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Alumni

The 31st annual Pig Pickin’ will be held Sept. 23-24, 2016, followed by Homecoming on Oct. 14-15.

2016 Pig Pickin’ and Homecoming dates set

By | Alumni | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association recently announced dates for 2016 Pig Pickin’ and Homecoming — two of the largest events held on campus.

The 31st annual Pig Pickin’ will be held Sept. 23-24, 2016, when the Statesmen football team hosts Shorter University. The full schedule of events will be announced at a later date.

Homecoming has been set for Oct. 14-15, 2016, and the Statesmen will face off against the University of West Florida. Throughout the weekend, the Alumni Association has a variety of activities planned. The event’s featured class is the Class of 1966, which will be celebrating 50 years since graduating from Delta State. They will also be inducted into the prestigious Golden Circle, which is a constituency group of the Alumni Association that honors alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago.

“I encourage all Delta State faithful to make plans now to attend Delta State University’s signature events in the fall of 2016,” said Jeffrey Farris, alumni director. “The Alumni Office wants to help you book your ticket back to campus to enjoy Cleveland and your alma mater.”

The Alumni Association will also host the annual Alumni Awards Gala during Homecoming to honor outstanding alumni and friends of Delta State.

More details on both events will be released at a later date. The official hashtag for Pig Pickin’ is #DSUPigPickin and for Homecoming is #DSUHC.

For more information, contact the Alumni Association at (662) 846-4660. To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

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Giving Tuesday marks launch of Delta State’s Centennial Fund

By | Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, General | No Comments

On Dec. 1, as part of the global “Giving Tuesday” event, Delta State will officially launch a new fundraising program. This new program, called The Centennial Fund, was motivated by a generous gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation.

“Giving Tuesday” has gained momentum in recent years as a global day dedicated to giving back, and people around the world are encouraged to come together for the common purpose of giving and celebrating generosity.

The Delta State’s Centennial Fund was started by providing each of the colleges —Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education — as well as the School of Nursing, an initial gift of $5,000. Every dollar contributed will be matched with a dollar from the Gertrude Ford Foundation gift — up to $5,000 for each academic unit. There is also an option of giving to the General Academic Fund, where every penny received goes to support important academic initiatives. You can give online at www.deltastategiving.org/academics/centennialfunds, and each Dean will receive a notice of every gift received.

Jenni Owen '15, right, participated in the new Prison-to-College Pipeline Program at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., thanks to a connection Dr. Chuck Westmoreland, assistant professor of history, had with the program's leaders.

Graduate participates in groundbreaking Parchman program

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

One recent Delta State graduate shined brightly last summer while working with imprisoned students at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.

Jenni Owen, who completed her Liberal Studies Master of Arts in English with a focus on criminology in May of 2015, had the unique opportunity of participating in the groundbreaking Prison-to-College Pipeline Program at Parchman.

Owen became the program’s instructional associate through the help of Dr. Chuck Westmoreland, assistant professor of history at Delta State. Westmoreland put her in touch with the program’s leaders, Dr. Otis Pickett, assistant professor of history at Mississippi College, and Dr. Patrick Elliot Alexander, assistant professor of English and African American studies at the University of Mississippi.

The two professors were leading the new 10-week course on the civil rights movement to a group of students imprisoned at Parchman. During the course, students learned about a number of civil rights leaders, including Fannie Lou Hammer, who is remembered for her roots in nearby Ruleville.

The course also provided essential guidance in the rehabilitation and assimilation of imprisoned students into the general civilian population once their sentences are served.

Dr. Otis Pickett (l to r), Owen and Dr. Patrick Elliot Alexander.

Dr. Otis Pickett (left), Owen and Dr. Patrick Elliot Alexander.

“It was amazing getting to know the gentlemen in the facility,” said Owen. “Many of them had a strong passion for education, and I was grateful for the opportunity to get to know the men as individuals.

“The highlight of my experience was when I was able to work with the men one-on-one and assist them with their writing, or help tailor solutions to their specific needs,” she added. “For example, there was one student who had a hard time seeing words when reading, so I tried to write notes for him in a larger font so he could read the documents more easily.

“There was another student interested in writing poetry, so I brought Natasha Trethewey’s ‘Native Guard’ to share with him. Also, after my first session, I saw the eagerness of the men to learn, so I asked friends and family for donations and we were able to purchase a book for the gentlemen to continue reading once the course was through.”

Owen, who now works as an adjunct instructor of English at Holmes Community College in Yazoo City completed her undergraduate internship at the Stark County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio and wrote her thesis on officer communication in domestic violence situations. Thus began her interest in the criminal justice system.

When she began her studies at Delta State, she learned about bibliotherapy or therapeutic reading programs. Owen, with her criminology background, focused on how literature can help rehabilitate those who are incarcerated. This interest made her a qualified candidate to help with the Parchman program.

“The Prison-to-College program taught me to have more confidence in myself and my abilities,” said Owen. “The students were so grateful that I was there. At first I was a bit intimidated to be working with such respected professors, and was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to bring anything to the class, but by being genuinely me, I found that I could contribute and help the students.

“I also learned about some of the real struggles the students were going through. They were taking a college level class during the hottest months of the year, but they were still doing their best to complete their reading and writing assignments. The students put in so much effort to be able to participate in the class. Their dedication was amazing.”

Westmoreland said Owen’s commitment to the criminal justice system is just one of her strong points.

“Jenni has a strong commitment to helping others, and because of that, we are very proud of her work with the Prison-to-College Pipeline Program,” said Westmoreland. “As a student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, Jenni approached her work with a clear sense of mission and purpose. She wanted to integrate her passion for literature and the English language with a desire to help incarcerated people. Thanks to the wide variety of graduate courses offered in English and criminology, she was very prepared to work with the students in the pipeline program.

“She has done great work and will continue to make a positive impact on people who are too often forgotten in our society,” he added.

As the program continues to grow, Owen fully intends to remain involved.

“I’m currently planning on participating in the program at Parchman again this coming summer with Dr. Alexander and Dr. Pickett,” she said. “I look forward to assisting more with the educational aspect of the program and helping the students increase their writing skills.”

Owen said she will also help as the program plans to expand to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl under the leadership of Pickett and Dr. Stephanie R. Rolph, assistant professor of history at Millsaps College.

Schmidt Memorial Scholarship announced

By | Academics, Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, President, Students | No Comments
Schmidt scholarship

The Dr. Ethan Schmidt Memorial Scholarship was announced Tuesday by Larkin Chapman (front row, third from left), a senior health, physical education and recreation major from Flora, Mississippi. This marks the first scholarship in the history of Delta State established by a current student. The annual scholarship will be awarded to two recipients, one history major and one social science education major. Chapman was joined by Schmidt’s wife, Elizabeth (left of Chapman), Delta State University President William N. LaForge, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. David Breaux, members of Alumni-Foundation, and faculty from the Division of Social Sciences and History.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Veterans program scheduled for Homecoming

By | Alumni, Community | No Comments

Honoring veterans has become a tradition each year during Homecoming festivities at Delta State University. This year marks the eighth annual Veteran’s Recognition Program.

The program will be held in the Veterans Atrium of Jobe Hall on Saturday at 11 a.m. The salute will feature music by the Delta State University Chamber Singers and Delta State music faculty and students. Cleveland community members will also participate in the music.

Each military branch will be recognized, and all service songs will be performed.

Dr. James Robinson, retired Delta State history professor and 1968 graduate, helped make the dream of the Veterans Atrium become a reality. After noticing that the existing fountain in the atrium of Jobe Hall was not working and that students were not utilizing the space, he had the idea of turning the area into a tribute to veterans.

The Veterans Atrium was born in 2006 after Robinson teamed up with the Alumni and Foundation Office, under the direction of Vicki Fioranelli (director emeritus of Alumni Affairs) and the Golden Circle. It consists of a fountain and a memorial, which includes a bronze tree honoring veterans who were alumni, faculty, staff, students or friends of Delta State. There is also a bookcase which includes service records for the honored veterans.

Refreshments will be served prior to the program, and the Veterans Atrium can be viewed beginning at 10 a.m.

The official hashtag for the 2015 Homecoming is #DSUHC15. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).