July 2010

New Provost and VP of Academic Affairs Appointed

  DSU President Harry L. Williams has appointed Dr. Alton Thompson of North Carolina A&T as the new provost and vice president of Academic Affairs of Delaware State University. Dr. Thompson comes to DSU after serving from July 2008 to the present as the interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at North Carolina A&T (NCA&T). He served as the dean and executive director of agricultural programs in NCA&T’s School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences from 2000-2008. Prior to that, he served from 1991 to 2000 as a professor and chairperson in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Education, and Rural Sociology at NCA&T. Previously, Dr Thompson was a faculty member at North Carolina State University and Norfolk State University.     Dr. Alton Thompson Dr. Thompson’s academic specialty is in the interface of statistics, research methods, demography, and rural sociology. His research has resulted in the publication of 25 articles in refereed journals, seven book chapters and a book titled Quality of Life among Rural Residents in North Carolina: Community and Life Satisfaction (1985). His research focus includes agromedicine, rural poverty/development, labor economics, and structure of agriculture. Dr. Thompson’s grantsmanship has resulted in more than $5 million in extra-mural research funds for the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at NCA&T. “Dr. Thompson is well respected in agriculture academia circles and has distinguished himself in research, grant-writing and as an author,” Dr. Williams said. “He will strengthen the University’s trajectory to higher levels of academic excellence.” Dr. Thompson has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from North Carolina Central University, a Master of Science in Sociology/Demography and a Ph.D. in Rural Sociology/Demography, both from The Ohio State University. Currently, Dr. Thompson is the chairperson of the Administrative Heads Section of the Board of Agriculture Assembly for the Association of Public and State Universities, as well as of the 1890 Council of Deans of Agriculture, Carolina Farm Credit Board of Directors, the Rural Advancement Fund International Board of Directors and the USDA – National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board. Recently, Dr. Thompson was inducted into the USDA/Cooperative State, Research, Education and Extension Service Hall of Fame. “I am delighted to be a member of the senior leadership team at DSU as we work collaboratively with a talented faculty to operationalize and execute the new vision for the University, centered on a standard of academic excellence, Dr. Thompson said. “As an 1890 land grant university with a rich heritage, I look forward to engaging the faculty and staff in advancing the tripartite mission of learning, discovery and engagement in very strategic and intentional ways.” Dr. Thompson is married to Dr. Cynthia Carlton Thompson, a professor of Graphics Communications in the School of Technology at NCA&T. They have one daughter, Melanie, and one granddaughter, Makiya.  

Alumna Honored with a Day in her Name in Buffalo NY

  DSU alumna S. Renee Smith, an image consultant, motivational speaker and author was in for a surprise before she gave the keynote address to a Buffalo, N.Y. crowd during the city’s July 17 Kingdom Vision Buffalo event. Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown asked Ms. Smith to join him at the podium where he proceeded to read a proclamation that named July 17 in the city as “S. Renee Smith Day.”   Ms. Smith has increasingly made her mark on the world as a sought-after motivational speaker, and was invited to be the keynote speaker at the event – a non-denomination Christian event designed to strengthen the outreach of local service provided to city residents, to address the challenges of teen pregnancy, homicides and high unemployment, as well as provide a fellowship venue for a diverse gathering. DSU Alumna S. Renee Smith gives the keynote address at the July 17 Kingdom Vision event in Buffalo, N.Y. and was honored with a day in her name.   Ms. Smith told the thousands gathered in downtown Buffalo’s Niagara Square that to make things better in the city, individuals had to take ownership of their lives and to maintain their faith in themselves, each other and their God.   Ms. Smith said the mayor’s proclamation was a complete surprise. “I was truly humbled by it,” she said. “It was a blessing to be honored that way.”   Mayor Brown’s formal proclamation praised her for being the keynote speaker for the event. It also recognized her years at DSU – as a 1988 graduate with a BS in marketing and as a former director of Public Relations – as well as her authorship of her inspirational book There is More Inside and her success as a motivational speaker, which the proclamation noted “has inspired audiences across the United States and internationally.”