Delta Center provides two day tour

By | Delta Center, General | No Comments

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University recently provided a two-day experiential learning tour of the Mississippi Delta region to students from Minnesota State University at Mankato.

The group, led by Dr. Jill Cooley, was treated to an introduction of Delta history by the Delta Center’s Lee Aylward. Dr. Rolando Herts, director of the Center, provided an overview of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area.

The group traveled throughout the week around the Delta experiencing cultural heritage sites before proceeding to Jackson for a civil rights visit to Tougaloo College and Medgar Evers’ home. The students spent their evenings watching movies about the Delta and reflecting on lessons learned throughout the day.

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 International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit

Alexander to Headline The Art of the Piano event

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, General, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Delta State University’s Department of Music presents pianist  Dr. Reid Alexander, professor of music (piano and piano pedagogy) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Alexander will be featured in a recital of works by Debussy, Liszt, and Messiaen on Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m., in the recital hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center. This recital kicks off the annual Art of the Piano event held Jan. 30-31.

On Saturday, Jan. 31 from 9:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., pianists of all ages from Mississippi and Tennessee will come together for a day of recitals, master classes and workshops centered on making music through the medium of the piano. Delta State piano faculty Karen Fosheim, Kumiko Shimizu and Jung-Won Shin will also serve as faculty for the event.

Alexander is internationally known as an accomplished pianist, inspiring teacher and mentor, and widely published author. After making his orchestral debut with the Fort Lauderdale Symphony Orchestra at the age of 16 under the baton of conductor, Emerson Buckley, Alexander’s piano study continued with the Arthur Loesser student, Gerald Snyder, and later the well-known Artur Schnabel student, Stanley Fletcher. Additional coaching has occurred with major artists such as Ruth Slenczynska, and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. As a finalist in the first Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, his many credits include recitals, presentations, and master classes in over 45 states and Canadian provinces and in several countries abroad.

As a doctoral graduate of Vanderbilt University and a long established author for Frederick Harris Music  and Stipes Publishing , the past decade has seen the release of the highly regarded volumes of the Celebrate Composer Series, approximately 2,700 pages of solo piano music with supporting study notes and commentary in 27 volumes, multiple editions of the Celebration Series Handbook for Teachers, and the 10th edition of Keyboard Musicianship, volumes I-II . The new fifth edition of the standard bibliographic resource on piano teaching literature, Piano Repertoire Guide: Intermediate and Advanced Literature (Stipes) was premiered March 2011 at the annual convention of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and is presently being translated into Korean for future release in 2015 by Sekwang Music Publishing in Seoul.

Earlier in his career, the University of Illinois honored Alexander as a faculty recipient of an all-campus award for teaching excellence, recognizing his teaching versatility with pianists of all ages. Each academic year he works with a stellar class of talented international and domestic pianists on the Urbana campus and in the summer supervises the highly respected pre-collegiate piano camps for Illinois Summer Youth Music.

In January 2014, Alexander journeyed to Taiwan to serve as a jury member for the Taiwan-Asia International Piano Competition. This year he is engaged to perform at Segerstrom Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Seoul Arts Center in Korea.

The Art of the Piano is sponsored by the Dulce Fund and the Delta State University Department of Music. The recital is free and open to the public.

For registration information and schedule details, please call 662-846-4615 or visit

Winning the Race calls for posters

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

Delta State University’s award-winning race relations conference, Winning the Race, is seeking submissions for poster designs for the 2015 conference held March 30-31.

The official title of this year’s conference is “Winning the Race: Through Hearts & Minds. A Conversation on Building Connected Communities.”

The goal of this unique event is to promote dialogue on race relations by building conversations that will bring together diverse communities in the Delta. The conference is designed to highlight conversations along the following topics or “tracks:”

 Social Justice, Civil Rights & Law
Example topics: race and the criminal justice system, mass incarceration, healthcare and racial disparities

 Economic Opportunities
Example topics: creative economy, asset building, social entrepreneurism

 Education & Community
Example topics: diversity and student leadership, diversity and the college curriculum, race and race relations discourse in the classroom

 Culture & Community
Example topics: faith, music, sports, arts

Submission Guidelines:

Submit a brief abstract for a poster presentation to Dr. Temika Simmons at no later than 5 p.m. Feb. 6. In the email correspondence, be sure to include the name(s) of all presenters and the topic or “track” to which your project most closely aligns (see tracks listed above). Collaborative work between Delta State University faculty and students is strongly encouraged and preferred. Collaborative work across institutions is also encouraged; however, all lead authors/presenters must be affiliated with DeltaStateUniversity. At least one author/presenter must be a student at DeltaState. Confirmation of receipt of abstract will be emailed to all lead authors/presenters by Feb.13. Letters of acceptance will be emailed no later than Feb. 20. Accepted presenters must register for the conference to participate in the poster competition.

Poster Preparation Instructions:

 General Considerations:
The display should include a statement of the problem, objectives of the project or research, the methodology used to solve the problem or implement the program, the major findings or outcomes and their significance and conclusions. There should be logical research sequence: i.e., introduction (research questions/hypotheses), development (data collection/analysis) and conclusion. The conclusion(s), perhaps the most important part of the research, should be related to the project findings. Layout of the elements from top-left to bottom-right and/or sequential labeling will greatly aid the visitor.

Posters will be displayed throughout the day on March 30-31. Judging, however, will take place from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on March 30. Display mounting must be completed no later than one hour prior to judging(10 a.m.) on March 30. All presenters must be present during the judging session to present and summarize their posters to the judges. After judging, posters will be displayed throughout the remainder of the conference and should be removed no later than 30 minutes following the close of the awards luncheon on March 31 (i.e., 2 p.m.). After 2 p.m., remaining posters will be discarded.

Arrangement of Materials:
Presentation may be presented on a tri-fold posterboard. All poster materials must fit on the board. Tables will be provided. Authors presenting a laminated research posterboard must supply their own easel for presentation. Velcro strips, thumbtacks or other adhesive material will not be available for poster mountings.

Presenters may place the following materials on a large posterboard: photographs, diagrams, charts, data and narrative text. The title heading should be at least 1-½”high. It should include the title of the poster session and all authors’ names and institutional affiliations. Visual elements are encouraged. Remember to keep it simple. Present only enough information to support your conclusions. The amount of information presented on the poster should be concise and well organized. Posters that appear crowded with too much data should be avoided. To minimize crowding, consider giving interested individuals a copy of the research project abstract.

Helpful Suggestions:

 Text forms: use short expanses of text mixed with data in tables, graphs, lists or illustrations. Reader should be able to focus on the main points immediately.

 Type: large, dark, block style. Don’t use all capital letters; it is much harder to read. Lettering should be simple, bold and easily legible from a distance of three feet. Directional arrows can help the viewer in following the sequence.

 Color: black or dark on white or light paper. Color combinations should be carefully considered for readability.

 Matting: attractive but subdued enough not to call attention away from text. Limit number of colors used. Use color with a purpose (to bring out a point or to code one portion of the text as distinct from another).

 Overall Design: an effective display, aside from content, are those that are attractive, well organized and largely self-explanatory.

Presentation Guidelines:

1. The presenter should prepare an outline or abstract of the major points of the poster.
2. The poster should not be read verbatim from the text. Not only are such presentations usually dull, but because of time constraints the author maybe cut off by the session chair before reaching the most significant aspects of the presentation.
3. Oral presentations should represent, on average, a five-10 minute summary of the poster. Highlights may be given regarding the purpose of the study, description of the sample, methodology, problems, and major findings, conclusions or recommendations. The amount of time devoted to each highlight will vary according to the author’s evaluation of the importance of each area to the paper.
4. During the judging session, all presenters must be available at the display to provide a formal, oral presentation (see item 3)of the project to the judges and to answer questions and discuss the contents.
5. Presenters are advised to prepare a single handout (25 copies recommended) summarizing the major components of the project. Presenters may wish to have a sign-up sheet to record names and addresses of attendees who would like further information, additional copies, etc.

For additional information on Winning the Race, follow all updates at


Staff Council holds annual toy drive

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, General | No Comments

The Administrative Staff Council at Delta State University continues to work hard at helping others this holiday season. Each year, the Staff Council Projects Committee sponsors the Delta State Toy Drive to benefit children in Bolivar County.

This year’s toy drive was another great success. A total of 276 gifts were collected, including bicycles, a scooter, puzzles, books, games and other boys’ and girls’ toys.

Rhonda Loper, staff council projects committee chair, said this is a fitting way to spread holiday cheer.

“There are children in Cleveland who will receive a present this year, who otherwise wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for the generosity of the Delta State University Staff. As the Projects Committee chair, I couldn’t be more pleased by the response to our annual Toy Drive this year. I want to extend a special thanks to each individual who gave.”

Each department on campus was asked to provide unwrapped gifts appropriate for newborn children up to 12 years old. The toys will be provided to the Bolivar County Family and Children’s Services for distribution.

Staff Council is also sponsoring a holiday breakfast for all Delta State staff members Dec.17. Employee volunteers are providing and serving food with the coffee and juice being provided by the President’s Office.

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.

Delta State reaffirms accreditation

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

Delta State University received major news Tuesday with the reaffirmation of accreditation announcement by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

SACSCOC, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states, officially announced the reaffirmation at its annual conference held in Nashville, Tenn. The reaffirmation continues the university’s accreditation for the next 10 years.

The commission’s mission focuses on the enhancement of educational quality, and it strives to improve effectiveness by ensuring that institutions meet standards established by the higher education community to address the needs of society and students.

“The SACSCOC reaffirmation of Delta State’s accreditation is the best news we could receive as we close out the calendar year and approach the holidays,” said Delta State University President William N. LaForge.

“The SACSCOC stamp of approval is vital to the integrity and rigor of our academic programs, and it is critical to our reputation as a quality university,” LaForge added. “Across our campus, many of our professionals have worked very hard to help reach this goal — from being quality classroom instructors and supporting our academic mission, to conducting an immense amount of research and organizing thousands of pages of reports that supported our document submission to SACSCOC.”

The president saluted all of those involved with this important endeavor, especially Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies and SACSCOC accreditation liaison for Delta State.

“The approval by SACSCOC affirms what we know — Delta State University provides a quality educational experience in all of its aspects,” said Moon. “All efforts of accreditation reaffirmation rely on the entire campus. This wonderful outcome is a testament to the hard work that countless people around campus have put into achieving reaffirmation, especially the Institutional Research and Planning staff.”

Moon also reported positive news with SACSCOC’s approval of Delta State’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “A World Class Experience: Improving Cultural Competency at Delta State.”

Part of the reaffirmation process includes the creation of a QEP, a five-year plan required by SACSCOC to improve aspects of student learning. Delta State’s focus is geared toward boosting cultural competency at the institution.

“All of our revisions to the QEP were accepted by the SACSCOC, which was a really positive response,” said Moon. “We are good to move forward implementing the QEP on campus as proposed.”

Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, echoed the significance of the accreditation.

“SACSCOC accreditation is an important and essential external validation of the quality and health of our entire university, and we are very excited about the news of the reaffirmation of our accreditation,” said McAdams. “Students from Mississippi, and from all over the country, can see that we meet and exceed rigorous standards for accreditation.

“Our team, led by Dr. Beverly Moon, has done a magnificent job in shepherding us through this complex process. Delta State is committed to continually improving what we do to help our students succeed. I am pleased that we have been recognized for our efforts.”

Members of the SACSCOC visiting team were on campus in April to document Delta State’s compliance with core requirements, comprehensive standards and federal requirements. As a result of that visit, Delta State received six recommendations and was given five months to provide additional information related to those six areas.

Delta State submitted its response to SACSCOC in September. The information provided by the university satisfactorily addressed four of the recommendations. At Tuesday’s meeting, Delta State was made aware that it will be responsible for providing a monitoring report and informing SACSCOC on its progress in two areas: faculty competence and financial stability.

LaForge said the faculty competence issue deals with credentialing to teach specific courses and should be a relatively quick fix shown through proper reportage, while the financial stability response requires Delta State to demonstrate improvements in institutional budgeting and programming.

“The issue related to financial stability has to do with ensuring that our financial resources are sufficient to support the university’s mission, its programs and its student enrollment,” said LaForge. “Soon after arriving at Delta State, I recognized the disconnect between the university’s increase in spending and the downward trend in enrollment. The recent budget cuts and program eliminations process we have undertaken begin to address that problem, and this process was the important first step to showing our accreditors and our (Institutions of Higher Learning) board that our financial house is in order.

“This fall, we experienced the first increase in enrollment in eight years, and we believe this trend will continue. The combination of reducing expenses and increasing enrollment puts us on the right track to ensuring a successful future for Delta State University.”

SACSCOC initially accredited Delta State in 1930. Accreditation involves a multi-year process guided by the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and by the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. Learn more about the organization at

Learn more about Delta State’s QEP at