Graduate and Continuing Studies

Freedom Summer Workshop offered

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Delta State is offering a Freedom Summer Workshop through the Coahoma County Higher Education Center (CCHEC) on July 14-18.

The workshop is focuses on the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project commonly known as “Freedom Summer.” The classroom instruction is being led by Assistant Professor of History Dr. Chuck Westmoreland on Monday – Thursday from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. with a closing trip to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis on Friday.

The workshop is open to the community and will cost $65 for the full week. Daily attendance is permitted for a fee of $15 per day. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for teachers are available for an additional $20 fee payable at the end of the workshop.

Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible by contacting Director Jen Waller at 662-645-3555 or The CCHEC workshop will take place at 109 Clark Street, Lewis Building Room 301 in Clarksdale.

Fashion students tour Europe

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From London to Paris to Milan, a group of Delta State fashion merchandising students had a summer class to remember thanks to a recent academic-based trip to Europe.

Jan Haynes, professor of fashion merchandising, said the tour was designed to expose students to the global nature of the industries of textiles, apparel and retail.

“Students made contact with business professionals through on-site visits to a couture house, as well as the home office of Diesel, a large Italian apparel producer that caters to a contemporary clientele,” said Haynes.

One of the anticipated cultural experiences was a private showing of Princess Diana’s gowns at Kensington Palace in London. The visit was arranged by Pat Kerr, a Delta State supporter from Memphis and internationally esteemed couture designer of special occasion apparel. She is also a collector of royal memorabilia and the owner of one of the gowns in this “Fashion Rules” exhibit.

One of the major goals of the trip was to emphasize the social and economic importance of the fashion industry in major European apparel centers.

Students were asked to identify the varied career opportunities in the fashion industry and develop an understanding of the duties, responsibilities and training needed for each career.

Opportunities were made to interact with professionals in the fashion industry and gain insight from their personal perspectives.

The trip also aligns with Delta State’s recent five-year Quality Enhancement Plan with efforts to improve overall cultural competence on campus.

Sam Partee, a fashion merchandising major from Clarksdale, said the experience provided some unforgettable firsts.

“It was my first time to Europe and it was definitely a trip to remember,” said Partee. “We got to experience a lot of new things, new cultures and cities – it was a real eye-opener.”

Partee said he would recommend future fashion merchandising trips  because of the first-hand experiences students are able to learn from.

“You really don’t get to experience a lot of opportunities like this when your from around here,” he said. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour three major fashion cities and learn so much doing it.”

The trip was designed for students in the fashion merchandising program, but other targeted students included those interested in aspects of the fashion industry including business and art. The tour was also open and promoted to a broad base of interested adults, including university students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members.

Six students took the course for three hours of undergraduate credit. They were required to read several articles prior to the trip. During the trip, they were required to keep thorough journals, with the objectives of reflection and evaluation, and to have a written and visual documentation of activities. They were also required to choose a focus topic and write a detailed research paper.

To learn more about fashion merchandising at Delta State, visit

Continuing education in theology

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Delta State will offer a theology course in the fall to the general public under the Non-Credit Continuing Education Program. The class will meet throughout the semester on Mondays from 6-9 p.m. in Kethley Hall Room 231 and will also be available to graduate students and undergraduates with special permission.

Theology, which has a deep tradition in Western culture and has been defined as faith seeking understanding, uses the tools of science — such as history and research — to help understand the nature of faith, which itself can be defined as the human encounter with the mystery of God. The course is part of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program (MALS), an interdisciplinary program intended for adult learners interested in perfecting reading, writing and research skills.

James Tomek will preside over the course, assisted at times by Clint Tibbs. Tomek received his doctorate in French from Duke University and two master’s degrees in theology from Spring Hill College in a similar MALS program. Tibbs earned a doctorate in biblical studies and philosophy from Catholic University, a renowned center for theological studies in America.

Areas of study for the course will include biblical, church, systematic and moral theology. Those taking the course will be allowed to explore areas of special interest so they can take their theological education to higher levels, whether it be in church ministry or scholarly areas. The course will be focused on Judeo Christian aspects of theology, but there will also be sessions on world religions.

The course will include readings and a research paper but not examinations. Attendance, reading the material and writing a paper on a specific interest will be the requirements. A reading list of essays is already available for those who want to start reading ahead of time. Those taking the course under the Non-Credit Continuing Education Program are not required to do a research project and can read the material to their individual desires. Regular university prices apply to students taking the course for academic credit while the Non-Credit Continuing Education price is listed as $300.

For more information about the credit course and the MALS Program, contact Tomek ( 662-846-4077), Bill Hays (  662-846-4060), Clint Tibbs ( 662-846-4071) or Chuck Westmoreland ( 662-846-4173).

Those looking to register as a non-credit seeking community member, contact Elizabeth Joel in Continuing Education ( 662-846-4871).

ServSafe® Food Safety Program for Managers offered

By | College of Education and Human Sciences, Graduate and Continuing Studies | No Comments

ServSafe® Food Safety Program for Managers is a certification course developed by the Education Foundation of the National Restaurant Association and will be offered on campus on May 19.

This course is designed for food service managers and supervisory staff in restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, child care facilities and other food-handling establishments.  The program blends the latest Food and Drug Administration food code, food safety research and years of food sanitation training experience. Managers learn to implement essential food safety practices and create a culture of food safety. All content and materials are based on actual job tasks identified by food service industry experts.

The course will take place in Ewing Hall Room 149B, the Ada Swindle Mitchell Foods Laboratory, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and includes certification examination.

There is a registration fee of $135 per person, which covers the cost of educational materials, testing supplies and a meal provided during the full-day class. The registrant must attend all sessions in order to complete the course. Class size is limited to 20, and pre-registration is required by Friday, May 9. To register, please contact Marilyn Read in Delta State’s Office of Continuing Education at 662-846-4874 or

This course is co-sponsored by the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Continuing Education Department at Delta State.  The course is taught by Virginia Webb, PhD, RD, a faculty member at Delta State.

Three Mississippi fiction authors to visit campus and community

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The Delta State University Graduate and Continuing Studies Department is hosting a lecture series with three Mississippi authors who highlight the South and Mississippi Delta in their writing. Dean James, Charlaine Harris and Carolyn Haines have all found literary success with their mystery and horror tales.

The trio will be on campus Feb. 28 and provide lectures to students at 9 and 10 a.m. in Jobe Hall. From 1-2:30 p.m., they will participate in a panel discussion with three local scholars — Dorothy Shawhan, Susan Allen Ford and Karen Bell.

Later that afternoon, a book signing and reception will be held at the Delta Arts Alliance in downtown Cleveland from 3-5 p.m. In addition, students, faculty and staff will be able to donate blood at the “True Blood” Drive at the H.L. Nowell Union from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The following day, March 1, Harris will be the guest reader at 3 p.m. on the Thacker Mountain Radio Show at the Delta Music Institute.

The lecture and panel discussion will focus on the use of place in the writers’ fiction, the importance of contemporary fiction as a literary genre, and the joys and challenges of creative writing. These events will explore genre fiction such as mystery, supernatural and horror as intellectual inquiry and as an increasingly valued form of the literary humanities.

Beverly Moon, Delta State University Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies, said she is thrilled to host these established authors.

“We will have lots of fun with the various events — the student sessions, panel discussions, the readings, reception, book signing, and of course, the “True Blood” Drive,” said Moon.

Harris, a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for 30 years, was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. She is known for writing mystery and fantasy novels, with her most popular series being “The Sookie Stackhouse Series.” The urban fantasy series is about a telepathic waitress named Sookie who works in a bar in the fictional northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps.

The first book in the series, “Dead Until Dark,” won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each book follows Sookie through her adventures involving vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. The series, which now numbers 11 titles, has been released worldwide.

Sookie Stackhouse has proven to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of the HBO television series “Six Feet Under,” produced the HBO series based on the books. He wrote and directed the pilot episode for the series “True Blood,” which premiered in September of 2008 and successfully continues in its seventh season.

Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the American Crime Writers League, Sisters in Crime and the International Crime Writers Association. She is a past member of the boards of Sisters in Crime and MWA. She is also a member of Science Fiction Writers of America, Horror Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.

Haines, born in Lucedale, Miss., is a prolific mystery author and former journalist specializing in mysteries set in the Mississippi Delta. Her current mysteries, the “Sarah Booth Delaney Mississippi Delta Series,” is set in the fictional town of Zinnia. The series has won numerous awards, including Best Amateur Sleuth. Her work, “Hallowed Bones,” the fifth in the series, was named in the top five mysteries of 2004 by Library Journal.

Haines teaches graduate and undergraduate fiction writing classes at the University of South Alabama, where she is an assistant professor and fiction coordinator. She was the recipient of the 2010 Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year, and in 2009 she received the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence.

James is the author of over 20 books, both mystery fiction and non-fiction. He is a seventh generation Mississippian having grown up in Grenada County. He is a proud double alumnus of Delta State ’80 and ’81. He also holds a Ph.D. in history from Rice University.

James has published articles on library science, the history of science and medicine and mystery fiction. His first book, which he co-wrote with fellow librarian Jean Swanson, was “By a Woman’s Hand.” In all, he has co-authored or co-edited six works of mystery reference and one short story anthology.

He has won the Agatha and Macavity Awards for his non-fiction and has twice been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical work. Formerly the general manager of Murder by the Book in Houston, he is currently a librarian in the Texas Medical Center. Writing as Miranda James, he is the New York Times bestselling author of the “Cat in the Stacks” mysteries, as well as mysteries under his own name and the pseudonyms Jimmie Ruth Evans and Honor Hartman.

In James’s series “The Cat in The Stacks,” the main character is a southern gentleman by the name of Charlie Harris. Charlie is a librarian in the town of Athena, based loosely on Oxford, Miss. In an interview with Deborah Crombie, he said of the fictional town of Athena, “I’ve tried to imbue it with the kind of feeling that I remember from my youth in Mississippi, a small — but not too small — town where longtime residents know one another, where there’s a strong sense of community and a sense of history.”

The upcoming author events in Cleveland are free and open to the public and are supported in part by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council. For more information, contact the Department of Continuing Education at 662-846-4833.