Delta State contracts with PepsiCo for campus beverage services

By | IHL | No Comments

Delta State University recently announced PepsiCo as its new beverage vendor of choice for the next five years, pending finalized contracts and approval by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Delta State expects to bring the item to the Board at its March meeting.

PepsisCo is one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies with over $63 billion in net revenue in 2016 and a global portfolio of diverse and beloved brands.

A university committee recommended PepsiCo following a detailed analysis of corporate options. The recommendation letter stated, “We feel that PepsiCo presented a commitment to bring first class service, product and equipment innovation, program support and a strong significant and sustainable financial package.”

Delta State University President William N. LaForge said he was looking forward to the numerous opportunities the contract will provide.

“I am pleased with the recommendation of our task force, and the decision of our Executive Committee, to enter into a contract with PepsiCo for our new beverage services on campus,” said LaForge. “PepsiCo will provide a large array of services and benefits, including an extensive line of beverages that students like, a significant increase of revenue from commissions, a special partnership with Gatorade for our athletic programs, card reader machines campus-wide for convenience of purchase, and a number of student engagement events and promotional programs on campus for the next several years.”

Pepsi will provide Delta State the opportunity to move forward in the numerous ways, including:

◦  Varied product selections with a beverage portfolio that comprises 22 brands and includes many healthy lifestyle options and protein beverages
◦  A premier partnership with Gatorade and DSU Athletics that offers support, equipment and educational resources
◦  Student engagement by providing multiple promotional campus events at no cost to the university
◦  Partnership with a company that has extensive experience and a strong national presence in 800+ colleges and universities

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Seats available for “Petra and the Wolf”

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

Seats are still available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center for two productions of “Petra and the Wolf” on Feb. 20. Performances will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

The new work from Glass Half Full Theatre is inspired by the Prokofiev classic “Peter and Wolf,” and the show is recommended for 1st-8th grade audiences. A free study guide is available for download at

Sponsored locally by Entergy, “Petra and the Wolf” will feature large-scale puppetry and a new instrumental score written and performed live by Mother Falcon, a band NPR describes as “the little orchestra that can seemingly do the impossible.”

Tickets are $6 and can be reserved through the Arts Education office at the BPAC by calling 662-846-4844, or by emailing Cade Holder at Homeschool groups will be able to purchase tickets at the box office on the day of the performance.

The Arts Education office has less than 30 scholarship tickets remaining for the season, priced at $1 each. To inquire about eligibility and reserve scholarship tickets for students, contact Holder to check the availability of remaining scholarship ticket funds.

Dabney appointed to Registrar and Director of Institutional Research and Planning

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, Registrar | No Comments

Effective Feb. 1, Delta State University announced the appointment of Emily Dabney as the Registrar and Director of Institutional Research and Planning.

Previously, Dabney served as the director of Institutional Research and Planning for two and a half years, and she will continue to direct the department in addition to her new Registrar role.

“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve the university in the position of Registrar,” said Dabney.

“My immediate goal is to learn as much as I can, as quickly as I can, while still fulfilling my Institutional Research duties,” added Dabney. “My longer-term goals include working with the great staff of the Registrar’s office to leverage my experience in making the registration and graduation experience smoother for students, faculty and staff.”

Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said Dabney has demonstrated great technical skill and finesse in increasing the accuracy of a broad array of institutional data for internal and external use.

“She is also adept at identifying best practices and structural improvements that will serve us well as we seek to bring greater capacity and efficiencies to the Registrar’s Office,” said McAdams. “Coupled with her ability to work positively with others, I am confident she will serve Delta State well as both Registrar and Director of Institutional Research and Planning.”

Additionally, Dabney is an attorney and practiced law for several years before moving into the field of litigation technology. In that field, she was the production and project manager and a consultant for a company that designed and produced databases for the management of large, complex litigation cases. Her largest case there exceed 900,000 documents and records.

Dabney received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Mississippi State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Washington and Lee University.

For more information on the Registrar’s Office at Delta State, visit

Blue Sky Studios producer featured in upcoming DMI All Access

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments

The Delta Music Institute entertainment industry studies program at Delta State University will host producer and Blue Sky Studios owner Casey Combest Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in Studio B for an interactive discussion and Q&A as part of the DMI All Access series.

DMI All Access is a series of open forums and lectures throughout the academic year featuring industry professionals from various areas of the music business. The event is hosted by Richard Tremmel and is open to the public at no charge.

As a producer and audio engineer, Combest has plenty of incentive for keeping the local recording industry thriving. In 2002, he began recording music in his dorm during his freshmen year at Mississippi College, which allowed him to explore his interest in recording gear and to demo music for his own band.

While Combest has produced music under the Blue Sky Studios moniker since 2009, he decided to focus on recording full-time in 2013, shortly after he and his wife moved to Jackson. Currently, he has a steady stream of studio projects, both in and outside of music, which he divides between himself and engineer Justin Patterson and editor Bobby Hansford, based on their different sensibilities.

Combest says there’s a surprising level of cooperation between recording studios in the Jackson area. He often rents studio time from Malaco Records, and has also had a hand in developing country/bluegrass trio Long Time Coming, made up of three brothers enrolled in the DMI entertainment industry program at Delta State.

“It’s easy when you first start to think recording is about the gear or even about the end product,” said Combest. “While that’s vastly important, what’s most important is the people and helping them tell their story, helping them achieve what they want to achieve.”

In addition to running his studio, Combest also created and hosts a podcast called ‘Made in Mississippi’ that focuses on entrepreneurs who are building, and have built, successful businesses within the state. Season 3, sponsored by C Spire, launches this month.

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelors 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 more information, contact 662-846-4579 or visit

Chinese Heritage Museum to celebrate Chinese New Year

By | Archives | No Comments

The University Archives & Museum, in partnership with the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum, will present a series of events to celebrate Chinese New Year.

The public is invited to attend variety of programs on Feb. 18. First, a cooking demonstration and tasting will begin at 1:30 p.m. inside Ewing Hall’s Ada Swindle Mitchell Food Lab. To reserve a ticket for the cooking event, contact University Archives ( or 662-846-4780. Each ticket is $8.

Also on Feb. 18, the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum will host an open house beginning at 2 p.m. inside the Capps Archives & Museum building. On the first floor, visit the temporary exhibit of photographs selected from the museum’s permanent collection featuring ‘man’s best friend,’ curated to support 2018’s Year of the Dog.

Enjoy complementary hot teas and almond cookies and try your hand at drawing some of the more popular Chinese characters. Stop on the second floor to tour the museum’s newest traveling exhibit, “Grocery Stor[i]es.” Supported by a major grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, the exhibit tells the stories of the lives lived behind the counters in many of the Delta’s grocery stores. The exhibit will travel to Boston, Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans, Houston and San Fransisco throughout 2018. For information on how to host the exhibit in your town, contact University Archives.

Throughout the month, in honor of the Chinese men and women who made the Mississippi Delta their homes, and in memory of the strong commitment to community engagement they instilled in their children, the museum will collect food, supplies and toys to be donated to the Cleveland Animal Shelter and Paw Prints Rescue. All collected donations will be evenly shared with these two local organizations.

“The University Archives and Museum, along with the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum, appreciate the generosity of Delta State’s QEP program and the Mississippi Humanities Council in their support of these programs and projects,” said Emily Jones, university archives. “On behalf of the MHC, these events are made possible by a grant from the MS Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibit and program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the MS Humanities Council.

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