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College of Education and Human Sciences to host 2nd annual Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture

By | Faculty/Staff, General | No Comments

The College of Education and Human Sciences at Delta State University will begin the 2015 Homecoming Week activities by hosting the 2nd annual Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture. The event will be held Monday, November 2, at 4 p.m., in the Jacob Conference Center in the Ewing Building, with a reception to follow in the lobby. The public is invited to attend.

The Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture honors Dr. Forest Kent Wyatt, President Emeritus of Delta State University, and DSU education alumnus whose distinguished career has served as a beacon for generations of educators, both in secondary and higher education.

This year’s guest lecturer is Dr. Brian S. Canfield, Professor of Counseling in the Adrian Dominican School of Education at Barry University in Miami, Florida. Dr. Canfield will speak on the topic, “Building Our Professional Community.”

His career in higher education has included professorships at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of San Diego. Additionally, he has held academic administrative roles as a clinical director, department chair, associate dean, and vice president for academic affairs.

Throughout his career, Dr. Canfield has been active in professional service and leadership in the field of counseling. He is a Fellow and former President of the American Counseling Association and a past President of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. He is active as a speaker and workshop facilitator and has presented to universities and professional associations throughout the United States and Internationally.

Dr. Canfield is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the “Leadership, Vision, and Professional Excellence Award” of the Australian First Nations Cultural Family Therapist and Counseling Association,” the IAMFC “Distinguished Leadership Award,” and the “Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award” of the Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Concurrent with his teaching and research, Dr. Canfield has been a practicing counselor for more than 30 years, helping individuals, couples, and families address a wide range of mental health and life adjustment issues. He is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT,) a Licensed Professional Counselor (LA,) a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LA and FL,) and a Licensed Psychologist (AR.)

He is the father of five children and four grandchildren. A Louisiana native, he and his wife Irene LeBlanc Canfield, live in Miami, Florida.

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Pictures from Monday’s blues conference events

By | Academics, Delta Center, General | No Comments
Dr. William Ferris, a widely recognized leader in Southern studies, African American music, and folklore, delivers the keynote address at the second annual International Conference on the Blues Monday at Delta State University. Ferris the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the senior associate director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. He is also adjunct professor in the curriculum on folklore. The conference continues Tuesday, ending with a free concert featuring Bobby Rush and James "Super Chikan" Johnson. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/blues.

Dr. William Ferris, a widely recognized leader in Southern studies, African American music, and folklore, delivers the keynote address at the second annual International Conference on the Blues Monday at Delta State University. Ferris the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the senior associate director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. He is also adjunct professor in the curriculum on folklore. The conference continues Tuesday, ending with a free concert featuring Bobby Rush and James “Super Chikan” Johnson. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/blues. Photos by Rory Doyle.

GRAMMY winner Dom Flemons (right) and Don Allan Mitchell, co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues, during one of the conference sessions on Monday. Flemons is the “American Songster,” pulling from traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. Having performed music professionally since 2005, he has played live for over one million people within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals, spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry. The International Conference on the Blues continues Tuesday. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/blues.

GRAMMY winner Dom Flemons (right) and Don Allan Mitchell, co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues, during one of the conference sessions on Monday. Flemons is the “American Songster,” pulling from traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. Having performed music professionally since 2005, he has played live for over one million people within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals, spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry. The International Conference on the Blues continues Tuesday. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/blues. Photos by Rory Doyle.

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International Conference on the Blues brings musicians, music scholars to campus

By | Delta Center, Faculty/Staff, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Second Annual International Conference on the Blues promises to bring legendary entertainment and academics to Delta State University on Monday, Oct. 5 and Tuesday, Oct. 6, including GRAMMY award-winning Blues artist Dom Flemons, former National Endowment for the Humanities chairman Dr. William Ferris, an historic statewide proclamation honoring B.B. King and a free performance from GRAMMY-nominated Blues musician Bobby Rush and Mississippi Governor’s Award-winning Blues musician James “Super Chikan” Johnson.

The conference, which is still open for registration, brings together Blues scholars, historians and fans from all over the United States in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, a place known as the epicenter of Blues music and history.

Among the highlights of this year’s Blues conference:
* the bestowing of a statewide proclamation signed by all five living Mississippi governors designating B.B. King as the “Mississippi’s Secretary of State of the Blues”;
* a keynote address by Blues scholar and Southern culture historian Dr. William Ferris of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;
* a master class and performance from GRAMMY winner Dom Flemons, known as the “American Songster”;
* events highlighting Blues music songwriters and performers including ‘Blues in the Round’ sponsored by Visit Mississippi;
* and “The Storytellers featuring Bobby Rush and Super Chikan: Up Close and Personal”, a free public concert sponsored by the International Delta Blues Project and the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Visit here for a complete schedule of events, or here for a complete list of presenters.

“This year’s International Conference on the Blues represents the power of the Blues to strengthen partnerships and to engage diverse communities on local, regional, national, and global scales,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning. “We appreciate the generous support of the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and other organizations that are making this conference possible, including Visit Mississippi, Entergy, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, Bridging the Blues, Mississippi Blues Commission, BPAC, Mississippi Grounds, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, the Dockery Farms Foundation and several other sponsors and partners. Through these relationships, Delta State University is empowered to offer an unparalleled educational and cultural experience to its students, faculty, and staff, as well as Delta residents and visitors.”

The second annual conference is part of the International Delta Blues Project, which is funded by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and is based at The Delta Center for Culture and Learning. The conference is being managed by a team of campus and community collaborators including the Delta Music Institute, the Department of Music, the Division of Languages & Literature, the Office of Institutional Grants, and Cleveland Tourism.

“I always marvel at the variety of scholars that our conference attracts,” said Dr. Shelley Collins, a professor in the Department of Music and co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues. “Either our presenters are alums of these schools, graduate students at these universities, or teach at the following institutions: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, George Washington University, The University of North Texas, the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho, the University of Oregon, Indiana University, Loyola University of New Orleans, Columbus State University, the New York City Public Schools, and Perm State University in Russia.”

Flemons who is known the “American Songster,” has performed music professionally since 2005 and has played live for over one million people just within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry.

Ferris, a widely recognized leader in Southern studies, African American music, and folklore, is the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the senior associate director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. He is also adjunct professor in the curriculum on folklore.

The former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris has conducted thousands of interviews with musicians ranging from the famous (B.B. King) to the unrecognized (Parchman Penitentiary inmates working in the fields). He has written or edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films.

“Bill Ferris is a personal hero of mine,” said Don Allan Mitchell, interim chair of the Division of Languages & Literature and co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues. “Every Blues class I teach, I have my students read his groundbreaking Blues from the Delta book, which is an essential text for any Blues scholar or fan.”

Mitchell said the appearance by Flemons expected to be an exciting part of the conference.

“Dom Flemons is known for his work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, but he is also a walking American songbook, and his knowledge and expertise in playing the country Blues and classic Blues is phenomenal,” Mitchell said.

This year’s conference promises to build on the vision established for the event when it began last year, Mitchell added.

“We hope to establish a long-term and sustainable Blues musicology conference, and we especially want to foster the next generation of emerging scholars of the African American Blues tradition,” he said. “Yes, the Mississippi Delta has a legacy tied to the Delta Blues, but the Blues has become a world-wide music, and we want to examine all genres of the Blues and its ever-present global influence. We know that Cleveland & Delta State prides itself on hospitality, so we think we are a perfect place to host such scholarly dialogues.”

For more information, please contact Mitchell and Collins at blues@deltastate.edu.

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 is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/delta-center-for-culture-and-learning/.

YoungValley

Young Valley set to perform next Levitt AMP Series concert

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Young Valley will perform a free concert in downtown Cleveland on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m. as part of Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series.

Young Valley will bring alternative country to downtown Cleveland. Their style has been described as “no dress up, good southern, honest music. Perfect for long roads or barbecues.”

The Young Valley concert will take place on the downtown greenspace near College Avenue. Mississippi Grounds featuring Yo Eddie’s BBQ will sell food and Delta Dairy will sell frozen treats. Concert goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, ice chests and bug repellent. Glass bottles are not allowed. Live music will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series is supported in part by Levitt Pavilions, the national nonprofit behind the largest free outdoor concert series in America. Dedicated to strengthening the social fabric of our communities, Levitt partners with cities to transform neglected public spaces into thriving destinations through the power of free, live music.

In 2015, free Levitt concerts will take place in 16 cities across 14 states, all featuring a rich array of music genres and high caliber talent. In addition to Levitt AMP, Levitt forms the only national network of nonprofit outdoor music venues, each presenting 50+ free concerts each year. Within this region is the Levitt Shell (www.levittshell.org) in Memphis, Tennessee, with concerts taking place this May, June, July, September and October. Learn more about the Levitt locations and impact at: www.levittpavilions.org.

The Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series is sponsored by Delta State University and their partners: the Delta Music Institute, Delta State University Student Government Association, the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, Team Cleveland, The Grammy Museum Mississippi, Peavey, Domino’s Pizza, and the Delta Arts Alliance.

For more information about the Cleveland Amp Levitt Concerts Series, visit our website at: http://concerts.levittamp.org/cleveland or call the Cleveland Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce at (662)843-2712.

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Commissioner of Higher Education presents budget request on behalf of university system

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JACKSON — Focusing on the resources needed to achieve the state’s goal for higher education, Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Glenn F. Boyce presented the universities’ budget request for Fiscal Year 2017 to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee at a hearing this morning in Jackson.

As outlined in the Statewide Strategic Plan, the state’s goal for higher education is “to make available an accessible, quality public higher education at an affordable cost that prepares Mississippians to become productive, financially self-sufficient members of society while meeting the human resource needs of Mississippi and its employers, including the creation of new jobs through the commercialization of university-based research.”

“This is a good goal for higher education in Mississippi,” said Dr. Boyce. “We support this goal and are working to attain it through increasing educational attainment, supporting economic development and solving Mississippi’s most pressing problems. However, we must have the resources necessary to do the work required to achieve this goal.”

Mississippi Public Universities enroll almost 94,000 students each year and awarded more than 16,800 degrees in the most recent year. This year, fall enrollment reached its highest point in history, with 81,132 students. Universities lead more than 2,500 research projects.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center is the state’s leader in addressing Mississippi’s healthcare issues. With 2,900 students in 28 degree programs, UMMC has 28,000 inpatient admissions and more than 250,00 outpatient and emergency department visits annually. UMMC’s Telehealth program is improving rural access to healthcare by offering more than 30 medical specialties at more than 100 clinical sites.

The universities’ request included an increase of $50.1 million for faculty and staff salaries and an additional $14.2 million for student financial aid over the appropriation for Fiscal Year 2016. It also includes a request of $17 million to address facility repair and renovation needs.

“To increase educational attainment, we must attract and retain faculty and staff, maintain our infrastructure and increase accessibility,” said Dr. Boyce. “Our request is a direct reflection of this.”

Average salaries in Mississippi are 83 percent of the average salaries in other Southern Regional Education Board states.

“We can’t overstate the importance of faculty and staff on student success and research,” said Dr. Boyce. “Our faculty members serve as an inspiration to students and help them persist and graduate, our staff members provide essential services that protect student safety, help students persist, and help students find jobs after graduation. Our researchers conduct important research that helps solve Mississippi’s most pressing problems.”

The request includes $17 million to address facility needs. Universities must maintain the safe, secure and state-of-the-art facilities that students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community expect. In addition to eight main campuses, the university system includes the medical center and 12 satellite centers.

This includes more than 1,600 buildings totaling more than 32 million square feet. More than 70 percent of IHL Buildings are more than 25 years old from construction date. More than 52 percent are more than 25 years from the last major renovation.

“The facilities infrastructure goes beyond the brick and mortar one expects,” said Dr. Boyce. “Our faculty, staff and students must have the technology infrastructure necessary to have the teaching and learning opportunities they expect in the 21st century.”

The request also includes a $14.2 million increase for student financial aid funding. There are currently 29,909 students receiving financial aid at public and private universities and community colleges.

“Having wonderful faculty and great buildings and programs only helps those students who can get through the door,” said Dr. Boyce. “We are very concerned about the issue of access and are considering how this issue will look 10 to 20 years down the road. Student financial aid plays a tremendous role in enabling students to stay in school and graduate.”

Dr. Boyce noted that the Board of Trustees has lead several initiatives to keep costs down, including:
· A system-wide energy savings programs that has saved $70 million.
· A system approach to property insurance has saved $45 million.
· Textbook policies to help keep those costs down as much as possible.
· Annual reviews of all academic programs.

The Board is also exploring the possibility of implementing other cost-savings measures, including:
· Expanding the MissiON Network, the state’s high-bandwidth internet backbone for research universities, to include the regional universities.
· Establishing a system-wide Employee Assistance Program, which will allow universities to pool resources and save money.

“I know we share the goal of ensuring that every student who has the drive and desire to earn a college degree has that opportunity,” said Dr. Boyce. “It is what is right for Mississippi’s students of today and tomorrow and it is a key building block in the building the Mississippi of the future that we all want.”