Rezatrip2017

Biology credits available for trip to Bangladesh

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, International, Students | No Comments

Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, is leading another international field course this summer in his homeland of Bangladesh.

The tropical field biology study abroad course is in partnership with the Creative Conservation Alliance (CCA), an NGO that works tirelessly to conserve Bangladesh’s imperiled wildlife.

“This is really a special opportunity for students to get direct access to one of the most diverse environments in the world, the jungles of Lawachara National Park, as well as the largest mangrove forest in the world, the Sundarbans Reserve Forest.” said Reza. “I would strongly encourage students to consider joining this trip if they have an interest in resume-boosting conservation field experience. You’ll have a real chance at seeing tigers, saltwater crocs, five species of primates, and finding dozens of snakes in a single night.”

Students at Delta State will have the opportunity of gaining three credits during the Summer II session with a two-week field trip mandatory for the course, from July 10-25. BIO 492: Tropical Field Biology, is course appropriate for any student enrolled or interested in biology, natural resources management, conservation biology, wildlife ecology, management, veterinary sciences or related fields.

Students enrolled in other universities or colleges in the U.S. will also be able to transfer course credits from Delta State to their home institution.

Thanks to the partnership with CCA, the course fee of $2,200 per student directly contributes to the conservation of the endangered flora and fauna of Bangladesh. The fee also covers housing, meals, local travel and fees to the forests. Separate from the course fee, students will be responsible for their airfare to Bangladesh.

Taking the course for university credit is optional. The fee to take the trip for credit is an additional $802.50.

“While we encourage everyone to enroll for academic credit on this trip, students or anyone else can attend without registering for credit,” added Reza.

Reza said this hands-on experience can help students get recognized in the scientific field.

“You have a great chance of getting your name on a scientific publication by making a range extension, or even discovering a new species,” he said. “Our 2014 and 2015 trips recognized multiple potentially new species and made several range extensions. In 2016, our group discovered a new species of a Takydromus lizard.”

For more trip information, contact Reza at areza@deltastate.edu.

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NPR visits Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum

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National Public Radio recently made at stop at the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum housed at the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives and Museum at Delta State University.

Melissa Block and Alyssa Nordsworny from NPR received a special tour of the Chinese museum. The two were in the Delta working on programming for NPR focused on Gilroy and Sally Chow of Clarksdale, a culinry duo who have received national attention from the likes of The New York Times, Washington Post, The Smithsonian and more.

They’ve been the epitome of culinary fusion in the Delta for some time,” said Emily Jones, university archivist. “So NPR was in town to interview them yet again, and Gilroy, who is my Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum board president, recommended that they stop by to see the museum.” 

Against the backdrop of a rapidly disappearing society and culture, the museum promotes local heritage preservation by actively collecting oral histories, memorabilia, photographs and textile materials related to the history and story of the Mississippi Delta Chinese immigration and settlement.

Where Chinese grocery stores once dominated our small towns, today their influence is markedly less notable,” added Jones. “It is because of their physical absence that documenting, preserving and retelling their stories becomes vital.”  

The museum is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at no charge. Weekend or after-hours tours can be set up by calling Jones or Cindi Lofton at 662-846-4780.

Thacker Mt. 2017

Thacker Mountain Radio Show returning to DMI

By | Community, Delta Music Institute, Uncategorized | No Comments
Thacker Mountain Radio Show returns to the Delta Music Institute at Delta State with special guests Susan Puckett and Buddy Greene.

The Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program at Delta State University will host the award-winning Thacker Mountain Radio Show on March 4 at 3 p.m. in DMI Studio A in the Whitfield Building on campus.

This marks the ninth year for the Thacker Mountain Delta Edition event, which celebrates DMI’s innovative program and serves as a fundraising event to support the Duff Dorrough Memorial Scholarship fund.

Susan Puckett, this year’s featured author, is a native of Jackson. She was the food editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for nearly 19 years before leaving in 2008 to pursue independent projects. Her forte throughout her career has been finding and telling food stories with a sense of place. After leaving the paper, she traveled extensively through the Mississippi Delta to explore its unique foodways, and produced a travelogue with recipes called “Eat Drink Delta: A Hungry Traveler’s Journey Through the Soul of the South.” 

Puckett is currently working on a book with chef Eddie Hernandez of the Atlanta-based Taqueria del Sol restaurants (and winner of the 2013 Delta Hot Tamale Festival celebrity chef competition), to be published by Houghton-Mifflin in 2018. Her work has also appeared in Atlanta Magazine, The Local Palate, Better Homes and Gardens, Eating Well, National Geographic Traveler, and many other publications. Puckett lives in downtown Decatur, Georgia, with her journalist husband, Ralph Ellis, and their greyhound, Rita.

Award-winning singer-songwriter Buddy Greene will be this year’s featured musician for the Delta Edition show. A native of Macon, Georgia, Greene graduated to the national stage when he landed a gig playing guitar and harmonica for country entertainer Jerry Reed and serving as his opening act. After four years performing with Reed, Greene took up residence in Nashville, where he developed a reputation as an insightful songwriter, compelling vocalist and musician of considerable skill.

In addition to being in the creative trenches with some of the industry’s unsung heroes, Greene has also worked with the most celebrated names in the music industry, among them Bill and Gloria Gaither, the late Jerry Reed, and Mark Lowry, with whom he wrote the Christmas classic “Mary, Did You Know?” The song has been recorded numerous times, including covers by Kenny Rogers, Wynonna Judd, Natalie Cole, Glen Campbell, Kathy Mattea, CeeLo Green, Clay Aiken and Pentatonix. Greene has performed for more than a quarter of a million people in New York’s Central Park as part of a Billy Graham Crusade, and has been a part of praise gatherings for more than two decades, touring all over the world.

In addition to this year’s featured guests, DMI Director Tricia Walker will offer up a song and DMI’s Ol’ Skool Revue band will perform a few R&B, soul and blues hits. Thacker Mountain Radio is hosted by Jim Dees and features the show’s talented house band, The Yalobushwhackers.

Thacker in the Delta is open to the public at no charge, but donations to the DMI Duff Dorrough Memorial Scholarship fund are encouraged along with signing up for an annual membership with the Friends of DMI. For online giving, visit www.deltastategiving.org and search for Delta Music Institute.

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelor’s degree in entertainment industry studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For information, contact 662- 846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

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Beals honored for Excellence in Diversity by IHL

By | Academics, College of Education and Human Sciences, Faculty/Staff, IHL | No Comments
Dr. George Beals, center, receives the IHL Excellence in Diversity and Inclusive Award from trustee Shane Hooper (left) and Delta State President William N. LaForge.

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning recently held its annual diversity celebration to recognize campus and community leaders for the impact they have made in advancing diversity and encouraging understanding and respect.

Dr. George Beals, assistant professor of counselor education, was selected as the Delta State University nominee for the IHL Excellence in Diversity and Inclusive Award. Beals is also the program coordinator/assessment director for the Division of Counselor Education and Psychology at Delta State.

I am deeply honored and very humbled that my dean and colleagues appreciated my efforts around diversity,” said Beals. “I think what they saw in me was the fact that my lens of diversity, inclusion and social justice is always a primary when focusing on programmatic efforts and teaching my classes. Being a part of DSU has always been a point of pride for me because we can boast that per capita, we are the most diverse campus in the state.”

Social justice is a value that is most primary in my interactions with others and with institutions,” added Beals. “I hold the vision that the world can be an amazing place if we all work toward communicating with each other.”

Among his many efforts on campus, Beals serves on both the Diversity Committee and the Winning The Race Conference Committee. He also provides diversity trainings including Safe-Space Training, and has led some diversity experiences for Delta State students as a part of the Diversity Efforts and the Quality Enhancement Program.  

Beals, who has taught at Delta State for eight years, received his doctorate in counselor education from Mississippi State University in 2007, and received his master’s in community counseling, also from MSU, in 1995. Additionally, he is a member and current chapter advisor for Delta State’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society for students, professional counselors and counselor educators. He is also the recipient of the 2016 Janie G. Rugg Career Contributor by the Mississippi Counseling Association.

His academic interests include: personal growth and wellness of counselor trainees, experiential therapies across diverse populations, somatization of oppression, systems theories and interventions with community applications, and counseling theories and neurosciences.

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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BPAC announces 2017 Spring Movie Series

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center | No Comments

Returning for the fifth year, the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University will host the Spring Movie Series featuring new releases of major motion pictures on its big screen in the Delta & Pine Land Theatre.

All tickets are $5 for general admission seating. Popcorn and candy concessions are available for purchase (cash only) to enhance the movie experience.

First up in the series is Illumination’s hit animated film, “Sing,” on March 5 at 3 p.m. From the same creators of “Despicable Me,” the film is rated PG and features the voice talents of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, among others, in this story of a singing competition.

Next, the Star Wars epic saga continues in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” on April 9 at 3 p.m. Rated PG-13, the Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Studios film is the first installment of the Star Wars Anthology series, and is set immediately before the events of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.”

The final screening of “The LEGO Batman Movie” will take place April 30 at 3 p.m. In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, LEGO Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, stars in his own big-screen adventure in which he must work with others to save Gotham City. This film is rated PG.

For more information, to see film trailers, and buy tickets, visit www.bolognapac.com, or call the ticket office at 662-846-4626.