Art faculty exhibit to open Sept. 28

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Delta State University’s Department of Art invites the public to a reception celebrating the opening of its annual faculty exhibition on Sept. 28 from 5-7 p.m.

Delta State’s art faculty are practicing artists, designers and filmmakers who regularly exhibit in venues across the nation. The annual faculty exhibition, held at the Fielding Wright Art Center, offers the campus and community an opportunity to view new work created by these artists.

This year, the department welcomed four new faculty members — Nathan Pietrykowsky, Kayla Selby, John Stiles and Robyn Wall — as well as the return of Sammy Britt, a Delta State retiree.

Britt is represented by a series of landscape paintings that explore the language of light and color to distinguish the different light keys in which they are seen.

Pietrykowsky will show part of a series that chronicles the history of a surreal cosmos called Too Dee. Pietrokowsky draws images from his unconscious, theories of cosmology and various mythologies in the creation of this imaginary universe.

Selby’s work is part of an ongoing exploration in utilizing science and research as artistic media while reinterpreting scientific data. Her interest in the possibilities of using scientific data began with a collaboration with a St. Jude scientist who began re-contextualizing human samples in Petri dishes as literal human portraits.

Stiles, who teaches graphic design, works in a variety of media and will present examples of his collages, paintings and digital work. He approaches collage in a manner similar to painting, considering each piece of paper a stroke of his brush. The subject matter of the collages was inspired by his love of skateboarding and surfing. Stiles’s paintings are inspired by hurricanes which he experienced while living in Florida. Although awe-inspiring, Stiles also sees a certain beauty in hurricanes, especially when viewed from space. With their swirling motion, they remind him of paintings such as Vincent Van Gough’s “Starry Night,” and he approach them with an Impressionist’s brush.

Wall has been involved in examining her personal history of homes. She reconstructs these homes as they exist in her memory. While reconstructing real and imagined spaces, her work acknowledges the fluidity of memories.

Music plays an important role in lives and work of faculty members Ky Johnston and Michael Stanley. Johnston is a practicing musician, and Stanley has created a number of sculptures inspired by music, including the “Blues Man” that is featured in the Sculpture Garden at the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. Stanley, who is a woodworker and sculptor, took on the challenge of making a guitar from scratch, along with Johnston, a potter. Over the last two years, the two have experimented and perfected their designs of electric guitars, a series of which will be on exhibit.

Filmmaker Jon Mark Nail has a simple and effective recipe for making a successful film. “ Step one — place the audience into the characters’ immediate dilemma. Step two —complicate further. Step three — repeat step two until you reach the conclusion, i.e. somebody gets kissed, somebody gets killed, beautiful sunset, etc. Step  fours — fade to black. Cue the music. Hit the lights. Clean up the popcorn,” said Nail. His work will also be projected at the show.

Michaela Merryday has been taking furniture making classes the past two years. The amount of wood waste produced in the process inspired Merryday to recycle the material into small functional objects such as lamps and jewelry. The work presented combines her interest in minimalist design and sustainability.

Mollie Rushing is a textile artist whose quilts use pattern and color to create the illusion of texture and space. A selection of her textiles will be included in the exhibit.

Over the past year, Kim Rushing has been testing his personal limits with a photographic tool that is accessible to almost everyone — a cell phone camera. While the cell phone camera has its limits, especially compared to the sophisticated equipment Rushing usually works with, he has been exploring its unique possibilities.

The exhibit will be viewable until Oct. 26. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the Department of Art at 662-846-4720. Join the department email list to receive regular updates on upcoming events, or follow the department on Facebook.

DSU GIT Center joins United Nations effort in Nepal

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Photo: The UN-SPIDER TAM team presented an all-day workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal about the use of geospatial and space-based technologies for disaster risk reduction and response. Delta State’s GIT Center Director Talbot Brooks provided several blocks of instruction to the group and moderated a roundtable discussion.

 

The Delta State University Geospatial Information Technologies Center (GIT) continues to make a global impact.

Talbot Brooks, the center’s director, traveled to Nepal this summer to take part in a technical advisory mission to evaluate the current and potential use of space-derived information in all aspects of disaster management and emergency response in the country.

The mission, from July 31-Aug. 4, was conducted upon request from the Ministry of Home Affairs and with the technical support of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). ICIMOD is one of the 21 regional support offices of the United Nations SPIDER program (UN-SPIDER).

Brooks frequently travels abroad in this capacity as a member of UN-SPIDER’s Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) team.

UN-SPIDER provides a mechanism for sharing satellite imagery and similar space-based data from both private companies and government-funded space programs, free-of-charge during times of crisis, through the UN’s International Charter on Space and Major Disasters.

Along with Delta State’s GIT Center, the mission team was comprised of nine experts from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, UN-SPIDER, ICIMOD, Chinese Academy of Sciences, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Affiliated Center for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and the Pacific hosted by Indian Space Research Organization and DigitalGlobe, Singapore.

“The Nepalese suffered devastating losses during the earthquake of 2015 — as many as 9,000 people were killed, and approximately 22,000 suffered serious injuries,” said Brooks. “This experience served as a motivator to develop better plans and policies for leveraging the resources available by UN-SPIDER and through the International Charter for reducing the risk of loss to future disasters.”

The team visited key stakeholder agencies contributing to disaster management to take account of current policy and gaps, availability of geospatial information, current use of space-derived information, data sharing practices, applications of geospatial information, challenges and constraints, existing capacity and needs, institutional linkages and coordination, and applications to strengthen disaster risk reduction and emergency response.

“Beyond playing an international leadership role, the GIT Center and Delta State benefit from participation in this program as the United Nations often funds grants and contracts based upon the findings of technical advisory missions,” added Brooks. “Relationships with sister universities formed during TAMS have resulted in several memorandums of understanding with schools in the Republic of Georgia and Vietnam, and international students from these countries will begin attending classes with DSU in the coming year.”

When appropriate, Brooks said GIT students participate in the TAM process and are invited to attend missions, help with the reporting process, and present at UN-sponsored events.

UN-SPIDER will continue to work with Nepal to implement recommendations of the technical advisory mission. Learn more about the program at http://www.un-spider.org/.

Learn more about opportunities at Delta State’s Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/center-for-interdisciplinary-geospatial-information-technologies/.

The mission of the center is to provide geospatial services, accessible education and training, and institutional knowledge for geospatial information technologies to the widest possible audience, and particularly, the mid-Delta region.

Dept. of Music to host traditional Korean musicians

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Community | No Comments
Left to right, Dr. Jiyoon Kim, Yoon Jeong Bae and Eunhye Jang

The Delta State Department of Music will host “In the Beauty of Gugak: Korean Traditional Music,” Sept. 26-28, featuring three performers of Korean traditional music, Dr. Jiyoon Kim, Yoon Jeong Bae and Eunhye Jang.

The program will include a workshop for Delta State woodwind students on Sept. 26, a lecture on Korean traditional music and instruments on Sept. 28, and evening recitals on Sep. 26 and Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. These lecture and recitals, all held at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, are free and open to the public.

“In the Beauty of Gugak” is sponsored by the Department of Music and the DSU Quality Enhancement Plan.

Dr. Jiyoon Kim is a Certified Apprentice of Korean National Intangible Cultural Heritage 46 Piri Jeongak & Daechwita, and the first Ph.D. in the field of Piri, a Korean traditional woodwind instrument. She distinguished herself as a performer by winning awards in various competitions such as the Dong-A Korean Traditional Music Concours and the Chun-Hyang Korean Traditional Music Contest. As an artist from Art & Culture Management CloudPoseidon, she has received both critical and public acclaim through solo performances such as “Cloud Way,” “Scent of gratitude,” “Wind blowing from the East,” and “Harmony.” She has also been invited to perform at concerts organized by the National Gugak Center in Seoul, Busan and Jeollanam-do. Since she won the Korean Association of Critics Special Award in 2015, she has internationally publicized Korean Traditional Music by performing in Yakutia White Night International Music Festival; TNB International Music Festival in Brno, Czech Republic; the Composers Festival of Krokow, Poland; and Dolby Concert in USA. She is CEO of Sound Research Association Sori Soop and Music Director of Hecabe SE Company. She has earned her bachelor’s, master’s,and docroral degrees at the Department of Music of Seoul National University. A former lecturer at Seoul National University and Ehwa Womans University, she currently teaches at Dankook University and Chugye University for the Arts in South Korea. She will present solo works for piri and collaborate with DSU music faculty members at the recital.

Yoonjeong Bae, who will present a Gayageum performance at the Tuesday recital, graduated from Korean Traditional Cultural High School in Busan. She is currently attending Busan National University. She has performed with the Youth Orchestra of the Busan National Gugak Center and has been selected as Young Artist by Art & Management CloudPoseidon to perform ‘Tradition n Trend.’

Also featured in the Tuesday recital, Eunhye Jang, has played Haegeum, a Korean traditional string instrument, since 2012 when she was 13 years old. She graduated from the National High School of Traditional Arts in Korea and currently attends the Korea National University of Arts (K’Arts). She participated in Korea-Germany Electromobility Forum (2015), and K’Arts’ ‘2017 Sound from Spring’ and ‘Soul.’ She has also been selected as Young Artist by Art & Management CloudPoseidon to perform ‘Tradition n Trend.’

For more information about the program, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615 or visit http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/music/events/ .

Campus to celebrate bicentennial with series of arts and humanities events

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In celebration of the State of Mississippi’s bicentennial anniversary, a special series of events involving several Delta State University departments has been planned for the first week of October.

Programming will include:

  • A juried art show from Oct. 4 until the end of the month at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the DSU campus.
  • A historical lecture on Indian Mounds of the Delta on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at the BPAC.
  • An evening celebrating diversity sponsored by members of the DSU LGBTQ community on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in front of the Roberts-LaForge Library.
  • An evening “poetry slam” featuring student submissions on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. at Mississippi Grounds Coffee Shop.

The celebration will culminate with an evening gala concert event on Friday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. This special concert will highlight the sounds of Mississippi, with three world premiere performances of works commissioned specifically for the event by the Delta State Wind Ensemble, Delta State Chorale and voice faculty artists. The Delta Music Institute All-Stars will also perform Mississippi-centric music, and audience members will be treated to the unique sounds of the Delta, with performances by special guest artists Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and the Rising Star Fife and Drum band.

Programming is sponsored in part by the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Delta Center for Culture and Learning and Delta State’s QEP Committee.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Music Department at 662-846-4615.

Campus update from President William N. LaForge

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Happy Birthday to the Ol’ School We Love Best!  It’s Delta State’s 92nd anniversary!  On September 15, 1925, Delta State Teachers College opened for business.  So, here’s to another great year as we march toward our centennial celebration in 2025!

With a month already under our belt into the new academic year, it is my pleasure to report that we have started the fall semester with a high-spirited campus climate and several points of great news.  There is a distinct “buzz” of excitement on campus as we begin what promises to be a super year.  From the hustle and bustle around the Union due to the temporary relocation of the dining hall, to new and exciting student activities, to the major construction projects underway on campus, to two season-opening football victories, Delta State is teeming with excitement.  New students are choosing Delta State because they see our momentum, our quality programs, and our fun and welcoming environment.  And, we have the stats and some terrific news to back it up.

  • Delta State’s fall 2017 enrollment is up 201 students over last year’s numbers, bringing our fall total to 3,789 students.  That represents a 5.66% increase in one year, and our fourth consecutive year of increased enrollment.  It is also the highest percentage increase in enrollment of all eight public universities in the state this year.  In the area of retention, we experienced a 6% increase in the retention of freshmen students over the last year, and a 14.8% increase over the last three years.  Credit and thanks are due to many DSU family members and campus enterprises — our faculty and staff; our Enrollment Management Office and recruiters; our Student Success and First Year Seminar programs; our “growth areas” on campus, including Delta Music Institute, Aviation, Nursing, and Health, Physical Education, and Recreation; our international student program; and, our student life programming that is creating a welcoming and engaging campus environment for our students.
  • As it turns out, we are great conservationists in addition to being smart budgeteers.  I am pleased to report that we saved a total of $163,724 for the months of May – August, 2017, as a result of the university’s summer utility savings program.  We had budgeted conservatively and expected savings of $96,000.  We exceeded that goal by $67,724.  These savings, realized mostly from reduced HVAC/electricity costs, helped us offset the state budget cuts, so that we could avoid laying off any employees or closing any campus programs.  The summer utility savings program was successful because of campus-wide support from faculty, staff, administrators, and students alike, and I extend my thanks to all.  This project was led by our CFO, Mr. Jamie Rutledge, with great advice and assistance by our Facilities Management Director, Mr. Jeff Barkman, and his outstanding staff. The program included the closure of some buildings and prudent temperature control in all others, plus the move to a four-day, ten hour per day workweek from mid-May through early August, with key university units remaining open on Fridays.  We intend to continue this energy-saving and cost-saving program next year.  Once again, I thank the Delta State family for helping us conserve and be frugal in these challenging budget times.
  • This year’s Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Program will feature Dr. Rod Paige, former United States Secretary of Education, on Tuesday, October 10thin Jobe Auditorium, and Mr. Fred Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx, on Wednesday, March 21st.  Please plan to attend these lectures, and encourage students to do so as well.
  • Dr. Temika Simmons has been selected to head the university’s new Local Government Leadership Institute that will help provide guidance to Delta municipal and county leaders on effective methods of governance.  This community outreach program, funded by grants from private foundations, will be headquartered in the Center for Community and Economic Development complex on College Avenue, and will begin operation this fall.  Special thanks to the Hearin Foundation and Casey Family Foundation for their partnership and support.
  • Senior Finance major, Juwan Burney, a star member of Delta State’s baseball team, and Chair of the Delta State Student- Athlete Advisory Committee, has been appointedby the NCAA as a member of the Division II National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representing the Gulf South Conference.  He joins other student-athlete leaders from around the country in providing student representation and perspectives in NCAA decision-making.

I am very grateful to our campus team — faculty, staff, and administrators — for your commitment to Delta State, and for making this the best year ever!  Onward and upward!

Very best regards,

Bill LaForge

President