Fighting Okra Records seeks next artist

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Fighting Okra Records, the student-run record label within the Delta Music Institute’s entertainment industry program at Delta State University, has launched its search for the next FOR recording artist.

Performing artists interested in pursuing this unique opportunity can visit, fill out the application form in its entirety, and submit online for a chance to be selected. The submission period will remain opent until  Nov. 10 at 11:59 p.m.

FOR is accepting submissions from both solo artists and bands of any musical genre. This year, the search has expanded beyond Delta State’s campus to include solo acts or groups in the surrounding area. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older and provide basic information regarding their musical endeavors.

FOR’s main purpose is to select a talented musician or band and provide them with professional industry utilities paired with significant industry insight to expand and strengthen the career of whomever the label selects.

“The artist or band selected for the Fighting Okra Records label will have a unique opportunity to have multiple university resources available to them for their career development through the students in the practicum course,” said Tricia Walker, DMI director. “The FOR members will facilitate photography, professional audio, publicity and promotion services on behalf of the artist in order to provide the artist with tools for building a strong foundation going forward.”

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelors degree in entertainment industry studies. 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 information about the DMI or Fighting Okra Records, contact 662-846-4579, or visit

Delta State COEHS to screen student documentary

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

The Delta State University College of Education and Human Sciences announced it will screen “I Sopravvissuti,” a documentary directed by Delta State junior psychology major Matteo Zengaro, on Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. in the Jacob Conference Center.

Zengaro was named a grant recipient of the 2017 Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum on May 1 for his film depicting the Italian tradition in the Mississippi Delta.

“We are pleased to showcase this creative work of Matteo Zengaro, a psychology major in the Division of Counselor Education and Psychology,” said Dr. Leslie Griffin, dean of the COEHS. “His interest in research dovetailed with the study of the experiences of early Italian immigrants to the Mississippi Delta. My interest is certainly piqued, and I invite others to join with the College of Education and Human Sciences in viewing this screening.”

Italian Americans have a long-rooted tradition in the Mississippi Delta, and Zengaro’s film brings those stories to life. Narrated by Delta State associate professor of English and chair of the Division of Languages and Literature Don Allan Mitchell, Zengaro’s film delves into the hardships early Italian Americans faced and how they overcame obstacles to give future generations a better life.

“I Sopravvissuti” (The Survivors) is the story of the sons and daughters of Italians who immigrated to the Delta and how present day Italian Americans keep their ancestors’ culture flowing within their community. The film highlights a culture that has been ingrained within the Delta community, but largely ignored in overall Italian American history.

“I want to thank the College of Education and Human Sciences for showing my film,” Zengaro said. “‘I Sopravvissuti’ is a unique film that shares the Italian American experience in the Delta. I also want to thank everyone who helped me along the way to make this film a reality.”

Admission to the screening is free and open to the public.

COEHS to host annual Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment Event

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Delta State’s College of Education and Human Sciences will host the 5th annual Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment Event on Nov. 2 from 3-5 p.m. in the Jacob Conference Center, to honor the retired educator Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley.

The theme of this year’s event will be “A Legacy of Literacy.”

Allen-Bradley was a dedicated promoter of literacy during her time at Delta State and now has the Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment established in her name. The COEHS invites the public to help celebrate Allen-Bradley’s efforts.

“We’re looking forward to honoring Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley, one of our most distinguished former reading faculty members, in this fifth annual event in her name,” said Dr. Tim Watkins, coordinator of elementary education and outreach at Delta State.

This year’s featured speaker is Cathy Dickerson, a literacy coach and coordinator of the Mississippi Department of Education’s LETRS program, which provides literacy training to Mississippi teachers.

Dickerson’s previous experiences include teaching for 28 years in grades K-3, serving as the MDE director of the Sylvan Learning Center, and serving as the Barksdale Institute Second Congressional District reading coordinator in the Mississippi Delta.

Classroom teachers, parents, pre-service teachers and librarians are encouraged to attend the event. RSVP the College of Education and Human Sciences at 662-846-4370. Refreshments will be served.

The COEHS operates collaboratively with the other colleges of the university, the university staff, and outside agencies to produce professional graduates who will be effective in the field of human learning and services. The college strives for a stimulating, positive environment and provides its students with professional faculty who emulate and model the profession competencies, skills and affects expected of Delta State graduates.

For more information on the COEHS or its degree programs, visit or call 662-845-4400.

Tibbs to present Humanities Council lecture

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Dr. Clint Tibbs, associate professor of philosophy, will present his Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher Award lecture Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Wright Art Center on the campus of Delta State.

Tibbs’ lecture is titled “The Truth is Out There: Teaching the Paranormal, Ancient Greek & Biblical Hebrew at a Small Rural University.”

The event is free and open to the public. The presentation is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Mississippi Humanities Council.

“The paranormal is often scoffed at without much reflection or fair criticism,” said Tibbs. “The physical scientists should be at the forefront of studying paranormal phenomena because they occur in the physical world. The Bible is one of the most paranormal pieces of literature of all time, and studying it in its original languages, Hebrew and Greek, allows students to see, more than English translations, what the original author may have had in mind. Learning to read the Bible in the original languages empowers students to understand one of the most influential texts in history just as the great translators and scholars of the past may have, like Erasmus and Luther.”

Tibbs was nominated by his peers to received the Mississippi Humanities Council award.

“I was quite surprised to be awarded this year’s Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher Award,” he said.

Tibbs’ research interests include Biblical studies, early church history, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, the history of science, theories of consciousness, and the interface between science, religion, philosophy and the paranormal.

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Wingard named mathematics Teacher of the Year

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Dr. Clifton Wingard, chair of the Department of Mathematics at Delta State, was recently named Teacher of the Year at the college level by the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM).

MCTM is the professional organization for all persons responsible for the teaching of mathematics in Mississippi. Its membership includes teachers and other professionals who work with the teaching of mathematics, from kindergarten through senior college.

“It is a great honor to be named college Teacher of the Year,” said Wingard. “To have been nominated for this award is very special. I am grateful for the teachers that I have had. Not only did they teach me the course content, but they also provided motivation to learn and do more. I hope that I do the same for my students.”

Wingard said mathematics is an important piece in the education system because it is an integral part of almost every discipline.

“People use mathematics in their daily lives,” he said. “It is imperative that we train people to teach mathematics to the coming generation and also to educate the people who will be applying it in their careers.”

Wingard’s areas of expertise include algebra, trigonometry, calculus and discrete mathematics.

“Dr. Wingard cares deeply about his students but also the elementary and secondary students in the state of Mississippi and across the nation,” said Kathleen Lott, project director of the Delta Math Science Partnership Institute housed at Delta State. “He continually assesses how the teacher education programs at Delta State can be improved and enhanced to produce quality teachers. He works hard to assist his students in not only knowing the ‘whats’ but also the ‘whys’ He teaches from a standpoint of conceptual understanding and challenges his students to problem solve.”

Learn more about MCTM at

Explore opportunities available in the Department of Mathematics at