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Boldon accepted into MS Rural Physicians Scholarship Program

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Students | No Comments

Emilee Ann Boldon, a junior at Delta State and a native of Greenwood, was recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program. Boldon is the daughter of Billy and Treasa Boldon of Greenwood.

Created in 2007, MRPSP identifies college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained rural primary care physicians in Mississippi. The program offers undergraduate academic enrichment and a clinical experience in a rural setting. Upon completion of all medical school admissions requirements, the student can be admitted to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine or William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

During medical school, each MRPSP scholar may receive $30,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of MRPSP translates to 60 medical students receiving a total of $1,800,000 to support their education this fall. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support.

Upon completion of medical training, MRPSP Scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. The MRPSP scholar must provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 15,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.

MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, receive mentoring during the medical school application process, earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of service and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.

For more information, contact MRPSP Associate Director Dan Coleman at 601-815-9022, jdcoleman@umc.edu or http://mrpsp.umc.edu.

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The Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program and the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program are state-funded efforts to increase the number of dentists and physicians serving the healthcare needs of Mississippians in rural areas. Housed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, and collaborating with its schools of medicine and dentistry and the College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, the programs use various outreach, mentoring and training methods to identify, support, educate and deploy new generations of healthcare workers for Mississippi’s underserved populations.

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Aviation introduces top flight simulator

By | Academics, Aviation, College of Business and Aviation, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University’s Department of Commercial Aviation recently had its new top-of-the-line flight simulator certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Made by Frasca International, the Level 6 Diamond DA42 FTD (flight training device) was certified by the FAA to be used in the private multi engine, commercial multi engine, and flight instructor flight training syllabi.

The simulator will feature Frasca’s TruVision visual system, a 220 degree wrap-around visual system, an advanced cockpit weather and traffic interface, and Garmin G1000 advanced avionics paired with the KAP 140 autopilot.2017 Aviation simulator-7

The new simulator is an addition to the university’s three other Frasca TruFite FTDs for the Cessna 172 and Beechcraft Duchess that are currently in use. The model will simulate the Diamond DA42 aircraft, which is a complex multi-engine airplane used by students for in-air training.

“We are thrilled to have this showpiece ready for service,” said Dr. Julie Speakes, chair of commercial aviation. “Our students will save money and enjoy the visuals. In fact, the visuals are so realistic I’ve seen students leaning into a turn.”

Chip Cooper, director of flight operations, is also thrilled with the training opportunities the simulator will provide.

“This is a very nice piece of equipment to be able to have here in the Commercial Aviation Department,” he said. “This FTD is as close to the real experience you can get without it actually being an aircraft. I believe we all can agree that in aviation it’s sometimes best to first experience a maneuver or procedure on the ground and have the capability to pause the event.”

Garrett Gee, staff flight instructor added, “The realism of the new FTD allows us to train our students on normal and emergency procedures like never before. It responds and reacts just like the real aircraft. It also allows us to teach procedures that we are not able to teach in the airplane, such as landing with a flat tire with amazing realistic responses.”

Gee said the model has more advanced capabilities than the program’s previous FTDs, but the instructor interface has not changed much, providing instructors a familiar computer interface to teach with.

The Department of Commercial Aviation offers a bachelor’s of commercial aviation, as well as a master’s of commercial aviation. The department provides courses in general aviation, aviation management and aviation logistics management. Students have access to a flight training fleet that includes over 15 single-engine aircrafts and three multi-engine training planes.

Delta State is the only institution in Mississippi currently offering these baccalaureate degree programs.

“Graduates from this aviation program serve as members of flight crews, air traffic control specialists, and executives with supervisory and managerial responsibilities at all levels — while boasting no out-of-state and competitive flight training costs,” added Speakes.

Learn more about commercial aviation at Delta State by visiting http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation.

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Campus to host International Day of Yoga

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Delta State University will honor the International Day of Yoga on June 23 at 8 a.m. on the Quad with a free public yoga gathering.

Yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice which aims to transform both body and mind.

International Day of Yoga is a platform to come together to share, celebrate and deepen the path of yoga along with parallel celebrations in more than 100 cities across the country.

Leading the event will be instructor Parveen Chawla, who has invited all ages to join in. Participants are asked to bring their own mats or blankets.

“We are excited to welcome Parveen Chawla onto our campus and host this free public event,” said Jeanna Wilkes, coordinator of student activities at Delta State. “We hope to have a quad full of participants in celebration of International Day of Yoga.”

If there is rain Friday, the group will move to the second floor East Lobby of the H. L. Nowell Student Union.

Sponsors for the event include the Office of Student Life and DSU Quality Enhancement Plan.

Learn more about the International Day of Yoga at http://idayofyoga.org.

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Healing with a Groove 2.0 creates alumni network

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments
Photo (left to right):  Laeitta Wade, HWG 2.0 project assistant; Keziah Allen (Indianola); Isaac Peppers (Greenville); A’Midius Sigle (Shelby); Cle’Various Thornton (Moorhead); and Travis Calvin, HWG 2.0 project coordinator. HWG alumni not pictured: Jakevian McCaster (Greenwood); and Parker Abney II (Clarksdale).

The Delta Music Institute, an independent center of entertainment industry studies at Delta State University, recently received a $548,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) of Battle Creek, Michigan, to extend its successful Healing with a Groove 2.0 program.

The program is a narrative change initiative with the mission of promoting racial healing through the creation and production of original songs and recordings among young persons of color. The current round of funding will promote the establishment and development of a HWG 2.0 alumni base and the creation of a multimedia toolkit to be used as a resource for schools and organizations interested in establishing HWG groups.

“Music has great power to heal,” said DMI Director Tricia Walker. “Using digital media tools available today will empower the young participants in this program to find their unique voice in creating new songs and recordings that can address issues of race and how music can promote healing.”

Travis Calvin, a Delta State alumnus, serves as the coordinator of the DMI Mobile Lab and leads the HWG program.

“I am excited to build on the success we’ve had with this project. I’m looking forward to developing and empowering HWG alumni to become young leaders in their communities, using music and digital media as a platform to address issues of concern in their schools and hometowns,” said Calvin.

A network of HWG alumni from Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Sunflower and Washington counties will be selected and trained to assist local participants in the project. Participants generate ideas by engaging in open dialogue sessions before crafting original songs and producing audio recordings using the professional studios and equipment of the DMI and the DMI Mobile Music Lab.

The HWG 2.0 program provides instruction in commercial songwriting, audio engineering and digital media for participants in the counties served, giving them opportunities to explore and promote racial healing through the creation and dissemination of original songs. The project will foster the creation and recording of 30-40 original songs and musical works exploring and promoting racial healing. The development of the multimedia toolkit will serve as a guide for student leaders, teachers and administrators interested in facilitating the HWG 2.0 program in their local communities.

“Mississippi is the birthplace of America’s music and also the repository of a complicated history regarding race,” said Walker. “This unique project will provide young people in the Delta with an opportunity to explore this ongoing issue by using the popular medium of contemporary music and audio production.”

The DMI offers a bachelor’s in entertainment industry studies from the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For more information, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

The WKKF is a private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, and is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

WKKF works throughout the U.S. and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. The organization’s priority areas in the U.S. include Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

Environmental science program highlights for 2016-17

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

The environmental science program in Delta State’s College of Arts and Sciences completed a successful curriculum in the 2016-17 academic year.

“Opportunities this past academic year for Delta State University environmental science students were numerous,” said Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding. “For example, many students were co-authors on at least one scientific oral and poster presentation given at state, national and international meetings.”

Their presentations resulted from research investigations conducted in courses such as Materials and Methods in Environmental Science, Conservation Biology, Problems in Biology, wildlife management classes, and more.

Projects included Mississippi Delta ice age fossils, wild hogs at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, prey elements associated with Carolina Biological owl pellets, palynomorphs from the Bucatunna, Hattiesburg, and Morrison Formations, bird surveys conducted at Bear Pen Park in Cleveland, MS from 2008-2016, carbon dioxide and stomatal density patterns associated with four woody plants from the Mississippi Delta, ontogenetic dentition patterns pertaining to monitor lizards and more.

Baghai-Riding said these research opportunities have helped students get admitted to graduate school programs throughout the country.

“Other students preferred to acquire full-time positions after completing their degree in environmental science,” she said. “Many employers seek out our students because of their training. They mention that DSU students can think critically, possess hands-on and writing skills, and have good work ethics.

Upgraded laboratories and recent acquisitions were also a highlight of the previous year. Acquired equipment included a scanning electron microscope, a trinocular zoom stereomicroscope on a boom stand with HD video camera, and a $3,000 rock and mineral collection from Ron Brister, former curator at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum.

Students considering a degree option in environment science may choose from three concentrations areas: general, wildlife management and geospatial science.

For more information about the program, contact Baghai-Riding at 662-846-4797 or nbaghai@deltastate.edu.