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Faculty/Staff

Biology credits available for new course in Bangladesh

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

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

The new three-credit study abroad course will take place during the winter intersession Dec. 11-23 and is open to students from any major. Community members are also welcome to sign up for the trip. The official name for the class is BIO 492: Tropical Field Biology.

The two-week field experience will provide hands-on practice in the ecology and conservation of unique wildlife species in two highly biodiverse ecosystems — Lawachara National Park, a tropical evergreen forest in northeastern Bangladesh, and the Sundarbans Reserved Forest, the world’s largest mangrove forest in southwestern Bangladesh.

“The overall objective of the course is to introduce students to tropical wildlife and their habitats, taxonomy, natural history and biogeography, with an emphasis on the conservation challenges and prospects faced by these animals,” said Reza. “Best of all, students will be offered truly unique field experiences not available in a traditional classroom.”

Additional topics covered will include wildlife monitoring, evergreen forest ecology, mangrove forest and estuarine ecology, and applied conservation biology. During the course, theory will be delivered through lectures and in-house discussions, followed by hands-on activities to practice field methodologies.

The fee for the course is $2,600 and includes the following:

  • Food and lodging for the entire course
  • Round-trip travel to Sundarbans Reserve Forest and Lawachara National Parks within Bangladesh
  • Experienced instructors and field equipment

The course fee does not include:

  • International travel to and from Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Travel or health insurance (proof of health insurance is required for course attendance)
  • Rubber boots, binoculars, flashlight and insect repellent (all of which are required to take this course)

Reza said those interested in attending should explore potential scholarship opportunities at https://fieldprojects.org/participate/courses-2/scholarships/. The deadline for scholarship applications is Oct. 15.

For more information, visit https://fieldprojects.org/course/bangladesh/. For questions and trip information, contact Reza at areza@deltastate.edu.

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Yarbrough named Employee of the Month

By | Faculty/Staff | No Comments

The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Teresa Yarbrough, administrative secretary/grants coordinator for the College of Education and Human Sciences, as the September 2017 Employee of the Month.

She has been working at the university for nine years.

Yarbrough is married to her husband Scott, and together they have five children and eight grandchildren. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to watch her grandchildren play sports, refurbishing furniture, baking and sewing.

Made up of volunteers from the Staff Council, the Incentives & Recognition committee meets monthly to review nominations for the Employee of the Month award. The committee has been celebrating staff performance in this manner for over 15 years.

Delta State’s Staff Council serves as a liaison between the administration and the staff to provide a formal process for staff to discuss issues involving university policies and procedures and to forward ideas, recommendations and opinions to the president.

Delta State and MDNHA receive National Park Service Centennial Awards

By | Delta Center, Faculty/Staff | No Comments
Pictured (l to r): Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs; Dr. Rolando Herts, director, The Delta Center for Culture and Learning and Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area; William N. LaForge, president, Delta State University; Fonce’ Bates, acting superintendent, Vicksburg Military Park; and Dr. Myrtis Tabb, board chair, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. Photo by Will Jacks.

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area recently received 2016 National Park Service Centennial Awards for creating the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership.

The cultural heritage interpretation project has honored the lives of unsung Mississippi Delta 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 the MDNHA was the only National Heritage Area to receive a NPS Centennial Award this year.

“The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and The Delta Center demonstrated exceptional leadership and creativity in organizing 15 community gatherings with Alysia Burton Steele and several of the Delta Jewels featured in the book,” said Chris Abbett, associate regional director of partnerships, interpretation and education at the National Park Service Southeast Regional Office. “The programs throughout Mississippi, as well as the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, D.C., connected with and helped to create the next generation of visitors, supporters and advocates for the National Park Service.”

“We are honored to receive this esteemed recognition from the National Park Service for this important cultural heritage development project,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center and executive director of the MDNHA. “The fact that Delta State and the MDNHA are acknowledged together truly demonstrates the power of partnerships and collaboration when telling the Delta’s story.”

For 18 months in 2015 and 2016, the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership’s community gatherings engaged over 1,000 Mississippi Delta residents, visitors and supporters. The gatherings took place in diverse, welcoming venues throughout the state including universities, churches and tourism and cultural centers.

Delta State President William N. LaForge said he was thrilled with the NPS recognition.

“I am very pleased that Delta State’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning, along with our partner the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, are recipients of the United States National Park Service Centennial Award. This recognition helps validate the good work the center and the MDNHA are doing here at Delta State and througought the Mississippi Delta.”

“We are thrilled with the results of the Delta Jewels partnership,” said Dr. Myrtis Tabb, chair of the MDNHA. “This program was one of our very first and was extremely successful right off the bat. We are eager to build upon that success with continued partnerships that will help share the diverse stories of the Mississippi Delta.”

The Delta Center has continued to give presentations with Steele in 2017. These presentations have focused on community impacts documented in the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership 2015-2016 Report.

Recent presentations include the National Heritage Areas Southeast Region workshop in Atlanta, Georgia; the Smithsonian African American Interpretation Workshop in Charleston, South Carolina; the NPS Collaboration Clinic in Biloxi, Mississippi; and the Association for African American Museums conference in Washington, D.C. In addition, Herts and Steele have been invited to present at the upcoming Oral History Association conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“We have used the report as an interpretive and educational resource, which enhances the storytelling experience,” said Steele, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalism professor at the University of Mississippi. “In addition to photos from the community events, the report includes survey results from participants. An overall program rating of 4.9 out of 5 clearly indicates that sharing the Delta Jewels’ oral histories have had positive impacts in the communities we engaged.”

The MDNHA and The Delta Center commemorated the 2016 NPS Centennial through other projects and events. Together, they organized an opening reception with Delta State University’s 2015 Winning the Race conference featuring former NPS director Bob Stanton.

In addition, the MDNHA Passport to Your National Parks program attracted NPS Centennial travelers, and a MDNHA promotional video was screened at a NPS Centennial film festival in Atlanta. Since its release, the video has been viewed over 20,000 times on social media.

To download the Delta Jewel Oral History Partnership 2015-2016 report, visit The Delta Center’s publications webpage at http://deltacenterdsu.com/publications/. To view the MDNHA promo video, visit the MDNHA website at http://www.msdeltaheritage.com/.

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 and the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshops.

Faculty to be recognized for new books

By | Academics, Community, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Delta State University Provost Dr. Charles McAdams invites the public to a faculty book signing and celebration Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. in the Student Union room 302A.

Faculty to be recognized include Dr. Brent Pimentel, Mike Smith and Andrew Wegmann.

McAdams started the recognition program in the spring of 2015 to recognize faculty authors from the previous academic year. The first recipient of this recognition was Dr. Ethan Schmidt for his book, “The Divided Dominion: Social Conflict and Indian Hatred in Early Virginia.”

“Publication of a book represents a milestone in an academic’s career,” said McAdams. “Writing and publishing a book takes a considerable amount of time and effort. Celebrating this achievement is a way to recognize faculty for this work and achievement, and it sends a message to students that scholarship in one’s chosen field is valued. All research conducted by faculty demonstrates for our students what it means to be engaged in our discipline, and it underscores the expertise of our outstanding faculty.”

Pimentel, associate professor of music, published “Woodwind Basics: Core Concepts for Playing and Teaching Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Saxophone.” The book is a fresh, no-nonsense approach to woodwind technique. It outlines the principles common to playing all of the woodwind instruments and explains their application to each one.

Mike Smith, associate professor of English, published “And There Was Evening and There Was Morning.” The work tracks the loss of Smith’s first wife to cancer after the birth of their second child, offering a portrait of marriage, family and tragedy. In honest and at times darkly comic terms, Smith documents the strange set of coincidences between his first wife’s illness and his stepdaughter’s similar battle the year his second marriage began, and examines blended families, remarriage, helping children find ways to cope with the loss of a parent, and the influence of spirituality upon loss.

Andrew Wegmann, assistant professor of history, published “U.S. History: A Top Hat Interactive Text.” The work is the first and only full-length, truly interactive textbook on the market. It combines a detailed, peer-reviewed narrative history of the United States with interactive maps, videos, images and review questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. It provides students different ways to engage the material, all of which was written using the most up-to-date scholarship as well as original research. As a result, the book exposes students to active and evolving scholarship in a form that targets understanding rather than memorization.

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

 

CEO of Memphis International Airport lecture set for Nov. 1

By | Academics, Aviation, College of Business and Aviation, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments
Scott A. Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis International Airport

 

Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation will host president and CEO of the Memphis International Airport, Scott A. Brockman, for a Lunch and Learn event Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. in Gibson-Gunn room 129-130.

Brockman joined the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority in June 2003. He was appointed the authority’s president and CEO in 2014 after having previously served as its executive vice president and COO.

Additionally, Brockman took office in May 2017 as chair of the American Association of Airport Executives. Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world’s largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE represents over 5,500 members, 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry.

Over Mr. Brockman’s 32-year career, he has also held executive management positions with Tucson International Airport, Des Moines International Airport, and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Prior to starting his aviation career, he spent several years with a CPA firm in Sarasota, Florida.

In 2012, an economic impact study by the Univer­sity of Memphis demonstrated that the Memphis International Airport had an annual economic impact of $23.3 billion. It is the busiest cargo airport in the Western Hemisphere and the second busiest cargo airport in the world.

Brockman’s Lunch and Learn event was arranged by Mahi Cosfis Chambers ’86, a Delta State College of Business graduate. Chambers has been instrumental over the years in identifying commercial aviation scholarships for minority and female students at Delta State.

Following the event, Brockman will speak at the Cleveland Rotary Club.

For more information on Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation/.