April 2010


Dr. Melissa Harrington Named ACE Fellow

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  The American Council on Education (ACE) has named Dr. Melissa Harrington, associate professor of biology at Delaware State University, as an ACE Fellow for academic year 2010-11. The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.   As part of the fellowship, she will spend a semester with a president or senior administrator at a yet-to-be selected university or college. The fellowship also requires Dr. Harrington to focus on an issue of concern to DSU                                Dr. Melissa Harrington Dr. Harrington said she will use the fellowship experience to assist the University in its reaccreditation self-study and strategic plan projects. “During my fellowship year, I would like to learn more about the strategic planning process at other universities, as well as how institutions assess and document their progress in meeting accreditation standards,” she said.   Melissa Harrington earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular Biology from Purdue University and a PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University. She joined the faculty at DSU as an assistant professor in biology in fall 2001 after four years as a faculty member at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga.   Dr. Harrington was promoted to associate professor in 2005 and has been promoted to the rank of professor effective August 2010. Since coming to DSU, Dr. Harrington has led 17 successful grant partnerships that have brought over $13 million in federal funding to DSU for education, research and outreach efforts. In her role as the chair of the DSU Biology Curriculum Committee, Dr. Harrington was the driving behind the successful development of the Neuroscience Ph.D. program and the Forensic Biology Program.   She was nominated for the fellowship by Dr. Harry L. Williams, who submitted her name in his previous capacity as the University’s provost prior to being elevated to the DSU president’s post.    Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.   Dr. Sharon A. McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program, noted that most previous Fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the nearly 1,700 participants in the first 45 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents, or deans.              

DSU Supports Dover's Muscular Dystrophy Fundraiser

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Carlos Holmes, DSU director of News Service, languished for about an hour in the MDA "jail" before the bail money provided by other University employees liberated him.

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  Carlos Holmes, DSU director of News Services, had to do a bit of jail time on March 31, but it was worth it as DSU faculty and staff donated $425 towards his “bail” in the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Dover Lock Up. Mr. Holmes was one of numerous representatives of businesses, state agencies, churches and other organizations to raise funds as part of the MDA Dover Lock Up.   Seventy DSU employees each contributed between $5 and $20 to go toward Mr. Holmes’ “bail.” The MDA sent a Delaware State University trooper to DSU present him with the MDS warrant for his arrest on the morning of March 31. The trooper pulled him out of his weekly Integrated Marketing meeting and took him in a patrol car to the jail site at the Buffalo Wings Restaurant in Dover.   Mr. Holmes detained in “jail” for about an hour and was released after presenting the “bail” money he raised at DSU.   The money will go toward needs for those afflicted with muscular dystrophy that are not covered by insurance, such as the upgrade of braces, as well as fund a MDA Summer Camp for kids.   On behalf of Carlos Holmes and the MDA, sincere thanks go out to all DSU faculty and staff that contributed to this fundraiser.   The MDA will continue to collect donations through the month of April as part of this fundraiser. Anyone interested in making a contribution to the MDA can contact Mr. Holmes at cholmes@desu.edu.    

Earth Day Marked by Dedicating Sustainability Garden

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Delaware State University highlighted Earth Day on campus by christening a new Sustainability Garden that underscored the institution’s commitment to be faithful environmental stewards.   The University held an April 22 ribbon cutting ceremony for the Sustainability Garden at its site just northeast of the Village Café. In dedicating the garden, DSU President Harry Lee Williams noted that vegetables grown on the plot will be served in the Village Café and sold at the DSU’s Farmer’s Market. The surplus will be donated to low-income families in the community.   “It is equally important that this Sustainability Garden will be an outdoor laboratory for our students to learn the full cycle of the food chain from growing, harvesting, selling and contributing to mankind,” Dr. Williams said. “It will beautify an area that would have been desolate after the removal of a temporary building that previously housed the University’s post office and student bookstore.”   The Sustainability Garden is the latest development in DSU’s Go Green Initiative that was launched last September when then-acting DSU President Claibourne Smith signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment to lead DSU to climate neutrality. With that pact, DSU joined 650 other universities in committing to reduce the campus’ carbon footprints.   This commitment led to the formation of the DSU Go Green Steering Committee which attracted more than 80 members. Seven subcommittees each play a role in focusing on green environmentally friendly and climate neutral measures that relate to the University’s procurement and fundraising activities, buildings and facilities, as well as in disseminating information about its efforts to the campus community and the surrounding communities.    “The (DSU) colleges, the president and vice presidents, as well as the Student Government Association, are represented on every subcommittee and are actively involved in the greening of DSU,” said Carolyn Curry, DSU vice president of Institutional Advancement.   The DSU Go Green Committee is chaired by Vita Pickrum, DSU associate vice president for development.   More than 30 children from the University’s Child Development Lab took part in the dedication program, reciting an environmental pledge, singing a song, as well as taking part in the planting afterwards. The Sustainability Garden event highlighted a day full of Earth Day activities with a panel discussion, a tour of the DSU Aquaculture Pond Research and Demonstration Facility, and a DSU Lab School Playground Beatification project. The Village Café even served specially prepared “green eggs and ham” to mark the day.   The DSU Earth Days activities will continue on Friday, April 23 with a beautification project at the University Courtyard Apartments complex, a screening of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth at 10:30 a.m. and culminated by a 1:30 p.m. Campus Trees Nature Walk that will begin at the DSU flagpoles near the main gate of the campus.   DSU’s Go Green initiative was featured in the April 19-26 issue of Jet Magazine.      

DSU Awarded $100,000 Walmart Foundation Grant

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This DSU team -- (l-r Dr. Niklas Robinson, Phyllis Collins, Dr. Marshall Stevenson, Dr. Myrna Nurse and Frances Rogers -- will coordinate the high impact academic activities that the Walmart Foundation grant will fund.

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  Delaware State University has been selected by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) to receive a Walmart Minority Student Success Award – a $100,000 grant to help build on DSU’s demonstrated successes in enrolling, retaining, and graduating first-generation college students. The $100,000 grant is being made possible by a $4.2 million grant to IHEP from the Walmart Foundation. The University was selected as one of only 30 minority-serving institutions (MSIs) —Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Predominantly Black Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities—through a highly competitive application process to strengthen efforts to support first-generation students. DSU will be attending the annual IHEP Summer Academy where they’ll be joined by representatives from 14 other minority serving institutions to establish action plans to increase capacity, share ideas to better serve first-generation college students and develop partnerships with other colleges and universities. “Delaware State University is honored to be selected as one of just several outstanding higher education institutions nationwide to receive the Walmart Minority Student Success Award,” said DSU President Harry Lee Williams. “Thanks in large part to this award, we will be able to enhance and expand our work with first-generation students.” The funding will be used at DSU to provide high impact academic activities in the general education curriculum of first-year students. The project will be coordinated by a team of faculty members in the University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences as well as academic enrichment administrators – Dr. Myrna Nurse, assistant professor of English, Dr. Niklas Robinson, assistant professor of history and political science, Frances Rogers, acting director of Academic Enrichment, and Phyllis Collins, executive director of Academic Enrichment. “We are delighted and excited that DSU has received this funding,” said Dr. Marshall Stevenson, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “This will allow the University to provide added academic assistance to ensure that our students have every opportunity to succeed in accordance with the mission of the institution.” “The institutions in our 2010 Minority Student Success cohort broaden and deepen the pool of MSIs committed to ensuring the success of the first-generation student success both at their campuses and beyond,” said Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) President Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. “We are pleased to be working with them on programs that are sure to serve as models to all of higher education.”   ”At Walmart, we understand that education is critical to the lives and well-being of all Americans. We’re proud to support giving that enables the success of first-generation college students,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. The Walmart Foundation grants support the existing work of MSIs to strengthen first-generation student success programs, with a special focus on classroom practices and the role faculty play in their students’ academic success. Approximately 41% of students enrolled at MSIs are first-generation, compared to 30% of students at Predominantly White Institutions. The overrepresentation of first-generation students at MSIs makes them ideal to help improve retention and persistence gaps for this student population.   The other 2010 winners include: Adams State College (Colo.), Bloomfield College (N.J.), Bowie State University (Md.), Coppin State University (Md.), El Camino College (Ca,), Fort Belknap College (Mont.), Hampton University (Va.), Leech Lake Tribal College (Minn.), New Jersey City University (N.J.), United Tribes Technical College (N.D.), University of Houston- Downtown (Texas), University of New Mexico (N.M.), Valencia Community College (Fla.), and Winston-Salem State University (N.C.). For more information about the initiative and grantees, visit the IHEP Web site at www.ihep.org/walmartminoritystudents.cfm.    

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