Office of Institutional Grants

Boyles named to Grants Resource Center’s Advisory Board

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Robin Boyles, director of the Office of Institutional Grants at Delta State, was recently named to the Grants Resource Center’s Advisory Board.

The GRC, a unit of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, has enhanced the research and sponsored programs capabilities of higher education institutions since 1967. A main goal of the organization is to boost an institution’s success in securing competitive grants from federal and private sponsors.

The Advisory Board is one of GRC’s enduring hallmarks, acting as an intermediary to help GRC staff better represent the needs of member institutions. It also plays a crucial role in helping GRC develop new resources and services. Advisors participate in periodic meetings via conference calls and are expected to attend the Funding Competitiveness Conferences held in February each year in Washington, D.C., which is followed by an Advisory Board meeting.

“I’m very honored to have been asked by the Grants Resource Center staff to serve as an at-large member of the GRC board,” said Boyles. “I have been active with the GRC over the past several years, having presented at several of their Funding Competitiveness Conferences held in Washington, D.C. I find the resources that they provide to be very helpful and timely.”

Boyles added that for smaller, regional institutions with limited resources, GRC provides invaluable tools and information to increase external funding. The organization has relationships with federal funding agencies, as well as private foundations. It serves as a conduit for information as well as facilitating interactions with funders.

The Office of Institutional Grants provides support to Delta State University faculty and staff for securing external funding from federal, state and non-federal institutions such as foundations and corporations. This support includes workshops and seminars, as well as training and technical assistance. Interested faculty should contact the Office of Institutional Grants at 662-846-4804.

Additionally, the office maintains an official file of grants and contracts, and is responsible for reporting external funding to the IHL and other government entities.

Learn more about the Grants Resource Center of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities at

Math and Science Partnership receives over $1 million in grant renewal

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Office of Institutional Grants | No Comments

The Math and Science Partnership Program (MSP) at Delta State University was recently selected by the State Board of Education for a new round of grant support to continue its mathematics teacher-training platform.

The major grant funding will come over a three-year period, totaling over $1.1 million. This marks the second three-year grant for the program, which began in 2013. The most recent installment will focus on K-8 mathematics teachers.

MSP, a federal program backed by the U.S. Department of Education, strives to improve teacher quality through partnerships between state education agencies, institutions of higher education and high-need local education agencies and schools in order to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science.

The size of each state’s grant is awarded based on student population and poverty rates. With the funding provided to Mississippi, the MSP is responsible for improving the content knowledge and teaching skills of K-8 mathematics teachers.

The grant provides professional development training through a two-week intensive summer institute at Delta State, three Saturday sessions throughout the school year, a monthly online discussion, and tri-annual observations during the school year.

MSP Project Director, Kathleen Lott, was thrilled with the grant renewal.

“Acceptance to the Math and Science Partnership grant for 2016-2019 is significant and essential to the Delta, as it provides another option to K-8 math teachers for professional learning,” said Lott. “In providing professional development for teachers, the content knowledge of our K-8 students should be boosted. Due to the continued need in the Delta for professional learning in mathematics education, and the desire to improve student mathematics comprehension, the new grant will continue to strive for a successful program and wise use of the grant allocations.”

Robin Boyles, director of the Office of Institutional Grants at Delta State, was an essential figure in developing the most recent grant proposal.

“This is one of several programs that we have here at Delta State in which we utilize grant funds to address community and regional needs,” said Boyles. “By providing professional development opportunities for middle school math teachers, we hope to be able to impact math scores and improve educational outcomes for students in our school systems. It is through projects such as this that we further our commitment to community and regional stewardship in the Mississippi Delta.”

Boyles said others involved in developing the proposal were Lott, Elizabeth Belenchia, Dr. Liza Cope, Dr. David Hebert, Dr. Clifton Wingard, as well as leadership from Dr. Leslie Griffin, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, and Dr. David Breaux, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Their leadership will be utilized as a collaborative partnership between the COEHS and the CAS.

“We have a shortage of qualified math and science teachers in the Delta,” said Griffin. “Not a week goes by that we don’t hear from a school district searching to fill such a position. The grant is Delta State’s effort, with support from the Mississippi Department of Education, to prepare teachers who are highly qualified to teach mathematics and science.

“This will be our second three-year award, which speaks to the sustainability of the program and to the outstanding job that the program faculty have done in providing planning and instruction. We are very pleased that the program has achieved this level of sustainability.”

Cope, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Delta State, said the renewal confirms the serious need for the MSP program.

“In the past, students in Mississippi and particularly the Delta, have earned the lowest scores in the country on these tests,” said Cope. “Therefore, there is a critical need for the work we do with this grant. The fact that this is our second award suggests that our first project was a success.”

Delta State launches Russia blog

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Faculty/Staff, Office of Institutional Grants, President, Students | No Comments

Follow a group of six Delta Music Institute students and seven Delta State University faculty and staff members as they depart to Russia on the groundbreaking program “Rivers of Music — Rivers of Culture.”

The university published a live blog today,, as the group flies oversees early Thursday to continue international exchange developments with Perm State University in Perm, Russia. Photographs, videos, social media and journal entries published on the blog will allow the Delta State community to stay updated with the group’s progress.

“Rivers of Music — Rivers of Culture” utilizes music as a universal language to explore the cultures, histories and heritages of the Mississippi Delta and Perm Krai regions, both situated along historic rivers.

Support for the platform comes from a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State through the U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program. To help foster greater contacts between Americans and Russians, the State Department launched the program in 2013. Grants up to $100,000 are provided to support collaboration, meetings, virtual interactions, exchanges and internships between American and Russian organizations.

Perm State University sent a similar size group to Delta State in October of 2014 to attend the university’s inaugural International Conference on the Blues. Delta State’s trip marks the second half of the international travel.

During the trip, DMI students and faculty will lead a mini summer Delta Music Institute camp experience at Perm State.

Learn more information through the blog’s About the Trip page. Follow all trip highlights at

Levitt AMP [Cleveland] Music Series grant awarded

By | Community, Delta Music Institute, Office of Institutional Grants | No Comments

Delta State University’s Foundation, Delta State University and the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce submitted a winning proposal for a Levitt AMP Grant Award, which was selected by a public vote during November.

The grant provides a $25,000 matching fund to provide a free concert series in downtown Cleveland. The City of Cleveland provided a letter of support for the project, and Delta State’s Delta Music Institute will take lead on the unique opportunity.

“I’m delighted with the awarding of this Levitt grant. It will offer all the citizens of Cleveland an opportunity to enjoy some wonderful outdoor music concerts for free. This will be a great way for Cleveland to come together in support of music and entertainment here in the Delta as we prepare to open GRAMMY Museum Mississippi,” said Tricia Walker, director of Delta Music Institute. “We really appreciate the support of those who voted via social media platforms on our behalf. It’s a real win-win for Cleveland!”

Charly Abraham, instructor of Entertainment Industry Studies, speaks about the learning experience that students will be offered.

“The Levitt grant will provide a unique opportunity for DMI students to work and learn in a real-world environment. Students will be involved from beginning to end. They will start with the planning and booking and will be the last ones at the venue on the 10th night, packing gear and rolling microphone cables,” said Abraham.

Lisa Cooley, Team Cleveland Main Street Manager for the Cleveland Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, recognizes that the grant will be huge for Cleveland, especially the downtown area.

“Events that bring people to our community can provide a huge economic impact for Cleveland. These concerts will not only allow us to bring visitors in to the area, but they also help improve upon the quality of place for our residents by providing more artistic programming opportunities,” said Cooley.

Cleveland was selected as one of 10 small to mid-sized cities across America to receive this award.

“We are thrilled to announce the Levitt AMP Grant Awards winners. Each made a compelling case for how the Levitt AMP Music Series will activate a public space and strengthen the social and economic fibers of their communities,” says Sharon Yazowski, Executive Director of Levitt Pavilions. “The Green Space on the Crosstie Walking Trail is the ideal site for the Levitt AMP [Cleveland] Music Series, creating a destination where the entire community can gather to celebrate the Delta’s rich musical legacy and the historic launch of the new GRAMMY Museum.”

The concert project will reflect the three goals defined by Levitt Pavilions, which are to amplify community pride and the city’s unique character; enrich lives through the power of free, live music; and illustrate the importance of vibrant public places.

The winning proposal and project idea is available online at

In addition to the monetary award to produce the 10 free concerts, Levitt AMP winners will receive a toolkit containing valuable resources to help them successfully produce their concert series. Funding for the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards is made possible by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a private family foundation. Learn more: