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Faculty/Staff

Wingard named mathematics Teacher of the Year

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Dr. Clifton Wingard, chair of the Department of Mathematics at Delta State, was recently named Teacher of the Year at the college level by the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM).

MCTM is the professional organization for all persons responsible for the teaching of mathematics in Mississippi. Its membership includes teachers and other professionals who work with the teaching of mathematics, from kindergarten through senior college.

“It is a great honor to be named college Teacher of the Year,” said Wingard. “To have been nominated for this award is very special. I am grateful for the teachers that I have had. Not only did they teach me the course content, but they also provided motivation to learn and do more. I hope that I do the same for my students.”

Wingard said mathematics is an important piece in the education system because it is an integral part of almost every discipline.

“People use mathematics in their daily lives,” he said. “It is imperative that we train people to teach mathematics to the coming generation and also to educate the people who will be applying it in their careers.”

Wingard’s areas of expertise include algebra, trigonometry, calculus and discrete mathematics.

“Dr. Wingard cares deeply about his students but also the elementary and secondary students in the state of Mississippi and across the nation,” said Kathleen Lott, project director of the Delta Math Science Partnership Institute housed at Delta State. “He continually assesses how the teacher education programs at Delta State can be improved and enhanced to produce quality teachers. He works hard to assist his students in not only knowing the ‘whats’ but also the ‘whys’ He teaches from a standpoint of conceptual understanding and challenges his students to problem solve.”

Learn more about MCTM at https://www.mctmonline.com.

Explore opportunities available in the Department of Mathematics at http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/mathematics.

Delta State receives $1.15 million federal McNair award

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, Institutional Grants, Students | No Comments

Delta State University recently received notice of a major $1.15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.

This coveted McNair award will provide funding over the next five years for Delta State to increase the number of advanced and doctoral degrees in typically underrepresented groups and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each year, 25 undergraduate participants will be selected and designated as Delta State McNair Research Scholars, and their academic progress will be directly enhanced with support services and resources.

Emphasis will be placed on recruiting students from 10 STEM majors at Delta State and affiliated associate degree programs at Coahoma Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College. One of eight federal TRIO programs, the McNair funding prepares eligible participants for doctoral studies through research and other scholarly activities.

“We are excited to be a participant in the McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program,” said Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “This federally funded program takes our retention efforts to the next level by focusing the students’ sights on completing a graduate degree while still on a path to complete their undergraduate degree. This program holds great promise for our students and for the state of Mississippi.”

Heather Kovarcik Miller, Delta State’s director of Institutional Grants, is thrilled with the grant.

“This award is highly competitive, and we at Delta State are elated to have this grant proposal funded, which is the first McNair award ever for our university,” she said.

Those who worked with Miller to secure the grant included: Wendy Stevens, graduate recruiter; Jon Delperdang. Hearin TFA Graduate Fellow; and Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

“The opportunities that open up for our students due to this funding are extraordinary,” said Moon. “Plus, we will be able to provide support to faculty members who will serve as mentors for these students. The faculty will help shepherd the selected students through junior and senior years at the university. The support for the McNair scholars will also continue on into their graduate programs as we track their successes.”

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

 

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

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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.