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Faculty/Staff

A group of faculty from Anyang Institute of Technology in China recently arrived at Delta State for a two-week exchange program.

Delta State welcomes Chinese delegation

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

A group of nine faculty members from Anyang Institute of Technology in Anyang, China are visiting Delta State for an intensive two-week exchange program, as both universities will explore future international exchanges.

The trip, being coined as China Summer Camp, is the result of a partnership that Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, helped form after visiting AIT earlier this year.

The AIT delegation, which arrived July 3, will be on campus until July 16, and their visit will focus on exploring U.S. higher education, Southern culture and study abroad opportunities for students.

The first week has focused on specific aspects of Delta State and Mississippi Delta Chinese heritage. The second week will mainly pertain to U.S. business practices, community tours and events.

“I am very excited for Delta State to hold its first summer camp for Chinese faculty,” said McAdams. “This training workshop is another result of the partnership agreement we established with AIT this past spring during my recent trip to China. We are partnering with AIT in order to attract their students who wish to finish their degree at an American university.

“We also provide summer training workshops for faculty to help them understand our educational system in hopes that they will send their students here to study. Our plan is to have a camp next summer for students to help them prepare for studying in an American university. These camps are a benefit to their students and to DSU.”

McAdams added that not only is there a potential for increasing enrollment, but Delta State is also providing the opportunity for its students and faculty to learn about other cultures though direct contact with Chinese faculty and students.

“Dr. Christy Riddle and the Office of International Student Services in the Student Success Center, along with faculty in the College of Business, have done a fantastic job of planning and administering this workshop,” said McAdams.

Riddle is thrilled to host a new group of foreign visitors on campus, as Delta State continues to build its international relations.

“This visit is another opportunity for DSU to expand its international efforts to establish partnerships that will allow our students to study abroad,” said Riddle. “We hope this is the beginning of continued collaboration. We are designing a summer camp for next summer to host students from China who are interested in studying abroad at DSU in the fall of 2017. Additionally, we plan to formalize the partnership to encourage international exchange opportunities for DSU faculty, students and staff.”

This is the first trip to the U.S. for all of the AIT faculty participants, all of whom are business faculty. Their fields include: management, marketing, logistics management, accounting, finance, business negotiations, international trade, and electronic commerce.

Yupeng Li, an AIT participant in the camp, has enjoyed the experience thus far.

“Our city in China is actually very similar,” said Li. “And I find many things in common with our universities too. We see that everything is about agriculture in Mississippi, and our province is the same. The people here are very friendly and generous. I really like it.”

Anyang is one of China’s most historic cities, and is considered one of China’s seven ancient capitals. Similar to the Mississippi Delta, Anyang has been a long-time regional agricultural center.

AIT was founded in 1983, and is a non-profit public higher education institution. The university offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in arts and humanities, business and social sciences, language and culture, medicine and health, engineering, and science and technology.

Top-Counseling-Schools-Best-Value-2016

Counseling master’s program ranked top value

By | Academics, College of Education and Human Sciences, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

A new ranking from www.topcounselingschools.org placed Delta State’s master’s counseling program as the top value in Mississippi.

The ranking was created using the online directory of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs to find the accredited counseling programs across the state. TCS ranked the schools based on their program completion rate, job placement rate, licensing exam pass rate, accreditation length, research productivity, and tuition and fees.

According to TCS, Delta State was worthy of the top spot based on the university’s unbeatable tuition rates. Additionally, superior student performance was highlighted, with the most recent round of data showing DSU students passing the national licensing exam and landing jobs with 100 percent success rates.

Small class sizes and a friendly environment have led some industry professionals to label the program “a little jewel among counseling education programs,” the ranking stated.

Also mentioned was the annual F.E. Woodall Spring Conference for Helping Professions, which offers experiential workshops, information sessions and networking opportunities.

Top Counseling Schools’ purpose is to contribute to the academic mission of higher learning institutions by providing pertinent and objective information that counseling students and professionals find relevant to the field of counseling.

See the full list at http://www.topcounselingschools.org/masters/in/mississippi.

Welcoming Delta State’s new VP for Student Affairs

By | Faculty/Staff, President | No Comments
Joining President LaForge is Dr. Vernell Bennett, Delta State University’s new Vice President for Student Affairs.

Dr. Bennett officially began her role this past week, but has been on campus for several weeks meeting with staff and officials. She will be responsible for providing leadership and administrative direction to a comprehensive Student Affairs Division.
Dr. Bennett comes to Delta State after previously serving in the same role at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. Her extensive experience at KSU enabled her to foster collaborations between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, faculty, staff, students, the administration and community. She holds a doctorate in administration from the University of Kentucky, received her master’s from Eastern Michigan University, and her bachelor degree from Fisk University. Additionally, she has a background in teaching music courses, including voice instruction, elements of music, phonetics and diction.
Tarnisha Smith

Smith named Employee of the Month

By | Faculty/Staff | No Comments

The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Tarnisha Smith, coordinator of university facility reservations and calendar, as the June 2016 Employee of the Month.

Smith, a native of Drew, has been working in the Office of Student Life since 2013.

I was completely shocked when I received the award,” said Smith. “I really feel like Delta State is home, so this was just icing on the cake for me.”

Outside of work, Smith enjoys spending time with her children and family.    

Each Employee of the Month winner receives a plaque, monetary award, WalMart gift card from the Student Government Association, 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.

For an archived list of previous winners, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/about-dsu/administration/staff-council/staff-council-employee-of-the-month/employee-of-the-month-archives/

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.

Dr. E.E. "Butch" Caston

University recognizes Caston’s career

By | College of Education and Human Sciences, Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State University is paying tribute to one of its most dedicated retiring employees — Dr. E.E. “Butch” Caston.

Caston, a graduate of Delta State in 1966, retires Friday after serving as interim vice president for Student Affairs since July of 2015. He has come out of retirement multiple times to serve interim roles for the institution.

“I’m looking forward to returning to retirement,” said Caston. “I have a good feeling about our accomplishments this year.”

Caston first made his professional mark at the university by serving as dean of the College of Education from 1989-2002.

“The one thing that I found coming to Delta State initially as a student, was that it’s a close and accepting environment,” said Caston. “Many years later, returning as an employee, I found that quality still existed, and it still does today.”

Caston said he leaves Delta State with nothing but pride for the university that has been a part of his life for decades.

“I’m a product of the university. I came here as a student. Delta State held me up until I could grow up. I’ll always be grateful for that,” he said.

He returned to the university in 2013 at the request of President William N. LaForge to serve as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. His return in 2015 followed the retirement of Dr. Wayne Blansett, who served the university for 40 years.

“Butch Caston has evidenced outstanding service to Delta State by coming out of retirement twice, first in 2013 as provost, and in 2015 as vice president for Student Affairs,” said LaForge. “He was incredibly successful in both posts. The Delta State family, and I in particular, will be eternally grateful to him for his dedication and loyalty. He was on outstanding member of Delta State leadership for years. I deeply appreciate him for his commitment of time and effort to the university.

“I’ve joked with him already, but I wish him better luck in his next effort at retiring.”

President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt, who worked with Caston when he was dean, echoed LaForge’s praise.

“Delta State University was fortunate to attract Dr. Butch Caston back to his alma mater when he accepted administrative roles in the College of Education,” said Wyatt. “Through his leadership and innovative ideas, he helped make Delta State University the outstanding regional university it is today. Dr. Caston’s love for Delta State has been continuous and an inspiration to all. After retirement, he stepped forward in top administrative roles when his all alma mater needed him. Personally, I want to thank Butch for his loyalty and never failing friendship.”

Dr. Michelle Roberts, vice president for University Relations and Chief of Staff, said she will greatly miss Caston’s presence on campus.

“I have had the opportunity to watch Dr. Caston excel in many different areas at Delta State, and in every role, he has shined,” said Roberts. “But, in my view, his role as vice president of Student Affairs has been his crowning moment. He was a natural when it came to working with students. It’s like his personal family grew to include the thousands of Delta State students as his children.”

“Dr. Caston did not play the typical interim role,” added Roberts. “He did not view this position as simply keeping a seat warm. He rolled up his sleeves, and was determined to leave Delta State a better place than he found it. His love and passion for Delta State, our students, and this community are admirable, and the service he has provided our university has been extraordinary. Dr. Caston exemplifies the spirit of the Delta State family, and he is indeed a true Statesmen.”

Mikel Sykes, a senior at Delta State, has worked closely with Dr. Caston, most recently during Sykes’s two terms as Student Government Association president.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Dr. Caston the past couple of years, especially seeing how much he cares about the student experience,” said Sykes. “He’s been a leader I’ve looked up to during my time in the SGA. We all wish him the best in retirement.”

Taking over for Caston is Dr. Vernell Bennett. Bennett arrives at Delta State after previously serving in the same role at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. Her extensive experience at KSU enabled her to foster collaborations between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, faculty, staff, students, the administration and community.

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