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University installs chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Students | No Comments
Front row: (left to right): Dr. Chris Jurgenson, Dr. Sharon K. Hamilton (faculty councilor), Zachary Kinler, Katie Penton, Emily Grossi (president), Ana Daisy Camarillo (treasurer), Amber Wilson, JC Blackmon (secretary), Jill Harper, Dr. Gene Grimley, Dr. Gene Grimley ( National PLU President). Back row (l to r): Dr. Joe Bentley (departmental chair), Will Weeks, Dalvin Williams, Kelby Flemons, Tyler Daniels (vice president), Taylor Worsham, Dr. Chuck Smithhart.

 

Delta State University recently installed a new chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon on campus, the Gamma Delta chapter.

The aims and purposes of Phi Lambda Upsilon are the promotion of high scholarship and original investigation in all branches of pure and applied chemistry. The organization was founded as an honorary chemical society in 1899.

The Gamma Delta chapter inducted 11 student charter members and five charter faculty members. A total of 10 undergraduate students were initiated during the ceremony on April 21.

The inductees include: JC Blackmon, of Byhalia; Daisy Camarillo, of Gilcrest, Colorado; Tyler Daniels, of Hattiesburg; Kelby Flemons, of Big Creek; Emily Grossi, of Marks; Zach Kinler, of Picayune; Will Weeks, of Boyle; Dalvin Williams, of Vaiden; Amber Wilson, of French Camp; and Taylor Worsham, of Grenada. Previously inducted to PLU as a member-at-large, Katie Penton, also became a charter member of the DSU Chapter of PLU.

Other charter members included chemistry faculty members Dr. Joe Bentley, Dr. Sharon K. Hamilton, Jill Harper, Dr. Chris Jurgenson, and Dr. Charles Smithhart.

“Establishing the Delta Gamma chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon is a hallmark in the history of the chemistry program at Delta State,” said Hamilton, faculty counselor for the group. “It recognizes the quality of our department and our students. I’m extremely proud of all the work that went in to establishing this chapter, and I am proud of our first group of initiates. Our chemistry students work very hard and I am pleased to have them associated with such a prestigious society that recognizes their achievements.”

Bentley, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Delta State, was also thrilled to institute PLU on campus.

“Establishing a chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon at Delta State is a terrific opportunity for both students and faculty alike,” he said. “As our students apply to professional schools and graduate schools, or for industrial or education jobs, they will be able to highlight their academic achievements in their major field by listing their membership in PLU on their resume. The Department of Chemistry and Physics is honored to have this chapter at Delta State.”

Phi Lambda Upsilon was the first honor society dedicated to a single scientific discipline. In the span 113 years, it has grown into an organization comprising 73 chapters and more than 60,000 members. Learn more at http://philambdaupsilon.org/.

Newman honored for campus and community contributions

By | Academics, Archives, Athletics, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments
Erin Newman ’17

First attracted to Delta State’s swim program, recent graduate Erin Newman began her college career as a quiet freshman, but quickly found her voice through her passion for history.

Her professors are most impressed by her spirited discussions with both upperclassmen and instructors.

“She uses evidence to support logical arguments, proves her point in a quiet but effective manner, and often persuades others to embrace her perspective,” said Dr. Charles Westmoreland, assistant professor of history.

Given her stellar performance in the classroom, Erin has amassed a variety of academic honors at Delta State. Most recently, she was the recipient of the 2017 Jack Winton Gunn Award at this year’s College of Arts and Sciences awards program.

The Gunn Award is given for overall academic excellence in honor of the former dean of the university, and it is among the highest awards presented at Delta State.

Outside the classroom, Newman has also played an important role in preserving the history of Delta State and the surrounding region.

In the summer of 2015, she interned with University Archives and Museum, an experience which allowed her to assist in the development of the DSU 90th Anniversary Exhibit. Additionally, she has been a key contributor to two exhibits on sports history and culture, one of which was a Smithsonian traveling exhibit on display on campus in the fall of 2016.

In 2016, Newman took on extensive responsibilities in historical interpretation and preservation by serving as the program director at the Amzie Moore House Museum and Interpretive Center, a Cleveland historic site that interprets the life and legacy of civil rights leader Amzie Moore. Her work with the museum involved leading group tours and engaging in community outreach programs.

Newman, right, works with James McBride, president of the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors, and Will Hooker, Bolivar County administrator.

Newman, right, works with James McBride, president of the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors, and Will Hooker, Bolivar County administrator.

“Erin has made significant contributions to our mission to expand the legacy of Amzie Moore and the work of the civil rights movement in the Mississippi Delta,” said Will Hooker, Bolivar County administrator.

Emily Jones, university archivist, is grateful for Newman’s contributions to campus and community.

“From the beginning, Erin demonstrated initiative and a desire to learn more about the field of archive and museum studies,” said Jones. ”She has soaked up every opportunity, and now that hard work and drive is taking her down an amazing career path.”

Recently, Newman was accepted into the Museum Studies program at the University of Leicester in England, where she has been awarded a President’s Post-Graduate Scholarship for International Students.

To complement her formidable academic talents and community service, she has been a valued member of the Delta State swim team. She has served in a leadership capacity as the vice-chair of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for the Gulf South Conference.

“Both inside and beyond the classroom, she has helped peers and younger colleagues as they seek to balance the challenges of academics and athletic competition,” added Jones. “Despite practicing several hours a day for the past four years, Erin has been one of the most accomplished students on this campus. She is a model scholar and campus citizen who has taken a vested interested in serving Cleveland and the entire region.”

Follow news of student success at Delta State at www.deltastate.edu.

Okra Patch participants mentor Cleveland students

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The Okra Patch, under the direction of Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Vernell Bennett, continues its efforts to bridge relationships with Delta State students and Cleveland School District students.

The Okra Patch is guided by several key components, including: increased student engagement, community service/regional stewardship, and mentorship within the Cleveland schools, known as Okra Patch Cleveland Public Schools.

During the spring of 2017, 55 students volunteered for hundreds of hours in Cleveland’s public schools.

“It’s important to invest in and support the community that provides so much support to Delta State,” said Bennett. “It’s also important to make students aware of the significance of service and having a social conscience. Okra Patch Cleveland Public Schools is a wonderful way to create pipelines for recruitment while performing community outreach. The response from Cleveland schools has been overwhelmingly positive.”

After wrapping up its first year in the district, five Okra Patch participants from Delta State were recognized for their mentorship at schools. The Volunteer of the Year honorees were:

– East Side High School: Johnna Ladd and Octavia Kirkland
– D.M. Smith Middle School: Alandria Ramsey
– Pearman Elementary: Anna Mammedova and Nicholas Proctor

“This was a very positive experience for both our students and those in the public school system,” added Bennett.

Okra Patch members are also required to participate in all of the organization’s community service projects. Projects for the spring included partnering with Bolivar County Disaster Relief to assist in the rebuilding and repairing of flood damaged homes in Bolivar County and a beautification project with the Cleveland Park Commission.

Next semester, the Okra Patch will be working with Habitat for Humanity.

To join the Okra Patch, and for more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/student-life/okra-patch.

Crockett wins scholarship from Sanderson Farms aviation department

By | Academics, Aviation, College of Business, Community, Students | No Comments
Tristan Shemar Crockett, left, is presented a scholarship from the flight department of Sanderson Farms. Presenting the award was Brett Oleis, instructor of commercial aviation at Delta State.

 

Delta State University Commercial Aviation is pleased to announce the inaugural recipient of a scholarship provided by members of the flight department of Sanderson Farms.

The scholarship came out of a fundraiser held by the corporation’s flight department and was spearheaded by Kevin Blair and Ryan McBride. Both serve as pilots for Sanderson Farms, and McBride is a Delta State flight operations graduate.

Receiving the scholarship was aviation major Tristan Shemar Crockett of Grenada.

“I am extremely grateful to receive this scholarship,” said Crockett, a junior working on his instrument rating. “I would like to thank the Sanderson Farms aviation department for providing the scholarship and Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation for choosing me. These funds will help me continue my flight training into the summer.”

Brett Oleis, instructor of commercial aviation at Delta State, said he was thankful for the longstanding support from organizations in the aviation industry.

“Our graduates go on to make big impacts in the aviation field, both locally and globally,” said Oleis. “We are always appreciative of companies in the industry that give back to our students.”

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

Hit songwriters to make Delta return for DMI benefit

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

The Delta Music Institute Entertainment Industry Studies program at Delta State University will host its second “Writers in the Round” show on May 18 at the Delta Meat Market in downtown Cleveland.

The show will be held at 6 p.m. and will feature three-time GRAMMY® winner Ashley Cleveland, Dove award winner and writer of “Mary, Did You Know?,” Buddy Greene, A-Team Nashville session player Jeff Taylor, and DMI Director Tricia Walker.

The event serves as a fundraiser for DMI scholarships and programming.

“An ‘in the round’ songwriter show features professional songwriters in an intimate circular setting made famous at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee,” said Walker, who was one of the mainstays of the venue during her years as a singer-songwriter in Music City. “It’s a wonderful way to experience the power and emotion of great songs sung by the writers themselves.”

Ashley Cleveland is a GRAMMY and Dove Award winner who has released eight critically acclaimed albums. “God Don’t Never Change” features songs rooted firmly in a host of traditions — black spirituals, folk songs, 18th century hymns, gospel blues and jubilee. The disc was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album.

Buddy Greene has worked with the most celebrated names in the music industry, among them Bill and Gloria Gaither, the late Jerry Reed, and Mark Lowry, with whom he wrote the Christmas classic “Mary, Did You Know?”  The song has been recorded numerous times, including covers by Kenny Rogers, Wynonna, Natalie Cole, Glen Campbell, Kathy Mattea, CeeLo Green, Clay Aiken and Pentatonix. Greene has performed for more than a quarter of a million people in New York’s Central Park and has been a part of Praise Gatherings for more than two decades and toured all over the world.

Jeff Taylor grew up in Batavia, New York, and studied classical piano at the Eastman School of Music. He has lived in Nashville since 1990 and counts among his performing highlights his two years as bandleader at the Ryman Auditorium for the musical production “Always, Patsy Cline,” the Skaggs Family Christmas Tour, and many appearances on the Grand Ole Opry backing numerous artists. He has recorded with Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Harry Connick Jr., Amy Grant, George Strait, Vince Gill and The Chieftains. He was a featured artist on the 2007 GRAMMY-winning Best Bluegrass Album, Ricky Skaggs “Instrumentals”. In addition to excelling on accordion and piano, he also shines on the concertina, penny whistle, mandolin and bouzouki.

Seating is limited to 85 seats. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Delta Music Institute office at 662-846-4579 between 8 a.m. and noon Monday-Thursday.

The DMI 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, visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.