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DSU Formalizes Agreement with Mauritania Institution

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DSU President Harry L. Williams (seated left) shakes hands with Mauritania Ambassador Mohamed Lemine Haycen after signing an agreement that will facilitate joint projects and exchanges between DSU and the National School for Agriculture Training and Extension. Standing behind (l-r) are DSU administrators Dr. Fengshan Liu, Provost Alton Thompson, Dr. Marshall Stevenson, Dr. Dyremple Marsh, Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, Dr. Adul-Aziz Diop and Dr. Bradley Skelcher.

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  Delaware State University has expanded its international partnerships with the signing of a formal agreement with National School for Agriculture Training and Extension of Kaedi, Mauritania.  DSU President Harry L. Williams signed the five-year agreement on June 29 with Mauritania Ambassador Mohamed Lemine Haycen during a meeting on the DSU campus.   The agreement facilitates joint research projects, joint academic seminars, as well as student and faculty exchanges.   Ambassador Haycen noted that “knowledge is light,” and that technical knowledge is especially needed in Mauritania.   “Knowledge is the noblest that can be given, because through it you can bring a population into the light,” Ambassador Haycen said.   “It is out intent through this partnership to make significant research, training and extension contributions in the subject areas of horticulture, dry land agriculture, protective agriculture and bio-energy,” said Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the DSU College of Agriculture and Related Sciences. “Successful completion of well-thought out projects in these critical need areas will serve to address the sustainability issues in both countries.”  

DSU Hosts Solo Flight Academy for HS students.

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Spencer Boynton (right) receives from cockpit pointers from Capt. Stephen Speed, director of the DSU Aviation Program, who was one of the instructors of the OBAP Solo Flight Academy at the Delaware Airpark.

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The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) recentlyn held a two-week Solo Flight Academy for about 20 high school-aged students at the Delaware Air Park. A combination of OBAP and DSU Aviation Program instructors conducted a cursory and condensed ground school and guided the students through approximately 10-20 hours of flight time, culminating in an actual solo event for each young pilot. For images from the June 12-25 Solo Flight Academy, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157654825492570/show  

DSU Announces 2015 Faculty Excellence Awardees

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The 2015 DSU Faculty Excellence Award recipients: (l-r) Dr. Hacene Boukari, associate professor of physics (research); Dr. Melissa Harrington, professor of biological sciences (service); and Dr. Frank Gazda, associate professor of music (teaching).

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Delaware State University recently named three faculty members as the institution’s 2015 Faculty Excellence Award recipients. Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching – Dr. Frank Gazda, associate professor of music Dr. Gazda, a Department of Music faculty member since 2007, maintains a teaching philosophy that undergraduate music students need to receive a strong grounding in the fundamentals of their craft, need to see the relevance of these fundamentals to their success, and need to be encouraged to be curious about all aspects of their music. Dr. Gazda’s approach to teaching is to guide, mentor, and teach every student as an individual with individual needs, goals and learning styles. He also exposes his students to as many successful professionals as possible. His teaching activities have included revamping the applied music curriculum for low brass instruments to reflect contemporary trends in literature and pedagogy and other curriculum revisions. Additionally, he is active with performance and pedagogical research to enhance teaching. Faculty Excellence Award for Research – Dr. Hacene Boukari, associate professor of physics A physics faculty member since 2010, Dr. Boukari’s research at DSU has focused on understanding biomacromolecular interactions and nanotransport phenomena in complex systems and their possible roles with biological functions as well as biological pathologies. He has been successful in securing external funding from national organizations such as the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense and Department of Education – $800,000 as a principal investigator (PI) and $8.5 million as a co-PI. The funding has been used for laboratory equipment and to support the undergraduate and graduate students he mentors. He has numerous publication , presentations, and invited speaking engagements, and his students also actively present their scholarly works. Faculty Excellence Award for Service – Dr. Melissa Harrington, professor of biological sciences Dr. Harrington, a 14-year faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences, has an active record of service at all levels from departmental service to professional and community service. She has served on numerous committees in her department as well as in the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. Dr. Harrington’s University service includes mentoring faculty in the grant writing process as well as collaboration with numerous faculty across several disciplines writing grants for research, teaching, community outreach and student scholarships. She has received over $18 million in funding as a PI or co-PI, and has assisted colleagues with grants that have brought over $2 million to DSU. Other service includes being the director of neuroscience for the statewide INBRE network, directing summer science camps for middle school students, and serving on review panels for NIH and NSF.

DSU, Ningbo Univ. of Tech. Celebrate 1st Joint Graduation

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(Center in red robes l-r) During a June 16 Commencement ceremony in China, Ningbo University of Technology President Dr. Lyu Zhongda and DSU President Harry L. Williams accept artistic gifts from the first-ever graduating class of the joint Accounting Program established in China by the two institutions.

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Delaware State University recently celebrated the fruits of one of its international partnerships with the completion of a group of graduates from a joint academic program. DSU President Harry L. Williams traveled to China to join Dr. Lyu Zhongda, president of Ningbo University of Technology (NBUT), to participate in the Commencement Ceremony of the first graduating cohort of the joint DSU-NBUT Accounting Program. https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157654962089132/show?rb=1 DSU’s College of Business – which encompasses DSU’s Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance – is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. “Because its global business accreditation, the University’s establishment of a joint Accounting Program with Ningbo University of Technology in China is consistent with the international standing maintained by DSU’s College of Business,” said Dr. Williams. Seventy-five NBUT students earned degrees from both their home institution as well as from DSU. Eleven of those graduates have been admitted into top accounting graduate programs in the United States and in Great Britain. Dr. Williams gave an address during the ceremony and took part in the awarding of degrees. James Collins, chief officer of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information, also made the trip representing the First State and spoke at the ceremony. Similar to DSU Commencement ceremonies, the joint ceremony also featured student excellence awards. Chen Tong was awarded the DSU Presidential Academic Award.  Jiajun Wu received the Presidential Leadership Award. Dr. Bernadette Ruf, chair of the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Dr. Youngski Kwak, associate dean of the College of Business, and Dr. Fengshan Liu, assistant vice president of International Affairs, also represented DSU at the NBUT-DSU Commencement. A second cohort of students is enrolled in the joint NBUT-DSU Accounting Program in China and is expected to be the second graduating class in 2016.

NCCo Council President Visits DSU@Wilmington

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New Castle County President Chris Bullock recently visited the DSU@Wilmington location, which is slated for some state-of-the-art technology upgrades this summer.

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NCCo Council President Chris Bullock (r) stands with Denise Pinkett-Wynn, DSU nutritional instructor, during his recent visit to the Wilmington location. Dr. Chris Bullock, New Castle County Council president, recently paid a visit to the DSU@Wilmington site where he met with officials there and affirmed his support for Delaware State University’s northernmost site. Dr. Bullock, whose New Castle County community leadership also includes being the founder and pastor of the Canaan Baptist Church of New Castle, said the expansion of the DSU’s educational presence in Northern Delaware is positive development for that area. “New Castle County is pleased that DSU@Wilmington is here and is continuing the vision of Delaware State University President Harry L. Williams,” Dr. Bullock said. “This campus will give access and possibilities to those who want to pursue educational opportunities in this county.” DSU@Wilmington recently completed its first academic year at its 3931 Kirkwood Highway location after moving from its previous longtime Market Street location in Downtown Wilmington. The Kirkwood Highway location is a former U.S. Army facility building that DSU acquired from the federal government in 2011. The renovated building provides more academic space than the previous location and has allowed DSU to expand its degree program offerings in New Castle County. The DSU@Wilmington currently offers master’s degree programs in Educational Leadership, Business Administration, Public Administration, Social Work and Sport Administration. More upgrades are planned for the location this summer. The State of Delaware has provided a $3 million grant that will result in five Smart Classrooms and a high-tech student lab that will include state-of-the-art technology such as large interactive display boards, instructor tablets, tech podiums and lecture streaming cameras. The Kirkwood location is especially convenient for busy professionals who seek to advance their careers or improve their knowledge. DSU@Wilmington provides evening courses, free on-site parking, spacious classrooms, as well as a private and comfortable student lounge.    For more information on DSU@Wilmington, call (302) 254-5340.

DSU Honors Retirees of 2015 -- Photo Slideshow

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The 2015 retirees: (l-r, bottom) Jackye Fountain, Sharon Whitaker, Anita Brinkley, Frances Rogers, Leida Sanchez; (top) DSU President Harry L. Williams, Genevieve Tighe, Henry Jones, Leonard Maull, Yvonne Mullen, Dr. Carol Giesecke, Dr. Leonard Davis and Beulah Yarborough.

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Delaware State University held its annual President’s Banquet for Retirees celebrating 11 employees who are retiring in 2015. For images from the event, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157654049319559/show The retirees – Anita Brinkley, Dr. Leonard Davis, Jackye Fountain, Dr. Carol Giesecke, Henry Jones, Leonard Maull, Frances Rogers, Leida Sanchez, Genevieve Tighe, Sharon Whitaker and Beulah Yarborough – were honored with words from DSU supervisors and colleagues as well as with the presence of well-wishing staff, family and friends at the June 11 event held in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center. In addition, also honored that evening was Yvonne Mullen, who retired in 2014.

Dr. Michael Casson Authors Children's Book on Saving Money

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Dr. Michael A. Casson Jr., associate professor of economics, has written Enwan the Entrepreneur -- Enwan's First $avings Account, a book designed to teach elementary school-aged children about the value of saving money.

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Dr. Michael A. Casson Jr., an associate professor of economics at Delaware State University, has published a book for elementary school-aged children to begin their education in financial literacy. Dr. Michael Casson Jr. shows off his new book with a Towne Point Elementary School Class. The teacher on the top right, Linda Brown, edited the book for Dr. Casson. Dr. Casson has written Enwan the Entrepreneur – Enwan’s First $avings Account, an illustrated children’s book that teaches the value of saving money and introduces youth to the concepts of bank accounts and earning interest. The book provides objectives and suggested discussion topics that make it a resource that can be included in the curriculum of elementary grades 1-4. “In our community, we are lacking in a keen understanding of financial literacy and business economics,” Dr. Casson said. “To progress in our community, we need to look at educating our youth about how to manage money.” Dr. Casson noted that according to the findings of a recent study, if youth in a community are taught financial literacy, the potential for economic growth and development in the community increase. The art illustrations of the book are done by Eric Bell, a student from the Philadelphia Art Institute. The book was edited by Linda Brown, a third-grade teacher at Towne Point Elementary School in Dover. Published by Demco Kids Publishing, Enwan the Entrepreneur can be purchased online at Amazon.com.

DSU Chemistry Scientists Awarded $1m Research Grant

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Pictured are (l-r) the research grant’s co-investigators Cheng-Yu Lai, associate professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Daniela R. Radu, assistant professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Cherese Winstead, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry and the principal investigator of the grant.

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A team of faculty scientists from the DSU’s Department of Chemistry has been awarded a three-year $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation that will expand the research capacity of its doctoral program into the materials chemistry arena. The grant will fund a project entitled “Advanced Nanomaterials for Energy Research and Applications (ANERA)” and enhance the research infrastructure by focusing DSU’s existing Applied Chemistry Ph.D. program on materials chemistry research. In addition to funding a comprehensive research program and fellowships to support graduate students, the grant will enable to the development of new materials chemistry courses, as well as develop a growing network of material scientists in Delaware. The research is designed to create novel catalytic materials with unprecedented composition properties that could be used in biomass conversion to biofuels and valuable chemicals. The research program – under the grant title of ANERA RISE – is expected to have the broader impact of preparing underrepresented groups, such as African Americans and women, in STEM research disciplines to become competitive future scientists. The principal investigator of the grant is Dr. Cherese Winstead, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry. The co-investigators are Dr. Cheng-Yu Lai, associate professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Daniela R. Radu, assistant professor.

Condolences to the Family of Former Attorney General Beau Biden

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On behalf of Delaware State University, its Board of Trustees, our community and myself, I send our heartfelt condolences to the family of former Attorney General Beau Biden.  As we mourn his passing, we also celebrate his life and legacy.  We especially recognize all that he has done to support not only our University but the entire State of Delaware. Harry L. Williams President

Claibourne D. Smith Admin Bldg. Dedicated -- Photo Slideshow

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Dr. Claibourne D. Smith, the former and longtime DSU Board of Trustees chairman, stands next to a plaque bearing his likeness at the north entrance of the Administration Building that is now named after him.

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Delaware State University has honored the unwavering longtime Board of Trustees leadership of Dr. Claibourne D. Smith by dedicating the Administration Building in his honor. More than 200 present and former board members, University administrators and staff, as well as abundant family and friends gathered for a ceremony that culminated with the unveiling of the edifice’s new name – the Claibourne D. Smith Administration Building. For images from the ceremony, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157653153217170/show Dr. Smith has served on the University’s Board of Trustees since 1988 and was chairman from 1992 to 2015, save 16 months between 2008 and early 2010 when he stepped down temporarily to serve as the institution’s acting president. Current Board Chairman David Turner, his successor as chairman, noted that Dr. Smith’s primary aim has been consistent throughout his more than two decades of board leadership – to empower the University to best serve its students to achieve academic excellence and fulfill their dreams. “As DSU continues to advance its mission and vision into the future, the valuable contributions that Dr. Smith has made will continue to have a lasting impact on our ability to help students be fully prepared to leave campus ready to make their marks on the world,” Chairman Turner said. DSU President Harry L. Williams noted that his ongoing tenure as president benefited not only from Dr. Smith’s board chairmanship support, but also from the University he inherited from the then-acting president. “During the more than one year period that Dr. Smith served as the acting president, his leadership provided the needed stability that made it a smooth transition when I was hired to take over the helm of the University,” Dr. Williams said. “It was a very unique situation to have such a capable individual who could serve in two distinctly different leadership capacities – as a Board of Trustees chairman who led a group that deals with high-level governance issues, and as an acting University president who dealt with the day-to-day administrative challenges of running a major university,” the DSU president said. Dr. Smith said he was “proud, humbled and honored” for this recognition. With gratitude he spoke of his life, which began in the segregated schools of Memphis, Tenn., from which circumstances he rose to become among the first two in his family to go to college. He would go on to complete a Ph.D. and enjoy a fulfilling career as a research chemist with DuPont – where he would meet his wife Roseann. He said his work with DuPont led to the community service work he did outside of his livelihood in the areas of fair housing, crime and justice, adolescent pregnancies, education, and ultimately Delaware State University. “My appointment by Gov. Mike Castle to Delaware State’s Board of Trustees in 1988 provided me with a great opportunity to learn and understand the issues of educating first generation, low-income students like myself,” Dr. Smith said. “My evolution as a trustee leader was driven by my passion for education and a deep desire to make a difference to students who are pursuing their dreams.” Although he chose to step down as board chairman in January, Dr. Smith has indicated that he will continue to serve as a Board of Trustees member until his term ends in 2016. Photos and article by Carlos Holmes.

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