August 2013


DSU Neuroscience Program Receives New $433,645 Research Grant

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DSU’s Neuroscience Research Program has been awarded a three-year, $433,645 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Melissa Harrington will give some of her students hands-on experience in the spinal motor neurons research the grant is funding. The grant is an Academic Research Enhancement Award that will fund DSU’s research into the development of spinal motor neurons – the nerve cells that drive contractions of skeletal muscle.   Dr. Melissa Harrington, DSU professor of biological sciences and director of the joint DSU/UD Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research, is the principal investigator of the research grant. She said that two graduate students and one undergraduate student will work with her on the research.   Dr. Harrington’s lab will use electrophysiology to measure the activity of motor neurons and confocal imaging to visualize motor neuron synapses.  These experiments will help determine what neurotransmitter is released at synapses formed by motor neurons on other neurons, and investigate how contact with muscle cells and the formation of neuromuscular junctions influence which neurotransmitter is released.   It is hoped, in turn, that the findings will lead to new insights into the pathophysiology of neuromuscular disorders, including developmental motor neuron diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy and muscular dystrophy.   This research will build on previous published work by Dr. Harrington’s lab concerning motor neurons.  

DSU's Renovated Conrad Cafeteria Unveiled

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Tara Kazirim, Conrad head chef, shows the new "Action Island" to Dr. Stacey Downing, associate vice president for Student Affairs.

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The Conrad Hall Cafeteria has been renovated and is ready for the incoming students for the fall semester 2013. Aramark, the University’s contracted food service provider, gave University officials a tour of the remade facility, which will complement the Village Café facility located on the (L-r) Tara Kazirim, Conrad head chef, tells Phillip Holmes, interim director of Housing and Residential Education, about the new features of the cafeteria. In the center is Jeff Mulveny, assistant director of Conrad. southeast end of the campus. A new “Action Island” has been installed that will include a soup station, a deli station and salad bar. Tara Kazimir, Conrad head chef, noted that Aramark operates a four-menu cycle that will ensure that Conrad and the Village Café will always have different menus from each other each day. She added that there will be a “Soul Food Night” once a week at both locations, featuring food staples such as fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, beans (red and black-eyed) greens, and other items. The Conrad Cafeteria will be open from 12-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

DSU Social Work Program Accreditations Reaffirmed

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The DSU Social Work Program is based in the Price Building (shown to the left) on the DSU campus, with curriculum also taught at the Georgetown and Wilmington locations.

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8/22/13 The DSU Department of Social Work recently received notification that the Commission on Accreditation for the Council of Social Work Education has reaffirmed the accreditation of both its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Both programs are now fully accredited until 2020. Dr. Marlene Saunders, chair of the DSU Department of Social Work, said the full reaffirmation of accreditation speaks to the quality and integrity of the curricula of the BSW and MSW programs. “This achievement also exemplifies Delaware State University’s capacity to provide the social work profession with competent social workers who exemplify the University’s mission, vision and values,” Dr. Saunders said. “With this accomplishment, the Department of Social Work will continue its efforts to enhance the well-being of people and maximize the functioning of social welfare organizations for change and social justice through research, practice and community engagement.”

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