Inductees honored at DSU Student Hall of Fame banquet

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The Class of 2018 DSU Student Hall of Fame (front row, left to right): Cecilia Bercerril Nieves, Marwa Cherraf, Abbigail E. Myers, Meghan Rosemary Vogelsang, (back, l to r) Abulfaz Hajizada, Ashley Griffin, Victoria Lynn McDonald, and Taylor Michelle Johnson.


The Office of Student Affairs recognized student achievement May 4 at the annual DSU Student Hall of Fame banquet.

The DSU Hall of Fame began in 1972 as a way to recognize outstanding students. It is the single highest honor bestowed upon any Delta State student based on outstanding accomplishments in all phases of college life.

This year’s inductees include: Marwa Cherraf, international business (El Jadida, Morocco); Ashley Griffin, biology and chemistry (Greenwood, MS); Abulfaz Hajizada, computer information sciences (Lankaran, Azerbaijan); Taylor Michelle Johnson, accounting (Long Beach, MS); Victoria Lynn McDonald, English with concentration in creative writing (Canton, MS); Abbigail E. Myers, marketing (Yazoo City, MS); Cecilia Bercerril Nieves. foreign language and international business (Cleveland, MS); and Meghan Rosemary Vogelsang, aviation management (Hernando, MS).

“The Student Hall of Fame is a wonderful way to recognize students who have been scholars and have exhibited a civic and social conscience throughout their matriculation at DSU,” said Dr. Vernell Bennett, vice president for Student Affairs. “This honor affords students an opportunity to leave a legacy at DSU that will be recognized  forevermore. This year’s inductees have distinguished themselves in the classroom, in student organizations, in athletics, and in the local community. We’re proud of, and grateful for their many contributions to DSU and its community.”

Also recognized at the banquet were Juwan Adonis Burney, a business management major from Arlington, TN, as the winner of the Wayne Blansett Award, and Brittany Kay Earls, a nursing major from Cleveland, MS, recipient of the H.L. Nowell Student Alumni Association Award.

Left to right: Juwan Adonis Burney, Wayne Blansett, Jeffrey Farris, and Brittany Kay Earls.

Wingard honored with S.E. Kossman Outstanding Teacher Award

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Pictured (left to right): Provost Dr. Charles McAdams, Dr. Clifton Wingard, President William N. LaForge.


Longtime Delta State professor Dr. Clifton Wingard was awarded with the S.E. Kossman Outstanding Teacher Award at commencement ceremonies May 5.

Each year, Delta State recognizes a top faculty member with the Kossman Award based on exceptional achievement demonstrated over time at the university.

Achievement is measured in the areas of:

– Effectiveness as a teacher
– Ability to motivate students
– Good relationship with students in and out of the classroom
– Mentor and advisor to students
– Utilizes creativity and innovation in teaching
– Positive attitude toward teaching and toward students
– Evidence of scholarship and service that support good teaching

Wingard began teaching at Delta State in 1996 and recently announced his resignation from the school. Upon the retirement of Dr. Rose Strahan in 2009, Wingard took over as chair of the Department of Mathematics.

“I am honored to be named the recipient of the 2018 Kossman Award,” said Wingard. “Delta State University has a reputation of excellent teaching, and to be placed in the category of outstanding teachers at Delta State who have preceded me, is a high commendation that is both humbling and inspiring.”

Wingard said Delta State has been a wonderful place to work during his tenure.

“Working together with other faculty and staff to educate our students, and to prepare them for careers, has been one of the best parts of the job. Spending time with the students in the classroom during their years at DSU, and then hearing of their successes in their fields of work after they have left our campus, have provided the greatest rewards of teaching.”

He received his Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Belhaven University, and his Master of Science in mathematics and Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics from the University of Mississippi.

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Senator Hyde-Smith commends Stratton on congressional internship

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Paxton Stratton (left), a Delta State University junior, served Senator Thad Cochran (right) and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith during Cochran’s retirement transition.


U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) commended Paxton Stratton, a Delta State junior, for his service as an intern for both her and retired Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

Stratton, of Fort Worth, Texas, is a junior exercise science major and mathematics minor at Delta State.

He was selected by Cochran as a spring semester intern in his Washington office. With Cochran’s retirement, Stratton continued his internship with Hyde-Smith. He used the four-month internship to assist both Senators in several capacities, including administrative, scheduling and constituent services.

He also aided the senators’ legislative staff on agricultural and healthcare issues.

Stratton is the son of Mike and Jennifer Stratton of Fort Worth.

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Arrowsmith receives $8,000 rural counselor scholarship

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The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc., recently awarded an $8,000 2018 NBCC Foundation rural scholarship to Charlotte Arrowsmith, a graduate student in the counseling program at Delta State University.

The scholarship is awarded to counseling students who are from rural communities and commit to practicing in rural areas upon graduation.

The mission of the NBCC is to leverage the power of counseling by strategically focusing resources for positive change. The foundation created the scholarship in 2009 to improve access to counseling services in rural communities, which suffer disproportionately from a lack of mental health care. More than 75 students from across the country applied for the six 2018 rural scholarships.

Arrowsmith, of Greenwood, Mississippi, will receive $8,000 to support her counseling education and recognize her commitment to the underserved. The funding will allow her to continue her counselor education and receive professional development that will help her establish a strong professional counselor identity. It will also allow her to continue her counseling social innovation, in which she is working on destigmatizing mental health in the Mississippi Delta. She hopes to be an advocate in the counseling profession for underserved populations.

“I am very excited and grateful to receive the scholarship,” said Arrowsmith. “It will assist me in furthering the mental health project I am currently working on as a part of the DSU TFA Graduate Fellows program. Additionally, I have received the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to the upcoming NBCC counseling symposium, where I will network with other scholars and professionals in the counseling field.”

Upon graduation, Arrowsmith intends to work on bettering access to mental health services for youth in the Mississippi Delta. She believes a person’s zip code should not prevent them from access to mental health care. Arrowsmith hopes to specialize in helping those traditionally considered difficult to treat, including those who are indigent, have multiple disorders, or are involved with the criminal justice system.

She is also a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

NBCC also awarded six $8,000 military scholarships to increase the number of counselors serving fellow military personnel, veterans and their families.

For more information, or to make a gift in support of scholars like these, visit

The NBCC Foundation is based in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is the nation’s premier professional certification board devoted to credentialing counselors who meet standards for the general and specialty practices of professional counseling. Currently, there are more than 64,000 board-certified counselors in the U.S. and more than 50 countries.

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Delta State to celebrate Commencement May 5

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Delta State University will celebrate 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 5 inside the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The institution, friends and family will unite to recognize the accomplishments of 493 graduates.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will honor graduates receiving doctorates, education specialists, masters degrees, College of Business and Aviation undergraduate degrees, and School of Nursing undergraduate degrees.

The 2 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduates receiving undergraduate degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Each graduate will receive four tickets to administer to family and friends. Ticket pickup will be at the Registrar’s Office May 2-4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If students choose to not take all of their assigned tickets, additional tickets will be available for pickup at the Registrar’s Office starting at 10 a.m. May 4, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

At the 10 a.m. ceremony, Delta State will also continue its tradition of recognizing greatness by conferring an honorary doctoral degree to legendary Delta-influenced soul and gospel singer, and civil rights activist, Mavis Staples.

Delta State confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally, or other areas of society. Achievements can include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support.

Keynoting both ceremonies is Dr. Glen Jones, president of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Jones also serves as the committee chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council. When Jones was introduced as Henderson State’s president in March 2012, he became the first African-American to serve as president or chancellor of a non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities institution in the history of Arkansas higher education.

Delta State President William N. LaForge will provide introductions at the ceremony, while presentations of candidates and degrees will be led by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles McAdams.

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