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New stereomicroscope is enhancing the Delta State Herbarium and Environmental Science Programs

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During the Fall 2016 semester, the Department of Biological Sciences acquired a new Meji trinocular zoom stereo-microscope on a boom stand with high definition capabilities.

Other features associated with this particular microscope are a LED (Light-emitting diode) ring illuminator, a HD Video Camera, and a widefield, high-eyepoint eyepiece. The instrument was purchased from Miller Microscope and paid for with funds from the National Science Foundation herbarium grant that is associated with the Mississippi Herbarium consortium and participating institutions.

One main goal of this grant is to digitize the entire 17,000 plus herbarium collection that Delta State University possesses.

Mississippi ranks in the top third of U.S. states for the predicted numbers of plant taxa, species, genera, and families per unit area. The documentation of most species is sparse so fulfilling this gap will make an important contribution to the Flora of North America.

Mississippi specimens contained in Delta State University herbarium collection as well as specimens contained in other local herbarium throughout the state (Mississippi State University, the University of Southern Mississippi, The University of Mississippi, and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science) are being used to compile a checklist of all plant species that occur in Mississippi.

Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding said that the versatility of this microscope is helping with the identification of many problematic herbarium specimens.

“Minute details of flower, stem, and leaf parts can be easily analyzed and photographed and sent to other curators for identification if needed,” she said. “In addition, this microscope has been useful in photographing specimens associated with other undergraduate environmental science projects that will be presented at the upcoming Mississippi Academy of Sciences in Hattiesburg on Feb. 23-24, including prey remains contained in Carolina Biological owl pellets and teeth of a monitor lizard.”

To learn more about the Environmental Science program at Delta State University, contact Baghai-Riding @662-846-4797 or

Fulbright discussion panel set for Feb. 28

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On Feb. 28 in the Baioni Conference Center located in Broom Hall, Fulbright Alumni and Delta State University President William N. LaForge will join Dr. Carolyn Casale, Dr. David Baylis and Dr. Jamie Dahman in a panel discussion about their time as Fulbright Fellows. Topics will include where they studied, what their research topics were, why they chose their countries, as well as how their time as a Fulbright Fellow changed them and how they encounter the world around them. Students (particularly 2017 and 2018 graduates), faculty, and alumni are invited to attend.

“I studied voice and Bulgarian Art Song at the Academy of Music, Dance, and Fine Art in the city of Plovidv, Bulgaria,” said Dr. Jamie Dahman, assistant professor in the Department of Music. “My Fulbright Fellowship allowed me to live outside the United States for the first time, and made me not only a better singer, teacher, and musician, but I discovered a treasure trove of vocal music that is virtually inaccessible in the United States. I also experienced for the first time a different culture, a different of living day-to-day, and was able to immerse myself in a language and way of being that I otherwise would never have been able to do. I wouldn’t trade this for the world.”


Give Experiences this Holiday Season

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Still shopping for the holidays? Looking for a perfect gift? Why not give an experience they will never forget! Tickets to see a live performance can provide a fun night out with friends, an educational experience for youngsters, or a special evening for your loved one. The Spring 2017 line-up at the Bologna Performing Arts Center features a wide variety of national touring performances, include ballet, Broadway musicals, family programming, and a country music concert. If you want to let the recipient choose, gift certificates are also available in increments of $25.

The Bologna Center Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Dec. 22 before closing over the holidays. Tickets can be purchased online 24/7 through the BPAC Facebook page or website,

2017 Performances Include:

Tuesday, 1/24/2017 at 6:30pm
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE! – FAMILY SERIES

Tuesday, 1/31/2017 at 7:30pm
Alonzo King LINES Ballet – MAIN STAGE
Sponsored by the USA International Ballet Competition
Funded in part by a grant from South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts

Wednesday, 2/1/2017 at 11:00am
Funded in part by a grant from South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts

Thursday, 2/23/2017 at 9:30am & 11:30am
Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live! – SCHOOL MATINEE
Sponsored by Walmart

Tuesday, 2/28/2017 at 7:30pm

Monday, 3/20/2017 at 7:30pm
42nd Street – MAIN STAGE

Tuesday, 3/21/2017 at 7:30pm

Thursday, 3/30/2017 at 7:30pm
The Illusionists – Live From Broadway- MAIN STAGE

Wednesday, 4/12/2017 at 9:30am & 11:30am
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters– SCHOOL MATINEE
Sponsored by AT&T

Thursday, 4/27/2017 at 7:30pm
Sponsored by Robinson Electric Company 


Leadership Pipeline faculty present research in New Jersey

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Delta State faculty Dr. Michael Putnam and Dr. Jill Cabrera

Faculty from the Delta School Leadership Pipeline (DSLP) Initiative at Delta State recently traveled to New Jersey to present a session on the program’s education leadership preparation model.

Dr. Michael Putnam, Director of the DSLP Initiative, and Dr. Jill Cabrera, associate professor of Educational Leadership, presented the session on the DSLP model at the Equity, Access, Leadership School Leadership Program Project Directors’ Meeting held in Monroe Township, New Jersey on Nov. 9.

“This meeting afforded us the opportunity to highlight the successful and unique features of our DSU educational leadership preparation model while learning about various components of alternative program models from across the United States,” said Cabrera.

The DSLP is housed in the DSU College of Education and Human Sciences and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The five-year grant was awarded in 2012 and is now in its third cohort. The program continues to build upon an innovative, nationally recognized model for preparing school leaders. Candidates complete intensive school leadership rotations via a sabbatical program funded through the Mississippi Department of Education.

“Experiencing full-time internships at schools other than their home sites coupled with face to face class held each week on the DSU campus provides one of the richest learning environments possible,” Putnam said. “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our students, and the opportunity we have to provide such a data-intensive, research-based, practical hands-on program.”

Division Chair Dr. Tom Brady said, “This is yet another example of a powerful experience our tremendous faculty can bring back to our students.  As with past experiences, Drs. Cabrera and Putnam will train our DSLP students in what they learned, and through these students have impact on the schools throughout The Delta.”

Dr. Leslie Griffin, Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, said the DSLP model helps to build and sustain educational leadership in the Delta.

“Drs. Putnam and Cabrera are a strong leadership team, providing guidance for future school leaders and program development that is cutting edge. The DSLP model utilizes a coaching model and team-building at the district level to build and sustain leadership in Delta area schools. We are appreciative of the support and vision that has been provided at each of the institutional, state, and national levels to sustain this signature program through the years,” Griffin said.

Dr. Rolando Herts (left to right) with Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts, and Malcolm White, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, at "The Future of Arts and Creativity" convening in Washington, D.C.

The Delta Center represents Delta State at National Endowment for the Arts convening

By | Delta Center, Faculty/Staff, General, Uncategorized | No Comments

Dr. Rolando Herts (left to right) with Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts, and Malcolm White, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, at “The Future of Arts and Creativity” convening in Washington, D.C.

By special invitation, Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State, recently attended “In Pursuit of the Creative Life: The Future of Arts and Creativity in America.” The event was hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Over 200 artists, industry leaders, educators, scientists, and civic leaders from across the country attended the day-long convening at The Kennedy Center. Participants developed ideas and strategies to enhance America’s creative infrastructure for the future toward making the arts and creative opportunities more accessible to all Americans.

“This event provided opportunities for interdisciplinary idea exchanges in strategic issue areas like economics, technology, and cultivating creative talent,” said Herts. “Our discussions will enhance The Delta Center’s community-engaged programs like the International Delta Blues Project and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area that connect arts, culture, the creative economy, and people in our region.”

The convening featured keynote speaker Questlove, GRAMMY Award-winning founding member of The Roots and musical director for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” in a moderated discussion with National Public Radio media critic, Eric Deggans. Facilitated working group discussions were framed by expert panel sessions on how to help creative people and communities thrive now and in the future.

Support for the event was provided by the Ford Foundation, Heinz Endowments, The Henry Luce Foundation, McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation.

Travel supplements for invited entities like The Delta Center were provided by South Arts. South Arts is a nine-state regional arts organization based in Atlanta that provides grants, programs and services to artists and arts organizations in the southern United States.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place On Earth” workshops. For more information, visit