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Academics

Delta State COEHS to screen student documentary

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The Delta State University College of Education and Human Sciences announced it will screen “I Sopravvissuti,” a documentary directed by Delta State junior psychology major Matteo Zengaro, on Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. in the Jacob Conference Center.

Zengaro was named a grant recipient of the 2017 Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum on May 1 for his film depicting the Italian tradition in the Mississippi Delta.

“We are pleased to showcase this creative work of Matteo Zengaro, a psychology major in the Division of Counselor Education and Psychology,” said Dr. Leslie Griffin, dean of the COEHS. “His interest in research dovetailed with the study of the experiences of early Italian immigrants to the Mississippi Delta. My interest is certainly piqued, and I invite others to join with the College of Education and Human Sciences in viewing this screening.”

Italian Americans have a long-rooted tradition in the Mississippi Delta, and Zengaro’s film brings those stories to life. Narrated by Delta State associate professor of English and chair of the Division of Languages and Literature Don Allan Mitchell, Zengaro’s film delves into the hardships early Italian Americans faced and how they overcame obstacles to give future generations a better life.

“I Sopravvissuti” (The Survivors) is the story of the sons and daughters of Italians who immigrated to the Delta and how present day Italian Americans keep their ancestors’ culture flowing within their community. The film highlights a culture that has been ingrained within the Delta community, but largely ignored in overall Italian American history.

“I want to thank the College of Education and Human Sciences for showing my film,” Zengaro said. “‘I Sopravvissuti’ is a unique film that shares the Italian American experience in the Delta. I also want to thank everyone who helped me along the way to make this film a reality.”

Admission to the screening is free and open to the public.

COEHS to host annual Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment Event

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Delta State’s College of Education and Human Sciences will host the 5th annual Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment Event on Nov. 2 from 3-5 p.m. in the Jacob Conference Center, to honor the retired educator Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley.

The theme of this year’s event will be “A Legacy of Literacy.”

Allen-Bradley was a dedicated promoter of literacy during her time at Delta State and now has the Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment established in her name. The COEHS invites the public to help celebrate Allen-Bradley’s efforts.

“We’re looking forward to honoring Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley, one of our most distinguished former reading faculty members, in this fifth annual event in her name,” said Dr. Tim Watkins, coordinator of elementary education and outreach at Delta State.

This year’s featured speaker is Cathy Dickerson, a literacy coach and coordinator of the Mississippi Department of Education’s LETRS program, which provides literacy training to Mississippi teachers.

Dickerson’s previous experiences include teaching for 28 years in grades K-3, serving as the MDE director of the Sylvan Learning Center, and serving as the Barksdale Institute Second Congressional District reading coordinator in the Mississippi Delta.

Classroom teachers, parents, pre-service teachers and librarians are encouraged to attend the event. RSVP the College of Education and Human Sciences at 662-846-4370. Refreshments will be served.

The COEHS operates collaboratively with the other colleges of the university, the university staff, and outside agencies to produce professional graduates who will be effective in the field of human learning and services. The college strives for a stimulating, positive environment and provides its students with professional faculty who emulate and model the profession competencies, skills and affects expected of Delta State graduates.

For more information on the COEHS or its degree programs, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/coehs or call 662-845-4400.

Tibbs to present Humanities Council lecture

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Dr. Clint Tibbs, associate professor of philosophy, will present his Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher Award lecture Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Wright Art Center on the campus of Delta State.

Tibbs’ lecture is titled “The Truth is Out There: Teaching the Paranormal, Ancient Greek & Biblical Hebrew at a Small Rural University.”

The event is free and open to the public. The presentation is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Mississippi Humanities Council.

“The paranormal is often scoffed at without much reflection or fair criticism,” said Tibbs. “The physical scientists should be at the forefront of studying paranormal phenomena because they occur in the physical world. The Bible is one of the most paranormal pieces of literature of all time, and studying it in its original languages, Hebrew and Greek, allows students to see, more than English translations, what the original author may have had in mind. Learning to read the Bible in the original languages empowers students to understand one of the most influential texts in history just as the great translators and scholars of the past may have, like Erasmus and Luther.”

Tibbs was nominated by his peers to received the Mississippi Humanities Council award.

“I was quite surprised to be awarded this year’s Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher Award,” he said.

Tibbs’ research interests include Biblical studies, early church history, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, the history of science, theories of consciousness, and the interface between science, religion, philosophy and the paranormal.

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

Wingard named mathematics Teacher of the Year

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Dr. Clifton Wingard, chair of the Department of Mathematics at Delta State, was recently named Teacher of the Year at the college level by the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM).

MCTM is the professional organization for all persons responsible for the teaching of mathematics in Mississippi. Its membership includes teachers and other professionals who work with the teaching of mathematics, from kindergarten through senior college.

“It is a great honor to be named college Teacher of the Year,” said Wingard. “To have been nominated for this award is very special. I am grateful for the teachers that I have had. Not only did they teach me the course content, but they also provided motivation to learn and do more. I hope that I do the same for my students.”

Wingard said mathematics is an important piece in the education system because it is an integral part of almost every discipline.

“People use mathematics in their daily lives,” he said. “It is imperative that we train people to teach mathematics to the coming generation and also to educate the people who will be applying it in their careers.”

Wingard’s areas of expertise include algebra, trigonometry, calculus and discrete mathematics.

“Dr. Wingard cares deeply about his students but also the elementary and secondary students in the state of Mississippi and across the nation,” said Kathleen Lott, project director of the Delta Math Science Partnership Institute housed at Delta State. “He continually assesses how the teacher education programs at Delta State can be improved and enhanced to produce quality teachers. He works hard to assist his students in not only knowing the ‘whats’ but also the ‘whys’ He teaches from a standpoint of conceptual understanding and challenges his students to problem solve.”

Learn more about MCTM at https://www.mctmonline.com.

Explore opportunities available in the Department of Mathematics at http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/mathematics.

Delta State receives $1.15 million federal McNair award

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

Delta State University recently received notice of a major $1.15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.

This coveted McNair award will provide funding over the next five years for Delta State to increase the number of advanced and doctoral degrees in typically underrepresented groups and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each year, 25 undergraduate participants will be selected and designated as Delta State McNair Research Scholars, and their academic progress will be directly enhanced with support services and resources.

Emphasis will be placed on recruiting students from 10 STEM majors at Delta State and affiliated associate degree programs at Coahoma Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College. One of eight federal TRIO programs, the McNair funding prepares eligible participants for doctoral studies through research and other scholarly activities.

“We are excited to be a participant in the McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program,” said Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “This federally funded program takes our retention efforts to the next level by focusing the students’ sights on completing a graduate degree while still on a path to complete their undergraduate degree. This program holds great promise for our students and for the state of Mississippi.”

Heather Kovarcik Miller, Delta State’s director of Institutional Grants, is thrilled with the grant.

“This award is highly competitive, and we at Delta State are elated to have this grant proposal funded, which is the first McNair award ever for our university,” she said.

Those who worked with Miller to secure the grant included: Wendy Stevens, graduate recruiter; Jon Delperdang. Hearin TFA Graduate Fellow; and Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

“The opportunities that open up for our students due to this funding are extraordinary,” said Moon. “Plus, we will be able to provide support to faculty members who will serve as mentors for these students. The faculty will help shepherd the selected students through junior and senior years at the university. The support for the McNair scholars will also continue on into their graduate programs as we track their successes.”

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