September 2012

Three College of Ag & Related Science Faculty Awarded Grants

          Dr. Sathya Elavarthi Three faculty members in DSU’s College of Agriculture and Related Sciences recently received funding through the USDA Capacity Building Grant Program. Dr. Sathya Elavarthi, assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, received a grant titled,  “Integrating Agricultural and Cultural Experiences in Student Training: A Study Abroad Program to Ghana,” in the amount of  $299,975.  “This is an excellent opportunity for DSU students to gain international experience and the best part is the grant will pay for travel expenses for all selected students,” Dr. Elavarthi said. This grant will expand the limited study-abroad choices usually available to minority students by providing participants with opportunities for direct interaction with individuals and institutions involved in Ghanaian Dr. Rose Ogutu, a horticulture specialist for the DSU Cooperative Extension and a grant recipient, works in a high tunnel at DSU's Outreach and Research Center, which is used to extend the growing season of crops. agriculture. Through this program, undergraduate students will learn about and appreciate the culture, agriculture and economy of Ghana, while gaining workforce preparedness in global agriculture. Delaware horticulture crop growers are facing growing demand from consumers for locally produced foods and increased concern about the environmental impacts of agriculture. In response, Dr. Rose Ogutu, State Horticulture specialist for Delaware State University Cooperative Extension, received funding for her grant, “Increasing Horticulture Based Outreach and Extension Program Activities by Delaware Cooperative Extension,” in the amount of  $247,230. This project will help local growers improve their production techniques and yields by providing them with greater access to agriculture demonstrations, including organic production, and season extension models at the DSU Outreach and Research Center in Smyrna. Growers will also learn the value of networking, using direct marketing, and developing an electronic and social media presence to help promote their products. “Six acres of land at the Outreach and Research center will be converted to organic production for this purpose,” says Dr. Ogutu. “DSU Cooperative Extension will supply our clientele a diverse set of resources to help them sustain profitable and environmentally friendly enterprises.”  Dr. Kalpalatha Melmaiee, research scientist in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, received $149,000 to fund her grant titled, “On-farm Training Program for Students from Non-farm Backgrounds.”  This program targets students majoring in agriculture fields who come from non-farm backgrounds,providing them with field-based experiences that will enrich their knowledge.                        Dr. Kalpalatha Melmaiee  “Hands-on field experiences will provide students with the skills and experiences that are hard to acquire through classroom education,” says Dr. Melmaiee. “Students selected for this summer program will work closely with local farmers and also take part in field trips and workshops.” This on-farm training program will support 24 summer internships to CARS students over the next three years. This program will help strengthen the partnerships among farmers, K-12 institutions and land grant colleges. Additionally, the grant will also establish a first generation club and a student resource center in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences at DSU, providing students with the guidance and resources needed to succeed in their studies and prepare them for their careers.  

DSU to Hold Annual President's Prayer Breakfast Sept. 21

               Rev. Rita Paige Delaware State University President Harry L. Williams will host the second annual President’s Prayer Breakfast under the theme of “Family, Friends, Faith: Bridging Our Communities,” at 7 a.m. Friday Sept. 21 in the second floor parlors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center on the DSU campus. Doors will open at 6:45 a.m.   The guest speaker will be Rev. Rita Paige, the pastor of the historic Star Hill AME Church near Camden, Del. She is also the daughter of Dr. Luna I. Mishoe, who served as the president of then-Delaware State College for 27 years from 1960-1987.                 Tammy Trout   The Prayer Breakfast will feature music from nationally known contemporary Christian and gospel recording artist Tammy Trout, who is also the music director at The Pentecostals of Dover Church in Dover. Music will also be provided by DSU Prayer Breakfast Choir, a group of faculty, staff and students formed especially for this event.   Several other clergy members from throughout Delaware will also participate in the Prayer Breakfast program.   Tickets to the Prayer Breakfast are $20 and can be purchased by visiting  or by calling (302) 857-6057.  

DSU Moves Up to 13th in the Annual HBCU Rankings

Delaware State University has moved up to 13th among 80 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country in the annual ranking released today by U.S. News & World Report. DSU President Harry L. Williams said he expects DSU to continue moving up in the rankings in the future as well.   DSU was tied last year with South Carolina State University for 15th place and this year surpassed that school (this year 14th) as well as moved passed Elizabeth City University, which dropped to a 20th  tie with Morgan State University.   Among Mid-Atlantic Region schools, DSU joins Howard University (2nd), Hampton University (4th) and Morgan State (20th) that made the top 20 HBCUs in the 2013 ranking.   DSU President Harry Lee Williams said the elevation of the University from 15th to 13th validates that the University is moving in the right direction, but also challenges the institution to work hard to continue moving up in the rankings in the upcoming years.   “The schools that are currently ahead of us are not doing anything that we aren’t capable of doing -- and in many areas DSU is already accomplishing,” Dr. Williams said. “The University will continue to strive diligently to build on the great success of our recent affirmation of DSU’s accreditation and continue to make best practices the standard in carrying out our institutional mission.”   The DSU president added, “As DSU consistently does that, our rise in this HBCU ranking will continue.”   When U.S. News & World Report first published its HBCU ranking in 2008, DSU ranked #22, and then rose to #17 in 2009 and 2010, before rising to 15th last year.     The HBCU rankings are based on the following categories to assess academic quality: assessment by administrators at peer institutions, retention of students, graduation rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.   Spelman College of Atlanta, Ga., is ranked as the No. 1 HBCU in the country by the magazine, a top distinction it has held since 2008. Spelman is followed by No. 2 Howard University and No. 3 Morehouse College.