Delta States Madison Center to welcome Justice Lamar, Sept. 18

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Associate Justice Ann H. Lamar. 

Each year, Delta State University’s Madison Center honors the U.S. Constitution on or about Sept. 17 – the original adoption date of the Constitution in 1787.

This year, The Madison Center, under the direction of Dr. Garry Jennings, will welcome back to campus Delta State alumna, Associate Justice Ann H. Lamar. 

Scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 18, Justice Lamar’s presentation will be held in the Henry J. Jacobs Conference Center in Ewing Hall at 12:15 p.m. on campus.

A native of Senatobia, Justice Lamar was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court May 21, 2007, becoming the third woman to serve on the State’s Supreme Court. Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Justice Lamar to the vacancy created by the retirement of Presiding Justice Kay B. Cobb.
Justice Lamar previously served five and a half years as a circuit judge from the 17th Circuit Court, which is made up of DeSoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Yalobusha counties. From January to May 2007, she presided over the 17th Circuit Drug Court, supervising program participants in four of the five counties in the district.
Justice Lamar concluded a year as chair of the Conference of Circuit Judges in April 2007. She previously served for a year as vice-chair of the conference.
She served for a year and 10 months as district attorney in the 17th District. She was an assistant district attorney from August 1987 to January 1993 and from January 1996 to December 1999.
Justice Lamar attended Northwest Mississippi Junior College 1970-1971 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Delta State University in 1974.
She worked as an administrative assistant in the Governor’s Office of Education and Training from 1974 to 1977 while her husband, John T. Lamar Jr., earned a law degree from the Mississippi College School of Law. They returned to Senatobia, where she worked as a court reporter in chancery court for two years. She earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1982.
She practiced law with her husband in Senatobia from May 1982 to August 1987 and from February 1993 through December 1995. Their practice involved litigation in civil, criminal and domestic relations cases. Their firm represented several governmental entities, including the Tate County Board of Supervisors
Justice Lamar and her husband are the parents of two adult children, John T. Lamar III (Trey), and Vance Lamar.
The Madison Center is the university’s center for the study of democracy, human rights and the constitution.  The Center supports largely student-administered programs engaged with the curriculum and woven with the literature of political philosophy, law and policy.   
The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (662) 846-4675. 

Delta State Wright Art Center Gallery to host first exhibition of year

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 “untitled” by Jimmy Tillotson


Delta State University’s Wright Art Center Gallery will host its first exhibition of the academic year, as “STRUCTURES” by Jimmy Tillotson – a one-person art show – opens Sunday, Sept. 16 from 4-6 p.m. in the gallery on campus.

The exhibition will consist of relief blockprints, ceramics and artist-made furniture. Tillotson believes he is “a traditional printmaker (practicing) the oldest, simplest, and most direct form. The interaction of the tools, the wood and my concepts produce a unique piece of craftsmanship.”
He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and his master’s in fine arts in printmaking from the University of Mississippi and is currently an adjunct professor of art at Hinds Community College in Raymond.
Prior to his appointment, he taught art at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., and the University of Mississippi in Oxford. He has been exhibited in the southern region in solo and group shows and his art is included in collections of several higher educations institutions in Texas and Mississippi.
The community is cordially invited to attend the opening reception to view the work and meet the artist. The exhibit will be available for viewing through Friday, Oct. 26. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
For more information, please call the Wright Art Center at (662) 846-4720.

Five DSU Staff Presented Textbook Awards

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Delta State University Textbook Loan Awards were recently presented to (front row, l. to r.) Christie Ayers, Sharron Clifton, (back row, l. to r.) Barbara Knight, Betrick Scott and Bobbie Dean.

Delta State University recently recognized five deserving staff members as the fall 2007 recipients of DSU’s Staff Textbook Loan Program. Christie Ayers, Admissions; Sharron Clifton, Library; Bobbie Dean, Physical Plant; Barbara Knight, Biological and Physical Sciences; and Betrick Scott, Small Business Development Center will each receive up to $100 toward the purchase of their textbooks for this semester.

The program is sponsored by Delta State’s Administrative Staff Council and Follett Bookstore.  Staff Council serves as a liaison between the DSU administration and staff.  The DSU Administrative Staff Council is dedicated to excellence in service and the continued growth and development of the University.

“One focus of the Council is to institute programs that provide opportunities for staff development,” explained Christy Montesi, Chair of Staff Council’s Staff Development Committee.  “The textbook loan program is a great way to aid staff members in reaching their educational goals by off-setting the expense of textbooks.”
Awards are based on a first-come, first-serve basis, and a maximum of five awards are given each semester to full-time staff. 
“We are excited to report we had staff from 13 different departments apply for the fall semester,” added Montesi. 
“Follett Books supports the academic efforts of every student at Delta State University, and we wish them every educational success.  We are proud to be a sponsor of the Textbook Loan Program that helps reduce the financial burden of course materials for staff,” Griffin Hite, Store Manager of the DSU Jimmy R. Williams Bookstore said.
For more information on Delta State’s Staff Textbook Loan Program, please contact Montesi in Career Services at (662) 846-4646.

Delta States Brooks receives national recognition

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Talbot Brooks, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University, was recognized in the May 2007 issue of “GPS Worldin a feature article entitled “50+ Leaders to Watch.”

GPS World magazine has covered the global positioning industry since 1998, and launched an internet version in 2005. The magazine bills itself as an information distribution publication for the broad and rapidly growing world of information created by the global positioning industry.
Commenting on the recognition, Brooks said, “It’s nice to be recognized, but it’s also recognition for the folks that work here at the Center and for Delta State University, more than personal recognition.”
It was the role Brooks played in August of 2005, as Hurricane Katrina approached and then smashed the Mississippi  Gulf Coast, that made him realize the real “need for better integration among GPS technologies and printed maps, particularly when coordinating search-and-rescue activities,” as stated by GPS World. The magazine went on to predict: “Look for Brooks to work with several GPS manufacturers to integrate disaster mapping standards such as the U.S. National Grid, intelligent GIS data collection, and emergency responder accountability with GPS technologies.”
Brooks is well on his way to fulfilling the statement of prediction made by GPS World.

On August 23, the U.S. Geological Survey presented Delta State’s Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies a significant assistance award to support the effort to create and implement the U.S. National Grid (USNG).
The USNG will create a new mapping method that will allow the use of paper maps with a grid system to be used with GPS, a satellite navigation system that uses information from orbiting satellites. The USNG will allow navigation regardless of conditions and also provide a common language for the navigators. The USNG is tremendously useful for disaster/emergency management.
Brooks was named director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State in January 2005.
The mission of the Center is to provide geospatial services, accessible education and training, and institutional knowledge for geospatial information technologies to the widest possible audience, and particularly, the mid-Delta region.
For more information on Delta State’s Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies, please contact the Center at (662) 846-4520.

Delta State partners to present first-ever Mississippi Delta Children’s Arts & Letters festival

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 Michael Shoulders

 Rick Anderson

 Felder Rushing

It’s a memory that will stay with you forever. You will always be able to recall your little fingers hurriedly turning the pages, as your imagination builds the magnificent storyline in your head. You will never forget that triumphant slam of back cover to front cover as you successfully read your first book – with no help, just you and a hardback. That book title will forever be part of your make-up.

It is that “right of passage” memory, Delta State University, in cooperation and conjunction with the Bolivar County Literacy Council, the Bright Beginnings Foundation, the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, First Book – Mississippi Delta Advisory Board, the Roberts-LaForge Library and the Sunflower County Library System, is hoping to capitalize on in a three-day festival celebrating children’s books, authors and illustrators, Nov. 8-10.
“We want this to be a celebration of a memory that forever stays with you. Who can’t remember the first book they read,” questioned Kay Stricklin, Chair of the Mississippi Delta Children’s Arts and Letters Steering Committee. “Our committee has come together in an effort to plan an event that encourages a life-long love affair with reading, and we want to recognize those children’s authors and illustrators who have made contributions to this area.”
As such, activities are being coordinated throughout the community from Thursday through Saturday, spotlighting the children of the Delta, their books and the authors and illustrators who create them.
The author/illustrator team of Michael Shoulders and Rick Anderson, creators of “M is for Magnolia” and “1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi” along with numerous other teaching books, will be in attendance all three days, beginning Thursday. The two will be presenting master classes on campus at Delta State for education and art majors.   
The duo will then host area school children on Friday, Nov. 9 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the Delta State campus. Shoulders and Anderson will talk about the creative process in an interactive workshop, including how books are imagined, composed and finally appear on one’s book shelf.
Later that evening, the festivities travel south to Rosedale’s River Resort for an adult gala and awards presentation. Both Shoulders and Anderson will be recognized for their collective efforts during the festival’s inaugural Mississippi Book Award Winners presentation, as well as renowned Magnolia gardener, Felder Rushing.
Felder has authored several books for children that teach them how plants grow, how to cultivate their own food and flowers, and how to make fun things – a sunflower house, a scarecrow, colorful tile stepping stones, flower arranging in a potato, bird houses, your very own jungle, or even a worm box where worms can eat your garbage.
The Friday evening event will be a ticketed event. 
“We are using the Friday night event as both a fundraiser and equally important, a way to recognize the many volunteers that helped in putting this festival together,” Stricklin added.
The festival will culminate Saturday, Nov. 10 with a Community Book Jam at the Cleveland Depot Library from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The book fair will be complete with “fabulous, beautiful books, authors and illustrators, story book characters that will come alive and book give-aways,” Stricklin promised.
“We hope the community will use the event as opportunity to do some Holiday shopping,” she continued. “More events and details will be coming, but we are just so excited with the progress we have made already, we wanted to get the date and information out to the public.”
Book sales from all events will benefit First Book, an international nonprofit organization with a single mission – to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books.
Since its inception in 1992, First Book has distributed over 50 million new books to children in need in hundreds of communities nationwide.  For more information about First Book please visit
For more information on the Mississippi Delta Children’s Arts and Letters Festival, please contact Stricklin at (662) 846-4864 or
The Mississippi Delta Children’s Arts and Letters Festival is being sponsored in part by the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Clint and Ellen Ann Johnson Foundation, Entergy, River Resort and Delta State University.