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College of Arts and Sciences

Students Christine Beck (left to right), Danielle Husley and professor Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding, recently presented at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Delegation presents at vertebrate paleontology conference

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Delta State University environmental science students and professors recently presented two research posters at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on Oct. 25-29.

Students Christine Beck and Danielle Husley co-authored a research poster with biology professors Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding and Dr. Eric Blackwell titled “Paleocommunity of Late Pleistocene Megafauna found along the Lower Mississippi River Delta.”

The poster focused on ice age animals that lived in the Mississippi Delta about 12,000 years ago, including bison, mastodons, mammoths, great short-faced bear, ground sloths, ice age beaver, musk ox and more.

Dr. Judy Massare, professor of paleontology and geologist at Suny College at Brockport, New York encouraged Husely and Beck to publish the work in a respectable scientific journal. Additionally, the students became exposed to new morphological and ecological discoveries about fossil reptiles, mammals and amphibians, learned about new techniques including photogrammetry and basic scientific illustration in Adobe Photoshop, and networked with other students and scientists.

Baghai-Riding also co-authored a poster with her colleague Dr. Carol Hotton associated with the Natural Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Department of Paleobiology in Washington D.C. Their work was titled “Palynology of the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation: new insights into floristics, paleoclimate, phytogeography, and tetrapod herbivory.”

Learn more about environmental science opportunities at Delta State by visiting http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/biological-and-physical-sciences/.

The Delta State Department of Music presents pianist Dr. Louis Nagel at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Department of Music to host Mississippi Music Teachers Association conference

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The Delta State Department of Music will host the 2016 State Conference of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association (MMTA) and the state competitions of the Music Teachers National Association on campus Nov. 4-5. Approximately 100 music teachers and students from around the state will visit campus for these events.

The official guest artist is pianist Dr. Louis Nagel, who will present a guest artist recital as the highlight of the conference at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. The recital will feature piano solo works by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Nagel’s recital is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

Nagel combines an active concert and teaching schedule and is noted for his lecture-recitals by musicians and non-musicians alike. He has performed in highly-acclaimed solo recitals and concerto concerts in major American and European cities. He has taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp, International Music Camp in Poland, Adamant Music School and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy. At the University of Michigan, he is the Director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance Outreach Program, advisor to the Bachelor of Musical Arts Degree program, the Interim Chair of the Piano Department, and has been on the faculty since 1969.

Nagel is a sought-after presenter at state and national conferences with lecture-recitals at National Music Teachers’ Association conventions in Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City. He is often invited as a state convention artist and has appeared in other forums throughout the United States. He is a member and former board member of the American Liszt Society and often performs at its annual festivals including the Great Romantics Festival at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Nagel is a Steinway artist, and has performed in Steinway Hall in New York as well as numerous times for the Steinway music stores in Michigan. He has recorded “Four Centuries of J. S. Bach” for Equilibrium, Music of C.P.E. Bach and Joseph Haydn for Block M. Additionally, he has collaborated with his wife, psychologist, psychoanalyst and musician, Dr. Julie Jaffee Nagel, at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and the American Psychoanalytic Association.

His three degrees from The Juilliard School include studies with Rosina Lhevinne, Josef Raieff and Joseph Bloch. Subsequent to his studies at The Juilliard School was a summer of coaching with Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Recent performances have included “Mussorgsky’s Pictures” at an exhibition in Florence, Italy, and four programs devoted to the piano sonatas of Schubert at Kerrytown. In addition, he presented a program on the French Suites of Bach at the Music Teachers National Association National Convention in New York.

The Department of Art presents Resa Blatman’s "Gaia Series" Nov. 3 from 5-7 p.m. in the Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery.

Art gallery presents Resa Blatman exhibition

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Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery presents an exhibition of Resa Blatman’s “Gaia Series,” a multimedia installation that addresses the causes and effects of climate change.

An opening reception to launch the exhibit will take place Nov. 3 from 5-7 p.m.in the gallery. Blatman will discuss the exhibit before the reception at 4 p.m.

Blatman’s exuberant, multi-layered paintings have always been inspired by nature, but in recent years, her attention has turned to the alarming signs of climate change – global warming, shrinking arctic icecaps, rising water levels, extreme weather conditions, extinction of animal species, migration of species and the growing scarcity of natural resources.

The title of Blatman’s series derives from the Gaia hypothesis developed by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis which provides a model for understanding the threats caused by environmental pollution, industrial exploitation of natural resources, and the growing world population. The theory sees our planet as a complex, synergistic, self-regulating system that helps to sustain conditions for life on Earth. 

Blatman recently completed a residency in the Arctic, where she could observe the effects of climate change firsthand. Many of the works in the exhibition were directly impacted by her experiences there. She does not claim to be a scientist but speaks from the perspective of a concerned citizen. She hopes her work inspires discussion and raises awareness of the issues while also providing her audience with an engaging visual experience.

Blatman is an independent artist from Somerville, Massachusetts. She earned a MFA from Boston University and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has had one-person exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, Georgia; Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts; Hartnett Gallery at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York; and other places. Additionally, she has been included in numerous group exhibitions, most recently at the Spartanburg Art Museum in Spartanburg, South Carolina . Her work is in public and private collections across the United States, Europe and South Africa.

The exhibition will run until Dec. 8.

Gallery hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.

For more information, visit the Department of Art’s website at 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.

Join the Delta Music Institute for a DMI All Access event featuring Rodeo & Juliet Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.

Rodeo & Juliet scheduled for DMI All Access

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The Delta Music Institute, an entertainment industry studies program at Delta State University, will host Rodeo & Juliet for their upcoming DMI All Access event. The event, free and open to the public, will be held Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. in DMI Studio A on the campus of Delta State.

Chris and Jan Harris — Rodeo and Juliet — have been producing, writing and singing for a wide array of artists for over 40 years, including Stevie Ray Vaughn, Loretta Lynn, Amy Grant, Kristin Chenoweth, Dolly Parton, Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans and more.

Throw in 15 years of writing, producing and singing on hundreds of commercials, including Cinnamon Toast Crunch, McDonalds, Transformers, Chick-fil-A and Southwest Airline. Additionally, they have raised two musically gifted sons while residing in the Music City — Nashville, Tennessee.

In 2008, the duo sold their farm and figured out a way to sing sweet, soul harmonies and formed Rodeo and Juliet. After spending time recording in the studio, they decided to work up 100 love songs and hit the road at the seasoned age of 55. They released a self-titled debut CD full of their timeless American roots music.

The DMI is an independent center of study under the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State, offering a bachelor’s 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 more information, visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

For information about the DMI All Access event, call 662- 846-4579, or email dmi@deltastate.edu.

Dr. Brian Becker, assistant professor of history

Becker honored with Humanities Teacher Award

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The time has come again to recognize arts and humanities across Mississippi colleges and universities.

The Mississippi Humanities Council celebrates each October by awarding one humanities faculty member at each state institution with the Humanities Teacher Award.

Dr. Brian Becker, assistant professor of history, is the 2016 award recipient for Delta State.

“It is indeed a true honor to be this year’s recipient of the Mississippi Humanities Council Humanities Teacher Award for Delta State,” said Becker. “It is humbling, yet also gratifying, to receive an award from an organization such as the MHC, with which I share the goals of promoting humanities programs and also an understanding of cultural heritage through public discourse in particular, as well as working to improve said programs however I am able. The MHC provides a wonderful service to the state of Mississippi, and I could not be prouder to be associated with it.”

Becker will be officially recognized Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Howorth Room of the Capps Archives and Museum. That night, he will also give a presentation entitled, “Going ‘Viral’ is Nothing New: Martin Luther and the Use of Propaganda during the Reformations.”

Becker’s presentation will examine how Protestant reformers and Catholic counter-reformers in the 16th century used the “social media” of their day to communicate powerful ideas that still resonate with us.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Becker earned his masters and doctorate in medieval history from Western Michigan University. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelors in history.

Becker has been a member of the Delta State faculty since 2011. He specializes in the study of medieval Mediterranean history, Byzantium, the Latin language and paleography.

Becker’s Nov. 7 presentation is free and open to the public. The event is made possible through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Mississippi Humanities Council. Learn more about council at www.mshumanities.org.