July 2013


DSU Students in China & Ghana -- Photo Slideshows and Article

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DSU music students learned how to play Chinese instrument during their trip to the Far East.

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One group of DSU students spent some time this summer doing research in China and teaching its students there some of the finer points of band etiquette, while another group of students learned about agriculture practices in Ghana. Photo slideshows from both trips are below. Ten science students and five music students from DSU spent May 26 to June 28 in Ningbo University in China along with several faculty members. The ten science students – Shanice Bennett, Devina Gilmore, Chantell Gissenbaner, Jamil Huggins, Ikenna Ikpeama, Samuel Jenifer, Jessica Miles, Tiarah Thomas, Breonna Tucker and Shana Williams – did a number of research projects during their time in the Far East country. Samuel Jenifer, a rising senior engineering/physics major, did research on anthocyanin in red cabbage and the impact different methods of cooking have on it. Anthocyanin is known to help prevent cancer cells and reduce fatty cells. Mr. Jenifer said the trip has made him culturally sensitive to what it means to be a foreigner in another country. “It allowed me to be someone else’s shoes,” he said. “Doing a simple task that involved communications was a challenge.” The five music students –Aaron Balentine, Grace Batten, Jason Faustin, Devin Schlegel and Cortney Williams – learned how to play Chinese instruments and also performed with some Chinese students who tried their hand at playing play jazz music. Mr. Williams, a rising senior music education major from Bowie, Md., said he learned how to play the Chinese flute. “I got the opportunity to learn a new culture and it broadened my view of music across the world,” Mr. Williams said. “I learned that music is a universal language – that although the Chinese students couldn’t speak English very well, we could communicate through music.” All of the students also visited a variety of Chinese cultural sites in Shanghai, Beijing, and elsewhere. Accompanying the students on the China trip were Dr. Marshall Stevenson, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Randolph Johnson, director of bands; Dr. Fengshan Liu, associate vice president of International Affairs; and Dr. Mazen Shahin, director of the DSU Alliance for Minority Participation Program. They were joined by DSU President Harry L. Williams from June 21-26. From May 21 to June 10, eight DSU undergraduate students learned about the agriculture industry in the West African country of Ghana. The DSU students – Deidre Carter, Kevin Coles, Gabrielle Delima, Hillari Howard, Raequan Jones, Rachelle Purnell, Clinton Williams and Eboni Yearwood – were joined a couple of students from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on the trip. Dr. Sathya Elavarthi, assistant professor of agriculture, led the DSU students in the international experience. “Students experienced all aspects of agriculture, including policy making, infrastructure development, research, production, processing and value addition, as well as marketing and international trade,” D. Elavarthi said. The students also learned about the history and the culture of Ghana by visiting sites of historical importance such as the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial in Accra, Manhiya Palace in Kumasi and the Elmina slave castle in Cape Coast. In addition, the students visited former Ghanaian President John Kufuor, who shared how policies put in place with grants provided by the United States have helped Ghana achieve food security through the Millennium Development project.

Dr. Marsha Horton Named Interim Dean of College of Ed, Health & PP

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In the wake of the resignation of Dr. Frederick Asinor, DSU President Harry L. Williams has appointed Dr. Marshà T. Horton as the interim dean of the University’s College of Education, Health and Public Policy.   The new interim dean will begin in that post effective Aug. 19.   Dr. Williams said one of the University’s immediate priorities has been to ensure that the College has the top leadership it needs for the fall to guide its excellent degree programs for its students.   “Dr. Horton, a former dean, comes to DSU with years of proven educational leadership experience and success,” Dr. Williams said. “We are fortunate to have her join our dedicated faculty at this time.”   Dr. Horton most recently served one year as a dean and associate professor at Virginia Union University’s School of Education, Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies. She previously was the regional chair of Wilmington University’s Clinical Studies from 2005-2012 as well as an associate professor at that institution. Prior to that, from 1999-2005 she served in a number of consultant and part-time teaching posts, including as an adjunct professor in DSU’s Education Department from 1999-2002.   From 1993-1999, Dr. Horton was the associate secretary of Assessment and Accountability for the Delaware Department of Education, in which she coordinated the redesign and implementation of the statewide student assessment system. Her 39-year education career also includes her service as an education specialist and director of the Office of Authentic Assessment in the South Carolina Department of Education (1987-1992) as well as a number of college and public school teaching posts.   Dr. Horton has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Magna Cum Laude) from Sweet Briar College in Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois. She has also studied graduate-level developmental psychology at Cornell University.   Dr. Williams said prior to this interim appointment, the DSU leadership immediately began a review of its background check processes.   “Upon Dr. Asinor’s resignation, we began a thorough internal process review of all hiring policies and procedures. The University has also initiated an audit of the budget and financial transactions from July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013, the period of Dr. Asinor’s tenure,” the DSU president said. “The findings of these reviews will be shared with the University’s Board of Trustees.   “Secondly, I wanted an interim dean appointed as soon as possible because the continuity of our academic programs is so critically important,” Dr. Williams added. “That is what we have accomplished today.”

DSU's Dr. Ladji Sacko Translates Popular French Story into English

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  Dr. Ladji  Sacko, DSU associate professor of English and Foreign Languages, has given the English-speaking world of children access to a popular West African story through his written translation of a book from French to English. Dr. Sacko has translated the French book "La petite potiere" by Nana Aissa Toure, a native of Mali who wrote the book in 2001. Dr. Ladji Sacko, a native of Mali, was given permission by the publisher to translate the story into English under the title "The Little Potter."   The story is about a little girl in Mali named Alma, the daughter of a potter. She wanted to read and write, but, like many children like her age in that country, her parent didn’t have the money to send her to school. The book tells the story of how Alma used different strategies to earn money to go to school.  

DSU's Cartina Church Selected to be Philly 76er Dancer

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Cartina Church It appears that Delaware State University’s loss will be the Philadelphia 76ers’ gain.   Cartina C. Church, a 21-year-old member of the DSU Del-A-Gance Dance Team has stepped down from that group to move up to the NBA to join the Philadelphia 76ers’ Dream Team dancers.   Ms. Church, a senior DSU marketing major and native of Frankford, Del., earned one of 23 slots on the 2013-2014 76ers’ Dream Team, which dances during 76ers’ home games at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia. The DSU student made the team from among about 180 dancers who tried out for the coveted slots.   A dancer since her childhood, Ms. Church honed her floor moves at the X Squad Dancing Studio of Selbyville, Del. and Crofton, Md. “I studied jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap, hip-hop…. just about anything under the sun,” she said. “I also did competitive dancing with the X Squad.”   Ms. Church is one of 10 rookies who earned a Dream Team dancing slot. She is also only one of two Delawareans who made the team. Ms. Church in one of her 76er outfits. Slated to graduate in 2014, Ms. Church will have to juggle her studies with her new dancing responsibilities in Philadelphia. “Most of my classes are during the day, and I will also work to hand my work in early,” she said.   Dancing aside, Ms. Church said this opportunity is a plus for her marketing aspirations.   “Being around the 76ers’organization, a lot of the people I have met are in marketing and public relations,” Ms. Church said. “So being around them should benefit me.”  

The AME 1st Episcopal District Christian Ed Congress held at DSU

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The AME Christian Education Congress' leadership had dinner at the President's Residence on July 22. (L-r seated) Janice Hill, Dr. Robin Williams, DSU President Harry Williams, Bishop Gregory Ingram, Dr. Jessica Ingram, Vera Worthy; (l-r top) Dr.. Herbert Eddy, Rev. Winton Hill III, Rev. Ellis Louden, Jewel McAshan, Lynn Rochester, Keith Coston Jr., Dr. Kenneth Saunders Sr. and Rev. Richard Worthy.

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Delaware State University is the site of this year’s Christian Education Congress of the 1st Episcopal District  of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The Christian Education Congress held afternoon and nightly worship services in the Education & Humanities Theatre.   This annual event of 1st Episcopal District – which encompasses AME churches in Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, New England and Bermuda – has attracted about 1,000 AME clergy and lay persons to the July 22-25 Congress. “It is a Congress that is designed to educate all ages, empower leadership and provide inspiration for ministry,” said  Rev. Jay B. Broadnax, the executive director the Congress. He added that the 1st Episcopal District likes hold the event at DSU because it gives its AME young people a sense of what it is like to be on a University campus. The Congress – under this year’s theme of “First Things First” – is being led by Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, the presiding prelate of the1st Episcopal District. The four-day event features spirited worship services replete with dynamic preaching and music as well as a series of core courses specifically designed for ministers, Christian educators, as well as other adult and youth lay persons. The African Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1794 by its founder Richard Allen, who later became its first bishop. Today the AME Church has membership in 20 Episcopal Districts in 39 countries on five continents.

DSU Police Swears In Two New Officers

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Magistrate Judge Chandlee Johnson Kuhn (l) swears in DSU newest police officers -- John Skinner and Jennifer Bastianelli.

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The addition of Officers John Skinner and Jennifer Bastianelli brings the DSU force up to 16 police officers. The DSU Police Department have sworn in two new police officers. The Honorable Chandlee Johnson Kuhn, Chief Judge for Delaware Family Court, swore in Jennifer Bastianelli and John Skinner newest two police officers on the force on July 25. Officer Bastianelli, from Manmouth County, N.J., graduated from DSU in 2010 with bachelor’s degree in psychology and accounting (double major). Officer Skinner, a native of Smyrna and Clayton resident, graduated from Wilmington University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Both officers have also completed the Delaware State Police Academy. The addition of the two new officers will bring the DSU force up to 16 police officers and eight security officers.

DSU Finalizes Lease Agreement and Takes Over the Former Sheraton

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Chuck Jackson, associate director of plant maintenance; Alankato Cobb, asst. vice president of facilities; Shumeissa Fuqeryar, IT technician; Karen Fair, director of Facilities Management; and Rose Spady, residential director, take a photo-pose break from their work of transforming the former Sheraton Hotel into the DSU Living and Learning Commons.

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Delaware State University has finalized and signed a lease agreement with the owners of the former Sheraton Hotel and formally took over the building on July 28. This photo is the last time the "Sheraton" will be seen on the former hotel, as it has already been removed. The seven-story building, located almost one mile north of the University’s main campus, has been renamed the DSU Living and Learning Commons. DSU personnel from the areas of facilities, housing, information technology, public safety, finance and other University offices are now working get the building ready for student occupancy in the fall semester 2013. The University is currently working with the city of Dover Planning Office to rezone the property from its current Commercial Recreational classification to Institutional Office. While the University is working through that process, the city has given DSU permission to house students in the Commons. The Commons will provide the University with additional residential space for students as DSU embarks on a plan to renovate and upgrade existing residential halls on campus. The facility will be used to house students while residential halls are being modernized over time. The University has entered into a $12 million, 15-year lease agreement with the owners of the former Sheraton Hotel with an option to buy any time after the end of the second year. The 135,500-square foot building sits on a 6½-acre property and contains 153 lodging rooms and 15 meeting/conference rooms.

DSU, Horizon Helicopter Ink Agreement to Provide Flight Training

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DSU has expanded the training options of its Aviation Program by signing a new agreement with Horizon Helicopters, Inc., of Newark, Del.
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(L-r) Julie Keating, Horizon scheduling coordinator; Jeremiah Griffith, Horizon certified flight instructor; Judy Griffith, Horizon vice president; Harry Griffith, Horizon president and owner; Dr. Alton Thompson, DSU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Amir Mohammadi, executive vice president and University treasurer; and Capt. Stephen Speed, DSU Aviation Program director, pose for  group shot after signing the agreement.

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Delaware State University has expanded the training options of its Aviation Program by signing a new agreement with Horizon Helicopters, Inc., of Newark, Del. Horizon owner Harry Griffith and DSU Provost Alton Thompson seal the deal with a handshake after signing the agreement.   The agreement – signed today at the Horizon Helicopters facility – establishes a University flight training partnership with the company to provide helicopter training as a new option in DSU’s Professional Pilot concentration of its Bachelor of Science in Aviation Program.   Now DSU aviation students can choose between flight training on fixed-wing aircraft and/or on helicopters.  The helicopter flight training will take place at the Horizon facility in Newark. The new partnership also opens the door for military veterans to use their Department of Defense benefits to enroll in the program.   Dr. Alton Thompson, DSU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Amir Mohammadi, DSU executive vice president and University treasurer, and Capt. Stephen Speed, director of the DSU Aviation Program, joined Horizon Helicopters co-owners Harry and Judy Griffith for the formal partnership signing. Mr. Griffith flew a helicopter down to Dover to pick up the DSU delegation and flew to the Horizon facility for the agreement signing.   Capt. Speed noted that very few university flight programs offer a helicopter option, and as such this partnership will give DSU aviation students a unique learning opportunity to experience helicopter flight operations. DSU Aviation Program instructor Tom Biang (left, talking with Horizon's Julie Keating) is credited for being instrumental in working out many of the details of the partnership with the helicopter business and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).   “For DSU, it begins what we expect to be a long and mutually beneficial partnership with a company that has a demonstrated track record of success,” Capt. Speed said. “This option broadens our ability to train future aviation professionals. It is another way that DSU can accommodate the expected future growth of the aerospace industry.”   The Horizon Helicopters owners are equally excited to join with DSU in this training collaboration.   “Horizon Helicopters is honored to be uniting in a flight training partnership with Delaware State University to offer civilians and veteran students the opportunity to include rotorcraft/helicopter certification as part of their bachelor’s degree in aviation,” said Mr. Griffith.   Since the 1988 establishment of the DSU Aviation Program (formerly Airway Science), its degree concentration offerings of Professional Pilot and Airways Management have been a mainstay among the most unique degrees available at Delaware State University. Aviation degree seekers can earn their licenses to become professional pilots or pursue the management side and become airport managers or air traffic controllers.   Horizon Helicopters, Inc. has been Delaware's only FAA-approved Part 135 charter service company since 1985. The company performs numerous types of helicopter services and is Delaware's only state-approved helicopter training facility.   With the agreement, the helicopter flight training will be offered for the first time in the upcoming 2013 fall semester. For more info about this training, contact the DSU Aviation Program at (302) 857-6710.

July 1 is 20th Anniversary of Del State Achieving University Status

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July 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the renaming of Delaware State College to Delaware State University. (L-r) Then-state Rep. Nancy Wagner, the late state Sen. Herman Holloway, Vermell DeLauder and the DSU President William B. DeLauder flank then-Gov. Thomas R. Carper as his signs the legislation on July 1, 1993 renaming the institution as Delaware State University. With then-DSU President William B. DeLauder and his wife Vermell, then-state Rep. Nancy Wagner and the late state Sen. Herman Holloway present, then-Gov. Thomas R. Carper signed the legislation into law that made the institution a full-fledged University on July 1, 1993. The milestone took place in the institution’s 102th year of existence, a tremendous accomplishment primarily attributed to the presidencies of Dr. Jerome Holland (1953-1960), Dr. Luna I. Mishoe (1960-1987) and Dr. Williams B. DeLauder (1987-2003), who guided the institution from its challenging years of the early 1950s to becoming prominent state university. Now in its 122nd year, DSU is now ranked 13th among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, according to the annual survey by U.S. News and World Report. Currently the University offers 52 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and five doctoral degree programs. The University’s research portfolio continues to soar in the areas of optics, neuroscience, chemistry, natural resources programs, agriculture and other disciplines as well. Optics and Neuroscience faculty have attracted more than $25 million in grants in the last three years. Twenty years ago, DSU’s enrollment was 3,301. By the fall 2012, the student population DSU had grown to 4,425. The institution was established in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students; the state legislature changed its name to Delaware State College in 1947.

DSU Signs New Agreement with France's University of Versailles

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(L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams shakes hands with Jean-Luc Vayssiere, president of the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, after signing an agreement on June 28 in France. The accord will facilitate the exchange of students and faculty between the two institutions.

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Delaware State University recently signed an agreement with the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) in France that will open the door for student and faculty exchanges between the two institutions.   DSU President Harry L. Williams signed the agreement in France with Jean-Luc Vayssière, president of the UVSQ on June 28.   Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, vice president of Research, Innovation & Economic Development, and dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, was instrumental in negotiating the agreement with the UVSQ. He said that the French university is at the forefront of the global pursuit of new knowledge development and it has created innovative multidisciplinary programs that are well connected with the economic fabric of its region.    “We, at DSU, are working toward a similar goal,” Dr. Melikechi said. “This partnership will offer DSU faculty, students and staff a new perspective filled with excellent opportunities while our UVSQ counterparts will have, in DSU, a new solid academic partner in the USA.”   Founded in 1991, the University of Versailles-Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines is a French public university that is located in several cities in the country’s departments (provinces) of Yvelines and Hauts-de-Seine. The university’s major academic focuses are the (natural) sciences, social sciences and humanities, law and political science, as well as medicine. It has an enrollment of 19,000.