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  CMNST News



Changes in CMNST Leadership for 2016-2017 Academic Year

August 29, 2016 - Dr. Clytrice Watson, Interim Dean for the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology, has announced the College's Officers and Leadership roster for the 2016-2017 academic year:

Director of Assessment
Dr. Andrew Lloyd 
Director, Academic Advisement Center
Dr. Marcel Poe 
Sr. Management & Budget Analyst
Ms. Vanessa D. Nesbit
CMNST Coordinator for Infrastructure
Mr. Todd Campbell
Chair, Dept of Biological Sciences
Dr. Charlie Wilson 
Chair, Dept of Chemistry
Dr. Cherese Winstead
Chair, Dept of Computer & Information Sciences
Dr. Marwan Rasamny
Chair,  Dept of Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Nicola Edwards
Chair, Dept of Physics and Engineering
Dr. Mukti Rana

New CMNST Cabinet announced for the 2015-2016 Academic Year

August 27, 2015 - Dr. Clytrice Watson, Interim Dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology, is pleased to announce the following persons as members of the re-organized leadership cabinet:

*REVISED 2/9/2016
Interim Associate Dean for Research
Dr. Melissa Harrington
Assoc. Dean for Students
Dr. Cynthia van Golen 
Sr. Management & Budget Analyst
Ms. Vanessa D. Nesbit
Director of Assessment
Dr. Andrew Lloyd 
Interim Chair, Dept of Biology
Dr. Charlie Wilson 
Chair, Dept of Chemistry
Dr. Cherese Winstead
Chair, Dept of Computer & Information Sciences
Dr. Marwan Rasamny
Interim Chair,  Dept of Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Nicola Edwards
Chair, Dept of Physics and Engineering
Dr. Mukti Rana
Director, Academic Advisement Center
Mrs. Jarso Saygbe 

Dr. Skelcher and Min Gibson Dance with the Del. Starsslide image

February 1, 2016 - Associate Provost Bradley Skelcher and Min Gibson, computer lab director in the Department of Mathematics, represented DSU on the dance floor at the Jan. 30 Dancing with the Delaware Stars.

Held at Dover Downs Hotel, Dr. Skelcher and Mrs. Gibson danced and pranced across the Dover Downs ballroom dance floor to recorded music from the DSU Approaching Storm Marching Band. They were accompanied by members of DSU Delagance Dance Team and the DSU Flag Team, as well as by drum major LaQuita Williams.

The well-attended benefit raised money that is going toward Mom’s House and the Boys & Girls Club. 


DSU Youngest-ever Doctoral Candidate Receives Ph.D

slide image 

Dr. Jalaal Hayes (center) made DSU history by becoming the youngest-ever doctoral graduate at age 22.

Dr. Hayes of Philadelphia was conferred a Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry during the Dec. 20 Commencement.

Standing with Dr. Hayes are his advisor Dr. Andrew Goudy, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Cherese Winstead, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry.

December 20 - Delaware State University made history during its Dec. 20 Commencement Ceremony when it conferred a Ph.D. degree to its youngest-ever doctoral candidate.

Jalaal A. Hayes, a 22-year-old resident of Philadelphia, Pa., proudly received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Applied Chemistry. In June 2015 he successfully defended his dissertation, entitled "Thermodynami and Kinetic Studies of Alkali Metal Doped-Lithium Amide-Magnesium Hydride Hydrogen Storage System.”

Dr. Hayes graduated from high school seven years ago in 2008 at the age of 15. He then earned bachelor’s degrees in History and General Science, graduating cum laude at age 18 in 2011 (within three years) at his parents’ undergraduate alma mater, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

While completing his doctorate at DSU, he lectured in Tuscany, Italy and Easton, Massachusetts as a Carl Storm Fellow while authoring several peer-reviewed journal articles and served on a team that obtained a United States patent for hydrogen research.

He completed a 2008 summer research internship at Howard University/NASA undergraduate Research Center before being enrolled in DSU’s graduate program in Applied Chemistry, where he worked with his advisor Dr. Andrew Goudy, professor of chemistry, in the Center for Hydrogen Storage Research.

While at DSU, he tutored students and was a member of the National Chemistry Honor Society, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, and served as the chapters’ parliamentarian.

His parents are librarians who model academic achievement; his mother is the recent School Librarian of the Year in Philadelphia and serves as a high school librarian, and his father serves as the Interim Dean of Library Services at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland.

Dr. Hayes recently reflected on his unique educational accomplishments when he met the Rev. Bernice King (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King's youngest daughter) at Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia. She asked him about his achievement and opportunities to which he shared with her, “my family and community set high expectations for me and I simply strived to meet those expectations; for I strive to model “to whom much is given, much is expected.”


DSU Excels in Neuroscience Symposium Poster Competition

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(L-r) Joseph Lombardo, a DSU post doctorate, celebrates his first place poster competition award with Dr. Melissa Harrington, DSU professor of biological sciences, and Dr. Jeff Rosen, president of the Delaware Chapter of Society for Neuroscience and University of Delaware professor of psychology & brain science. Mr. Lombardo took the prize at the Dec. 4 Neuroscience Symposium and Poster Session in Newark.

December 11 - A DSU post doctorate research fellow, a Ph.D. candidate and an undergraduate recently made their mark  at the 8th annual Neuroscience Symposium and Poster Session, from which they brought back research poster competition awards to Delaware State University.

       Karla Sanchez
            Karla Sanchez

Joseph Lombardo, a DSU neuroscience post doctorate from Torino, Italy, won first place in the post doctoral/research assistant category for his poster entitled “Prolonged Spinal Network Activation Induces Adaptive Alterations in Spinal Motoneuron Intrinsic Excitability.”

Karla Sanchez, a neuroscience PhD candidate from Bowie, Md., took second place in the graduate division for her poster “Astrocyte Neuron Interactions in Synchronous Bursting Behavior.”

       Xenia Davis
             Xenia Davis

Xenia Davis, a sophomore biological science major from Wilmington, Del., won the third place award in the undergraduate division with her poster “Synergistic Damage of Commercially Available Environmental Toxins in Parkinson’s Disease Models.”

 The Dec. 4 Symposium was held at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute in Newark. The competition featured 38 poster presenters – six in the post doctoral/research assistant category, 18 in the graduate division and 14 in the undergrad division. 



College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology welcomes a New Interim Dean 

July 1, 2015 - As of July 1, the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology has undergone significant managerial and personnel changes. Most notably, Dr. Clytrice Watson, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and previously Associate Dean for Student Success in the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology, has been named Interim Dean for the College. Dr. Watson possesses a Ph.D., Microbiology/Food Microbiology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD; an M.S., Biology, Delaware State University, Dover, DE and a B.S., Biology from Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA. She also received a Certificate of Academic Leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, DC.

In addition to being a tenured faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr. Watson serves as Director of the Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) and the EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) undergraduate and high school summer research programs. Past positions of leadership include the Director of the Forensic Biology program, Associate Director for the MARC U*STAR program and the Director for Student Support and Scholarship. Her commitment to graduate and undergraduate research and mentoring is evident as numerous students have transitioned through her laboratory, thus making presentations at local, regional and national conferences. Dr. Watson was recently awarded the 2014 Excellence Award for Advising as a result of her dedication to advising and student success. Extramural funding includes the NSF Targeted Infusion grant, NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) and the NSF EPSCoR for the state of Delaware.

Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, formerly Dean of the CMNST, takes his post as V.P. for Research, Innovation and Economic Development on a full-time basis. (Dr. Melikechi is also Director of the Optical Sciences Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) program.)  A full national search to permanently fill the position of dean will be undertaken in the coming months. 


CMNST receives $300K donation from InterDigital Inc. for Mishoe Science Center lab renovations

April 7, 2015 – At a public press conference, DSU President Harry Williams announced that a new donation had been received by the CMNST from corporate sponsor InterDigital, Inc.. InterDigital’s CEO Mr. William Merritt, Gov. Jack Markell and U.S. Senator Tom Carper were among the honored guests in attendance. The purpose of this donation is to assist DSU in expanding its creative research capacity as funds will primarily be used to renovate existing space for the natural sciences previously used for faculty offices into student teaching labs. For more information about the grant, please see this link.  


China research experience for LSAMP students

February 25, 2015 – For the 5th consecutive year, Delaware State University will send 10 Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) students to Ningbo University (NBU), Ningbo, Zhejiang, China to do research in the summer of 2015. Each student will conduct research in one of STEM areas at NBU. The goal of this program is to provide DSU STEM students with valuable research experience and immerse them in the Chinese culture, thus preparing them for the future global job market. Funds for this opportunity are provided by the Greater Philadelphia Region Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (Philadelphia LSAMP) through the National Science Foundation (NSF). The China Research Experience is organized by DSU LSAMP and the Office of International Affairs. Participants who complete all requirements of the China Research Experience will receive 1 Credit hour for Summer Session I, 2015.

Requirements to be considered for the China Research Experience:

  • Must be an LSAMP Member (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation).
  • Must be a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident.
  • Must be a rising Sophomore, Junior, or Senior STEM major.
  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

The tentative program dates are from May 18 to June 20, 2015. Applications are due March 27, 2015. Contact Ms. Christine Bissette for more information at ext 7869; Dr. Mazen Shahin (mshahin@desu.edu), Principal Investigator.

Download a flyer here

Printable Application is available here


Assistant Professor Michael Gitcho featured on WHYY talk about Alzheimer’s and “The TDP-43 Solution”

February 1, 2015 – Dr. Michael Gitcho, assistant professor in the Biological Sciences department, was recently featured on the January 30, 2015 edition of WHYY’s “First” newsmagazine to discuss one area of inquiry in the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.. Research being conducted in Dr. Gitcho’s lab focuses on the gene TDP-43, which has been observed to be present in 50-60% of all individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease. Desired outcomes of this research would demonstrate an ability to turn off and on this gene in mouse subjects and hopefully offer promise of future techniques to control and eventually eradicate this dreadful disease.

“First” is Delaware’s public media newsmagazine.”Each Friday night at 5:30 and 11 on WHYY-TV, First explores issues ranging from our economy and education to the arts and culture that make up the First State.” Click the following link to view Dr. Gitcho’s interview: http://whyy.org/cms/first/2015/01/30/first-for-friday-january-30-2015/     


Dr. Noureddine Melikechi receives Excellence Award for Youth Empowerment and Development in Africa

December 5, 2014 – Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, Dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology, and VP for Research, Innovation and Economic Development at DSU, recently received the Excellence Award for Youth Empowerment and Development in Africa at the Conference of the African Society for Engineering Management (AFRISEM), held in Istanbul,Turkey in November. This award was given in recognition of his work with the youth of his native country, Algeria. Read more here. 


Awards & Honors  

Associate Professor receives prestigious Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program Award

July 17, 2015 - Dr. Mukti Rana, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Physics and Engineering and an OSCAR Scientist received the prestigious Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award of $359,359 for three years. Dr. Rana and his team will be developing uncooled infrared detectors with low thermal conductivity utilizing nano-machining techniques. This new research will help to improve the performance of uncooled infrared detectors which are primarily used in night vision cameras for surveillance, defense and security. Dr. Rana is one of the 35 ONR YIP recipients out of 383 proposals.


Associate Professor among researchers receiving State award from Department of Defense

July 8, 2015 - Dr. Renu Tripathi was one of two Delaware researchers announced by the Pentagon to have received the competitive Research Instrumentation Award from the U.S. Department of Defense this year. Dr. Tripathi, an associate professor in DSU's Department of Physics & Engineering, is one among 225 university researchers at 111 academic institutions selected to receive a total of $67.8 million under the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program. Read more about this award at http://www.delawareonline.com/story/delawaredefense/2015/06/04/delaware-academics-selected-dod-research-instrumentation-awards/28496771/.


Graduate Student receives prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellowship; First at DSU

April 8, 2015 – The Department of Biological Sciences and the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology would like to congratulate Mr. Sheed Itaman as a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) Fellowship for his research proposal entitled “Aging Neurons: The balance between Calcium Ion Flux and Cell Death”.  Mr. Itaman received his B.S. degree in biochemical and biophysical sciences from the University of Houston (2012) and is currently pursuing his M.S degree in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience under the direction of Dr. Michael Gitcho, Department of Biological Sciences. Mr. Itaman plans to achieve a PhD in neuroscience and establish his career in biomedical research. The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

This is the first time a Delaware State University student has been the recipient of this highly competitive and prestigious award.


Mathematical Research Scientist awarded grant to further study in Biomedical Image Analysis

March 25, 2015 – Dr. Sokratis MakrogiannisAssistant Professor in the Mathematical Sciences Dept., was recently awarded a research continuance award by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This research project, entitled “Quantitative Image Analysis Techniques for Studies of Aging Phenotypes and Age-Related Diseases,” is a 4-year grant that will fund Dr. Makrogiannis' research in the field of biomedical image analysis.

Modern medical imaging technologies offer the opportunity to study the composition and morphometry of human body in ways that were previously impossible. These technologies can ultimately lead to early diagnosis of disease and more effective treatments. Nevertheless, these capabilities have created the need for automated image analysis techniques for identification and quantification of morphological patterns of anatomies. The development of computational techniques for morphometric analysis is the primary goal of this project.

Dr. Makrogiannis, together with graduate student researchers, will build upon recent advances in medical image computing to segment muscle, regional fat, and bone in clinical CT and MRI acquisitions; develop image registration procedures to achieve intra- and inter-subject correspondence; and combine information provided by multi-modal imaging data collected in clinical trials. After these methods have been developed, they will address the hypothesis that quantitative use of clinical imaging can increase the prognostic accuracy. More specifically, they will use their novel research tools to study the relationship between body morphological changes and age-related pathologies."


Mr. Yury Markushin Awarded SPIE Officer Travel Grant

February 2, 2015 – Mr. Yury Markushin, an Optics Ph.D. candidate in OSCPIEAR and the Department of Physics & Engineering, has been awarded the ‘Officer Travel Grant’ (~$ 2,000) from SPIE to attend the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco, CA in February 2015. Yury will have an opportunity to attend a student leadership conference, technical sessions, and will present his work on “Multi-Pulse Detection Technique to Improve Timing Resolution of a LADAR System.” He will represent Delaware State University as the vice President of SPIE Student Chapter at DSU. (Article contributed by Dr. Renu Tripathi.) 


Dr. Melikechi receives award from African Society for Engineering Management (AFSEM)

December 1, 2014 – Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, Dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, and Professor of Physics, recently was honored by the African Society for Engineering Management (AFSEM) for his work in the area of African development. He was recipient of the Award of Excellence of Youth Empowerment and Development in Africa (Algeria).  Read more on his work here.


Chemistry faculty member awarded NSF Targeted Infusion grant in Chemistry

August 20, 2014 - More congratulations go again to Dr. Cheng-Yu Lai for the $324,182 award  he recently received from NSF. The project supported by this award will create seminal knowledge related to chemistry taught in the context of green chemistry, environmental stewardship, climate change, and food security.

Societal benefits of this project include improved educational opportunities for training students to tackle tomorrow’s sustainable society challenges. The project aims to produce graduates ready to respond to an increasing need for sustainability awareness and related problem-solving capabilities. 


New NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant arrives on DSU campus

Members of the team directing this initiative include Drs. Mukti Rana (PI), Dula Man, Wafa Amir, Hacene Boukari, and Theresa Szabo-Maas.

July 31, 2014 - A team of CMNST faculty researchers, led by Dr. Mukti Rana (Assoc. Professor, Dept of Physics & Engineering) was recently awarded a  Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant by the National Science Foundation. This Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant, awarded to Delaware State University (DSU), provides funding for the acquisition of a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). This high-resolution imaging microscope enhances the research and educational capabilities at DSU, especially for students majoring in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  Thanks to this acquisition, DSU STEM students will gain “hands on” experience and training in this broadly-used technology. Further, the SEM is an impetus to stimulate new opportunities, and to develop new collaborative projects among DSU and non-DSU researchers.   Most particularly, it strengthens the mission of the NSF-funded Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology at DSU: the Optical Science Center for Applied Research.

The goals of this MRI project are: (1) to develop and design novel materials for integrated circuits and their applications, (2) to assess the efficiency of (Deoxyribonucleic acid) DNA delivery systems, (3) to characterize estrogen receptor subcellular localization using teleost model systems, and (4) to characterize and probe the nanoscopic structures of diverse biopolymers. In addition, the instrument provides other capabilities such as energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy microanalysis system and electron back scattered diffractometer, which can be used to determine the elemental composition and crystallographic orientation of a specimen.  Thus, the instrument contributes to the successful realization of various ongoing research projects at DSU, including: i) the development of ultra-low power Indium Arsenic Nitride semiconductor transistors, ii) the fabrication of a nanofiber in situ electroporation chip to deliver DNA into cells, iii) the study of membrane-associated estrogen receptors in the Mauthner cell circuit of goldfish, and iv) the characterization of tubulin nanorings.


Chemistry faculty member awarded grant with U.S. Department of Energy

July 23, 2014 - Dr. Cheng-Yu Lai, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, and a member of the Renewable Energy Research and Education Center, was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $249,291 by the U.S. Department of Energy. The three-year award will fund the project titled: "Novel Silica Nanostructured Platforms with Engineered Surface Functionality and Spherical Morphology for Low-Cost High-Efficiency Carbon Capture." This is the first climate change-related research project at DSU and will contribute to reduction of carbon dioxide produced from fossil fuels.


Geophysicist faculty member receives NSF award to study elasticity of deep Earth materials at high pressure and temperatures

July 18, 2014 - Congratulations to Physics & Engineering Department professor, Dr. Gabriel Gwanmesia who received a three (3) year grant from the National Science Foundation in the amount of $300,000,  to, his own words, "...study the elasticity of deep Earth materials at high pressure and high temperature, in conjunction with synchrotron X-radiation." Combined with pertological and geochemical data, the results of the study could significantly enhance our knowledge of the mineralogical composition and structure of the deep Earth's interior.


Biology faculty awarded NSF grant to 'Expand Educational Cyber-infrastructure' at DSU

June 23, 2014 - Dr. Andrew Lloyd (pictured above at far left, with co-PIs), faculty member in the Biological Sciences Department, was recently awarded by the National Science Foundation for his proposal, "Targeted Infusion Project: Expanding Educational Cyber-Infrastructure at Delaware State University" ($399,908).

Dr. Lloyd said that the project "...will support the development and implementation of online teaching resources to enable faculty to deliver course content to students so that instructors can focus classroom time on active and problem-based learning."

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