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Delaware State University Dean Named National Distinguished Professor

May 3, 2022

Dover, DE: Dr. Gwendolyn Scott-Jones, Dean of Delaware State University’s Wesley College of Health & Behavioral Sciences was recently selected as the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Distinguished Professor Endowed Chair (DPEC), carrying a grant of $200,000.

Dr. Scott-Jones was recognized for her work in understanding and addressing trauma-informed care for African American populations and the establishment of a Trauma Academy at the University. 

A $200,000 check was presented last week during a Delaware State University conference on sexual assault, held in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center on the Dover campus.

“I am humbled and honored by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,” said Dr. Scott-Jones. “Because of the foresight and leadership of these women, Delaware State University is moving forward with a Trauma Academy whose goal is to create a pipeline of healing professionals trained to provide culturally responsive and trauma-informed care.”

In opening remarks to the conference, University President Tony Allen spoke of how proud the University was for Dr. Scott-Jones to receive such an award and how HBCUs contribute to society. 

The conference, entitled “Creating Safe Spaces: Promoting Wellness and Disrupting Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence,”  was scheduled during April – Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. 

Featured at the conference were presentations by Venita Garvin, executive director of the Delaware Alliance Against Sexual Violence; Stephanie Davis, sexual assault response coordinator for the Delaware Air National Guard; Courtney Winkler, training and outreach coordinator for the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and Dr. Eleanor Kiesel, Associate Dean of the University’s College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.

Keynote speaker Mrs. Elsie Cooke-Holmes, National President of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.,

said DPEC supports research and innovative programs such as the Trauma Academy that “boldly confront the issues facing the black community….As a sorority, we are committed to remaining supportive of the HBCUs and their scholars.” 

In addition to speakers, conference attendees were introduced to three Delaware State Mental Health Ambassadors, students who are trained to inform fellow students about available mental health resources. 

The conference was the latest accomplishment of the Delaware State Trauma Academy, which was launched with little fanfare last year because of the pandemic. 

The Academy’s mission is to provide the skills necessary to impart healing and primary prevention that will address adverse childhood experiences, race-based trauma, and community violence by offering training, conferences, webinars, certificate programs, and community outreach.

Two certificate programs offered by the Trauma Academy include African Centered Healing and Domestic Violence Specialist.

Ms. Kim Graham, who served as MC and was a key organizer of the event, serves as director of the Trauma Academy.  She said the certificate programs benefit students in many fields, including psychology, law enforcement, and nursing.