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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).

Drs. Berlin & Reba Hollingsworth Establish Endowed Scholarship

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Over the years, the couple has donated more than $23,000 to DSU.

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Longtime Delaware State University alumni supporters Drs. Berlin N. and Reba R. Hollingsworth recently presented Dr. Harry L. Williams a display check representing a $10,000 contribution to create the Dr. Berlin N. and Dr. Reba R. Hollingsworth Endowed Scholarship.   Undergraduate DSU students from rising freshmen to seniors with at least a 2.75 GPA and demonstrated financial need will be eligible for the scholarships.   Dr. Berlin met his wife of nearly 67 years, the former Reba Ross, while they were working summer jobs in Asbury Park, N.J. In 1947, Dr. Reba’s junior year at then-Delaware State College, they were married.   She graduated from DSC in 1949, completing a six year educational track that included graduating from the Laboratory High School in 1945. Upon earning her bachelor’s degree, Dr. Reba became a high school teacher and guidance counselor. Dr. Berlin matriculated a few years later at Delaware State, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1967.  After graduation, he was the first manager of the school’s student center. He went on to spend 22 years in the public school system.   Dr. Berlin served as principal and Dr. Reba served as counselor during summers in the 1970s when they conducted student study tours throughout Europe and coordinated study tours for foreign students throughout the United States. Now retired, the couple teaches and counsels organizations on parliamentary procedures and time management, as well as provides marital and premarital counseling.   The Hollingsworths say that Delaware State provided them with a good basic education and gave them the confidence to know that they could compete with anyone, anywhere in the world.  They also say that they have an obligation to give back to their alma mater and encourage other alums and friends to do the same.   Together, the Hollingsworths have contributed more than $23,000 to Delaware State over the years.  

Dr. Mable Morrison Honored By Music Teacher National Association

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Dr. Morrison has been recognized for being a 50-year member of the oldest professional music teacher association in the country.

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Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) recently honored Dr. Mable Morrison, DSU associate professor of music, as a 50-Year Member at the 2014 MTNA National Conference in Chicago, Illinois, March 22–26.   Dr. Morrison – a pianist, soprano, accompanist – has also been a DSU faculty member for 52 years. She received the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from the University in 2012.   Dr. Morrison has performed recitals and concerts all over the world. She is the recipient of the French Government Grant for studies in piano at L’Academie Internationale D’Ete of Nice, France, and the United States Intercultural Grant for performances in Liberia and Sierre Leone, West Africa. She is an alumna of Xavier University of Louisiana; DePaul University in Illinois; Fontainebleau Fine Arts and Music Schools in France; and L’Academie Internationale D’Ete.   MTNA is a nonprofit organization comprising of nearly 22,000 independent and collegiate music teachers committed to advancing the value of music study and music-making to society and to supporting the professionalism of music teachers. Founded in 1876, MTNA is the oldest professional music teacher association in the United States.

Vote for Miss DSU Chascidy Reeves in Ebony Magazine Contest!!

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Help Chascidy land a spot among the top 10 vote getters and thereby be featured in the upcoming September EBONY issue.

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Miss DSU Chascidy Reeves The DSU Community is being called upon to support 2013-2014 Miss DSU Chascidy Reeves in her effort to be among the top vote getters in EBONY magazine’s annual HBCU Campus Queen online competition and thereby win a featured spot in an upcoming issue of the magazine. To vote for Ms. Chascidy, go to http://www.ebony.com/campusqueens. Once on the Campus Queen webpage, click on page 2 and Ms. Chascidy is the third queen from the top. Click on her picture and you will be taken to her webpage, which has information about her and her video. Click on “Vote for Me” at the bottom of her page. The voting frequency is unlimited, so vote as many times as you like. The top 10 vote getters will be featured in the September 2014 issue of EBONY magazine.

DSU Bands to Perform in Spring Concert, 7 p.m. April 16

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The Spring Concert will take place at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Downtown Dover.

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The DSU bands will present its Spring Concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16 at the Schwartz Center for the Arts, 226 S. State St. in Downtown Dover. The Spring Concert will feature performances by the DSU Symphonic Band and the DSU Jazz Ensemble. Both are led by Randolph Johnson, University director of bands. General admission tickets are $15 each. DSU students can attend for free by showing their identification.

DSU Students Take 2nd Place in Business Plan Competition

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(l-r) DSU students Anju Polas, Lawer Angmor-Teye, Deantrae Matthews, Richard M. Garner, Dinesh Chowdhary, and Kameron Catron-Mitchell won 2nd place at the 2014 Innovations in Social and Business Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition in Washington, D.C.

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A team of six students from various departments of the College of Business and the Department of Physics and Engineering at Delaware State University won second place in the 2014 Innovations in Social and Business Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition. This competition was organized by the School of Business & Public Administration of University of the District of Columbia on April 5. The group of DSU students -- Anju Polas, Lawer Angmor-Teye, Deantrae Matthews, Richard M. Garner, Dinesh Chowdhary, and Kameron Catron-Mitchell -- competed with students from universities and colleges in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. The 2nd place prize was $3,000, which the students split up. The purpose of this competition was to educate and provide an experiential opportunity to showcase the creativity of tomorrow’s business leaders. The business plan was based on the interdisciplinary project that developed a sensor to assess environmental air quality at local (e.g. Kent County) and state levels. The students were judged on: Developing business plans, based on an identified social issue or need, using a social business entrepreneurship business model for their program. Presenting business implementation plans or delivery modes that demonstrate how the plan can impact communities. The DSU students had been working on a project entitled “Next-generation sensors for improving human health and urban air quality- A technology driven business model for young entrepreneurs” and funded from a DSU PRIDE grant. Dr. Mohammed Khan, assistant professor of physics (PI); Dr. Mukti Rana, assistant professor of physics (co-PI); and Dr. Nandita Das, associate professor of business (co-PI) are part this project. The project entails a prototype greenhouse gas sensor technology for environmental applications, developed indigenously at DSU’s engineering laboratories. It will be transformed into a marketable product through a model business plan developed by DSU’s College of Business team. The goal of the project is to expose students to the critical stages of research conducted in the laboratories and to the aspects of commercialization of such technologies through interdisciplinary collaboration in a unique academic setting. The same group of students also  presented their business plan at the April 10-13, 2014 OFC Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program Conference in Atlanta, Ga. There were 19 HBCUs represented in this competition and the DSU group was among the finalists.

Keith Walker Named DSU Men's Basketball Head Coach

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Newly named Hornet men's Head Coach Keith Walker and DSU President Harry L. Williams pose for the camera after the coaching announcement.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams today announced the hiring of Keith Walker – who served as the interim Delaware State men’s head coach for the last third of the 2013-2014 season – as the permanent Hornet men’s head basketball coach. Hornet Men's Head Coach Keith Walker said his goal is to restore the team to the level it was at during its MEAC championship years.   In announcing the head coaching appointment during a April 15 press conference, Dr. Williams said that Coach Walker made a strong case for himself by the way he took over the leadership of the team and energized the players as the Hornet men’s interim coach.   “Coach Walker did everything we asked of him when he agreed to be the interim head coach in last 1½ months of the past season,” Dr. Williams said. “He stabilized the team, resulting in a more competitive unit on the court and a higher winning percentage.”   The DSU president commended the Head Basketball Coach Search Committee, noting that it ultimately came up with a group of strong finalists for the post. “The fact that Walker emerged from this tough search process as the head coach selection reflects well on his most recent interim performance as well as on his long-time dedicated service as assistant coach,” Dr. Williams added.   DSU Director of Athletics Candy Young said the team’s performance under his interim leadership has led to the conclusion that he can move the men’s basketball program in the right direction. “The players responded positively to his coaching during his interim tenure and we believe that trend will continue and result in greater success for the Hornet men’s basketball program with Walker at the helm,” she said.   Walker said that he is “very appreciative” of the head coaching opportunity. “I look forward to getting this men’s basketball program back to the championship level where it used to be,” the new head coach said.   Walker, a DSU men’s basketball assistant coach since July 2000, was appointed as interim Hornet head coach on Jan. 30, 2014. In the subsequent 11 games, Walker led the Hornets to a 5-6 overall record and 5-5 mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Prior to the appointment, the team was 4-15 overall and 0-6 in the conference.   During Walker’s interim tenure, Delaware State posted a season-high three-game win streak and later achieved an upset victory over the 2014 MEAC Tournament runner-up Morgan State.      As an assistant coach, Walker worked primarily with the DSU forwards and centers. During the 2013-14 season, Walker’s work with 3rd-year player Kendall Gray was instrumental in the Hornet center’s team record of 81 blocks that year and being named on the All-MEAC Second Team. Walker’s defensive coaching was also validated during the 2011-12 season when the Hornets had a school-record 192 blocks, leading the MEAC in that category.   Walker was a part of the coaching staff that helped lead the Hornets to three consecutive MEAC regular season titles from 2004-2007, during which the Hornets posted a league record of 46-8 (.850). The Hornets appeared in three consecutive MEAC Tournament championship games, capturing the title and accompanying NCAA Tournament berth in 2005. The following year, Delaware State defeated Northern Arizona on the road in the National Invitation Tournament for the team's only national post-season win.   Prior to his arrival at DSU, Walker served as head coach at Division II Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., from 1993 to 2000. He posted a 91-102 overall record at Shaw, including a 21-9 mark and the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth during the 1994-95 season.   Before entering the coaching ranks, he enjoyed a playing career of seven years with various European and U.S. professional basketball leagues, including a brief stint with the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers during the 1985-86 season.   As a three-year collegiate player at Clemson, he helped lead the Tigers to a 23-9 overall record and an Elite Eight appearance in the 1980 NCAA Tournament.   Walker has a 1981 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Clemson and a 1991 master’s degree in Student Personnel Services from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.   The newly appointed head coach and wife Kim have three children – Dockery, Zachary and Sawyer. Dockery is a member of the Brown University men’s basketball team.

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