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Restoring the Green Mile – Fireside Chat – April 11, 2016

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Joining President LaForge is Dr. Gary Bouse, Delta State Chief Development Officer and liaison to the Dedicated Statesmen Association.

This past fall, Delta State celebrated its 90th birthday with a series of programs looking at its history. As part of the continued celebration, a number of student groups will come together on April 19 to repaint Delta State’s Green Mile fitness trail that works its way across campus. The project is being led by members of the Dedicated Statesmen Association, which oversaw the restoration of the Alumni Plaza clock as part of our 90th anniversary and will continue to identify and spearhead projects on campus in the coming years.

The repainting of the Green Mile will kick off at the Alumni clock next to the Student Union at 1:30 p.m. on April 19, with members of several different student groups, athletic teams and Greek organizations competing in teams. The goal is to give new life to the Green Mile, which was created in 2010 to promote overall health and wellness at the institution. The one-mile trail enables walkers and joggers to start at any set of green footprints on campus and to follow the trail of footprints until they are back at their starting point, thus completing one mile of exercise. The work of the student teams will be judged on neatness and completion, and the winners will receive trophies and prizes for their efforts. Fitness and health are important components of education at Delta State, and the university is proud that the Green Mile is available to anyone from the campus or community.

In other news on campus, the Delta State University Jazz Ensemble will present its spring concert tonight at 7:30, and the Delta State University Choirs will present “Carmina Burana,” a cantata at 7:30 tomorrow night. And rounding out three nights of music will be a free concert featuring the U.S. Air Force Concert Band. That performance is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday night. All three performances will take place in our Bologna Performing Arts Center.

President William N. LaForge

Campus Update: Civility and Respect on Campus

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Dear Campus Colleagues and Students,

Last Tuesday, in the aftermath of Governor Phil Bryant’s signing House Bill 1523 (known as the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act”), I issued a statement to the media that incorporated information I am sharing with you below.

Over the last few days, conversations about civility and respect have ensued across the Delta State University campus.  Most recently, in meetings with students and faculty, I reinforced Delta State’s longstanding commitment to an open and inclusive university campus community—a theme I included in comments I made during the 2015 State of the University Address at the university’s annual convocation.

The signing of this legislation into law, coupled with some recent expressions of opinions on campus, present the university with yet another opportunity to restate our commitment to inclusiveness, fairness, and a safe and welcoming campus for all.

As stated in the guiding principles for the university, Delta State promotes mutual respect, teamwork, fairness, and integrity among all of our employees and students, and the university works diligently to create a climate in which students, employees, and constituents are valued and nurtured. Delta State strives to be a safe environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff, and we celebrate the many differences that make this university great. Those goals and principles are central to our mission and will not change.

Over the past few years, Delta State has hosted Safe Space training programs in which I, along with numerous faculty and staff members, have participated.  The goals of the national Safe Space program are to create campus spaces where LGBTQ students and employees feel safe, supported, and valued as members of the university community, and to reduce fear of reprisal and discrimination within the university community.  The university will continue to support that program and the work it does.

This week, Delta State is hosting a professional development webinar that is open to any faculty or staff member who wants to support the LGBTQ community on campus.  The program, “Beyond LGBTQ: Supporting the Spectrum of Sexual & Gender Identities of Your Students,” is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13 at 1:00 pm in the Baioni Conference Center in Broom Hall.

I ask for your continuing efforts to ensure Delta State remains a campus that embraces and demonstrates civility and respect.

Very best regards,

Bill LaForge

Delta State University recently announced Don Allan Mitchell, associate professor of English, as the chair of the Department of Languages & Literature.

Mitchell appointed chair of Languages & Literature

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Delta State University recently announced Don Allan Mitchell, associate professor of English, as the chair of the Department of Languages & Literature.

Mitchell had served as chair on an interim basis since July of 2014.

“I am both humble and grateful, and I appreciate the vote of confidence from Dean David Breaux,” said Mitchell. “We have some outstanding new faculty in the division, in addition to great people like Mike Smith, Clint Tibbs and Susan Allen Ford, who have been here for a while. We will have more new faculty in the fall. It’s a lot of fun to watch new people like Judith Coleman, Lauren Coker-Durso and Julia Calderon get their ‘Delta Sea Legs’ under them.”

“Invest in people, not programs,” added Mitchell. “That was taught to me by the late, great Dr. R. Faser Triplett, and it is a constant reminder to me that if we hire good people, and give them the ways and means to succeed, greatness will occur.”

Mitchell said quality courses are available throughout the division.

“If a prospective student wants small class size, and close, one-on-one mentoring relationships with professors, then the Division of Languages & Literature and the Delta State University family are here for you.”

He received his bachelor’s from the University of Virginia and his MFA from the University of Mississippi.

At Delta State, he has taught Modern American Drama, Expository Writing, Composition, Introduction to Literature, and History and Literature of the Blues. His research interests include blues literature and Mississippi literature.

“In 1928, the first diploma granted by Delta State Teachers College went to a graduate from the Division of Languages & Literature,” said Mitchell. “Thus, we were there at the beginning. We are here now — we will be here, moving forward. We have a long tradition of excellence. As faculty, staff and students of the Division of Languages & Literature, we will continue to build on that long tradition, and continue to transform obstacles into opportunities.”

Learn more about the department at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/languages-literature/.

Dr. Karen Fosheim, professor of music, was named the chair of the Department of Music.

Fosheim named chair of Department of Music

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Delta State University recently announced Dr. Karen Fosheim, professor of music, as the new chair of the Department of Music.

Fosheim had served as the interim chair since July of 2015.

“The music faculty at DSU is first rate,” said Fosheim. “Any success in the department is because of them. I just need to stay out of the way, facilitate what I can, and let them do their thing.

“The recurring goal, of course, is to attract the highest quality student to our program. Our plan is to throw out a wider net and recruit students in different areas of the region than we currently draw from. Also, an option for recruiting international students is currently being developed.”

Fosheim has taught piano, music theory, music in American culture, and is co-director of the Community Drumming Ensemble at Delta State. She said the department would continue to seek resources to help the program grow.

“We are currently looking at new approaches to make the department more efficient,” she said. “We are also actively seeking funding from outside sources, such as private donations, to help fund normal departmental activities and to replace worn out instruments and equipment.”

As an active performer, she has appeared as a soloist and collaborative pianist around the U.S. and in Mexico. In the summer of 2001, she was selected as a performer in the Van Cliburn Institute.

Her piano teachers include Nohema Fernandez, Ozan Marsh, Paula Fan, Dale Childs, and Billie Erlings in pedagogy.

Fosheim holds degrees from the University of Arizona and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

She is currently the president-elect of the Southern Chapter of the College Music Society. In addition, she has been a presenter and adjudicator for the College Music Society, Mississippi Music Teacher’s Association, Mississippi Music Educators Association, MENC: National Association for Music Education, and the Pianist Foundation of America.

Learn more about the Department of Music at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/music.