August 2009


DSU Signs New Agreements With Four Chinese Universities

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DSU Signs New Accords With Four Chinese Institutions of Higher Ed DSU Acting President Claibourne D. Smith and Dr. Guoji Zhang, chairman of the Council of Hunan University (seated l-r) sign an agreement that expands an existing accord with Hunan University in China. Flanking the university heads are (standing l-r) DSU Provost Harry L. Williams and Dr. Hongxin Jiang, Hunan vice president.

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  June 30, 2009 Delaware State University officials recently concluded a whirlwind trip of China where they expanded DSU’s connections with institutions of higher education in that Far East country. The DSU delegation—led by acting President Claibourne D. Smith Provost Harry L. Williams—traveled to Asia during the week of June 15 to meet with officials from four Chinese universities. By the end of the trip DSU had expanded two existing agreements, renewed another one and reached a new agreement with another institution. As a result of the trip, a new formal collaborative agreement was established between DSU and Jilin Business and Technology College. The new accord will facilitate study aboard opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students from both institutions as well as in collaborations professional training and development, and in the academic areas of business, sciences and education.   DSU and Jilin University officials join Dr. Yulin Li, Julin executive vice president, and DSU Acting President Claibourne Smith (seated l-r) after they signed an five-year accord to continue an existing agreement between the two universities. Standing (l-r) and Jilin officials: Dr. Jin Xiaotong, Dr. Pang Guangsheng, Dr. Jin Liping, Dr. Bu Tiejun, Dr. Han Wei,  alongside DSU representatives Dr. Harry L. Williams, Dr. Youngski Kwak, Dr. Rayton Sianjina, Dr. Noureddine Melikechi and Dr. Fengshan Liu.   In addition, new amendments were formally reached to existing agreements with Hunan University and Beijing Sport University that will result in Chinese students studying at DSU for a semester as part of a DSU American Culture Enrichment Program. The Chinese students will take courses in English, American & African American history, economics and international business. DSU also renewed a five-year agreement with Jilin University for faculty and student exchanges, research collaborations and publication exchange. Dr. Smith said that all of DSU’s Chinese institutional partners are committed to support and enhance the education value that they give to their students. He added that DSU will benefit from the agreements as well. “China will continue to be a major economic factor in the world. Smart universities recognize that and will find ways to grow opportunities with those educational institutions there,” Dr. Smith said. “We are engaging with Chinese faculty in the disciplines of science, mathematics and energy conservation as well as exchanging ideas in new areas of knowledge.” DSU officials that joined Dr. Smith and Dr. Williams on the trip included Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, dean of the DSU College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, and Dr. Rayton Sianjina, director of Education Graduate Studies, Dr. Fengshan Liu, chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Dr. Youngski Kwak, interim dean of the College of Business, and Dr. Li Chen, chair of the Department Sport Sciences. Dr. Liu, who also is the director of the DSU Applied Mathematics Research Center, said the DSU delegation gained a new understanding about the culture and economy of China. “After we signed the agreements, there were many students there who expressed interest in coming to DSU,” Dr. Liu said. “Several have already started the paperwork.”   

DSU Alumna's Business Named Among the Best of Delaware

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  June 26, 2009 DSU alumna Maxine Lewis, class of 1973, has been named among the 2009 “Best of Delaware” in the July edition of Delaware Today magazine. The magazine recognized Ms. Lewis for providing the “Best Women’s Accessories” in Delaware through her Maxine’s New York Fashions, which is part of the Fashion Connection shop located on Loockerman Street in downtown Dover. Ms. Lewis is featured in a page-length photo on page 91 of the July edition along with S. Renee Smith, a “Best of Delaware” judge and also a 1988 graduate of DSU. According to Delaware Today, Ms. Smith said that Ms. Lewis is included in the best because of her store’s stylish clothes and one-of-a-kind accessories. Maxine’s New York Fashions has collaborated with the Wedding Boutique (owned and operated by 1992 DSU grad Tammy D. Robinson) and Top Notch Sewing to combine under one business roof called The Fashion Connection, located at 125A W. Loockerman St. in Dover. The Delaware Today’s annual “Best of Delaware” edition features the best food, businesses, entertainment and places in a wide variety of categories.

DSUAA Chapters Exceed Tom Joyner Fundraising Challenge

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June 26, 2009 Eight DSU Alumni Association chapters combined their fundraising efforts to surpass the Tom Joyner Foundation $25,000 Chapter Challenge. The eight chapters raised a combined $42,475, surpassing the challenge and ensuring that a $25,000 match will be added from the Tom Joyner Foundation — all going to the Alumni Scholarship Campaign. The Kent County DSUAA Chapter gave the strongest response to the challenge by raising just over $12,000. The New Castle County Chapter raised more than $10,600. Also contributing to the $42,475 were chapters in Charlotte, NC, Greater Hampton Roads, VA, Greater Washington, DC, Metropolitan, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and Sussex County. The Chapter Challenge is part of a year-long partnership between DSU and the Tom Joyner Foundation to raise money for scholarships for DSU students. The partnership’s goal is to raise $440,000 and the University has already achieved about 70% of that. DSU is the Tom Joyner Foundation School of the Month for June, but the fundraising efforts will continue until the end of 2009. To contribute and help DSU students cover the cost of higher education, donations can be made online at www.desu.edu/giving or by mailing checks to Office of Development, Delaware State University, 1200 North DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901. The Tom Joyner Foundation has assisted every HBCU, which is defined as “any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.”

Alumni Couple to Bring Back Golden Old Radio Days

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  June 25, 2009 Dr. Donald A. Blakey, class of 1958 and his wife Dolores, class of 1960 will take members of the Modern Maturity Center in Dover back to the golden days of airwaves in the fall as they reenact famous old-time radio programs. On every Thursday during the Modern Maturity Center’s lunch hours beginning in September, the alumni will reenact radio programs such as Amos N’ Andy, The Long Ranger, The Shadow, The Inner Sanctum and others. Dr. Blakey is a faculty member at DSU who also serves as the director of the DSU Theater and Dance Program, in which he is often assisted by his wife Dolores. The program gives DSU students and community members an opportunity to perform in stage productions that are presented to the University and the public. Don and Dolores Blakey will bring back the golden days of radio to the lunchtime crowd at the Modern Maturity Center of Dover in the fall. In addition, Dr. Blakey is also an elected member of the Delaware House of Representative, for which he serves the 34th Representative District (Dover South). The Modern Maturity Center, located 1121 Forrest Ave. in Dover, is a nonprofit organization committed to providing programs and services that enhance the quality of life, with respect and dignity for individuals age 50 and above.

DSU Hosts ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Camp

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  June 24, 2009 Delaware State University served as the site for the June 14–26 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp June 14–26, a science and math enrichment program for middle school students. The two-week camp—co-sponsored by the astronaut’s Harris Foundation and Exxon Mobil—was designed to provide middle school students from Delaware with a fun-filled setting to give them a greater understanding of science, technology, mathematics and engineering, as well as information about exciting careers in science. Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., a NASA space shuttle astronaut, came to DSU on June 23 to work with the students and speak to them about the importance of science and technology education. “Whatever your dream is, start working on it now,” Dr. Harris told the students, who all attend middle schools in Delaware. The participating students spent the mornings, afternoon and early evening learning biology, chemistry, physiology, physics and math. The subjects were taught under the theme of human survival, and students were given projects that were based on math, science and technology that would aid them in the wilderness. During media day on June 23, the students were challenged to construct a raft out of foil and drinking straws. The winning team’s raft was able to stay afloat while carrying the weight of more than 200 pennies. Dr. Bernard Harris spends some time at DSU  on June 23 giving the summer camp kids the benefit of his engineering and science knowledge. Dr. Harris was at NASA for ten years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and disuse osteoporosis. Later, as head of the Exercise Countermeasure Project, he conducted clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend astronaut stays in space. Selected into the Astronaut Corps in January 1990, Dr. Harris was a mission specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-55/Spacelab D-2 in 1993. As payload commander on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, he served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the “First African American to walk in Space.” A veteran astronaut for over nineteen years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.

DSU Mouns the Passing of L.P. Mitchell

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Ned Brown Jr., president of the New Castle Co. Chapter of the DSU Alumni Association, presents Littleton Mitchell with the organization's Achievement Award during its annual Scholarship Luncheon in April.

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  July 09, 2009 The Delaware State University community is mourning with the rest of the state following the death of Littleton P. Mitchell, a former long time state NAACP president and staunch civil rights activist. Littleton Mitchell is shown in the late 1990s with the Joseph P. Del Tufo Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to Humanities — one of many awards he received in recognition of his dedicated work in civil rights. DSU Acting President Claibourne D. Smith said Mr. Mitchell has been a long time friend of Delaware State University who will be missed greatly. Littleton Mitchell is shown in the late 1990s with the Joseph P. Del Tufo Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to Humanities—one of many awards he received in recognition of his dedicated work in civil rights. “Littleton Mitchell served as an informal counsel to the DSU Board of Trustees and in particular to (interim DSU board chairman) Dr. John Land,” said Dr. Smith, who also served as the DSU board president from 1993-2008. “On behalf of the board and the DSU family, I can say that an absolute civil rights giant and long time supporter of DSU has been lost. Mr. Mitchell, 90, died Monday, July 6 from injuries sustained in a car accident that took place earlier that afternoon near his home in Delaware City. A native of Milford, Delaware, the former teacher is most prominently known for his 30 years of advocacy and leadership as president of the Delaware Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Over the years, he was honored with numerous awards that recognized his unwavering commitment to human and civil rights. Last April the New Castle County Chapter of the DSU Alumni Association recognized Mr. Littleton for his commitment and service to the community and the state, as well as his service to the country as a Tuskegee Airman.  

New Distance Learning Director Appointed

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  August 24, 2009 Dr. Peter S. Cookson has been appointed to serve as the Delaware State University Director of Distance Education. For the past three years he served as the academic director of Consorcio Clavijero, a higher education network of 46 universities and other institutions that offered baccalaureate degrees via online distance education. He previously served as the director of the Center for Education and Information Technology at the United Nations-affiliated university in Costa Rica; professor of distance education and associate vice-president of academic and research at Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University; and associate professor and professor-in-charge of the graduate Adult Education Program at Penn State.  Dr. Peter S. Cookson   He currently serves as a book review editor of the journal, International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (www.irrodl.org), of which he was the founding editor, and serves on the comité científico of Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia, edited at the Universidad de Educación a Distancia (Spain) and published at the Universidad Tecnológica de Loja, Ecuador. He has served in professional leadership positions with the Commission of Professors of Adult Education (of North America), the Adult Education Association of the USA, and President of the Alberta Association of Adult and Continuing Education. A native of Liverpool, England, he has worked for many years in several countries in Latin America as well as in projects related to adult and continuing education and distance education in India, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. Dr. Cookson received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in sociology and Latin American studies from Brigham Young University and his Ph.D. in adult education from the University of Chicago. He has authored numerous refereed publications and is author and editor of three books about program planning for continuing education and training for adults. With a personal and professional commitment to the promotion of distance education programs that expand access to educationally underserved adults, Dr. Cookson says, “I look forward to collaborating with DSU faculty members to build online distance education courses and programs that extend DSU’s dual land grant and HBCU mission to people of diversity not only within the state of Delaware, but also throughout the nation and internationally.”

Dr. Dawn Lott named new director of Honors Program at DSU

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  July 09, 2009 Dr. Dawn Alisha Lott, associate professor of Applied Mathematics and Biological Sciences has been named as the new director of the Honors Program at Delaware State University. Dr. Lott earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and has been at DSU since 2003. Her major research interest is the numerical study of solutions of partial differential equations that model physical phenomena in nonlinear solid and fluid mechanics, biomechanics and physiology. She is a member of the Association for Women in Mathematics, the Mathematical Association of America, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the American Mathematical Society, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and she is vice president of the National Association of Mathematicians. Dr. Dawn A. Lott As director the Honors Program, Dr. Lott will work with deans, department chairpersons, program directors and faculty members to develop more innovative honors colloquia and courses in the major fields of studies and in the general education curriculum. She will work with the Enrollment Management team to identify, recruit, and retain qualified students for the Honors Program. Additionally, she will work with faculty members and professionals in Student Affairs to develop co-curricular honors activities and residential education honors opportunities. As director of the Honors Program, Dr. Lott will report to the Office of the Provost and directly to the associate provost, Dr. Bradley Skelcher. “Overall, Dr. Lott will provide the Honors Program with the important leadership needed to deliver the utmost quality program to the University Honors students,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, DSU provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.  

DSU Alumna Becomes Psychology Chair

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  July 09, 2009 Dr. Gwendolyn N. Scott-Jones counts the ability to return to one’s alma mater and give back as evidence of professional success.  Such success has not only brought her back to serve as a faculty member at the University from which she graduated twice, but also to lead the Department of Psychology from which she earned her 1996 bachelor of science degree.  The 36-year-old native Delawarean has been tapped to chair the department after serving only one year as an assistant professor of psychology. She brings a wealth of field and life experiences to her new leadership post — and an abundance of enthusiasm — that she believes will benefit the faculty and students in her department.  After earning a 1999 Master of Social Work at DSU, Dr. Scott-Jones proceeded to fill her professional resume with a number of career-building experiences. She served in several mental health clinician positions for the Delaware Department of Correction, as a  psychology assistant with the St. Jones Center for Behavior Health and the Delaware Psychiatric Center, as well as a psychiatric social worker at the State of Delaware Crisis Prevention Service. Dr. Gwendolyn Scott-Jones   While working those jobs, she continued with her advanced studies at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she earned a master’s degree and a doctoral degree both in clinical psychology. Her Psy.D includes a sub-specialty in forensic psychology.  Dr. Scott-Jones said that she has been interested in psychology since her Lake Forest High School days in Kent County, Del. “Knowing that there is hair-thin line between saneness and insanity is fascinating,” she said. “I have always been interested in forensic psychology and in abnormalities from a psychological perspective.”  The new psychology chair provides DSU with a well-connected member of the professional mental health community. She was selected to be the keynote speaker at the 2008 People of Color Mental Health Conference in Wilmington. Through her work in state agencies throughout the First State, Dr. Scott-Jones has mental health professional connections throughout Delaware and beyond. She has also developed a Chisum Youth Basketball Program based in the Lake Forest School District in which DSU psychology and athletics students are gaining valuable community service  skills while working with middle school-age children.  Dr. Scott-Jones said her experiences with challenges and adversities have taught her that “the occasion (of something adverse) does not have to lead to the conclusion.”  She is willing to pass this lesson on to any student or mental health client that she works with.

Dover HS Senior Takes Part in Hydrogen Storage Study

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Dover High School Senior George G. Gallo (left) works in the controlled environment of the "glove box" as part of the hydrogen storage research, under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Goudy, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry.

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  July 27, 2009 While most high school students looked forward to the summer out of school as a three-month opportunity for fun or to make some employment money, it can be said that George G. Gallo, a Dover High School senior, was looking for the same. However, the fun he was seeking had nothing to do with sports, music or teenage girls. Instead, it revolved around his passion for science. After reading a local newspaper article about Delaware State University’s ongoing hydrogen storage research project, George decided to offer his curiosity and desire to learn about research toward the cause. Although Dr. Andrew Goudy, the director of the DSU Hydrogen Research Center, did not have the involvement of any high school student programmed in his research program, when young George asked if he could participate in the studies, his sincerity and earnestness won over the chemistry professor.  After receiving strong recommendations from George’s Dover High School teachers, Dr. Goudy brought George on board and began teaching him about the hydrogen storage research and its alternative energy ramifications.  Established in 2005 through federal funding, the DSU Hydrogen Storage Research Center has been earnestly seeking ways in which to store and release hydrogen – thought to be a promising alternative fuel and energy resource – in greater quantity than is currently possible. The center was recently awarded $1.4 million in additional Congressional funding to continue seeking suitable hydrogen storage material. George Gallo (right), who has previously distinguished himself by earning awards from the Delaware Science Olympiad for his science projects, convinced Dr. Andrew Goudy (left) to allow him to become a part of DSU's Hydrogen Storage Research project. Once Dr. Goudy sufficiently oriented George on the fundamental challenges presented by hydrogen storage, he began involving the Dover High School senior in the actual research work and guided him through tests on magnesium hydride. As a storage material, magnesium hydride can hold a lot of hydrogen, but needs a high temperature to release it. Because fuel cells need low temperatures to work effectively, George and DSU doctoral chemistry student Saidi Sabitu have been mixing additives to the magnesium hydride in an attempt to come up with a lower storage temperature capability. “They have been having some success and we are planning on publishing the findings by the end of the summer,” said Dr. Goudy, who is also the chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry. George said the hydrogen storage research work has been a valuable and thrilling experience for him. “This is groundbreaking stuff,” George said. “It is exciting in that what we find out here, we know before anyone else does.” For George – who says chemistry and physics interest him the most — it has been an exciting summer in which he has not only been able to feed his voracious appetite to attain science knowledge, but also learn about some of the challenges of research. “I’ve learned that research is all about patience, because it takes a lot of time,” George said. “Tests need to be done a number of times and sometimes you can run into problems.” Dr. Goudy said that George possesses the requisite characteristics of scientific curiosity and enthusiasm. “He likes to ask a lot of questions. He always wants to know what’s going on and why.”

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