October 2013


GIMPA Group from Ghana Visits DSU

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The Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) receives a cooking demonstration from Donna Pinkett Brown, a registered dietitian/nutritionist with the DSU Cooperative Extension.

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10/22/13 The Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration receives a tour of the College of Business' kitchen incubator.   DSU has once again hosted a group of students from the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA)   The Ghanaian students visited DSU and sites in Wilmington on Oct. 16-22. On the DSU campus, the group spent time with officials of the University’s Delaware Center for Enterprise Development learning about business marketing and receiving demonstrations in the Food Business Incubator Center in the Bank of America Building.   The group also paid a visit to the city of Wilmington’s Economic Development Office and toured the commercial  Wilmington Riverfront area.   DSU and GIMPA have been engaged in international collaboration for several years, with DSU hosting students from GIMPA on study tours as well as DSU faculty and administrators being hosted by GIMPA during trips to Ghana. The GIMPA group pause for a photo during the first-day reception DSU held for them.          

Filmmaker Lee Daniels to Speak at DSU Oct. 17

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10/4/13                Lee Daniels   Delaware State University will present award-winning filmmaker Lee Daniels – producer and director of the recently released The Butler and other critically acclaimed films – as guest speaker at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 in the Education & Humanities Theatre on campus.   The event – which is part of the DSU Office of Student Affairs’ Make Your Mark Speakers Series – is free and open to the public.  Mr. Daniels’ filmography includes: screenwriter and director of the 2009 film Precious, which was Academy Award nominated for Best Director and Best Motion Picture; and producer of the 2001 film Monster Ball, of which Halle Berry became the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.   His latest project The Butler – which has grossed over $110 million at the box office since its mid-August release – is a film inspired by the life of Eugene Gaines, who served as a White House butler through eight different presidential administrations. The powerful cast ensemble includes Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, as well as the presidents’ portrayals by Robin Williams, Liev Schreiber, John Cusak, Alan Rickman and others. The movie has created significant buzz among Academy Award watchers.   In addition, Mr. Daniels produced the critically acclaimed  The Woodsman, Tennessee, and produced, directed and wrote the screenplay for The Paperboy.   Lee Daniels’ background is filled with bold stories as real and gritty as the narratives from the films he creates.  By the age of 21, Mr. Daniels founded and ran his own health care agency, providing nurses to private homes and hospitals; simultaneously, he was  trying to be a screenwriter. After selling his health care business and giving up screenwriting, he began managing actors such as Loretta Divine, Michael Shannon, Natasha Kinsky, and Aishwarya Rai. Mr. Daniels turned to producing as a natural result of trying to find and create great material for his clients; the organic leap to directing came soon after.

Gov. Markell Meets with Education Majors on Teacher Preparation

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Delaware Gov. Jack Markell share his vision for teacher preparedness with education majors during an Oct. 22 meeting in the MLK Jr. Student Center.

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10/22/13 Gov. Jack Markell challenged the DSU education majors to aim high, work exceptionally hard and become teachers in Delaware. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell met Oct. 22 with about 150 education majors to share the state’s direction with its new teacher preparedness requirements and emphasis their importance for the state and especially for young elementary and high school students. In his address in the MLK Jr. Student Center, Gov. Markell noted that a recent state report done in collaboration with Harvard University showed that only three out of 10 Delaware students make it from ninth grade to their second year of college. He further noted that 65% of the jobs in Delaware will require college graduates by 2025. “We can’t sugarcoat the challenges we face,” he said. Gov. Markell said that the research clearly shows that teacher quality is the most important school-related factor in a student’s academic success.   Toward ensuring that success, Gov. Markell told DSU’s education majors that the state wants to make a deal with them. “We are asking you to work exceptionally hard, to meet higher standards than ever and to become a teacher in Delaware,” he said. “We need you to aim high. You will be evaluated more rigorously than those who sat in these seats before you.” Gov. Jack Markell (far right) poses with student members of the DSEA/NEA Student Association. (L-r) Nefertiti Washington, Devon Conventry, Diogenin Matos, Jessica Brower, Justine Jenkins, Renee Horne, Raykeem Ward, Jasmine Manley, Davon Lewis and Rayshaun Ward.   Earlier this year, Gov. Markell signed Senate Bill 51 that established a more rigorous standard for teacher preparations in the state. "It raises the requirements for what it takes to teach in Delaware," he said. Among the new requirements, all teacher preparation programs will be required to conduct regular reviews of candidates, followed by exit assessments. All new educators must then pass a state performance assessment in addition to a written exam to ensure that they understand and can apply the content they will teach. Gov. Markell told the DSU education majors that if they make the commitment to qualify for and pursue a teaching jobs in Delaware’s schools, they will find that the state is determined to provide the resources and other support they will need to have a successful and fulfilling career.   The governor noted the following state education initiatives that are either already underway or being worked toward:   The state has recently launched www.joindelawareschools.org as a one-stop easy-to-use resource to find and learn more about education jobs throughout the state. The governor said his administration is committed to reworking the teacher pay structure, which  would include raising starting salaries and rewarding educators who provide leadership to their peers, as well as those who teach high-need students or hard-to-staff subject areas such as math and science. The state has established “professional learning communities” to provide interactive opportunities for educators to learn from each other. Gov. Markell gave the DSU education majors an opportunity to ask questions. He fields a question from Aqsa Siddiqi. “This is an exciting time to be involved in education in Delaware,” Gov. Markell said. “I am realistic about the challenges we face, but also extremely optimistic that we will continue to see great progress.” He added that to make that progress a reality, the state needs high-quality students like the education majors at DSU to stay and teach in the First State. The governor ended the meeting by fielding a number of questions from the education majors.

Finance and Administration Staff Unite to "Think Pink"

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The staff of the Division of Finance and Administration donned "Go Pink" t-shirts on Oct. 4 in support of breast cancer awareness.

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10/4/13 (L-r) Regina Deavens, Cheryl Lolley (with back turned) and Philomena Dolbow show off the Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts.   After becoming aware of the BayHealth Foundation initiative to honor Breast Cancer Awareness on Friday, October 4, 2013, Dr. Teresa Hardee (vice-president of Finance and Administration) immediately offered her full support.    Not stopping with the purchase of t-shirts for her daughter, mother, sister, and herself, Dr. Hardee garnered the participation of her entire staff by generously agreeing to personally pay 50% of the purchase amount for each shirt.   This leadership and benevolence generated a contribution of $1,000 to the BayHealth Foundation and created an atmosphere of awareness and unity for her family and the Finance Team.

DSU Chemistry Dept. Receives $326,138 Federal Research Grant

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Dr. Daniela Radu, assistant professor of chemistry, is the principal investigator of the solar research grant. The funding will expand the DSU research portfolio to include solar energy research and will support work designed to develop a sustainable ultra-thin iron-based material for high efficiency solar devices.

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10/23/13   Delaware State University has been awarded a grant that is further expanding the University’s research portfolio into the area of solar energy. Dr. Daniela Radu, principal investigator of the Department of Energy research grant, show the nanoparticle ink used to coat the solar cell substrates that is being developed.   DSU’s Department of Chemistry has been awarded a U.S. Department of Energy $326,139 research grant to launch the first-ever solar research and education program at DSU. The principal investigator of the grant is Dr. Daniela Radu, assistant professor of chemistry.   The proposal received tremendous support both internally at DSU and externally by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA), an organization that has the strongest impact in Delaware's renewable energy from sustainable resources.   The grant will fund the establishment of a new solar classroom course, as well as initiate a solar research program that will begin with the development of a novel ultra-thin-film photovoltaic technology using iron-based solution and nano-precursor absorber layers in solar devices.   The solar-related course will prepare participating students toward considering employment in industrial and research-related solar applications. Two graduate students assigned to this project will be fully prepared to obtain employment in the solar-energy arena.   The research will involve the fabrication of sustainable ultra-thin iron-based material for high-efficiency solar devices. Sustainable, low-cost materials such as iron sulfide derivatives could address environmental and economic concerns raised by other thin film materials. Iron-based materials are believed to be a viable alternative due to their sustainable nature and small amount of material involved in the devices. The solar cell substrate being developed by Dr. Radu.   Dr. Radu said that solar energy represents a major pillar of sustainable energy production and as solar power becomes more cost-effective, it has the potential to fulfill a larger share of growing U.S. energy needs.   “The expansion in solar energy usage will drive a growing need for more workers – manufacturing workers to make solar panels, construction workers to build power plants, solar photovoltaic installers to install solar panels, and more,” Dr. Radu said. “In this context, providing solar-related education to students from underrepresented groups is aligned with this job opportunities growth and with the need of having a diversified workforce in solar-related jobs.”   Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology and vice president of research, innovation and economic development, said the grant award demonstrates clearly that the Department of Chemistry and DSU’s newly formed Renewable Energy Research and Education Center – an interdisciplinary center that combines faculty from the departments of Physics and Engineering and Chemistry – are on the right track.    “Dr. Radu has done a tremendous job in securing this grant in a very competitive environment,” Dr. Melikechi said. “Our plan to achieve national prominence in research and education in renewable energy is now effectively launched.”   Dr. Eric Kmiec, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry, said Dr. Radu’s grant writing success is to be commended.   “This grant is at the top  of grant hierarchy and reflects the new momentum and attitude in the department. DOE has made just two awards in this competition and DSU is the only HBCU that has been selected for an award; University of Texas at San Antonio being the other awardee,” Dr. Kmiec said. “These types of awards provide solid support for undergraduate and graduate students  seeking to do research in credible lab settings.”   Dr. Kmiec added that the grant project is consistent with the department’s new scientific emphasis on sustainable chemistry, which is aligned with the University Provost’s  sustainability initiative  and the public/private partnership with the Delaware Sustainable Chemical Alliance. “The academic and research fruits of this grant will contribute to the expected robust expansion of that emphasis and alliance,”  he said.   Rebecca Fox-Lykens, the director of DSU’s Center for Teaching and Learning, has assisted Dr. Radu in the development of the solar course, and notes that the work the grant is funding is consistent with the University’s Strategic Plan.   “The grant will allow DSU to be innovative in its approach to explore alternative energy sources and the course Dr. Radu is developing will help students become aware of the opportunities in green jobs,” Dr. Fox-Lykens said.   Dr. Radu noted that the University of Delaware also played a role in helping the University launch this research.   “As we are moving toward building the necessary infrastructure, Dr. Robert Birkmire, director of UD’s Institute of Energy Conversion, along with his colleague, Dr. Kevin Dobson, has graciously made it possible for DSU to access some equipment and characterization tools at UD that are needed to achieve our prototype,” Dr. Radu said.

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