Communications and Marketing

33rd Annual Pig Pickin’ lineup announced

By | Alumni, Communications and Marketing, Faculty/Staff, General, Students | No Comments

Here’s the lineup for the 33rd annual Pig Pickin’ weekend.

Festivities kick off on Friday, Sept. 21 at 5 PM with Pig Pickin’ After Dark. Delta State Radio station will begin the evening. Stretta, a Nashville-based high-energy cover band, plays at 8 PM.

Kappa Sigma Fraternity will host its annual 5K Hog Run for Military Heroes at 8:30 AM on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at

Statesmen Park opens at noon; food lines begin at this time. BBQ meals can be purchased from noon to 3 PM. Buy BBQ tickets at

Beginning at 1 PM, several Delta Music Institute bands will perform, including B4Y2K, Delta Rox, and Ol’ Skool Revue. Delta State University President William N. LaForge will also share his musical talents with his band, President LaForge and the Cabinet.

The Admissions Office will present its annual DSU Day for prospective students from 1 PM to 4 PM. For more information, visit

The National Alumni Association is partnering with DSU intramurals on the fourth annual Cornhole Tournament at Pig Pickin’. The tournament begins at 2 PM at Statesmen Park. Register at and purchase an entry fee. For questions, contact Kirk Mansell at (662) 846-4566.

At 3:15 PM, the Delta State University Marching Band, Delta State cheerleaders, and the Delta Belles dance team will lead the way for the football pre-game pep rally.

While the crowd awaits the judges’ decisions on cooking competition winners, the CE Allstars will take the stage to present a cheerleading, tumbling and gymnastics show.

Pig Pickin’ award winners will be announced at 5 p.m.

Tailgaters will prepare for the 6 PM kickoff, as the Statesmen take on North Greenville University. To purchase game tickets, visit or call DSU Athletics at (662) 846-4300.

For more information about the 33rd annual Pig Pickin’ weekend, check out or contact the Alumni Association office at (662) 846-4709.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, download the Delta State Alumni app and follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (alumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Farish named new Communications and Marketing director

By | Communications and Marketing, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Delta State University recently named Jennifer Phillips Farish, a Delta native, as the new director of the department of Communications and Marketing. Farish begins her new role Aug. 10, and will continue an effort to boost the university’s media presence.

Farish comes with a wealth of experience working in the media, having previously served as the associate director of public relations at the University of Mississippi.

“I’m excited about working with all of the great people at Delta State and about the amazing things that are happening on campus and in Cleveland,” said Farish. “I grew up in the Delta and I’m thrilled to be returning home to work with an outstanding communications staff during such an exciting time in the university’s history.”

Farish will work with departments campus-wide to get the word out to local, state and regional media sources about the exciting programs and activities taking place at Delta State. Dr. Michelle Roberts, vice president for University Relations and Chief of Staff, is thrilled to welcome Farish as part of the university team.

“Jennifer is joining an outstanding team of communications and marketing professionals who work tirelessly to promote the Green and White,” said Roberts. “The combination of Jennifer’s experience, enthusiasm and her Delta roots made her the ideal choice for the position. I was very impressed with Jennifer’s diverse skillset. She brings more than a decade of media relations experience, as well as a wealth of knowledge and skills in marketing and communications.

“I am confident that Jennifer and her team will be effective in expanding our efforts to spread the word about the great things happening at Delta State, and will be able to garner greater exposure for the university.”

Farish said she’s looking forward to partnering with leaders across campus to help expand Delta State’s prominence in the world of higher education.

“There are a lot of different pieces to communications at a university — from internal campus announcements and campaigns to national advertising and fundraising,” said Farish. “There already is a great staff and system in place to handle all of that, so my ongoing goal will be to make communications within Delta State convenient and effective for our campus community and to continue to enhance the visibility and reputation of Delta State across the country.

“One of my first specific goals is to work with campus leaders to develop a long-term plan that will build on the communications and marketing already in place and to guide communications over the next few years.”

Before her previous role at Ole Miss, Farish worked in a number of media positions at the university, including associate director of integrated marketing, associate director of external media relations, manager of earned media, communications specialist and editor of the UM Lawyer.

She also has years of experience as a newspaper reporter working for The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, Miss. and The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Farish received her bachelor’s from Ole Miss majoring in both English and Journalism.

To stay current with all Delta State University news, visit

Fighting Okra battles online

By | Communications and Marketing, Students | No Comments

The Fighting Okra recently went head-to-head in a battle on Twitter for the title of Greatest College Mascot.

Out of 32 colleges across the nation, Delta State’s Okra made it to the final four. Voting was solely fan based and was calculated by number of retweets or favorites received.

The handle @BracketBattles held the online competition, and the Delta State family joined together to bring the Fighting Okra to the top. More than 2,250 votes were cast for the Okra, and among the mascots defeated were the Florida State University Chief Osecloa, the University of Georgia Bulldog, and Pee Dee the Pirate of East Carolina University.

The Okra fell short on retweets to the Virginia Tech University Hokie Bird, which went on to win the title Greatest College Mascot.

This is not the first time the student-adopted mascot has received national attention. The Fighting Okra has been featured on The David Letterman Show, The Food Network, in Playboy magazine and on numerous blogs and sites including SB Nation, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, ESPN and MSN NOW. The Okra even has its own website –

Follow @deltastate on Twitter for news, announcements, photos and more.

CommMark honored with national awards

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Delta State University’s Office of Communications and Marketing was recently named among the top in the nation in the 2014/2015 Collegiate Advertising Awards program.

The CAA is an elite program recognizing higher education organizations for excellence in communications, marketing, advertising and promotions of their schools.

This year’s competition had more than 900 entries from across the United States representing a diverse plethora of educational facilities from small community colleges to very large schools and universities.

“It’s a true honor for our department to be recognized for the hard work we put in,” said Laura Walker, graphic designer and brand manager. “We went head-to-head with schools of all sizes around the country, so it’s exciting to receive recognition on a national level.”

Delta State took home three medals in the contest: a silver for “Delta Music Institute: Bootcamp Booklet” (in conjunction with design firm Mothlite Media); a silver for “photOKRAphy,” a semi-daily collection of photos captured on campus or at events; and a bronze for the design of “Freshman Viewbook.”

All submissions were reviewed and scored by a national panel of industry experts, with a possibility of 100 total points. Participant’s entries competed against similar-sized organizations in their specific groups and categories.

Awards were issued for entries that received top marks from judges placing them in the top 16 percent of the nation for educational advertising excellence. Judging criteria included creativity, layout and design, functionality, message effectiveness, production quality and overall appeal.

Representing all areas of communications, medias, marketing, advertising and promotions, the 2014/2015 Collegiate Advertising Awards program contained some of the best advertising projects arguably in the world.

All winners are posted on the Collegiate Advertising Awards website at