September 2009


Music Dept. Starts Construction of Recording Studio

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  August 31, 2009 The DSU Music Department has commenced a new construction project that will add a recording studio facility to the music technology lab that was completed last year. Both the music lab and the future recording studio are the result of an anonymous donation of $350,000 to the Music Department. The recording studio construction is the second of a two-phase project, and is expected to be completed by mid-October. The facility will include a large recording studio area that can double as a classroom as well as a control room area that will included at 128-track DigiDesign mixing board. “It is a full blown ProTools professional system,” said Dr. David Tolley, associate professor of music composition, recording/production and music industry. He added that the recording studio will make it possible for DSU to have its own recording label and for students, faculty and staff to produce their own music. It will also make possible a new course, Student Run Company Project, in which students will produce their own music products. “It is a perfect professional bridge for our students to move into the real world,” Dr. Tolley said. The recording studio is being constructed adjacent to the music technology lab that was completed last year as the phase I project. The lab features a 3M Digital Whiteboard, Korg Keyboards, an EWI electronic wind instrument, a MIDI guitar and a Group Education Controller. The lab includes six workstations that are based on the TRITON series (with a 16-track sequencer), a variety of music and instructional software, as well as a Digidesign Pro Tools M-Box2 Micro Studio Music Production System and a portable isolation recording booth. The funding was obtained through a grant written by Dr. Yvonne Johnson, DSU associate professor of music and currently acting chair of the department, who also wrote the 1995 grant that resulted in the construction of the original music lab at that time.  

Alumnus organizes statewide 5K Walk/Run for domestic violence awareness

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  September 01, 2009 DSU alumna Quincy Lucas, class of 2004 and 2007, is engaging the entire state of Delaware in her fight against domestic violence by holding an awareness walk this fall – the first-ever event concerning this issue that has been held in the First State.  DSU Alumnus Quincy Lucas is spearheading the 5K Walk/Run event to raise awareness about domestic violence. To be held on the morning Saturday, Oct. 3, the Witney’s Lights Walk/5K Run event will begin with registration at 8 a.m. followed by the walk/run start time of 9:30 a.m. The 5K route will be a double-loop walk or run beginning at Silver Lake Park in Dover and coursing twice through Downtown Dover and back to the park. Throughout the morning there will be music and festivities at Silver Lake in connection with the Witney’s Lights event, and there will be an awards ceremony there also at 11 a.m.  Mrs. Lucas has been a longtime advocate against domestic violence since the murder of her sister Witney Holland Rose in 2003. Witney was senselessly killed by her ex-boyfriend in Baltimore, and ever since Mrs. Lucas has made it her mission in life to raise awareness about domestic violence. Mrs. Lucas and her husband Dr. Kevin Lucas have created a non-profit organization named after her sister – Witney’s Lights, Inc. – that is dedicated to raising awareness and spreading education about the issue of domestic violence. Her advocacy was given great momentum when it caught the attention of then-U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., as Mrs. Lucas’ work on the issue related greatly to the legislator’s landmark Violence Against Woman Act of 1994. That connection later resulted in an invitation for Ms. Lucas to give the official nomination of Sen. Biden as the running mate for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Following the Obama-Biden victory in November, Ms. Lucas and family were asked to accompany the president on the historic Inauguration Train, during which she was asked to introduce the then-president-elect during the journey stop in Baltimore. All this has served to focus more attention on Mrs. Lucas’ advocacy against Domestic Violence, which she has parlayed in more active work on this issue – including the planned Oct. 3 awareness walk. Mrs. Lucas says that with 2,800 reported cases of domestic violence last year in a relatively small state such as Delaware, there is a tremendous need for greater awareness and attention to the issue in the First State. “The Witney’s Lights Walk/5k Run is not the answer to ending domestic violence, but it a strong way to bring awareness to it,” Mrs. Lucas said. “The problem is people don’t talk about it.”      Proceeds from the 5K Walk/Run will go towards Witney's Lights domestic violence awareness programs.    

Timely Warning Notification Alert

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  Thursday, September 03, 2009   BURGLARY AND ASSAULT AT UNIVERSITY COURTYARD — The Delaware State University Police Department are giving notice of a disturbing act of violence reported at the University Courtyard Apartments, located at 430 College Road, Dover, approximately one-quarter mile west of the DSU campus. At approximately 12 midnight on Thursday, September 3, 2009, a Burglary and Assault involving a deadly weapon was reported to have occurred at the University Courtyard Apartments, in or near Building Two. The incident involved three suspects who are still at large.   The three suspects are described as follows:  Suspect #1 has been described as a white male, 6-foot in height, approximately 185 lbs, 20-22 years of age, wearing blue fitted hat, long white short sleeve t-shirt, baggy blue jeans, buzz hair cut and tattoos on his arms and neck area. Suspect #2 has been described as a black male, 5-foot 9-10 inches in height, approximately 160-170 lbs, 19-20 years of age, wearing a black fitted ball cap, baggy blue jeans, white short sleeve t-shirt, black back pack. Suspect #3 has been described as a black male with medium brown skin tone, 5-foot 9-10 inches in height, wearing blue jeans. The victims did not sustain any serious injuries in this incident. This matter is still under investigation. Anyone who has information that might be helpful in this investigation should contact the Delaware State University Police Department by telephone (302) 857-6290 or in person at the Public Safety Building; or, if you wish to remain anonymously call the DSU Tipline at (302) 857-7918. DSU residents are cautioned to not open their doors to strangers and report any suspicious activities or encounters to the DSU Police at either of the above phone numbers.      

Jazz artist, Donald Byrd named Artist in Residence

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DSU Acting President Claibourne Smith holds a display check with Dr. Donald Byrd, the University's newly named distinguished artist-in-residence, after the jazz musician's announcement that he has established a $10,000 scholarship endowment to benefit music students.

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  September 04, 2009 Delaware State University announced today that internationally renowned jazz musician Dr. Donaldson T.L. Byrd – commonly known in the jazz world as Donald Byrd – has been named as a distinguished artist-in-residence at the institution. As a distinguished artist-in-residence, Dr. Byrd will conduct master classes and give lectures, conduct fundraising on behalf of DSU, participate in performances when appropriate and serve as an ambassador for DSU. “We are inspired by the fact that Dr. Donald Byrd is a legend who represents for the young people all that they work and strive for,” said DSU Acting President Claibourne Smith. “We are honored to have such a legendary person with his artistry and thirst for excellence.” Dr. Byrd served as a distinguished artist-in-residence at DSU from 1996 to 2001. After pursuing other projects elsewhere, the legendary jazz musician has decided to return to DSU. As an expression of his renewed commitment to the University, the famed musician has established a $10,000 endowed scholarship fund in his name that will benefit music students at DSU. In announcing the endowment, Dr. Byrd drew a parallel between his life and the life of famed jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown, an influential 1950s musician who attended DSU (then-Delaware State College). “Like my father I never drank or smoked…. Clifford Brown didn’t drink or smoke,” Dr. Byrd said. “This school is outstanding, and here I am just trying to follow in (Brown’s) footsteps.” Dr. Byrd, a professional jazz musician since the 1950s, became known as one of the top trumpeters of the jazz “hard-bop” genre as he performed with musicians such as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock and Thelonious Monk. Ironically at one point in the 1950s, Dr. Byrd actually replaced Clifford Brown in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers band. In the 1970s, Dr. Byrd began to record jazz fusion that combined jazz with funk, soul and R&B. While teaching music at Howard University in 1974, Dr. Byrd formed a jazz fusion group that consisted of his best students and called them the Blackbyrds. The group produced the 1972 album Black Byrd, which became Blue Notes Records’ highest-ever selling album. In the 1990s, Dr. Byrd jazz fusion explorations expanded to the hip-hop genre. Dr. Byrd has recorded 38 jazz albums and performed on countless other musicians’ recording projects. In 2002, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized Dr. Byrd as one of its NEA Jazz Masters. As an educator, Dr. Byrd has developed a “Music + Math = Art” education program that he has introduced to youth across the country. A native of Detroit, Mich., Dr. Byrd is an alumnus of Wayne State University and the Manhattan School of Music. In 1982 he earned a Ed.D from Columbia Teachers College of New York City.  

Forensic Science Series to be Held at DSU

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  September 14, 2009 Delaware State University will give in-depth information on the technical aspects of criminal investigations at a Forensic Science Seminar Series on Wednesday afternoons from Sept. 16 to Nov. 11. The seminar sessions will be held at 3 p.m. on the below Wednesday dates in room 205 of the Mishoe Science Center. All of the sessions of the Forensic Science Seminar Series are free and open to the public. The seminar series will include law enforcement techniques in conducting criminal investigation and crime scene analysis, and how science is involved in that work.The seminar schedule and the topics are:   Sept. 16 – “Firearms Identification and Crime Scene reconstruction” presented by Karl Rone, Delaware State Police forensic firearms examiner Sept. 23 – “Crime Scene Investigations” presented by Detective Robert Diddio of the Delaware State Police Criminalistic Unit Sept. 30 – “Human Decomposition Process and Post-Mortem Interval” presented by Hal Brown, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Oct. 7 – “Accident Reconstruction” presented by MCpl. Christopher Hermance of the Dover Police Department Oct. 14 – Forensic Toxicology” presented by Lt. Col. Timothy Lyons, Ph.D., Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner Oct. 28 – “Trends and Careers in Toxicology: Perspective of an Industrial Immunotoxicologist” presented by Scott Loveless, Ph.D., Director of Human and Health Science, DuPont-Haskell Nov. 4 –“The Identification of Human Remains at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory” presented by Michael Coble, Ph.D., Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory Nov. 11 – “Got Fluids? An Overview of Forensic Serology” presented by Ken Williams, forensic scientist II, New Jersey State Police For more information on the seminar, contact Dr. Clytrice Watson, assistant professor of biological sciences, at (302) 857-7485 or at cawatson@desu.edu.        

Visit the Hornet Fan Center before the DSU vs. UD game

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  September 15, 2009 Delaware State University will host its Hornet Fan Tent from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 prior to the DSU vs. University of Delaware game. The Hornet Fan Center – which is free and open to all fans of DSU – will be located on the UD practice that is adjacent to Delaware Stadium in Newark, Del. There will be food, giveaways and great Hornet fellowship as excitement builds leading to game time.  

DSU joins other universities in fight against global warming

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  September 15, 2009 Delaware State University has joined a coalition of universities and colleges that have committed to take steps aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating all global warming emissions that come from their institutions. The DSU pledge came with the University’s Acting President Claibourne D. Smith signing of the American Colleges & Universities Presidents Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of 650 other institutions across the country. “DSU understands that global warming is one the greatest environmental challenges of our time,” Dr. Smith said. “Because human activities are responsible for the problem, it will now takes humans to work together to solve it. Serious actions are necessary to halt pollutants that are causing increased global warming, and DSU is committed to playing a vital part in this work.” Dr. Smith has established a “Going Green” Task Force which is creating a comprehensive action plan to move towards climate neutrality. The Task Force, chaired by Carolyn Curry, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, is working towards establishing green standards for DSU’s campuses. The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality – not just a reduction – as its target. This undertaking by America’s colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses. "Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations," said Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and a founding member of the ACUPCC Leadership Circle. "On behalf of all the signatories, I welcome DSU’s Dr. Claibourne Smith to the commitment, we are honored and pleased to have him join us." The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. Under the guidance and direction of the Leadership Circle of presidents, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, and ecoAmerica. Learn more at: www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org      

Music students represent DSU in Washington, D.C. and Germany

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  September 18, 2009 A choir student and four brass musicians – all from Delaware State University – continued their musical development on the respective stages of Washington, D.C. and in Germany. James Henry DeShields represented DSU as he sang with the 2009 concert of the 105 Voices of History National Choir, which performed on Aug. 30 at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  James Henry DeShields (right) is all smiles after his performance. With him is Dr. Curtis Powell, DSU director of choral activities, who attended the concert in Washington, D.C.  in support of his student     The concert was the second annual performance of the 105 Voices of History National Choir, which combined 105 outstanding vocalists from historically black colleges and universities across the country to form a remarkable and powerful choir.  Mr. DeShields said it was a great opportunity for him to experience different singing styles. “I learned that singing should not only be a pastime, but should also express one’s inner passion and talent,” Mr. DeShields said. “Under the direction of four national conductors, we, the 105 Voices of History National Choir were introduced to different conducting styles and techniques.” The DSU Brass Quintet also had a memorable summer experience as one of the invited ensembles to attend and perform at the Lichtenberg Brass Festival at the renowned Haus Marteau Chamber Music Institute of Germany. The DSU musicians – Matthew Brown and Williams Pitts on trumpets, Antione Hughes on french horn, Shawn Walker on trombone and James Fair on tuba – were engaged in intensive daily music rehearsals with two other invited ensembles and individual musicians attending the festival. They also experienced the country’s hospitality while they stayed with German host families. (Seated l-r) Matthew Brown, Shawn Walker, James Fair, Antione Hughes and William Pitts take their DSU Brass Quintet musicianship to a new level under festival instructor Jim Thompson watchful eye and sensitive ear. The DSU Brass Quintet and the other two ensembles gave a pre-concert on Aug. 7 in downtown Hof, Germany to promote the festival concert the following evening. During the concert the DSU Quintet performed a stirring rendition of “Remember Me,” in which they not only played their instruments, but also sang a verse. “The concert took place on the ruins of a castle built on the highest spot in the center of the village,” said Dr. Patrick Hoffman, DSU assistant professor of music and the quintet’s director. “The weather all week had been perfect and continued into that night to create the perfect atmosphere for an open-air concert.” Matthew Brown said that it was an amazing experience that he would will never forget. “It really benefited us as a group to tour on the other side (of the world),” Mr. Brown said. “The whole taste of the musicians over there is very baroque and classical; and their mentality of musicianship is on a very different level.” Dr. Hoffman formed the DSU Brass Quintet during the 2008-2009 school year.      

Biology graduate student earns Thurgood Marshall research scholarship

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Biology graduate student Charelle A Jeffries (right), shown here with the advisor Dr. Sabrina McGary, has been awarded a prestigious $5,000 scholarship for her research. 

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  A former McNair Scholar who earned a bachelor of science in biology in 2008 at DSU, Ms. Jeffries is currently in the University’s Bridge to Doctorate Program, through which she is pursuing a master of science in biology. She is working under the advisement of Dr. Sabrina McGary, associate professor of biology. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has awarded a DSU graduate student a $5,000 scholarship in recognition of her winning research proposal. Charelle A. Jeffries, a graduate student from Washington, D.C., is the recipient of the prestigious and competitive national scholarship for HBCU minority students. Ms. Jeffries winning research proposal focuses on establishing the quantifiable impact of steroids on the cells of lung tissue in chick embryos. Ms. Jeffries believes the project will provide insight on how the developmental processes are related to cell death and could lead to future research on respiratory diseases associated with poultry. After she completes her MS in biology, Ms. Jeffries plans to enroll in a M.D./Ph.D program and ultimately hopes to become a researcher in the biomedical field while practicing medicine. She said that science is an intriguing fit for her. “I’m a very curious person, and I love knowing how things happen,” she said. “Sciences are always changing, and it is never a deceased subject.”  

Alumna and faculty member gives Convocation address

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  September 21, 2009 The 2009 Convocation featured Dr. Cherese Winstead, DSU assistant professor of Chemistry, as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Winstead is also a DSU alumna who has come home to give back academically to her alma mater. Understanding the current DSU Student Government Association’s theme of “Smart is the New Cool.” Dr. Winstead decide to affirm that belief in the following Convocation address she gave on Sept. 10 in the Education and Humanities Theatre: As an alumna of Delaware State University, I once sat where you sit today and believe me, the last thing I ever expected as a freshman is that one day I would stand before you as faculty of Delaware State University. Students, you are living during an exceptional time, attending one of the greatest universities in the first state that helped to elect the first African American President Barack Obama, our nations Vice President from the first state of Delaware, Joseph Biden, the first administration to select the first black Attorney General, Eric Holder and the first Hispanic Supreme Court Chief Justice, Sonia Sotomayor.  These are tremendous advancements in our history of which you all played an important part… and you have the opportunity to pave your own destiny here at Delaware State University.  We know that the decisions we make have a effect on our future. As you make decisions in life, You need to ask yourself, “Will it, help or hinder my progress, and would I be comfortable with that same decision if it were broadcast on CNN or published in the local newspaper?" Now, I want to engage you in another activity and I’ll need full audience participation. I’m going to name two people and I want you to tell me which one made the best choice!  Donovan McNabb ….or Michael Vick? Donovan McNabb is a great leader and well respected quarterback in NFL. Michael Vick is a great athlete still struggling to regain his character. The path you take is about the choices you make! Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson? Both are great fighters but Muhammad Ali is known for his character and leadership –a living legend, and Mike Tyson… well, let’s just say he should have had a good meal before he fought Holyfield. The path you take is about the choices you make! JayZ or TI? Now some of you may have thought I was saying letters of the alphabet but these are actually hip hop artists. The answer is JayZ. He is clearly defined as a hip hop mogul.  I know you like TI, but he’s made poor choices plain and simple — he’s in jail! The path you take is about the choices you make! Lebron James or Kobe Bryant? Even though Kobe Bryant made MVP and took the Lakers to the championship; Lebron James is well respected both on and off the court because of his character. The path you take is about the choices you make! Biggie or Tupac? Both are Hip Hop icons but neither made the best choices! The path you take is about the choices you make! Whitney Houston or Bobby Brown? Well…let’s just leave that one alone. The path you take is about the choices you make! Last but not least… George Bush or President Barack Obama? Please let us learn from our mistakes. The path you take is about the choices you make! So students… To be a great leader… or not. To study or not. To graduate or not. The path you take is about the choices you make … each and every day. Dr. Winstead said success or failure is all about choices. Now the take home message is not to say that you won’t make some bad choices in your life – life is about learning from the mistakes.The key is to minimize the negative effect of your decisions on yourself and others.  Remember, the path you take is about the choices you make. But at the same time, students, let’s not make the type of mistakes that involve academic probation, jail or bail. These are issues that students find themselves in due to poor choices. Please, let us find ourselves making choices such as, "Which graduate school should I attend? Which fellowship/ salary offer I’m going to accept?" or, "Should I go for a PhD, MD, or JD?" Now is the time for you to choose between longevity vs. short term gratification – or the so called "5 minutes of fame" Let me give you examples of the outcomes when choosing one or the other.  A final is coming up in a core course, say Mathematics 101. You choose to cram instead of taking the time all semester to understand the material. And say you pass (by the skin of your teeth no less). You give yourself a high five, dap, pound or whatever. Your whole aim was just to get out the class because you don’t want to...nor will you ever see it again, right? Wrong! Take my word for it you will see it again, in some form or fashion, and you will have to learn it all over again!  Longevity vs. short term gratification… Studying to learn vs. to simply pass. Successful people are those that apply learned concepts. You cannot apply if you never comprehended the concept. Study to learn vs. to just simply pass (heads up: passing the class – that’s the best case scenario). Instead of choosing to be the big man on campus for a couple of years, being the ‘flyest’ female on campus, partying with the frat or sorors, or athletes… telling the stories of your famed football/basketball career and then having to answer the age old question “so you went to Del State…when did you graduate?” and not having an answer to that question (embarrassing). How about being the man on the yard with the high GPA, the football player majoring in physics, the frat/soror with your goals in mind to be both smart and cool. Quick question: out of all entering freshman, who do you think makes up the largest proportion of students interested in science and engineering? African American males make up the largest proportion of students interested and intending to major in science and engineering – but only 8.8% graduate. What happens? Longevity vs. short term gratification. Young men, we need you to finish. So I charge you with setting your standard of being smart and cool. Young men, pull up your pants to be about business here at Delaware State University. Treat your peers with respect and not fashioned after what you hear on the airwaves. Young ladies, have your intellect be the first thing that a young man notices – intelligence is beauty. I promise, you can be a Michelle Obama too! And just remember, our First Lady chose the right man.  In a few years – and it will go fast – when all the parties stop, when your friends have married and moved on to raise families, and you’re working in your respective professions. Smart will still be in style.  Keep in mid that being “cool” without the being smart is merely a trend. At Delaware State University, we think that it’s cool to be smart. We urge all of our students to take charge of their future – no matter what anybody thinks. We encourage you to study hard; do not accept mediocre grades, and to take pride in yourself and your accomplishments. Some of the students here today who recently graduated from high school can attest to feeling that you could have done better, that you could have graduated as an honor student if you had only pushed yourself a little harder. Well, here you have the opportunity to apply yourself and prove to yourself that you can and will do better. So I ask you to become the student you know you can be. And while it’s good to socialize and get together with friends, your main focus should be on your studies. It’s good to have friends and value their opinions, but always remember to be true to yourself – your greater self. Remember the key to a successful academic career is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Hopefully, by now, you realize that the path you take is about the choices you make – so try to make good and informed choices.  When it comes to your studies, expect more of yourself, courses will become more difficult each year. Make sure that you dedicate the time to your courses to ensure a good academic standing and a sound comprehension. We are proud of you and we want you to be proud of Delaware State University. We're glad you're here! Congratulations, God bless, I’ll see you in Chemistry class. Hopefully only once!      

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