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DSU Awarded $215,000 DoD Instrumentation Grant

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Dr. Mukti Rana, chair of the DSU Department of Physics and the principal investigator of the DoD grant, holds a blank substrate to his left and a substrate on his right that has been imprinted with an electronic circuit design. The DoD grant will fund DSU's purchase of a Photomask Aligner, which will give University researchers the capability to imprint such circuit designs.

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The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Delaware State University a $215,000 research instrumentation grant that will enable the purchase of a Photomask Aligner (PMA). This is a wafer substrate that has had an electronic circuit design imprinted on it through a Photomask Aligner (PMA) The PMA – a tool used to impose electronic designs on a base where electronic circuits are built – will be used in connection with ongoing and future research projects in the Optical Science Center for Applied Research on campus. “Photomask aligner is technology that transfers electronic circuit design to the base (called a substrate) through an opto-chemical process to fabricate electronic chips,” said Dr. Mukti Rana, chair of the DSU Department of Physics and the principal investigator of the successful grant. Most immediately, according to Dr. Rana, the PMA will be used for the design and fabrication of nano-machined pyroelectric detectors with ultra-low conductance, a DSU research project that is being funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research.  He said the PMA will also be used in another NASA-related project, which involves the fabrication of uncooled infrared detectors with nanometer-sized studs. Dr. Rana’s proposal was one of 176 to receive instrumentation funding from the DoD. Those meritorious proposals were selected from among 622 that were submitted for consideration.

1st Cohort Completes Inaugural DSU Mobile App Training

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The 1st Cohort to complete DSU's Mobile App Academy: (l-r, seated) Curtis Winslow, Chris Worsley, Marlon Offei, Jakeera Davis, Will Shuler; (standing) Hadiyah Mujhid (instructor), Alex Stuff, Edward Baise, Chris Williams, DeAndre Barnes and Iyasu Watts (instructor). 

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The inaugural cohort of the first-ever Del State Mobile App Academy recently completed a six-week technology “boot camp” in which the participants learned coding skills that enable them to design apps. Will Shuler, a Mobile App Academy participant, explains how the mobile app he developed works. The first nine people to complete the academy were celebrated on Aug. 12 during a program at the DSU Living and Learning Commons in which they were able to receive their certificates and show off the apps they each were able to develop. DSU President Harry L. Williams and other DSU administrators joined representatives of Barclays Bank to celebrate the first cohort’s completion of the academy. The six-week training program was made possible by a generous $200,000 grant from Barclays, a financial institution that has partnered with DSU over the last few years as a solid source of internship opportunities Del State students. “This has been the next stage in our relationship, as we worked to figure out how DSU could be a technology hub,” said Jocelyn Stewart, director of Barclays’ Community Investment. During the Mobile App Boot Camp, the participants – some of whom are recent DSU graduates and current students – became certified in Android mobile architecture and Java programming language, highly sought-after skill sets in the regional job market.  (L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams, Dr. Vita Pickrum, Barclays Bank's Jocelyn Stewart, Amer Sajed and Clint Walker celebrate the partnership that made the Mobile App Academy happen. Hadiyah Mujhid, one of the Mobile App Academy instructors, said in offering such training, DSU is filling a void. “In Silicon Valley, technology companies are struggling when it comes to having diverse workforces,” she said. “This helps fill the demand for such diversity.” The DSU president said the Mobile App Academy is an exciting addition at the University. “These young people now have something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives,” Dr. Williams said. “We couldn’t be the host site of this training without the support of Barclays.” The University plans to offer the course again within the next year.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper Meets with President, Administrators

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U.S. Sen.Thomas R. Carper meets with Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the college of Agriculture and Related Sciences, and other administrators and faculty, one of several meetings Delaware's senior senator had at DSU on Aug. 11.

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U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (l) receives a briefing on the latest DSU developments from University President Harry L. Williams. U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper paid DSU a visit on Aug. 11 to be updated on the latest developments at the University as well as learn the ways in which his congressional office could help DSU achieve its goals of student success and sustainability. Sen. Carper and his aides met with DSU President Harry L. Williams and other DSU administrators in the Claibourne Smith Administration Building on campus. Delaware’s senior U.S. senator and his staff were briefed on DSU's plans to offer fully online course degree programs, the enrollment of undocumented students as part of TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship program, the enrollment projections for the approaching fall semester, and other areas. College of Business Dean Donna Covington poses with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper after meeting with him The hot summer temperatures notwithstanding, Sen. Carper and his aides then walked over to the Bank of America Building, where they met with Donna Covington, dean of the College of Business. Dean Covington gave a report on DSU’s partnership with SAP, the advanced technologies training that it is yielding, and how Del State is reaching out to other Historically Black Colleges and Universities to offer them the same training. Sen. Carper ended the afternoon at the Ag Annex Building where he and his aides met with Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences, and other faculty and received and update on the numerous research projects tin that college. In all of the meetings, Sen. Carper asked the DSU officials how his congressional office could help the University. He noted that he would be happy to assist in connecting Del State with companies that could provide DSU students with internship and job possibilities.

Dr. Myna German Selected for Dow Jones Academy

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(L-r) Hugo Perez of New Mexico State, Gwyneth Doland of the Univ. of New Mexico, Dr. Myna German of DSU, and academy training Luis Hernandez take a break from the multimedia training to pose for a photo.

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Dr. Myna German, professor of mass communications, is bringing back the latest in emerging journalism technologies after she was selected to take part in the seventh annual Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Academy held at the University of Texas in El Paso. Held May 20-26, Dr. German was among 16 instructors from minority-serving institutions selected from among more than 75 applicants for training. The intense multimedia-journalism academy is geared to help the instructors better prepare their students for the fast-changing future. The participants learned and got hands-on experience in new storytelling skills utilizing the latest multimedia technology. “I did a lot of radio reporting and fell in love with audio documentary as a form of digital storytelling,” Dr. German said. “I spent a week learning multimedia skills to bring back to fellow faculty and the classroom.” All of the participants were from Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

DSU Students Follow Black History Trail to Nova Scotia

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A group of DSU students recently visited Africville Museum in Nova Scotia, where they learned of the stories of blacks who escaped slavery in U.S. and fled into Canada. The students learned that while no longer slaves, the black immigrants faced significant discrimination and bigotry in Canada.

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A group of DSU students spent a week learning Black History that actually extends into Canada through their “Nova Scotia Study Abroad Summer 2016” experience. Dr. Kami Fletcher (l) and her 11-year-old son Jayvyn point to their last name on a historic sun dial memorial in Nova Scotia, indicating that they may have roots in Canada. Nine DSU students and a faculty member and staff member participated in a July 25-31 educational excursion to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Through this trip, the students learned about the fates of the runaway slaves who successfully escaped the Peculiar Institution to begin new lives in Canada – stories often obscured by the traditional Black History narratives of that period. During the trip the students also learned of the black soldiers who fought on the British side during the Revolutionary War who also settled in the Nova Scotia area.   Through a guided tour led by Dr. Carolyn Thomas and her team at African Heritage Tours, students visited many historic African communities such as Preston and Africville.  The students also spent a day at Dalhousie University and St. Mary’s University where they toured the campuses, attended lectures and conversed with fellow undergraduates and professors.   Led by Dr. Kami Fletcher, DSU assistant professor of African-American history, the trip allowed students to learn about the challenges and accomplishments of former American runaway slaves and other African immigrants in Nova Scotia as well as see firsthand the cultural/historical/social significance of these sites to the African Diaspora as a whole.   “The long struggle to freedom that is emphasized during the years of institutionalized slavery is filled with stories of ‘Canaan.’  Africans/Blacks risked life and limb to get to Canada and many made it while others died trying.  So what happened to our ancestors who made it?” Dr. Fletcher said. “This trip allows students to cross over into the ‘Land of Canaan’ – as our foremothers and forefathers did – and peer through the historical looking glass understanding the life they created and the society in which it was created.” Africans and Blacks who fought on behalf of the British during the American Revolution were relocated to Nova Scotia after the British lost.  These Africans/Blacks were freed and promised land and a chance to prosper.  However, the same racism followed them there.  In spite of that, many thrived.  Each of them is documented in the Book of Negroes, which the DSU group looked through and learned about the lives of those listed in it. Some students even discovered their last names in the book, indicating that they may possibly have Nova Scotian roots. Jomana Begum, a DSU sophomore Secondary Education major from Cherry Hill, N.J., said it was a tremendous experience. “The trip changed my perspective on what happened to the slaves when they went to Canada, because I thought they had escaped to realize freedom and a new and better life,” said Ms. Begum, a native of Bangladesh who has lived in the U.S. since age four. “But we found out that the people in Canada treated them badly, and that their life wasn’t much better than when they were in slavery.” Tommie Moore, who at age 72 was the oldest graduate in the Class of May 2016, also went on the trip. “We got a chance to sit in some seminars where we learned about the Black Loyalists, a group of Africans who settled in the Africville area of Nova Scotia. They were disenfranchised and had their land taken from them by the English Settlers of Nova Scotia,” said Ms. Moore, now 73, who earned a Bachelor of Social Work. “Some chose to go back to Africa and some chose to remain. There was so much to history to learn.” Ms. Moore added that the DSU group was able to interact with descendants of the original African settlers, some from families going back as far as eight generations in Nova Scotia.    

DSU's "GOT PAPER?" Effort Makes Campus Safer and Secure

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The DSU "GOT PAPER?" campaign rid the campus of more than 36 tons of unneeded paper and cardboard, while at the same time doing the right thing and handing over the waste to a reputable recycling firm for shredding. Piles of the shred paper are shown in the left photo.

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Linda Milligan of Institutional Advancement rids her area of unneeded paper and folders as part of the GOT PAPER? campaign. Delaware State University was recently made safer and more information secure with the conclusion of the first-ever “GOT PAPER?” campaign, which eliminated more than 36 tons of stored but unneeded document paper and cardboard from the campus. The campaign, of which the initial work began in March, culminated on July 28-29 in which DSU offices and departments dumped the unwanted paper in recycle bins. The contents of the recycle bins were then picked up by Data Guard, Inc., and dumped in their trucks, which shredded the documents and took the remains to be recycled. According to Data Guard – based in Bridgeville, Del. – the recycling company received from DSU: 33.8 tons of paper and 2.6 tons of cardboard. That total of 36.4 tons of recycled paper saved the equivalent of more than 618 mature trees. “Overall goal is to reduce risk by resolving information security, fire, and safety issues simply by reducing the amount of paper on campus,” said Michelle Shorter, associate vice president of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) at DSU. Ms. Shorter said that Monica Hall, associate director of ERM Policy and Compliance, was put in charge of the project. Ms. Hall headed up multiple document management teams that conducted 10 quantitative site observations across campus to assess the risk in the areas of information security and safety (especially fire safety) that existed in connection with stored documents and paper. Ms. Hall and her teams assisted the University offices and department in determining what documents should be retained and what should be shredded for recycling. I would like to say thank you to the DSU community for their partnership with the GOT PAPER? Initiatives,” Ms. Hall said. “From building inspections to breaking down empty boxes, the DSU community was an integral part in the event being so successful.’ DSU President Harry L. Williams commended the team for its work. The “GOT PAPER?” initiative affirms the priority that the University places on safety, information security and its role as an environmental steward,” Dr. Williams said. An important part of the campaign has been to highlight the importance of recycling, which includes the following environmental impact facts: The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood and other products, This amounts to almost 2.6 billion trees per year. The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail. The amount of wood and paper Americans throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years. The process of recycling paper uses only 60% of the energy needed to make paper from new materials. Each ton of paper recycled can save the energy equivalent of 165 gallons of gasoline. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 mature trees. Seventeen mature trees absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning one ton of paper would create 15,000 pound of carbon dioxide. One ton of recycled paper saves 254,800 gallons of water and more that 100 cubic yards of landfill space. The Document Management Team (DMT) that spearheaded the GOT PAPER? initiative: (l-r) Jasmine Burrus, assistant to the AVP Enterprise Risk Management; Michelle Shorter, AVP of Enterprise Risk Management & chief risk officer; Monica Hall, associate director of Policy & Compliance, DMT leader; Melayna Hall, DSU student; and Sand Hoffman, manager of Risk & Safety.  

DSU's Dr. Jalaal Hayes Wins HBCU Male Student of Year

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Dr. Jalaal Hayes (left), in a photo from the December 2015 Commencement with his advisor Dr. Andrew Goudy, was honored as the HBCU Male Student of the Year during a July 15 ceremony held at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C.

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Delaware State University made its mark at the recent 2016 Historically Black Colleges and Universities Awards as Dr. Jalaal Hayes – a December 2015 Ph.D. graduate – received the HBCU Male Student of the Year Award. DSU President Harry L. Williams proudly stands with Dr. Jalaal Hayes after he was presented with the HBCU award. Dr. Hayes, a resident of Philadelphia, Pa., proudly received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Applied Chemistry in December at age 22 – the youngest-ever Ph.D. graduate in DSU history. His dissertation – successfully defended in June 2015 -- was entitled “Thermodynami and Kinetic Studies of Alkali Metal Doped-Lithium Amide-Magnesium Hydride Hydrogen Storage System.” Now in its sixth year, the annual HBCU Awards is sponsored by HBCU Digest. DSU also received nominations in the categories of Male President of the Year (President Harry L. Williams), HBCU of the Year, and Best Research Center Award (the Optical Science Center for Applied Research, also known as OSCAR). Dr. Hayes graduated from high school seven years ago in 2008 at the age of 15. He then earned bachelor’s degrees in History and General Science, graduating cum laude at age 18 in 2011 (within three years) at his parents’ undergraduate alma mater Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. While completing his doctorate at DSU, he lectured in Tuscany, Italy, and Easton, Massachusetts, as a Carl Storm Fellow while authoring several peer reviewed journal articles and served on a team that obtained a United States patent for hydrogen research. He completed a 2008 summer research internship at Howard University/NASA Undergraduate Research Center, before being enrolled in DSU’s graduate program in Applied Chemistry where he worked with his advisor Dr. Andrew Goudy, professor of chemistry, in the Center for Hydrogen Storage Research (CHSR). Now 23 years old, Dr. Hayes was featured on a Disney Junior Be Inspired television commercial for Black History Month 2016 earlier this year. He has been highlighted on ABC Visions, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and other mediums. Dr. Hayes said that he is currently working “as an educator in Philadelphia.”

Summer Internships Prepare DSU Students

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Kevin Perry (seated) is commuting daily from Dover to do an accounting internship with SB & Co. in Baltimore, Md. He is shown here with Eric Barfield, a staff auditor with the company and also a May 2016 graduate of Delaware State University.

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India Sage Williams at her CBS News internship site. While some DSU students’ summer season means going to their hometowns to reconnect with family and friends, a number of students are using the time to fulfill their intern requirements and gain some hands-on experience in jobs relating to their majors. Below is a sampling of some current internship experiences of students from each one of DSU’s colleges. India Sage Williams, a Mass Communications/TV, Radio and Film major in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, spent part of her summer interning at CBS News in Washington, D.C. She learned about the opportunity at a job fair at Howard University where she met Kia Baskerville, a CBS News senior producer, who encouraged her to apply for the internship. Ms. Williams, of New Castle, Del.,  has been assigned to the CBS Special Events News section, where she is involved with work on assignments that have included the Orlando shooting tragedy, President Barack Obama’s addresses, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey’s “United State of Women Summit” and others. “Throughout this internship I have learned that the sky is certainly not the limit, that I can achieve past that and as a young woman in media I can become a trail blazer for so many other young people to come,” Ms. Williams said. “I mostly enjoy the working environment, the people and the impromptu conversations I have with the bosses in the business who inspire me to keep working hard toward my dreams.” Kevin Perry, a junior accounting major in the College of Business from Alexandria, Va., has spent his summer months as an intern auditor at SB & Co., a certified public accountant firm near Baltimore. Mr. Perry is working on actual client accounts, an internship experience well worth his traveling expenses. He commutes daily from Dover. “The gas mileage is killing me, but it will be worth it,” Mr. Perry said. “This is helping me build my skills in the corporate world, and it is giving me good experience in workplace interactions and communications.” He is not totally far away from Hornet camaraderie, as he is working side by side with DSU alumnus Eric Barfield, who landed a job as a staff auditor with SB & Co. right after his May 2016 graduation. Mr. Perry said he plans to share his internship experiences with his peers in the DSU Accounting Club, of which he is president. Timesha Ray, a senior Textile and Apparel Studies major in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences, spent her summer internship working for Fila at the National Harbor in Washington, D.C. Timesha Ray says her internship at Fila has helped her understand the clothing needs and wants of customers. Ms. Ray said her aspiration is to become a clothes designer. She said her work at Fila gave her some valuable customer service experience. “I helped customers find what fit them as a person. I had to adapt myself to what works for them,” Ms. Ray said. “The experience made me more well-rounded. Ultimately my goal is to make people feel better about themselves through clothes.” Ms. Ray added that her interaction with corporate people at Fila helped her gain a better understanding of the business part of the company. Shanice Yearwood, a senior Movement Science major in the College of Education, Health and Public Policy, did her internship on the DSU campus with the Delaware Center for Health Promotions (DCHP), which is based in the Wellness and Recreation Center. Shanice Yearwood conducts a diabetes survey as part of her internship. Through her internship work, Ms. Yearwood has helped the DCHP design a new Walking Program that it will launch in the fall on campus. The goal of the program is to get people to walk 10 miles a week. “I am learning that the health field involves a lot of data research, a lot of sitting and analyzing numbers that you have gathered in the field all day,” Ms. Yearwood said. “This experience has helped me realize my potential and showed me that I can work with people in this field.” She added that she has future plans to pursue a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Public Health. DSU’s Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) has attracted Ines Latiri and Laurence Vobe from their University of Versailles in France to spend their summer at Del State doing separate internship research projects. OSCAR is under the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. Laurence Vobe and Ines Latiri, both of the University of Versailles in France, are doing internship research at DSU's Optical Science Center for Applied Research. Ms. Latiri, a sophomore chemical engineering major, is focusing her research on the movement of particles in fluorescent light. “This will be a great addition to my C.V. (curriculum vitæ),” she said, adding also that this internship has given her the opportunity to improve her English.” Laurence Vobe, also a sophomore chemical engineering major, said she has been able to utilize OSCAR’s Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and spectrophotometer. “In my research, I’m trying to use LIBS to detect cancer earlier,” Ms. Vobe said. “I am also working with the spectrophotometer, which we have different types of in France; but at OSCAR it is more advanced.”

M&T Bank Commits $50,000 Toward DSU Student Success

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(L-r) M&T Bank's Michael Gast and Joseph Yachshyn join their CEO Nick Lambrow in presenting DSU President Harry L. Williams with a $50,000 display check to go toward scholarships. Also from DSU are Bryant T. Bell, director of Major Gifts;  Vita Pickrum, VP of Institutional Advancement; LaShawn Pryor, director of Corporate & Foundation Relations; and College of Business Dean Donna Covington.

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M&T Bank recently became DSU’s newest corporate partner as it has committed $50,000 to help DSU students with their higher education cost. The donation establishes the M&T Scholars Program, a scholarship opportunity that will be available to any full-time student who meets the criteria of possessing a 2.5 GPA and being a native of the U.S. DSU President Harry L. Williams met July 14 with M&T Bank’s Nick Lambrow, Delaware region president and CEO; Michael Gast, vice president of commercial banking; and Joseph Yacyshyn, regional vice president. Also attending the meeting on behalf of DSU were Donna Covington, dean of the College of Business, and Vita Pickrum, vice president of Institutional Advancement. During the meeting, the M&T officials learned more about DSU and its diverse initiatives to improve its retention and graduation rates, as well as how the corporate community can help the University in meeting its goals relating to student success. The M&T officials also agreed that the company become a part of the College of Business Advisory Board. Dr. Williams said the University is excited about the corporate friendship it is developing with M&T Bank. “M&T Bank has strongly expressed its belief in DSU and the direction it is going to successfully develop future leaders and professionals who will make their mark on the state, the country and the world,” Dr. Williams said. “M&T has sought to not only understand the importance of DSU’s mission but also to learn how the University is achieving its goals and how this banking institution can play a valuable role as a corporate partner with Del State.

Kenyan Delegation Meets With DSU President

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(From l-r) DSU Associate Provost Bradley Skelcher, Daniel Mburu, Eddah Wangaru, Godfrey Mudia, DSU President Harry L Williams, Gov. Daniel Waithaka, Geofrey Mundia, StartupAfrica founder Erastus Mongare, and DSU's Dr. Samuel Besong pose for a photo after July 11 meeting.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams receives a gift from H.E. Daniel Waithanka, governor of Nyandarua, a county in Kenya. A delegation from the country of Kenya visited DSU on July 11 to explore a possible future partnership relationship with Delaware’s only HBCU. DSU President Harry L. Williams met with representatives of Kenya’s county government of Nyandarua – which included Gov. H.E. Daniel Waithanka Mwangi – to connect DSU’s College of Agriculture and Related Sciences and the College of Business’ Delaware Center for Enterprise Development with a new higher education endeavor in that part of Kenya. Also taking part in the discussion were representatives of StartUpAfrica, a Wilmington, Del.-based organization comprised of Kenyans living in the U.S.  The organization’s mission is to support young Kenyan adults in the building of business skills and in endeavors that foster financial independence, create jobs and grow African economies. Dr. Williams and the Kenyan delegation agreed that it would be worthwhile to continue the exploration of possible collaborations.

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