November 2013


DSU Students Attend Thurgood Marshall Fund Leadership Event

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The following students stop for a photo opportunity with the DSU president: (l-r) Rayshaun Ward, Ebony Peterson, Leah Williams, Jessila Simpson, Dr. Harry L. Williams, Breyana Brady, Diamond Wade, Lisa Moody, Natalie Kendall, and Ze Wang.

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Nine DSU students recently attended the  Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF) 13th annual Leadership Institute and Recruitment Fair, the premier recruitment conference for public HBCU students. The event took place Nov. 8-12 in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Hilton and Conference Center.    Accompanied by Lisa Moody, director in the Office of Career Services, the students – who were selected by the TMCF to attend – were exposed to a unique professional development experience with some of the nation’s top executives in sessions on leadership training, career management, life skills, as well as development and recruitment opportunities.   During the conferences plenary sessions, students learned about Financial Literacy from Anika Kahn, Director, Senior Economist, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, and Pamela Jolly, Founder and CEO, Torch Enterprises, Inc.; Global Leadership from Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Senior Vice President, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Career Readiness from Dr. William U. Latham, Senior Advisor, Education Consultancy, Gallup; Personal Leadership Branding from Ime Archibong, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Facebook; and Lessons On Leadership from General Dennis L. Via, 18th Commander U.S. Army Materiel Command.    One of the main components of the Leadership Institute was the Recruitment Fair, where students met and interviewed with over 60 companies and government agencies offering job and internship opportunities. Some of the recruiting agencies included Microsoft, Facebook, USDA, Booz Allen Hamilton, Hershey, CIA, Lilly, NBA, FDIC, Wal-Mart, Institute of International Education, MillerCoors, and some of the nation’s top graduate school programs such as Princeton, Harvard, and the University of D.C. School of Law.   The event culminated with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 25th Awards Gala, entitled “Developing Minds ... Delivering Dreams”. This year’s event was hosted by Comedian Bill Cosby, and included entertainment and celebrity guests Jennifer Holiday, American Singer and Tony Award-winning Actress, Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014, MC Lyte, Hip Hop Artist and Youth Activist; Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris, and Congressman John Lewis. The event recognizes the achievements of the visionaries who have made an impact and proceeds from the event make it possible for TMCF to persist in its mission to support students at the 47 public HBCU’s.   The DSU student in attendance included Breyana Brady, Kandace Hunt, Natalie Kendall, Ebony Peterson, Jessila Simpson, Diamond Wade, Ze Wang, Rayshaun Ward and Leah Williams.

DSU Breaks Enrollment Record for 4th Consecutive Year -- 4,505

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DSU President Harry L. Williams (3rd from left), shown talking with students, says that the new record enrollment also reflects a rise in academic quality, including an average grade point average of 3.0 among incoming freshmen.

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For the fourth consecutive year, Delaware State University has broken its enrollment record with a fall semester 2013 total enrollment of 4,505 students – which marks the first time the institution has gone over the 4,500 threshold.   The record 4,505 enrollment surpasses the previous record of 4,425 set in the fall of 2012. The 2013 enrollment figures include a record 4,061 undergraduates – marking the first time DSU has surpassed 4,000 undergraduates – and a record 288 transfer students.   The University enrolled 922 new freshmen this fall.   “In addition to another year of record enrollment, our academic quality continues to increase,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams. “This year our incoming freshmen have an average grade point average of 3.0, the highest ever at DSU.”   Dr. Williams also noted that the University also now has the largest program cohort of Inspire Scholarship students ever – 484. “Because the Delaware legislature and governor made the funding possible for the Inspire Scholarship, the state is a contributor to the record enrollment we had over the last few years,” the DSU president said.   Last month it was announced that DSU has moved up from 13th to 9th in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual national ranking of Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.

Newly formed iStep Team takes 1st in Virginia Step Competition

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The iStep Team -- a University-sanctioned student organization (pictured left) -- has won a 1st place honor in only its first semester in existence.

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A new student organization that has just been established this semester has wasted no time in making its mark. The new group, iStep (pronounced I-Step), is the first University-sanctioned (non-Greek) Step Team at DSU. Saturday, Nov. 16, the organization competed in the 7th annual Best of Both Worlds Dance & Step Competition in Charlotteville, Va., and won first place in the Step Category. The teams were judged on creativity, level of difficulty, showmanship, precision and energy. Held in the city’s Paramount Theater, iStep also finished 2nd in the overall competition, bested only by the first place dance team. The organization notes that iStep’s written purpose is to bring together a diverse population of students at Delaware State University and to entertain through the expression of stepping.  Its mission is to step in formation and unison while making rhythms with the stomping of feet, the clapping of hands, chanting and the use of other creative objects. The group collaborates as one unit to practice creativity and unity to bring entertainment as well as positive influence to all audiences. “Not only do we perform, but we love participating in community service endeavors and focusing on our academics to be well-rounded students,” said Lindsey Hyppolite, iStep coach. “Our first semester has been exhilarating and we've have grown and progressed in such a short period of time. We are extremely excited and ready for what's in store next.” As the 1st place winners in the Step Category, iStep won a trophy and $750.

DSU Students' Community Service at St. John's Sch. -- Photo Slideshow

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These DSU students spent a beautiful Indian Summer morning doing community service at St. John's Lutheran School.

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Eighteen DSU students donated part of their Indian Summer morning on Nov. 2 to give some community service help to St. John’s Lutheran School on Walker Road in Dover. The community service opportunity for the DSU students was set up by Jordin Williams, director of the DSU Health & Recreation Center, who is also the University’s representative on Leadership Central Delaware (a Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce organization). The LCD selected St. John’s as their community service project, which led to the DSU students’ involvement. For images from the DSU students’ community service at St. John’s, click on the below photo slideshow:

Roy Klein Education Foundation Donates $2,500 to DSU JET Program

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Posing for the check presentation are: Vita Pickrum, DSU associate vice president of Development; Audrey Scott-Hynson, JET instructor; Lillie Crawford, director of the DSU Center for Enterprise Development; and from the Roy Klein Educational Foundation, Marion Klein, Barbara Rafte, and Ed Wilchinski.

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The Roy Klein Education Foundation recently donated $2,500 to go toward DSU’s Center Center for Enterprise Development’s Junior Entrepreneurs-in-Training Summer Camp Program.   The donation is a continuation of the foundation’s support for the youth program. Over the last five years, the foundation has donated $10,000 in support of the camp.   The JET Summer Camp is a two-week youth entrepreneurship day camp designed to inspire  middle school youth, primarily from low- to moderate-income households, to consider entrepreneurship as an option.  The camp is taught with a combination of curricula from “Chasing the Dream” (CG International), the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and the Kauffman Foundation, and is instructed by a certified facilitator.    The students form teams and are given seed money to start mini-businesses.  A component of the camp is Market Day when students sell their products to the campus community.  At the end of the camp, the students participate in a business plan competition with an opportunity to win prizes and awards.   The Roy Klein Foundation issues grants to strengthen educational opportunities and resources in Kent County, Del., with an emphasis on economic development. In addition to supporting DSU’s JET Program, the foundation has funded scholarships in entrepreneurism at Delaware Technical and Community College and the nursing program at PolyTech Adult Programs. It has also supported programs in connection with Wesley College, Junior Achievement and the Delaware AeroSpace Education Program.

DSU Celebrates Two Donor Couples for Giving to Scholarship Fund

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DSU President Harry L. Williams receives a donation from retired Maj. Gen. Ernest Talbert Jr. and his wife Richelle, who established an endowed scholarship in the name of Mr. Talbert's father Ernest Talbert Sr. who was a longtime associate professor of then Delaware State College's Department of Business for about 40 years.

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Delaware State University recently received financial support from two donors to benefits student scholarships.   Retired Maj. Gen. Ernest Talbert and his wife, Richelle (in the top photo) recently donated $10,000 to DSU to establish the Professor Emeritus Ernest Talbert, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund.   This newly created fund, made in memory of his father, will benefit qualified scholarship applicants who are in their sophomore, junior, or senior year majoring in accounting or business administration. Professor Talbert taught in the School of Business from 1954 until the early 1990s. Of special note, Major General Talbert was the first African-American general in the history of the Delaware Air National Guard. (L-r) DSU President Harry L. Williams stands with Dr. Donald and Dolores Blakey and their display check representing their donations to DSU over the last fiscal year.   The Honorable Dr. Donald Blakey and Mrs. Delores Blakey are both DSU alumni, class of ’58 and ’62 respectively, and they continue to show their love and appreciation for DSU through service and financial support. On Nov. 2, the Blakeys were honored for their cumulative giving of $15,820 to DSU over the last fiscal year.   Over that period, the Blakeys continued to fund their endowed scholarship fund, the Dr. Donald A. and Delores F. Blakey Endowed Scholarship and the Mkombozi (Blakey) Scholarship Fund. In addition, the Blakeys have supported various annual giving initiatives such as The Champion Fund and the President’s Scholarship Ball.  Cumulatively over the years, the Blakeys’ have generously donated more than $67,682.  

College of Agriculture & Related Sci. Awarded $1.5M in USDA Grants.

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Dr. Jung-lim Lee, assistant professor of human ecology, received an almost $600,000 grant to help him develop new curriculum in genomics.

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The DSU College of Agriculture and Related Sciences has announced the recent awarding of about $1.5 million from USDA’s Capacity Building Grants (SBG)program. These competitive awards will either create new or enhance existing programs in support of the land-grant mission, which integrates teaching, research and extension activities. “USDA is a major partner of the land-grant university system nationally,” says Dr. Dyremple Marsh, dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences. “The CBG funding will help DSU train students to become future food and agricultural scientific professionals that the nation will need.” The CBG program also aims to strengthen partnerships among the 1890 institutions, other colleges and universities, USDA, and private industry; and to enhance the quality of land-grant programs at the 1890 institutions to more readily establish them as full partners in the U.S. food and agricultural sciences higher education system. The grants were awarded for teaching, extension and research at DSU are as follows: Teaching $599,993 awarded to Jung-lim Lee, assistant professor of human ecology, for his grant titled, Empowering the Next Generation of Food and Nutrition Scientists through  Genomics. This grant will fund the development of new curriculum that will teach genomics. $149,959 awarded jointly to Qian Jia, assistant professor of human ecology and Carol Giesecke, Didactic Program director and State FCS Extension Program Leader, for their grant titled, Developing a Coordinated Program in Dietetics at DSU. The funding will provide scholarships for students engaged in this discipline, assist in the implementation of a recruitment strategy for undergraduate students, and enable the exploration of practice opportunities necessary for the program. Cooperative Extension $237,199 awarded to Andy Wetherill, Small Farm educator, for his grant titled, Expanding Agribusiness Opportunities to Underserved Urban Communities using Cooperative Extension Programs $249,974 awarded to Dennis McIntosh, State Aquaculture specialist, for his grant titled, Delaware State University Mobile Meat Processing Lab (Mmpl) Curriculum Development and Implementation. Research $299,938 awarded to Stephen Lumor, assistant professor of human ecology, for his grant titled, Optimization Of Physicochemical and Sensory Properties Of Reduced-Cholesterol Butter and Cheese. The studies in this area will enhance the research capability of the Food Chemistry program, as the funds will enable the purchase of additional lab equipment and give student more hands-on experience.

The Drama "Nam" to be Performed at DSU Nov. 10-11

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"Nam" cast members (seated l-r) Henry Green (Gen. Chappie James), Terry Gregg (Lt. Commander Thomas Cutler), Mark Harris (Charles "Butch" Harmon), with playwright/director Dr. Donald A. Blakey above them.

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Delaware State University will present the dramatic production “Nam” that tells the story of a DSU connection to the Vietnam War, in 7 p.m. performances on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 10-11 in the Education & Humanities Theatre on campus. "Nam" is written and directed by DSU alumnus Dr. Donald A. Blakey.   The production is free and open to the public.   Musical play, written and directed by DSU alumnus Dr. Donald Blakey, tells the story of two Delaware State College students -- Larry Fletcher Potts and Charles "Butch" Harmon who, on a bet with each other, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp as officers after their 1969 DSC graduation. While both served in Vietnam, only one of them returned home alive.   Potts was in a reconnaissance plane that was shot down. He and other members of the flight survived and initially had radio contact with their unit. But ultimately Potts was missing in action. His remains were never found.   Dr. Blakey research this true story through correspondence from Potts, as well as by interviewing family members and Charles "Butch" Harmon, who currently resides in Milford.   The cast of local actors include Delores Blakey, Ruth Shelton, Pat Randolph, Henry Greene, Terry Gregg, Rev. John Moore, Rev. Ted Henderson, Nina Spencer, Mark Harris and Robert White.  The production will also feature the music of the DSU Jazz Ensemble, which will perform nostalgic songs from artists such as Sam & Dave, Tina Turner, Tower of Power and others.

DSU's Dr. Eric Kmiec Named INBRE Program Director of Research

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Dr. Eric Kmiec, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry in the DSU's College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology, becomes the first DSU scientist to be named as the director of Delaware INBRE Research.

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Dr. Eric B. Kmiec, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry within the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology at Delaware State University, has been named the director of research for the Delaware INBRE program, a statewide biomedical research initiative.   The purpose of the Delaware IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) is to create an inter-institutional biomedical research capability, by developing a statewide pipeline of capable and competitive biomedical research personnel who can successfully compete for biomedical research grants, funded by NIH and other agencies.   Dr. Kmiec, who currently serves as the principal investigator of the Delaware State University INBRE grant, will assume this post immediately. He will be the first director of research for Delaware INBRE at an institution outside of the University of Delaware.   Widely-recognized as a pioneer of gene editing—a technique in which synthetic DNA molecules are used to patch or repair mutations in human chromosomes—Dr. Eric Kmiec is head of the Laboratory of Chemical Genomics at Delaware State University. Prior to his arrival at DSU in 2011, Dr. Kmiec served as the founding director and eminent scholar of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research at Marshall University.   Dr. Kmiec’s research focus is molecular medicine and the development of molecular tools to diagnose human diseases, particularly orphan diseases. Since 1995, research in his laboratory has been supported by the National Institutes of Health in the form of R01 and R21 grants, respectively - the most widely-recognized and prestigious form of funding. He has also received funding from the High Q Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the Tobacco Research Institute, Pfizer, Napro Biotherapeutics and a variety of biotechnology companies.   He is a managing editor of Frontiers in Bioscience and is on the editorial boards of many journals including BioEssays. Dr. Kmiec has authored over 140 peer-reviewed journal publications in highly respected journals and has edited several books on gene therapy. He has more than 30 issued patents or patent applications to his credit and has founded several biotechnology companies. His most recent company, OrphageniX Inc., a biotechnology company located in Delaware, focuses on gene editing in inherited diseases such as Sickle Cell Disease.   Dr. Kmiec said he is honored to be chosen to lead this aspect of the Delaware INBRE program, and noted that he will strive to meet the high bar of excellence and achievement set by Dr. Stanhope.   “Biomedical research has evolved into a multi-disciplinary approach and as such, we will take advantage of and expand our expertise in biophysics and imaging by coupling them with the more traditional biological pathways of discovery,” Dr. Kmiec said. “Such confluence of expertise will create an exciting innovative environment for breakthrough research.”   “We are very fortunate to have Dr. Kmiec leading Delaware INBRE's Developmental Research Project Program,” commented Dr. Steven Stanhope, PI of the Delaware INBRE grant.   Dr. Nicholas Petrelli, member of the INBRE Steering Committee, had this to say of the appointment: “Dr. Kmiec's research experience and his track record in mentoring young investigators to be successful researchers will be a tremendous asset to INBRE. I know the INBRE Research Committee looks forward to working with him and getting INBRE to the next level."   “Delaware is very fortunate to have in Dr. Eric Kmiec a great scientist, a transformative leader, wealth of academic experience and an effective mentor,” said Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, DSU’s VP for Research, professor and dean for the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology. “These attributes will serve the NIH INBRE program well and as a result all the DE institutions involved in it.  I am confident that the DE INBRE program is set to reach new highs.” Dr. Melikechi is also a member of the INBRE Steering Committee.  

DSU Counseling Center Holds a Domestic Violence Conference

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(L-r) Andre Gipson, Tiphany Starky and Lauren Boyd, along with other DSU students presented a skit during the conference on how alcohol abuse and bad decisions concerning intimacy can lead to domestic violence.

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DSU students received guidance in some of the pitfalls of social life and intimacy during a Nov.7 “Love Shouldn’t Hurt” Domestic Violence Conference in the MLK Student Center on campus. Paulette Sullivan Moore, vice president of the National Network  to End Domestic Violence, was the conference's keynote speaker. The four-hour conference – which was sponsored by the DSU Counseling Center – included spoken word and dramatic skit performances, a student’s personal domestic violence story, a panel discussion and information about the SARA (Sexual Abuse Response Advocate) Program. The students also heard from keynote speaker  Paulette Sullivan Moore, a Wilmington attorney and the vice president of public policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Ms. Moore leads that organization’s work with Congress and the Obama Administration to support, implement and fund laws, policies and programs that promote safety for victims of domestic violence, as well as provide guidance for the systems designed to assist the and appropriate societal responses for perpetrators of such crimes. “Yesterday’s event was an awareness and prevention program to help our campus community understand the issues around violence in general and intimate partner violence in particular,” said Ralph Robinson, DSU director of Counseling. “Education is power and we want our students to know the facts so that they can make informed decisions about their behavior when it comes to relationships.” Mr. Robinson commended Pauline Meek, DSU counselor, her assistant Silver Debrick, and Candice Moore, director of the DSU International Students Office, for putting together the conference, as well as all others who participated.

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