West African delegation to visit campus

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

Representatives from West Africa will participate in a public hearing on higher education titled “Catalyst for Change in Rural Communities,” to be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Recital Hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The representatives are partners with the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (UAPB) in its Global River Basin Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture grant “From the Mississippi Delta to the Niger Delta: Strengthening Teaching and Extension Capacity at UAPB to Enhance International Programming in a Changing and Dynamic Local, Regional and Global Context.”

The event is hosted by the Division of Social Sciences and History at Delta State, in collaboration with UAPB’s Office of International Programs. The panelists will discuss how Delta State’s public service mission shapes the economic, cultural and social conditions in the Mississippi Delta region.

Delta State’s commitment to understanding and addressing the region’s economic and rural development issues will also be discussed.

“I’m truly excited about the possibilities that will unfold as we move forward with this novel capacity building project made possible by USDA,” says Pamela Moore, project director. “This initiative allows us to explore globalizing trends and their impact upon our institution, taking into account our land-grant designation and history of service to rural communities in the Lower Mississippi River Basin.”

Members of the West African delegation are from Rivers State, Nigeria and Dakar-Fann, Senegal, in the Niger River Basin of West Africa, an area similar to the Arkansas Delta. Delegation members include government and state agency officials, educators and leaders of non-government organizations.

The Office of International Programs at UAPB, through its three-year capacity grant, is working to advance institutional relationships in West Africa with the goal of strengthening UAPB’s international programming and creating more study abroad opportunities for UAPB students. UAPB has partnered with both areas because of the similarity of both delta basin areas.

The grant supports activities consistent with its three main objectives. One is the establishment of a working group reflective of the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences academic programs, which include both scholarly and experiential learning activities focusing on global trends and developments that impact the agricultural sector and rural communities in the Lower Mississippi River Basin.

The second objective is to establish a faculty led study abroad program incorporating topics relevant to agriculture, environmental sciences and rural development.

The third objective calls for the establishment of a sustainable international extension program through working partnerships, a memorandum of understanding and funding, and technical assistance for a multi-stakeholder rural development project in the Niger River Basin.

A needs assessment has been completed in Senegal and Nigeria to assess agriculture and rural development programs serving women, youth and subsistence farmers in rural areas — audiences traditionally served by UAPB.

While in the U.S., the delegation will visit Heifer International Headquarters, the Clinton School of Public Service and the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock; tour UAPB research projects and venues; and interact with UAPB and regionally based researchers.

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Website offers camp info hub

By | Community, General, President, Students | No Comments

Under the leadership of the communications department and web writer/designer April Mondy, the university continues to boost its online presence with growing as an information hub.

Most recently, Mondy designed a detailed schedule of all the summer camp options available on campus. Follow for a complete listing of exciting opportunities for youth during the summer months. Every summer the campus hosts roughly 25 camps in athletics, arts, music, recreation and beyond for youth of all ages.

“We wanted to create a centralized location where parents and families can easily explore options for all the camps we host during the summer,” said Mondy. “Delta State should take pride in the number of unique camps available — and we thought it was imperative to design a page detailing the programs.”

Mondy said the idea came from Bologna Performing Arts Center executive director Laura Howell, who was looking to make it easier for parents to find information about the multiple camps offered both at the BPAC and the rest of the campus.

Delta State’s website is also a great resource for staying up to date with all things green and white. Viewers can navigate straight from the homepage to a live news feed, events calendar, list of employment opportunities, admissions information, class schedules and much more.

Also linked is President William N. LaForge’s blog,, as the university’s leader continues his never-ending efforts to bring Delta State toward international distinction.

Mondy said camp organizers can follow the link ( to submit future camps to be advertised on the hub. Contact 662-846-4675 for more information.

LaForge encourages local youth

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President William N. LaForge will be speaking at Greenville’s Washington School graduation Friday, another stop in his continuous effort to reach out to homegrown potential Delta State students.

The mission of Washington School, a college preparatory institution, is to promote lifelong learning, moral and spiritual values and academic excellence. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and by the Mississippi Private School Association.

LaForge also made a recent visit to Margaret Green Junior High School in Cleveland to celebrate the induction of six students into the National Junior Honor Society. NJHS recognizes students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship and character.

Keep up with President LaForge and Delta State University on his blog at or Twitter via @presidentDSU.

Harris-Stewart receives honorary doctorate

By | Academics, Athletics, General | No Comments

While her list of accomplishments is already lengthy, Lady Statesmen basketball legend Lusia “Lucy” Harris-Stewart added another milestone to her résumé at Delta State University’s spring commencement ceremony today.

Harris-Stewart was granted an honorary doctoral degree as part of Delta State’s long-running tradition of recognizing green and white greatness.

Delta State University confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally or other areas of society. Achievements can include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support.

“I’m very honored to be receiving this degree — very, very honored,” said Harris-Stewart. “I’m looking forward to having the chance now to visit with fans, teammates and all of my family.

“Delta State has certainly been a learning experience for me. It’s given me the chance to do a lot of things and travel to a lot of places. Through basketball, I’ve been able to travel internationally.”

Harris-Stewart, a native of Minter City, Miss., graduated from Amanda Elzy High School in Greenwood. She received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in health, physical education and recreation in 1977 and a master’s degree in education in 1984, both from Delta State.

While Harris-Stewart proved her academic abilities in the classroom, her international distinction comes from her career accomplishments on the court. Considered one of the greatest centers to ever play women’s basketball, she was relentless and dominating in her style of play.

She is also considered one of the pioneers of women’s basketball, winning three consecutive national championships at Delta State under Hall of Fame coach Margaret Wade. She also holds the distinctions of scoring the first ever points in women’s Olympic basketball history, and being the first woman to be officially drafted by a team in the National Basketball Association.

“I have a lot of memories at Delta State,” she said. “One of the highlights was playing in a game at Madison Square Garden. I think it was the first time a Mississippi team played there. It was a very unique opportunity to travel to New York and play in the Big Apple.”

After graduating, Harris-Stewart served as an admissions counselor and assistant basketball coach. She also had a two-year stint as head coach at Texas Southern University in Houston. Upon returning to her native Mississippi, she worked as a high school teacher and coach.

For her achievements and contributions to Delta State University, Harris-Stewart was inducted into Delta State University’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1992, she became one of the first two women ever inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. She also became the first African-American woman inductee.

In 1998, Harris-Stewart, along with Coach Wade and her teammates on the national team, were named among the 26 inaugural inductees to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn. She has also been named to the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Her career has brought her literally around the world, providing opportunities never imagined growing up in small-town Mississippi.

“I encourage the students of Delta State to continue to dream,” she said. “Dreams come true if you work hard. I learned that at Delta State. I want to say a big thank you for this honorary degree. I’m very honored by this prestigious recognition.”

Statesmen assist Louisville tornado victims

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

A number of departments across campus are coming together to assist residents of Louisville, Miss. following devastating storms that ripped through town and much of the South on Monday.

Louisville was one of the hardest-hit spots, with officials reporting at least nine deaths in the area due to a powerful tornado. The storm had a preliminary rating of EF4, just shy of the most treacherous tornadoes on the scale.

Multiple Delta State students and staff were also victims to lost or damaged property.

With a coordinated effort from faculty, staff and students, Delta State will be providing relief items to Louisville. The drop-off site for donations is the Forrest Wyatt Gymnasium from Thursday-Monday, with Todd Davis as the point of contact (662-846-4570).

Greek organizations will also be collecting supplies in a long-term effort for a truck run once Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reopens local roads. This will most likely occur after exams.

In the short-term, coach Jesse Ward will run a small load to Louisville on Thursday, as he has access to his home.

The following items are being sought: Visa Gift Cards, Wal-Mart Gift Cards, Restaurant Gift Cards (KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy’s), Bottled Water/Gatorade, Snack Foods (Chips, Crackers, Granola Bars), Hand Sanitizer, Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Dental Floss, Towels, Paper Towels, Toilet Tissue, Kleenex, Flashlights, Batteries, Aspirin, Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Band-Aids, Eye Drops, Bandages, Peroxide, Brushes/Combs, Toiletry Items (Shampoo, Conditioner, Deodorant, Soap, Razors, Lotion), Laundry Detergent, Dish Detergent, and Baby Food, Formula, Nursery Water, Diapers, Wipes, and Socks of various sizes.

The Delta State Staff Council is seeking volunteers to help sort, pack and load items May 6 at 9 a.m. Please contact Suzanne Simpson at 662-846-4051 to sign up.