Hearin Foundation continues funding for Graduate Fellowships in Community Development at Delta State

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Front Row: Mary Kathryn Wooten, Michelle Wallace, and Chandra Hines, Hearin Fellows; Back Row: Dr. Albert B. Nylander III, Chair Division of Social Sciences; Dr. Alan Barton, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Community Development; Dr. Paulette Meikle-Yaw, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Community Development; Dr. John Green, Graduate Coordinator of Community Development; Dr. Jerry W. Robinson, Distinguished Professor of Rural Sociology; and Eric Atchison, Hearin Fellow.

Today was a good day for Delta State University’s community development program, as the curriculum’s financial future for the next three years was secured in the form of a $300,000 grant through the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation of Jackson.

First established in 1995, Delta State’s Master of Science in Community Development (MSCD) was created by the Division of Social Sciences, in collaboration with Delta State’s Center for Community and Economic Development.

The goals of these two units are to address critical social, community and economic development issues in the Mississippi Delta by graduating students who can integrate theory with practice in the region. The MSCD curriculum prepares graduates for successful careers as professional practitioners in private and public sector organizations.

Having already graduated 66 students, Delta State’s MSCD program is quickly gaining respect and recognition as one of the premier programs in the country. To its credit, Delta State was selected as the first site in the nation for a “Graduate Student Honor Society in Community Development.”

Of the recent grant and its role in the success of MSCD, Dr. Albert Nylander, Chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Delta State, explained, “This generous grant provides Delta State with $80,000 per year for Hearin Fellowships for at least five outstanding graduate students, who will undertake full-time study in the MSCD program.

“The remaining funds will be used to: (1) develop a marketing and recruitment program that targets outstanding graduate students; (2) support the work of Hearin Fellows in field placement internships; (3) provide partial support for expenses Fellows occur in applied thesis research; (4) support the participation of Hearin Fellows in professional meetings which will enrich their educational experiences; and (5) help support marketing efforts to place MSCD graduates in Mississippi,” Nylander continued.

He further contended, “Since 1998, total funding from the Hearin Foundation and other sources for MSCD fellowships has totaled over a million dollars. Dr. Jerry Robinson, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Rural Sociology, has led the effort to help receive this outside funding. Our students and faculty are grateful for these resources.”

Each Hearin Fellow receives a monthly stipend. Tuition, books, fees and medical insurance are also covered under the program. Interested students must have a bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to community development and a minimum grade point average of 3.25.

Priority in the selection process will be given to those students in need, as well as those students who will live and work in Mississippi after earning the MSCD.

Currently, more than 80 percent of MSCD graduates remain in Mississippi, most specifically the Mississippi Delta Region. Examples of places in Mississippi where Hearin Fellows are employed include: Mississippi Health Policy Research Center at Mississippi State University; Director of Injury and Violence Prevention in the Office of Preventive Health, Mississippi Department of Health and the North Mississippi Regional and Planning and Development District; Rural Development, USDA. Four more recent Fellows have been employed as Program Associates in Delta State’s Center for Community and Economic Development, while several are employed in the private sector.

Three recent Hearin Fellows are enrolled in doctoral programs in sociology: one at the University of Missouri, one at Mississippi State University, and a third at Brigham Young University.

For more information about the Hearin Fellowships, please contact Dr. Albert Nylander, Chair, Social Sciences, at P.O. Box 3264, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS 38733; or (662) 846-4065, or e-mail

Delta State sponsoring trip to Turkey as part of summer semester

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Pope Benedict XVI just visited-why not you?

The Delta State University art department will be sponsoring an over month-long trip to Turkey, June 15-July 22.  

A nation of two continents, where Asia and Europe meet, Turkey is one of the most fascinating places in the world. During this trip, Istanbul, a 3,000 year old city, will be the primary focus. Western and central parts of Turkey will also be toured over the last two weeks.

Participants will see the house of Virgin Mary, the ancient city of Ephesus where disciple Paul once preached, and the Hagia Sophia, which is currently being considered as one of the next Seven Wonders of the World.

Students will be taught drawing, painting, photography, history or art history. All students who want to visit one of the most ancient and beautiful cities in the world are encouraged to consider this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Not only will it be the most memorable trip you take, but you will also earn college credit. Community members are also invited to participate.

Registration deadline for classes is March 30, 2007.

For more information, please contact Cetin Oguz in the art department at (662) 846-4733 or or Duncan Baird at (662) 846-4724 or  

Born to Read returns to Delta State campus

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Frieda Quon (left), IRC Librarian, Born to Read leader shares a book with Kathleen Tarver, age three and her mother Amy Tarver.

Born to Read, an early literacy story time for babies and toddlers up to age four, will make its return to the Delta State University campus, Wednesday, March 7. Scheduled for every Wednesday at 10 a.m., March 7 – April 25, the program will be held in the Instructional Resources Center (IRC) on the first floor of the Roberts-LaForge Library.  

Born to Read is designed to promote literacy, the love of language and to spotlight for parents and caregivers the value and necessity of singing, speaking and reading to babies. Students from the Delta State College of Education will provide the programs each week.

Emergent or early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they actually read or write. Listening to language lays the ground work for reading. During the enjoyable experience of listening, the child is immersed in language, which is how babies learn to understand words and then to speak them. Sharing books with young children starts them on the path to language, reading and writing well before they can understand the printed word.

Additionally, a child’s brain develops at an incredible rate during the first three years of life.  A child’s early experiences with language contribute to healthy brain development and lay the foundation for learning to read. Researchers agree that children are more likely to become good readers if they start school with these accomplishments: comprehend and express themselves with a wide range of words; name the letters of the alphabet; and exposure to a wide variety of literary experiences and appreciate books and stories.

Parents and caregivers are invited to bring their child to participate in the Born to Read program.  Space is limited, so please call the Delta State Library/IRC at (662) 846-4347 or 846-4345 to reserve your place in the program. Parking is available in the back of the library or in the new parking lot located on the south side of the Aquatic Center swimming pool. Participants will be issued parking passes. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or an adult.

26th Annual F.E. Woodall Spring Conference set for March 8

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Delta State University Division of Counselor Education & Psychology will host its 26th Annual F.E. Woodall Spring Conference for Helping Professions, Thursday, March 8 on the third floor of James M. Ewing Hall on the campus. 

This one-day workshop is a terrific opportunity to network with other counselors, attend valuable and enlightening workshops and receive CEU credit hours. 

Multiple breakout sessions throughout the day, highlighted by an afternoon keynote will provide community counselors, school counselors, counselor educators, social workers and other helping professionals with valuable tools for use in a wide variety of situations and work environments. 

Debra Carr, a licensed professional counselor; a licensed marriage and family therapist; and an attorney, is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi. She earned her master’s at The University of Mississippi and JD at Mississippi College School of Law.

In 2003, Carr was the Licensed Professional Counselor of the Year by The Mississippi Counseling Association. Previously, she had been named 2000 College Counselor of the Year by MCA. She was also chosen to attend the ACA Southern Region Leadership Conference as an MCA Emerging Leader.

Carr’s keynote address, “Ethical Counseling Practice-Not One Size Fits All” will begin promptly 10 a.m. in the Henry J. Jacob Conference Center of James M. Ewing Hall.

Registration fee is $20 for faulty, staff, and the general public and $1 for DSU students with proper identification.

For more information or to registration, please contact Kashanta Jackson in the Division of Counselor Education and Psychology at (662) 846-4364 or e-mail

DSU 50l: Introduction to Graduate Studies

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The Division of Graduate and Continuing Studies is hosting a cost-free, informative evening for prospective graduate students for the 2007-2008 academic year on Thursday, March 1, 2007 in the State Room of the H. L. Nowell Student Union. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. and conclude with a performance by KODO DRUMMERS of Japan at the Bologna Performing Arts Center. Complimentary tickets for the performance are available on a limited basis. Registration is recommended. If you have any questions, contact the Graduate Office at 662-846-4875.