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Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson will provide his Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series address Nov. 9 at 6 p.m.

Congressman Thompson to provide colloquia address following election

By | Community, President, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series continues this semester with U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi on Nov. 9.

Rep. Thompson’s speech, titled “A Look Back at the 2016 National Election,” will begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Jobe Auditorium on campus — just one day after the 2016 national elections. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Delta State President William N. LaForge established the colloquia program when taking office in 2013. The platform is an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers. William F. Winter, former Mississippi governor, was honored as the first speaker in 2013.

“We’re thrilled to bring Congressman Thompson here for our Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series,” said LaForge. “It seemed fitting to invite him to campus the day after the national election to give us a snap-reaction to the election results. It’s an ideal opportunity for our campus to engage him, as our congressman in Washington, and at the same time, allow him to share his knowledge about what’s going to happen at the top of the ticket.”

Rep. Thompson has spent his entire life giving a voice to the voiceless. His lifelong public service record is a testament to his unwavering dedication to fulfill and exceed the expectations of the constituents of the Second Congressional District of Mississippi.

A native of rural Bolton, Thompson has always been aware of the realities that plague the South. Viewing the experiences his family endured firsthand became the catalyst for his passion for those who were often times underserved.

He is a product of the Hinds County School District and later earned a Bachelor of Science from Tougaloo College and a Master of Science from Jackson State University. While pursuing his education, Thompson began to cultivate his passion for grassroots political activism. A product of the Civil Rights movement, he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and helped to organize voter registration drives for African Americans in the Mississippi Delta. After graduating from college, he followed in the footsteps of his mother and worked as a schoolteacher. It was during this time that he began to aggressively pursue a career in politics.

Thompson has served the Second Congressional District since 1993. He is the longest-serving African American elected official in the state of Mississippi, and he is also the only Democrat in the Mississippi Congressional delegation. Thompson’s voting record is indicative of his determination to be an activist for reform. In 2000, he authored legislation creating the National Center for Minority Health and Health Care Disparities, which subsequently became law. Thompson also received a presidential appointment to serve on the National Council on Health Planning and Development.

In 2006, during the 109th Congress, Thompson’s Washington colleagues expressed their overwhelming confidence in his abilities and selected him to serve as the first Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. As chairman, he introduced and engineered House passage of the most comprehensive homeland security package since Sept. 11, 2001 — H.R. 1, the “9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007.”

LaForge said the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series is another commitment to bringing excellence to Delta State.

“The university colloquia program gives our institution a chance to hear from and engage with experts from a wide array of professions and interests,” said LaForge. “It especially allows our students and faculty to rub elbows with professionals and resources we sometimes have the rare opportunity to engage. Great universities have great programs, and this is one.”

Those unable to attend the event can view the live stream speech online through the university’s official LiveStream channel: https://livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity. Learn more about the series at www.deltastate.edu/president/colloquia.

The Delta State delegation that recently attended Mission Mississippi’s annual Racial Reconciliation Celebration included: (left to right)  Stedmond Ware,  Amber Jordan, Kiara Bryant, Jarrica Carey, Kaviar Lewis, Hampton Strickland, Felicity Strotter and Dr. Temika Simmons.

Delegation attends racial reconciliation conference

By | Faculty/Staff, Students, Winning the Race | No Comments

A Delta State University delegation recently took part in Mission Mississippi’s annual Racial Reconciliation Celebration at the Jackson Convention Complex.

The full day of events focused on racial reconciliation, education and methods for Mississippians, from all walks of life, to work together to create a more unified Mississippi.

Mission Mississippi has been leading the way in racial reconciliation in the state for the past 23 years. Its model is to bring people together to build relationships across racial lines so they can work together to better their communities.

Delta State University faculty, staff and students attended the reconciliation event and participated in a small group session, panel discussion and luncheon.

Student delegates included: Stedmond Ware (graduate student and Delta State staff member), Amber Jordan, Kiara Bryant, Jarrica Carey, Kaviar Lewis, Hampton Strickland and Felicity Strotter. Dr. Temika Simmons represented the university’s faculty.

“The conference raised participant awareness of the significant role that churches and religious organizations can take in bridging racial divides,” said Simmons. “Participants were encouraged to take Mission Mississippi’s 30-day challenge to spend time with a person of another race, sharing, praying and encouraging one another and to share that journey with others via photos on social media. Participants were also encouraged to think of themselves as leaders in the communities for bridging racial gaps.”

“The event is significant in that it raises community awareness of persistent and systemic issues rooted in racial tensions — and empowers participants with ways to get involved to help heal and reunite communities and people,” added Simmons.

Neddie Winters, president of Mission Mississippi, and First Lady of Mississippi, Deborah Bryant, were two featured speakers at the affair.

Delta State’s annual Winning the Race Conference on race relations works in partnership with Mission Mississippi in support of initiatives and efforts to unite and heal groups traditionally separated by race-related divides. Attendance at the reconciliation event is among many sustained campus and community activities supported through the university’s Winning the Race initiative.

The vision of Mission Mississippi is to engage, equip and empower the next generation to build relationships across racial lines, to work together with better understanding, to build greater respect for one another, and to trust each other while making a better Mississippi together.

Learn more at http://missionmississippi.org/about-us.

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DSU fashion show scheduled for Nov. 2

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Education and Human Sciences, Community, Students | No Comments

This year’s Delta State fashion show, “Behind the Seams,” will take place at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.

The event is made possible by a partnership between the Delta State fashion promotion course and the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce.

Designs from fashion merchandising students will be showcased on stage, as well as clothing for the whole family from area merchants.

A silent auction featuring products from local artists, artisans and businesses kicks off before the event from from 5-6:30 p.m. Cleveland’s own musical group, Southern Halo, will open the affair. Exciting door prizes from Chamber merchants will be given away during the show.

This year’s event is dedicated to Pat Kerr Tigrett, a well known Memphis fashion designer and longtime Delta State supporter.

Admission is free for all Delta State Okra Card holders, $15 for general admission, and free for children ages five and under.

All proceeds will benefit the DSU Fashion Merchandising program.

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Miss DSU 2017 coming to BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Five Delta State students will compete for the crown of Miss DSU 2017 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s contestants include:
* Amber Stone of Olive Branch. Rose is a sophmore majoring in exercise science. Her talent will be singing.
* Madison Wahlstrom of Horn Lake. Wahlstrom is a junior majoring in psychology. Her talent will be dancing.
* Amelie Goss of Rolling Fork. Goss is a senior majoring in child development. Her talent will be dancing.
* Haley Scalzo of Marion, Arkansas. Scalzo is a freshman majoring in pre-nursing. Her talent will be singing.
* Hannah Leflore of Greenwood. Leflore is a junior majoring in speech and hearing sciences. Her talent will be singing.

The emcee for the evening will be Dr. Vernell Bennett, vice president of Student Affairs. The judges are Patrick Davis of Cleveland, Brad Hill of Starkville, Lynn Baker of Vicksburg, Terri Frazier of Vicksburg and Othor Cain of Jackson. The auditors are Jaime VanVulpen and Josh Morgan with Hardy and Associates in Cleveland.

Tickets to the event are $6 for general admission and $3 for students.

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College fair in Ridgeland to highlight Delta State

By | Admissions, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University is hosting an interactive event for prospective students at the Renaissance Mall at Colony Park in Ridgeland on Oct. 25 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

All central Mississippi students, parents, counselors, alumni and friends are invited to the college fair that will be located in the pedestrian area behind Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Renaissance.

Academic representatives, staff and current students will be on hand to talk one-on-one about the university’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs, financial aid, scholarships, campus life and more.

The goal behind the on-site college fair is convenience and accessibility for those interested in Delta State. Admissions recruiter Rebekah Arant said the fair will be beneficial to those busy families who need quick answers.

“It can be difficult for busy families to get to Cleveland for a campus visit, so we are bringing campus to Jackson,” said Arant.

In addition to academic departments and admissions representatives, the Office of Financial Aid, Office of Student Life, and the Student Success Center will be on site.

With the casual location and come-and-go atmosphere, the university hopes to convey the true feeling of the Delta State family.

For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/collegefair, call 662-846-4020, or email rarant@deltastate.edu.