DMI to offer “Meet the Beatles!” class in spring 2018

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, President | No Comments

The Delta Music Institute will be offering a “Meet the Beatles!” course in the Spring 2018 semester at Delta State University.

The class will be an overview of the Beatles, both individually and collectively, as well a study of their music and influence on the society of the 1960s. The course will be taught by Charles Abraham, instructor of entertainment industry studies, with guest lectures by additional Delta State faculty and staff, including President William N. LaForge.

“Meet the Beatles!” is open to all students, regardless of major. The syllabus has been reviewed and approved by John Lennon’s half-sister, Julia Baird, and by personnel at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.

Both Abraham and LaForge saw the Beatles perform in concert in 1966 — Abraham in Memphis for the famous “Cherry Bomb” show and LaForge 10 days later in San Francisco, at the final Beatles concert.

The course number is DMI 492-01 (CRN 19154), and counts for three academic credit hours. The class will meet at 11 a.m. on MWF in the Whitfield Building, room 204. There are a few seats still available. The course may be counted as a general elective for most degree programs on campus.

“I have had a great time preparing this class,” said Abraham. “It seems like all my music friends want to teach it, so come ready to talk about the Beatles while enjoying and discussing some great music. This class is a tribute to the band that started it all.”

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences of Delta State University. 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 about the program, contact the DMI at 662-846-4579 or


First C2C participants receive degrees

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, IHL, Students | No Comments
Left to right: Dr. Karen Bell, Provost Dr. Charles McAdams, Randa Hitchcock, Keir Davis, Jeremy Weaver and President William N. LaForge.


Earlier this year, Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) launched the statewide initiative, Complete 2 Compete (C2C), to encourage adult learners to return to college and complete degrees.

The program focuses on adults who have accumulated hours towards a college diploma but have not finished a baccalaureate degree.

Since the C2C launch, Dr. Karen Bell, Delta State University’s C2C coach, has been working with 142 C2C leads (applicants). At Delta State’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, 14 of the program participants reaped the benefits of graduation.

“We are excited to have our first graduates in the new adult degree completion program, Complete 2 Compete,” said Bell. “This program is a great opportunity for students who have been out of school at least two years and have completed 90 hours to reconnect and finish their degree.”

“Having a college degree makes a real difference for many people, and we want to help adults earn their degree,” said Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Delta State.

Through this initiative, Randa Hitchcock will receive the new bachelor’s in general studies and finish what she started.

“It is important for me to show my daughter, as well as others, that no matter what life may throw at you, you can accomplish anything you set out to do,” said Hitchcock. “It is important not to give up on a dream, and completing my degree was a dream of mine.”

This year’s graduating class includes:

Ashley Bobo
Keir Davis
Chelsey Dunn
Dana Floyd
Judy Haney
Randa Hitchcock
Marilyn James
Jon McKinney
Phillip Sarullo
Paul Scott
Keisha Thompson
Jeremy Weaver
Joshua Williams
Sandra Williams

“I plan on using the degree to build a better career,” said Jones. “I will be entering the Master of Arts Teaching program, and I could not do this without the BS degree.”

“I plan to use this degree to motivate me to finish what I started,” said Bobo. “I’ve never been more grateful for this opportunity. This is just the first step in my educational journey, and I plan to get my masters as well.”

Learn more about C2C at

LaForge appoints Fosheim to Cleveland Music Foundation

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, GRAMMY, President | No Comments

Dr. Karen Fosheim, chair of Delta State University’s Department of Music, was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Cleveland Music Foundation.

The CMF, a non-profit organization developed in 2011, owns and operates GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi housed on Delta State’s campus.

Fosheim will serve on the board in an ex officio role.

“I am honored and delighted to be appointed to the Cleveland Music Foundation board,” said Fosheim. “The Cleveland Music Foundation and the DSU Department of Music share a similar mission and vision, and I look forward to being a part of the discussion as we work to enhance the educational and cultural opportunities for the people of the Delta — and to create a positive face of Mississippi for the world at large.”

Delta State University President William N. LaForge, who also serves on the board in an ex officio role, said he was thrilled to appoint Fosheim to the position.

“I’m very pleased that Dr. Fosheim has agreed to serve as one of my ex officio appointees to the Cleveland Music Foundation Board of Directors,” said LaForge. “She is an ideal representative of the university from her position of chair of our outstanding music department. I know she will bring great expertise and perspectives to board deliberations.”

LaForge will continue to serve in the other university ex officio slot on the board. Additionally, Tricia Walker, director of Delta State’s Delta Music Institute, rounds out Delta State’s representation on the board as a full voting member.

Emily Havens, executive director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, said she’s looking forward to having Fosheim on board.

“We are excited that President LaForge has selected Dr. Karen Fosheim as the university’s appointee to serve as an ex officio member to the Cleveland Music Foundation,” said Havens. “I look forward to working with Karen and expanding and strengthening the educational opportunities with DSU.”

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Admissions hosting freshmen and transfer events

By | Academics, Admissions, Students | No Comments

Delta State University’s Office of Admissions will be hosting several events in the spring for prospective freshmen and transfer students.

Statesmen Scholarship Day will be held Jan. 26, 2018. At the event, 10 full-ride scholarships will be awarded, in addition to other academic scholarships. Eligible applicants will receive an invitation about their participation in Statesmen Scholarship Day.

Throughout February, each college/school at Delta State will be showcased during an academic day. Admitted students will be invited to take part in an academic preview of their specified department. They will have the opportunity to eat lunch on campus, speak with professors, meet future classmates and participate in hands-on activities. The academic day schedule is as follows: College of Business and Aviation, Feb. 12; Robert E. Smith School of Nursing, Feb. 19; College of Education and Human Sciences, Feb. 23; and College Art and Sciences, Feb. 26.

Transfer students who are members of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa will be welcomed to Delta State’s campus on April 13 for Early Registration Day. The event provides the opportunity for this group of incoming students to reserve their spots in fall courses.

The fifth annual Go Green Weekend, including Spring Preview Day, is scheduled for April 27-29. The visit day will be held on Friday, April 27 and is geared toward potential students who are high school juniors. Participants are provided the opportunity to see campus, preview academic programs, engage with currents students, attend sporting events and more.

The Student to Statesmen tour featuring President William N. LaForge will continue this spring. LaForge and the Admissions representatives visit with high schools to meet and speak with students about the higher education opportunities. This semester, LaForge has made nearly 20 high school visits.

Campus visits are offered throughout each semester for those looking to gain a better understanding of Delta State. For the spring, campus tours will be available beginning mid-January. This past fall, over 200 individual students and 15 groups were hosted on campus for tours. Tours are provided by the admissions recruiters and representatives serving in the Delta Diplomat student organization.

“The recruiting staff partners with academic departments, student service offices, the Alumni Association and other university departments to host these events for prospective students,” said Caitlyn Thompson, director of recruiting. “This past fall, a record number of over 400 guests were hosted for DSU Day, beating the previous year’s record number.”

Groups of dual credit students have also visited campus to experience life as a Statesmen student. To accompany on campus events, a myriad of off-campus activities take place throughout the year, including college fairs, private visits, alumni meetings, counselor visits and more.

For more information on any Office of Admissions events, or to schedule a tour, visit or contact 662-846-4020 or

Mississippi public universities contribute 60K jobs to Mississippi employment

By | Academics, IHL | No Comments

By Dr. Glenn Boyce, commissioner of Higher Education

In 2015, Mississippi Public Universities’ contribution to Mississippi employment was 59,258, or approximately 3.74 percent, jobs in Mississippi. The university system contributed $3.78 billion, or approximately 3.5 percent, to total personal income in Mississippi.

On the Mississippi Business Journal’s Book of Lists 2017, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, with 9,000 employees, is listed as #3, behind Huntington Ingalls Industries and Keesler Air Force Base, with 11,000 employees each. Other universities on the list include:

  • #9 Mississippi State University: 4,740 employees, including extension service employees serving the citizens in every county of the state
  • #11 University of Mississippi: 4,200 employees
  • #27 The University of Southern Mississippi: 2,212 employees

In addition to the professors who support the university’s core mission of teaching and learning, many other employees are essential for student success. For example, Delta State University has placed an emphasis on improved retention and has invested in human resources to support these efforts.

This investment has paid off. Between the fall of 2015 and the fall of 2016, Delta State experienced significant increases in retention rates for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshmen—5.2 percent; first time, full-time, degree-seeking transfer students—7.8 percent; and, all full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students—3.7 percent. Simply put, this means more students stayed in school and on the path to graduation—and on the path to being more productive, employable citizens of our state.

Similar efforts on all campuses have resulted in an 80 percent one-year retention rate for entering full-time freshmen, based on the Fall 2014 cohort.

Universities also employ scientists who conduct research that solves problems and helps Mississippians lead better, healthier lives. This past year, the university system received $420.7 million in research funding from federal, state and private/corporate sources, supporting 2,407 projects.

Our campuses are like small cities, requiring the support staff to run them. This includes the campus police force, the crews that maintain the buildings and grounds, the staff that run the physical plant and he employees who manage the residence halls.

Universities also support indirect jobs, including those supported by the renovation and construction projects on campus and those working in transportation that connects the campus and the community. Universities outsource some functions, such as food service and bookstores, supporting additional indirect jobs.

Additional jobs are supported through student spending on off-campus housing, in restaurants and other entertainment venues, in local retailers, including grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, clothing stores and book stores.

Mississippi Public Universities serve more than 95,000 students during the academic year. This requires a lot of hands on deck to meet their needs both inside and outside the classroom, which, in turn, supports the Mississippi economy.

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.