March 2012


Dr. Devona Williams Sworn In as New Board of Trustees Member

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Dr. Devona E.G. Williams, president/CEO of Goeins-Williams Associates, is sworn in as a member of the DSU Board of Trustees by Dr. Claibourne Smith, board chair.

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The Delaware State University Board of Trustees has added business consultant Dr. Devona E.G. Williams as a member of its body. Dr. Devona E.G. Williams, DSU's newest Board of Trustees member. Dr. Williams was sworn in during the DSU Board of Trustees regular meeting on March 1, and then proceeded to take part in her first meeting as a full member. She replaces former board member Dr. Matthew Mackie, who stepped down after serving his full term. An appointee of Gov. Jack Markell, Dr. Williams has over 25 years of experience in the fields of public policy, planning and public affairs with corporate, government and non-profit sectors. She is the founder, president and CEO of Goeins-Williams Associates (GWA), a successful consulting business designed to help organizations achieve greater productivity in strategic work environments. The list of GWA clients includes AstraZeneca, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Christina Health Systems, the DuPont Corporation, the State of Delaware, and many others. Dr. Williams’ professional experience spans the administration of public programs, the management of corporate public relations, policy issues, strategic planning, organizational and executive leadership. Her experience also includes executive appointments with the DuPont Corporation, as well as service as a U.S. Presidential Intern with the Office of Management and Budget, NASA and the EPA. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware, with specialization in social policy, program planning and analysis. Dr. Williams is a former assistant professor and instructor for the University of Delaware’s School of Urban Affairs. She is a frequent keynote speaker on business, diversity, leadership, motivation and success. She is also a contributing author of the inspirational book Remarkable Women.

DSU at the 2012 MEAC Tourney -- Photo Slideshow

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Dr. Reba Hollingsworth, class of 1949, was honored as DSU's Distinguished Alumni at the 2012 MEAC Tournament. Dr. Hollingsworth shows her award with her family and DSU President Harry L. Williams (2nd from left).

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The 2012 MEAC Tourney attracted some Hornet faithful to the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. for the March 8 quarterfinal matchup between the DSU Hornet men and the Florida A&M Rattlers, where they witnessed an overtime 65-55 loss that kept Del State from moving on in the Tourney. Earlier in the week, the Lady Hornets lost their opening round MEAC Tourney game to South Carolina State 72-66 in overtime. During the tournament, Dr. Reba Hollingsworth, class of 1949, was honored as DSU’s Distinguished Alumni. See the below photo slideshow for images of the MEAC Tourney.

DSU and Barclays Announce New Internship Program

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DSU President Harry L. Williams (third from left) expresses his excitement over the new Barclays internship program. Standing behind him is the first intern group of DSU students: (l-r) Dwight DeLoatch, Cliff Streater, Tiona Campbell, Palesa Motshidi and Carmen Mikhaiel.

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U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, DSU President Harry L. Williams, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and Barclaycard CEO Amer Sajed. Barclays has launched a new annual internship program with Delaware State University in which six DSU students will work at Barclaycard US in its Credit Risk Organization for a two-month assignment. Amer Sajed, CEO of Barclaycard US, and DSU President Harry L. Williams unveiled the new Barclays Bank Mentor Program during a media event at the Barclaycard site in Wilmington. Also in attendance and speaking in support of the initiative were U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons. “This program underscores the commitment of Barclays to citizenship, community and the future of Delaware – its young people,” said Mr. Sajed.  “We’re focused on ensuring that our energy, ideas, expertise and passion are leveraged to help the different causes we support.  This program illustrates this approach in action because our colleagues will leverage their mentoring skills and share their knowledge to help young people.” Dr. Williams said the program is part of a series of new initiatives to make Delaware State University stronger and enhance its national reputation. “We are very proud that a major company agreed to provide our students with this type of support,” Dr. Williams said. "Initiatives like the Barclays Bank Mentor Program help DSU to achieve the vision by providing an opportunity for our students to build upon their academic training in the skills necessary to become the first choice of employers in this industry. " Each student will have Barclays business mentor and receive important, marketable experience through assignments in gathering data, conducting analysis, leveraging computer programs such as Excel and SAS, working on teams, implementing programs and presenting to a corporate audience. Carmen Mikhaiel, a DSU student and Barclays intern, spoke on behalf of the other interns. “In the business world, this program is great for networking and will boost our resumes -- an advantage after graduation when we go into the work force,” she said. Barclaycard employee and DSU alumna ('98) Lisa Bacot is the mentor of DSU sophomore Tiona Campbell. Sen. Carper said that DSU’s partnership with Barclays is reflective of the direction the University is moving in to prepare its students for success. “DSU is breaking into the top 15 HBCUs and is working toward breaking into the top 10,” Sen. Carper said. “DSU is a school on the move.” Sen. Coons noted the importance of public-private partnerships in driving job opportunities in Delaware. “It is very important for area employers to support our educational institutions,” he said.  “This is a model of what a public-private partnership should be about.” The inaugural group of DSU-Barclays interns, their years and majors are: Clarence Banks, sophomore, finance & banking; Tiona Campbell, sophomore, accounting; Dwight Deloatch, sophomore, finance & banking; Carmen Mikhaiel, junior, accounting; Palesa Motshidi, sophomore, accounting; and Clifford Streater, senior, management information systems.  

Mr. DSU Justin Caesar Wins 2012 Mr. HBCU Title

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3/29/12 Justin C. Caesar, the 2011-2012 Mr. DSU, has added a new crown for his head after recently winning the 8th annual Mr. Historically Black Colleges and Universities Pageant in Jefferson City, Mo. Mr. DSU Justin Caesar, the 2012 Mr. HBCU Mr. Caesar, a senior public relations major at Delaware State University, won the top title over 13 other HBCU university and college kings who competed in the 2012 pageant. The competition consisted of a three-minute oratory and talent category, as well as a question and answer challenge. For the talent category, he came up with a creative monologue – which he gave while lying in an actual casket. “I portrayed our past ancestors as rolling over in their graves while seeing how this generation has taken for granted what they fought for,” Mr. Caesar said. “There just happened to be funeral home near the competition site, and they let me use one of their caskets.” All of the contestants were asked to give three-minute oratory on the theme “HBCUs, the Cornerstone of our History – Black Men, the Catalyst for the Survival of These Institutions.” In his oratory, Mr. Caesar affirmed the value of HBCUs in producing the African American male leaders of the future. “HBCUs were designed to use education as a means of breaking the mental captivities of slavery,” he said in his oratory. “Men such as William Jefferson, the white founder of Morehouse College, had the vision that one day the Morehouse men of today would be the catalyst of change in tomorrow’s society.” In the question and answer category, Mr. Caesar was asked: “If he could switch places with a historical figure, who would it be and why?” “My answer was Thurgood Marshall, and I used his quote that we need to ‘change the way that we see the world’,” Mr. Caesar said. “As African-Americans, we are presented with many barriers and obstacles in life, but we have the ability to change that and overcome.” Mr. Caesar, who is from Newburgh, N.Y.,  is slated to graduate in May. He said that he already has a job waiting for him in Atlanta, Ga., where he will work as a sales specialist for the MillerCoors LLC. It is the second time that a Mr. DSU has won the Mr. HBCU title since the University began crowning a king in 2005. Harold Burnett, Mr. DSU 2006-2007, won the Mr. HBCU title in 2007.  

DSU's Dr. Pokrajac Achieves Algorithm Advancement

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Dr. Dragoljub Pokrajac, DSU professor of computer and information sciences, stands in front of a poster detailing research that has led to an algorithm advancement that has received a provisional patent. Dr. Pokrajac developed the algorithm along with two scientists from the University of Pennsylvania.

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3/29/12 Dr. Dragoljub M. Pokrajac, professor of computer and information sciences, has joined two other professors at the University of Pennsylvania to come up with a new algorithm that could lead to a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer. The algorithm – which has already achieved provisional patent status – enables the creation of a breast model with specific tissue and ligament compositions that can give doctors quick guidance on the best imaging technique – such as mammograms, MRI, CAT scans, etc. – that should be used to provide the best diagnosis information. (L-r) Dr. Predrag R. Bakic, Dr. Andrew D.A. Maidment, both of the University of Pennsylvania, and DSU's Dr. Dragoljub Pokrajac have developed a new algorithm that could lead to a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer. “Previously, the creation of such models would take days,” Dr. Pokrajac said. “We can do it in 10 seconds.” The new advancement is primarily the work of Dr. Pokrajac, along with Dr. Andrew D.A. Maidment and Dr. Predrag R. Bakic of the University of Pennsylvania. “The best thing about this advancement is that it can determine very quickly the best imagery technique that should be used to visualize the breast, thereby saving a lot of time and money,” the DSU professor said. Dr. Pokrajac said the algorithm allows scientists to quickly create models that can vary the parameters of the breast anatomy and imaging  – such as the ligament and skin thickness, the percentage of fat and even the x-ray voltage – to reach conclusions about the most effective imaging technique that should be used. In addition the algorithm’s medical application, Dr. Pokrajac said it also has application for the analysis of materials. “We are actively looking for someone in material science who would be interested in trying simulated modeling on materials,” he said. The research that resulted in this algorithm was partially funded by a Department of Defense grant, of which Dr. Fengshan Liu, professor of mathematics, was the principal investigator. Dr. Xiquan Shi, associate professor of mathematics, and Dr. Charlie Wilson, associate professor of biological sciences, were co-principal investigators, while graduate students Feiya Chen and Fatima Boukhari also assisted in the research. The provisional patent was funded by the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, which is led by its dean, Dr. Noureddine Melikechi. Support was also provided by the Office of Innovation & Economic Partnerships at the University of Delaware.