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Delta State launches Writing Skills Initiative

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

Delta State University’s Academic Council recently approved a new platform to increase writing skills on campus that replaces the current Writing Proficiency Requirement for graduation.

The new Writing Skills Initiative focuses on enhancing academic writing experiences and expectations in writing across all disciplines. It will take effect in the Fall 2018 semester.

Through the initiative, academic departments have developed, increased and identified discipline-specific requirements that seek to increase students’ writing skills at the collegiate level in each major.

Development and enhancement of writing skills is a shared responsibility of the two required composition courses in the General Education program and upper-division, enhanced writing courses.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles McAdams, said an emphasis on writing within disciplines will enhance academic standards, rather than relying on a barrier exam that data show did not achieve intended results.

“Writing skills are an important element in the education of Delta State students,” said McAdams. “We are committed to helping our students develop into proficient writers in their discipline. Several faculty committees have studied how to improve the previous Writing Proficiency Requirement, and the new Writing Skills Initiative is the result of that study. Numerous universities across the country have used a similar model for many years with very positive results.”

Academic Council indicated that English Composition I and II courses should provide a foundation for college-level writing, focusing on grammar and mechanics of writing — while the writing-enhanced courses within majors are designed to expand the written communication skills of students, within the context of the student’s chosen major.

Each major will identify two upper-division (300 or 400 level) required courses.

Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies and Research, is excited to improve student writing across the board.

“We are thrilled that our faculty have embraced the idea of directly impacting their students’ writing abilities within the individual disciplines,” said Moon. “The writing products that come out of upper-level courses will showcase our students’ abilities to move into the workplace or on to professional schools.”

The courses selected will be reviewed by the appropriate dean and reported to the provost. The assessment of writing skills in the two writing-enhanced courses will count for at least 20 percent of a student’s final grade.

Dr. David Breaux, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, also agreed that the initiative would better prepare students for the job market.

“When talking to potential employers about what they believe our students need to be successful, they always mention the need for them to have good written communication skills,” said Breaux. “Requiring each of our degree programs to incorporate enhanced writing requirements into at least two of their upper-level courses, will afford students opportunities to hone their writing skills within the context of their chosen academic majors. This will hopefully make them more competitive on the job market and a better employee.”

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

TFA Graduate Fellows celebrate progress

By | Academics, Students, Teach for America | No Comments
Pictured, left to right: Jeremiah Smith, Boyce Upholt, Sarah Brown and Jon Delperdang.

 

The Teach For America Graduate Fellows Program at Delta State hosted “Connect & Celebrate” at the Delta Music Institute April 14. The event’s purpose was to honor and celebrate the inaugural graduating cohort from the two-year TFA Graduate Fellows Program. The graduating group, Cohort 1, consists of eight TFA fellows from around the state of Mississippi.

The program is a two-year fellowship funded by the Hearin Foundation, with the goal of retaining TFA alumni in Mississippi. Each year since 2016, the program has identified a select group of 8-12 TFA alumni who desire to continue their careers in Mississippi.

During the fellowship, participants pursue a graduate degree at Delta State, while also working to design and develop a social entrepreneurship project. Through the project, fellows work to find solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing the state.

During the Connect & Celebrate event, four of the graduating fellows from the inaugural group shared stories from their two-year journey. Speakers included:
-Jon Delperdang, director of Greenville Renaissance Scholars
-Boyce Upholt, author of “Between The Levees”
-Sarah Brown, author of “Student Data Journal”
-Jeremiah Smith, founder and director of Rosedale Freedom Project

Other graduating fellows include: James Forte, who assisted with Clarksdale Collegiate Public School Charter School; Javier Peraza, who founded Jackson Kids Code; Jena Howie, who founded Magnolia Coin; and Kandace Stevenson, who has focused on serving Greenville, Mississippi.

Fellows in Cohort 2 closed the event with a conversation about their project goals as they begin their second year as fellows. Guests were then encouraged to connect with fellows and share resources, connections, and work to establish a support system in Mississippi.

Fellows in Cohort 2 include: Lucas Rapasarda, Kaitlyn Barton, AK Suggs, MK Honeycutt, Alexis Williams, Latasha Capers, Charlotte Arrowsmith, Catie Denham, Leigh Hill, JJ Townsend, and Sean Brown.

“The TFA Graduate Fellows Program would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who joined us to celebrate the fellows and this amazing journey they’re on to make Mississippi a greater place to live,” said Harrison Wood, program coordinator. “This was truly a special event. We were able to honor and celebrate our first cohort’s growth and accomplishments, while also actively working to provide resources and support as Cohort 2 starts their second year in the fall of 2018.”

For more information on the program and service opportunities, visit www.tfafellows.com, or find the program on Instagram @tfafellows and Facebook. The program is funded through a grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. The principal goal of the foundation is to contribute to the overall economic advancement of the state of Mississippi by making funds available to four-year colleges and universities and graduate professional schools located in the state.

Bolivar County Crawfish Boil scheduled for May 3

By | Alumni, Community, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Delta State University Bolivar County Alumni Chapter will host its annual Bolivar County Crawfish Boil on May 3 starting at 5:30 p.m. on the lawn at Walter Sillers Coliseum.

The Delta State University National Alumni Association, along with the Bolivar County Alumni Chapter officers, hosts the event each spring for local alumni to congregate and raise funds for the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Tickets for crawfish are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. BBQ tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Free Domino’s pizza will be available to children 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Tickets can be purchased at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni-Foundation House, online at https://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/bolivarcountycrawfishboil, or at the door.

The annual affair features live entertainment, a kids zone area, exceptional food and a silent auction to raise money for the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship fund. The scholarship is given to students who attend Delta State as freshmen and are Bolivar County residents.

The scholarship was established in 2011 and was named for past assistant director of Alumni Affairs, Liza Vaughn, who lost her battle with cancer in April of 2012. To donate to the scholarship, visit https://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/lizavaughnmemorialscholarshipfund.

“This event is always filled with great food, entertainment and our amazing alumni from Bolivar county,” said Amanda Robinson, assistant director of Alumni Affairs. “This would not be possible without help from our many volunteers and sponsors. Our main goal with this event is to raise scholarship funding to support the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship fund. We are looking forward to another great event here in Bolivar County.”

This year’s sponsors include: Advance Physical Therapy, Anytime Fitness/Studio S, Backdraft Inc., Boyle Lumber, Cleveland Rentall Outdoors, Cleveland State Bank, Crustaceans Crawfish, Delta Radio, Denton’s Dairy, DSU University Advancement of External Relations, Eley Barkley, P.A., Guaranty Bank, Joe Reed and Company Inc., McNeer Mini Storage, Mid South Water, LLC, Mississippi Grounds, Monsanto, Needle Specialty Products, Peters Pottery, Planters Bank, Right at Home/ Delta Maids, Robinson Electric, Rogers Entomological Services, Inc., South Street Pharmacy, The Bolivar Commercial, The Childrens Dental Clinic, The Image Specialist, and Williams Equipment & Supply Company.

The 2018 Bolivar County officers are: Gary Crews, president; Shane Howell, vice president; and Tricia Killebrew, secretary/treasurer.

Follow all event details on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/801403353377275.

To stay up to date with Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media outlets: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn Group (Delta State University National Alumni Association), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the dates for the 33rd Annual Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 22) and Homecoming (Nov. 10).

Board names Cooper-Oguz physical therapist SHRP Alumnus of the Year

By | Alumni | No Comments

*** Article and photo originally published by the University Medical Center of Mississippi.

 

When Dr. Carmen Cooper-Oguz first started college at Delta State University, she was determined to find a career in which she could help people. She thought that would take shape in law, but she soon found her way in the physical therapy program at the University of Mississippi School of Health Related Professions. This past Friday, April 6, she was named SHRP Alumnus of the Year at the school’s annual Alumni Day at the Jackson Medical Mall.

Cooper-Oguz received her Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from Delta State University before earning her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 1997 and Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2008 from UMMC.

“I went into physical therapy so that I could return to the Mississippi Delta to live and work. It was important to me to return to my home to serve in underserved areas,” said Cooper-Oguz.

Read the full story here: https://www.umc.edu/news/News_Articles/2018/04/ms-delta-physical-therapist-named-shrp-alumnus-of-the-year.html

Go Green Weekend returns April 27-29

By | Admissions, Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University is gearing up for its fifth annual Go Green Weekend on campus April 27-29.

Each spring, students, faculty, staff, alumni and Delta State supporters gather for a full schedule of live entertainment, tailgating, sporting events and a Spring Preview Day on April 27 from the Office of Admissions.

The family-friendly affair is a way for the Delta State community to celebrate all things green and white. The schedule of events is coordinated by a number of Delta State departments.

View the full schedule at www.deltastate.edu/gogreenweekend.

Spring Preview Day continues to grow each Go Green Weekend, as potential students have the opportunity to hear from campus leaders, meet faculty and staff to learn about campus departments, interact with current students and student organizations, enjoy campus tours, and be a first-hand fan at Delta State athletic events. This year’s preview day begins April 27 at 9:30 a.m. in the H.L. Nowell Student Union.

Junior and seniors are asked to register for Spring Preview Day at http://www.deltastate.edu/admissions/go-green-weekend.

“Spring Preview Day is an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors who are still trying to decide where to attend college,” said Rebekah Arant, Admissions recruiter. “It’s also an opportunity to meet with academic departments and student groups to see what being a Statesmen is all about. Students will have the opportunity to hear from campus leaders, enjoy a campus tour, and interact with current students.”

High school students participating in Spring Preview Day will also receive free tickets for themselves and up to two guests to attend the baseball and softball games on April 28.

The Alumni Office also encourages Delta State alumni, current students and community supporters to come out and support Delta State on the baseball and softball fields. The office will support tailgating festivities outside Harvey Stadium at 1 p.m. on April 28.

“Go Green Weekend is a great opportunity for alumni to see the new and exciting things happening on campus, visit with faculty, staff and other alumni, while enjoying some wonderful Delta State University sporting events,” said Amanda Robinson, assistant director of Alumni Affairs. “The Alumni Association office looks forward to seeing all of our alumni return to campus for Go Green Weekend.”

The Lady Statesmen softball team hosts a doubleheader against Mississippi College on April 28. Games begin at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. They close the series April 29 with a 1 p.m. showdown.

The Statesmen baseball team also hosts Mississippi College for a doubleheader, with games starting at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The men close their series April 29 with a 2 p.m. game.

The Office of Student Affairs, Student Government Association, and Delta Music Institute will also get in on the fun with a few events.

Weather permitting on April 27, the SGA and DMI will host a joint party on the quad. Starting at 6 p.m., DMI students will perform on stage and the SGA Student Crawfish Boil will kick off. At 6:45 p.m., a pep rally will take place for the softball and baseball teams. At 7 p.m., the DMI’s 2018 feature artist, Mic Hargrove, will be performing on stage for an EP release party.

“This event is a culmination of a great year for Student Government Association,” said Layla Young, SGA chief of staff and event coordinator. “We are looking forward to a fun-filled night of good food and good music that showcases the quality of talent here at DSU with our family and friends.

On April 28, Greek Life will host the annual Multicultural Step Show at 8 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. This year’s show is a partnership with Make-A-Wish Mississippi. Admission is $5 and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish.

Also on April 28, Athletics will host a special recognition at 9 a.m. at the Derrall Foreman Golf Course to honor former Delta State golf coach Derrall Forman.

Go Green Weekend activities are open to the public, but tickets are required for entry into the baseball and softball games. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, potential students and Delta State supporters are encouraged to tailgate prior the games.