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Faculty/Staff

Delta State represented at Botanical Society of America conference

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Delta State University’s Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding, professor of biology and environmental science, recently attended the annual Botanical Society of America conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Botanical Society of America is one of the world’s largest scientific societies dedicated to the study of plants and serves as an umbrella organization that covers all plant specialties including conservation and ecology, historical botany, microbiological interactions, paleobotany, physiology, teaching plant science and more.

During the conference, Baghai-Riding served as a senior mentor in the Plants Grant program that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. This year, she mentored Jocelyn Navarro, an undergraduate botany student from Connecticut College.

Baghai-Riding presented a professional poster on her research titled “Implications of a palynological sample from Bowie River.” She co-authored the research with Delta State students Kendal Davis and Raven Allison, along with Dr. Brian Axsmith from the University of Southern Alabama.

Also presented was “An elemental study of regional variation in noncommercial jams and jellies,”‘ a poster co-authored by Delta State students Callie Masterson, Raven Allison, Dana Rico, William Whittington, Breana Randle, Gregory Peacock and Dr. Chuck Smithhart, and “Stomatal density and carbon dioxide leaf peel study of four woody plant species in the Mississippi Delta,” which was co-authored by Hannah Taylor, Wilsonya Mitchell, Jon’ Ayo Farquharson and Madison Zoeller.

To learn more about the environmental science program at Delta State, email Baghai-Riding at nbaghai@deltastate.edu.

Express Registration Day set for Aug. 17

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Express Registration Day will take place at Delta State on Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Students planning to attend the fall term who have not registered for classes are encouraged to check in at Kent Wyatt Hall to take advantage of available student services all at one time.

The first 25 participants to complete their course schedule will receive a free Delta State t-shirt. All students who register during Express Registration Day will be entered to win a book voucher from Barnes and Noble. Refreshments will also be available throughout the day.

“The goal of Express Registration Day is to provide incoming and returning students with the opportunity to take care of any outstanding business before the fall rush,” said Caitlyn Thompson, director of recruiting at Delta State.

Representatives from the Office of Admissions, Financial Assistance, Student Business Services, Registrar, Housing, Graduate Studies, Student Life, Student Success Center and academic advisors will be available to assist students throughout the day.

Students are not required to sign up for Express Registration Day and may come and go at their convenience. Advising is only guaranteed through 2 p.m.

For details about the event, visit www.deltastate.edu/register, call the Office of Admissions at 662-846-4020, or email admissions@deltastate.edu.

The staff in the Office of Admissions works with students to complete the undergraduate admission process, provides campus visits to prospective students, hosts and attends recruiting events, oversees new student scholarships and communicates with students individually. To complete an application or check admission status, visit www.deltastate.edu/account.

Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Program completes third year

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

The third annual Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Program recently wrapped up programming at Delta State University.

The program, in partnership with the Indianola Promise Community, is sponsored by Delta State University’s College of Business and Aviation. Targeting male students ages 15-19, the camp provides instruction in business vocabulary and practical work experience to enhance entrepreneurial skills and develop work ethics.

The IPC is funded by the Delta Health Alliance.

This year’s schedule culminated with a tour of the Delta Music Institute at Delta State and GRAMMY Museum Mississippi on July 24.

“This program is designed to enlighten 40 young men about entrepreneurship and the characteristics required to be an entrepreneur,” said Dr. Glendscene Williams, associate professor at Delta State.

Students from the Sunflower County School District are groomed to view their community with aspiration for starting their own successful small businesses.

“Our goal is to enhance their vocabulary when it comes to entrepreneurship and their financial literacy,” added Williams. “To do this, they participate in debates on economic conditions and other business topics related to their community and participate in a business plan competition.”

Local businesses in Indianola give each of these students the opportunity to watch the day-to-day operations of a small business after they complete the business plan competition.

“This program serves as a streamline of a win-win relationship for the participants and the community,” said Williams. “I see it as an opportunity for a community to invest in their own professionals and future business leaders, whereby the participants start at an early age to become aware of the community in which they live and the opportunity to be a major contributor to its economic growth.”

Learn more about the program at http://deltahealthalliance.org/project-category/indianola-promise-community, or contact Williams at gwillims@deltastate.edu.

Chemistry student researching at Montana’s Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience

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Pain is something we have come to accept as part of life. We even give pain its own motto — no pain, no gain. While we may not be able to eliminate pain, we can develop methods to cope with it, and Delta State student Tyler Daniels is researching the effects of a possible pain reliever.

Daniels, a senior chemistry and biology major from Hattiesburg, is working on a medical chemistry research project at the University of Montana’s Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience. For his research project, he is working on the synthesis of a Cytochrome P450 inhibitor with potential as a natural pain reliever, as well as the synthesis of a T-type calcium channel blocker with potential as a neuropathy-related pain reliever.

“I began the project in mid-June,” Daniels said. “My responsibilities include reviewing previously published research, the synthesis of a series of compounds and the purification of these compounds. The end goal is that the final products will be sent off for both in-vitro and in-vivo testing as potential pain relievers.”

Daniels began searching for internships in the spring and came across the project in Montana online.

“Because I had no prior research experience, I thought working on a project in my field of study with a potential medical application would be a great learning opportunity,” Daniels said. “This research experience has allowed me to expand my knowledge of the medicinal chemistry field and has given me a lot of insight on graduate study as a whole.”

Dr. Sharon Hamilton, assistant professor of chemistry at Delta State, has been keeping up with Daniels’ progress over the summer. She knew he had applied to several summer research experiences for undergraduate programs and is thrilled for the opportunity Daniels’ received with the University of Montana.

“We have corresponded this summer, and he’s expressed how much he enjoys his research project,” Hamilton said. “Based on these experiences, I feel confident that Tyler will excel working in my lab this fall on a new synthesis project. I’m very happy Tyler earned this opportunity. He is a wonderful student and very hardworking, effectively balancing football and chemistry courses, as well as his obligations to the Rural Physicians Program and spearheading the formation of a chapter of the Mississippi Rural Health Association on campus.”

For more information about the chemistry program at Delta State, contact Hamilton at 662-846-4479 or shamilton@deltastate.edu.

MS School for Math and Science students complete summer research

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Pictured (left to right): Student John Tierce, Dr. Sharon K. Hamilton, Dr. Adam Johanson and student Stormy Gale.

Two visiting students from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science recently wrapped up a two-week research experience at Delta State under the direction of the Department of Chemistry and Physics.

Rising seniors participating in the program were Stormy Gale (Columbus, Mississippi) and John Tierce (Cleveland, Mississippi).

“The Department of Chemistry and Physics is been proud to once again host summer research students from the Mississippi School for Math and Science,” said Dr. Joe Bentley, chair of the department. “When students come to Delta State for a summer research experience like this, it’s great all the way around. The MSMS students get a taste for doing research in an academic lab, it will help them with their applications to college, and the professor gets to work with highly qualified high school students.”2017 math science interns-1

Tierce worked closely with Dr. Sharon K. Hamilton, assistant professor of chemistry.

“John has been working with other students in my lab determining the optimal formulations for drug-loaded natural polymer fibers,” said Hamilton. “These fibers can be used for drug delivery and wound healing purposes. John is gaining valuable research experience that will help him as he pursues his college degree next year. It is my hope that our high school chemistry and physics research program can continue to grow in the years to come, especially with such great student recommendations from Dr. Elizabeth Morgan at MSMS.”

Tierce also partnered on research with current Delta State students Katie Penton (Southaven, Mississippi), a graduate student in chemistry, and Zachary Kinler (Pascagoula, Mississippi), an undergraduate student.

Gale worked with Dr. Adam Johanson, planetarium director and assistant professor of physics.

“Stormy Gale spent two weeks developing an original planetarium presentation entitled ‘History of Astronomy,’” said Johanson. “She not only outlined the show, but wrote over 1,000 lines of computer code to program the planetarium to display videos, pictures and animations to complement the narration.”

The presentation of Gale’s hard work was given to the public on July 21 in the Wiley Planetarium.

Hamilton’s research is supported by the Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, and funded by an Institutional Development Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103476.

Learn more about Delta State’s Department of Chemistry and Physics at http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/chemistry-and-physics.