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College of Arts and Sciences

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Environmental science presents at Mississippi Academy of Sciences

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Four Delta State environmental science students and two professors presented at the 81st annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences (MAS) in Hattiesburg on Feb. 23-24.

Two presentations were given during the oral session as a part of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Division of MAS.

Heather Brewer, a senior at Delta State, received the first place graduate and undergraduate award for her presentation entitled, “Impact of urbanization on bird nest materials in the Mississippi Delta,” co-authored by herself, Alexis Patterson and Dr. AHM Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State. 

In absence of undergraduate student Christian Frew, Reza presented, “What can affect the movement patterns of white-tailed deer in central Mississippi,” co-authored by the duo. Both of these presentations were a product of Reza’s vertebrate biology courses, ornithology and mammalogy.

Four poster presentations were also given at the division’s poster session.

Patterson and Brewer received a second place award for their poster entitled, “Prey remains found in 24 owl pellets from Carolina Biological Science,” co-authored by Patterson, Brewer, Karoline Lambert, Madison Zoeller, Roxy Kimes, Dr. Eric Blackwell and Dr. Baghai-Riding.

Student Brittany Husley gave her presentation, “Comparison of dental changes in Varans exanthematicus to ontogenetics shifts in diet,” co-authored by herself, Christine Beck, Baghai-Riding and Blackwell.

Baghai-Riding presented two poster presentations, “Effects of wild hogs at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi,” co-authored by Matthew Galloway, Peyton Hamblin, Mitchel Coleman, Brady Chambley, Matt McGregor; and “Bird surveys conducted at Bear Pen Park, Cleveland, Mississippi,” c0-authored by Sheketra Bell, Jarrica Carey, DeAndra Felton, Monique Price and Kimberely Davis. The posters were a product of Baghai-Riding’s  conservation biology course.

This year’s MAS annual meeting had its largest attendance with over 1,000 attendees. Reza plans to establish a stronger Delta State presence for the 2018 event and seeks all appropriate disciplines to consider joining.

In addition, Reza chaired the EEB Division of MAS in 2016-17. Baghai-Riding and Reza served as judges for the zoology and entomology poster presentations. Also, Reza will serve as the chair of the EEB Division and Baghai-Riding will serve as the vice chair for 2017-18.

To learn more about the Delta State’s environmental science program, contact Baghai-Riding (nbaghai@deltastate.edu) or Reza (areza@deltastate.edu), or call the Department of Biological Sciences at 662-846-4240.

Student Show

Annual juried student art show coming to gallery

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

Delta State University’s Department of Art invites the public to the opening of its annual juried student exhibition on March 9 from 5-7 p.m. in the Fielding L. Wright Art Center gallery.

The annual exhibit allows the department to highlight the work art students have produced in the past year, and affords students an opportunity to gain professional experience by preparing work for exhibition and submitting it to a jury process. Students are also eligible to win monetary awards in a variety of categories. The awards are made possible through the generous support of art patrons from the Cleveland community.

This year’s juror is Joshua Vincent, a Delta State graduate who teaches at the Mississippi Delta Community College.

Vincent commended the quality of work submitted and said it reflects the diversity of the students’ aesthetics and interests.

Awards will be presented at 6 p.m. The exhibit will remain in the gallery from March 9 to April 20. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the Department of Art at 662-846-4720.

EMU-Concert-Choir

Delta State and Eastern Michigan choirs collaborate for joint concert

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On Friday (Feb. 24), the Delta State University’s Delta Chorale, directed by Dr. Adam Potter, will host a joint concert with Eastern Michigan University’s premier choral ensemble, the EMU Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Brandon Johnson.

The EMU group, from Ypsilanti, Michigan, has been touring the South for the past week. Their performance in Cleveland will take place in the sanctuary of Covenant Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m.

For Potter, the collaboration has special meaning.

“This concert brings together so many people I know and love,” said Potter. “Obviously, it is a unique opportunity for my students to get to perform with a collegiate choir from over 800 miles away. It is also an honor to partner on this project with my church family, the kind folks at Covenant Church. The director of the EMU Concert Choir, Brandon Johnson, was my undergraduate and master’s degree conductor and teacher. A 2016 Delta State music alumna, Monica Ely, is a soprano in the EMU choir. Amazingly, a former student of mine from when I was a high school music teacher in New York is also an EMU singer, now a graduate student in vocal performance. My worlds intersect here in Cleveland.”

Prior to the concert, the choirs will share a joint rehearsal and clinic with Johnson, as well as share a meal together. Johnson is the director of Choral Activities at EMU and the artistic director and conductor of the Detroit Concert Choir. Previously, he founded and was the artistic director of the emerging professional vocal ensemble Vox Lumine based in New York.

Johnson has conducted professional musicians across the United States while maintaining his extensive work with students of all ages. He has performed in venues across the country including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, and made his conducting debut at the renowned Carnegie Hall with the National Sacred Honor Choir. He holds degrees from Concordia College and The University of Arizona and was previously a faculty member at Houghton College.

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 choir has performed by invitation at state and regional conferences of the Mississippi Music Educators Association and American Choral Directors Association.

Dr. Vernell Bennett, Delta State’s vice president for Student Affairs, will provide opening remarks at Friday evening’s concert. Coincidentally, Bennett is a graduate of the music program at EMU.

This concert is free of charge and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help cover the expense of EMU’s trip to Cleveland.

Rezatrip2017

Biology credits available for trip to Bangladesh

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Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, is leading another international field course this summer in his homeland of Bangladesh.

The tropical field biology study abroad course is in partnership with the Creative Conservation Alliance (CCA), an NGO that works tirelessly to conserve Bangladesh’s imperiled wildlife.

“This is really a special opportunity for students to get direct access to one of the most diverse environments in the world, the jungles of Lawachara National Park, as well as the largest mangrove forest in the world, the Sundarbans Reserve Forest.” said Reza. “I would strongly encourage students to consider joining this trip if they have an interest in resume-boosting conservation field experience. You’ll have a real chance at seeing tigers, saltwater crocs, five species of primates, and finding dozens of snakes in a single night.”

Students at Delta State will have the opportunity of gaining three credits during the Summer II session with a two-week field trip mandatory for the course, from July 10-25. BIO 492: Tropical Field Biology, is course appropriate for any student enrolled or interested in biology, natural resources management, conservation biology, wildlife ecology, management, veterinary sciences or related fields.

Students enrolled in other universities or colleges in the U.S. will also be able to transfer course credits from Delta State to their home institution.

Thanks to the partnership with CCA, the course fee of $2,200 per student directly contributes to the conservation of the endangered flora and fauna of Bangladesh. The fee also covers housing, meals, local travel and fees to the forests. Separate from the course fee, students will be responsible for their airfare to Bangladesh.

Taking the course for university credit is optional. The fee to take the trip for credit is an additional $802.50.

“While we encourage everyone to enroll for academic credit on this trip, students or anyone else can attend without registering for credit,” added Reza.

Reza said this hands-on experience can help students get recognized in the scientific field.

“You have a great chance of getting your name on a scientific publication by making a range extension, or even discovering a new species,” he said. “Our 2014 and 2015 trips recognized multiple potentially new species and made several range extensions. In 2016, our group discovered a new species of a Takydromus lizard.”

For more trip information, contact Reza at areza@deltastate.edu.

DMI-All-Stars-Performance-Photo

DMI All Stars take on Los Angeles

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, GRAMMY, Students | No Comments
Delta State students in the DMI All Stars band recently performed atop GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. Live.

For the fifth consecutive year, the DMI All Stars – a select group of musicians from the Delta Music Institute program at Delta State University – performed a collection of Mississippi centric covers on Mississippi Night during GRAMMY® Week in Los Angeles, California.

The group, under the direction of DMI instructor Charly Abraham and assisted by DMI instructor Barry Bays, consisted of 12 students who performed in the band or assumed management positions. The DMI All Stars provided an excellent performance atop the Target Terrace on the fifth floor of the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. Live.

With many notable musicians and GRAMMY representatives in attendance, the All Stars showcased their musical abilities for a group of respected industry professionals.DMI-All-Stars-Group-Photo

The performance was a great experience for many of the students, including vocalist Audrianna Johnson from Grenada.

“My experience in Los Angeles felt like a dream come true,” she said. “Words can’t explain how grateful I am for the opportunities I’ve had.”

In addition to performing on a special night, the students were able to get a taste of the city life while exploring locales such as downtown Hollywood, Malibu and Venice Beach.

“Going to L.A. with the All Stars gave me an opportunity to make new friends and share great memories with them,” said Carrie Lynn Stanford from Gautier, a vocalist for the DMI All Stars.

This year, entertainment industry studies senior Lindsey Anna Pardue from Clinton chose to use the L.A. trip as part of her senior project by acting as directing manager and overseeing the trip, as well as scheduling rehearsals for the band.

“Going to Los Angeles with the DMI All Stars is always amazing, but it was especially interesting this year because I had the opportunity to direct the group,” said Pardue. “I am honored to have been able to spend my time with such a kind, talented and fun group of students.”

The DMI 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.

To learn more about the GRAMMY connection with the Delta Music Institute at Delta State, visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.