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Dr. Md. Fokhray Hossain (left to right), director of International Affairs at Daffodil International University in Bangladesh, Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State and the university’s international partnership liaison, and Dr. Fazlul Haque, Registrar at DIU, recently signed a memorandum of understanding to begin developing international exchanges between the two universities.

Delta State forges partnership with university in Bangladesh

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

Delta State University has worked hard to develop international partnerships in recent years, and these developments have grown once again thanks to a new relationship with Daffodil International University in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 The partnership formed thanks to efforts from Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, and the university’s international partnership liaison.

Reza, a native of Bangladesh, had been communicating with former colleagues and peers at Daffodil, and during a research trip Reza took to Bangladesh in July, both institutions signed a formal memorandum of understanding to begin developing international exchanges at the schools.

“I have several very good connections at Daffodil International University who worked hard to make this partnership happen with Delta State,” said Reza. “Being one of the leading private universities in Bangladesh, DIU has a good reputation for offering high-quality higher education to the students. They have been working hard to grow their connections in the international market, and forming this connection between DIU and DSU is a great opportunity for both universities.”

The main goal of this partnership is to send students and faculty abroad for academic and cultural exchanges. Reza is hopeful that these formal exchanges will soon become available for both faculty members and upper level students.

Dr. Md. Fokhray Hossain, director of International Affairs at DIU, is also thrilled to move forward with the exchanges.

“It is important to bridge the international partnership for student exchange, academic exchange, research and sharing resources between both of the institutions,” said Hossain. “Initially, we look forward to start a short-term student and academic staff exchange program, such as a summer program to develop cross-cultural activities.”

Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, is excited to see Delta State’s international connections building.

“As we continue to expand our international partnerships, we increase the opportunities for DSU faculty to teach abroad,” said Riddle. “This partnership will also allow our students the opportunity to participate in international study abroad opportunities.”

DIU is recognized in independent government assessments as one of top graded universities in Bangladesh. The university combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research with its proud heritage of service and achievement. Learn more at http://www.daffodilvarsity.edu.bd.

Follow all news at www.deltastate.edu as advancements will continue with DIU and other international partner institutions.

Dr. Rolando Herts (right) presented at the Jus' Blues Music Foundation's conference with CEO and founder Charles Mitchell (center) and GRAMMY-nominated blues legend Bobby Rush.

Delta Center presents at Jus’ Blues conference for second year

By | Delta Center, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State, recently presented at the “Blues Got A Soul” Technology Conference sponsored by the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation.

This is the tenth year the conference has been held, and this is the second year that Herts has represented The Delta Center at the conference.

The event brought industry professionals and aficionados together to discuss cultural heritage preservation and legal issues pertaining to blues music. The conference was held at Horseshoe Casino’s Bluesville event venue in Tunica, Mississippi.

Herts’ presentation focused on blues heritage partnerships in the Mississippi Delta led by The Delta Center. He spoke about the International Delta Blues Project, including the upcoming International Conference on the Blues, a public screening of the film “Take Me To The River” at GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, and Delta State’s new International Blues Scholars Program, an online blues studies certificate.

The conference also featured GRAMMY-nominated blues legend Bobby Rush and Atlanta based entertainment attorney Jonathan Mason. The event was moderated by Charles Mitchell, CEO and founder of the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation.

Bobby Rush speaks to conference attendees before performing.

Bobby Rush speaks to conference attendees before performing.

“For a second year, I invited Dr. Herts to present at the conference,” said Mitchell. “The Delta Center and Delta State University are continuing to provide great leadership in blues education and awareness of the importance of blues culture. We were excited to learn more about the good work that these organizations are doing here in the Mississippi Delta to preserve blues traditions.”

The conference was held in conjunction with the 16th annual Jus’ Blues Music Awards. The awards honored various music professionals who have contributed much of their lives to advancing and promoting blues music and culture.

This year’s honorees included Sly Johnson, Ruby Andrews, Zac Harmon, Queen Ann Hines, King Edward, Chick Rodgers, Billy Branch, Big Bill Morganfield, Mud Morganfield, Eddie Cotton, Jr., and Clarksdale native L.C. Cooke, brother of soul legend, Sam Cooke. In addition, a special presentation was made to R&B legend Millie Jackson, the inaugural Millie Jackson Award.

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 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. For more information, visit http://www.deltacenterdsu.com.

Delta State University President William N. LaForge delivered his State of the University address today during convocation ceremonies.

President outlines vision for university’s future

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

Delta State University President William N. LaForge delivered his annual State of the University address during opening convocation today at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus.

The address was titled “A Vision of Excellence” and began with a welcome to faculty and staff at the start of Delta State’s academic calendar.

LaForge characterized the state of the university as “strong and stable.”

“We have made solid advances in several key areas of endeavor,” he said. “As the saying goes, we are trending in the right direction — onward and upward.”

The president highlighted Delta State’s continued efforts to improve and stabilize its budget situation, a second consecutive year with an enrollment increase, the first pay raises for faculty and staff in four years, and the implementation of a visioning process that will lay the groundwork for the university’s future.

A major area of focus in his speech was the budgeting challenges the institution has faced in recent years, including two unexpected mid-year budget cuts by the state in 2015-16.

“Because we have put our financial house in order through prudent budgeting and spending, we are able to absorb the recent $435,000 reduction in state support, as well as a three percent cut equating to an additional $725,000 less in state funding in our new budget, all without any reductions to programs or personnel on campus,” said LaForge.

With savings the university is realizing from outsourcing campus health services, previous program reductions, and other efficiencies, Delta State is continuing to make headway in another focus area for LaForge — pay raises for faculty and staff. Efforts will continue to bring salaries to at least minimum levels of compensation based on regional market comparisons.

In this year’s facilities and equipment budget — completely separate from Delta State’s general operational budget — the university is providing funding in the following areas:

– science building furniture and equipment
– renovation and furniture replacement in the Union
– a new power generator for Bailey Hall to back up technology services
– temperature control upgrades in Broom, Gibson-Gunn and the Union
– pre-planning and design for a new president’s home
– security camera equipment for residence halls
– a chiller upgrade
– roofing repairs on a number of buildings.

Grander scale projects that will commence this year include major renovation of the dining hall and Zeigel Hall, razing of the old president’s home, and the building of Statesmen Boulevard connecting Highway 8 to the athletic complex.

Beyond this year, LaForge also outlined the detailed visioning process that will guide Delta State to a better and brighter future.

“Our mission has been to look forward and help determine where and what Delta State should be three, five, 10 and 25 years down the road,” he said.

LaForge explained the 10 elements of priority in the visioning process:
– academic excellence and student success
– providing a student-centric focus
– establishing a solid business and financial platform
– increasing efforts in the areas of marketing and student recruitment
– pursuing new revenue and funding streams
– providing programs that encourage a lifelong Delta State experience for graduates
– complementing the academic mission with first-class intercollegiate athletic experiences
– embracing and enhancing the distinguishing factors that define Delta State
– promoting and embracing traditional core values
– embracing community engagement and programs.

“This visioning process has given us a good jump-start on our future,” said LaForge. “But to elevate our game and support our vision for the future, we will certainly need significantly more revenue than provided by the State and generated by tuition. It is very clear that we will need substantial private resources to pursue our dreams. The plans for a major fundraising campaign are already underway through the good work of the Delta State Foundation.”

“With our vision to guide us, let us continue to think and act boldly and wisely, while marshaling all the resources we can to move Delta State toward excellence,” he added. “We are off to a great start. Terrific opportunities lie ahead for us. It is now time to create the path that will guide us to our vision.”

Visit www.deltastate.edu to stay updated on university news and event coverage.

2014 Convocation edits-57

Live Streaming Available for Convocation

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, General, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State University President William N. LaForge will deliver his State of the University convocation address today at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The event will be live streamed at: www.livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity

The address will serve as a welcome to faculty, staff and the community at the start of Delta State’s academic year. Leading the event with LaForge will be Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Heather Robinson, president-elect of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, will provide a community welcome.

Dr. Chris Jurgenson, president of the Faculty Senate, will provide an introduction of new faculty, followed by an introduction of new staff by Christie Rocconi, chair of the Administrative Staff Council.

As is the tradition at each Delta State convocation address, new Student Government Association officers will also be recognized.

LaForge will conclude the ceremony with his address, highlighting university achievements over the last year, along with goals and visions for Delta State’s future.

Visit www.deltastate.edu to stay updated on university news and event coverage. Track the president’s efforts on his blog at http://president.deltastate.edu and Twitter via @presidentDSU.

Work from Julie Morrisroe's "I'm Sorry You Were Saying?" opens the season at Delta State’s Fielding Wright Art Center Aug. 25 at 5 p.m.

Art gallery opens 2016-17 season August 25

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

Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center opens its 2016-17 season on Aug. 25 from 5-7 p.m. with an exhibition of Julia Morrisroe’s work “I’m Sorry You Were Saying?”

Morrisroe is an artist and associate professor in painting and drawing at the University of Florida. Her work explores the question of what it means to paint in an age in which digital technology has led to the proliferation and instant availability of images. She is interested in how the flood of images streaming in front of our eyes has affected the way we perceive images.

“Images can be replicated, expanded, enhanced or associated with other images — relevant or not — instantaneously,” said Morrisroe. “The simultaneity of image and experience has led to images becoming hyper-contextualized. The image can no longer exist as a single painting, but belongs to a network.”

Morrisroe creates series of abstract paintings that invite the viewer to explore this hyper-contextualized condition. In her work, patterns are repeated, inverted, rescaled, disrupted or reappear in different media. The artist’s intention is to “subvert the viewers’ desire to look at one painting, compelling a rambling, hyper-linked experience of viewing.”

She received her BFA from Northern Illinois University and her MFA from the University of Washington, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Morrisroe has received numerous awards, grants and fellowship grants for her work. Last year, she spent time at Anadolu University in Turkey as a Mevlana Faculty Exchange Scholar.

Morrisroe will be on campus to present a public lecture on  Sept. 22 at 4 p.m in the gallery.

The Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.

For more information, visit the Department of Art’s website at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/art/, or contact 662-846-4720. For updates and announcements of upcoming events, follow Delta State Art Department on Facebook, or join the email list.