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Your vote is needed to bring Levitt back to Cleveland

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

Delta State University is now in the running to bring back another 10-week live music series to Cleveland during the fall of 2016.

The concerts are sponsored by Levitt Pavilions, the national nonprofit organization behind the largest free concert series in America, and Delta State is bidding to be one of the 15 winning organizations competing in the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards in early 2016.

The Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards are an exciting matching grant opportunity created by Levitt Pavilions to serve small to mid-sized towns and cities up to 400,000 people. Fifteen nonprofits, or municipalities partnering with a nonprofit group, will receive up to $25,000 each in matching funds to produce their own Levitt AMP Music Series—an outdoor, free concert series featuring a diverse lineup of professional musicians.

Delta State University successfully received a grant in 2015, and 10 free concerts were held in the Green Space of Cleveland’s downtown walking trail. It was a huge success as the community came together every Thursday night between August 20-October 22 to enjoy a variety of bands from different genres. Delta State has now submitted the 2016 proposal, which is posted on the Levitt AMP website for public voting: http://levittamp.org

A successful campaign for Delta State depends on community participation to get as many online votes as possible to bring the concert series to town. Community support, as measured by the number of online votes received, will be one of the key factors when Levitt Pavilions selects the 15 winners.

Supporters are asked to visit https://grant.levittamp.org/voter-registration-page/ to register and vote. Online public voting is now open and ends Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. (PST). The Top 25 finalists will be selected through online public voting. Levitt Pavilions will then review the proposals of these 25 finalists, and the 15 Levitt AMP winners will be announced on January 5, 2016.

Amber Foster, Levitt Amp Cleveland coordinator and a student at Delta State’s Delta Music Institute, said votes are important to continue the success of the previous series.

“The Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series 2015 was awesome,” Foster said. “It not only provided a free opportunity for students, but for the whole Cleveland community. That’s the mission for Levitt Pavilions, bringing community together through music. Also, it was an opportunity to bring new music in our area. I can’t wait to see what happens for 2016. The votes are so important for getting this grant. It’s a great way to show community support when applying for a grant like this one.”

Delta State asks supporters to start spreading the word to family, friends, colleagues and neighbors and rally the community to sign up and vote for Delta State’s proposal.

Learn more at http://levittamp.org.

DSU_2015 Magazine Print_Revised COVER

Alumni Association releases Fall 2015 magazine

By | Alumni, General | No Comments

The Fall 2015 edition of Delta State’s Alumni and Foundation Magazine is complete and is currently on its way to the homes of Delta State alumni. This edition features the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing on the cover.

The magazine also contains articles on the GRAMMY Museum Mississipp, the recent trip of Delta State students, faculty and staff to Perm, Russia, the baseball stadium renovations, including the Dave “Boo” Ferriss statue, and much more. Alumni and friends are also able to keep up with fellow classmates in the “with the classes” section.

“Because the Delta State Alumni and Foundation Magazine is the only publication that gets sent out to alumni, donors, and students, we work hard to ensure that we encompass all areas and interests of campus,” said Jordan Thomas, editor. “I am so excited for this issue to hit homes. It’s one of our best issues to date.”

The Delta State Magazine is mailed to over 32,000 homes of alumni, friends, students, faculty and staff nationally twice a year.

To view the Magazine online, go to http://issuu.com/deltastateuniversity/docs/dsu_2015_magazine_web_2/1.  To update your information, visit www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/updateyourpersonalinformation.

The official hashtag for the 2015 Homecoming is #DSUHC15. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660. To purchase tickets to the Alumni Awards Gala, contact the association at 662-846-4660 or http://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/homecoming2015.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Dr. Brian Canfield Photo

College of Education and Human Sciences to host 2nd annual Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture

By | Faculty/Staff, General | No Comments

The College of Education and Human Sciences at Delta State University will begin the 2015 Homecoming Week activities by hosting the 2nd annual Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture. The event will be held Monday, November 2, at 4 p.m., in the Jacob Conference Center in the Ewing Building, with a reception to follow in the lobby. The public is invited to attend.

The Kent Wyatt Distinguished Lecture honors Dr. Forest Kent Wyatt, President Emeritus of Delta State University, and DSU education alumnus whose distinguished career has served as a beacon for generations of educators, both in secondary and higher education.

This year’s guest lecturer is Dr. Brian S. Canfield, Professor of Counseling in the Adrian Dominican School of Education at Barry University in Miami, Florida. Dr. Canfield will speak on the topic, “Building Our Professional Community.”

His career in higher education has included professorships at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of San Diego. Additionally, he has held academic administrative roles as a clinical director, department chair, associate dean, and vice president for academic affairs.

Throughout his career, Dr. Canfield has been active in professional service and leadership in the field of counseling. He is a Fellow and former President of the American Counseling Association and a past President of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. He is active as a speaker and workshop facilitator and has presented to universities and professional associations throughout the United States and Internationally.

Dr. Canfield is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the “Leadership, Vision, and Professional Excellence Award” of the Australian First Nations Cultural Family Therapist and Counseling Association,” the IAMFC “Distinguished Leadership Award,” and the “Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award” of the Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Concurrent with his teaching and research, Dr. Canfield has been a practicing counselor for more than 30 years, helping individuals, couples, and families address a wide range of mental health and life adjustment issues. He is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT,) a Licensed Professional Counselor (LA,) a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LA and FL,) and a Licensed Psychologist (AR.)

He is the father of five children and four grandchildren. A Louisiana native, he and his wife Irene LeBlanc Canfield, live in Miami, Florida.

Blues home page art.ashx

Pictures from Monday’s blues conference events

By | Academics, Delta Center, General | No Comments
Dr. William Ferris, a widely recognized leader in Southern studies, African American music, and folklore, delivers the keynote address at the second annual International Conference on the Blues Monday at Delta State University. Ferris the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the senior associate director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. He is also adjunct professor in the curriculum on folklore. The conference continues Tuesday, ending with a free concert featuring Bobby Rush and James "Super Chikan" Johnson. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/blues.

Dr. William Ferris, a widely recognized leader in Southern studies, African American music, and folklore, delivers the keynote address at the second annual International Conference on the Blues Monday at Delta State University. Ferris the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the senior associate director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. He is also adjunct professor in the curriculum on folklore. The conference continues Tuesday, ending with a free concert featuring Bobby Rush and James “Super Chikan” Johnson. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/blues. Photos by Rory Doyle.

GRAMMY winner Dom Flemons (right) and Don Allan Mitchell, co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues, during one of the conference sessions on Monday. Flemons is the “American Songster,” pulling from traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. Having performed music professionally since 2005, he has played live for over one million people within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals, spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry. The International Conference on the Blues continues Tuesday. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/blues.

GRAMMY winner Dom Flemons (right) and Don Allan Mitchell, co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues, during one of the conference sessions on Monday. Flemons is the “American Songster,” pulling from traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. Having performed music professionally since 2005, he has played live for over one million people within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals, spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry. The International Conference on the Blues continues Tuesday. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/blues. Photos by Rory Doyle.

Blues home page art.ashx

International Conference on the Blues brings musicians, music scholars to campus

By | Delta Center, Faculty/Staff, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Second Annual International Conference on the Blues promises to bring legendary entertainment and academics to Delta State University on Monday, Oct. 5 and Tuesday, Oct. 6, including GRAMMY award-winning Blues artist Dom Flemons, former National Endowment for the Humanities chairman Dr. William Ferris, an historic statewide proclamation honoring B.B. King and a free performance from GRAMMY-nominated Blues musician Bobby Rush and Mississippi Governor’s Award-winning Blues musician James “Super Chikan” Johnson.

The conference, which is still open for registration, brings together Blues scholars, historians and fans from all over the United States in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, a place known as the epicenter of Blues music and history.

Among the highlights of this year’s Blues conference:
* the bestowing of a statewide proclamation signed by all five living Mississippi governors designating B.B. King as the “Mississippi’s Secretary of State of the Blues”;
* a keynote address by Blues scholar and Southern culture historian Dr. William Ferris of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;
* a master class and performance from GRAMMY winner Dom Flemons, known as the “American Songster”;
* events highlighting Blues music songwriters and performers including ‘Blues in the Round’ sponsored by Visit Mississippi;
* and “The Storytellers featuring Bobby Rush and Super Chikan: Up Close and Personal”, a free public concert sponsored by the International Delta Blues Project and the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Visit here for a complete schedule of events, or here for a complete list of presenters.

“This year’s International Conference on the Blues represents the power of the Blues to strengthen partnerships and to engage diverse communities on local, regional, national, and global scales,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning. “We appreciate the generous support of the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and other organizations that are making this conference possible, including Visit Mississippi, Entergy, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, Bridging the Blues, Mississippi Blues Commission, BPAC, Mississippi Grounds, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, the Dockery Farms Foundation and several other sponsors and partners. Through these relationships, Delta State University is empowered to offer an unparalleled educational and cultural experience to its students, faculty, and staff, as well as Delta residents and visitors.”

The second annual conference is part of the International Delta Blues Project, which is funded by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and is based at The Delta Center for Culture and Learning. The conference is being managed by a team of campus and community collaborators including the Delta Music Institute, the Department of Music, the Division of Languages & Literature, the Office of Institutional Grants, and Cleveland Tourism.

“I always marvel at the variety of scholars that our conference attracts,” said Dr. Shelley Collins, a professor in the Department of Music and co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues. “Either our presenters are alums of these schools, graduate students at these universities, or teach at the following institutions: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, George Washington University, The University of North Texas, the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho, the University of Oregon, Indiana University, Loyola University of New Orleans, Columbus State University, the New York City Public Schools, and Perm State University in Russia.”

Flemons who is known the “American Songster,” has performed music professionally since 2005 and has played live for over one million people just within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry.

Ferris, a widely recognized leader in Southern studies, African American music, and folklore, is the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the senior associate director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. He is also adjunct professor in the curriculum on folklore.

The former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ferris has conducted thousands of interviews with musicians ranging from the famous (B.B. King) to the unrecognized (Parchman Penitentiary inmates working in the fields). He has written or edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films.

“Bill Ferris is a personal hero of mine,” said Don Allan Mitchell, interim chair of the Division of Languages & Literature and co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues. “Every Blues class I teach, I have my students read his groundbreaking Blues from the Delta book, which is an essential text for any Blues scholar or fan.”

Mitchell said the appearance by Flemons expected to be an exciting part of the conference.

“Dom Flemons is known for his work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, but he is also a walking American songbook, and his knowledge and expertise in playing the country Blues and classic Blues is phenomenal,” Mitchell said.

This year’s conference promises to build on the vision established for the event when it began last year, Mitchell added.

“We hope to establish a long-term and sustainable Blues musicology conference, and we especially want to foster the next generation of emerging scholars of the African American Blues tradition,” he said. “Yes, the Mississippi Delta has a legacy tied to the Delta Blues, but the Blues has become a world-wide music, and we want to examine all genres of the Blues and its ever-present global influence. We know that Cleveland & Delta State prides itself on hospitality, so we think we are a perfect place to host such scholarly dialogues.”

For more information, please contact Mitchell and Collins at blues@deltastate.edu.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/delta-center-for-culture-and-learning/.