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QEP

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River Kings 2 Tour coming to campus

By | Delta Center, International Delta Blues Project, QEP, Students | No Comments

The Office of Student Life, Quality Enhancement Plan, the International Delta Blues Project, the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, and the Delta Music Institute are partnering to host Southern hip-hop artists and social activists Marco Pavé and Alfred Banks on April 11 for two events open to the Delta State community and public.

These events are part of the sustainability mission of Delta State’s annual Winning the Race Conference.

Event #1 – 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in Baioni Conference Center:
Scott Barretta from the International Delta Blues Project will moderate a lunch panel featuring Pavé and Alfred Banks. The discussion will center on the intersections of music, social justice and activism, as well as discussing music entrepreneurship, the creative economy and regional musical influences. Lunch will be provided for attendees. The event will be in the Baioni Conference Center in Broom Hall from 12:15-1:30 pm.

Event #2 – Union First Floor Lounge from 4-6 p.m.:
Pavé and Banks will perform a casual, lounge-style concert in the Union. Refreshments will be available. This interactive event is an opportunity to hear the duo perform, as well aa ask questions about their music, influences and activism.

Pavé, a Memphis native, and Banks, from New Orleans, have built solid followings in and around their respective cities and beyond. Pavé has been featured on Apple music, MTV, The Root and has delivered a Ted Talk on arts entrepreneurship. Banks has been featured on RevoltTv, BBC Russia, on several national tours, and has a song featured in a Volkswagen commercial. On their own, they both have viable careers, but in the summer of 2016 they decided to join forces and tour together through the River Kings Tour. Their 2016 efforts were so successful that round two will be an 18-city tour.

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Students and faculty to discuss exchange in Poland

By | International, QEP, Student Success Center, Students | No Comments

The Student Success Center, International Student Services and Delta State’s Quality Enhancement Plan present a free luncheon Nov. 30 from noon to 1 p.m. to discuss the university’s recent cultural exchange trip to John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) in Lublin, Poland.

The event, “You Can Get There From Here: Poland Cultural Exchange,” will take place in the Student Union, Room 302A, and will feature a student, faculty and staff panel highlighting the two-week exchange that occurred in May of 2016.

Dr. Christy Riddle, director of the SSC and ISS, will discuss the partnership with KUL, as well as future international exchange opportunities. Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, will also discuss his role in leading the trip.

Students Scottie Willis, Katherine Jackson, Maria Belisário and Paxton Stratton will also describe what they learned from the trip.

KUL is one of several universities abroad with which Delta State has signed a memorandum of understanding to further develop international exchanges. Delta State first hosted a group of KUL faculty and students in October of 2015.

“We were extremely excited to offer the Poland trip,” said Riddle. “These international partnerships offer the opportunity for our Delta State faculty and students and their faculty and students to travel, teach and study abroad through various exchange programs. It’s a win-win for Delta State because the students traveling abroad gain a greater understanding of global issues, and it also exposes our on-campus students to other cultures.”

For more information about the event, contact QEP coordinator Michelle Johansen at mjohansen@deltastate.edu.

Svetlana Polyakova (center), an English professor at Perm State University in Russia, hosted Dr. Beverly Moon (l to r), Dr. Charles McAdams, Dr. Christy Riddle and Michelle Johansen, during Perm State's recent centennial celebrations.

Delta State celebrates Perm State centennial in Perm, Russia

By | Academics, Continuing Education, Faculty/Staff, International, QEP, Student Success Center | No Comments

Earlier this month, a Delta State University delegation traveled to Perm State University in Perm, Russia to strengthen ongoing relations between the two institutions.

The Delta State group had the honor of visiting during Perm State’s historic centennial celebrations.

“I was privileged to represent Delta State University at the centennial celebrations of our partner school Perm State University,” said Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Delta State. “They had several ceremonial activities and functions celebrating this significant event, and it was important for Delta State to show support for our partner.”

In addition to the celebrations, Perm State held two academic symposia. McAdams presented a session on academic leadership. Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies & Research at Delta State, Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center, and Michelle Johansen, coordinator of the Quality Enhancement Plan, presented on the topic of Delta State’s “Quality Enhancement Plan: Intercultural Competence.”

The group was hosted by Perm State professor Svetlana Polyakova, who also orchestrated Delta State’s student exchange at Perm State in 2015.

Delta State provided a customized glass award honoring Perm State on their centennial, and in exchange, Perm State gave Delta State a slice of a branch from a birch tree, encased in glass and wood. The tree was a young sapling when the school was founded in 1916.

Moon said the trip was the next step in developing future exchanges at both universities.

“Developing partnerships such as the one between Perm State and Delta State will greatly benefit our students and faculty,” said Moon. “We hope to work up some exchanges and research opportunities that improve our students’ global understanding and their intercultural competencies — and provide meaningful faculty development.”

The group was also fortunate to be part of a celebration during the centennial week attended by the U.S. Consul General from Yekaterinburg, Marcus Micheli. The consulate in Yekaterinburg has been providing consular services to U.S. and Russian citizens since 1994. Its activities include the issuance of U.S. passports, reports of birth of a U.S. citizen abroad, and adjudication of nonimmigrant visas.

“One of my big takeaways from the trip was the importance of putting aside media perceptions about international relations,” said Johansen. “Every interaction I had with people in Russia was positive and enlightening, even when discussing difficult topics like politics. I feel fortunate to have had this incredible experience and will use these connections to Perm State as part of QEP programming and the courses I teach.”

President LaForge (left) and Dr. McAdams with the centennial gift from Perm State University.

President LaForge (left) and Dr. McAdams with the centennial gift from Perm State University.

Johansen said after each presentation provided by the Delta State delegation, Perm State students and faculty wanted more information about studying at DSU, the Student Success Center’s programs, and cultural competency events.

“DSU students benefit from these international exchanges because they improve their intercultural communication skills and gain real world experience in navigating today’s globalized society,” added Johansen. “I kept thinking about how DSU and Perm State students have a lot in common as young people. I’m looking forward to more DSU students having amazing adventures through international travel.”

The two universities have already conducted numerous student and faculty exchanges in recent years.

Delta State President William N. LaForge first became affiliated with Perm State as a visiting professor in 2008. He returned to the university as a Fulbright Fellow in 2011 and in May of 2015. Additionally, he has continued to network with Perm colleagues since taking office at Delta State in 2013.

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State, a group of Delta Music Institute students and faculty completed a two-week exchange at Perm State in May of 2015. Learn more about this trip at http://www.deltastate.edu/russia.

Polyakova and a number of Perm State students, faculty and staff have also made return trips to Delta State for exchanges.

To learn more about Quality Enhancement Plan at Delta State, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/institutional-research-and-planning/sacs-2014-reaffirmation/quality-enhancement-plan-2014/.

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I.D.E.A. lunches open to campus

By | Academics, Diversity Committee, Faculty/Staff, QEP, Students | No Comments

Sponsored by Delta State’s Quality Enhancement Plan and the Diversity Committee, two I.D.E.A. lunches will be open to students, faculty and staff this month.

I.D.E.A., which stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Advocacy, aims to improve cultural competency on campus through communication, collaboration and engagement.

The sessions are designed to engage students in rational and critical discussions in regards to the impact of labels on individuals and groups in society,” said Dr. George Beals, assistant professor of counselor education and member of the Diversity Committee.

The free lunches, open to the first 40 registrants, will take place on the second floor of the Student Union.

Lunch schedule:
– Sept. 19 from 12-1 p.m. – “What’s in a Label?”
– Sept. 20 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. – “What’s in a Label?”

To register for a lunch session, complete the form at https://deltastateqep.wufoo.com/forms/z1bmidsg0jzw82o.

For more information, call 662-846-4170, or contact Johansen at mjohansen@deltastate.edu or Wendolyn Stevens at wstevens@deltastate.edu.

Learn more about the QEP at http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/institutional-research-and-planning/sacs-2014-reaffirmation/quality-enhancement-plan-2014/. Learn more about the DSU Diversity Committee at http://www.deltastate.edu/about-dsu/administration/diversity-committee/.

Delta Music Institute students recently conducted another virtual class with Perm State University students in Russia. A group of DMI students and Delta State faculty and staff will travel to Perm this spring  through the “Rivers of Music — Rivers of Culture” project.

Delta State continues exchange with Russian university

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Faculty/Staff, President, QEP | No Comments

The U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program “Rivers of Music — Rivers of Culture” continues to make progress between Delta State University and Perm State University in Perm, Russia.

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State in 2014, the two universities are collaborating on projects, hosting virtual classrooms, and providing exchanges and internships at both institutions.

On March 4, instructors and students from Delta State’s Delta Music Institute conducted another telebridge video webinar class with Russian students and teachers involved in the program.

Utilizing music as the universal language, both groups are part of the long-term project focusing on exploring the cultures, histories and heritages of the two countries.

Svetlana Polyakova and Elena Gritsenko are leading the program at Perm State and helped arrange the most recent webinar session. Through the grant, the duo brought a group of Russian students and instructors to Delta State in October of 2014 to attend the university’s inaugural International Conference on the Blues.

During the conference, Polyakova and Gritsenko discussed how blues music is being used to raise cross-cultural awareness between the American and Russians students enrolled in the course.

“Our students have learned a lot about the grassroots, U.S. heritage and the real life in the USA,” said Polyakova. “The learning is not coming from the glamorous Hollywood blockbusters or politically distorting media flow — it’s coming from real exchanges. This is what makes our project so unique, by developing true and open relationships.”

This spring, a group of DMI students, and Delta State faculty and staff will visit Perm State to partake in a similar exchange — The Permski Krai Immersion Experience. Beginning in May, the group will travel to Perm during its festival season. The DMI students and faculty will also lead a mini DMI summer camp experience for Perm students.

DMI instructor and group project coordinator Charly Abraham is excited to expose his students to these unique opportunities.

“The virtual classes have been really fun, but also challenging,” said Abraham. “Only getting an hour a month of real-time face-to-face visits probably isn’t enough. I’m hoping we can squeeze in an extra session before the semester is over.

“DMI students get so many opportunities for personal growth, and this is yet another unique program,” he added. “It’s not everyday students have the chance to work with students and faculty from Russia, and visa versa for the Russians in the program.”

DMI student Katie Locke is anxious to reunite with the Russian students she connected with so well during their visit to the Delta last year.

“I am looking forward to seeing my Russian friends again the most,” said Locke. “Through my growing relationship with them, I have learned the importance of understanding the differences in our cultures. As a result of this program, I now have a greater appreciation for their background and have even learned much about Mississippi and American culture.”

Delta State President William N. LaForge first became affiliated with Perm State as a visiting professor in 2008. He returned in 2010 as a Fulbright Fellow and has continued to network with Perm colleagues since taking office at Delta State in 2013.

“This grant and the opportunities for our students and faculty are great examples of how we can foster excellent academic exchanges with foreign university partners,” said LaForge. “It will allow students at both universities — 7,000 miles apart — to participate in common theme programming. This is a wonderful program that supports our international exchange program goals.”

Yet another exciting aspect of the project is the opening of GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, slated to open on Delta State’s campus this fall. The facility, only the second GRAMMY® museum in the world, will be over 20,000 square feet showcasing Mississippi’s influence in American music through interactive exhibits. The facility will provide even more unique exchange learning programs through partnerships with the DMI.

“We really wanted to study blues music in anticipation of the GRAMMY® museum at Delta State,” said Polyakova. “Our students involved in the project are fascinated with the origins of the blues, and the cultural, historical and social background of the Mississippi Delta region.”

Delta State will continue to publish updates on program development. For more information on the DMI, visit www.deltastate.edu/dmi. Learn more about the U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program at http://moscow.usembassy.gov/us-russiadialogue.html.