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Delta State AD search to be national; Mayers appointed interim

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Ronnie Mayers

Rose Strahan

Delta State University announced this morning Ronnie Mayers will serve as interim athletic director, effective March 1. University officials further announced a national search to find the next leader of the Delta State athletic department will begin immediately.

Mayers will replace Dr. Brad Teague, who resigned Tuesday, Jan. 22 from his post as Delta State athletic director to accept Division I-AA University of Central Arkansas’ offer to head its athletic department.

Currently the assistant athletic director, Mayers served as the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams for over 20 years. Under his leadership, the swimming and diving program experienced expansive growth, including the construction of a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art natatorium. The program also produced 56 individual All-Americans and 21 academic All-Americans. 

“Coach Mayers has the experience and the leadership we will need to transition the Delta State athletic department,” Delta State President Dr. John M. Hilpert said. “He will be a steady hand at the helm of the department.”

Dr. Rose Strahan, chair of the mathematics department at Delta State and NCAA faculty athletic representative for Delta State, has agreed to chair the search committee. This will be the second search committee Strahan has chaired, having led the charge to find a new head men’s basketball coach following the retirement of former Statesmen head coach Steve Rives in April 2006.

“We are pleased Dr. Strahan has accepted this charge,” Hilpert continued. “She has impeccable qualifications and a proven track record in leading a search of this scope. We are confident she will lead the group well.”

Strahan will be assisted by Greg Redlin, Vice President of Finance and Administration at Delta State. Redlin, who served as interim athletic director at the University of South Dakota, will provide staffing to the committee.

Members of the search committee will be announced early next week and are expected to be representative of both campus and community.

“We recognize the level of interest the position of athletic director has, both on campus and in our community. We look forward to an open and productive search,” Hilpert concluded.

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Delta State AD resigns to accept UCA position

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Dr. Brad Teague will be formally introduced as the new athletic director at Division I-AA University of Central Arkansas at a press conference in Conway, Ark., this afternoon at 2 p.m. Teague resigned from his post as Delta State University athletic director to accept UCA President Lu Hardin’s offer, Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Teague first interviewed with Hardin Friday, Jan. 19, after being contacted about the vacancy late last week.

“We are obviously disappointed to be losing Dr. Teague,” Delta State President, Dr. John Hilpert said. “He has led the Delta State athletic department with character and integrity, and the success Delta State athletics has enjoyed over the past four years is evidence of his leadership.

“This is an opportunity for the Teagues, and we wish them the best in the future,” Hilpert continued. “We thank Dr. Teague for the service and commitment he has shown to Delta State University over the years.”

Of his decision to resign, Teague offered, “Delta State University, Cleveland, Miss., and the people of both are extremely important to me and my family. This was not an easy decision to come to, but I feel, at this time in my life, I can not pass this opportunity up.

“I would like to thank Dr. Hilpert, the University family, the Cleveland community, our fans and the coaches, staff and student-athletes that have made my time as athletic director so very special. In my heart, I will forever be a Statesman,” he concluded.

Teague is scheduled to begin work in Conway, Ark., March 1.

Delta State, through its Office of University Relations, will release details of its intended search process later this week.

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Delta State to present 3rd Annual Delta Health & Wellness Day, Jan. 25

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The Delta Health & Wellness Day Planning Committee gathers to discuss the upcoming event. Pictured, r. to l., Deborah Moore, Delta State Center for Community & Economic Development; John Alvarez, Delta State Health, Physical Education & Recreation; Farae Wolfe, Cleveland School District; Wallace Townsend, Alternative Medical Solutions; Kim Buehring, North Sunflower Medical Center; Desiree Norwood, Eternity Hospice; Regan  Hall,  DSU Graduate Student;  Meg  Jones, Delta State Center for Community & Economic Development; Demetrice Dotson, Delta Health Center;  Eugenia  Gallaher, VISTA member;  and Rori  E. Herbison, Delta State University Relations. Not pictured: Laura Fleeman, Delta State University Relations; Lisa Horn, Chamber of Commerce; Mary Jones, Delta Health Center; Katie Kerstetter, ICBR/ VISTA member; Robyn Marlow, North Sunflower Medical Center; Mike McCain, Cleveland Police Department; Lisa Oswalt, DSU School of Nursing; Milton Wilder, DSU Health, Physical Education and Recreation; and Helyn Williams, Partnership/VISTA member.

Delta Health and Wellness Day (DHWD) will make its return to the Bolivar County Expo Center, Thursday, Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sponsored by Delta State University through its Center for Community and Economic Development and in cooperation with the Leaders of Delta Health and Wellness, the event is already shaping up to be the biggest in its three year history.

“Each year we enter into our planning phase with clear, concise goals of what we want to achieve,” DHWD Chairman and Director of University Relations at Delta State, Rori E. Herbison explained. “This year, we wanted to increase our exhibitor count – we’ve done that. We wanted to increase the number of free screenings we could provide – we’ve done that. Lastly, we wanted to increase the number of people that attended the event – we’re hoping to do that.”

In an effort to reach that broader audience, DHWD will be “open” longer. “Last year, our exhibitors began packing up at 1:30 p.m. and we were through with the event by 2 p.m.,” Herbison continued. “This year, we’re asking our exhibitors to stay set-up until 4 p.m., as so we can better service those who may work first shift, or school hours. We’re excited about what we’re offering and just want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to come out and experience it for themselves.”

Simply stated, DHWD is a large health fair offering free screenings, educational outreach, and access to healthcare for Mississippi Deltans. There are three primary components to DHWD: 1. an exhibitor and health screening area where exhibitors of health-related organizations, entities performing free screenings, healthcare professionals, non-profits and others set up booth to display and offer information or services to the public; 2. a “Kids Korner” area where 4th and 5th grade students have scoliosis checks, participate in various health activities and receive valuable information on healthy eating, nutrition, exercise and safety; and 3. a Center Stage Speaker.

While exhibitors are still being accepted, many repeat exhibitors have already committed to the day’s activities, including the Delta State School of Nursing; Sta-Home Health Agency; Cleveland Police Department; Delta Health Center; and North Sunflower Medical Center.

Many free testing services and screening will also be available at DHWD, including cholesterol, blood sugars, hearing, vision, HIV testing, nutrition counseling and pharmaceutical/prescription consultation.

“We’re very proud of our line-up this year and we hope those who come can feel that and see that,” Herbison continued. “A lot of work by a lot of good people has gone into the planning of this event.”

DHWD will also mark Delta State’s first event of 2007 in conjunction with its on-going theme, “Health and Wellness in the Delta.” Delta State President, Dr. John Hilpert heralded this 2006-2007 academic year, “The Year of Health and Wellness in the Delta” during his September State of the University address.

For more information on Delta Health & Wellness Day, please contact Rori E. Herbison at (662) 846-4675 or Meg W. Jones at (662) 846-4842.

 

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Delta State professor to speak at ag leadership program for 22nd straight year

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Dr. Jerry Robinson

For 22 consecutive years, Dr. Jerry Robinson, Jr., distinguished professor emeritus of rural sociology at Delta State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has presented the opening session of The Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program.

Robinson will, again, be presenting his day-long workshop, “What it means to be a Leader, Why Agriculture Needs Strong Leaders & Effective Leadership Styles,” Wednesday, Jan. 24 at the University of Kentucky.

A two-year program sponsored by the University of Kentucky and private businesses in the Kentucky area, The Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program offers emerging agricultural leaders the opportunity to participate in intensive seminars and workshops, visit Washington, D.C. and travel abroad. First launched in 1985, the program is limited to a class of 20-25 adults who are selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership ability and commitment to make future contributions to agriculture, rural communities and society. 

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‘Suit yourself,’ Delta State Career Services launches innovative program

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Jason Umfress, left, director of Career Services at Delta State looks on as Heather Hilderbrand, a graduate student and natural sciences major of Bentonia, and Tierra Welch, a freshman accounting major of Okolona, decide which suit jacket best fits Macalaster Deveney, a junior pre-med major of Memphis, Tenn. Delta State’s Career Services recently launched a program, “Suit Yourself Sale,” in which donated business attire will be sold to students at bargain basement prices prior to Career Day. Proceeds of the sale will fund cutting-edge interviewing software, called “Perfect Interview.”

Delta State University Career Services recently launched an innovative program geared to help students get the edge in the job market. 

The “Suit Yourself Sale” is designed to offer cost effective, “gently worn” business dress attire to students for purchase at bargain basement prices.  Donated attire will be sized and offered to DSU students, with proceeds going toward the acquisition of cutting-edge interviewing software, called “Perfect Interview.”

“We recognize that achieving a professional image on a college budget can be difficult,” Jason Umfress, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Career Services, acknowledged. “We want to do what we can to ensure our students meet the expectations of the potential employers in attendance at Career Day.

“I believe the ‘Suit Yourself Sale’ program can be a win-win situation, in that we can provide our students, not only with the clothes to wear to an interview, but also with the skills to ace that interview by working the ‘Perfect Interview’ software.”

The Career Center will be accepting donations of “gently worn” sport coats, suits, ties, skirts and slacks – men’s or women’s – until Monday, Feb. 12. The items collected will be put on sale, at bargain basement prices, during Career Week on Feb. 15 -16 – just days prior to Career Day on Tuesday, Feb. 20. 

To donate, please bring your items – on hangers – to Career Services, Union 300 (third floor) in the H.L. Nowell Union Building on campus. Umfress and his staff will work with the community to schedule pick-ups, as well.

For more information on the “Suit Yourself Program,” please call Delta State Career Services at (662) 846-4646.