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.

Delta State University breaks ground for DMI Recording Studios

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A groundbreaking ceremony was held to officially mark the beginning of construction that will transform Delta State’s Whitfield Gymnasium into a state-of-the-art recording studio. Pictured are: (from left) Dick David, architect; Martin Smith of David Smith Construction; A.C. Prewitt, representing the Delta State Physical Plant; Delta State Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost, Dr. Billy Moore; Brady Smith of David Smith Construction; Delta State President, Dr. John Hilpert; Delta State’s First Lady, Pat Hilpert; Delta Music Institute Director, Tricia Walker; David Smith of David Smith Construction; Delta State Dean of Arts and Sciences, Collier Parker; and Delta State Executive Director of Alumni-Foundation, Keith Fulcher.

Members of Delta State’s administration, faculty and staff took golden shovels in hand and donned hard hats Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Delta Music Institute Recording Studios on the campus of Delta State University. The studios, which will be the centerpiece of the Delta Music Institute program, will be constructed inside of the old Whitfield Gymnasium. Completion of the project is set for the spring of 2008.

Dr. John M. Hilpert, President of Delta State, offered, “These studios, housed in this historic building, will give our students an opportunity to apply their audio recording skills under the supervision of DMI faculty in a unique facility. The Delta Music Institute program also fits in nicely with our overall academic program.”
The design for the studios was drawn by veteran engineer/producer Norbert Putnam, and will consist of two main recording spaces. Studio A will serve as an orchestral studio, able to accommodate symphony orchestras, concert bands, mass choirs, and other large ensembles while Studio B will serve the recording needs of smaller ensembles or solo performers. There will also be a Studio C, which will serve as a small project lab.
DMI Director Tricia Walker indicated the studios would also serve the community, region and state. “Our plan is to open the studios up for all types of recording projects. This will give our students the opportunity to work in real-life recording sessions and will give musicians and performers an opportunity to record in a world-class facility at a fraction of the cost of a commercial studio.”
The Delta Music Institute is a first step towards a broad program in Media Arts Production. It began with a generous donation by Fred Carl of the Viking Range Corporation in 2003. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, business, and creative areas of the music industry.

Delta State profs form new chapter of American Association of University Professors

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Dr. Jeff Smithpeters, Dr. Mark Bonta and Dr. Garry Jennings.

Dr. Garry Jennings, professor of Political Science, has been elected President of Delta State University’s newly-formed Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Dr. Mark Bonta, assistant professor of Geography, is the newly-elected vice-president and Dr. Jeff Smithpeters, assistant professor of English, will serve as secretary.

 AAUP defends academic freedom and tenure, advocates collegial governance and develops policies ensuring due process.

 For more information, please contact Jennings at (662) 846-4107.