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Academics

Environmental science program highlights for 2016-17

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

The environmental science program in Delta State’s College of Arts and Sciences completed a successful curriculum in the 2016-17 academic year.

“Opportunities this past academic year for Delta State University environmental science students were numerous,” said Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding. “For example, many students were co-authors on at least one scientific oral and poster presentation given at state, national and international meetings.”

Their presentations resulted from research investigations conducted in courses such as Materials and Methods in Environmental Science, Conservation Biology, Problems in Biology, wildlife management classes, and more.

Projects included Mississippi Delta ice age fossils, wild hogs at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, prey elements associated with Carolina Biological owl pellets, palynomorphs from the Bucatunna, Hattiesburg, and Morrison Formations, bird surveys conducted at Bear Pen Park in Cleveland, MS from 2008-2016, carbon dioxide and stomatal density patterns associated with four woody plants from the Mississippi Delta, ontogenetic dentition patterns pertaining to monitor lizards and more.

Baghai-Riding said these research opportunities have helped students get admitted to graduate school programs throughout the country.

“Other students preferred to acquire full-time positions after completing their degree in environmental science,” she said. “Many employers seek out our students because of their training. They mention that DSU students can think critically, possess hands-on and writing skills, and have good work ethics.

Upgraded laboratories and recent acquisitions were also a highlight of the previous year. Acquired equipment included a scanning electron microscope, a trinocular zoom stereomicroscope on a boom stand with HD video camera, and a $3,000 rock and mineral collection from Ron Brister, former curator at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum.

Students considering a degree option in environment science may choose from three concentrations areas: general, wildlife management and geospatial science.

For more information about the program, contact Baghai-Riding at 662-846-4797 or nbaghai@deltastate.edu.

Gallery hosts “Home and Away: On the Road with Marie Hull”

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

To celebrate Mississippi’s bicentennial year, the Mississippi Museum of Art is curating “Art Across Mississippi: Twelve Exhibitions, Twelve Communities,” creating exhibitions from its collection for a dozen host venues across the state.

Delta State University is taking part by hosting “Home and Away: On the Road with Marie Hull,” a selection of work by famed Mississippi artist Marie Hull.

Hull had a special connection to Delta State’s art department and its former chair, Malcolm Norwood. She donated 75 works of art to the university, including a number of her own paintings and pieces from her personal collection, which became the foundation for the department’s permanent art collection.

“Home and Away: On the Road with Marie Hull” brings together a series of paintings created during Hull’s travels. The artist traveled widely throughout North America, as well as France, Spain and Morocco. She recorded her delightful impressions of the places she visited in her sketches, 67 of which she left to the MMA.

From this trove of private treasures, the museum has selected 30 sketches for the exhibition. The work provides a unique glimpse into the creative process of one of Mississippi’s greatest artists.

Representatives from the MMA will be present to answer questions about the artist, as well as the bicentennial program. The exhibition will remain on view until July 27. Summer gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit 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.

Call for papers: International Conference on the Blues

By | Academics, Community, Delta Center, International Delta Blues Project, Students | No Comments

Delta State University is now accepting proposals for papers, presentations, lecture-performances, workshops, panels and clinics for the 4th annual International Conference on the Blues, to be held Oct. 1-3, 2017.

To celebrate the centennial of John Lee Hooker’s birth, the conference committee is soliciting manuscripts and presentations on Hooker’s music, life and influence. In addition, the conference is seeking presentations and papers on the legacy of ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, and especially his fieldwork in Mississippi.

Topics of general interest to scholars and enthusiasts are also welcome, such as the African American musical tradition and its influence on world music; call and response as metaphor; black music and the American Civil Rights Movement; African American history in the Delta; African American folk life; and the genres of blues, jazz, gospel and soul music.

Topics of an interdisciplinary nature are also encouraged. Papers are invited from ethnomusicologists, musicologists, scholars, authors, performers, blues enthusiasts and independent researchers.

Additionally, to support young and emerging scholars (graduate students, recent masters, doctoral graduates and junior faculty), the Luther Brown Prize is awarded to the outstanding young scholar paper.

All presentations will be a maximum of 20 minutes in length, with an additional 10 minutes for discussion, and should address a general audience.

Proposals must be submitted online via www.deltastate.edu/blues. Applicants are ask to include a description of the presentation, audio/visual equipment needs and biographical information for all presenters. Please note that not all A/V requests will be granted. Presenters agree to appear at the conference at their own expense, which will include registration fees.

For more information, contact Shelley Collins and Don Allan Mitchell at blues@deltastate.edu or visit www.deltastate.edu/blues.

University installs chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Students | No Comments
Front row: (left to right): Dr. Chris Jurgenson, Dr. Sharon K. Hamilton (faculty councilor), Zachary Kinler, Katie Penton, Emily Grossi (president), Ana Daisy Camarillo (treasurer), Amber Wilson, JC Blackmon (secretary), Jill Harper, Dr. Gene Grimley, Dr. Gene Grimley ( National PLU President). Back row (l to r): Dr. Joe Bentley (departmental chair), Will Weeks, Dalvin Williams, Kelby Flemons, Tyler Daniels (vice president), Taylor Worsham, Dr. Chuck Smithhart.

 

Delta State University recently installed a new chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon on campus, the Gamma Delta chapter.

The aims and purposes of Phi Lambda Upsilon are the promotion of high scholarship and original investigation in all branches of pure and applied chemistry. The organization was founded as an honorary chemical society in 1899.

The Gamma Delta chapter inducted 11 student charter members and five charter faculty members. A total of 10 undergraduate students were initiated during the ceremony on April 21.

The inductees include: JC Blackmon, of Byhalia; Daisy Camarillo, of Gilcrest, Colorado; Tyler Daniels, of Hattiesburg; Kelby Flemons, of Big Creek; Emily Grossi, of Marks; Zach Kinler, of Picayune; Will Weeks, of Boyle; Dalvin Williams, of Vaiden; Amber Wilson, of French Camp; and Taylor Worsham, of Grenada. Previously inducted to PLU as a member-at-large, Katie Penton, also became a charter member of the DSU Chapter of PLU.

Other charter members included chemistry faculty members Dr. Joe Bentley, Dr. Sharon K. Hamilton, Jill Harper, Dr. Chris Jurgenson, and Dr. Charles Smithhart.

“Establishing the Delta Gamma chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon is a hallmark in the history of the chemistry program at Delta State,” said Hamilton, faculty counselor for the group. “It recognizes the quality of our department and our students. I’m extremely proud of all the work that went in to establishing this chapter, and I am proud of our first group of initiates. Our chemistry students work very hard and I am pleased to have them associated with such a prestigious society that recognizes their achievements.”

Bentley, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Delta State, was also thrilled to institute PLU on campus.

“Establishing a chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon at Delta State is a terrific opportunity for both students and faculty alike,” he said. “As our students apply to professional schools and graduate schools, or for industrial or education jobs, they will be able to highlight their academic achievements in their major field by listing their membership in PLU on their resume. The Department of Chemistry and Physics is honored to have this chapter at Delta State.”

Phi Lambda Upsilon was the first honor society dedicated to a single scientific discipline. In the span 113 years, it has grown into an organization comprising 73 chapters and more than 60,000 members. Learn more at http://philambdaupsilon.org/.

Newman honored for campus and community contributions

By | Academics, Archives, Athletics, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments
Erin Newman ’17

First attracted to Delta State’s swim program, recent graduate Erin Newman began her college career as a quiet freshman, but quickly found her voice through her passion for history.

Her professors are most impressed by her spirited discussions with both upperclassmen and instructors.

“She uses evidence to support logical arguments, proves her point in a quiet but effective manner, and often persuades others to embrace her perspective,” said Dr. Charles Westmoreland, assistant professor of history.

Given her stellar performance in the classroom, Erin has amassed a variety of academic honors at Delta State. Most recently, she was the recipient of the 2017 Jack Winton Gunn Award at this year’s College of Arts and Sciences awards program.

The Gunn Award is given for overall academic excellence in honor of the former dean of the university, and it is among the highest awards presented at Delta State.

Outside the classroom, Newman has also played an important role in preserving the history of Delta State and the surrounding region.

In the summer of 2015, she interned with University Archives and Museum, an experience which allowed her to assist in the development of the DSU 90th Anniversary Exhibit. Additionally, she has been a key contributor to two exhibits on sports history and culture, one of which was a Smithsonian traveling exhibit on display on campus in the fall of 2016.

In 2016, Newman took on extensive responsibilities in historical interpretation and preservation by serving as the program director at the Amzie Moore House Museum and Interpretive Center, a Cleveland historic site that interprets the life and legacy of civil rights leader Amzie Moore. Her work with the museum involved leading group tours and engaging in community outreach programs.

Newman, right, works with James McBride, president of the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors, and Will Hooker, Bolivar County administrator.

Newman, right, works with James McBride, president of the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors, and Will Hooker, Bolivar County administrator.

“Erin has made significant contributions to our mission to expand the legacy of Amzie Moore and the work of the civil rights movement in the Mississippi Delta,” said Will Hooker, Bolivar County administrator.

Emily Jones, university archivist, is grateful for Newman’s contributions to campus and community.

“From the beginning, Erin demonstrated initiative and a desire to learn more about the field of archive and museum studies,” said Jones. ”She has soaked up every opportunity, and now that hard work and drive is taking her down an amazing career path.”

Recently, Newman was accepted into the Museum Studies program at the University of Leicester in England, where she has been awarded a President’s Post-Graduate Scholarship for International Students.

To complement her formidable academic talents and community service, she has been a valued member of the Delta State swim team. She has served in a leadership capacity as the vice-chair of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for the Gulf South Conference.

“Both inside and beyond the classroom, she has helped peers and younger colleagues as they seek to balance the challenges of academics and athletic competition,” added Jones. “Despite practicing several hours a day for the past four years, Erin has been one of the most accomplished students on this campus. She is a model scholar and campus citizen who has taken a vested interested in serving Cleveland and the entire region.”

Follow news of student success at Delta State at www.deltastate.edu.