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McNair scholars attend national conference

By | Academics, Graduate and Continuing Studies, Students | No Comments
Left to right: Charles Walker, Porsche Chambers, Ashley Griffin, Syed Mohammed Amanuddin and Bria Goodson.

 

Several McNair Research Scholars at Delta State University attended the 19th National Conference for McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland from March 14-18.

The scholars in attendance were Charles Walker, Porsche Chambers, Ashley Griffin, Syed Mohammed Amanuddin and Bria Goodson. The students participated in a guided campus walking tour of the University of Maryland and of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The scholars attended scholarly activities and workshops that discussed research topics, stress in college, identifying graduate schools and scholarships, and effective public speaking strategies. They also listened and judged other McNair Scholar’s oral and poster presentations. In addition, they participated in a graduate school fair.

There were 51 other institutions present from around the country, with Delta State being the only group from Mississippi.

Wendolyn Stevens, McNair Research Scholars program director at Delta State, also attended the conference.

“Overall, the trip was a great experience,” said Stevens. “We learned from other scholars, program directors and presenters. It was great connecting and seeing other student research.”

Syed Mohammed Amanuddin also enjoyed the opportunity.

“This year, I had a great experience attending the McNair Conference at University of Maryland. This conference gave me the opportunity to network with some of the greatest and smartest scholars all over the nation. Attending different sessions and workshops offered me the opportunity to extend my horizon in research techniques, applying for grad school, and to learn more about different masters and doctoral programs I never knew existed.”

“Some of the keynote speakers were really inspiring and motivated me in several ways to push myself further and work harder to achieve my goals in life,” he added. “I believe this trip to Maryland has prepared me more for my future journey in higher education than I was before. Along with scholarly activities, the conference also offered us an opportunity to explore the beauty of D.C. and know more about its heritage. Overall, the conference was a complete package of entertainment and learning. I am excited to attend in 2019 and hopefully present my research, and share my thoughts and ideas with some of the great minds in the country.”

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was established in memory of astronaut-physicist and Challenger crewmember Ronald E. McNair. The program is administered through Delta State University’s Office of Graduate & Continuing Studies. McNair is one of eight TRiO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The goal is to increase the attainment of doctoral degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society.

Department of Biological Sciences attends Mississippi Academy of Sciences conference

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

The Department of Biological Sciences at Delta State University recently attended the 82nd annual Mississippi Academy of Sciences conference at the Thad Cochran Center of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Environmental science and biology majors contributed oral and poster presentations. Four student presentations in ecology and evolutionary biology received awards from the open MAS competition.

Environmental science student, Bethany Walker, received a second place award for her presentation titled, “Population and behavioral study of feral cats (Felis catus) on Delta State University Campus, Cleveland, MS,” which was authored by Walker, Hope Edge and professor Dr. AHM Ali Reza. Aaron Sassenrath-Cole received a second runner-up award for his presentation “Use of a scanning electron microscope in wildlife research and management,” which was authored by Sassenrath-Cole and Reza. Karoline Lambert received a third place award for her presentation “Preliminary Analysis of population dynamics of Amphiuma tridactylum and Siren intermedia in the Mississippi Delta,” which was authored by Lambert, Hannah Taylor, Sara Barrett, Shelby Babb and Eric Blackwell. Mitchell Coleman gave his presentation on “Preliminary Evaluation of using trail cameras for surveying mammal species,” which was authored by Mitchell Coleman, Christian Frew, Peyton Hamblin, Joshua Glover, Matthew Galloway and Eric Blackwell.

Undergraduate students William Neal and Arnold Spiers received a second runner-up award for their poster presentation titled “Isolation and identification of antibiotic producing microbes from Malidon dasystomous (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae),” which was authored by Neal, Spiers, Tanya K. McKinney, Dr. Ellen S. Green, and Nathan M. Schiff.  Professor Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding presented a poster titled “Vernal Pools at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi,” which was authored by Tyler Kitchings, Cade Francis, Maverick Harrison and Brady Chambley.

Another environmental science student, Raven Allison, presented a poster within the geology and geography section, which was rated as the best poster for the section. The poster was titled “Locally grown fruit retains its soil signature: an elemental study of regional variation in noncommercial jams and jellies,” and was authored by Allison, Callie Masterson, Dana Rico, William Whittington, Breana Randle, Gregory Peacock, Baghai-Riding and Charles Smithhart.

Reza chaired the MAS Ecology and Evolutionary Biology section, while Baghai-Riding served as the vice chair.

Attendees also visited the Lake Thoreau Environmental Center near USM’s campus. Participants learned about the habitat and ecology of the area.

To learn more about the environmental science program at Delta State University, contact Baghai-Riding (nbaghai@deltastate.edu) or Reza (areza@deltastate.edu).

Berry to provide 21st annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture

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

Delta State University will host the 21st annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture on April 5 at 7 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

The 2018 lecturer is Dr. Stephen Berry, Gregory Professor of the Civil War Era at the University of Georgia. Berry’s talk is entitled, “Dead Reckoning: What Coroners’ Records Reveal about Life and Death in the Old South.”

The Cranford Lecture is sponsored by the Delta State Division of Social Sciences and History and is supported by a generous grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council. The DSU Quality Enhancement Plan is also providing support for the lecture, which honors the life of Dr. Sammy Orren Cranford, longtime history professor and archivist at Delta State. The event is free and open to the public.

Berry earned his doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is a leading scholar of the American Civil War and the nineteenth-century South. He has two books, “House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds” (2007) and “All That Makes a Man: Love and Ambition in the Civil War South” (2003). He has edited numerous volumes, including “A House Divided: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858” (2015) and “Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War’s Ragged Edges” (2011).

He is currently working on several projects, most notably, a digital history project entitled “CSI: Dixie,” which uses coroners’ records to gain a deeper understanding of life and death in the nineteenth-century American South. As noted on the project website, “Coroners’ inquests are some of the richest records we have of life and death in the nineteenth century South. As mortals, we all die, but we do not die equally. Race, place, gender, profession, behavior, and good and bad luck play large roles in determining how we go out of the world. Collecting extant coroners’ inquests for the state of South Carolina between 1800 and 1900, CSI Dixie provides rare glimpses into Victorian-era suicide, homicide, infanticide, abortion, child abuse, spousal abuse, master-slave murder, and slave on slave violence.” For more information on the project, visit https://csidixie.org.

Dr. Sammy O. Cranford

Berry’s work for “CSI: Dixie” will serve as the foundation for his lecture.

“We are excited to have Stephen Berry deliver this year’s lecture,” said Dr. Chuck Westmoreland, associate professor of history at Delta State. “His work on the American Civil War and the nineteenth-century South is some of the most imaginative and creative you will find from historians today. He explores fascinating topics about daily life and death in the American South that push us to think about this region’s history, as well as the nation’s, in fresh, new ways. Students, faculty, staff and community members will learn a great deal about life and death in the Old South.”

Berry serves as the secretary-treasurer for the Southern Historical Association and has been a fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. In 2010, he received the Parks-Heggoy Award for excellence in graduate student teaching in the University of Georgia’s Department of History.

Westmoreland said Berry’s commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and public engagement bears much similarity to the work of Cranford.

“Stephen Berry has done a terrific job of taking history outside the traditional confines of the classroom and academic publications and into the digital world,” he added. “He speaks around the country and engages different types of audiences with his work. Dr. Cranford excelled at teaching and bringing history to a wider audience as well. I think he would appreciate the depth and creativity that Dr. Berry brings to the study of the past.”

As Westmoreland noted, the Cranford Lecture is a tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Cranford.

“Through his passion as a history professor, and his commitment to developing the DSU Archives, Dr. Cranford made our campus and community a better place,” said Westmoreland. “He touched the lives of students, fellow colleagues, community members and scholars who came to DSU to conduct research in our archives. This year’s lecture presents a great opportunity to learn from Dr. Berry and honor Dr. Cranford, one of Delta State’s most distinguished faculty members.”

Previous lecturers include: 1998, John Marzalek; 1999, John Ray Skates; 2000, James Cobb; 2001, Martha Swain; 2002, Lawrence Nelson; 2003, Nan Woodruff; 2004, David Sansing; 2005, Charles Reagan Wilson; 2006, James Hollandsworth; 2007, Elbert Hilliard; 2008, Larry Griffin; 2009, William LaForge; 2010, Chris Myers Asch; 2011, Charles Eagles; 2012, George Rable; 2013, Jeannie Whayne; 2014, Tim Huebner; 2015, Alecia Long; 2016, Aram Goudsouzian; 2017, Calvin White, Jr.

Following the lecture, a reception will be held in the Jobe Hall lobby.

For more information on the Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture, contact Westmoreland at cwestmoreland@deltastate.edu.

37th Annual F.E. Woodall Spring Conference scheduled for March 23

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

Delta State University’s Division of Counselor Education and Psychology is hosting the 37th annual F.E. Woodall Spring Conference for the Helping Professions on March 23.

The conference boasts 32 breakout continuing education sessions and a keynote address. The event provides continuing education for counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other helping professions to receive quality, affordable continuing education opportunities.

The Woodall Conference has grown to welcome approximately 300 attendees a year. Participants drive in from Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana. The presenters are private practitioners, state professionals, and faculty members from 10 universities and colleges.

“We are proud to represent Delta State each year with our Woodall Conference,” said Dr. Cat Vincent, counselor education instructor and conference coordinator. “It’s an honor to be able to bring excellence in continuing education to our region.”

The keynote presenter will be Dan Buchner, the founder and principal of ‘praktikel, and inventor of the car back-up camera and Swiffer. praktikel is an innovative company that has taken on all kinds of problem-solving issues, including the field of counseling. Buchner will be presenting “Six Practical Tips for Innovation.”

“Many of our attendees have begun their careers with a degree from Delta State, and we are happy to continue their education as we contribute to these professional developments of helping professionals across the state Mississippi,” said George Beals, program coordinator and assistant professor in counselor education.

View the conference website at http://buytickets.at/deltastateuniversitycounseloreducation/140851. For more information, contact Vincent at cvincent@deltastate.edu.