B.F. Smith Scholarship

B.F. Smith Scholars Program

The B.F. Smith Scholars Program provides funding for qualified entering graduate students. The highly competitive graduate assistantship ($5,000 plus tuition per semester) is awarded to a limited number of students with a proven record of undergraduate achievement. The successful applicant will demonstrate a commitment to the MS Delta region in pursuit of a graduate degree related to community and economic development.

Recipients must have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field with a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.25. The recipient cannot be employed full-time outside the University during this time period. Recipients will be expected to engage in real-world learning opportunities and produce a final report.

Apply to the B.F. Smith Scholars Program

The B.F. Smith Scholars program applicants must complete the following items:

  1. Complete a Graduate School Application with Delta State University
  2. Submit a B.F. Smith Scholars Program Application
  3. Submit the following supplemental items with the B.F. Smith Scholars Program Application
    • A cover letter outlining your qualifications
    • Two letters of reference
    • A 500+ word essay describing why you wish to become a B.F. Smith Scholar and how the program can lead to your career success in the Mississippi Delta.

All applications packets may be submitted to the Office of Graduate & Continuing Studies.

Current B.F. Smith Scholars

The B.F. Smith Scholars program applications are still under review for 2017-2018.

2016-2017 B.F. Smith Scholars

Rex Bingham


Rex Bingham a native of Kilmichael, Mississippi, is the son of Jeff and Debbie Stafford. Bingham completed his undergraduate degree in kinesiology at Mississippi State University. He is currently pursuing his MBA at Delta State. For his work as a B.F. Smith Scholar, he worked with Delta State’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

During his time with QEP, Rex created an online and social media presence for the program, led workshops to enhance student learning, specifically led DSU’s first Interfaith Dialogue, and led promotion and marketing for campus events. Those events included Women’s History Month celebrations, Sexual Assault Awareness’ Take Back the Night, Intersexuality panel, and luncheons focused on cultural diversity. He is also involved with Delta State’s Baptist Student Union, the Financial Management Club and Phi Kappa Phi honor Society. In his free time, Bingham enjoys golfing and fishing.

Quality Enhancement Plan    QEP Facebook

Katlyn Dickerson


Katlyn Dickerson a native of Senatobia, Mississippi, is the daughter of Stefan and Mary Helen Dickerson. She completed her undergraduate degree in family and consumer sciences with a concentration in child development at Delta State in June of 2016. She is currently pursuing a master’s in clinical and mental health counseling. For her work as a B.F. Smith Scholar, she was placed with the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber).

During her tenure with the Chamber, Katlyn led community efforts for surveying the needs of residents by creating a survey program, led Chamber events highlighting community engagement, and mapped Cleveland’s ‘free wi-fi’ locations. Upon graduation, Katlyn will pursue a career that allows her to help others through counseling or some type of community development initiatives.

Cleveland's Wi-Fi Hotspots     Student Maps Free Wi-Fi in Cleveland     Cleveland Chamber of Commerce

Aaliyah Jones


Aaliyah Jones is a Greenwood, Mississippi native and is the daughter of Cassandra Jones and the late Tracy King. Jones completed her undergraduate degree in social justice and criminology in May of 2016.  She is now pursuing her master’s in mental health counseling.

For her work with B.F. Smith, Jones assisted Dr. Garry Jennings in the social sciences office at Delta State. After graduation, she plans to help youth stay out of trouble by getting them involved in sports and community activities. Her long-term goal is to open a community center that allows youth to have a safe place to prosper and learn how to give back to their community.

Department of Social Sciences & History

About B.F. Smith


A former chief executive officer of Delta Council from 1947 until his retirement in 1983, B.F. Smith was widely respected for his role as a tireless advocate for the Mississippi Delta. He became known as the Delta’s “Father of Economic Development” and worked to ensure the region’s needs were addressed on the local, statewide, and national levels. His influence and leadership continues to have a dramatic impact on growth and opportunities in this region. This scholarship program was conceived and funded through the efforts of Delta Council.


Application  – Closed

Priority Deadline: May 1st

Final Deadline: June 1st

Graduate & Continuing Studies
Kent Wyatt Hall 239
Cleveland, MS 38733

Phone: 662-846-4700
Fax:     662-846-4313