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Students Christine Beck (left to right), Danielle Husley and professor Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding, recently presented at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Delegation presents at vertebrate paleontology conference

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Delta State University environmental science students and professors recently presented two research posters at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on Oct. 25-29.

Students Christine Beck and Danielle Husley co-authored a research poster with biology professors Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding and Dr. Eric Blackwell titled “Paleocommunity of Late Pleistocene Megafauna found along the Lower Mississippi River Delta.”

The poster focused on ice age animals that lived in the Mississippi Delta about 12,000 years ago, including bison, mastodons, mammoths, great short-faced bear, ground sloths, ice age beaver, musk ox and more.

Dr. Judy Massare, professor of paleontology and geologist at Suny College at Brockport, New York encouraged Husely and Beck to publish the work in a respectable scientific journal. Additionally, the students became exposed to new morphological and ecological discoveries about fossil reptiles, mammals and amphibians, learned about new techniques including photogrammetry and basic scientific illustration in Adobe Photoshop, and networked with other students and scientists.

Baghai-Riding also co-authored a poster with her colleague Dr. Carol Hotton associated with the Natural Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Department of Paleobiology in Washington D.C. Their work was titled “Palynology of the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation: new insights into floristics, paleoclimate, phytogeography, and tetrapod herbivory.”

Learn more about environmental science opportunities at Delta State by visiting http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/biological-and-physical-sciences/.

Dean Jeff Slagell is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Mississippi Library Association.

Slagell honored with Outstanding Achievement Award

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Jeff Slagell, Dean of Library Services at Delta State University, has been recognized with the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Mississippi Library Association.

The award is given by the MLA to a librarian who has contributed to the permanent improvement of library service; made significant contributions to professional literature; and provided outstanding service to his/her community or institution.

Melissa Dennis, Outreach & Instruction librarian at the University of Mississippi, nominated Slagell.

“It’s always satisfying to be recognized by your colleagues,” said Slagell. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with many talented librarians across the state and have benefited from those relationships, both personally and professionally.”

“Our profession is unique in that on an almost daily basis, you can see the impact that our resources and services have on people in a tangible way,” he added. “You know you’re making a difference. That’s gratifying for all of us here at Delta State.”

Slagell has dedicated the last 18 years of his career serving the students, faculty, staff and community at the Roberts-LaForge library. As dean, he manages the library, Charles W. Capps Jr. Archives and Museum, and the Instructional Resources Center.

His areas of expertise include academic library administration, budgets, accreditation, assessment, and conference coordination.

Slagell has been a speaker and supporter for MLA initiatives for over a decade. He has served the roles of president, vice president, past president, ALA councilor and ACRL chair.

“Jeff is amazing at supporting others but doesn’t do the best job promoting himself,” said Dennis. “I felt like it was about time someone bragged on the way he has lifted up so many of us. He has impacted the community in so many ways.”

“Jeff’s selfless compassion for others has not only allowed him to be a great librarian, but has also contributed to his influence on our state by serving as a leader, mentor, advisor, activist, listener, teacher and friend,” she added.

Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said Slagell is extremely worthy of the recognition.

“Dean Slagell is very deserving of this award from the Mississippi Library Association,” said McAdams. “He operates a student-focused, service-orientated, library with extremely limited resources. Regardless, he continues to ‘make things happen’ in the library, and we all owe Dean Slagell a debt of gratitude for what he does for students, faculty, staff and the community. I am pleased for him that his statewide professional organization has chosen to reward him in this manner.”

Learn more about the Mississippi Library Association at http://www.misslib.org.

Svetlana Polyakova (center), an English professor at Perm State University in Russia, hosted Dr. Beverly Moon (l to r), Dr. Charles McAdams, Dr. Christy Riddle and Michelle Johansen, during Perm State's recent centennial celebrations.

Delta State celebrates Perm State centennial in Perm, Russia

By | Academics, Continuing Education, Faculty/Staff, International, QEP, Student Success Center | No Comments

Earlier this month, a Delta State University delegation traveled to Perm State University in Perm, Russia to strengthen ongoing relations between the two institutions.

The Delta State group had the honor of visiting during Perm State’s historic centennial celebrations.

“I was privileged to represent Delta State University at the centennial celebrations of our partner school Perm State University,” said Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Delta State. “They had several ceremonial activities and functions celebrating this significant event, and it was important for Delta State to show support for our partner.”

In addition to the celebrations, Perm State held two academic symposia. McAdams presented a session on academic leadership. Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies & Research at Delta State, Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center, and Michelle Johansen, coordinator of the Quality Enhancement Plan, presented on the topic of Delta State’s “Quality Enhancement Plan: Intercultural Competence.”

The group was hosted by Perm State professor Svetlana Polyakova, who also orchestrated Delta State’s student exchange at Perm State in 2015.

Delta State provided a customized glass award honoring Perm State on their centennial, and in exchange, Perm State gave Delta State a slice of a branch from a birch tree, encased in glass and wood. The tree was a young sapling when the school was founded in 1916.

Moon said the trip was the next step in developing future exchanges at both universities.

“Developing partnerships such as the one between Perm State and Delta State will greatly benefit our students and faculty,” said Moon. “We hope to work up some exchanges and research opportunities that improve our students’ global understanding and their intercultural competencies — and provide meaningful faculty development.”

The group was also fortunate to be part of a celebration during the centennial week attended by the U.S. Consul General from Yekaterinburg, Marcus Micheli. The consulate in Yekaterinburg has been providing consular services to U.S. and Russian citizens since 1994. Its activities include the issuance of U.S. passports, reports of birth of a U.S. citizen abroad, and adjudication of nonimmigrant visas.

“One of my big takeaways from the trip was the importance of putting aside media perceptions about international relations,” said Johansen. “Every interaction I had with people in Russia was positive and enlightening, even when discussing difficult topics like politics. I feel fortunate to have had this incredible experience and will use these connections to Perm State as part of QEP programming and the courses I teach.”

President LaForge (left) and Dr. McAdams with the centennial gift from Perm State University.

President LaForge (left) and Dr. McAdams with the centennial gift from Perm State University.

Johansen said after each presentation provided by the Delta State delegation, Perm State students and faculty wanted more information about studying at DSU, the Student Success Center’s programs, and cultural competency events.

“DSU students benefit from these international exchanges because they improve their intercultural communication skills and gain real world experience in navigating today’s globalized society,” added Johansen. “I kept thinking about how DSU and Perm State students have a lot in common as young people. I’m looking forward to more DSU students having amazing adventures through international travel.”

The two universities have already conducted numerous student and faculty exchanges in recent years.

Delta State President William N. LaForge first became affiliated with Perm State as a visiting professor in 2008. He returned to the university as a Fulbright Fellow in 2011 and in May of 2015. Additionally, he has continued to network with Perm colleagues since taking office at Delta State in 2013.

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State, a group of Delta Music Institute students and faculty completed a two-week exchange at Perm State in May of 2015. Learn more about this trip at http://www.deltastate.edu/russia.

Polyakova and a number of Perm State students, faculty and staff have also made return trips to Delta State for exchanges.

To learn more about Quality Enhancement Plan at Delta State, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/institutional-research-and-planning/sacs-2014-reaffirmation/quality-enhancement-plan-2014/.

The Delta State Department of Music presents pianist Dr. Louis Nagel at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Department of Music to host Mississippi Music Teachers Association conference

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The Delta State Department of Music will host the 2016 State Conference of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association (MMTA) and the state competitions of the Music Teachers National Association on campus Nov. 4-5. Approximately 100 music teachers and students from around the state will visit campus for these events.

The official guest artist is pianist Dr. Louis Nagel, who will present a guest artist recital as the highlight of the conference at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. The recital will feature piano solo works by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Nagel’s recital is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

Nagel combines an active concert and teaching schedule and is noted for his lecture-recitals by musicians and non-musicians alike. He has performed in highly-acclaimed solo recitals and concerto concerts in major American and European cities. He has taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp, International Music Camp in Poland, Adamant Music School and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy. At the University of Michigan, he is the Director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance Outreach Program, advisor to the Bachelor of Musical Arts Degree program, the Interim Chair of the Piano Department, and has been on the faculty since 1969.

Nagel is a sought-after presenter at state and national conferences with lecture-recitals at National Music Teachers’ Association conventions in Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City. He is often invited as a state convention artist and has appeared in other forums throughout the United States. He is a member and former board member of the American Liszt Society and often performs at its annual festivals including the Great Romantics Festival at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Nagel is a Steinway artist, and has performed in Steinway Hall in New York as well as numerous times for the Steinway music stores in Michigan. He has recorded “Four Centuries of J. S. Bach” for Equilibrium, Music of C.P.E. Bach and Joseph Haydn for Block M. Additionally, he has collaborated with his wife, psychologist, psychoanalyst and musician, Dr. Julie Jaffee Nagel, at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and the American Psychoanalytic Association.

His three degrees from The Juilliard School include studies with Rosina Lhevinne, Josef Raieff and Joseph Bloch. Subsequent to his studies at The Juilliard School was a summer of coaching with Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Recent performances have included “Mussorgsky’s Pictures” at an exhibition in Florence, Italy, and four programs devoted to the piano sonatas of Schubert at Kerrytown. In addition, he presented a program on the French Suites of Bach at the Music Teachers National Association National Convention in New York.

The Department of Art presents Resa Blatman’s "Gaia Series" Nov. 3 from 5-7 p.m. in the Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery.

Art gallery presents Resa Blatman exhibition

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Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery presents an exhibition of Resa Blatman’s “Gaia Series,” a multimedia installation that addresses the causes and effects of climate change.

An opening reception to launch the exhibit will take place Nov. 3 from 5-7 p.m.in the gallery. Blatman will discuss the exhibit before the reception at 4 p.m.

Blatman’s exuberant, multi-layered paintings have always been inspired by nature, but in recent years, her attention has turned to the alarming signs of climate change – global warming, shrinking arctic icecaps, rising water levels, extreme weather conditions, extinction of animal species, migration of species and the growing scarcity of natural resources.

The title of Blatman’s series derives from the Gaia hypothesis developed by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis which provides a model for understanding the threats caused by environmental pollution, industrial exploitation of natural resources, and the growing world population. The theory sees our planet as a complex, synergistic, self-regulating system that helps to sustain conditions for life on Earth. 

Blatman recently completed a residency in the Arctic, where she could observe the effects of climate change firsthand. Many of the works in the exhibition were directly impacted by her experiences there. She does not claim to be a scientist but speaks from the perspective of a concerned citizen. She hopes her work inspires discussion and raises awareness of the issues while also providing her audience with an engaging visual experience.

Blatman is an independent artist from Somerville, Massachusetts. She earned a MFA from Boston University and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has had one-person exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, Georgia; Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts; Hartnett Gallery at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York; and other places. Additionally, she has been included in numerous group exhibitions, most recently at the Spartanburg Art Museum in Spartanburg, South Carolina . Her work is in public and private collections across the United States, Europe and South Africa.

The exhibition will run until Dec. 8.

Gallery hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.

For more information, visit the Department of Art’s website at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/art/, or contact 662-846-4720. For updates and announcements of upcoming events, follow Delta State Art Department on Facebook, or join the email list.