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Fighting Okra Records seeks next artist

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments

Fighting Okra Records, the student-run record label within the Delta Music Institute’s entertainment industry program at Delta State University, has launched its search for the next FOR recording artist.

Performing artists interested in pursuing this unique opportunity can visit fightingokrarecords.com, fill out the application form in its entirety, and submit online for a chance to be selected. The submission period will remain opent until  Nov. 10 at 11:59 p.m.

FOR is accepting submissions from both solo artists and bands of any musical genre. This year, the search has expanded beyond Delta State’s campus to include solo acts or groups in the surrounding area. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older and provide basic information regarding their musical endeavors.

FOR’s main purpose is to select a talented musician or band and provide them with professional industry utilities paired with significant industry insight to expand and strengthen the career of whomever the label selects.

“The artist or band selected for the Fighting Okra Records label will have a unique opportunity to have multiple university resources available to them for their career development through the students in the practicum course,” said Tricia Walker, DMI director. “The FOR members will facilitate photography, professional audio, publicity and promotion services on behalf of the artist in order to provide the artist with tools for building a strong foundation going forward.”

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelors degree in entertainment industry studies. 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 information about the DMI or Fighting Okra Records, contact 662-846-4579, or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

Delta State COEHS to screen student documentary

By | Academics, College of Education and Human Sciences, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University College of Education and Human Sciences announced it will screen “I Sopravvissuti,” a documentary directed by Delta State junior psychology major Matteo Zengaro, on Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. in the Jacob Conference Center.

Zengaro was named a grant recipient of the 2017 Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum on May 1 for his film depicting the Italian tradition in the Mississippi Delta.

“We are pleased to showcase this creative work of Matteo Zengaro, a psychology major in the Division of Counselor Education and Psychology,” said Dr. Leslie Griffin, dean of the COEHS. “His interest in research dovetailed with the study of the experiences of early Italian immigrants to the Mississippi Delta. My interest is certainly piqued, and I invite others to join with the College of Education and Human Sciences in viewing this screening.”

Italian Americans have a long-rooted tradition in the Mississippi Delta, and Zengaro’s film brings those stories to life. Narrated by Delta State associate professor of English and chair of the Division of Languages and Literature Don Allan Mitchell, Zengaro’s film delves into the hardships early Italian Americans faced and how they overcame obstacles to give future generations a better life.

“I Sopravvissuti” (The Survivors) is the story of the sons and daughters of Italians who immigrated to the Delta and how present day Italian Americans keep their ancestors’ culture flowing within their community. The film highlights a culture that has been ingrained within the Delta community, but largely ignored in overall Italian American history.

“I want to thank the College of Education and Human Sciences for showing my film,” Zengaro said. “‘I Sopravvissuti’ is a unique film that shares the Italian American experience in the Delta. I also want to thank everyone who helped me along the way to make this film a reality.”

Admission to the screening is free and open to the public.

Delta State receives $1.15 million federal McNair award

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, Institutional Grants, Students | No Comments

Delta State University recently received notice of a major $1.15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.

This coveted McNair award will provide funding over the next five years for Delta State to increase the number of advanced and doctoral degrees in typically underrepresented groups and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each year, 25 undergraduate participants will be selected and designated as Delta State McNair Research Scholars, and their academic progress will be directly enhanced with support services and resources.

Emphasis will be placed on recruiting students from 10 STEM majors at Delta State and affiliated associate degree programs at Coahoma Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College. One of eight federal TRIO programs, the McNair funding prepares eligible participants for doctoral studies through research and other scholarly activities.

“We are excited to be a participant in the McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program,” said Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “This federally funded program takes our retention efforts to the next level by focusing the students’ sights on completing a graduate degree while still on a path to complete their undergraduate degree. This program holds great promise for our students and for the state of Mississippi.”

Heather Kovarcik Miller, Delta State’s director of Institutional Grants, is thrilled with the grant.

“This award is highly competitive, and we at Delta State are elated to have this grant proposal funded, which is the first McNair award ever for our university,” she said.

Those who worked with Miller to secure the grant included: Wendy Stevens, graduate recruiter; Jon Delperdang. Hearin TFA Graduate Fellow; and Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

“The opportunities that open up for our students due to this funding are extraordinary,” said Moon. “Plus, we will be able to provide support to faculty members who will serve as mentors for these students. The faculty will help shepherd the selected students through junior and senior years at the university. The support for the McNair scholars will also continue on into their graduate programs as we track their successes.”

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

 

Fighting Okra Records to host album release party

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

Fighting Okra Records, the student-run record label within the Delta Music Institute’s entertainment industry program at Delta State University, is hosting an album release party to celebrate the newest addition to its ongoing compilation series, “Fighting Okra, Round 3.”

The event will feature live performances from artists featured on the album and take place on the campus Quadrangle on Oct. 12 at 5 p.m.

Six student artists will perform at the event, each providing a different style of music, including hip-hop, electronic, alternative and soul. All artists are featured on the CD and will be performing their contributions to the album, as well as some of their solo material. Free refreshments will be provided, and entry to the event is free.

In addition to the musical performances, the release party will include raffles, contests and a photo booth for attendees.

“Fighting Okra, Round 3″ is the third entry in FOR’s compilation series, and fifth release for the student-run record label.

“I’m excited about a new release on the Fighting Okra Records label,” said Tricia Walker, DMI director. “This release marks the beginning of the search for the label’s next artist to be signed and produced in the DMI studios. There is so much great young talent here at Delta State, and this current release showcases a lot of that talent.”

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelor’s degree in entertainment industry studies. 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 information about the DMI or Fighting Okra Records, contact 662-846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

Biology credits available for new course in Bangladesh

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

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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