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Faculty/Staff

Byrd named Mississippian of the Year

By | Academics, College of Business and Aviation, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Lynn Byrd, instructor of computer information systems at Delta State, was recently honored as the Mississippian of the Year by the Association of Information Technology Professionals chapter based in Jackson, Mississippi.

The prestigious award has previously been given to Mississippi leaders such as former Governor William Winter and Hu Meena, CEO of C Spire.

AITP aims to benefit those involved in the IT realm, both in business and education. The organization currently sponsors two student AITP chapters — at Delta State and the University of Mississippi — and serves as an important bridge between the academic and business sectors for students.

“I am truly humbled and delighted to be chosen as the Mississippian of the Year for the Jackson Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals,” said Byrd. “I really enjoy working with the student chapter of AITP at Delta State and was extremely surprised when I learned that I was the recipient of such a prestigious award.”

Byrd serves as one of the faculty advisors for the Delta State chapter of AITP, where she organizes several programs that help students recognize the importance of their profession. She helps students prepare for a job market that is expected to increase at a rapid pace over the next several years. Monthly chapter meetings are also scheduled to help students network with professionals working in the field.

In addition, Byrd helped guide the student chapter as they hosted a technology conference, Connecting People with Technology, which enabled them to exercise leadership skills and collaborate with working professionals.

Byrd has been working at Delta State since 1998 and graduated from the institution with both a bachelors and masters degree in business administration in 1992 and 1997 respectively.

“Teamwork is so important when it comes to working in the technology field,” added Byrd. “I am truly honored to be recognized, but I certainly could not do what I do by myself. I am blessed to have colleagues in the Computer Information Systems Department and the College of Business to support me and the students in this organization.”

Byrd, center, receiving her award.

Steven Waite, president of the Jackson chapter, had high praise for Byrd.

“There is no greater advocate for current, former and future Information Technology students at Delta State,” said Waite. “She understands the importance of networking with others in and out of the classroom, and using those relationships to create opportunities. Lynn challenges her students to leave their comfort zone and become leaders.”

“Lynn’s legacy to Mississippi are the technical, professional and personal skills her students carry forth into the world,” added Waite. “They are grounded individuals who understand where they came from and where they are going. As Lynn epitomizes Mississippi’s core values, while preparing its students to be leaders who can navigate the technological challenges of the future, the CompTIA-AITP Jackson Chapter is privileged and proud to celebrate Lynn Byrd as our 2017 Mississippian of the Year.”

Dr. Billy Moore, dean of the College of Business and Aviation at Delta State, said Byrd is extremely worthy of the recognition.

“Ms. Byrd is committed to the success of our students and the enhancement of the IT industry,” said Moore. “Teaching and professional service are Ms. Byrd’s passion and expertise. Her dedication to both is aligned with her actions. She works tirelessly to expose our students to career opportunities by connecting them with IT professionals. One of the highlights of the AITP awards banquet was witnessing the admiration and appreciation our students exhibited towards her.”

Learn more about Delta State’s College of Business and Aviation at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business.

 

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Reza selected for prestigious Australian fellowship

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

Dr. AHM Ali Reza, associate professor of biology and environmental sciences, was recently selected for a highly competitive fellowship spearheaded by the government of Australia.

The program, Australia Awards–Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, is a merit-based fellowship providing opportunities for Australians to undertake study, research or professional development overseas, and for overseas citizens to do the same in Australia.

The fellow selection process of the Endeavor program is conducted through a global competition open to all nations.

“This is an absolute honor to be selected as a recipient of the Endeavour executive fellowship,” said Reza. “Selection of this program goes worldwide, and it’s extremely competitive and merit-based. Being selected for this program brings enormous credit to anyone, and I feel no exception. I feel like even though I am from a small regional school in the Mississippi Delta, we are strong enough to compete on a global stage.”

Through the program, he will be in Australia from mid-May to early August, and he’ll be utilizing the fellowship for both research and teaching.

Reza will be based at the Australian Museum in Sydney, the country’s oldest museum, which also holds international distinction in the fields of natural history and anthropology.

His host will be Dr. Jodi Rowley, a scientific officer at the museum who also holds a position at University of New South Wales. Working as a lab partner with Rowley, Reza’s time will be divided between the museum and UNSW conducting research on frogs and teaching classes on wildlife ecology.

“My goal is to learn the latest techniques used in conservation genetics,” added Reza. “The Australian Museum houses the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics, and I will be learning conservation genetics there under the supervision of Dr. Rowley.”

In addition, Reza said the experience would help him develop and revise his coursework at Delta State to the benefit of his students.

Reza has taken part in and organized a number of international educational experiences in the past few years. Most recently, he led a field course in December 2017 in his homeland of Bangladesh.

The two-week field experience provided 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 was 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 animals within the region.

James Allen, a student at Delta State, had the privilege of attending this exclusive outdoor course.

“The course in Bangladesh was truly one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said Allen. “I was able to visit ecologically unique places with a group of people who have a passion for ecology and conservation. Having Dr. Reza leading the course, joined with local naturalists and students, gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t have received visiting these places alone. It went far beyond anything one could get from a traditional classroom setting. I lived and worked with folks from Bangladesh, India, and the U.S., learned a great deal, and made great friendships.”

Learn more about opportunities within Delta State’s Department of Biological Sciences at http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/biological-sciences/programs/.

Students present at National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Workshop

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

The Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Delta state presented three professional lectures at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Co-State (MS/AL) Workshop on January 25-26.

The workshop was comprised of professional lectures and seminars on recreation and wellness aspects concerning the campus recreation field.

Todd Davis, director and instructor of recreation administration and outdoor education; Katie Gennarelli, graduate assistant for outdoor recreation; and Heather Wilson, senior, recreation leadership major, presented on a variety of topics. In addition to the presenters, 10 HPER majors from exercise science, sport management, physical education teacher prep, and recreation administration participated in the two-day workshop.

Davis presented “Perceived Benefits and Barriers Among African American Students’ Participation in Outdoor Recreation as Leisure-Time Physical Activity at Selected Universities in Mississippi: A Mixed Methods Study.”

Gennarelli presented “Gender Equality in the Outdoor Adventure & Recreation Industry.”

Davis, Gennarelli and Heather Wilson presented, “Transferring Classroom Curriculum to Outdoor Recreation Leadership Fundamentals: Notes from the Field”

“It’s a privilege and honor to be selected to speak at association conferences,” said Davis. “These local workshops are associated with our national organization, however, they provide an amazing platform to network, expose students to the campus recreation profession, and allow students to see new and different sport and recreation landscapes. The University of Alabama and the University Recreation Services team were amazing hosts, and our students walked away from this event with a new vision for their future.”

“This particular conference was extremely enlightening and educational,” said Gennarelli. “I was impressed with the scope of recreation and wellness services that the University of Alabama provides for their students. The amount of energy and dollars spent to provide state-of-the-art recreation outlets is amazing. Being able to speak on my research was also a highlight. I was honored to be chosen for this presentation opportunity.”

The Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation is housed in the College of Education and Human Sciences. The division offers majors in K-12 physical education teacher preparation, sport management, exercise science and recreation administration.

Dates announced for Go Green Weekend, Pig Pickin’ and Homecoming

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

The Delta State University National Alumni Association recently announced event dates for 2018 Go Green Weekend, Pig Pickin’ and Homecoming.

On April 27-29, join the Green and White Nation for the fifth annual Go Green Weekend at Delta State. Celebrate the spring season with tailgating, live entertainment, athletic games, activities for the family and more. Come out to support the Statesmen and Okra for a weekend of food, fun and sports. Freshmen and transfer Future Statesmen are invited to attend Spring Preview Day during the weekend. A more detailed schedule and registration will be available soon.

The 33rd annual Pig Pickin’ will be held Sept. 21-22, as the Statesmen football team hosts North Greenville University. Make plans now to tailgate in Statesmen Park with friends and fellow alumni. Visit www.dsupigpickin.com and join the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/503121896754250/ for the most updated information. The full schedule of events will be announced at a later date.

Homecoming 2018 has been set for Nov. 9-10, and the Statesmen football team will face off against Mississippi College. Throughout the weekend, the Delta State Alumni Association will host a variety of activities. The class of 1968 will be featured and honored in recognition of their 50-year reunion. They will also be inducted into the prestigious Golden Circle, which is a constituency group of the National Alumni Association that honors alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago. The Alumni Association will also recognize the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, Alumni Hall of Fame and other service awards. The official Homecoming website is http://www.deltastate.edu/student-life/dsu-homecoming/. View the Homecoming Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/195170841227361/. Stay tuned for details as the Homecoming Taskforce continues to finalize this year’s schedule.

“The Alumni Office has mailed 20,000-plus save-the-date postcards to our alumni and local businesses promoting these signature annual events,” said Jeffrey Farris, alumni director. “Make it a priority to return to your university town by booking your hotel reservations months in advance.”

Email alumni@deltastate.edu with questions, and for travel info and local accommodations, visit www.visitclevelandms.com.

The official hashtag for Go Green Weekend is #GGW, Pig Pickin’ is #DSUPigPickin and #DSUHC for Homecoming.

Study abroad trip to Jamaica offered

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

The Delta State University Department of Art is offering a unique inaugural two-week study abroad opportunity in Jamaica open to all majors and community members.

The three-credit summer session course, “ART492 03, Special Topics in Art,” will take place May 20-June 2, 2018.

Dr. Phyllis Hill, assistant professor of art at Delta State, will be leading the trip.

“The focus of this trip is service learning and community based research,” said Hill. “This is a unique opportunity for two weeks of cultural emersion and engagement with local experts employed in the Jamaican education, historical and cultural sectors. Students will participate in a service learning project with a local educational institution, conduct historical and cultural research using diverse media such as film, painting, photography and sculpture — and share their findings via an exhibition upon return to DSU.”

The trip will primarily take place in the cities of Kingston and Montego Bay. Programming will also include historical tours, lectures, cultural events, local cuisine, music and cultural experiences.

“Study abroad provides a unique opportunity for DSU students to develop as global citizens in their chosen fields,” added Hill. “However, the majority of our students have not travelled outside of the U.S. The reality is that we exist in a globalized world, and those who are most successful are the graduates who have international experience, cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to discuss cultural issues from multiple informed perspectives. Study abroad makes our students more career-ready and competitive on a global scale, in that they are internationally savvy, adaptable within culturally diverse environments and are able to communicate with varying populations.”

The total cost for the trip and tuition is $3,243 per person, which covers round-trip airfare, lodging, in-country transportation, excursions and travel insurance.

“Jamaica is more than sand, sea and sun. It’s a unique blend of people, cultural practices and beliefs,” said Hill. “It offers a wealth of opportunities for historical, cultural and educational collaborations.”

For more information about the trip, contact hill at phill@deltastate.edu.