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Faculty/Staff

McDaniel named Employee of the Month

By | Faculty/Staff | No Comments
Feb. 2018 Employee of the Month, Robert McDaniel (left), and Delta State University President William N. LaForge.

 

The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Robert McDaniel, electrician’s assistant, as the February 2018 Employee of the Month.

McDaniel, a native of Drew, has served in the role for 10 years. He attributes his love for the job to the people he works with and who he meets on his daily rounds.

“There is a family here, and those of us who have been around a while, we are invested in each other, checking up with each other,” said McDaniel. “Then I enjoy meeting the new faculty, staff and students who decide to spend time here in the Delta — but they come from all over the world.”

He enjoys helping out when he sees a need on campus and is always willing to offer a helping hand.

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.

QEP announces slate of March events

By | Academics, Community, Faculty/Staff, QEP, Winning the Race | No Comments

Delta State University’s Quality Enhancement Plan recently announced a full schedule of events for the month of March.

The highlight event, the fifth annual Winning The Race Race race relations conference, takes place March 26-27. Registration for the award-winning conference is now open at: http://www.deltastate.edu/winning-the-race/registration.

The conference is free and open to the public thanks to generous donations from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Mississippi Humanities Council, campus groups,and individuals. Registration is required for all conference attendees. Online registration is open until March 12. Registration after March 12 will take place on site, March 26-27, at the Bologna Performing Art Center.

Featured speakers and breakout sessions include keynote speakers Kevin Powell and Dave Dennis, a concert by Marco Pavé, a Delta State faculty forum and sessions focusing on education, community, culture, social justice, civil rights, law and economic opportunities. For more information, contact Dr. Temika Simmons at tsimmons@deltastate.edu or Dr. Chuck Westmoreland at cwestmoreland@deltastate.edu.

Other upcoming events include:

March 1-31 – Donation Drive for Domestic Violence Shelter
·         Donation boxes for Our House, Inc., a domestic violence center in Greenville, Mississippi, have been placed on the first floors of the Union, Kethley, Jobe, Kent Wyatt and the Roberts-LaForge Library. The goal of the project is to collect toiletries, paper products, bedding, non-perishable and non-expired food, and cleaning supplies to support Our House’s efforts.
·         Event sponsor: DSU QEP
·         For more information, contact Alexas Hayes at ahayes@deltastate.edu

March 7 – NO MORE Week
·         From NO MORE website: NO MORE is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action and fueling cultural change. NO MORE unites and strengthens a diverse, global community to help end domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse. Launched in 2013, NO MORE brings together the largest coalition of advocacy groups, service providers, governmental agencies, major corporations, universities, communities and individuals, all under a common brand and a unifying symbol in support of a world free of violence.
·         NO MORE Selfie Station from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DSU Student Union, first floor
·        ” The Mask You Live In” film screening at 6 p.m. at Baioni Conference Center.  The film follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while navigating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
·         Event sponsors: Upsilon Delta Delta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and DSU QEP
·         The events are free and open to the public.
·         For more information, contact Linda Stringfellow at lstringfellow@deltastate.edu

March 5-9 – The Pulsera Project

·         The Pulsera Project is a Fair Trade nonprofit organization that empowers and educates people in the U.S. and Central America through pulsera sales. Pulseras are hand-woven bracelets. Student and teacher volunteers raise funds that benefit fair trade jobs, worker rights, sustainability and education, while learning about the culture, lives and struggles of Central Americans. The Pulsera Project’s goal is to create a more just and colorful world by encouraging conscious consumerism and social enterprise.
·         To learn more about pulseras and support artisans, visit: H.L Nowell Union, first floor, March 5 -6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and  Kethley 235, Language Lab, March 7-9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
·         Event sponsor: Division of Languages and Literature
·         For more information, please contact Sylma Ferreira at sferreira@deltastate.edu

March 14Professional Development Webinar: “Social Justice, Diversity & Inclusion in 2018 & Beyond: Use Context Before Content to Engage Across Differences”

·         Scheduled for 1 pm at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning Lab in Ewing 239
·         From webinar summary: “As a result of this webinar, you will be able to effectively assess and engage present dynamics on campus, with your organizations, teams, offices, etc. – help ensure the success, satisfaction and persistence of all students on campus; utilize the five components of context – be able to more effectively engage when dealing with issues of difference; and help your teams and others on campus to become “unstuck” in areas of difficult dialogue, conflict and resistance – critically assess, strategize and engage content matters that are impacting your campus.”
·         The event is open to DSU faculty and staff.
·         For more information, contact Michelle Johansen at mjohansen@deltastate.edu

Coming soon…
·         April 3 – The Clothesline Project
·         April 4-5 – Civil Rides, a three-day trek from the steps of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi, that follows in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to raise awareness around persistent rural poverty in America and advocate for racial justice and healing
·         April 5 – Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture featuring Dr. Stephen Berry, Gregory Professor of the Civil War Era in the Department of History at the University of Georgia. Berry’s lecture will explore his innovative digital history project, “CSI: Dixie.” https://csidixie.org/
·         April 10 – Equal Pay Day event

Students bundle trees for annual Bolivar County tree giveaway

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

In celebration of Arbor Day each year, the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Bolivar County gives away young sapling trees to local residents as a public resource.

Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding’s environmental science classes have been helping NRCS with this effort for the past 12 years.

On Feb. 8, Teressa Oakes with the NRCS in Cleveland, brought 600 sawtooth oak sapling trees to Delta State. Oakes explained the history of the event to students as they helped prepare the trees for distribution. Class members placed two saplings into small plastic bags, squeezed out the air to help keep the roots moist, and wrapped tape around the base of each bag.

Earlier in the week, bald cypress and crepe myrtle saplings were prepared by the Bolivar County Master Gardeners. All of the tree saplings were given out at the Bolivar County Agriculture Building on Feb. 9.

Oakes thanked the students and is already making plans for their help with the 2019 Arbor Day event.

Contact Baghai-Riding at nbaghai@deltastate.edu to learn more about the environmental science program at Delta State University.

University institutes campus-wide Capstone Project program

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

Delta State University recently announced a new program developed through a university-wide visioning process to promote academic excellence and student success at the institution.

The initiative, called the Capstone Project, aims to increase student learning by providing a Capstone experience for every student in every degree program. Departments across campus have identified a Capstone experience for each of its major programs.

The projects provide students the formal opportunity to connect major themes from their discipline and apply them to their field of study. The desired outcome of the program is that every student will have a capstone experience in their major program to promote reflection and synthesis of key concepts within their major.

“I’m very pleased with the university’s new and revised Capstone Project requirement for every major and every graduate,” said Delta State President William N. LaForge.

LaForge said this new feature would distinguish Delta State in two major ways. First, it underscores and enhances the academic rigor and reputation of the university and its programs. Secondly, it gives Delta State graduates a competitive advantage, including the substantive experience from doing the project, in addition to what they’re able to put on their résumé and discuss in interviews.

“This should make our graduates more competitive for jobs in the marketplace, but also for positions in graduate and professional school,” added LaForge. “The Capstone requirement adds an academic ‘halo’ over our students’ performance and degree that should help them advance in their chosen careers.”

Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said the program would strengthen the overall learning experience at Delta State.

“Another step in Delta State’s commitment to providing the best academic experiences possible is making sure that every degree program has a Capstone experience,” said McAdams. “Experiencing a curriculum can sometimes leave students wondering how all the information they are learning, and skills they are developing, will help them in the next phase of their professional life.”

“Capstone projects are designed to help students synthesize what they have learned to ensure they have achieved the outcomes of their degree,” added McAdams. “Many programs, such as teacher education programs, nursing and social work, have traditionally had field experiences at the end of their program. We have expanded this effort so that now every degree program has some type of Capstone experience within their curriculum.”

McAdams said not many universities have taken this extra step, but Delta State remains committed to providing the most meaningful curriculum possible.

Dr. Leslie Griffin, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, said the projects should boost the overall academic experience for students.

“I think the saying that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ applies here,” said Griffin. “That is, increasingly, employers and the world-at-large expect graduates to bring understanding of all the nuances of their specialization to bear on the workplace and in life experiences. Capstone courses help learners to contemplate, analyze and synthesize their learning experiences in a manner that achieves this level of understanding and operation, with an eye on outcomes.”

“In the realm of professional practice in education, counseling, and other related fields, Capstone projects ensure that learners bring the skills, knowledge and dispositions they have developed in their programs to bear on the real world through their work in the professional setting — P-12 schools, counseling centers, medical facilities, others, dependent upon the area of specialization.”

Dr. Dave Breaux, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, echoed Griffin’s praise for the initiative.

“Providing students the opportunity to engage in a Capstone experience will allow them to synthesize and integrate material encountered throughout their program of study,” said Breaux. “It should provide a platform for them to demonstrate mastery of the material within their respective disciplines, and give them a leg up on the job market.”

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

University to celebrate $3 million pledge from Gertrude C. Ford Foundation

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

Delta State University will host a special grant announcement ceremony in honor of The Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, a longtime Delta State supporter that recently provided one of the largest gifts in the university’s history.

University supporters are welcomed to the ceremony March 1 at 2:30 p.m. on the second floor of Ewing Hall.

Gertrude Castellow Ford

The Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, based in Jackson, Mississippi, recently pledged $3 million to the university to support the Center for Teaching and Learning at Delta State.

The foundation, founded in 1991 by Gertrude Castellow Ford, gives to educational and philanthropy projects primarily relating to higher education, children and youth services, and also health and human service organizations.

Thanks to the foundation’s commitment, the Center for Teaching and Learning at Delta State will be funded over the next several years. And in Ford’s honor, the center will be named the Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning. The facility provides Delta State with an opportunity to support the faculty in their efforts to improve student success.

John Lewis, a board member for the foundation, said the funding would go a long way in developing quality faculty at Delta State.

“Our investment here is really on the faculty level at Delta State,” said Lewis. “We can build buildings, and we can do a lot of things — but at a school, especially Delta State, the attraction is the faculty. The faculty is what makes the school go. I, along with my fellow board members Cheryle Sims and Gayle Papa, think the individual attention to the faculty makes this a worthwhile investment for us.”

Delta State University President William N. LaForge said the foundation’s support would make a significant long-term impact at the university.

“The gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation in support of our Center for Teaching and Learning is a gift that will continue giving,” said LaForge. “It has transformational value because it’s going to help support a very important function at Delta State that will affect our students, potentially forever.”

“This donation is a major statement by a major foundation, of support for and confidence in Delta State,” he added. “We are very grateful for that. They are going to see their good work in action here. The $3 million gift will serve the purpose of making sure we can continue this great program on campus.”

Dr. Gray Kane, director of the Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning, said the center is an essential facility to improve overall learning at Delta State.

“The Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning is a hub for faculty development at Delta State,” said Kane. “It promotes a culture of self-development, collaboration and innovation in support of student success. The center provides faculty and chairs with resources, facilitated conversations, workshops, programs, networking opportunities, and individual consultations centered on topics such as online, hybrid, and face-to-face teaching, advising, mentoring, leadership, curriculum mapping, assessment and scholarship.”

“The faculty are experts in their disciplines, but outside the College of Education, very few have studied teaching, mentoring, course design, curriculum design or other facets of their profession,” added Kane. “This gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation will fund opportunities to interconnect the faculty for knowledge transfers, collaborations, and innovations that can lead to student success both inside and beyond the classroom.”

For more information on the center, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academic-affairs/center-teaching-learning.

To learn more about the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, visit https://www.gertrudecford.com.

The public grant announcement ceremony on March 1 will celebrate one of the most significant pledges in the university’s history. Delta State supporters are welcome to the ceremony and to view The Gertrude C. Ford Center for Teaching and Learning.

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