Coach Boo Ferriss leads tour through baseball museum

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Coach Dave “Boo” Ferriss (center) gives detailed information about items on display in The Dave “Boo” Ferriss Museum to (from left) Weldon Aultman, president of Planters Bank of Indianola; Gene Van Cleve of Indianola’s Van Cleve Insurance Agency; Frank Crosthwait, attorney of Indianola (4th from left); and Mark Hargett, president of Planters Bank of Cleveland (at right). Also attending were Vernon Beard of Indianola and Bubba Ely of Shaw.

As part of the recent Cellular South Ferriss Trophy presentation held in Cleveland, Delta State sponsored a drawing for all those purchasing tickets to the event. Three winners were selected at random, with each winning a guided tour of the Dave “Boo” Ferriss Museum by the legendary coach, himself. Jimmy Clayton of Indianola was the announced winner of this tour, but flight delays prevented his attendance.
Winners were able to invite five other people to join them for the tour and lunch, which was also included. Other winners include Mark Hamlin of Jackson and Eddie Joe Alias of Yazoo City.
On the campus of Delta State,  “Inning by Inning: A Life in Baseball” chronicles Ferriss’ illustrious career from his early days at Shaw High School, to a young man at Mississippi State, to the height of his career with the Boston Red Sox, to his days at the helm of the Delta State baseball program.
The Dave “Boo” Ferriss Museum is housed in the Crawford Center located at the entrance of Ferriss Field, home of the Delta State baseball team.

Delta States Delta Music Institute Hosts Preview Party

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Viking Range Corporation’s founder Fred Carl (center) holds a vintage Peavey electric guitar with a Viking Range scene painted on the front. The instrument was hand painted with oils by Delta State University Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Collier Parker (at left). Pictured are: (from left) Parker, Mrs. Mary Peavey, Fred Carl, Margaret Carl, and Hartley Peavey, founder and CEO of Peavey, one of the largest, most diversified, independently owned suppliers of musical instruments and professional sound equipment in the world.
The Carls and Peaveys were special guests at Delta State’s Delta Music Institute Preview Party and Luncheon. The preview party was held to show how the old Whitfield Gymnasium will look once transformed into two state-of-the-art recording studios. Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2007. The Delta Music Institute is a first step towards a broad program in media arts production. It was launched with a generous donation by Fred Carl in 2003.

The Delta Music Institute (DMI) is a center for recording arts and music industry studies at Delta State University, one of eight state-supported institutions of higher learning in Mississippi. 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 and recording industry.

Mississippi Janice Wyatt Summer Arts Institute performances scheduled

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Broadway Musical

Core Arts

June 29th and June 30th come support your community’s own local talent, as they present Once on this Island at the Bologna Performing Arts Center. The Broadway Musical is as a part of the Mississippi Janice Wyatt Summer Arts Institute.

Delta State University and Bologna Performing Arts Center team up each year to offer a variety of artistic activities for youth during the summer through the Mississippi Janice Wyatt Summer Arts Institute that was established in 1998. Summer Arts offers opportunity in dance, theatre, music-instrumental and vocal, visual, and literary arts and boasts a distinguished body of faculty with international recognition. MSAI serves participants 12-18 years of age who are interested in attending an arts-based summer camp. 
The Broadway Musical offers dedicated, talented young actors the opportunity to engage in professional, focused training for four intense weeks realizing their success in a first-class Broadway production. With a strong focus on teamwork, the program emphasizes personal growth through the acquisition of foundational skills in acting, scene study, voice, movement and musicality.
This year’s Broadway musical production, Once on this Island, is a musical based on the novel by Rosa Guy, My Love, My Love. This Caribbean-flavored multicultural fest for the heart, mind and soul tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a young man from a wealthy family. When Daniel is returned to his people; the gods who rule the island guide Ti Moune on a quest to test the strength of her love against the powerful forces of prejudice, hatred and death. 
The Broadway Director is Danielle Skraastad, an actor, director, teacher and playwright who received her MFA from the NYU Graduate Acting Program. Skraastad directed last year’s Shakespeare production and returns to direct for another term. Working with Skraastad as co-director is Michael Ewing, a professional actor based out of New York.   
The Broadway Musical will be presented Friday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 30 at 2:00 p.m. Admission is FREE to the public, so come and enjoy a night of the arts! 

Core Arts participants receive wide-ranging and intensive instruction in a variety of art forms.  MSAI courses offer a tremendous opportunity for individual instruction, with a teacher-student ration of approximately 1:10.  Core Arts exist to promote the artistic and creative abilities of individuals.  Opportunities to take dance, vocal and instrumental music, visual and literary arts, and acting classes are offered in a six-period per day format.  Core Arts aims to create a space in which people can realize their dreams and unleash their imagination to discover and develop their talents. 

There will be a poetry reading/visual arts exhibit and reception Friday, June 22, at 6:00 p.m. in the BPAC Recital Hall and Tims Gallery.  The Core Arts Presentation will be Saturday, June 23, at 10:00 a.m. where students will showcase what they have learned during the camp. 


Delta State announces administrative changes

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 Dr. Leslie 

 Dr. Beverly

 Dr. Michelle 


Dr. Myrtis 


Dr. Barry


Dr. Paul




Dr. Billy



Dr. Jenetta


Delta State University recently announced its administrative changes for the upcoming academic year with a blend of both new hires and title changes taking effect across campus.

“At the outset of my second four-year contract at Delta State University, I am personally excited by the opportunity we continue to have at this institution,” Delta State President, Dr. John M. Hilpert acknowledged. “The administrative changes set to take effect and the new hires we have already welcomed to campus offer Delta State the prospect of growth and sustained achievement.”
At the administration level, Dr. Michelle Roberts and Dr. Myrtis Tabb will assume new titles next month, along with a shift in their respective responsibilities. Roberts’ former position as Executive Assistant to the President has been restructured, now becoming Vice President for University Relations. With the advancement, Roberts becomes the first female vice president at Delta State.  
While still responsible for her previous governmental affairs duties, she will now be charged with marketing the university as a whole. She is set to begin her 16th year of service at Delta State.
In Tabb’s new role as Assistant Vice President for Partnerships and Special Projects, she will manage the University’s outsourced areas, including information technology, food services and the bookstore. In her tenure with Delta State, Tabb has served in several capacities, including Senior Administrator, Special Projects; B. F. Smith Chair for Regional Development; Director of the Center for Community Development; Program Leader of the Mid-South Delta Leaders and Delta Emerging Leaders Program. Most recently, she was recognized with the Women in Higher Education Mississippi Network “Leadership Award.”
Both Roberts and Tabb will retain their seats on the Executive Cabinet.
Dr. Beverly Moon will also don a new title in July, transitioning to the Associate Dean for Assessment and Planning. She began her teaching career with Delta State in 1999 as an Associate Professor of English before moving to the administrative side in 2005 where she directed the Honors Program until this year. Also during that time, Moon began coordinating the development of the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree program, an effort that culminated this year. An inaugural winner of the University’s Foundation Faculty Prize in 2005, Moon also manages the Office of Institutional Research and Planning.
Delta State has welcomed Mike Switzer to campus as its new Director of the Physical Plant. A graduate of Mississippi State with a degree in civil engineering and a registered Professional Engineer, he previously served as Facility Services Manager at the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) in Jackson since June of 2004.  Prior to his time in the IHL office, Switzer was a construction engineer for Neel-Schaffer, Inc. in Jackson.
Also in the area of Finance and Administration, Sam Washington’s title is now Director of Procurement and Auxiliary Services. Previously, Washington served as the Director of Purchasing and Property Officer. In his new position, he will also be charged with overseeing risk management.
Another new addition to the campus community, Reed Abraham joins the Delta State Foundation as its Director of Development. A native of Cleveland, Abraham received both his bachelor’s and master’s of Business Administration from Delta State before pursuing post-graduate studies in Management at the University of Mississippi. Prior to returning to his alma mater, he was an instructor in Management at Ole Miss. His work experience also includes time with Smart Revenue, Inc. as a contract consultant; the Delta Business Journal as a contributing editor/writer and Bayou Academy as an instructor and student advisor.
Also from the Alumni-Foundation Office, Dameon Shaw has received a title change, now becoming the Assistant Director of Annual Giving. Previously the Secretary to the Director of Annual Giving, he was recently selected Delta State’s Employee of the Month for January. He also serves as the Mayor of Shaw, his hometown.  
Inside the College of Arts and Science, Ron Koehler will now lead the Art Department, taking over Chair duties from Bill Lester. A 25-year teaching veteran at Delta State, Koehler previously taught Three-Dimensional Design, Sculpture and Printmaking. He has served as the International President of Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity since 1998.
Also inside the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Barry Campbell will serve as Interim Chair of the Biological and Physical Sciences. First joining the Delta State faculty in 1999, he has previously instructed General Zoology, Parasitology, Medical Entomology, Histology, Developmental Biology and Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy.
Dr. Paul Hankins will also advance to an Interim Chair, serving as Chair of the Music Department beginning this fall semester. A Professor of Trumpet at Delta State since 1999, Hankins is an active performer and clinician nationally and internationally. He has performed with numerous orchestras including the Mississippi Symphony, Delta Symphony and Tupelo Symphony. His professional memberships include the International Trumpet Guild, Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
As was previously announced, Dr. Billy C. Moore will serve as the institution’s Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective July 1. The senior member of Delta State’s academic deans, Moore was appointed Dean of the College of Business in July 2003. A native of Cleveland and graduate of Delta State University, he first started with the University in 1986 as an instructor in Economics.
In Moore’s absence from the College of Business, Billy Morehead will serve as Interim Dean of the College of Business. This past academic term, Morehead stepped down from his previous Vice President for Finance and Administration position to accept a full-time teaching position as Chair of Accountancy, Computer Information Systems and Finance. Now filling the chair position will be Dr. Darry Hardy, long-time Professor of Computer Information Systems.
The College of Education is also experiencing growth, as Dr. Leslie Griffin was recently announced as the new Dean of the College of Education. She first began her tenure with the University in 1992 as an adjunct faculty member in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction and returned in 1998 after a one-year stint at Mississippi Valley State University as its Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Elementary Education. Upon her return, Griffin worked as an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education before advancing to Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Elementary Education in 2000. Five years later, Griffin again earned another title – Chair of the Division of Teacher Education.
Dr. Jenetta Waddell, previously an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Research, advances to Griffin’s previous post. Waddell will now become the Chair of Teacher Education, as well as Director of Assessment. Dr. Cheryl Cummins will also assume the role of Director of Field Experiences.
Also in the College of Education, Tim Colbert moves to become the Interim Chair of the Health, Physical Education & Recreation, following the retirement of Dr. Duke Barnes. Colbert formerly served as the Director of the Athletic Training Education Program.
July 1 will also bring the official start date of Jeremy McClain as Delta State’s Director of Athletics. McClain’s hiring was announced at earlier press conference in April. During his current tenure as Director of Development, the Foundation has raised $1.4 million.
The fall semester at Delta State will begin Wednesday, August 15.

Singer-Songwriters to tell of Mississippi’s role in the country scene

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Tricia Walker

Davis Raines

Billy Ray Reynolds

Three successful country music performing songwriters will discuss their craft and the role Mississippi and Mississippians have played in shaping their music on Monday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. at The Bean Counter in Cleveland.

Made possible through the Mississippi Humanities Council, with funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the event will feature Tricia Walker, Davis Raines and Billy Ray Reynolds and is free and open to the public.  
Walker, now Director of Delta State University’s Delta Music Institute, will facilitate the discussion. She has designed the discussion after the famous “Bluebird in the Round” events that are held at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, where she lived for many years. Tricia’s songs have been recorded by Faith Hill, Patty Loveless and Alison Krauss, whose performance of Tricia’s “Looking in the Eyes of Love” earned a Grammy. A recording artist herself, Tricia’s newest CD, “The Heart of Dixie,” captures her own view of growing up in the South.
Singer-songwriter Davis Raines didn’t get around to a music career until his mid-30s, after he decided to leave behind his job as a captain of a maximum-security prison in Alabama, where, for a time, he was in charge of Death Row. The music on his critically acclaimed debut CD, Big Shiny Cars,” includes hardcore tunes like “Working Homicide’’ and “Hell for Breakfast and Last Hard Man in Elmore County.” His songs have been recorded by Kenny Rogers, Pam Tillis and Pat Green. He recently co-presented “Poetry of the People: Country Music Lyrics and American Social Change” at the 2007 Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration.

As an actor, musician, songwriter, and screenplay writer, Mount Olive native Billy Ray Reynolds uses every means available to record and conserve a balance of historic, natural and personal history. A legendary songwriter, Reynolds has had his work recorded by some of country music’s finest including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker and John Conlee. His own songwriting resonates with the appreciation he has for the purpose and intent of a country song. "I think that’s just what country music is. It’s about the heritage. It’s about the common man, the working man that built our country,” he contends.

This discussion of country music and the lives of singer-songwriters is part of a weeklong workshop featuring the music and musicians from Mississippi. Funded by the Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the workshop is presented by the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University.

Twenty teachers from around the state will explore the rich musical heritage of Mississippi, from shape note singing through the Blues, Jazz, Country, Rock, opera, classical, pop, R&B, and hip-hop to learning how to use Mississippi’s music as a tool to better engage students in the history of our state. For more information about the workshop, contact the Delta Center at 662-846-4311.