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Faculty/Staff

Loper honored as Employee of the Month

By | Faculty/Staff | No Comments

The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Rhonda Loper, articulation specialist, as the May 2017 Employee of the Month.

Loper began working at Delta State in October of 2012 as a research and information specialist in the Office of Institutional Research & Planning.

“My journey at DSU began in the fall of 2009 when I began pursuing my undergraduate degree,” said Loper. “This October, I will celebrate five years of employment here. During my time of employment, I have been privileged to work with some of the greatest people I know. I am honored that my small contributions were deemed worthy of this honor. Working together for a better DSU!”

In her free time, Loper enjoys spending time with her family, especially with her little grandson, Milo Alexander Lee.

Each Employee of the Month winner receives a plaque, monetary award, an engraved insulated coffee mug, a free parking decal courtesy of the campus police department, a box of treats from The Sweetery, a parking spot of their choice, marquee announcement and website recognition.

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.

Alumni and Admissions team up for social media campaign

By | Admissions, Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

A partnership between the Delta State University National Alumni Association and the Office of Admissions has created a fun initiative for incoming freshmen and transfer students.

The digital campaign created by the National Alumni Association, #deltastatebound, aims to promote awareness of the Delta State family culture to future Statesmen and alumni, as well as promote and engage a positive life-long alumni experience.

For those who have been admitted and have decided to continue their higher education at Delta State, the Alumni Association designed and provided yard sign gifts for the students as a celebratory ‘send off’ from their current residence. Using the hashtag #deltastatebound, students take to social media to share photos with the sign, letting the world know they’re coming to Delta State in the fall.

“The campaign is giving the new students a way to brand their commitment to Delta State. New students are having fun with the signs, which feature the Fighting Okra and Statesman mascots,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Relations. “We are also excited to compliment Admissions’ goal of providing students with an atmosphere that fosters commitment and a sense of belonging.”

Melissa Love, assistant director of Alumni Relations, added, “The impact of the campaign through social media outlets has been fantastic. Since our campaign began, the hashtag has been used by admitted students and Delta State officials through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These posts have gained thousands of likes and have collectively been shared dozens of times, including being shared by Mississippi Today. Analytics of our own social media accounts report reach totals of several thousand. This doesn’t include measurements from individuals who have posted the hashtag.”

Although primarily a digital campaign, the yard signs are being seen in neighborhoods across the state, additionally promoting Delta State pride.

Students interested in enrolling at Delta State may apply online at www.deltastate.edu/apply, and campus visits may be scheduled at www.deltastate.edu/visit. Students who have submitted an application may check their status by logging in to their student account any time or by calling 662-846-4020.

For more information on the admissions process or admitted student events, contact the Office of Admissions at 662-846-4020 or email admissions@deltastate.edu.

For more information on the National Alumni Association, call 662-846-4660 or email alumni@deltastate.edu. To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Save the dates: Pig Pickin’ (October 7) and Homecoming (November 11).

Fulcher named Special Assistant to the President for Donor Relations

By | Alumni, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, President | No Comments

Delta State University President William N. LaForge and DSU Foundation President Tim Harvey recently announced that Keith Fulcher, executive director of Delta State University Alumni and Foundation, is moving into a new role as Special Assistant to the President for Donor Relations.

In the position, Fulcher will provide strategic leadership in support of the president for fundraising efforts around institutional initiatives of the highest value and priority to Delta State.

Reporting to LaForge and serving as a member of the Advancement Senior Leadership Team, Fulcher will develop and execute coordinated strategies aimed at maximizing the engagement and philanthropic support of the university’s top prospective donors.

Fulcher has served in the executive director role for Alumni-Foundation since 2003.

“I am extremely pleased to continue my 21 years of service to Delta State University in this new role,” Fulcher said. “Private support is key to the future of the University. It is my goal to identify, cultivate, and invite Alumni and friends to consider Delta State as one of their top charitable causes to support. Taking philanthropic giving to unprecedented levels will ensure that the quality of instruction that Delta State is known for is maintained and enhanced for future generations.”

The news comes on the heels of Delta State announcing upcoming plans for a major private fundraising campaign. The campaign will allow Delta State to continue its efforts to boost student success and enrichment, academic excellence, and cultural and social heritage.

“As Delta State approaches the major endeavor of a fundraising campaign, we’re making every effort to organize ourselves for success,” said LaForge. “I am pleased to announce that Keith Fulcher will become the full-time Special Assistant to the President for Donor Relations. This move will allow Keith to focus on cultivation of donors and prospects, and to engage in the advancement of our capital campaign interests over the next several years. I am thrilled he has agreed to take on this new role, and I look forward to working with him.”

Harvey is also thrilled with Fulcher’s new responsibilities.

“This campaign will be one of the most significant initiatives in the 92-year history of Delta State, and having Keith focus all his energy and vast experience working directly with President LaForge on the campaign is critical in creating the results that will be crucial to Delta State for years to come.”

Fulcher received his Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education degree from Delta State in 1983 and a Master of Education in 1985, also from Delta State.

He will commence his new duties over the next few weeks during which time the management of the Alumni-Foundation office will transition to a visiting consultant, who will serve as Interim Executive Director through the end of the calendar year.  The consultant selected for the interim role is Patrick Hundley, and he joins Delta State from the REGISTRY for College and University Presidents, an organization that provides experienced higher educational professionals on a part-time basis.  Hundley will commence his duties next week.  University and Foundation officials will conduct a search later in the year for a permanent Executive Director.

To give to Delta State, visit deltastategiving.org.

Newman honored for campus and community contributions

By | Academics, Archives, Athletics, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments
Erin Newman ’17

First attracted to Delta State’s swim program, recent graduate Erin Newman began her college career as a quiet freshman, but quickly found her voice through her passion for history.

Her professors are most impressed by her spirited discussions with both upperclassmen and instructors.

“She uses evidence to support logical arguments, proves her point in a quiet but effective manner, and often persuades others to embrace her perspective,” said Dr. Charles Westmoreland, assistant professor of history.

Given her stellar performance in the classroom, Erin has amassed a variety of academic honors at Delta State. Most recently, she was the recipient of the 2017 Jack Winton Gunn Award at this year’s College of Arts and Sciences awards program.

The Gunn Award is given for overall academic excellence in honor of the former dean of the university, and it is among the highest awards presented at Delta State.

Outside the classroom, Newman has also played an important role in preserving the history of Delta State and the surrounding region.

In the summer of 2015, she interned with University Archives and Museum, an experience which allowed her to assist in the development of the DSU 90th Anniversary Exhibit. Additionally, she has been a key contributor to two exhibits on sports history and culture, one of which was a Smithsonian traveling exhibit on display on campus in the fall of 2016.

In 2016, Newman took on extensive responsibilities in historical interpretation and preservation by serving as the program director at the Amzie Moore House Museum and Interpretive Center, a Cleveland historic site that interprets the life and legacy of civil rights leader Amzie Moore. Her work with the museum involved leading group tours and engaging in community outreach programs.

Newman, right, works with James McBride, president of the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors, and Will Hooker, Bolivar County administrator.

Newman, right, works with James McBride, president of the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors, and Will Hooker, Bolivar County administrator.

“Erin has made significant contributions to our mission to expand the legacy of Amzie Moore and the work of the civil rights movement in the Mississippi Delta,” said Will Hooker, Bolivar County administrator.

Emily Jones, university archivist, is grateful for Newman’s contributions to campus and community.

“From the beginning, Erin demonstrated initiative and a desire to learn more about the field of archive and museum studies,” said Jones. ”She has soaked up every opportunity, and now that hard work and drive is taking her down an amazing career path.”

Recently, Newman was accepted into the Museum Studies program at the University of Leicester in England, where she has been awarded a President’s Post-Graduate Scholarship for International Students.

To complement her formidable academic talents and community service, she has been a valued member of the Delta State swim team. She has served in a leadership capacity as the vice-chair of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for the Gulf South Conference.

“Both inside and beyond the classroom, she has helped peers and younger colleagues as they seek to balance the challenges of academics and athletic competition,” added Jones. “Despite practicing several hours a day for the past four years, Erin has been one of the most accomplished students on this campus. She is a model scholar and campus citizen who has taken a vested interested in serving Cleveland and the entire region.”

Follow news of student success at Delta State at www.deltastate.edu.

Hit songwriters to make Delta return for DMI benefit

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The Delta Music Institute Entertainment Industry Studies program at Delta State University will host its second “Writers in the Round” show on May 18 at the Delta Meat Market in downtown Cleveland.

The show will be held at 6 p.m. and will feature three-time GRAMMY® winner Ashley Cleveland, Dove award winner and writer of “Mary, Did You Know?,” Buddy Greene, A-Team Nashville session player Jeff Taylor, and DMI Director Tricia Walker.

The event serves as a fundraiser for DMI scholarships and programming.

“An ‘in the round’ songwriter show features professional songwriters in an intimate circular setting made famous at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee,” said Walker, who was one of the mainstays of the venue during her years as a singer-songwriter in Music City. “It’s a wonderful way to experience the power and emotion of great songs sung by the writers themselves.”

Ashley Cleveland is a GRAMMY and Dove Award winner who has released eight critically acclaimed albums. “God Don’t Never Change” features songs rooted firmly in a host of traditions — black spirituals, folk songs, 18th century hymns, gospel blues and jubilee. The disc was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album.

Buddy Greene has worked with the most celebrated names in the music industry, among them Bill and Gloria Gaither, the late Jerry Reed, and Mark Lowry, with whom he wrote the Christmas classic “Mary, Did You Know?”  The song has been recorded numerous times, including covers by Kenny Rogers, Wynonna, Natalie Cole, Glen Campbell, Kathy Mattea, CeeLo Green, Clay Aiken and Pentatonix. Greene has performed for more than a quarter of a million people in New York’s Central Park and has been a part of Praise Gatherings for more than two decades and toured all over the world.

Jeff Taylor grew up in Batavia, New York, and studied classical piano at the Eastman School of Music. He has lived in Nashville since 1990 and counts among his performing highlights his two years as bandleader at the Ryman Auditorium for the musical production “Always, Patsy Cline,” the Skaggs Family Christmas Tour, and many appearances on the Grand Ole Opry backing numerous artists. He has recorded with Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Harry Connick Jr., Amy Grant, George Strait, Vince Gill and The Chieftains. He was a featured artist on the 2007 GRAMMY-winning Best Bluegrass Album, Ricky Skaggs “Instrumentals”. In addition to excelling on accordion and piano, he also shines on the concertina, penny whistle, mandolin and bouzouki.

Seating is limited to 85 seats. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Delta Music Institute office at 662-846-4579 between 8 a.m. and noon Monday-Thursday.

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. For information, visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.