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International

Reza selected for prestigious Australian fellowship

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Dr. AHM Ali Reza, associate professor of biology and environmental sciences, was recently selected for a highly competitive fellowship spearheaded by the government of Australia.

The program, Australia Awards–Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, is a merit-based fellowship providing opportunities for Australians to undertake study, research or professional development overseas, and for overseas citizens to do the same in Australia.

The fellow selection process of the Endeavor program is conducted through a global competition open to all nations.

“This is an absolute honor to be selected as a recipient of the Endeavour executive fellowship,” said Reza. “Selection of this program goes worldwide, and it’s extremely competitive and merit-based. Being selected for this program brings enormous credit to anyone, and I feel no exception. I feel like even though I am from a small regional school in the Mississippi Delta, we are strong enough to compete on a global stage.”

Through the program, he will be in Australia from mid-May to early August, and he’ll be utilizing the fellowship for both research and teaching.

Reza will be based at the Australian Museum in Sydney, the country’s oldest museum, which also holds international distinction in the fields of natural history and anthropology.

His host will be Dr. Jodi Rowley, a scientific officer at the museum who also holds a position at University of New South Wales. Working as a lab partner with Rowley, Reza’s time will be divided between the museum and UNSW conducting research on frogs and teaching classes on wildlife ecology.

“My goal is to learn the latest techniques used in conservation genetics,” added Reza. “The Australian Museum houses the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics, and I will be learning conservation genetics there under the supervision of Dr. Rowley.”

In addition, Reza said the experience would help him develop and revise his coursework at Delta State to the benefit of his students.

Reza has taken part in and organized a number of international educational experiences in the past few years. Most recently, he led a field course in December 2017 in his homeland of Bangladesh.

The two-week field experience provided hands-on practice in the ecology and conservation of unique wildlife species in two highly biodiverse ecosystems — Lawachara National Park, a tropical evergreen forest in northeastern Bangladesh, and the Sundarbans Reserved Forest, the world’s largest mangrove forest in southwestern Bangladesh.

The overall objective of the course was to introduce students to tropical wildlife and their habitats, taxonomy, natural history and biogeography, with an emphasis on the conservation challenges and prospects faced by animals within the region.

James Allen, a student at Delta State, had the privilege of attending this exclusive outdoor course.

“The course in Bangladesh was truly one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said Allen. “I was able to visit ecologically unique places with a group of people who have a passion for ecology and conservation. Having Dr. Reza leading the course, joined with local naturalists and students, gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t have received visiting these places alone. It went far beyond anything one could get from a traditional classroom setting. I lived and worked with folks from Bangladesh, India, and the U.S., learned a great deal, and made great friendships.”

Learn more about opportunities within Delta State’s Department of Biological Sciences at http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/biological-sciences/programs/.

Study abroad trip to Jamaica offered

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The Delta State University Department of Art is offering a unique inaugural two-week study abroad opportunity in Jamaica open to all majors and community members.

The three-credit summer session course, “ART492 03, Special Topics in Art,” will take place May 20-June 2, 2018.

Dr. Phyllis Hill, assistant professor of art at Delta State, will be leading the trip.

“The focus of this trip is service learning and community based research,” said Hill. “This is a unique opportunity for two weeks of cultural emersion and engagement with local experts employed in the Jamaican education, historical and cultural sectors. Students will participate in a service learning project with a local educational institution, conduct historical and cultural research using diverse media such as film, painting, photography and sculpture — and share their findings via an exhibition upon return to DSU.”

The trip will primarily take place in the cities of Kingston and Montego Bay. Programming will also include historical tours, lectures, cultural events, local cuisine, music and cultural experiences.

“Study abroad provides a unique opportunity for DSU students to develop as global citizens in their chosen fields,” added Hill. “However, the majority of our students have not travelled outside of the U.S. The reality is that we exist in a globalized world, and those who are most successful are the graduates who have international experience, cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to discuss cultural issues from multiple informed perspectives. Study abroad makes our students more career-ready and competitive on a global scale, in that they are internationally savvy, adaptable within culturally diverse environments and are able to communicate with varying populations.”

The total cost for the trip and tuition is $3,243 per person, which covers round-trip airfare, lodging, in-country transportation, excursions and travel insurance.

“Jamaica is more than sand, sea and sun. It’s a unique blend of people, cultural practices and beliefs,” said Hill. “It offers a wealth of opportunities for historical, cultural and educational collaborations.”

For more information about the trip, contact hill at phill@deltastate.edu.

Study in Jamaica this summer

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, International, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University Department of Art is offering a unique inaugural two-week study abroad opportunity in Jamaica open to all majors and community members.

The three-credit course, “ART492 03, Special Topics in Art,” will take place May 20-June 2, 2018.

Dr. Phyllis Hill, assistant professor of art at Delta State, will be hosting an information session about the trip Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. in Holcombe Norwood Hall, room 151.

“The focus of this trip is service learning and community based research,” said Hill. “This is a unique opportunity for two weeks of cultural emersion and engagement with local experts employed in the Jamaican education, historical and cultural sectors. Students will participate in a service learning project with a local educational institution, conduct historical and cultural research using diverse media such as film, painting, photography and sculpture — and share their findings via an exhibition upon return to DSU.”

The trip will primarily take place in the cities of Kingston and Montego Bay. Programming will also include historical tours, lectures, cultural events, local cuisine, music and cultural experiences.

“Study abroad provides a unique opportunity for DSU students to develop as global citizens in their chosen fields,” added Hill. “However, the majority of our students have not travelled outside of the U.S. The reality is that we exist in a globalized world, and those who are most successful are the graduates who have international experience, cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to discuss cultural issues from multiple informed perspectives. Study abroad makes our students more career-ready and competitive on a global scale, in that they are internationally savvy, adaptable within culturally diverse environments and are able to communicate with varying populations.”

The total cost for the trip and tuition is $3,243 per person, which covers round-trip airfare, lodging, in-country transportation, excursions and travel insurance.

“Jamaica is more than ‘sand, sea and sun.’ It’s a unique blend of people, cultural practices and beliefs,” said Hill. “It offers a wealth of opportunities for historical, cultural and educational collaborations.”

For more information about the trip, contact hill at phill@deltastate.edu.

Brooks provides lecture at UN conference in China

By | College of Education and Human Sciences, Faculty/Staff, GIS, International, Uncategorized | No Comments
Talbot Brooks (second from right), director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University, speaks on a panel at a United Nations conference in Beijing, China on Oct. 25.

Talbot Brooks, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at Delta State University, provided an invited plenary lecture at the 7th annual United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction in Beijing, China on Oct. 25.

His presentation was titled “Application of Standards for Crisis Response and Risk Reduction” and was delivered to an audience of approximately 150 delegates from 44 nations. Brooks also hosted a plenary session about the latest space-based technologies for disaster risk reduction and participated as a member of the closing panel.

Brooks will be a contributing author for an upcoming United Nations policy paper about the use of space-based technologies, such as satellite imagery and GPS, for disaster risk reduction. He was also asked to present at the UNISPACE +50, a meeting celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first UN conference about the peaceful use of space. This meeting will take place in Vienna, Austria this coming summer (http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/unispaceplus50/index.html).

Brooks has served as a technical advisor for the United Nations since 2008 and participated in technical advisory missions to Vietnam, Mozambique, Laos, Nepal, and the Republic of Georgia.

“Our work with the United Nations is important to DSU from several perspectives,” said Brooks. “First and foremost, dignitaries from the countries I work with have visited campus and interacted with our students. For example, visitors like Jaime Neto, a minister of parliament from Mozambique, toured our lab and participated in a panel discussion about Africa and GIS.

“Working with the UN has also helped us develop new funding opportunities that are now starting to mature and translate into grants. We were invited to bid on a contract with the Singapore Land Authority earlier this year, and through a senior-level contact made at this last meeting in China, we will submit a proposal to the UN World Food Program to develop a flood severity rating using GIS. Lastly, we are consistently the only U.S.-based university invited to participate in meetings and technical advisory missions focusing on the application of geospatial technologies to crisis and emergency response. It’s something we can be truly proud of and part of what President LaForge means when he talks about creating ‘signature programs.'”

Students from Delta State’s  GIT Center students will also join Brooks this coming year for return visits to Vietnam and Mozambique, as well as a new mission to Sri Lanka.

Learn more about opportunities at Delta State’s Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/geospatial-information-technologies.

The mission of the center is to provide geospatial services, accessible education and training, and institutional knowledge for geospatial information technologies to the widest possible audience, and particularly, the mid-Delta region.

Biology credits available for new course in Bangladesh

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Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, associate professor of biology at Delta State, is leading another international field course this winter in his homeland of Bangladesh.

The new three-credit study abroad course will take place during the winter intersession Dec. 11-23 and is open to students from any major. Community members are also welcome to sign up for the trip. The official name for the class is BIO 492: Tropical Field Biology.

The two-week field experience will provide hands-on practice in the ecology and conservation of unique wildlife species in two highly biodiverse ecosystems — Lawachara National Park, a tropical evergreen forest in northeastern Bangladesh, and the Sundarbans Reserved Forest, the world’s largest mangrove forest in southwestern Bangladesh.

“The overall objective of the course is to introduce students to tropical wildlife and their habitats, taxonomy, natural history and biogeography, with an emphasis on the conservation challenges and prospects faced by these animals,” said Reza. “Best of all, students will be offered truly unique field experiences not available in a traditional classroom.”

Additional topics covered will include wildlife monitoring, evergreen forest ecology, mangrove forest and estuarine ecology, and applied conservation biology. During the course, theory will be delivered through lectures and in-house discussions, followed by hands-on activities to practice field methodologies.

The fee for the course is $2,600 and includes the following:

  • Food and lodging for the entire course
  • Round-trip travel to Sundarbans Reserve Forest and Lawachara National Parks within Bangladesh
  • Experienced instructors and field equipment

The course fee does not include:

  • International travel to and from Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Travel or health insurance (proof of health insurance is required for course attendance)
  • Rubber boots, binoculars, flashlight and insect repellent (all of which are required to take this course)

Reza said those interested in attending should explore potential scholarship opportunities at https://fieldprojects.org/participate/courses-2/scholarships/. The deadline for scholarship applications is Oct. 15.

For more information, visit https://fieldprojects.org/course/bangladesh/. For questions and trip information, contact Reza at areza@deltastate.edu.

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