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College of Arts and Sciences

Senior Tyler Sullivan will serve as a 2017 Thad Cochran Fellow.

DSU quarterback selected for prestigious Congressional Fellowship

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Delta State University Statesmen quarterback Tyler Sullivan was recently selected as a 2017 Congressional Fellow for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

Sullivan, who is a biology premedical science major, will move to Washington D.C. in January and remain there through the spring semester. The program selects one Delta State student each year to serve on Cochran’s staff, with the goal of providing a better understanding of the legislative process.

“I am extremely grateful to be selected for the fellowship,” said Sullivan, a native of Louisville, Mississippi. “It’s hard to actually wrap my mind around the fact that I’ll be moving to D.C. in January to work for such a prestigious senator. The fact that Delta State and the Delta Council have chosen and trust me to be their representative for the fellowship is a very high honor.”

Sullivan said he was excited to learn how the legislative process works, having never previously delved into politics.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of seeing what I’m made of,” he added. “This is an opportunity to not only get a solid foundation in politics, but also an opportunity that will benefit me no matter what I do in the future. I want to learn what it takes to be a valuable Mississippian like Sen. Cochran is, and how to make tough decisions that will affect many people.”

Delta State has a long-running tradition of sending fellows to Washington, and Delta State President William N. LaForge served as Cochran’s chief of staff during the 1980s.

“I am thrilled that Tyler Sullivan has been chosen to be our Congressional Fellow,” said LaForge. “He is confident, capable and is the perfect candidate for this opportunity. He will be of great value to Sen. Cochran’s office while representing Delta State in grand fashion.

“It is professionally and personally gratifying to me that we continue this wonderful relationship with the senator’s office in cooperation with Delta Council and Staplcotn because of the affiliation with Sen. Cochran going back to my days as his chief of staff. Tyler will have an excellent experience there, and their office will benefit from his outstanding background at Delta State.”

Sullivan, who will graduate in December, is currently applying to medical school. He was recently named a finalist for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, which is presented to the best football scholar-athlete in the country. Sullivan was one of only 12 athletes to make the final list and will travel to New York on Dec. 6 for the awards ceremony.

The fellowship program is funded through Delta State University, the Delta Council and Staplcotn. Additionally, Sullivan will receive a stipend from Cochran’s office.

The Delta Council is an area economic development organization representing the 18 Delta and part-Delta counties of Northwest Mississippi. The organization pioneers efforts to solve common problems and promote the development of the local economy. Founded in 1921, Staplcotn (Staple Cotton Cooperative Association) is the oldest and one of the largest cotton marketing cooperatives in the United States.

Music major Michael Sparks will compete in the Young Artist Performance Competition of the Music Teachers National Association in January 2017.

Music student wins state recital competition

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Music major Michael Sparks will compete in the Young Artist Performance Competition of the Music Teachers National Association in January 2017.

The Delta State University Department of Music is pleased to announce that music performance major and euphoniumist Michael Sparks will travel to Columbia, South Carolina to compete as the Southern Division Finalist in the Young Artist Performance Competition of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) on the campus of the University of South Carolina from Jan. 13-16, 2017.

Sparks earned the opportunity to represent Mississippi after winning the Young Artist Division of the MTNA State Competition held at Delta State in early November. The winner of the Southern Division Competition will compete in the national finals during the MTNA National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland in March.

Sparks, a native of Cleveland, is currently a senior in the low brass studio of Dr. Douglas L. Mark.

The three-tiered MTNA competitions begin at the state level. Winners of each state competition advance to the division competition, and division winners then proceed to the finals.

MTNA is a nonprofit organization comprised of 22,000 independent and collegiate music teachers committed to advancing the value of music study and music making to society, and to supporting the professionalism of music teachers. Founded in 1876, MTNA is the oldest professional music association in the country.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

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Delta State excels in two national rankings

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Delta State University’s College of Business has been identified for providing one of the best online MBA programs according to a new ranking from Great College Deals.

Editors of the list slotted Delta State as No. 6 in the national poll.

Each of the colleges listed in the ranking has tuition and fees of less than $12,000 annually.

Great College Deals’ methodology included a point system, which placed value on the number of specializations and concentration areas within the MBA program. Points were awarded for small class size and low student-to-faculty ratios. Additional value-adding components, such as student body diversity and the availability of special projects and internships, were also evaluated.

Great College Deals’ mission is to provide high schoolers and other prospective college students with information about top-ranked universities offering accredited degrees at competitive tuition rates. The organization is dedicated to turning students into smart shoppers who can avoid having overwhelming loan debt at graduation.

Learn more about Delta State’s College of Business at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business.

Additionally, Delta State’s College of Education and Human Sciences has been identified for having one of the most affordable online Master’s in Elementary Education programs in the country in a new ranking from http://www.bestmastersdegrees.com.

Delta State came in at No. 4 on the list.

The Best Master’s Degree organization reviewed 113 accredited schools and then narrowed down the initial pool to schools ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, or U.S. News and World Report. Tuition data was gathered from the NCES College Navigator database.

The Best Master’s Degrees’ mission is to help prospective graduate students make informed decisions about what kind of degree to pursue and where to study. Its main focus is providing rankings and profiles of degree programs across a variety of the most common master’s degree areas.

Learn more about Delta State’s Education and Human Sciences at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-education.

The Delta State Department of Music presents an evening of chamber music featuring the DSU Woodwind Quintet, DSU Flute Quartet and the DSU Saxophone Duo in the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall Nov. 16 at 7:30 
p.m.

Chamber ensembles concert coming to BPAC

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The Delta State Department of Music presents an evening of chamber music featuring the DSU Woodwind Quintet, DSU Flute Quartet and the DSU Saxophone Duo in the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert is free and open to the public.

The chamber ensembles have just returned from a tour of northern Mississippi, where they delighted high school audiences with their performances.

Delta State’s newly-formed Woodwind Quintet is comprised of leading members of the DSU Wind Ensemble, including flute player Amanda Lutz of Horn Lake, oboe player Mollie Searcy of Grenada, clarinet player Emily Hercules of Ripley, bassoon player Tristan Crockett of Grenada, and horn player Jacob Jackson of Southaven. The quintet is coached by Dr. Shelley Collins and Dr. Bret Pimentel. The quintet will play works by Haydn and Persichetti.

The DSU Saxophone Duo, under the direction of Pimentel, will perform works by W. F. Bach, Arthur Mayeur, and Paul Hindemith. Members of the ensemble ainclude Sara Crider of Purvis and Dakota Young of Grenada.

The DSU Flute Quartet, under the direction of Collins, will perform Cathleen McMichael’s “Legends from the Greenwood,” a showpiece inspired by the poetry of Longfellow, and “Concerto in A Minor,” by French Baroque composer Boismortier. Members of the quartet include Savannah Cavalier of Brookhaven, Barbara Doorenbos of Meridian, Amanda Lutz of Horn Lake, and Caitelan Shelton of Ripley.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

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Handel’s “Messiah” to be performed at Delta State

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Zeigel Hall on the campus of Delta State is currently filled with the sounds of one of the most beloved musical works of all time, “Messiah,” by George Frideric Handel.

The Delta Chorale, Delta Singers Okramen and Delta Singers Women’s Chorale are learning the masterwork for a performance at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.

Across town on Monday nights at First United Methodist Church, the Delta Choral Union is learning the same music in preparation for a grand collaboration that will take shape over the next three weeks, culminating in the concert performance.

Dr. Adam Potter, director of Choral Activities at Delta State and the conductor of the Delta Chorale and Delta Singers Women’s Chorale, is the music director for the performance. He will share the podium with ElizaBeth Beckham, conductor of the Delta Choral Union, and Kevin Tharp, conductor of the Delta Singers Okramen.

“There is no better way to kick off the holiday season than with a gala choral performance like this,” said Potter. “We are so excited to bring ‘Messiah’ to the Delta.”

The Delta Chorale is the premier touring vocal ensemble at Delta State. Comprised of approximately 40 mixed voices, it performs frequently both on and off campus. Its repertoire features high-quality choral music from diverse styles, musical eras, languages and cultures. The chorale has performed by invitation at state and regional conferences of the Mississippi Music Educators Association and American Choral Directors Association.

Delta Singers encompasses two separate choirs, the Okramen men’s choir and Women’s Chorale, which perform together frequently. These non-auditioned choirs provide singers an opportunity to learn many styles of music and also focus on developing vocal and musicianship skills. They also serve as lab choirs for advanced student conductors.

The Delta Choral Union is an adult volunteer community choir based in Cleveland. It has a proud history of excellent singing and highly-anticipated concerts. Beckham serves as its music director.

For this performance, the Delta State University choral program has hired a full roster of professional string players from the Memphis Symphony Orchestra to accompany the choirs. Their concertmaster will be Anne-Gaëlle Ravetto, instructor of violin at Delta State.

Department of Music faculty Josh Armstrong, Shelley Collins, Michael Ellzey, Bret Pimentel and Kumiko Shimizu will complete the orchestra in the wind, percussion and continuo sections.

The performance will also feature professional artists presenting the vocal solos Handel interspersed between the choruses. Laurissa Backlin, soprano, is currently an assistant professor of music at Delta State. Chad Payton, countertenor, is an assistant professor of voice at Capital University in Ohio (former DSU faculty from 2011-16). Jamie Dahman, tenor, joined the DSU voice faculty this fall. Patton Rice, bass-baritone, is the director of vocal music at the Mississippi School of the Arts and a frequent soloist with Mississippi Opera.

Tickets for this event are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center box office or at choir.deltastate.edu. They are $15 for adults, $10 for DSU faculty and staff, and $5 for students and senior citizens.

This performance has been made possible by a generous donation from Margaret Heard Walker.