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Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS) Announces $3.12 Million in AmeriCorps funding

By | Academics, Community, General | No Comments

Delta State University’s Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) will be one of 11 Mississippi organizations receiving grant funding from a $3.12 million AmeriCorps campaign to support nonprofit and educational organizations across the state.

The grant will continue to support the Delta Reads Plus (DRP) program, which is housed at the CCED on campus. DRP will receive $293,616 thanks to the grant.

Through DRP, 50 AmeriCorps members will provide one-one-one and small group tutoring to students in kindergarten through sixth grade five days a week for the 2017-18 academic term in school districts in Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Sunflower, and Washington counties.

The program will help reach 400 economically disadvantaged students. Focus areas include literacy and math. The AmeriCorps tutors will guide the students to program completion by participating in at least 50 tutoring sessions and helping these students increase their literacy and/or math skills by at least one grade level according to STAR assessment data.

“Public schools in the Mississippi Delta face significant challenges to provide students with a high quality education, such as insufficient resources,” said David Tanner Jr., program director. “Parents, schools, and communities have an exceptional role in the academic success of students. Our goal is to bridge the achievement gap by involving these stakeholders from educationally and economically distressed communities in effective tutorial programs and community improvement projects”.

According to Heather Miller, director of Institutional Grants at Delta State University, “The CCED, MCVS, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) have a long history of successful partnerships. Through Delta Reads Plus, we will further strengthen that partnership and our commitment to provide successful student outcomes.”

DRP is currently seeking school districts and potential members interested in receiving and providing tutoring services within the five target counties for the upcoming school term. Interested districts should contact Tanner at  662-846-4808 or dtanner@deltastate.edu. Interested individuals should contact Bria Beal, program assistant, at 662-846-4807 or bbeal@deltastate.edu. Those interested in serving can also learn more by visiting www.americorps.gov/joinor http://volunteermississippi.org/americorps/americorps-state-programs/.

AmeriCorps members typically receive a modest living stipend and a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, or scholarship, upon completion of their service. The award can be used to pay for future education costs or to pay back student loans.
The federal investment includes 11 AmeriCorps grants to Mississippi nonprofits, Institutions of Higher Learning, and state and local agencies, totaling $3.12 million dollars. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $2.14 million dollars in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment. This funding will support 535 AmeriCorps members who will tackle some of the toughest problems in Mississippi including tutoring and mentoring pre-k through 12 students, conservation/environmental services, and providing health education and physical activities to address obesity.

CNCS will also provide up to $1.6 million dollars in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training, or pay back student loans.

Learn more about Delta State’s CCED at www.deltastate.edu/cced.

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Boldon accepted into MS Rural Physicians Scholarship Program

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Students | No Comments

Emilee Ann Boldon, a junior at Delta State and a native of Greenwood, was recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program. Boldon is the daughter of Billy and Treasa Boldon of Greenwood.

Created in 2007, MRPSP identifies college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained rural primary care physicians in Mississippi. The program offers undergraduate academic enrichment and a clinical experience in a rural setting. Upon completion of all medical school admissions requirements, the student can be admitted to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine or William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

During medical school, each MRPSP scholar may receive $30,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of MRPSP translates to 60 medical students receiving a total of $1,800,000 to support their education this fall. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support.

Upon completion of medical training, MRPSP Scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. The MRPSP scholar must provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 15,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.

MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, receive mentoring during the medical school application process, earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of service and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.

For more information, contact MRPSP Associate Director Dan Coleman at 601-815-9022, jdcoleman@umc.edu or http://mrpsp.umc.edu.

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The Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program and the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program are state-funded efforts to increase the number of dentists and physicians serving the healthcare needs of Mississippians in rural areas. Housed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, and collaborating with its schools of medicine and dentistry and the College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, the programs use various outreach, mentoring and training methods to identify, support, educate and deploy new generations of healthcare workers for Mississippi’s underserved populations.

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Aviation introduces top flight simulator

By | Academics, Aviation, College of Business and Aviation, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University’s Department of Commercial Aviation recently had its new top-of-the-line flight simulator certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Made by Frasca International, the Level 6 Diamond DA42 FTD (flight training device) was certified by the FAA to be used in the private multi engine, commercial multi engine, and flight instructor flight training syllabi.

The simulator will feature Frasca’s TruVision visual system, a 220 degree wrap-around visual system, an advanced cockpit weather and traffic interface, and Garmin G1000 advanced avionics paired with the KAP 140 autopilot.2017 Aviation simulator-7

The new simulator is an addition to the university’s three other Frasca TruFite FTDs for the Cessna 172 and Beechcraft Duchess that are currently in use. The model will simulate the Diamond DA42 aircraft, which is a complex multi-engine airplane used by students for in-air training.

“We are thrilled to have this showpiece ready for service,” said Dr. Julie Speakes, chair of commercial aviation. “Our students will save money and enjoy the visuals. In fact, the visuals are so realistic I’ve seen students leaning into a turn.”

Chip Cooper, director of flight operations, is also thrilled with the training opportunities the simulator will provide.

“This is a very nice piece of equipment to be able to have here in the Commercial Aviation Department,” he said. “This FTD is as close to the real experience you can get without it actually being an aircraft. I believe we all can agree that in aviation it’s sometimes best to first experience a maneuver or procedure on the ground and have the capability to pause the event.”

Garrett Gee, staff flight instructor added, “The realism of the new FTD allows us to train our students on normal and emergency procedures like never before. It responds and reacts just like the real aircraft. It also allows us to teach procedures that we are not able to teach in the airplane, such as landing with a flat tire with amazing realistic responses.”

Gee said the model has more advanced capabilities than the program’s previous FTDs, but the instructor interface has not changed much, providing instructors a familiar computer interface to teach with.

The Department of Commercial Aviation offers a bachelor’s of commercial aviation, as well as a master’s of commercial aviation. The department provides courses in general aviation, aviation management and aviation logistics management. Students have access to a flight training fleet that includes over 15 single-engine aircrafts and three multi-engine training planes.

Delta State is the only institution in Mississippi currently offering these baccalaureate degree programs.

“Graduates from this aviation program serve as members of flight crews, air traffic control specialists, and executives with supervisory and managerial responsibilities at all levels — while boasting no out-of-state and competitive flight training costs,” added Speakes.

Learn more about commercial aviation at Delta State by visiting http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation.

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Healing with a Groove 2.0 creates alumni network

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments
Photo (left to right):  Laeitta Wade, HWG 2.0 project assistant; Keziah Allen (Indianola); Isaac Peppers (Greenville); A’Midius Sigle (Shelby); Cle’Various Thornton (Moorhead); and Travis Calvin, HWG 2.0 project coordinator. HWG alumni not pictured: Jakevian McCaster (Greenwood); and Parker Abney II (Clarksdale).

The Delta Music Institute, an independent center of entertainment industry studies at Delta State University, recently received a $548,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) of Battle Creek, Michigan, to extend its successful Healing with a Groove 2.0 program.

The program is a narrative change initiative with the mission of promoting racial healing through the creation and production of original songs and recordings among young persons of color. The current round of funding will promote the establishment and development of a HWG 2.0 alumni base and the creation of a multimedia toolkit to be used as a resource for schools and organizations interested in establishing HWG groups.

“Music has great power to heal,” said DMI Director Tricia Walker. “Using digital media tools available today will empower the young participants in this program to find their unique voice in creating new songs and recordings that can address issues of race and how music can promote healing.”

Travis Calvin, a Delta State alumnus, serves as the coordinator of the DMI Mobile Lab and leads the HWG program.

“I am excited to build on the success we’ve had with this project. I’m looking forward to developing and empowering HWG alumni to become young leaders in their communities, using music and digital media as a platform to address issues of concern in their schools and hometowns,” said Calvin.

A network of HWG alumni from Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Sunflower and Washington counties will be selected and trained to assist local participants in the project. Participants generate ideas by engaging in open dialogue sessions before crafting original songs and producing audio recordings using the professional studios and equipment of the DMI and the DMI Mobile Music Lab.

The HWG 2.0 program provides instruction in commercial songwriting, audio engineering and digital media for participants in the counties served, giving them opportunities to explore and promote racial healing through the creation and dissemination of original songs. The project will foster the creation and recording of 30-40 original songs and musical works exploring and promoting racial healing. The development of the multimedia toolkit will serve as a guide for student leaders, teachers and administrators interested in facilitating the HWG 2.0 program in their local communities.

“Mississippi is the birthplace of America’s music and also the repository of a complicated history regarding race,” said Walker. “This unique project will provide young people in the Delta with an opportunity to explore this ongoing issue by using the popular medium of contemporary music and audio production.”

The DMI offers a bachelor’s in entertainment industry studies from the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For more information, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

The WKKF is a private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, and is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

WKKF works throughout the U.S. and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. The organization’s priority areas in the U.S. include Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

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Delta Math Science Partnership Summer Institute hosted on campus

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Delta State University is wrapping up its annual Delta Math Science Partnership Summer Institute (MSP), hosting 37 Mississippi teachers on campus from June 5-16.

MSP, funded by the Mississippi Department of Education through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, aims to support increased content knowledge for K-8 in-service mathematics teachers in the Mississippi Delta who are committed to fidelity of implementation of the Mississippi College- and Career- Readiness Standards for Mathematics.

MSP strives to improve teacher quality through partnerships between state education agencies, institutions of higher education, high-need local education agencies and schools in order to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science.

The professional development consists of an 80-hour intensive summer institute implemented by Delta State’s College of Education and Human Sciences in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Mathematics.

Program leadership was provided by directors Kathleen Lott and Elizabeth Belenchia; David Hebert, instructor and curriculum co-developer; Liza Cope, instructor, curriculum co-developer, webmaster; and instructors Laura Little and CeCelia Jones. Institutional and community partners included Dr. Clifton Wingard, Ann Huber, Needle Specialty Products, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, The Railroad Museum, DSU Planetarium, and Delta Area Association for Improvement of Schools, which supported the program with planning initiatives and presentations.

Districts participating this summer included: Cleveland, West Bolivar Consolidated, Greenwood Public, Carroll County, Western Line, Greenville Public, Leflore County, Clarksdale Municipal, North Bolivar Consolidated, Coahoma County, South Delta, East Tallahatchie and Hollandale.

MSP is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education under the award number S366B150025.

For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-education/delta-math-science-partnership-initiative/#1471528724594-834e8265-eb63.