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The 2011 DSU Faculty Excellence Award recipients: (l-r) Dr. Mazen Shahin, Dr. Venu Kalavacharla, Dr. Nicola Edwards-Omolewa and Dr. Dahlia Jackson-O'Brien, all holding the award they each individually received.

  DSU Names 2011 Faculty Excellence Award Recipients

Dr. Nicola Edwards-Omolewa holds the FEA plaque she and the other recipients received.


Delaware State University has named four faculty members as the institution’s 2011 Faculty Excellence Award recipients.
The University has selected the below faculty members in the following categories of Teaching, Research/Creative Activities, University/Community Service and Advising:
Faculty Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Nicola Edwards-Omolewa, assistant professor of mathematics, has been recognized for her outstanding contributions to program and curriculum development, as well as her dedication to teaching and student development. She has a student-centered teaching philosophy that is innovative yet still directed toward the basic learning and understanding of mathematics.
She serves as the coordinator for K-8 math courses for teachers – incorporating a curriculum that she co-designed – and has initiated an undergraduate teaching assistant program for math majors. Her dedication to teaching is apparent by her involvement in reforming the curriculum and improving the quality of educations provided by the department.

    Dr. Venu Kalavacharla

Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Activities
Dr. Venu Kalavacharla, associate professor of plant science, has established a Plant Molecular Genetics & Genomics Laboratory that serves as a resource center for the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences and the University. He has submitted a number of successfully funded research proposals totaling $5.2 million and is the DSU principal investigator for the Delaware EPSCoR program funded by the National Science Foundation. 
Recently, Dr. Kalavacharla spearheaded the establishment of the Center for Integrated Biological and Environmental Research in collaboration with Delaware Technical and Community College and Wesley College.    

    Dr. Dahlia Jackson-O'Brien

Faculty Excellence in University and Community Service
Dr. Dahlia Jackson-O’Brien, assistant professor of animal science, conducts applied research to assist local and regional sheep and goat farmers to produce healthy animals. She has planned, coordinated and presented at 30 regional and national programs over the past four years, serving approximately 5,500 youth and adults. 
She is a contributor to a regional newsletter and was the recipient of the 2008 Directors Spirit Award and the DSU Cooperative Extension Employee of the Year award. She also serves on a number of departmental and University committees and has mentored 33 high school, undergraduate and graduate students. 

         Dr. Mazen Shahin

Faculty Excellence in Advising
Dr. Mazen Shahin, professor of mathematics, is the director of several student-centered funded projects including Bridge to Doctorate (BTD), Sciences and Math Initiative for Learning Enrichment, Alliance for Minority Participation and Science and Technology Academy for Residence Scholars. He has served as an advisor for 41 graduate students in the NSF-funded BTD program. His responsibilities include identifying and working with faculty co-advisors and departmental chairpersons to ensure the student’s successful completion of the program and transition into Ph.D. programs.
His success as an advisor and dedication to students is apparent in the success rate of students completing the BTD program. Dr. Shahin regularly attends on and off campus advisement trainings and surveys students to determine how to better meet their advising needs. 
Each recipient received a monetary award of $2,500.