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.

Delta State’s Tabb honored with Leadership Award

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By definition, to lead is to show the way to by going in advance; to guide or direct in a course. And with her commitment to community and economic development in the Delta that is exactly what Dr. Myrtis Tabb has established herself as – a leader.

The Women in Higher Education Mississippi Network (WHEMN) recently recognized that fact, as it presented Tabb with the second annual WHEMN “Leadership Award.”
Senior Administrator for Special Projects at Delta State, Tabb was presented the award at a recent spring conference in Columbus. The statewide organization established the award to recognize a woman who has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to promoting initiatives that identify, develop, encourage, mentor and advance women in higher education. Last year’s inaugural winner Gloria Kellum, Vice Chancellor for University Relations at the University of Mississippi, presented Tabb with this year’s award.
"I am deeply honored to receive the WHEMN Leadership Award, especially considering the fact that Gloria Kellum, a woman leader I admire tremendously, was the award recipient last year. I have enjoyed my association with all of the women leaders who are part of the WHEMN network and express my gratitude for this recognition," said Tabb, immediate past coordinator of WHEMN.
WHEMN is comprised of institutional representatives from each of the state’s junior and senior colleges and universities. Its founding resulted from a request to UM Chancellor Robert Khayat from the American Council on Education in 2002, asking him to help establish the statewide network. Khayat appealed to Kellum and Beverly Hogan, president of Tougaloo College, to lead the effort.
"There were 13 outstanding Mississippians nominated by college and university presidents this year for consideration for this award," Kellum said. "We are proud of Dr. Tabb and her service to Delta State University and the entire Delta region."
Tabb has served as the B. F. Smith Chair for Regional Development, Director of the Center for Community Development at DSU and Program Leader of the Mid-South Delta Leaders and Delta Emerging Leaders Program. Her interests are concentrated in the field of economic and community development, with special emphasis on human development, leadership and education. She holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in education. She has devoted her career to providing opportunities for others to develop leadership skills.

Delta State announces inaugural winners of Foundation Awards for Staff Excellence in Service

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In an initiative geared to recognizing individual staff memberswho have made outstanding contributions to the university, their colleagues or the university’s relations with communities in the region, the Delta State University Foundation funded “Awards for Staff Excellence in Service” this year. The University announced the award’s inaugural winners today, with Patsy Burchfield, Jessie Eatmon, Becky Foster, Ann Giger, Judy Godbold, Deborah Moore and Jane Waldrop all earning honors.


Delta State President, Dr. John M. Hilpert, explained, “The purpose of these awards is to encourage and recognize the outstanding achievements of our staff at Delta State. We are appreciative to the Foundation for supporting the awards.”
Award winners will each receive a $3,000 cash prize, as well as a commemorative plaque which will be presented at the Foundation Board’s spring meeting. The awards are separated into three categories with up to three winners in each category – Service to the University, Service to University Colleagues and Service to the Community. Winners were selected by a representative committee, appointed by the Vice President of Finance and Administration with advice from the Administrative Staff Council and the President’s Cabinet.
Honored in the category of “Service to University Colleagues,” Patsy Burchfield, Administrative Assistant for the Provost/Vice President for Academic affairs, has worked for Delta State 19 years. She and her husband, Mike Burchfield have two sons – John and Jay – both DSU graduates. A native of French Camp, Patsy graduated from French Camp Academy before going on to Mississippi State University to receive her undergraduate degree.
On being named an inaugural winner of a Foundation Award for Staff Excellence in Service, she said, “In my work at Delta State University, I take great pride in building working relationships that promote an environment of trust, support, and assistance to colleagues. This a great honor and I am so humbled.”
Recognized in the category of “Service to the University,” Jessie Eatmon has served the past eight years as the Assistant Supervisor over Grounds in the Physical Plant. Always willing to assist others and “go the extra mile,” Eatmon offered, “"I enjoy it here at Delta State and I try to do the best I can everyday. I try to make it a good place for my co-workers and those who work under me.

“I have much respect for the students and they respect me,” he continued. “When I see them moving in or out of the dorms each semester, I try to help them with the heavy things – no telling how many televisions I’ve moved in and out of dorms. Those kids remember me and they wave when they see me around campus later. I’ve boosted cars, changed tires – just anything they need help with. I just do it. Nobody tells me to, I just do it when I see they need the help."
Judy Godbold was honored for her “Service to the University.” As Coordinator of Commencement and Assistant to the Registrar, Godbold is instrumental in seeing to it each fall and spring commencement exercise is as fluid and successful as possible. She has worked at Delta State for 25 years, serving in the areas of Management and Marketing as departmental secretary; Academic Affairs as Publications Secretary; and Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Arts and Sciences prior to her current position. She and her husband of almost 30 years, Bob, also a Delta State alumnus, have two children – a daughter, Ryanne Elise, who is also married to a DSU alum, Kristopher K. Strait; and a son, Russell Ethan, a seventh grader at Bayou Academy.
Of her award, Godbold proudly declared, “I am so excited and honored to be nominated by my co-workers and selected for the Foundation Award for Staff Excellence. I love Delta State University and have enjoyed my more than 25 years of service here.”
A native of Gadsen, Ala., Ann Giger can always be counted on to lend a hand. Her countless hours of volunteer work earned her a Foundation prize in the category of “Service to the Community.” An Administrative Secretary for the Delta State Foundation, Giger has a combined 17 years of service to the University. She is the proud grandmother of three grandsons – Jared, Brett and Jason. She and her husband, Dennis, have two grown sons – Chris, married to Lisa; and Daniel, married to Elizabeth.
What an honor to receive one of the DSU Foundation Awards for Staff Excellence in Service when there are so many deserving and dedicated people at DSU,” she said. “In a time when so many universities and businesses are consumed with numbers, I can honestly say Delta State University still concentrates on their faculty, staff and students along with emphasis on family atmosphere.”
Recognized in the category of “Service to University Colleagues,” Becky Foster has been with Delta State since 1981. She has worked under three Vice Presidents for Finance in various positions, including her current role as Director of Accounting. A Cleveland native, she was educated in the Cleveland school system and received her bachelor’s of business administration in accounting from Delta State in 1971. She has two sons – Porter, a Delta State grad, and Michael.
“I am so honored to be one of the recipients of this award for service to the University. Delta State not only educated me and my family, but has been my home for most of my life, nurturing me through all its highs and lows. I am proud to be able to give back to ‘my’ university,” Forster explained.
Honored for her “Service to the Community,” Deborah Moore graduated from Delta State University with a bachelor’s of business administration degree and a master’s of business administration degree. She began work with the University’s Center for Community and Economic Development in 1998, eventually elevating to the rank of director in 2005. In her role as director, she assists grass-root communities by developing projects and programs to strengthen communities.
The wife of Dr. Billy C. Moore, interim Provost at Delta State, the couple has two daughters – Andrea, 25, and Alicia, 18. She is currently pursuing certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Economic Development Council and will enroll in a PhD. program this fall at the University of Southern Mississippi in Human Capital Development.
“The best part of this job is not only being able to work for Delta State University, but having the opportunity to serve the community as well. Satisfaction at the end of the day comes from knowing communities are being empowered to become self-sustainable,” Moore offered of her honor.
Jane Waldrup has been a valued member of the Delta State community for the past 25 years, having served in the Roberts-LaForge Library. Her current post is Head of the Circulation Department. She was nominated for the award by Jeff Slagell, Director of Library Services, in the category of “Service to the University.”
In his nomination form, Slagell praised, I have interacted with hundreds of library staff members throughout my professional career and I have never met a more dedicated or responsible individual than Ms. Jane Waldrup.”
He continued, “I have repeatedly witnessed Ms. Waldrup come into the library after her normal working hours and weekends to assist her staff, provide additional service, and check on the facility. On several occasions, she has taken the lead in directing and informing library patrons in times of emergency (i.e., fire alarms, severe weather situations).
“She provides a high level of customer service resulting in positive feedback from students, staff, faculty, and community members. Typical comments focus upon her willingness to go above and beyond the normal call to ensure their needs are met. I can’t imagine a more qualified or deserving candidate,” he concluded.
Nomination calls for the 2008 Foundation Staff Awards for Staff Excellence in Service will go out in early fall. Nominations can be made by employees, students, alumni, community members or the individual, themselves.
For more information on the awards or process, please call University Relations at (662) 846-4675.