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College of Arts and Sciences

Jessica Faith Wishard (left to right), Kailey Mathis and Brittany McGee are the 2016-17 GRAMMY U officers.

GRAMMY U officers elected for 2016-17

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, GRAMMY | No Comments

Officers for the GRAMMY U chapter at Delta State University have been elected for the 2016-17 year.

Kailey Mathis, a junior entertainment industry studies major from Madison, Mississippi, was elected as this year’s president. Jessica Faith Wishard of Monticello, Arkansas will serve as vice president. Brittany McGee of Ecru, Mississippi will serve as secretary/treasurer.

GRAMMY U is a unique and fast-growing community of college students, primarily between the ages of 17-25, who are pursuing a career in the recording industry. GRAMMY U events and special programs touch on all aspects of the music industry, from the technology to the tracks themselves. Events are scheduled throughout the semester to give members a wide variety of experiences and professional development. Because GRAMMY U is part of The Recording Academy, members have extraordinary access to the industry and its artists.

In setting the vision for this year’s group, Mathis said, “ I hope to see our current and new members participate more within our chapter and in our community. A big thing we want to implement this year is group service projects around the community. We are planning some projects to help local charities, sing at the nursing homes, and also make efforts to help clean the Delta State campus and some streets in Cleveland.”

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, 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 information, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

Delta State will host a series of grand re-opening showings of the Roy L. and Clara Belle Wiley Planetarium in October.

Planetarium to host grand re-opening showings

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences | No Comments

The Roy L. and Clara Belle Wiley Planetarium at Delta State, housed in the Caylor-White-Walters complex, will celebrate a grand re-opening after major renovations to the facility were completed this summer.

The planetarium was founded in 1976 and named for Roy Lee Wiley and his wife Clara Belle Wiley. Roy taught Physics at Delta State from 1942-1975.

On Oct. 9, a private showing for distinguished guests will honor the Wiley family for their commitment to the university and planetarium.

The public will have opportunities to view the facility with a 6 p.m. showing on Oct. 12, a 4 p.m. showing (geared toward children) and a 6 p.m. showing on Oct. 14, and finally, a 1 p.m. showing on Oct. 15 before Delta State’s Homecoming kickoff. Tickets for these shows will be $5 per person and may be purchased at the door with cash or check.

Recent upgrades to the facility were a big part of the $18 million overhaul at Delta State’s science and math building. Renovations on the entire building are nearing completion.

The planetarium is used for university astronomy classes and also presents special programs for schools and the general public.

In addition to its new seats, carpet and other amenities, the renovation also included the installation of the dual projector Digistar 5 planetarium system from Evans and Sutherland, and the professional quality 5.1 surround-sound system from Bowen Technovation.

The system not only allows users to move their view of the stars back and forth through time, but it also lets users fly through the solar system to the other planets. As a bonus, it also turns the planetarium into a 3-D digital theater.

“The astronomy classes will of course use the planetarium, but one long-term goal is to use the planetarium as an instructional tool for other subjects,” said Dr. James Gerald, assistant professor of physics. “Dr. Adam Johanson helped a student with a project this summer to build 3-D models of molecules and display them on the dome. The priority of the planetarium will be teaching astronomy, but we will also have public outreach through shows. We look forward to collaborating with other departments across campus to create new content, and watch for us to start having more shows for the public. This will help us broaden the educational mission of the planetarium.”

Johanson, an assistant professor of physics, is looking forward to using the planetarium to inspire people of all ages.

“Most people have had a fascination with astronomy sometime in their life, particularly as little children,” said Johanson. “We hope that all will rediscover that child-like wonder as they experience the awe and majesty of the cosmos in the immersive environment at the Wiley Planetarium.”

The planetarium will soon have its own website as public programming, and shows will begin to ramp up.

For more information, email planetarium@deltastate.edu.

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GIT Center to host international speakers for discussion on climate change and disaster relief

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, GIS, International | No Comments

Delta State’s Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies (GIT Center) is hosting its second annual conference on disaster relief.

This year’s event is titled “A Panel Discussion on Climate Change and Disaster in the Developing World: Perspectives From Africa and Asia.”

Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to attend this free event Oct. 5 from 7-9 p.m. in the Baioni Conference Center in Broom Hall.

The impressive panel features speakers from Vietnam, Mozambique and a United Nations member from China. Talbot Brooks, director of the GIT Center, will moderate the discussion. Panelists will discuss the challenges faced every day in their nations and their struggle to become more resilient.

“The event will focus on developing nations being particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and disaster,” said Brooks. “Their populations, economies and physical environments are often fragile, and due to scarcity of resources, less able to respond to and recover from crisis than those of the developed world.”

It is not only in our national interest to support stability in these regions, but a moral obligation,” added Brooks. “For example, the U.S. does $38-43 billion in trade with Vietnam each year, and a substantial loss to their manufacturing base due to a crisis would have a significant and direct impact on our economy.”

The speakers include:

-Dr. Quang Hoai Tran, vice director, Water Resources Institute of Vietnam
-Dang Quang Ming, director, Disaster Management Center of Vietnam
-Dr. Teresa Abeu, deputy general director, National Institute for Disaster Management of Mozambique
-Alfredo Magumisse, parliamentarian and member, Committee on Agriculture, Economy and Environment, Parliament of Mozambique
-Jaime Neto, parliamentarian and Member, Committee on Agriculture, Economy and Environment, Parliament of Mozambique
-Teixeira Almeida, director for Manica Province, National Institute for Disaster Management of Mozambique
-Jiayi Sun, United Nations Office for Outter Space Affairs, Beijing, China

 Learn more about the event at: http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/geospatial-information-technologies/explore-the-center/events/perspectives-from-africa-and-asia/.

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Talmage Boston will speak at Constitution Week

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On Sept. 17, 1787, following weeks of intense debate, the 38 of the 41 delegates to the Philadelphia Convention signed the Constitution of the United States, the oldest constitution in the modern world.  We now face a general election season during which Americans are divided on at least three issues: immigration, terrorism and the handling of the economy.

At the core of these disagreements lies the question of leadership.

On Wednesday (Sept. 14) at 6 p.m. in Jobe Hall, The Madison Center at Delta State University will host a discussion of presidential leadership by Talmage Boston.

Boston, an attorney, author and former law partner of President William N. LaForge, will offer his “Ten Commandments of Presidential Leadership,” a set of standards that can help citizens work through their decision on November 8th.

Boston is also a renowned interviewer.  His book, Cross-Examining History, with a preface by Ken Burns, is a set of “cross-examinations” of scholars on the presidency from the time of the Founding Fathers to the present.  His interviews include David McCullough, Peter Onus, H.W. Brands, Taylor Branch and David Brinkley, just to name a few.  Topics range from discussions of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, to Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Boston’s work has been endorsed by the likes of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham and Lincoln Prize winner Harold Holzer.

In a matter of weeks, Americans will go to the polls and choose the person who will lead them for the next four years.  That choice will not only determine our economic and military policy.  That new president will also shape the direction of the United State Supreme Court, an institution that will have a voice in determining the way we understand the document that was signed in Philadelphia almost 230 years ago.  A plurality of voters has already staked their claim on a candidate. Many more will decide the week or so before Nov. 8.

The Sept. 14 program will offer the regional community an opportunity to consider standards by which to measure the quality of leadership offered by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The public is invited to a special panel and book signing Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives and Museum Building. The event is titled “In Remembrance of Margaret Block, Civil Rights Movement Organizer: Voting Rights, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Photo from the Univ. of Florida.

Panel and book signing to honor Margaret Block

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University Quality Enhancement Plan, and the DSU Diversity Committee invites the public to a special panel and book signing Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Charles W. Capps, Jr. Archives and Museum Building. The event is titled “In Remembrance of Margaret Block, Civil Rights Movement Organizer: Voting Rights, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

During the week of Sept. 6-11, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) at the University of Florida, returns to the Mississippi Delta to conduct oral history research on the civil rights movement in Mississippi and the American South. A highlight of this year’s trip will be the public panel. The event is co-sponsored by Delta State University and the University of Florida.

The panel will focus on “Voting Rights, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” and the event will honor the memory of Margaret Block, an organizer of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Bolivar County in the 1960s. Block was a life-long human rights activist.

The panel will begin with the world premier screening of a new documentary titled “Celebrating the Life of Margaret Block, Civil Rights Activist.” The first 50 audience members and educators who attend the event will receive a free copy of the Margaret Block Remembrance DVD, as well as a booklet copy of SPOHP’s award-winning “I Will Never Forget: Memories from Mississippi Freedom Summer,” which contains first-hand accounts from SNCC veterans on the Freedom Movement in the 1960s.

This year’s panel will feature Mississippi State University’s Jason Ward, who will discuss his new book, “Hanging Bridge: Racial Violence, and America’s Civil Right Century.” The book was recently published by Oxford University Press. Ward will be signing copies of his book after the discussion.

Delta State instructor of political science, Arlene Story Sanders, will discuss voting restrictions in Mississippi. Sanders is chair of the DSU Diversity Advisory Committee.

Rounding out the panel will be Paul Ortiz, author of the award-winning books “Emancipation Betrayed” and “Remembering Jim Crow.” Ortiz will speak about voting rights and democracy in the United States.

Since 2008, SPOHP has worked under the guidance of a number of organizations during this annual civil rights history field work trip. These include the Sunflower County Civil Rights Organization, the Sam Block Civil Rights Organization, the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture, Veterans for Peace, United Food & Commercial Workers, as well as the Equal Justice Initiative and the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. Each of the interviews collected during the history of the project are publicly accessible to all at the University of Florida’s Mississippi Delta Freedom Project Digital Collection, which can be accessed at http://ufdc.ufl.edu/freedom

Panel co-sponsors include: the Delta State University Quality Enhancement Plan, the DSU Diversity Committee, the University of Florida Office Of Research, the Robert and Gay Zieger Social Justice Scholarship Fund, William De Grove and Mark Proctor.

For more information about the panel, contact Sanders at asanders@deltastate.edu or Ortiz at portiz@ufl.edu.