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Academics

Delta State recognized nationally for teaching and student success

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Delta State was one of just 14 institutions nationwide recognized for its commitment to great teaching and student success.

The recognition came at the American Council on Education’s 99th annual meeting in Washington, D.C., considered one of the nation’s most distinguished higher education events.

Delta State and the 13 other institutions recognized have adopted the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) as a scalable solution to train faculty in effective teaching. The 14 schools were introduced as the founding class of ACUE’s partners. ACUE was founded by leaders in higher education to ensure that all college students receive great instruction. Through a landmark collaboration with the American Council on Education, ACUE provides the only comprehensive, scalable, and high-quality program to credential faculty in the evidence-based teaching practices necessary for student success.

Delta State University Provost Dr. Charles McAdams attended the meeting.

Our participation in the ACUE program and our efforts to raise funds and implement our Center for Teaching and Learning are critical for one very important reason — the single most important factor in student success is good teaching,” said McAdams. “While there are many other factors that can impact students in significant ways, effective teaching is still critical to our students staying in school and completing their degree. We have several initiatives that address important factors of student success, such as 15 is Full-Time, Academic Maps, or Proactive Advising. By emphasizing quality teaching we help all of our students be successful.”

I was pleased to be at the American Council on Education annual meeting when Delta State was recognized as a partner with ACUE,” added McAdams. “We were congratulated for our efforts to focus attention on the importance of good teaching and its relationship to student success. It is part of the responsibility of administration to support our faculty with the tools and professional development needed to maximize our effectiveness and increase student success.”

McAdams added that the course in “Effective Teaching Practices” by ACUE is the best professional development tool available to support faculty.

The announcement marks the first anniversary of ACE and ACUE’s landmark collaboration to promote excellence in college teaching. Inaugural ACUE partners represent a diverse set of institutions, from every sector of higher education, including large public flagship universities, a state system of higher education, a community college, and a private liberal arts school among others.

Nationwide, higher education employs over one million college educators whose responsibility is to teach. These instructional faculty rarely receive comprehensive training in the evidence-based teaching practices that promote student retention, graduation and deeper levels of learning. ACE and ACUE’s collaboration was born out of this recognition.

Faculty at each of the 14 founding partner institutions are participating in ACUE’s online course in Effective Teaching Practices, the first comprehensive and scalable program to train and credential instructional faculty in the essentials of college teaching. As part of the collaboration, ACE has completed an independent review of ACUE’s course and endorsed the program and certificate awarded to faculty who complete the course.

“Given the needs of today’s students and the transformation of the professoriate, the omission of a comprehensive instructional development program is glaring,” said Kevin Reilly, president emeritus of the University of Wisconsin System and a member of ACUE’s board of advisors. “Institutions can and should do more to involve their faculty in student success initiatives. ACUE provides the training and support that these faculty seek.”

On Sunday, leaders from ACUE’s inaugural class participated in a panel to discuss their partnerships and share insights about how they are implementing ACUE’s program. The panel included Miami Dade College Provost Lenore Rodicio, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Provost Jane Gates, and The University of Southern Mississippi Vice Provost Amy Chasteen Miller.

The 14 institutions honored were:

-Delta State University
-Arizona State University
-California State University, Los Angeles
-The City College of the City University of New York
-Colorado State University
-The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system
-Goucher College
-Miami Dade College
-New Jersey City University
-Rutgers University—Newark
-The University of Colorado Denver
-The University of Nevada, Reno
-The University of Southern Mississippi
-West Virginia University

For more information, visit acue.org.

Stump and Parker recognized by HEADWAE

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Sheryl Stump of the library (left) and student Allie Rose Parker were recently honored by the annual HEADWAE program.

Higher education in Mississippi celebrated the 30th annual HEADWAE program recently, honoring outstanding students and faculty members from 34 Mississippi public and private universities and colleges.

Higher Education Appreciation Day—Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) was established by legislative resolution to honor individual academic achievement and the overall contribution of the state’s public and private institutions of higher learning.

Honorees from across the state gathered at the State Capitol for their recognition in late Febrary. The group was welcomed by Governor Phil Bryant, recognized by the Senate and House of Representatives and given a tour of the Capitol. The day continued with an award ceremony and luncheon.

2016-17 Delta State honorees included Sheryl Stump, cataloger/professor at Delta State’s Roberts-LaForge Library, and student Allie Rose Parker, a biology major, SGA president and Olive Branch, Mississippi native.

Stump has been working at Delta State for 28 years.

“I’m very honored to be recognized by HEADWAE,” said Stump. “I have endeavored to bring quality to my cataloging work, which enables students, faculty and staff to access the library materials they need. It’s nice to know that my work is recognized as part of the larger educational mission of both Delta State University as well as the state of Mississippi. I’d like to thank Jeff Slagell, the dean of Library Services, for nominating me for this honor.”

Parker, who is also the first voting student member of the President’s Cabinet, was thrilled with the nomination.

“I was so honored to be recognized by HEADWAE because higher education plays such an important role in my life,” said Paker. “I am so thankful to go to such a great school that works with students on succeeding in both the classroom and extracurricular realms. It was such a fun experience to get together with the students from Mississippi schools, the faculty members who were honored, and the members of the legislature who joined us.”

Corporate sponsors for the HEADWAE program include: Atmos Energy, Jackson; AT&T, Jackson; BancorpSouth, Tupelo; Chevron Products, Pascagoula; ERGON, Flowood; Georgia-Pacific (KOCH Companies), Baton Rouge, LA;  Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula; Mississippi Power Company, Gulfport; Sanderson Farms, Laurel; Trustmark Bank, Jackson; and Valley Services, Inc., Flowood.

Click here http://www.mississippi.edu/headwae/downloads/headwaehonorees2017.pdf for a full list of 2016-17 HEADWAE honorees.

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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.

Delta Players present “Speech & Debate”

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The Delta Players will present “Speech & Debate,” March 22-25 at 7 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium on the Delta State University campus.

The play was written by Stephen Karam, who recently won a Tony Award for his play “The Humans.”

Co-sponsors for the play include the Delta Music Institute and DSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. Voluntary monetary donations for Delta State University’s Gay-Straight Alliance will be collected after the show.

“Dr. Kilby Allen, the director, has done a terrific job of balancing the play’s humor with the core drama of three socially awkward teenagers struggling with their emerging sexual identities in modern America,” said Don Allan Mitchell of the Division of Languages & Literature, which is producing the play.

“The darkly-comic play is definitely not a play for younger audiences. The film based on the play is rated PG-13,” added Mitchell. “There are interweaving sex scandals, dancing actors in flesh-colored body stockings and purple underwear, and a Broadway musical presentation of alternative facts concerning Abraham Lincoln’s sexual orientation. In short, it is precisely the type of challenging material that college drama groups should be presenting to audiences.”

Cast members include Delta State students Layla Young as Diwata, Logan Swain as Howie, Jess Bennett as Solomon, and future Cleveland Central High School student Ginny Smith playing the double role of the teacher/reporter. The stage manager is Delta State staff member Mallory Shemwell. The technical director is Amber Wolfe, who earned two degrees at Delta State and is the drama sponsor at Cleveland High School.

“Over the last few semesters, Ms. Wolfe has been very supportive of the Delta Players, and the Division of Languages & Literature will continue to collaborate with her and her student productions in the very near feature,” staid Mitchell.

The play is free and open to the public, with the condition that audience members acknowledge the play’s challenging content at the sign-in and information table in the lobby.

For more information, contact the Division of Languages & Literature at 662-846-4060 or Mitchell at amitchell@deltastate.edu.

Environmental science presents at Mississippi Academy of Sciences

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Four Delta State environmental science students and two professors presented at the 81st annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences (MAS) in Hattiesburg on Feb. 23-24.

Two presentations were given during the oral session as a part of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Division of MAS.

Heather Brewer, a senior at Delta State, received the first place graduate and undergraduate award for her presentation entitled, “Impact of urbanization on bird nest materials in the Mississippi Delta,” co-authored by herself, Alexis Patterson and Dr. AHM Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State. 

In absence of undergraduate student Christian Frew, Reza presented, “What can affect the movement patterns of white-tailed deer in central Mississippi,” co-authored by the duo. Both of these presentations were a product of Reza’s vertebrate biology courses, ornithology and mammalogy.

Four poster presentations were also given at the division’s poster session.

Patterson and Brewer received a second place award for their poster entitled, “Prey remains found in 24 owl pellets from Carolina Biological Science,” co-authored by Patterson, Brewer, Karoline Lambert, Madison Zoeller, Roxy Kimes, Dr. Eric Blackwell and Dr. Baghai-Riding.

Student Brittany Husley gave her presentation, “Comparison of dental changes in Varans exanthematicus to ontogenetics shifts in diet,” co-authored by herself, Christine Beck, Baghai-Riding and Blackwell.

Baghai-Riding presented two poster presentations, “Effects of wild hogs at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi,” co-authored by Matthew Galloway, Peyton Hamblin, Mitchel Coleman, Brady Chambley, Matt McGregor; and “Bird surveys conducted at Bear Pen Park, Cleveland, Mississippi,” c0-authored by Sheketra Bell, Jarrica Carey, DeAndra Felton, Monique Price and Kimberely Davis. The posters were a product of Baghai-Riding’s  conservation biology course.

This year’s MAS annual meeting had its largest attendance with over 1,000 attendees. Reza plans to establish a stronger Delta State presence for the 2018 event and seeks all appropriate disciplines to consider joining.

In addition, Reza chaired the EEB Division of MAS in 2016-17. Baghai-Riding and Reza served as judges for the zoology and entomology poster presentations. Also, Reza will serve as the chair of the EEB Division and Baghai-Riding will serve as the vice chair for 2017-18.

To learn more about the Delta State’s environmental science program, contact Baghai-Riding (nbaghai@deltastate.edu) or Reza (areza@deltastate.edu), or call the Department of Biological Sciences at 662-846-4240.

12th annual International Business Symposium set for March 29-30

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Delta State University’s College of Business will hold the 12th annual International Business Symposium on March 29-30.

The theme for this year’s symposium is business innovation, focussing on how businesses must remain innovative in both macro and micro aspects.

The symposium is sponsored by David and Sherry Abney, Mississippi Delta natives who currently reside in Atlanta. Abney, a 1976 graduate of DSU, began his career as a part-time United Parcel Service (UPS) package loader while in college. He now serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board for UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company. Abney is the eleventh CEO in the 107-year-history of UPS.

“Sherry and I wanted to do something meaningful for the Delta. By bringing global leaders onto campus and sharing their experiences with students, I believe we’ll be able to expand Delta State students’ horizons in how they see and prepare for their futures,” Abney said in a previous Delta State interview.

Along with Abney, the schedule will feature four distinguished speakers, all Delta State graduates:

*Laird Hamberlin: Hamberlin returns to the symposium to share his expertise. He received his bachelor’s in business administration from Delta State before going on to become the vice president of sales and commercial for Terminix (a division of ServiceMaster). Prior to being an equity investor of ServiceMaster and taking the company public in June 2014, he worked for various conglomerates including UTC Climate, Controls and Security, where he served as president of the access controls division.
*Teresa Hubbard: Hubbard is president and CEO of CITE ARMORED, a company which provides every level of service for the armored vehicle industry, including manufacturing, refurbishing, repair and part replacement. She is well-versed in business operations, staff supervision, sales and marketing and financial analysis and management. Hubbard received her bachelor degrees in accounting and CIS from Delta State.
*Rodney Scaife: Scaife serves as vice president and chief human resources officer for CPA Global-North America, the world’s leading intellectual property (IP) management and IP technology firm company. He previously held international positions as head of HR operations for PANDORA Americas, with oversight for the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Scaife studied business administration at Delta State before completing his executive education studies at Cornell University’s Center for Advance Human Resources Studies.
*Josh West: West serves as CEO and co-founder of Blue Delta, a bespoke denim manufacturing company. Blue Delta jeans are made in the U.S.A with globally sourced premium raw materials. The company sells jeans in over 44 U.S. cities and abroad with accounts in Toronto and London. West is a 2005 graduate of Delta State, where he served as student body president.

The 2017 International Business Symposium is free and open to public. For more information, contact Zina Taran at 662-846-4190 or email ztaran@deltastate.edu.