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DSU's UCEDIT Win $110,500 Contract for Wilmington Work

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(L-r) Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams, Dr. Michael Casson Jr., UDECIT director; Jeffrey Flynn, director of Office of Economic Development in Wilmington; Pamela Dixon Ridgeway, Christiana Care Health System executive; and Audrey Van Luven, Christiana Care Health System executive, pose with a display check symbolizing the new contract with UCEDIT.

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Delaware State University’s Center for Economic Development and International Trade (UCEDIT) has won a $110,500 contract from the Delaware Department of Labor and the City of Wilmington for work it will do in connection with the state’s TRAIN (Today’s Reinvestments Around Industry Needs) program. Of the funds received, $20,000 was earmarked for the development of Wilmington’s Workforce Development Strategic Plan.  The balance of the funds, $90,500, will be utilized to implement workforce training based on the recommendations and strategies gleaned from the Strategic Planning process.  This program will train citizens of Wilmington in the areas of customer service and technical support.   While the main goal is to provide customer service training and technical support to Wilmington residents, the skills developed through this program can also provide solid career advancement for individuals in the areas of office of administration, billing and collections, and sales and client relationship management. The comprehensive customer service education provides training in essential professional skills, an understanding of their importance and their value to the company and the customer, and a career development plan that supports career advancement. Employers will benefit from this program in a number of ways including, but not limited to, increased brand recognition as an employer of choice in the local region, a partnership with the training provider to ensure employee retention and engagement, productive and engaged employees, and an improved customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty. To help achieve these goals the City of Wilmington and UCEDIT has partnered with New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, AA Consulting, Christiana Care Health System, Comcast Corporation, Capitol One, and Alpha Technologies. Dr. Michael H. Casson Jr., UCEDIT director, notes that the prosperity of local and state economies and the health of their colleges and universities are highly correlated.   “Thus, the leveraging of DSU's research, expertise and resources is essential to the economic development strategies of the State,” Dr. Casson said. “To this end, the UCEDIT is excited about the opportunity to actively support the workforce development strategies of the City of Wilmington and their corporate partners.”

Dr. Debbie Harrington Sworn in as New Board Member

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Dr. Debbie Harrington is welcomed as a new Board of Trustees member by David Turner, the board chairman. Dr. Harrington has been appointed by the board to serve a six-year term.

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The Delaware State University Board of Trustees today swore in its newest member -- Dr. Debbie Harrington, a retired U.S. Army colonel.                        Dr. Debbie Harrington Dr. Harrington -- a native of Portsmouth, Va., and currently a resident of Middletown, Del. -- has been appointed to a six-year term by the board to succeed former board member James Stewart, whose term expired Aug. 31.   In her Army career, Dr. Harrington was an expert logistician with 25 years of experience in international multi-modal transportation systems and infrastructure, procurement, contracts, facility management and supply distribution. After her retirement from the U.S. Army in 2005, Dr. Harrington worked in the areas of nonprofit organizational management, community development and social justice. She has served the State of Delaware in several capacities. She served on a task force established by the state General Assembly to study education for students with visual impairments. She also works with the Delaware Department of Visual Impairment on education and employment initiatives and serves on its Rehabilitation Advisory Council. Most recently, Dr. Harrington has worked with the Delaware Department of Education to strategically plan for the education of students with low-incidence disabilities. She also is an appointed commissioner and chairs the commission that administers the State Use Law. She has managed the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square, a mega Baptist Church in Landover, Md., and the Resurrection Center churches in Wilmington and Middletown. At those churches, she has conducted capital planning and extensive outreach opportunities in education and economic empowerment. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Norfolk State University in Virginia, a Master of Science in  National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C., and a Doctor of Education in Innovation and Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University.

DSU Residence Hall Assoc. Helps Build Home for Needy

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The DSU students helped in the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home for a needy family and demonstrated Delaware State University emphasis on community service and outreach.

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The DSU Residence Hall Association sacrificed a good part of their Saturday on Sept. 17 to join forces with Habitat for Humanity to help build a home for a family in need. (L-r) Cierra Major-Callazo and Arianna Johnson work together to measure a piece of wood. Twenty-two RHA members – students who represent residential halls on the campus – met the Habitat workers on the 100 block of N. New Street in Dover to assist them in the building of the new home. The offering of their helping hands is consistent with the RHA’s theme for this year – "The Take Over, from the Campus to the Community." The campus organization lived up to that theme by making an impact and positively representing Delaware State University, said Phillip Holmes, director of DSU Housing and Residential Education. “In the Department of Housing, we pride ourselves on serving others, so at the beginning of semester, RHA was charged with doing more community service in our area,” Mr. Holmes said. “The students enjoyed themselves, learned a lot about building a home and got to meet the people who will be moving into the house, which was special.” The students’ efforts were also consistent with two of the University’s Core Values – Outreach and Community Service.

DSU's Dr. Dolores Finger Wright Appointed to State HRC

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Dr. Dolores Finger Wright has been appointed by Gov. Jack Markell to serve a four-year term on the State Human Relations Commission.

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Dr. Delores Finger Wright, an associate professor of social work at Delaware State University, has been appointed by Gov. Jack Markell to serve as a member of the State Human Relations Commission. The State Human Relations Commission (HRC) works with the Delaware Division of Human Relations to promote amicable relationships among the various racial and cultural groups within the State of Delaware. In addition to administering Delaware's Equal Accommodation Law and Fair Housing Act,  the Commission works to increase public awareness of civil and human rights in Delaware. “When we talk about human relations, we talk about social justice and the quality of human interaction,” Dr. Finger Wright said. “This is my orientation and training, and I feel that this in a good opportunity for me to serve in an area in which I have passion, knowledge and skill.” A veteran of the civil rights movement, in 2011 Dr. Finger Wright received the International Civil Rights Center & Museum Sit-In Hero’s Award for involvement in the 1960s in the history civil rights sit-in demonstrations that took in Greensboro, N.C. At a time with the DSU associate professor was an undergraduate student in Bennett College for Women, she also worked behind the scene during the Greensboro demonstrations and took part in the picket lines. After her graduation from Bennett College, Dr. Finger Wright went on to earn a Master of Social Work Degree from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Social Work from Howard University.  She has been a social work faculty member at DSU for 21 years. Dr. Finger Wright’s HRC appointment is for four years, ending on Sept. 8, 2020.

First Project Success Doctorate Speaks at Convocation

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Dr. Jamar Jeffers,  2016 Convocation keynote speaker, told the freshmen to embrace their journey and to learn from it. Dr. Jeffers is the first Project Success product to earn a doctorate.

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As he stood before an audience in an Education and Humanities Theatre packed with freshmen, faculty, staff, administrators and Board of Trustees members, Dr. Jamar Jeffers reflected back to his beginnings in 1998 as a DSU freshman. Dr. Jamar Jeffers takes a photo opp moment with DSU President Harry L. Williams. “By all statistics, I shouldn’t have been here,” he said. The keynote speaker for the Sept. 15 Convocation Ceremony that signaled the official start of the 2016-2017 academic year, noted his beginning as a Project Success student – a DSU program designed to enroll underachieving high school graduates and with special attention prepare them for the rigors of a University education. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications/Public Relations with a minor in Marketing in 2002 and a Master’s Degree in Management – both from DSU – the Del State alumnus put an exclamation  point on his academic journey in 2015 by earning  a Doctor of Business from Argosy University in Atlanta. His dissertation was entitled “A Phenomenological Study on Hip Hop Culture as a Marketing Strategy.” That has made him the first DSU Project Success product to earn a doctorate. As a result of his accomplishments to date, Dr. Jeffers had a lot to share with the class of 2020. “Be intentional about the classes you take, and be intentional about your extra-curricular activities,” he said. “Also be intentional about your friends and the network you keep. Be intentional about your success.” Dr. Jeffers emphasized the importance of networking with people who are working hard to succeed and establish a habit of excellence. “While you are here, build relationships,” he said. “if you are not networking, it means your nets are not working.” He noted that his current position as vice president of development for 100 Black Men of America involves fundraising, a pursuit that has become a passion for him. He encouraged the freshmen to identify their passions and make them a part of their career plans. “People will pay you for your passion,” Dr. Jeffers said. “Tap into that passion; that is like God breathing air into your lungs.” He said while he is enjoying what he is doing now, he has bigger dreams for his future. The DSU Concert Choir performed their rendition of "True Religion" “My audacious goal is to come back and be president of this University,” he said. “Right now I am using my passion to fundraise for DSU through my involvement with the DSU Alumni Association.” Finally, Dr. Jeffers advised the freshmen to be patient with life and the process of achieving success. “Nothing happens overnight,” he said. “Embrace the journey and learn from it.” The Convocation, presided over DSU President Harry L. Williams, featured musical performances by the DSU Concert Choir, the DSU Symphonic Band, and words of inspiration by Dr. Alexandra Silver, chairperson of the Faculty Senate, and Jasmine Jenkins, president of the Student Government Association. The Convocation was directed by Brenda F. Farmer, executive director of University Events and Ceremonies, which is under Institutional Advancement.

6th Annual President's Prayer Breakfast, article/photos

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(L-r) Lady Karen Hutchins and her husband Bishop-elect Norman Hutchins (who gave the Prayer Breakfast's keynote message), DSU President Harry L. Williams and his wife Dr. Robin Williams pose for a photo at the end of the event.

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Delaware State University held its 6th annual President’s Prayer Breakfast, which featured the soul-stirring music from the DSU Concert Choir, uplifting praise and worship songs from guest artist Tammy Trout of the Pentecostals of Dover, and a powerful message by the keynote preacher Bishop-elect Dr. Norman Hutchins, pastor of Frontline Ministries. For images from the Prayer Breakfast, click on the below link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/48216028@N03/sets/72157672794335420/show Led by Rev. Pamela Adams, DSU director of Spiritual Life and University chaplain, event featured prayers by Michael Carollo, a chaplain at Dover Air Force Base; Rev. Daniel Taylor of First Pilgrim Baptist Church of Camden, Del.; Dr. Shirlyn B. Brown, Easton District Superintendent of the Peninsula DE Conference of the United Methodist Church; Rev. William A. Grimes, pastor of Solid Rock Baptist Church of Dover; and Rev. Theressa “Tessie” Holmes, president of the New Castle County Chapter of the DSU Alumni Association. Rev. Hutchins, who was introduced by Candy E. Young, interim director of Title IX at DSU, gave a keynote address entitled “Faith will determine your Destiny.” DSU President Harry L. Williams presented this year’s President’s Ecumenical Award to Rev. Lonnie Rector, pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church of Newark, Del. Dr. Williams also used the occasion to posthumously recognize  the late Rev. Rudolph W. Coleman, who served as a longtime DSU counselor and chaplain, as well as the 35-year pastor of Mt. Zion AME Church of Dover until his passing in 2001; and the Dr. Richard M. Avant, the 34-year pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Dover until his passing in 2016. Words of campus uplift were shared by Cydnee Ford of the DSU Methodist Student Association and Omari Crain, of the DSU Students Against a Godless Society (SAGS).    Prelude music was provided by the gospel instrumental trio of pianist Edward Addison, violinist Eldrè Gladney and flutist Carlos Holmes. The National Anthem was sung by Anjosanlynn Fulgham, the 2016-2017 Miss DSU. The DSU president was joined in giving expressions of welcome by Jasmine Jenkins, president of the DSU Student Government Association. The President's Prayer Breakfast is planned and managed by a cross-campus committee under the auspices of the Division of Institutional Advancement. 

DSU Graduate Student Takes 1st in Oral Competition

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Armando A. Aispuro holds a "Breath Chamber" which built to collect sample of carbon dioxide from the aspiration of songbirds. HIs presentation of his research findings won him 1st place at the Aug. 28-31 NOAA Education Partnership Program Oral Competition of the 8th biennial Education and Science Forum held at the City College of New York.

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Armando Alberto Aispuro, a graduate student in Natural Resources, has won 1st place for his oral presentation at a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) competition. Armando Alberto Aispuro proudly show his 1st place certificate from the NOAA oral competition. Mr. Aispuro gave his winning presentation at the 8th Biennial Education and Science Forum in New York City sponsored by NOAA’s Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions. The title of Mr. Aispuro research presentation was “The Role of Apalachicola Barrier Island Ecosystems in Supporting Migratory Passerine Concentration Sites.” Said in a simpler manner, the DSU graduate student’s research involved the study of songbird migration in connection with St. Vincent Island and Cape St. George Island, both located off the panhandle coast of Florida. Because some songbirds choose a migratory route in which they fly from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico across the Gulf of Mexico to St. Vincent – the largest barrier island off of that part of Florida – Mr. Aispuro has studied the role that the island plays in providing a place where the birds can find rest and nourishment after their long flight. He also did a similar study relating the songbirds’ stopover on St. George Island, a smaller barrier island east of St. Vincent. “It is called “stop-over” ecology, which is a relatively new area of study,” Mr. Aispuro said. He noted that such research sheds light on the ecological function of these resources, provides data useful for the mitigation of impending sea-level rise, and provides data for management, preservation and protection. To understand how the birds are using barrier island stopover sites, Mr. Aispuro designed and built a "breath chamber" to capture the birds' respiration, which provides information about their diet and habitat choices. “We show that birds rely on these barrier islands to gain fat and muscle to complete their migration to northern breeding grounds,” Mr. Aispuro said. “We also show that a stopover along the Gulf coast allows birds to shift or maintain a diet in response to available resources in North America.” Mr. Aispuro, who is from Santa Barbara, California, said after he completes his master’s degree, he hopes to land a job with either a nonprofit or government agency in the area of conservation biology.

DSU Rises to 14th in HBCU Rankings; 4th Among Public HBCUs

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DSU's improvements in its retention and graduations rates figured greatly in the University's rise in the latest U.S. News & World Report's HBCU rankings.

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Delaware State University has moved up seven spots to 14th in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 4th on the list for top ranking public HBCU. According to the latest rankings released on Sept. 13, DSU has moved up from last year’s from 21st to 14th place out of the 105 HBCUs. DSU President Harry L. Williams said that DSU’s higher ranking is reflective of the hard work of faculty and staff to improve student success. “A big indicator of the University’s effectiveness in student success is found in retention and graduation,” Dr. Williams said. “Those are areas that DSU has been able to progressively improve and they are also major categories in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual HBCU rankings.” The magazine’s rankings are based strongly on retention and graduation rates – 27% of the ranking criteria scoring.  The other categories and the weight they are given include: peer assessment (25%), faculty resources (20%), student selectivity (12.5%), financial resources (10%), and alumni giving (5%). President Williams stated “DSU’s improvements in its retention and graduation rates are strong factors in Del State’s rise in the rankings.” The highest variables in the ranking formula are retention and graduation rates.  The University has been aggressively moving the retention and graduation rates in the last several years.   The magazine’s scoring of retention and graduation rates are an average of the rates of the last four years. In addition, DSU’s improvement in alumni giving was another factor in its rise in the 2016 rankings. “I would like to thank DSU’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and Board for their tireless, unwavering commitments to the accomplishments at Delaware State University,” says President Williams.  

DSU Features Diane Lorio Exhibition "Zigzag."

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This work entitled "Ice" is one of the paintings by Diane Lorio on exhibition currently in the DSU Arts Center/Gallery. The works will be on display until Sept. 23.

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The Delaware State University Art Center/Gallery is currently exhibiting a show of pattern works entitled “Zigzag” by Dover artist Diane Lorio. Diane Lorio stands to her work entitled "Magnify," one of the paints included in her current exhibition. The exhibition – which will be displayed until Sept. 23 – is free and open to the public. The Art Center/Gallery – which is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – is located on the right inside the lobby entrance of the William C. Jason Library on campus. Ms. Lorio, the Delaware Division of the Arts’ award-winning partner artist, has been painting for decades, as well as teaching art and encouraging peer artists. “The exhibit has a correlating pattern that goes through all of my paintings,” said Mrs. Lorio, who is also the wife of Edward Lorio, DSU associate professor of art and a sculpture artist. “When I put this show together, I needed a pattern that could coincide with each other, an energetic pattern.” The artist describes the works as patterns inspired by African tribal art, with each piece as a unique way to show the same energetic pattern. There will be a “Meet the Artist” reception from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15 in the Art Center/ Gallery, which is opened from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The reception is also free and open to the public.  

NEH Chairman William Adams Visits DSU

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(L-r) Dr. Susan West, DSU associate professor and Del. Humanities Forum (DHS) chair; DSU President Harry L. Williams; National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman William Adams, Marilyn Whittington, DHS executive director, Theresa Del Tufo widow of the DHS founder and former DSU professor Joseph Del Tufo, and Dr. Akwasi Osei, chair of the DSU Dept. of History, Pol. Sci. & Philosophy.

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Dr. William D. Adams, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, visited DSU on Sept. 7. Dr. William Adams, NEH chairman (far right), meets with DSU faculty and students in the OSCAR Building to exchange ideas on humanities. Dr. Adams, who has served since 2014 as the 10th chair of the NEH, is also the former president of Bucknell University (1995-2000) and of Colby College (2000-2014). During his visit, he met with DSU President Harry L. Williams, he stopped at the campus’ historic Loockerman Hall and spoke to a gathering there, and ended his day at by meeting with a group of students and faculty at the Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) Building. In addition to promoting the humanities through his conversations at DSU, Dr. Adams also inquired about the humanities academic offerings and activities that are available at the University. He was escorted around campus by Dr. Susan West, associate professor in the University’s Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy. Dr. West is the chairperson of the Council of the Delaware Humanities Forum; other members for the DHF also joined Dr. Adams on the visit to DSU. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

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