Delta State’s ‘Born to Read’ program celebrates ‘Make a Difference Day’

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Frieda Quon, (left) IRC Librarian at Delta State University, and Malcolm Lewis with his seven-month old son Thomas Lewis of Cleveland, and Dr. Sandra Rakes-Pedersen, Professor of Elementary Education at Delta State look over the first ever pop-up book “MOMMY” by award winning children’s author Maurice Sendak’s. 

The “Born to Read” program at Delta State University’s Roberts-LaForge Library and First Book-Mississippi Delta recently celebrated “Make a Difference Day” (MADD) by hosting a Halloween-themed reading party where copies of the first ever pop-up book “MOMMY” by award winning children’s author Maurice Sendak’s were given to each child in attendance.

Created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, MADD is the most comprehensive national day of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”  
Born to Read, a Delta State program that emphasizes the importance of reading with infants and toddlers, partnered with First Book-Mississippi Delta to present the day’s program.
First Book is an award-winning nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books.
First Book was founded in 1992, and since that time has provided more than 50 million brand new books to children in need in thousands of communities nationwide.
First Book and Scholastic Inc. collaborated to bring MADD to First Book Advisory Board Communities.
For more information on First Book visit their website or call First Book—Mississippi Delta coordinator, Kay Stricklin at (662) 846-4864. 
For more information on Delta State’s “Born to Read” program, please contact Frieda Quon at (662) 846-4347.

Delta State to sponsor Teacher Recruitment Day, Thursday, Nov. 1

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Delta State University’s Career Services will be sponsoring its annual “Fall Teacher Recruitment Day,” Thursday, Nov. 1 at 9 a.m. –  noon on the second floor lobbies of the H.L. Nowell Union on campus.

“Career fairs are a great way for not only our faculty, staff and students to interact with employers throughout the region, but also the community,” Christy Montesi, Director of Career Services at Delta State offered. “We encourage the community to join us.”
Also, on the day, Delta State students will be provided the opportunity to network with corporate and school recruiters. The situation allows for students to “get a foot in the door as they begin their job searches,” Montesi continued.
Approximately 30 school districts will be on campus, including Cleveland School District, Jackson Public Schools, Madison County School District, Pascagoula School District and Tupelo Public School District.
The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, please call Delta State’s Career Services at (662) 846-4646 or visit

Direct from Broadway comes the Red Hot National Tour of RING OF FIRE

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Direct from Broadway comes the all new first national tour of RING OF FIRE – The Music of Johnny Cash. The music of the Man in Black ignites the stage in its Cleveland premiere October 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center, featuring more than 30 signature songs from the legendary Johnny Cash. 
Stories of passion, redemption, humor, and salvation set the stage ablaze in this all new musical production honoring the world’s most famous rebel, Johnny Cash. One of the best “jukebox musicals” of our time, RING OF FIRE includes such hits as "I Walk the Line,” “Jackson,” “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “A Boy Named Sue,” and the title track “Ring of Fire”. With smashing medleys and a hearty bounce in its guitar-driven step, this shindig will have you stompin’ your feet and shoutin’ for more!
“Effective, funny and imaginatively presented,” proclaims the New York Post. “Ring of Fire is HOT!” declares Variety. “FIRE burns brighter, truer and with more imagination than most!” exclaims USA Today.
Nearly three years after his passing, Johnny Cash remains one of the most popular entertainers of all time. His success is incomparable – 11 Grammy Awards (including 1999 Lifetime Achievement Grammy), inductions into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock Music Hall of Fame, and a Kennedy Center Honor. He has placed 48 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop charts and over 130 hits on the Billboard Country singles chart – more than anyone in history. His autobiography Man in Black has sold around 1.5 million copies and the official Johnny Cash website,, receives more than 9 million hits per day.
With all new sets, all new costumes and an all new cast, RING OF FIRE celebrates the Man in Black – Johnny Cash – who was and always will be one of the most popular and most respected artists of our time. 
There’s a little Johnny Cash in everyone, this is one reason why his music has transcended decades and America has lifted him up to the iconic status that he has become. For a limited time only, see how an entire cast pays tribute to a man whose music has touched so many, live on stage!
RING OF FIRE is produced by Phoenix Entertainment. Now entering its eighth year of operations, Phoenix Entertainment is an international theatrical producing and management enterprise founded by long time colleagues Stephen Kane and Michael McFadden. Over two decades of theatrical success and industry partnership have resulted in the Phoenix team delivering thousands of performances of more than 50 live productions on four continents.
For tickets, contact the box office at 662.846.4626 or visit online at

Delta State Homecoming inches closer, activities set for Friday, Oct. 26 – Saturday, Oct. 27

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From left, Dr. Wayne Lee, Delta State Class of 1957, Mary Ellen Leftwich, 1939 Delta State graduate; Nancy Gerrard, representing Delta State’s Golden Circle; and Vicki Fioranelli, Alumni Director, look over the atrium of Jobe Hall in preparation of the University’s upcoming Homecoming activities.

Delta State University’s annual Homecoming celebration is just a week away and excitement is building on campus and among alumni.

“Homecoming is always such an exciting time of year,” Vicki Fioranelli, Alumni Director at Delta State, boasted. “This year we are ‘Honoring Veterans’ as our theme, and we expect that to bring back so many folks to campus. Homecoming is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with the campus, with old classmates and with new students. There is so much planned for the weekend with ample places and events to find those connections.”
Mary Ellen Leftwich, a 1939 graduate who has missed only one Delta State Homecoming in 68 years, believes in those connections. The Gunnison resident explains, “Delta State means a whole lot to me and I enjoy coming back to see old friends and new friends. I look forward to Homecoming and all of the activities associated with the weekend each year.”
Some of the many events planned for Homecoming 2007 are: (Friday Oct. 26) Downtown Merchant Window Display Competition; Golden Circle Inductions (Classes of 1928-57) at 6 p.m. at the Catholic Church Fellowship Hall; (Saturday, Oct. 27) Homecoming registration starts at 8:30 a.m. on the first floor of the H.L. Nowell Union; at 11 a.m. the Preview Ceremony for the Veterans’ Memorial Atrium in Jobe Hall will be held; and starting at noon activities begin at Statesmen Park.
The weekend will conclude with the Statesmen taking on Gulf South Conference opponent, West Georgia at 4 p.m. inside Travis E. Parker Field at Horace L. McCool Stadium. The presentation of the Homecoming Court and naming of the Homecoming Queen will be held at halftime of the ball game.
For more information, please call the Delta State Alumni Office at (662) 846-4660.

Delta State alum returns for talk on white-water adventures

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 Delta State alumnus, Land Heflin in action on the Rio San Pedro, Patagonia, Chile in South America. He will return to campus Tuesday, Oct. 23 to chronicle his wild white-water adventures. (Photo Credit: Dunbar Hardy).

Having just returned from leading 30 Delta State University students on a white-water adventure down the Chattooga River, alumnus Land Heflin will present an exciting multi-media travelogue this Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. inside the Henry J. Jacob Conference Center (Ewing Hall) on campus.

Sponsored by the College of Education and Graduate and Continuing Studies, Heflin’s presentation will chronicle his many breathtaking, heart-stopping global adventures conducted by his Montana and Oregon-based kayaking/outdoor adventure company,Team Tarkio (

Born, raised and educated in Cleveland, Heflin graduated from Delta State in 1995, and today serves as adjunct instructor in Recreation. Throughout his life – from toddler to graduation – Heflin shadowed his father, Dave and Dr. Henry Outlaw, both former professors at Delta State, during hundreds of white-water, camping and snow skiing trips with students in Recreation courses, fondly called the Outback Kayak Club.

Heflin’s chosen vocation began with summer seasons serving as a raft guide and kayaking instructor for the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. He later joined Ultimate Descents in Nepal as a guide, before being promoted to trip director. He eventually came on staff at Team Tarkio. 
When Team Tarkio founder, Brenan Guth passed away in 2000, Heflin continued Guth’s dream with another friend, Dunbar Hardy. Their local clinics, instructional classes and river tours utilize western trips with global expeditions in areas like Canada, New Zealand, South America, Nepal, China, Africa and Bhutan. 
The event is free and open to the public. For more information on Heflin’s upcoming talk, please contact the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at (662) 846-4555.