Applications open for McNair Research Scholars

By | Academics, Graduate and Continuing Studies, Students | No Comments

The Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Delta State University is now accepting applications for the spring 2018 cohort of McNair Research Scholars.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was established in memory of astronaut-physicist and Challenger crew member, Ronald E. McNair.

The McNair Research Scholars program is administered through the Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Delta State. The program is one of eight federal TRIO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. TRIO outreach aims to improve student programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The goal of the McNair cohort is to increase the attainment of doctoral degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society.

The application deadline is Feb. 21 at 4:30 p.m.

Scholars will benefit by:
-oppportunities for research and scholarly activities
-paid Summer research internships
-seminars and workshops to prepare participants for doctoral study
-intrusive academic advising and counseling
-assistance in preparing for and applying to graduate and doctoral programs, and securing financial assistance
-career counseling and exploration
-financial literacy and planning
-increased access and exposure to STEM coursework and careers

For more information, contact project director Wendolyn Stevens at, or visit for eligibility requirements.

Reza selected for prestigious Australian fellowship

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, International | No Comments

Dr. AHM Ali Reza, associate professor of biology and environmental sciences, was recently selected for a highly competitive fellowship spearheaded by the government of Australia.

The program, Australia Awards–Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, is a merit-based fellowship providing opportunities for Australians to undertake study, research or professional development overseas, and for overseas citizens to do the same in Australia.

The fellow selection process of the Endeavor program is conducted through a global competition open to all nations.

“This is an absolute honor to be selected as a recipient of the Endeavour executive fellowship,” said Reza. “Selection of this program goes worldwide, and it’s extremely competitive and merit-based. Being selected for this program brings enormous credit to anyone, and I feel no exception. I feel like even though I am from a small regional school in the Mississippi Delta, we are strong enough to compete on a global stage.”

Through the program, he will be in Australia from mid-May to early August, and he’ll be utilizing the fellowship for both research and teaching.

Reza will be based at the Australian Museum in Sydney, the country’s oldest museum, which also holds international distinction in the fields of natural history and anthropology.

His host will be Dr. Jodi Rowley, a scientific officer at the museum who also holds a position at University of New South Wales. Working as a lab partner with Rowley, Reza’s time will be divided between the museum and UNSW conducting research on frogs and teaching classes on wildlife ecology.

“My goal is to learn the latest techniques used in conservation genetics,” added Reza. “The Australian Museum houses the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics, and I will be learning conservation genetics there under the supervision of Dr. Rowley.”

In addition, Reza said the experience would help him develop and revise his coursework at Delta State to the benefit of his students.

Reza has taken part in and organized a number of international educational experiences in the past few years. Most recently, he led a field course in December 2017 in his homeland of Bangladesh.

The two-week field experience provided hands-on practice in the ecology and conservation of unique wildlife species in two highly biodiverse ecosystems — Lawachara National Park, a tropical evergreen forest in northeastern Bangladesh, and the Sundarbans Reserved Forest, the world’s largest mangrove forest in southwestern Bangladesh.

The overall objective of the course was to introduce students to tropical wildlife and their habitats, taxonomy, natural history and biogeography, with an emphasis on the conservation challenges and prospects faced by animals within the region.

James Allen, a student at Delta State, had the privilege of attending this exclusive outdoor course.

“The course in Bangladesh was truly one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said Allen. “I was able to visit ecologically unique places with a group of people who have a passion for ecology and conservation. Having Dr. Reza leading the course, joined with local naturalists and students, gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t have received visiting these places alone. It went far beyond anything one could get from a traditional classroom setting. I lived and worked with folks from Bangladesh, India, and the U.S., learned a great deal, and made great friendships.”

Learn more about opportunities within Delta State’s Department of Biological Sciences at

Students present at National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Workshop

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

The Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Delta state presented three professional lectures at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Co-State (MS/AL) Workshop on January 25-26.

The workshop was comprised of professional lectures and seminars on recreation and wellness aspects concerning the campus recreation field.

Todd Davis, director and instructor of recreation administration and outdoor education; Katie Gennarelli, graduate assistant for outdoor recreation; and Heather Wilson, senior, recreation leadership major, presented on a variety of topics. In addition to the presenters, 10 HPER majors from exercise science, sport management, physical education teacher prep, and recreation administration participated in the two-day workshop.

Davis presented “Perceived Benefits and Barriers Among African American Students’ Participation in Outdoor Recreation as Leisure-Time Physical Activity at Selected Universities in Mississippi: A Mixed Methods Study.”

Gennarelli presented “Gender Equality in the Outdoor Adventure & Recreation Industry.”

Davis, Gennarelli and Heather Wilson presented, “Transferring Classroom Curriculum to Outdoor Recreation Leadership Fundamentals: Notes from the Field”

“It’s a privilege and honor to be selected to speak at association conferences,” said Davis. “These local workshops are associated with our national organization, however, they provide an amazing platform to network, expose students to the campus recreation profession, and allow students to see new and different sport and recreation landscapes. The University of Alabama and the University Recreation Services team were amazing hosts, and our students walked away from this event with a new vision for their future.”

“This particular conference was extremely enlightening and educational,” said Gennarelli. “I was impressed with the scope of recreation and wellness services that the University of Alabama provides for their students. The amount of energy and dollars spent to provide state-of-the-art recreation outlets is amazing. Being able to speak on my research was also a highlight. I was honored to be chosen for this presentation opportunity.”

The Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation is housed in the College of Education and Human Sciences. The division offers majors in K-12 physical education teacher preparation, sport management, exercise science and recreation administration.

Delta State ranked nationally for affordability

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SR Education Group, an education publisher founded in 2004, recently recognized Delta State University in their ranking of 2018’s Most Affordable Online Colleges.

The ranking represents online schools across the nation that are making an effort to provide economical options for students.

Delta State came in at No. 18 on the list of 25 colleges and universities. Due to an outstanding commitment to affordability, Delta State made the list for its options in online master’s degree programs.

SR Education Group researched accredited schools across the nation that offer online degree programs and ranked the top 25 according to manually researched annual tuition rates.

View the full list of schools at

SR Education Group offers free and comprehensive guidance that enables students to compare all online colleges in the U.S. The organization seeks to help driven people accomplish their education goals in a financially responsible manner. Learn more at

Learn more about online opportunities at Delta State at

Department of Aviation receives American Airlines grant

By | Academics, Aviation, College of Business and Aviation, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, Students | No Comments
Dr. Gary Bouse (second from left), chief development officer for the Delta State University Foundation, and Sam Washington (center), instructor of commercial aviation at Delta State, attended a ceremony Jan. 19 in Fort Worth, Texas to receive a $25,000 grant as part of the American Airlines Pilot Recruiting and Development Program.

Delta State University’s Department of Commercial Aviation is the recent recipient of a competitive grant from the American Airlines Pilot Recruiting and Development Program.

The $25,000 grant from American Airlines will provide a major boost to the department’s facilities. Delta State was one of 10 organizations in the country to receive the grant.

“This grant will allow Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation to purchase equipment and software to set up two multi-station training labs that will let students practice instrument and commercial level procedures prior to entering the aircraft cockpit,” said Dr. Julie Speakes, chair of the department. “The lab will also be able to be transported to local and regional high schools to provide hands-on experience for students who may have an interest in aviation.”

The instructional lab will also help prepare students to enter actual aircraft cockpits and perform the required maneuvers and mission profiles, thus reducing the amount of time and costs to the students of obtaining initial and subsequent flight certificates.

Speakes said the funding would significantly improve learning opportunities for aviation students.

“We are proud to have been selected to receive this grant, and we are confident that these new labs will make our students’ experiences here in the Department of Commercial Aviation more meaningful and fruitful.”

An added bonus with the lab will be its mobility. The department will be able to pack up and deploy the lab at various sites such as local and regional high schools, air shows, fly-ins and other community events. This will give the department greater visibility as they advertise the unique and affordable programming at Delta State.

Dr. Gary Bouse, chief development officer for the Delta State University Foundation, helped the aviation department apply for the grant. According to Bouse, this is the first grant Delta State has received from American Airlines through the university’s Foundation.

Bouse and Sam Washington, an instructor of commercial aviation at Delta State, attended a ceremony for the grant recipients at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth, Texas on Jan. 19.

“Of the nearly 600 organizations we invited to participate in our program, these 10 stood out with innovative ideas on growing and diversifying the pilot career path and creating opportunities for those who may not otherwise have the chance to learn,” said Captain David Tatum, American’s director of Pilot Recruiting and Development.

American Airlines, which is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the world’s largest airline when measured by fleet size, revenue, scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, and number of destinations served. American, together with its regional partners, operates an extensive international and domestic network with an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day.

Delta State’s aviation department is Mississippi’s only state university to provide undergraduate and graduate degrees in commercial aviation. Graduates of the program have the necessary skills to perform in flight crews, as well as executives with supervisory and managerial responsibilities at all levels in the aviation sector.

“DSU has one of the lowest overall costs for the student as it relates to tuition, room and board, meal plans and flight costs,” said Speakes. “The Mississippi Delta has great weather for training most months of the year, and the flat land area gives students and instructors many options for executing a safe landing should an in-flight emergency arise.”

Learn more about commercial aviation at Delta State by visiting