April 2010


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.    

Doctoral Trio Wins 1st in National Research Poster Competition

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(L-r) DSU mathematics doctoral students Fang Zeng, Tiara Turner and Yuhong Liu stand with their research poster that won 1st place at a recent national research conference. Their research showed how radar can be used through walls to detect biological movement such as respiration and the mathematical measurements that are employed in such technology.

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  Three Delaware State University doctoral students took 1st place with their mathematics research poster at the 5th annual National Minority Serving Institutions Research Partnership Consortium Conference held recently at Morgan State University in Baltimore. The doctoral students – Fang Zeng and Yuhong Liu of China and Tiara Turner of Princess Anne, Md. – won the top prize in their category for the complex poster on “Detection of Periodic Motions of Visually Obscured Human Beings Using UWB Radar.” With great relevance to security and surveillance operation, the DSU trio showed how UWB radar can be used to detect through a wall biological motion such as respiration and the movement of human limbs. According to the research, such radar technology could be used to help protect troops in conflict by detecting threats in hidden areas. The radar could also have applications in earthquake and fire rescue operations.      

Students Volunteer for Special Olympics

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DSU students (in white t-shirts) pose with Special Olympics athletes from the Charlton School: (bottom l-r) William Walter Pepper, Aaron Watson, Brittany Alston, Jason Anthony; (top l-r) Shawn W. Gordon, Jr., Cayla Lord and Francis Washington II.

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  Delaware State University students helped make it a special day for a host of youngsters as the University once again hosted the April 1 Special Olympics Delaware’s Basketball Skills competition in the Memorial Hall Gymnasium. About 50 DSU students volunteered their time to coordinate the competition events for children from 13 different Central Delaware public schools. The Special Olympics athletes competed in the following events; the Target Pass, Ten-Meter Dribble, Spot Shot and Speed Dribble. Special Olympics Delaware is an organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities.    

DSU Selected to Receive Kresge Foundation Fellowship Award

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DSU President Harry L. Williams stands with the DSU Green Ambassadors, a student organization dedicated to supporting DSU sustainability goals. Such endeavors have helped DSU obtain the Kresge Fellowship Award.

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    Delaware State University has been awarded a 2010 Kresge Foundation Fellowship Award that will provide it with significant opportunities to build upon its current Go Green initiative for sustainability.   The environmental non-profit organization Second Nature, with funding from The Kresge Foundation, has presented fellowship awards to DSU and 24 other higher education institutions that were selected from 60 applicants. The selections were based on a diverse selection committee’s assessment of these institutions’ level of need, statement of interest, and campus sustainability capacity.             The fellowship provides a senior member of the college/university community with education on green building and sustainability in higher education and peer-to-peer networking opportunities. DSU has selected Vita Pickrum, associate vice president of Development and chair of the University’s Go Green Committee, to represent the school in this fellowship opportunity.   This is the latest development in the University’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 footprint.   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, curriculum and fundraising activities, buildings and facilities, as well as in disseminating information about its efforts to the campus community and the surrounding communities.   “We are elated to receive the Kresge Fellowship Award, as it will assist DSU in furthering its efforts toward sustainability,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “The award confirms that DSU is on the right path with its environmental priorities.”   “The Kresge fellows are becoming key players in the education for sustainability movement.  We’re thrilled to welcome the selected 2010 fellows to this effort, and we are excited to support them as they champion green building on their own campuses and beyond,” says Dr. Anthony Cortese, President of Second Nature.   A goal of the fellowship program is to offer university executives the information and networks requisite to become successful green building leaders at their own under-resourced campuses. These representatives will attend one of two noteworthy green building-related conferences for the year 2010, where they will have the opportunity for training, networking, and inspiration for campus green building.   The Kresge Fellowship Program is one of the key educational and outreach programs within the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative. This capacity-building initiative, launched by Second Nature and funded by The Kresge Foundation, focuses on addressing some of the crucial challenges faced by under-resourced colleges and universities to ‘build green’ on their campuses. Through this initiative, Second Nature is helping under-resourced higher education institutions build champions for green building and learn about the resources and networks available to construct and renovate campus buildings in ways that save money, reduce environmental and health impacts, serve as educational tools, and increase student enrollment.   For more information on Second Nature's Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative, please contact Ashka Naik, Program Manager, at anaik@secondnature.org. ----   The Kresge Foundation is a $2.8 billion private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six fields: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services, and community development. In 2008, it awarded 342 grants totaling $181 million. Second Nature is a Boston-based nonprofit organization that works to accelerate movement towards a sustainable future by helping senior college and university leaders in making healthy, just, and sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. Second Nature is the lead support organization of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which has been signed by more than 665 school presidents who are committed to eliminating carbon emissions on campus and training students to help society address climate change.       

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