton Thompson, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs Dr. Stacy Downing, associate vice president of Student Affairs    

DSU's Dr. Ladji Sacko named as a Fulbright Scholar for 2nd time

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Dr. Ladji Sacko will serve as a Fulbright scholar by teaching English instruction in West Africa.

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Dr. Ladji Sacko, associate professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, is DSU’s latest recipient of the J. William Fulbright Award. It is the second time that Dr. Sacko has been named as a Fulbright scholar. He previously received the award during the 2001-2002 school year, leading to his work in teaching English in Senegal that year. In connection with the current award, Dr. Sacko will spend the 2014-2015 school year at the University of Abidjan, in the country of Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in West Africa. During his time there, he will be training teachers to give English instruction in secondary schools. Dr. Sacko has been a DSU faculty member since 2004.

DSU's Dr. Michael Gitcho Receives $100,000 Research Grant

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Dr. Michael Gitcho, the recipient of a $100,000 grant for Alzheimer research, stands with Katie Macklin, executive director for the Delaware region of the Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter, during her recent visit to DSU. The national Alzheimer's Association provided the research grant for Dr. Gitcho's work.

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Dr. Michael Gitcho, a DSU assistant professor of biological sciences, was recently awarded a $100,000 research grant from the Alzheimer’s Association to support his ongoing investigations in the area of Alzheimer’s disease.    Dr. Gitcho’s research focuses on a protein (TDP-43) that is critical to the normal function of the brain cell.  When TDP-43 is altered, this results in the development of neurological diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and dementia.  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 70 to 80% of all cases, and the greatest risk factor is aging.    This progressive disease slowly destroys memory, thinking and reasoning, and over time it makes even the simplest tasks impossible to do.  Currently, there are an estimated 5.3 million people aged 65 and older with the disease and it is projected that over the next 10 years there will be an additional 10 million diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.    Dr. Gitcho and colleagues have observed that mice engineered to have a pathology similar to that observed in Alzheimer's disease also have an increased level of abnormal TDP-43 (TDP-43 has been found to be altered in up to 50% of those with Alzheimer’s disease).  Dr. Gitcho is hopeful that his research will provide insights into the relationship between TDP-43 and Alzheimer’s disease which could provide us a better understanding of how this devastating disease progresses and, in turn, lead to the development of new therapeutics.   Dr. Leonard Davis, chair, Department of Biological Sciences, stated that “Alzheimer’s disease is a major public health issue that devastates not only the patient but the entire family.  Dr. Gitcho’s research, supported by the Alzheimer’s Association, is opening new avenues of possible treatments that could remedy this disease.  It is a great opportunity for our students to participate in such ‘cutting edge’ research.”   Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, said that DSU is proud to partner with the Alzheimer’s Association. “In particular, we are pleased to have Dr. Gitcho working on a disease that affects such a vast number of citizens. Out of this collaboration, we look forward to building a stronger relationship with the Alzheimer’s Association as we grow the sciences at DSU, especially in the area of neuroscience,” said Dr. Melikechi, who also serves as the University’s vice president for Research, Innovation and Economic Development.   Dr. Gitcho joined DSU in the Fall of 2013 and maintains a lab in the Biological Sciences department.   The Delaware Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is the local arm of the national nonprofit organization, serving 18 counties in Delaware, South Jersey, and Southeastern Pennsylvania. The Chapter provides programs and services to more than 294,000 individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s or a related disorder. For information about the Chapter and the disease, visit alz.org/desjsepa, or call the 24/7 Helpline at (800) 272-3900. 

Senior SGA Group Lunches With DSU President

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(L-r) Chascidy Reeves, Palesa Motshidi, Jere' Hutson, Delvise Fogwe, Clarence Banks, DSU President Harry L. Williams, Jamil Huggins, Teryn Chamberlain, Johnnie London and Brieana Spraggins pose for a photo after having an April 17 lunch together.

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Nine DSU seniors can count a recent lunch with DSU President Harry L. Williams as one of the culminating highlights of their undergraduate academic journey. The seniors – all representatives of the DSU Student Government Association – had lunch with Dr. Williams in the Hardcastle/Selby Board of Trustees Conference Room on April 17. During that time, the DSU president got to know the students -- most of whom are graduating on time this May -- and also shared some of his life experiences. “I really appreciated him taking the time to get to know us on a personal level, and especially for the advice he gave us, because it came from the DSU president,” said Chascidy Reeves, the 2013-2014 Miss DSU. Teryn Chamberlain, president of the Campus Activities Board, said their time with the president was a reflection of their accomplishments that have taken place over four years. “It was an honor to share a lunch with him and for him to give us his experience and words of wisdom,” she said. Throughout his presidential tenure – which begin in January 2010 – Dr. Williams meets frequently with different groups of students to get know them and hear first-hand their concerns.

2014 DSU Earth Day Events -- Photo Slideshow

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As part of Earth Day, DSU was recognized for the 3rd straight year as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. With the award: (l-r) Vita Pickrum, chair of the DSU Go Green Committee; Dr. Susan Yost, DSU Herbarium educator; Dr. Michael Valenti, administrator of the Delaware Forest Service; DSU President Harry L. Williams; Dr. Richard Barczewski, chair of the DSU Dept. of Ag & Natural Resources; and Amir Mohammadi, exec. vice president and University treasurer.

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DSU held its annual observance of Earth Day on April 22 with a number of events, including the planting of a new tree outside the MLK Student Center, a number of exhibits and displays, a program and the first-ever #DSUNoShoes event. During the morning program, DSU was also recognized for the third consecutive year as a Tree Campus USA. For images of the Earth Day event, click on the below photo slideshow:

DSU to Present Holocaust Guest Lecturer Dr Joseph White April 23

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DSU will honor the upcoming Holocaust Remembrance observance with a guest lecture by Dr. Joseph Robert White, a research assistant with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 in the Longwood Auditorium (room 113) in the Bank of America Building on campus.   During the event – which is free and open to the public – Dr. White will speak on the subject of “From the Arctic Circle to Timbuktu: The Camps and Ghettos of the Axis Powers and Collaborator States.”   Dr. White is a research assistant with the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, where he contributes to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos and is editing Volume 3 of The Camps and Ghettos of European Regimes aligned with Nazi Germany.   Dr. White has published articles on Nazi camps in Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Journal of Jewish Identities; PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, as well as in Evoking Genocide: Researchers and Activists Describe the Works of Art and Media that Changed Their Lives.   He has also taught modern European history at a number of colleges and universities, including University of Maryland University College. He holds a Ph.D. in Modern European history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and AB and MA degrees in history from Georgia State University.   The guest lecture is co-sponsored by the DSU Law Studies program and the Center for Advance Holocaust Studies (of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum).

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