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Delta State

TFA Graduate Fellows Program hosts Ballot & Brunch

By | Community, Continuing Education, Students, Teach for America | No Comments

The Teach For America Graduate Fellows Program at Delta State University hosted “Ballot & Brunch” Nov. 11 at the Delta Meat Market in Cleveland.

Guests were invited to become active participants in re-imagining Mississippi with the TFA Graduate Fellows.

The program is a collaboration between Delta State and TFA. The fellowship’s role is to retain TFA alumni in Mississippi by offering the opportunity to continue their education in graduate school at DSU and to nurture their passion for enhancing the state.

The fellowship is a two-year program that currently has two cohorts for a total of 19 TFA alumni. Each fellow is pursuing their individualized social entrepreneurship project (SE) that addresses local issues.

“These folks are actively using their unique skills and passion, and applying it to the betterment of Mississippi through their social entrepreneurship projects,” said Harrison Wood, program coordinator for the fellowship.

Each fellow had the opportunity to invite individuals to the Ballot & Brunch who they consider to be mentors, collaborators or stakeholders in their SE project. TFA staff, DSU coordinators and potential future TFA fellows were also in attendance.

“It was a powerful event to experience,” Wood said. “Everyone in the space was invited because our fellowship believes that they are actively using their passions and work to better our wonderful Mississippi. In the room, we had people who were responsible for the creation of this opportunity. There were many folks representing TFA and DSU, and many were considered to be mentors and stakeholders to our TFA Fellows.”

The brunch was a brainstorming opportunity for attendees to propose ideas for advancing Mississippi followed by a pitch/networking competition among the fellows and their projects.

After brunch, each fellow presented a powerful one-minute pitch about their SE project. During the pitch, they addressed the Mississippi community that is being served, the need the project is meeting, and how they plan to execute their project. Participants then provided visuals of their projects set up in the space.

Once guests were able to network with the fellows, everyone had the opportunity to vote on the SE project they would support and like to see come to fruition.

The top-three presenters received a scholarship stipend to bring their projects to reality:

1st Place ($500)– Jeremiah Smith, Rosedale with Rosedale Freedom Project
2nd Place ($400) – Charlotte Arrowsmith, Greenwood with Open Minds
3rd Place ($300) – Lucas Rapisarda, Rosedale with Rosedale Freedom Project Outdoor Program

In addition to the Ballot & Brunch winners, the program able to award nine fellows with the Supply Stipend Award. The fellows were given the opportunity to apply for up to $3,000 of awards that will be dedicated to the advancement of their project.

“The TFA Graduate Fellows Program is thrilled to be able to support the TFA Fellows social entrepreneurship projects outside of providing university resources, formal mentorship, cohort collaboration, and community service opportunities,” said Wood. “Supporting them financially with the Supply Stipend Award is evidence that the fellowship actively supports the changemaking efforts they are working towards in a real tangible way.”

The project 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.

For more information on the program, visit www.tfafellows.com.

Oakley crowned Miss DSU once again

By | Miss DSU, Student Life, Students | No Comments

Miss Delta State University 2018 was crowned Nov. 9 in the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus.

Gillian Oakley, a junior music education major from Southaven, Mississippi, will represent Delta State at the Miss Mississippi Pageant in 2018.

Her victory marks only the second time in the university’s history that a contestant has claimed the crown twice. She was previously crowned Miss DSU in 2016. Mary Ann Collins is the only other repeat winner when she won the crown in 1959 and 1961.

“I’m incredibly humbled to be Miss DSU once again,” said Oakley. “Now that I’m two years older, and I’ve seen all that goes into this competition, I think I have an even greater appreciation. I talked myself into thinking I didn’t have a chance because I had won once, so it was such a relief to hear my name called again.”

Oakley said she was unaware that only one other person was a repeat winner, and she would work hard throughout the year to honor the crown.

Oakley sang “My Way” by Frank Sinatra for the talent portion of the competition. Her platform is suicide awareness and prevention. In the upcoming months, she will be busy visiting different local and state schools promoting her platform.

Contestants at the pageant competed in five categories: private interview, evening gown, swimsuit, talent and on-stage question.

This year’s first alternate was Chesney Mardis, a health, physical education and recreation major from Mount Dora, Florida, and the second alternate was Antoinque McGee, a social work major from Pace, Mississippi.

The Miss Delta State University Pageant is produced by the University Pageant Board and sponsored by the Student Government Association.

Stratton named Cochran Congressional Fellow

By | College of Arts and Sciences, President, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

Delta State University student Paxton Stratton was recently selected as a 2018 Congressional Fellow for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

Stratton, a junior HPER (health, physical education and recreation) major, with a minor in coaching and mathematics, will move to Washington D.C. in January and remain there through the spring semester. The program selects one Delta State student each year to serve on Cochran’s staff, with the goal of providing a better understanding of the legislative process.

“I’m absolutely elated to be accepted as a Cochran Fellow,” said Stratton, a native of Fort Worth, Texas. “It’s a big-time opportunity, and I think it will be a great learning experience for me.”

Stratton said he is excited to learn how the legislative process works, having never previously delved into politics.

“I’ve never really been into politics, but this will be a great way for me to learn the ins and outs of politics,” he said. “I think it will also help my get my foot in the door with people who are changemakers in our country.”

Stratton is driven to design prosthetics after graduating from Delta State, and he said understanding the political environment would be helpful for making prosthetics more affordable to people in the future.

Stratton is also a member of the Delta State men’s soccer team.

Delta State has a long-running tradition of sending fellows to Washington, and Delta State President William N. LaForge served as Cochran’s chief of staff during the 1980s.

“It is professionally and personally gratifying to me that we continue this wonderful relationship with the senator’s office in cooperation with Delta Council and Staplcotn because of the affiliation with Sen. Cochran going back to my days as his chief of staff,” said LaForge. “Paxton will have an excellent experience there, and their office will benefit from his outstanding background at Delta State.”

The fellowship program is funded through Delta State University, the Delta Council and Staplcotn. Additionally, Stratton will receive a stipend from Cochran’s office.

The Delta Council is an area economic development organization representing the 18 Delta and part-Delta counties of Northwest Mississippi. The organization pioneers efforts to solve common problems and promote the development of the local economy. Founded in 1921, Staplcotn (Staple Cotton Cooperative Association) is the oldest and one of the largest cotton marketing cooperatives in the United States.

Flight Team places second at Region IV Safecon Flight Team Competition

By | Academics, Aviation, College of Business and Aviation, Students | No Comments
Members of the Delta State University Precision Flight Team, from left to right: Matthew Hill, Brandon Baioni (team advisor), Ryan Hudson, Emma Jeffries (captain), Adam Holthouser (co-captain), Tristan Crockett and Parker Tomlinson.

The Delta State University Precision Flight Team recently took home second place honors at the Region IV Safecon Flight Team Competition in Waco, Texas, from Oct. 30-Nov. 3.

Delta State’s team was second in flying events and tied with Texas State Technical College for second in ground events. This resulted in the team receiving second overall and an invitation to the National Competition at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, in May of 2018. The results are the best finish for the team in recent years.

Delta State also received the Red Baron Team Sportsmanship Award and the Competition Safety Award.

The competition focuses on quality, exact and accurate flying. Teams are graded on a number of skills, including a navigation event, short-field landing event, power off landing event, computer accuracy, pre-flight inspection event, and more.

“I am proud of this team because they faced many challenges over the past two years preparing for competition,” said Brandon Baioni, flight team advisor. “The team showed how a little extra effort pays off in the end. The aviation program offers many tools pilots need to be successful in their careers, but I believe that flight team puts these individuals above the others offering them even more tools.”

The current student roster includes Emma Jeffries, Adam Holthouser, Ryan Hudson, Melvin Tucker, Parker Tomlinson, Tristan Crockett, and Matthew Hill.

“It’s a great feeling to know our team was able to work hard, stay focused and were able to pull out second place,” said Jeffries, team captain.” The flight team offers me a chance to fly, work and socialize with my aviation peers. It’s also a great opportunity to make connections outside of DSU as well.”

Delta State has been competing at the Region IV Safecon Flight Team Competition since 1982.

“I think that through the hard work of preparing the team for competition and the team member’s hard work and efforts, the once quieted Delta State University Precision Flight Team has once again regained a voice,” added Baioni.

Learn more about opportunities through Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation at
http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation/.

Delta State honored as 2018 Military Friendly® School

By | Community | No Comments

In advance of Veterans Day, Delta State University is honored to announce it has earned 2018 Military Friendly® School designation.

The Military Friendly rating program was started in 2003 as an advocacy vehicle to encourage civilian organizations to invest in programs to recruit, retain and advance veterans as employees, entrepreneurs and students.

The list of Military Friendly Schools and Military Friendly Schools ratings are assessed through the evaluation of both public data about the institutions and proprietary data gathered through the free Military Friendly Schools survey. The annual, data-driven survey assessment is offered at no cost to more than 8,800 institutions nationwide.

Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Delta State, said the institution has always made the effort to assist active military members and veterans.

“There are specific standards Delta State must meet to maintain our designation as a Military Friendly School,” said McAdams. “Each year, we report on our activities and types of support for our veterans. We are very committed to supporting active military and veterans. Veterans made the effort and sacrifice to serve our country, and Delta State honors their service by supporting them in their efforts to obtain a degree.”

To verify as a Military Friendly school, the university must provide three of more of the following federal programs:

  • Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill)
  • Official commitment to the Eight Keys to Veterans’ Success
  • VA’s Principles of Excellence
  • Federal Financial Aid Shopping Sheet
  • Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Funding
  • DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Tuition Assistance
  • Veteran Success on Campus (VSOC) Program
  • Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Network

“Delta State University is very proud of this designation, and we want veterans to know that they are welcome and supported here,” added McAdams.

Learn more about the rankings at http://militaryfriendly.com.