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College of Arts and Sciences

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Healing with a Groove 2.0 creates alumni network

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments
Photo (left to right):  Laeitta Wade, HWG 2.0 project assistant; Keziah Allen (Indianola); Isaac Peppers (Greenville); A’Midius Sigle (Shelby); Cle’Various Thornton (Moorhead); and Travis Calvin, HWG 2.0 project coordinator. HWG alumni not pictured: Jakevian McCaster (Greenwood); and Parker Abney II (Clarksdale).

The Delta Music Institute, an independent center of entertainment industry studies at Delta State University, recently received a $548,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) of Battle Creek, Michigan, to extend its successful Healing with a Groove 2.0 program.

The program is a narrative change initiative with the mission of promoting racial healing through the creation and production of original songs and recordings among young persons of color. The current round of funding will promote the establishment and development of a HWG 2.0 alumni base and the creation of a multimedia toolkit to be used as a resource for schools and organizations interested in establishing HWG groups.

“Music has great power to heal,” said DMI Director Tricia Walker. “Using digital media tools available today will empower the young participants in this program to find their unique voice in creating new songs and recordings that can address issues of race and how music can promote healing.”

Travis Calvin, a Delta State alumnus, serves as the coordinator of the DMI Mobile Lab and leads the HWG program.

“I am excited to build on the success we’ve had with this project. I’m looking forward to developing and empowering HWG alumni to become young leaders in their communities, using music and digital media as a platform to address issues of concern in their schools and hometowns,” said Calvin.

A network of HWG alumni from Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Sunflower and Washington counties will be selected and trained to assist local participants in the project. Participants generate ideas by engaging in open dialogue sessions before crafting original songs and producing audio recordings using the professional studios and equipment of the DMI and the DMI Mobile Music Lab.

The HWG 2.0 program provides instruction in commercial songwriting, audio engineering and digital media for participants in the counties served, giving them opportunities to explore and promote racial healing through the creation and dissemination of original songs. The project will foster the creation and recording of 30-40 original songs and musical works exploring and promoting racial healing. The development of the multimedia toolkit will serve as a guide for student leaders, teachers and administrators interested in facilitating the HWG 2.0 program in their local communities.

“Mississippi is the birthplace of America’s music and also the repository of a complicated history regarding race,” said Walker. “This unique project will provide young people in the Delta with an opportunity to explore this ongoing issue by using the popular medium of contemporary music and audio production.”

The DMI offers a bachelor’s in entertainment industry studies from the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State. 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, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

The WKKF is a private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, and is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

WKKF works throughout the U.S. and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. The organization’s priority areas in the U.S. include Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

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Delta Math Science Partnership Summer Institute hosted on campus

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

Delta State University is wrapping up its annual Delta Math Science Partnership Summer Institute (MSP), hosting 37 Mississippi teachers on campus from June 5-16.

MSP, funded by the Mississippi Department of Education through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, aims to support increased content knowledge for K-8 in-service mathematics teachers in the Mississippi Delta who are committed to fidelity of implementation of the Mississippi College- and Career- Readiness Standards for Mathematics.

MSP strives to improve teacher quality through partnerships between state education agencies, institutions of higher education, high-need local education agencies and schools in order to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science.

The professional development consists of an 80-hour intensive summer institute implemented by Delta State’s College of Education and Human Sciences in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Mathematics.

Program leadership was provided by directors Kathleen Lott and Elizabeth Belenchia; David Hebert, instructor and curriculum co-developer; Liza Cope, instructor, curriculum co-developer, webmaster; and instructors Laura Little and CeCelia Jones. Institutional and community partners included Dr. Clifton Wingard, Ann Huber, Needle Specialty Products, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, The Railroad Museum, DSU Planetarium, and Delta Area Association for Improvement of Schools, which supported the program with planning initiatives and presentations.

Districts participating this summer included: Cleveland, West Bolivar Consolidated, Greenwood Public, Carroll County, Western Line, Greenville Public, Leflore County, Clarksdale Municipal, North Bolivar Consolidated, Coahoma County, South Delta, East Tallahatchie and Hollandale.

MSP is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education under the award number S366B150025.

For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-education/delta-math-science-partnership-initiative/#1471528724594-834e8265-eb63.

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.

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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.

Delta State to host “Art Across Mississippi” celebrating bicentennial

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community | No Comments
Marie Hull (1890-1980), “Gulls in Flight,” not dated. Oil on wood. Collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of the artist.

 

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.

The statewide program provides residents with an opportunity to enjoy high-quality exhibitions from the museum’s permanent collection in their home communities, to reflect on the rich heritage of Mississippi’s visual arts, and to contemplate the meaning of the bicentennial moment.

Delta State’s Fielding L. Wright Art Center will partake by hosting “Home and Away: On the Road with Marie Hull,” from June 8 to July 27.

Beloved Mississippi artist Marie Hull traveled far and wide throughout North America as well as France, Spain and Morocco. The artist left 67 of her sketchbooks to the MMA, which are filled with drawings and remarkable paintings from her travels. From this unique trove of private treasures, the museum has selected individual sheets for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative process of one of Mississippi’s master artists. Several of her masterful oil paintings will accompany the exhibition.

Other exhibitions feature artworks by regionally acclaimed artists — past and present — including Walter Anderson, William Dunlap, William Ferris, Ke Francis, Hystercine Rankin, Sulton Rogers and many others.

“Art Across Mississippi” exhibitions are organized by the MMA, from its permanent collection, as companions to “Picturing Mississippi, 1817-2017: Land of Plenty, Pain, and Promise,” the latest in The Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series. “Picturing Mississippi” will be on view Dec. 9, 2017 through July 8, 2018 at the MMA.

Bicentennial exhibitions created by the MMA are supported by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation and the state of Mississippi, through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Additional support for “Art Across Mississippi” is provided by Ross & Yerger, Trustmark, Entergy, Mississippi Media and Mississippi Power.

For more information on Art Across Mississippi and Picturing Mississippi, visit www.msmuseumart.org.