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Faculty/Staff

Elizabeth Joel

Joel named Employee of the Month

By | Faculty/Staff | No Comments

The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Elizabeth Joel, coordinator of Continuing Education, as the April 2016 Employee of the Month.

Joel, a native of Doddsville, has been a staff member at Delta State for nearly six years.

I am honored to receive Employee of the Month from my peers at Delta State,” said Joel. “I could not accomplish what I do without the support of the other staff members in Graduate and Continuing Studies, and those across campus who I work with on a daily basis.”

She is a 2005 Delta State graduate with a degree in fashion merchandising.

Joel currently resides in Cleveland with her husband, Jeff Joel, and their two children, Justin (12) and Anna James (3).    

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.

delta council exhibit 2016

DSU Fashion Students and Faculty Showcase Work at Delta Council

By | Delta Council, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State fashion merchandising students and faculty showcased some of their original cotton apparel designs at the recent meeting of the Delta Council.

According to Dr. Jan Haynes, Professor of Fashion Merchandising in the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences, these designs were created from upcycled materials, such as cotton sheets and were eco-dyed with natural dyes at a DSU cotton workshop in September, taught by Pat Brown, MFA. The students’ designs were then presented at the Cotton Summit event held at Mississippi State in November.

This was the culmination of  a grant project, “Delta Cotton, Weaving Futures,” that included three day-long educational events featuring cotton. The grant project was a joint partnership of the three Mississippi universities that offer Fashion Merchandising programs: Delta State, Mississippi State, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Funding was provided by the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated.

The 2016 inductees for the Phi Alpha Theta International Honor Society include (left to right): Brenton King, Katherine Jackson, Laura Kate Fortner and Matt Riggins. Missing from the photo: are Alexis Danielle Banks, Dylan Garrett, Wesley Rippee and Kaelin Kneeland.

Phi Alpha Theta welcomes new members

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

The College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University inducted eight new members to the Phi Alpha Theta International Honor Society today.

This year’s inductees included: Alexis Danielle Banks, Laura Kate Fortner, Dylan Garrett, Wesley Rippee, Matthew Riggins, Kaelin Kneeland, Brenton King, and Katherine Jackson.

Dr. Charles Westmoreland, assistant professor of history and Phi Alpha Theta advisor, inducted the new members and award certificates.

Phi Alpha Theta is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history. The society has over 350,000 members, with about 9,500 new members joining each year through 860 local chapters.

The organization was established on March 17, 1921 at the University of Arkansas by professor Nels Cleven. Cleven had become convinced in his time at the university that a fraternity of scholars (which would accept men or women) was important for the study of history.

Dr. Rolando Herts receives the Georgene Clark Diversity Champion Award from Arlene Sanders, Diversity Committee chair (center) on behalf of The Delta Center, along with staff members (left to right) Patricia Webster, Heather Miller, Lee Aylward and student employees Lydia Haley and Moira Fair. Student employees not pictured include Stephanie Green and Erica Spiller.

Delta Center presented 2016 Georgene Clark Diversity Champion Award

By | Delta Center, Diversity Committee, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

The Diversity Committee at Delta State University recently awarded the 2016 Georgene Clark Diversity Champion Award to The Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

The inaugural Diversity Champion Award was presented to Georgene Clark, retired assistant professor of English. The award was presented to Clark at the 2015 Winning the Race conference where it was announced that the award was being named in her honor. The annual conference promotes conversations between and among individuals and communities about race relations, social justice, diversity and inclusion.

This is the second year that the award has been presented, which was was established by Delta State University’s Diversity Committee to recognize individuals and divisions/departments that have made extraordinary efforts to promote diversity awareness at Delta State and in the broader community.

Dr. Temika Simmons and Dr. Garry Jennings, co-chairs for the 2016 Winning the Race conference, both praised The Delta Center for its commitment to diversity awareness.

“The Delta Center has been an active partner with the Winning the Race conference since it began three years ago,” said Simmons, assistant professor of psychology and recipient of the 2016 Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning’s Award for Excellence in Diversity. “The Delta Center’s ongoing support of the conference, among several other projects and initiatives, is noteworthy and deserves the university-wide recognition that this award embodies.”

“The Delta Center’s collaboration is essential to the success of the Winning the Race Conference. It means that the conference has the support of an organization deeply involved with the culture, history and, most importantly, the soul of the Mississippi Delta,” said Jennings, professor of political science and director of the The Madison Center. “In keeping alive the history of this region, the Delta Center connects the past to our efforts in the present, building hope for justice in the future. This is essential for our work on the Winning the Race Conference.”

Arlene Sanders, instructor of political science and chair of the Diversity Committee, presented the award during the closing session of the 2016 Winning the Race conference.

“For several years, The Delta Center has offered programs that highlight the Mississippi Delta’s rich cultural diversity,” said Sanders. “They offer National Endowment for the Humanities workshops that attract educators from all over the country to learn about the Delta. They manage the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area that offers programs like the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership about African American church mothers. They direct an international blues project that highlights the global influence of blues music and culture. For these reasons and many more, The Delta Center is most deserving of this award.”

Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center, accepted the award on behalf of The Delta Center.

“The Delta Center is honored to receive the Georgene Clark Diversity Champion Award,” said Herts. “For over 15 years, The Delta Center has been promoting appreciation of the Mississippi Delta’s diverse culture and history as part of the American experience. That includes telling inclusive stories involving cultural perspectives regarding race, social injustice, civil rights, regional identity, and even expressions of faith.”

The Delta Center met the following criteria for the award: innovative teaching, educational programming, or activities designed to engender diversity within the classroom and/or curriculum at Delta State; a documented record of committee work, community involvement or outreach to the local community by a campus organization or department or division; and active leadership in promoting cultural diversity at Delta State.

To learn more about The Delta Center, visit http://deltacenterdsu.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 center serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and is the home of the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop and the International Delta Blues Project.

Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza (left to right) will be leading a group of Delta State students on a cultural exchange trip to Poland at John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. Others attending include Scottie Willis, Katherine Jackson, Maria Clara Belisário, Paxton Stratton and university photographer/writer Rory Doyle.

Students to visit Poland for cultural exchange

By | Faculty/Staff, International, President, Students | No Comments

A select group of Delta State students are gearing up for an exciting cultural exchange with one of the university’s international partners, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) in Lublin, Poland.

Leaving May 9, the group will travel for two weeks under the direction KUL faculty. The trip, coordinated by DSU International Student Services, will mark the first opportunity for Delta State students to visit KUL’s campus, observe classes, learn about college life in Poland, and gain hands-on knowledge of Polish culture.

Delta State President William N. LaForge continues to strengthen the university’s ties with international institutions, an effort he has made a priority since taking office in 2013.

In 2014, LaForge returned to KUL for the fourth time as a visiting professor, each time focusing on various aspects of law and public policy advocacy in America. KUL’s law school is well known for its quality programming.

“Delta State’s exchange partnership with KUL is a wonderful opportunity for our students to become acquainted with another educational system, with programs at another university and with the people of Poland,” said LaForge. “International partnerships like this afford our students an opportunity to broaden their horizons, see the world, and be better prepared for the global economy, which will greet them upon graduation.”

President LaForge discusses Poland with students.

President LaForge discusses Poland with students.

KUL is one of several universities abroad with which Delta State has signed a memorandum of understanding to further develop international exchanges. Delta State hosted a group of KUL faculty and students in October 2015.

Students attending the trip include: Scottie Willis, a senior from Byram, Mississippi; Katherine Jackson, a junior from Cleveland, Mississippi; Maria Clara Belisário, a junior from Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and Paxton Stratton, a freshman from Fort Worth, Texas. The students recently had the opportunity to meet with President LaForge to discuss expectations for the exchange.

Willis is looking forward to his first experience abroad — a trip he knows will be full of opportunities.

“I’m entering my last semester at DSU this fall, and as President LaForge put it to me recently, ‘You’ve had a good run here.’ But my run isn’t quite over yet,” said Willis. “I plan to go into education after graduation, and I know that going to Europe will definitely give me a ‘real life’ perspective when teaching about it. I hope that my participation in this cultural exchange will encourage current and future students to see that there are life-changing opportunities here at Delta State, and they just have to take advantage of them.”

Belisário, an international student at Delta State, is also looking forward to experiencing Polish education and culture.

“I will be in contact with different students and teachers who are in the same area as me, and I’ll be expanding my knowledge and vision,” said Belisário. “I will be able to interact and learn in some of their classes, and see perspectives and ideas about different issues that can help me in my major. I will use and share all of that when I return to DSU. Contact with another part of the world is one of the best opportunities as an international business major. I am really proud to have this opportunity.”

Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, will lead the group as the university’s international partnership liaison.

“I’m thrilled that we are bringing such a strong group of students to KUL,” said Reza. “This will be a great opportunity for us to get an understanding of Polish culture and KUL’s university environment. KUL faculty members have gone above and beyond to help us plan this trip.”

Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, added that the university will continue to strengthen ties with its partner schools.

“We are very excited to offer the Poland trip,” said Riddle. “These international partnerships offer the opportunity for our Delta State faculty and students and their faculty and students to travel, teach and study abroad through various exchange programs. It’s is a win-win for Delta State because the students traveling abroad gain a greater understanding of global issues, and it also exposes our on-campus students to other cultures.”

Along with KUL, Delta State has been developing exchange programs with Perm State University in Perm, Russia and The University of National World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, both schools at which LaForge has taught. Delta State is also in the process of developing partnerships with two additional international universities.

Follow all trip updates at www.deltastate.edu.