December 2013


Despite Snow, DSU Choirs Perform Dec. 8 Concert -- Photo Slideshow

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The DSU Choirs refused to let the weather stop their concert, much to the appreciation of the 70 people that attended the event.

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The Dec. 14 snowstorm threatened to cancel the scheduled DSU Choirs “Gloria” concert, but the choir decided that it could not disappoint the 70-some people that braved the icy road condition to attend the event. Despite the absence of the Phillos Brass group – who could not get out of Philadelphia on Sunday – the DSU Choirs performed what songs they could for the enjoyment of all in attendance at the EH Theater. For images from the DSU Choirs concert, click on the below photo slideshow.

Water Found on Martian Soil, DSU Researcher Says

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The Mars Curiosity rover has found significant traces of water in the Martian soil, according to Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, DSU professor of physics and dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. Scientists announced the news with a full report in the September 27 issue of the journal Science, titled "Soil Diversity and Hydration as Observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars". Spectra measurements from the scoop walls of a location on Gale Crater dubbed as "Rocknest" are characterized with strong emissions from elemental hydrogen. Scientists believed the hydrogen measured was coming from water. This quantity also explains earlier orbital observations (neutron, gamma ray and near infrared spectroscopy) from previous Martian missions. The research team includes scientists from the DSU Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR). Noureddine Melikechi, who is also the University vice president of research and a co-author of the Science article, said that the ChemCam instrument onboard Curiosity employs the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique to examine the elemental content of its Martian target, the first of its kind on a planetary mission. Dr. Melikechi said that this is a major step in the quest to attain a better understanding of Mars.  “The results of the analysis of the data collected by ChemCam during the first 100 sols (a sol is a Martian day) show the power and usefulness of laser spectroscope,” he said. “Even at 300 million kilometers from home, we are able to characterize dusts, soils and rocks in a way that was never possible before Curiosity.” LIBS is an active analytical technique that makes use of a laser pulse to analyze materials of interest at a distance by creating a plasma, which emits photons at characteristic emission line wavelengths corresponding to the elemental composition of material. ChemCam starts by shooting a high power laser pulse into the Martian soil and rock to be studied. The small sampling area of the ChemCam laser (~350 to 550 um) and percussional applications of 30 to 50 laser pulses on the same spot allow it to reach deeper into the target. More precise elemental analysis can be resolved as variations of components in different layers of the target soil are revealed while laser pulses drill into the target. ChemCam showed that the Martian soils consist of two distinct types: a fine-grained type that is representative of the Martian dust all over the surface, and a coarser-grained type that corresponds to local rocks. Three groups of soil were also found by ChemCam: a mafic type (a mineral rich in magnesium and iron), a felsic type (an alkali-aluminum- and silica-rich mineral) and an intermediate type. Hydrogen was found ubiquitous in the mafic soil, a key finding showing those water molecules are bound to the fine-grained soil particles. “This result has important implications; since mafic soil likely is widely distributed on Mars, it potentially could be the source for water,” said Melikechi. Comparison of ChemCam results with that of Curiosity's other instruments confirms that hydrogen detected by ChemCam is most likely associated with water. Moreover, the instrument tested more than one hundred targets in Rocknest and found consistent water content regardless of the sampling area. And when Curiosity went in deeper into the soil, the same concentration of water was found in the newly unearthed soil. There were thought to be several possible carriers for the hydrogen source: (1) adsorbed atmospheric H2O; (2) hydrated crystalline minerals, including phyllosilicates and salts; and (3) amorphous or poorly crystalline hydrated phases. Further comparisons with results from ChemMin rule out  the  first two possibilities. More data collected by ChemCam is ready for analysis. "It is highly likely that much more information will be available, especially after Curiosity arrives at Mount Sharp," Melikechi said. "Mount Sharp is particularly interesting because it has sediment history of several billion years, which would provide valuable information about the geology and climate changes on Mars."  

DSU Open for Regular Operations, Final Exams, Tues. Dec. 10

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Despite a mix of snow and rain that is projected to begin moving into Delaware between 8-9 a.m. this morning, all three sites of Delaware State University (Dover, Gerogetown and Wilmington) will be open for regular operations on today (Tuesday, Dec. 10). Final examinations will still be held as scheduled on Dec. 10 and all employees are expected to be at DSU at their regular reporting time. DSU officials will continue to monitor the snow/rain event throughout the day and will make the appropriate decision if necessary concerning any change in the work departure time..

Descendant of William C. Jason Sets Up Endowment for Library

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DSU President Harry L. Williams accepts a display check representing the Mr. and Mrs. William C. Jason Endowment from Carol and William Jason during a ceremony in the Library named after the second president of the institution.

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Carol Jason shows a rare book formerly owned by William Jason Sr. which contains the institution's College Catalogues from 1893 to 1918. A new endowment has been set up by a descendant of William C. Jason, the longest serving president in the history of DSU.   Williams C. Jason III and his wife Bertha Carol Jason presented a display check to DSU President Harry L. Williams representing a $10,000 endowment in a ceremony in the William C. Jason Library on Dec. 19.   The Mr. and Mrs. William C. Jason Endowment will go toward the support of general operation of the William C. Jason Library at DSU.   William C. Jason Sr. was the president of the then-State College for Colored Students from 1895 to 1923.

College of AHSS Bids Goodbye to Chinese Graduate Students

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DSU officials bid farewell to this group of Chinese students. Standing (l-r): Dean Marshall Stevenson, Hao Ou Yang, Xingchen Zhao, Yicong Wang, Provost Alton Thompson, Dr. Ladji Sacko; seated: Lina Tao, Chunxiao Ma, an unidentified student, Wenhui Yu, and Xiaolu Tang.

 

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On Dec. 5, DSU’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences said farewell to eight graduate students visiting during the fall semester on a cultural immersion connected with their Master’s Degree in Translation and Interpretation from Jilin Huaqiao Foreign Languages Institute.  The students each noted that their experience at DSU was one they would never forget in learning American culture--especially at an HBCU.

President's Holiday Open House for Faculty, Staff -- Photos

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(L-r) Only DSU President Harry L. Williams, University First Lady Robin Williams and Dr. Teresa Hardee, vice president of Finance, know what the joke was at that moment of the President's Holiday Open House, but it certainly tickled their funny bones.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams and First Lady Robin Williams opened up their home on campus to faculty and staff on Dec. 11-12 for their annual Holiday Open House. For images from the President’s Holiday Open House, click on the below photo slideshow:

First Lady holds Tea for Graduating Seniors -- Photo Slideshow

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Dr. Robin Williams, wife of DSU President Harry L. Williams, held her semi-annual First Lady’s Tea at their residence to honor the seniors who will graduate on Dec. 14.   Dr. Williams shared food with the ladies, conversed with them, shared some professional etiquette tips, and presented them with some valuable gifts.   For images of the Dec. 14 First Lady’s Tea, click on the below photo slideshow:  
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Dr. Robin Williams (center seated in white) shares a group photo op moment with the graduating seniors who accepted her invitation to stop by the President's Residence for the First Lady's Tea she held in their honor.

DSU Holds 2013 Dec. Commencement; More Than 200 Graduates

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DSU alumnus Kent Amos, Class of 1970, gave the keynote address at the December Commencement. His image behind him demonstrates a new addition to the indoor graduation ceremony -- a large video screen to enhance the viewing of the event for the attendees.

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Delaware State University held its 123rd Commencement – and its second annual December ceremony – handing diplomas to over 200 graduates on Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Memorial Hall Gymnasium. For images of the Commencement, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by more information about the ceremony. DSU alumnus Kent Amos, Class of 1970, was the keynote speaker. Mr. Amos is a retired Xerox corporate executive who was the first African-American vice president of the company. He would go on to become a national renowned educator and the founder of the Urban Family Institute and the Dorothy Height Community Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Mr. Amos focused a significant part of his address on what DSU meant to him and how it gave him the foundation for the successes he would experience.  “This place taught me to believe in my heritage,” he said. “ … We come from different backgrounds and you have to believe in where you came from. You have to believe in the capacity (of your abilities).” Mr. Amos said told the graduates that now that DSU has prepared them, it is their responsibility to move forward. “I see a sea of roses and daffodils nurtured and flowered by the raindrops of  Delaware State University’s … pantheon of heroes who came before us,” Mr. Amos said. “You are young men and women who now have a certificate of entry into the world beyond the institution.” DSU President Harry L. Williams presented the Presidential Academic Award to Danielle Riser of Felton, Del., who in earning a Bachelor of Science degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Early Childhood Education maintained a 4.0 grade point average. The music for the event was provided by the DSU Concert Band and the DSU Concert Choir.  

The 2013 President's Scholarship Ball -- Photo Slideshow

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DSU President Harry L. Williams stands with state Sen. Brian Bushweller, who was one of over 400 attendees at the 2013 President's Scholarship Ball.

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The President’s Scholarship Ball drew more than 400 University supporters on Dec. 14 to make a strong statement of financial support for DSU students. For images of the Scholarship Ball, click on the below photo slideshow, followed by more information about the event: The President’s Scholarship Ball – held at the Dover Downs Ballroom – was emceed by CBS3 morning news anchor Ukee Washington, who grew up at DSU as the son of Dr. Ulysses S. Washington, DSU’s retired head of the Department of Agriculture. The Scholarship Ball featured smooth music by the DSU Jazz Ensemble and the Joe Baione Jazz Quintet, while Mike Hines and the Look later got the attendees on the dance floor. The event also featured auctioneer Clyde Selby, who took live bids for two tickets to the 2014 DSU President’s Scholarship Ball. The Scholarship Ball received strong support from: Premier sponsors – Delmarva Power and DuPont. Platinum sponsors – AstraZeneca Gold sponsors –Delaware Today and the Delaware State News.

President's Scholarship Ball -- Photo Portraits Slideshow

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DSU's First Family - DSU President Harry L. Williams, his sons Gavin and Austin, and his wife Dr. Robin Williams - were just one of many who had their portrait photograph done during the President's Scholarship Ball on Dec. 14

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The 2013 President’s Scholarship Ball included a portrait photographer to capture the images of the well-dressed attendees. To see the portraits done at the Dec. 14 event, click on the below photo slideshow:

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