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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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University celebrates new Student-Athlete Academic Support Lab

By | Academics, Student Success Center, Students | No Comments

Delta State gathered for a special celebration Sept. 29 to introduce the remodeled and upgraded Academic Support Lab, the home of the new Student-Athlete Academic Support Services program in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

Lab staff, President Willam N. LaForge and Provost Dr. Charles McAdams provided remarks at the ceremony, and attendees were welcomed with a BBQ luncheon.

Funding for project renovation was provided by MDHS to launch the Student-Athlete Support Services program. The lab, which opened last semester, now hosts over 320 students each week who receive academic support. Additionally, the program will offer academic coaching and programs aimed at increasing student-athlete retention rates. MDHS has contributed funding for the partnership through 2017 with the possibility of renewed funding in coming years.

The lab includes peer tutoring in a variety of general education courses and 32 wireless touch-screen computers, learning stations, and large screen projection computers for group work. The renovation provides a state-of-the-art study center for students.

“I am very excited about this program as it will enable us to provided targeted efforts to increase the academic success of our student-athletes,” said McAdams, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “Helping students stay in school and complete their degree is a major priority for us. Athletes often have challenges that non-athletes do not have. This initiative is designed to help student-athletes make good academic decisions and lifestyle choices.”

Tricia Killebrew, project director, is thrilled with the upgrades.

“The Academic Support Lab now gives student-athletes an opportunity to prepare for academic challenges in an environment conducive to learning,” said Killebrew. “The program offers a wide range of services, including academic counseling, collaborative learning spaces, tutorial services in general education and prerequisite subjects, interactive study tables, opportunities for career planning and personal development, and advisement on current NCAA, Gulf South Conference, and university rules and regulations.”

Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of Student Success Center, also played a leadership role in making the renovation possible. The SSC was established in 2012 to address retention and the challenges many students face during their academic career.

“Since the updated Academic Support Lab opened in August, we have had more than 320 students visit per week, an increase from an average of 100-150 visits per week in previous years,” said Riddle.

The partnership with MDHS led to the birth of the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services program, but the lab also provides free peer tutoring to all Delta State students in a variety of general education courses. Services are available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.

For more information on the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services program, contact Killebrew at 662-846-4654 or tkillebrew@deltastate.edu.

“Take Me To The River: Live” educates Arkansas State and Delta State students

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Center, GRAMMY, Students | No Comments
Arkansas State University public administration student team at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi with the International Delta Blues Project banner featuring Delta State’s Blues Okra.

 

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State recently hosted a group of public administration students from Arkansas State University of Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Their visit coincided with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi’s “Take Me To The River: Live” program, partially sponsored by The Delta Center’s International Delta Blues Project, in order to learn how cultural heritage is an effective tool for educating and engaging diverse communities.

Led by Peggy Wright, director of the Delta Studies Center at ASU, the group included master’s-level graduate students from the Arkansas Delta, Seattle and Saudi Arabia. The students are learning about the importance of communications in community engagement and economic development.

“We appreciate being so warmly received by everyone at Delta State and the GRAMMY Museum during this valuable learning experience,” said Wright. “Dr. Herts [director of The Delta Center] and I were in the Delta Regional Authority’s Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy together, where I learned more about The Delta Center and Delta State. Site visit exchanges among leadership network colleagues represent a strategic opportunity for our students to gain professional insights, exposure to networking, and knowledge of the Delta’s culture. We look forward to visiting again.”

“The trip to Delta State University and the Mississippi Delta truly opened my eyes,” said ASU student Ali Alghofaili. “While visiting the GRAMMY Museum and hearing the musicians interact with local youth, I saw that they all focused on education, communication, and passing on the Delta’s musical history. The beautiful landscape reminded me of the Al-Qassim region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Al-Qassim region is well known for its agriculture just like the Delta region. This trip helped me to see the importance of understanding culture when serving the public, which is what I will be doing when I graduate in December.”

Delta State University media students pose after a conversation with GRAMMY Award winning Blues legend Bobby Rush.

“Take Me To The River: Live” also served as an experiential learning opportunity for a group of students enrolled in the Digital Media Arts program, a degree in the Depertment of Art at Delta State. The students documented the concert through photography and videography. They also had a group conversation with GRAMMY Award-winning blues legend Bobby Rush.

“Meeting Bobby Rush was amazing,” said Ashliegh Jones, a senior art major from Vicksburg. “My mother and grandmother have listened to his music for years, but have never been to a concert. They were thrilled that I was able to do so, and also to have a one-on-one conversation with him where he encouraged me to keep working hard, and if I do, perhaps one day I might be hired to be his photographer. That was a really cool thing to hear.”

The Delta Center joined forces with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi to host “Take Me To The River: Live.” The program was an official bicentennial project made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council through support from the Mississippi Development Authority.

The event was also supported by The Delta Center’s International Delta Blues Project. The program served as a pre-event for the upcoming International Conference on the Blues at Delta State University and as an educational Blues Leadership Incubator event for students and the broader community.

“We are pleased that Ms. Wright and her students chose The Delta Center and ‘Take Me To The River: Live’ as a case study. We also were impressed that Delta State students were involved in documenting the concert as part of Will Jacks’ class,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center. “Cultural heritage offers powerful ways to bring people together to communicate and understand our shared stories. It also has become a vehicle to educate and prepare students for career opportunities.”

The students joined hundreds of residents and visitors who visited GRAMMY Museum Mississippi that day for the Take Me To The River program.

Delta State students documenting GRAMMY Award winner William Bell’s performance during the Take Me To The River: Live concert.

The program included a morning panel discussion featuring music legends discussing the importance of music and art in the world today; an afternoon conversation with GRAMMY-winning Blues artist Charlie Musselwhite reflecting on the life of Mississippi blues legend John Lee Hooker; and a night-time live performance experience based on the award-winning film and record, “Take Me To The River.” Senator Willie Simmons also hosted a post-concert meet-and-greet the artists reception at his famed soul food restaurant, The Senator’s Place.

Hundreds attended the concert on the museum’s front lawn featuring GRAMMY Award winners William Bell, Bobby Rush and Charlie Musselwhite, backed by GRAMMY Award winner Boo Mitchell, the Hi-Rhythm Section and the Stax Academy Alumni Band. The concert included special appearances from two Memphis-based rappers, Academy Award winner Frayser Boy and Critics Choice Award winner Al Kapone. Remarks from GRAMMY-nominated filmmaker Martin Shore and GRAMMY Trustees Award-winner Al Bell provided important historical and social context about the film and Stax Records.

The film “Take Me To The River” connected multiple generations of iconic Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians to record a historic new album and re-imagine the utopia of racial, gender and generational collaboration of Memphis in its heyday, including Stax and Hi Records. In October 2016, The Delta Center and GRAMMY Museum Mississippi hosted a sold out public screening of the film which included a live performance on the Sanders Soundstage.

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Join Alumni Association for Saturday’s tailgate

By | Alumni, Athletics, Students | No Comments

All alumni, friends and fans of Delta State are invited to join the Delta State University National Alumni Association for food, fun and fellowship as they tailgate before the football game Saturday in Clinton, Mississippi. The Statesmen will battle the Choctaws for the Heritage Bell Trophy.

Fans should take the visitor’s entrance and look for the Alumni Association tent, to be set up near the baseball complex. Tailgating will begin at 5 p.m. and will continue until kickoff at 7 p.m. For game tickets, visit http://gochoctaws.com/sports/2006/8/1/tickets.aspx?&tab=2.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite tailgate dish. Delta State pompoms, RC products and water will be provided.

For more information, contact alumni@deltastate.edu or call Melissa Love, assistant alumni director, at 662-588-3780.

 

CEO of Memphis International Airport lecture set for Nov. 1

By | Academics, Aviation, College of Business and Aviation, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments
Scott A. Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis International Airport

 

Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation will host president and CEO of the Memphis International Airport, Scott A. Brockman, for a Lunch and Learn event Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. in Gibson-Gunn room 129-130.

Brockman joined the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority in June 2003. He was appointed the authority’s president and CEO in 2014 after having previously served as its executive vice president and COO.

Additionally, Brockman took office in May 2017 as chair of the American Association of Airport Executives. Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world’s largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE represents over 5,500 members, 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry.

Over Mr. Brockman’s 32-year career, he has also held executive management positions with Tucson International Airport, Des Moines International Airport, and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Prior to starting his aviation career, he spent several years with a CPA firm in Sarasota, Florida.

In 2012, an economic impact study by the Univer­sity of Memphis demonstrated that the Memphis International Airport had an annual economic impact of $23.3 billion. It is the busiest cargo airport in the Western Hemisphere and the second busiest cargo airport in the world.

Brockman’s Lunch and Learn event was arranged by Mahi Cosfis Chambers ’86, a Delta State College of Business graduate. Chambers has been instrumental over the years in identifying commercial aviation scholarships for minority and female students at Delta State.

Following the event, Brockman will speak at the Cleveland Rotary Club.

For more information on Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation/.