February 2010


University Mourns Two Faculty Members

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  Delaware State University is mourning the recent deaths of two faculty members. Dr. Yaw Ackah, professor of sociology and criminal justice, passed away on Feb. 17 after a lengthy illness. Dr. Ackah began teaching at DSU as an assistant professor in 1993 after he earned his doctorate in sociology and criminal justice from Howard University. By 2003, Dr. Ackah had risen to full professor status at DSU.                       Dr. Yaw Ackah His research in their areas of crime in Washington, D.C., race and health disparities among prison inmates, and transnational crime resulted in published articles in several academic publications. Dr. Ackah was a native of Ghana. “He was a dedicated teacher, a good scholar, a compassionate faculty member, a decent person, and he was a scrupulously honest person,” said Dr. Kofi Blay, chair of the Department of Sociology. “He has left a gap that will be difficulty to fill.”   He is survived by his wife Georgina and five sons, Eric, Ernest, Thomas, Samuel and Ellis, as well as other family members and friends.   To allow time for family member to travel from Ghana to the United States, a viewing will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 12  at Torbert Funeral Home on Del. 10. The funeral at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 13 at Wesley United Methodist Church, 209 S. State Street in downtown Dover. The 1 p.m. funeral start time is a rescheduling from the original planned 2 p.m. time, which had to be changed due to a parade event that will be going  on in downtown Dover that afternoon.   Dr. Clorice D. Thomas-Haysbert, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management, passed away on Feb. 20 after a long battle with cancer. Dr. Thomas-Haysbert began teaching in the DSU Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management in the fall of 2003. She had been on sick leave since the spring semester 2009.        Dr. Clorice Thomas-Haysbert “Dr. T.H., as we called her, was very caring and sincere where the Hospitality & Tourism Management students were concerned and faithfully served as their mentor and advisor, said Dr. Cynthia R. Mayo, the department’s chair.   Dr. Mayo added that Dr. Thomas-Haysbert served as the chair of the department’s Curriculum Committee and also served on the Assurance of Learning Committee. Prior to arriving at DSU, she was the director of the Hospitality Management Program at Howard University.   She is survived by her husband Raymond Haysbert, as well as other family and friends.   There will be a Memorial Service at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at Centennial United Methodist Church, 44 East Mt. Vernon Street, Smyrna, Del. Friends can call on the family at the church two hours before the service begins.  

DSU Chinese Students/Scholars to Celebrate Chinese New Year Feb. 14

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The Red Sorghum Dancing Group will be one of the performing acts at the Feb. 14 DSUCSSA's Chinese New Year celebration.

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  The Chinese Students Association of Delaware State University will host the 2010 Chinese New Year Celebration from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14 in the DSU Education and Humanities Theatre on campus. The event is free and open to the public. Professional and talented performers will present traditional Chinese music, ethnic dancing, martial arts, a Chinese zither recital and a traditional comic show. Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most significant festival for the Chinese people as it is that time of the year when all family members get together to have a gala time, just like Christmas in the West. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year's Eve is known as Chúxī. It literally means "Year-pass Eve". In 2010, Chinese New Year is Feb.14 (the same day as Valentine's Day), but every year, this date is changing. Chinese Zodiac is named for the 12 animals that are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, 2009 is the Year of Ox and 2010 will be the Year of Tiger.    

DSU to Present the Jena Production "America, Amerique" at the Schwartz

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The March 4 performance of the America, Amerique cast (left) is a rescheduled date, as the original Feb. 12 date was postponed due to the snowstorm of that week.

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  Delaware State University will host the JENA Company production entitled America, Amerique at 7 p.m. Friday, March 4 at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Downtown Dover. Live on stage, America, Amerique is the story of American immigrants – and America – 1845 to the Present. From the Irish potato fields to Mid-western farms and New York tenements … from New England factories and the railroad across the Rockie, to the Mexican border 2008…and elsewhere. The startling and extraordinary production uses music, sound, and seven actors to bring the audience to unknown worlds. “Voices from Our Past, Dreams for the Future, and a Battle that still rages today, the audience will learn, to know deeply, where we’ve been, where we’ve come from, maybe even where we’re going, in this American story, the story of immigrants. The production is free to students with I.D. and is open to the public with a $10 fee for adults. For tickets call the Schwartz Center for the Arts box office at (302) 678-5152. For further information contact Dr. Donald Parks at (302) 678-3583 or e-mail at Donald@schwartzcenter.com. School groups and other community groups are welcome to participate in this opportunity to learn about the history of immigration in America.      

DSU Music Dept. Hosts 2nd Annual Brass Day

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This year's Brass Day will feature an afternoon performance of the U.S. Naval Brass Quintet and an evening concert of  the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass.

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  The Delaware State University Music Department will hold its second annual Brass Day that will feature clinics and performance opportunities for brass musicians of all ages as well as be highlighted by three separate concerts by a number of DSU Brass Ensemble groups, the U.S. Naval Band Brass Quintet and the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass, all taking place throughout the day on Friday, Feb. 12 in the Education and Humanities Building and Theatre. The day will begin at 12 noon with a concert featuring all of DSU’s brass groups – the DSU Trombone Ensemble, the Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, the “Sting” Brass Quintet, the “Valve” Brass Quintet, as well as DSU faculty members Dr. Patrick Hoffman and Dr. Frank Gazda.   That will be followed by a 1 p.m. clinics/reading session for trumpet, horn, trombone, baritone/euphonium and tuba. These sessions are open to all participants    At 2 p.m. the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Band Brass Quintet will perform a concert in the Education and Humanities Theatre. The USNA Band Brass Quintet, which is dedicated to the promotion of traditional and contemporary brass quintet literature, is based in the Annapolis area where it has been widely hailed as clinicians by schools and colleges of that area. This concert is free and open to the public.   The DSU Trombone Ensemble -- (l-r) James Scarborough, Ashton Haines, Shawn Walker, Dr. Frank Gazda (director), Ruben Fountain and Janae Huff -- will be one of several DSU Brass Ensembles to perform during the Brass Day event. At 7:15 p.m. there will be a prelude concert featuring the DSU Brass Ensembles and the “Mass Brass” Ensemble.   At 8 p.m. the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass will perform the feature concert of the day. The band is composed of some of America’s top brass musicians, with member of the group having been performers with elite symphony musicians such as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Baltimore Symphony, Sào Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Imani Winds, Canadian Brass and the Boston Brass. The bandleader Rodney Mack is a cousin of renowned jazz trumpet player Wynton Marsalis.   The Rodney Mack Concert, which will also be held in the Education & Humanities Theatre, will cost $5 for student and $10 for adults.   All of the day’s events will take place in the Education & Humanities Theatre on campus. Students (DSU and non-DSU) of all ages, amateur and professional brass players, and all music lovers are welcome for a day of clinics, workshops, and concerts.   With the exception of Rodney Mack concert, all other activities are free and open to the public.  Please contact Frank Gazda at (302) 857-7885 or fgazda@desu.edu for directions or additional information.      

President Williams Attends Obama's HBCU Event

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DSU President Harry L. Williams, shown on Feb. 1 with Dr. John S. Wilson Jr. (r) of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, was reunited with the administration official at the Feb. 26 executive order signing by President Barack Obama that promises support for HBCUs.

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  DSU President Harry Lee Williams spent Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C. with other HBCU leaders to witness President Barack Obama’s signing of an executive order that renews the White House’s commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The executive order renews White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities that was begun in 2002 under the administration of President George Bush. According to a White House press release, the event – which took place in the White House East Room – demonstrates President’s Obama’s strong appreciation for the historic role these institutions have played in the education of citizens as well as the Administration’s commitment to assist HBCUs in accomplishing their missions.   Specifically, the executive order establishes the White House Initiative on HBCUs to be housed in the U.S. Department of Education under the leadership of Executive Director John S. Wilson Jr., as well as establish a President’s Board of Advisors in HBCUs.   Dr. Wilson was in attendance at DSU when Dr. Williams announced that establishment of a Blue Ribbon Commission to create a new vision and set of core values for the University. He also met that same day with the DSU president and commission members to explain President Obama’s commitment to HBCUs.   DSU President Williams said that it was a tremendous experience to attend President Obama’s executive order signing along with the entire Congressional Black Caucus and more then 40 other HBCU presidents.   “President Obama made it clear that he is in full support of HBCUs,” said the DSU president. “He cited the importance of the sustainability of HBCUs because it is going to be important of his 2020 goal of improving the number of people earning degrees.   Dr. Williams added that President Obama has requested $98 million in new money for HBCUs, with a large percentage of that going toward financial aid for students and increasing the Pell Grant.   According the White House press release, the Obama Administration is also requesting $20.5 million for a HBCU Capital Financing Program. This would provide HBCUs with access to financing for the repair, renovation and construction or acquisition of education facilities, instructional equipment, research instrumentation and physical infrastructure.   Including Delaware State University, there are 105 HBCUs located in 20 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which serve more than 300,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  

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