December 2013


President's Scholarship Ball -- Photo Portraits Slideshow

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DSU's First Family - DSU President Harry L. Williams, his sons Gavin and Austin, and his wife Dr. Robin Williams - were just one of many who had their portrait photograph done during the President's Scholarship Ball on Dec. 14

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The 2013 President’s Scholarship Ball included a portrait photographer to capture the images of the well-dressed attendees. To see the portraits done at the Dec. 14 event, click on the below photo slideshow:

DSU Demonstrates Holiday Spirit with Adopt-a-Family Giving

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These are just some of the people (identified below in the article) who contributed to this year's Adopt-a-Family effort at DSU.

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A true DSU story of a collective holiday spirit of giving:   ‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the DSU Administration Building, people were watching as the Adopt-A-Family crew loaded up the truck to disburse gifts to local school children.   Folks were shouting, “I wanna be in that number with you next year—you can count me in!!!!”  Beverly Brown (right) is in her first year as the coordinator of the annual DSU Adopt-a-Family effort, succeeding Kim Cloutier, who spearheaded the annual gift drive for many years.   The new Adopt-A-Family Volunteer Coordinator Beverley Brown, Human Resources,  enlisted the assistance from past coordinator for 19 years, Kim Cloutier, of Finance and Administration, and Dedine Couch from Student Accounts, to help ensure the needs and wishes from the children were met as much as possible.   There will be many smiling young  faces opening up gifts on Christmas Day which otherwise may not have happened if not for the kindness and generosity of many.     Pictured in the above photo are some of the contributors: (l-r) Carrie Reynolds, Brandi Smith, Erin Abrams, Brenda Farmer, Henrietta Savage, Bryant Bell, Phyllis Edamatsu, Janice Hilliard, Charity Shockley, Vaughn Hopkins, Lea Prandeski, Jennifer Rickard, LaShawne Pryor, Tamika Farlow, Karen Purnell, Bradley Skelcher, Kathie Pringle, Ruth Tierney, Kimberley Sudler, Sandra Golson, Al LaVan, Jade Newcomb, Eleanor Wilson, Hope Jackson, Brandon Maddox, Stacey Colton, Jose Jean-Baptiste, Diaese Graves, Tracey Channel, Kim Cloutier, and Beverley Brown.     There is a host of others not pictured but who were very instrumental in helping make this community outreach a success: DSU President Harry Williams, Provost Alton Thompson, Exec VP Amir Mohammadi, General Counsel Thomas Preston, VP Finance Teresa Hardee, AVP Irene Chapman-Hawkins, Natasha Adams, Cassandra Robinson, Georgeanne Hayward, Jadeen Notice, Michael Miller, Vernice Oney, Stephanie Acty, Denese Lindsey, Leida Sanchez and family, DSU Latino Association, IOTA Sorority, DSU Social Work Club, DSU American Chemical Society,  Michelle martin, Cheryl Lolley, Rachel Grayo, Desiree Barnes, Dedine Couch, Jessica Wilson, Linda Moody-Brown, Mary Flemming, Rozena Hawkins, LeFeisha Cannon, Olympia Friday, Kendrick Joyner, Rhonda Holt, Michellene Griffin, Nakiema Wilson, J. Lynn Iocono, AVP Erin Hill, Tiffany Trawick, Crystal Martin, Lakisha Thompson, Amber Gordon, Tonya G-Cardwell, Wanda Curry Brown, Shenequa Harris, Martha Hopkins and Maceon Battle.     Also, special thanks goes out to Carlos Holmes for taking the group photo and to Renee Jones of the Office of Sponsored Programs for providing the vehicle for transport of the gifts to the schools.    

NASA's ChemCam Team Meets at DSU to Discuss Mars Findings

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(L-r) Four scientists -- (l-r) Dr. Lionel D'Uston of the Centre des Etudes Spatiales et Planetaires, France; DSU graduate student Alissa Mezzacappa; Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, DSU professor of physics; and Dr. Ben Clark of the Space Science Institute, Colorado – all members of NASA’s ChemCam Team, work during a recent meeting of the Mars mission scientists at DSU.

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This group of scientists are part of NASA's ChemCam Team, which met at DSU on the week of Dec. 16 to discuss the latest findings from the Mars Curiosity mission. Over the last 17 months, the Curiosity Rover has been on Mars sending back data from its exploration of the Red Planet. Recently members of the ChemCam Team of the Mars Science Laboratory Team met at Delaware State University to discuss the latest findings from that exploration. Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, who is a member of the Curiosity ChemCam Team, hosted a week of meetings Dec. 15-20 of about 32 ChemCam scientists – which is the group NASA has established to oversee the laser and remote micro-imager on the Curiosity. Dr. Melikechi is the dean of DSU’s College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences & Technology, the University’s vice president for research, innovation and economic development, professor of physics and the founder of DSU Optics Program. Curiosity landed on Mars in August 2012 and has been sending data back ever since. “The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the data that the ChemCam collects on a daily basis,” Dr. Melikechi said. “We are also planning for the measurements that will be taken in the future on Mars.” Also participating on the ChemCam team and in the meetings is Alissa Mezzacappa, a DSU graduate student. ChemCam is the laser-based technology on the Curiosity Rover. The ChemCam shoots an infrared laser – more than a million watts of power – at rock surfaces on the planet. The resulting light is read by the unit’s spectrometer, data that is sent back to the scientists on earth. The ChemCam utilizes a technology called laser-induced spectroscopy, which has been used to determine the composition of objects in extreme environments such as nuclear reactors and on the sea floor. However, this is the first time the technology has been used in space exploration. The mission has already provided the scientists with a wealth of new information about Mars. In the September issue of the journal Science, an article entitled “Soil Diversity and Hydration as Observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars” revealed that significant traces of water have been found in the Martian soil. Dr. Melikechi was a co-author of the article.

The President's Open House for Students -- Photo Slideshow

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Dr. Harry L. Williams and his wife Dr. Robin Williams greet a young one from the Child Development Lab during their annual Christmas Open House for students.

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DSU President Harry L. Williams the University’s First Lady Robin Williams opened up their residence to students on Dec. 5 for their annual Christmas Open House. For images of the event at the President’s Residence, click on the below photo slideshow:

DSU Social Work Receives Affordable Health Care Act Grant

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Frances Livingston, MSW student, Takeya Perez and LaQuinta Stanford, both of the Delaware Division of Health & Social Services, Josephine Seals, MSW, Tara Paratovi, consultant, Kimberly Williams, MSW, and Aaron Holman, consultant, all take a photo op break from an Affordable Health Care Act training session.

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The Department of Social Work has been awarded a grant in the amount of $183,500 to train selected state employees about the Affordable Health Care Act.    The training will ensure that the service centers provide accurate information to Delaware residents regarding eligibility for insurance under the legislation and various plans from which they can choose to obtain affordable insurance.   The Department of Social Work has hired three Marketplace Trainers who will work out of Canby State Service Center in Wilmington, the Department of Labor in Dover and the Adams Service Center in Georgetown, DE. When necessary, the staff will also assist the state service centers in registering and enrolling consumers in qualified health insurance plans.    A part-time program manager will work with Dr. Marlene Saunders, chair of the DSU Department of Social Work, and the project staff to ensure smooth operations.

Despite Snow, DSU Choirs Perform Dec. 8 Concert -- Photo Slideshow

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The DSU Choirs refused to let the weather stop their concert, much to the appreciation of the 70 people that attended the event.

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The Dec. 14 snowstorm threatened to cancel the scheduled DSU Choirs “Gloria” concert, but the choir decided that it could not disappoint the 70-some people that braved the icy road condition to attend the event. Despite the absence of the Phillos Brass group – who could not get out of Philadelphia on Sunday – the DSU Choirs performed what songs they could for the enjoyment of all in attendance at the EH Theater. For images from the DSU Choirs concert, click on the below photo slideshow.

Water Found on Martian Soil, DSU Researcher Says

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The Mars Curiosity rover has found significant traces of water in the Martian soil, according to Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, DSU professor of physics and dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. Scientists announced the news with a full report in the September 27 issue of the journal Science, titled "Soil Diversity and Hydration as Observed by ChemCam at Gale Crater, Mars". Spectra measurements from the scoop walls of a location on Gale Crater dubbed as "Rocknest" are characterized with strong emissions from elemental hydrogen. Scientists believed the hydrogen measured was coming from water. This quantity also explains earlier orbital observations (neutron, gamma ray and near infrared spectroscopy) from previous Martian missions. The research team includes scientists from the DSU Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR). Noureddine Melikechi, who is also the University vice president of research and a co-author of the Science article, said that the ChemCam instrument onboard Curiosity employs the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique to examine the elemental content of its Martian target, the first of its kind on a planetary mission. Dr. Melikechi said that this is a major step in the quest to attain a better understanding of Mars.  “The results of the analysis of the data collected by ChemCam during the first 100 sols (a sol is a Martian day) show the power and usefulness of laser spectroscope,” he said. “Even at 300 million kilometers from home, we are able to characterize dusts, soils and rocks in a way that was never possible before Curiosity.” LIBS is an active analytical technique that makes use of a laser pulse to analyze materials of interest at a distance by creating a plasma, which emits photons at characteristic emission line wavelengths corresponding to the elemental composition of material. ChemCam starts by shooting a high power laser pulse into the Martian soil and rock to be studied. The small sampling area of the ChemCam laser (~350 to 550 um) and percussional applications of 30 to 50 laser pulses on the same spot allow it to reach deeper into the target. More precise elemental analysis can be resolved as variations of components in different layers of the target soil are revealed while laser pulses drill into the target. ChemCam showed that the Martian soils consist of two distinct types: a fine-grained type that is representative of the Martian dust all over the surface, and a coarser-grained type that corresponds to local rocks. Three groups of soil were also found by ChemCam: a mafic type (a mineral rich in magnesium and iron), a felsic type (an alkali-aluminum- and silica-rich mineral) and an intermediate type. Hydrogen was found ubiquitous in the mafic soil, a key finding showing those water molecules are bound to the fine-grained soil particles. “This result has important implications; since mafic soil likely is widely distributed on Mars, it potentially could be the source for water,” said Melikechi. Comparison of ChemCam results with that of Curiosity's other instruments confirms that hydrogen detected by ChemCam is most likely associated with water. Moreover, the instrument tested more than one hundred targets in Rocknest and found consistent water content regardless of the sampling area. And when Curiosity went in deeper into the soil, the same concentration of water was found in the newly unearthed soil. There were thought to be several possible carriers for the hydrogen source: (1) adsorbed atmospheric H2O; (2) hydrated crystalline minerals, including phyllosilicates and salts; and (3) amorphous or poorly crystalline hydrated phases. Further comparisons with results from ChemMin rule out  the  first two possibilities. More data collected by ChemCam is ready for analysis. "It is highly likely that much more information will be available, especially after Curiosity arrives at Mount Sharp," Melikechi said. "Mount Sharp is particularly interesting because it has sediment history of several billion years, which would provide valuable information about the geology and climate changes on Mars."  

DSU Open for Regular Operations, Final Exams, Tues. Dec. 10

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Despite a mix of snow and rain that is projected to begin moving into Delaware between 8-9 a.m. this morning, all three sites of Delaware State University (Dover, Gerogetown and Wilmington) will be open for regular operations on today (Tuesday, Dec. 10). Final examinations will still be held as scheduled on Dec. 10 and all employees are expected to be at DSU at their regular reporting time. DSU officials will continue to monitor the snow/rain event throughout the day and will make the appropriate decision if necessary concerning any change in the work departure time..

Descendant of William C. Jason Sets Up Endowment for Library

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DSU President Harry L. Williams accepts a display check representing the Mr. and Mrs. William C. Jason Endowment from Carol and William Jason during a ceremony in the Library named after the second president of the institution.

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Carol Jason shows a rare book formerly owned by William Jason Sr. which contains the institution's College Catalogues from 1893 to 1918. A new endowment has been set up by a descendant of William C. Jason, the longest serving president in the history of DSU.   Williams C. Jason III and his wife Bertha Carol Jason presented a display check to DSU President Harry L. Williams representing a $10,000 endowment in a ceremony in the William C. Jason Library on Dec. 19.   The Mr. and Mrs. William C. Jason Endowment will go toward the support of general operation of the William C. Jason Library at DSU.   William C. Jason Sr. was the president of the then-State College for Colored Students from 1895 to 1923.

College of AHSS Bids Goodbye to Chinese Graduate Students

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DSU officials bid farewell to this group of Chinese students. Standing (l-r): Dean Marshall Stevenson, Hao Ou Yang, Xingchen Zhao, Yicong Wang, Provost Alton Thompson, Dr. Ladji Sacko; seated: Lina Tao, Chunxiao Ma, an unidentified student, Wenhui Yu, and Xiaolu Tang.

 

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On Dec. 5, DSU’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences said farewell to eight graduate students visiting during the fall semester on a cultural immersion connected with their Master’s Degree in Translation and Interpretation from Jilin Huaqiao Foreign Languages Institute.  The students each noted that their experience at DSU was one they would never forget in learning American culture--especially at an HBCU.

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