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International Business Symposium returns March 28-29

By | Academics, College of Business and Aviation, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University’s College of Business and Aviation will host the 13th annual International Business Symposium on campus March 28-29. Events will kick off at 3 p.m. March 28 at the Baioni Conference Center in Broom Hall. The theme this year is “Dream Big, Achieve Bigger.”

The annual symposium is sponsored by David and Sherry Abney, Mississippi Delta natives who currently reside in Atlanta. David Abney, a 1976 graduate of DSU, began his career as a part-time United Parcel Service (UPS) package loader while in college. He now serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board for UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company. Abney is the eleventh CEO in the 107-year-history of UPS.

“Sherry and I wanted to do something meaningful for the Delta. By bringing global leaders onto campus and sharing their experiences with students, I believe we’ll be able to expand Delta State students’ horizons in how they see and prepare for their futures,” Abney said in a previous Delta State interview.

Along with Abney, the schedule will feature four distinguished speakers, all Delta State graduates:

*Laird Hamberlin: Hamberlin returns to the symposium to share his expertise. He received his bachelor’s in business administration from Delta State before going on to become the vice president of sales and commercial for Terminix (a division of ServiceMaster). Prior to being an equity investor of ServiceMaster and taking the company public in June 2014, he worked for various conglomerates including UTC Climate, Controls and Security, where he served as president of the access controls division.
*Karen Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald is an independent consultant and Lexus achiever with Rodan+Fields, a premium skincare company, in which she leads a team of over 1,200 people who produced over $4.8 million in sales in 2017. She is a Greenville native and completed her degree at Delta State in 2007 in food and nutrition sciences. Fitzgerald began working with Rodan+Fields in 2011, and has since risen to the top two percent of the company.
*Rodney Francis: Francis is the director of human resources for the Nissan North America vehicle facility in Canton, Mississippi. A native of Conroe, Texas, Francis has been a resident of Mississippi for more than 20 years. He received his Bachelor of Science and MBA from Delta State, where he also lettered in basketball. He began his career in HR at Baxter Healthcare in Cleveland, and after years of progressive growth in the profession, he joined the Nissan HR team in 2014.
*Danny Lipe: Lipe has provided value-added strategic guidance, effective management and high-level finance solutions throughout his career in banking and finance. Lipe is a 1985 graduate of Delta State a bachelor’s in accounting. In 1997, he obtained his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. His career has included senior level positions in various industries including furniture retail, investment brokerage, banking and poultry. Originally from Greenville, Lipe resides in Miami, Florida.

The 2018 International Business Symposium is free and open to public. For more information, contact Zina Taran at 662-846-4190 or email ztaran@deltastate.edu.

Smith, founder of FedEx, to provide Colloquia address March 21

By | Community, President | No Comments

The Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series continues this semester featuring Frederick W. Smith, the founder, chairman and CEO of FedEx, originally known as Federal Express.

Smith’s speech, titled “Airplanes, Robots, and Digging with Spoons: Innovation at FedEx,” will begin at 6 p.m. on March 21 in the Jobe Auditorium on campus.

Smith, a native of Marks, Mississippi, left the South in 1962 to enter the prestigious Yale University. At Yale, he wrote a paper for an economics class outlining overnight delivery service in a computer information age — and thus began his early ideas for FedEx.

After graduation, Smith was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving for three years (1966-1969) as a platoon leader and a forward air controller. As a Marine, Smith had the opportunity to observe the military’s logistics system firsthand. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, flying with pilots on over 200 combat missions. He was honorably discharged in 1969 with the rank of Captain, having received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

In 1970, Smith purchased the controlling interest in an aircraft maintenance company, Ark Aviation Sales, and by 1971, turned its focus to trading used jets. On June 18, 1971, Smith founded Federal Express with his $4 million inheritance and raised $91 million in venture capital.

With the creation of Federal Express, Smith not only offered an alternative to the mail, and more traditional and slower delivery services, but he also created an industry that almost single-handedly changed the way business was conducted. In the process, Smith’s company became the first American business to earn $10 billion in profits.

Along with his endless guidance at FedEx, Smith has served on the boards of several large public companies, as well as the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Mayo Foundation boards. He was formerly chairman of the Board of Governors for the International Air Transport Association and the U.S. Air Transport Association.

In addition, Smith is also a co-owner of the Washington Redskins National Football League team.

Delta State President William N. LaForge established the Colloquia program when taking office in 2013. The platform is an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers. William F. Winter, former Mississippi governor, was honored as the first speaker in 2013.

LaForge said the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series is another commitment to bringing excellence to Delta State.

“The university colloquia program gives our institution a chance to hear from and engage with experts from a wide array of professions and interests,” said LaForge. “It especially allows our students and faculty to rub elbows with professionals and resources we sometimes have the rare opportunity to engage. Great universities have great programs, and this is one.”

Those unable to attend the event can view the live stream speech online through the university’s official LiveStream channel: https://livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity.

Learn more about the series at www.deltastate.edu/president/colloquia.

QEP announces slate of March events

By | Academics, Community, Faculty/Staff, QEP, Winning the Race | No Comments

Delta State University’s Quality Enhancement Plan recently announced a full schedule of events for the month of March.

The highlight event, the fifth annual Winning The Race Race race relations conference, takes place March 26-27. Registration for the award-winning conference is now open at: http://www.deltastate.edu/winning-the-race/registration.

The conference is free and open to the public thanks to generous donations from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Mississippi Humanities Council, campus groups,and individuals. Registration is required for all conference attendees. Online registration is open until March 12. Registration after March 12 will take place on site, March 26-27, at the Bologna Performing Art Center.

Featured speakers and breakout sessions include keynote speakers Kevin Powell and Dave Dennis, a concert by Marco Pavé, a Delta State faculty forum and sessions focusing on education, community, culture, social justice, civil rights, law and economic opportunities. For more information, contact Dr. Temika Simmons at tsimmons@deltastate.edu or Dr. Chuck Westmoreland at cwestmoreland@deltastate.edu.

Other upcoming events include:

March 1-31 – Donation Drive for Domestic Violence Shelter
·         Donation boxes for Our House, Inc., a domestic violence center in Greenville, Mississippi, have been placed on the first floors of the Union, Kethley, Jobe, Kent Wyatt and the Roberts-LaForge Library. The goal of the project is to collect toiletries, paper products, bedding, non-perishable and non-expired food, and cleaning supplies to support Our House’s efforts.
·         Event sponsor: DSU QEP
·         For more information, contact Alexas Hayes at ahayes@deltastate.edu

March 7 – NO MORE Week
·         From NO MORE website: NO MORE is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action and fueling cultural change. NO MORE unites and strengthens a diverse, global community to help end domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse. Launched in 2013, NO MORE brings together the largest coalition of advocacy groups, service providers, governmental agencies, major corporations, universities, communities and individuals, all under a common brand and a unifying symbol in support of a world free of violence.
·         NO MORE Selfie Station from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DSU Student Union, first floor
·        ” The Mask You Live In” film screening at 6 p.m. at Baioni Conference Center.  The film follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while navigating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
·         Event sponsors: Upsilon Delta Delta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and DSU QEP
·         The events are free and open to the public.
·         For more information, contact Linda Stringfellow at lstringfellow@deltastate.edu

March 5-9 – The Pulsera Project

·         The Pulsera Project is a Fair Trade nonprofit organization that empowers and educates people in the U.S. and Central America through pulsera sales. Pulseras are hand-woven bracelets. Student and teacher volunteers raise funds that benefit fair trade jobs, worker rights, sustainability and education, while learning about the culture, lives and struggles of Central Americans. The Pulsera Project’s goal is to create a more just and colorful world by encouraging conscious consumerism and social enterprise.
·         To learn more about pulseras and support artisans, visit: H.L Nowell Union, first floor, March 5 -6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and  Kethley 235, Language Lab, March 7-9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
·         Event sponsor: Division of Languages and Literature
·         For more information, please contact Sylma Ferreira at sferreira@deltastate.edu

March 14Professional Development Webinar: “Social Justice, Diversity & Inclusion in 2018 & Beyond: Use Context Before Content to Engage Across Differences”

·         Scheduled for 1 pm at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning Lab in Ewing 239
·         From webinar summary: “As a result of this webinar, you will be able to effectively assess and engage present dynamics on campus, with your organizations, teams, offices, etc. – help ensure the success, satisfaction and persistence of all students on campus; utilize the five components of context – be able to more effectively engage when dealing with issues of difference; and help your teams and others on campus to become “unstuck” in areas of difficult dialogue, conflict and resistance – critically assess, strategize and engage content matters that are impacting your campus.”
·         The event is open to DSU faculty and staff.
·         For more information, contact Michelle Johansen at mjohansen@deltastate.edu

Coming soon…
·         April 3 – The Clothesline Project
·         April 4-5 – Civil Rides, a three-day trek from the steps of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi, that follows in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to raise awareness around persistent rural poverty in America and advocate for racial justice and healing
·         April 5 – Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture featuring Dr. Stephen Berry, Gregory Professor of the Civil War Era in the Department of History at the University of Georgia. Berry’s lecture will explore his innovative digital history project, “CSI: Dixie.” https://csidixie.org/
·         April 10 – Equal Pay Day event

MDNHA, Delta Center share “Heart & Soul” of Mississippi Delta in D.C.

By | Alumni, College of Business and Aviation, Community, Delta Center, Delta Music Institute, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments
Senator Thad Cochran (second from right) recently enjoyed a visit with representatives from The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University. The meeting included a performance by Delta State graduate Keith Johnson (second from left), the great nephew of Muddy Waters. The Delta Center is the management entity for the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA). Also pictured (left to right) are Shelia Winters, DCCL program associate for projects; Dr. Rolando Herts, DCCL director and MDNHA executive director; Rhonda Price, executive director of Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area; and Lee Aylward, DCCL program associate for education and community outreach.

 

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University recently attended the Alliance of National Heritage Areas’ annual meeting on behalf of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. The meeting took place during Valentine’s Day week in Washington, D.C.

During the Alliance’s “Heart & Soul” congressional breakfast at the Rayburn House Office Building, the MDNHA and Delta State were honored for receiving National Park Service Centennial Awards for creating the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership. This cultural heritage interpretation project has engaged over 1,000 residents and visitors in honoring the lives of unsung African American church mothers featured in Alysia Burton Steele’s book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.”

Delta State was the only higher education institution and MDNHA is the only National Heritage Area in the country that received NPS Centennial Awards this year.

In recognition of the MDNHA’s rich cultural heritage, the Alliance of National Heritage Areas invited Keith Johnson, “Prince of the Delta Blues,” to be the featured performer at the “Heart & Soul” breakfast. A graduate of the Delta Music Institute at Delta State, Johnson is currently a graduate assistant in The Delta Center pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Delta State. He also is the great nephew of Delta Blues legend, Muddy Waters.

After the breakfast, the Delta delegation met with Mississippi legislators Senator Thad Cochran, Congressman Bennie Thompson and Senator Roger Wicker. They shared copies of the MDNHA’s 2014-2016 progress report and forthcoming economic impact study. During the visit with Cochran, they were joined by Rhonda Price, executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area.

Delta Center team members with Congressman Bennie Thompson

“I am very pleased that our team was able to thank Cochran, Thompson and Wicker in person for their continued support of National Heritage Areas,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center and executive director of the MDNHA. “The Mississippi Delta, Hills and Gulf Coast National Heritage Areas are acknowledged by so many of our colleagues and supporters for doing great work in the communities we proudly serve.”

Johnson was especially excited to visit Cochran’s office where he was invited to perform his song “Come to Mississippi.”

“The song explores the culture of the Mississippi Delta. It expresses the feeling of blues musicians that are from Mississippi and includes references to hit songs they have written,” said Johnson. “I wrote this song so that I could connect with the Delta’s heritage, which includes blues music and more. I am honored that Senator Cochran invited me to perform it for him.”

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit http://deltacenterdsu.com/.

The MDNHA is a cultural heritage partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service. Led by Herts, it includes

Delta Center team members in front of the U.S. Capitol building.

18 counties that contain land located in the alluvial floodplain of the Mississippi Delta: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo. The MDNHA was designated by U.S. Congress in 2009 and is governed by a board of directors representing agencies and organizations defined in the congressional legislation. More information about the MDNHA, including the complete approved management plan, is available at www.msdeltaheritage.com.

Seats available for “Petra and the Wolf”

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

Seats are still available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center for two productions of “Petra and the Wolf” on Feb. 20. Performances will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

The new work from Glass Half Full Theatre is inspired by the Prokofiev classic “Peter and Wolf,” and the show is recommended for 1st-8th grade audiences. A free study guide is available for download at www.bolognapac.com.

Sponsored locally by Entergy, “Petra and the Wolf” will feature large-scale puppetry and a new instrumental score written and performed live by Mother Falcon, a band NPR describes as “the little orchestra that can seemingly do the impossible.”

Tickets are $6 and can be reserved through the Arts Education office at the BPAC by calling 662-846-4844, or by emailing Cade Holder at cholder@deltastate.edu. Homeschool groups will be able to purchase tickets at the box office on the day of the performance.

The Arts Education office has less than 30 scholarship tickets remaining for the season, priced at $1 each. To inquire about eligibility and reserve scholarship tickets for students, contact Holder to check the availability of remaining scholarship ticket funds.