Category

Students

2017 Men’s Conference scheduled for Sept. 20-21

By | Students | No Comments

The Office of Student Affairs will present the 2017 Men’s Conference titled “The Bro Codes: Respect. Honor. Scholarship.” on Sept. 20-21 at Delta State University.

Under the direction of Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Vernell Bennett, the conference will focus on appealing to the social and civic conscience of male students at DSU.

“Conference participation will be a means to increase student engagement, foster a culture of students supporting one another, endorse a healthy mind, body and spirit, participate in community service, encourage regional stewardship, networking, and finally, recognize student excellence,” said Bennett.

Students are asked to register online for the event at http://www.deltastate.edu/student-life/mens-conference. The schedule of events will be free to students, and the first 100 registrants will receive a free T-shirt.

Events kick off at noon on Sept. 20 with “Chaos on the Quad,” an obstacle course offering prizes to winners. At 3 p.m. in the Baioni Conference Center, an opening speaker session will feature Mississippi representative Abe Hudson, District 29, and John Cox, a Delta State graduate and owner of Cox & Moore, PLLC, a full-service law firm in Cleveland. At 7:30 p.m, the Statesman Emerald Awards of Excellence will be given out, also in the conference center. The awards will recognize students for their scholarship and involvement on campus.

On Sept. 21 at noon, the conference continues with “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” where DSU males will walk around the quad to raise awareness about the causes, effects and remedies to sexualized violence against women. Those wishing to donate heels for the event are asked to drop them off at Suite 307 in the Student Union. Registration for the walk is available at http://www.deltastate.edu/student-life/walk-mile-shoes-international-mens-march-form/. Following the march, a BBQ will be held for participants.

“We’re going to have some fun while raising awareness about a great cause,” said Bennett. “We want our males to lose their inhibitions and don some red pumps to raise awareness, and we want our ladies to come out and cheer them on. Seeing the gentleman conquer the quad in red pumps will be quite a sight. Women are welcome to register for the march as well.”

“I hope the biggest takeaway for the students is that they’ll resolve to become more intentional about engaging on campus, in the community and with one another,” added Bennett.

For more information, contact 662-846-4150.

Campus unites for Hurricane Harvey victims

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

A massive donation drive came to a close Thursday after students, faculty and staff across campus donated items to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Spearheaded by the Administrative Staff Council at Delta State, the donation drive service project was in partnership with two local relief initiatives led by the town of Boyle, Catfish Cabin and Sen. Willie Simmons at The Senator’s Place.

“The service project received an enormous response, and thousands of relief items were collected on the Delta State campus,” said Caitlyn Thompson, president of the ASC. “Items included bottled water, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, baby needs, personal hygiene items, paper towels, toilet paper, linens, pet food and much more.”

The items were collected and packed into vehicles Thursday and then delivered to Texas by local initiative leaders.

“The mission of the project was to provide support to those in need after the natural disaster,” added Thompson. “The project aligned with one of Staff Council’s stated purposes, which is to give back to the community through service projects and volunteer work. The demonstrated support for this project is just one example of how the DSU family gives back beyond the educational sector.”

Delta State’s Staff Council serves as a liaison between the administration and the staff to provide a formal process for staff to discuss issues involving university policies and procedures and to forward ideas, recommendations and options to the president.

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

Delta State enrollment increases over five percent

By | Academics, Admissions, Faculty/Staff, IHL, President, Students | No Comments

For the fourth year in a row, Delta State University is proud to announce an increase in university enrollment.

The preliminary numbers, as of Sept. 8, were 3,035 undergraduate students and 743 graduate students, for a total enrollment of 3,778. The increase of nearly 5.5 percent was the largest increase among the state’s eight public universities this year.

According to Delta State University President William N. LaForge, the growth is due to a number of major institutional efforts.

“I am very pleased with the increase in enrollment for the fall of 2017,” said LaForge. “Early reports indicate we are up 190 students, or nearly 5.5 percent over last year. This significant uptick represents the fourth consecutive increase, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

LaForge credited six major reasons for the enrollment increase:

  • A great team of faculty and staff across campus.
  • Smarter and more targeted recruiting in high schools and community colleges. This includes doubling community college recruiters, and increasing partnerships with high schools.
  • Improved retention rates thanks to engaged faculty and programs such as the Student Success Center and First Year Seminar.
  • Signature programs that continue to attract more students, including the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing, Delta Music Institute, Health/Physical Education/Recreation, and Aviation.
  • Doubling the number of international students in the last three years.
  • Offering a competitive tuition rate with stellar academics, including capstone projects for every major — all at an unparalleled value.

“I would be remiss not to mention that we have a welcoming student environment,” added LaForge. “Students feel very welcomed here and have the total college experience. There’s a buzz on campus, and there’s excitement all around.”

Caitlyn Thompson, director of recruiting, said recruitment efforts have focused on directly communicating with potential students.

“The recruiting staff worked very hard over this past year to reach new students, and one effort that may have contributed to the enrollment increase is the E-Communication Center that was implemented last fall,” said Thompson. “Current Delta State students contacted prospective students to speak with them about topics like campus events, scholarships, admissions deadlines, application reminders and more.”

Tricia Walker, director of the Delta Music Institute, said the DMI program has experienced significant growth over the past few years.

“The sustained growth of the DMI program brought the opportunity to add a faculty member and a studio manager to our ranks in order to better serve our students,” said Walker. “We are grateful to the administration for their support of this unique program. With an incoming class of more than 30 new students this fall, the DMI will exceed 120 majors in our entertainment industry studies program. We are packed and we like it that way.”

Tim Colbert, chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, said HPER is one of the fastest growing majors.

“HPER has good degree options in multiple areas that lead not just to employment, but also sustainable careers with a chance for advancement,” said Colbert. “Our faculty understand how to relate to students on a personal level and help them to deal with their issues to become successful.”

Additionally, Delta State saw another uptick this year in the number of international students. Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of the Student Success Center and International Student Services, is proud that the university has doubled its international student body since the spring of 2013.

“We love that our international student population is growing each year,” said Riddle. “International students contribute so much to campus because of their global perspectives and diverse cultures. We welcome them to Delta State and look forward to even more international students for years to come.

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

King sculpture pays heartfelt tribute to Schmidt

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

Visitors to downtown Cleveland are enjoying the recent expansion of Delta State’s Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden with five new installations along Sharpe Avenue.

One sculpture holds special meaning thanks to the creative work of recent Delta State graduate Lawson King ’17, an art major originally from Indianola.

His 8-foot steel and recycled rope sculpture “Broken Arrow” stands tall in dedication to former Delta State professor Dr. Ethan Schmidt, who fatally fell victim to gun violence in 2015.

“I dedicated the piece to him because his shooting caused me to react — caused me to respond to the traumatic experience,” said King. “The more I found out about the shooting, the more I felt connected to it.”

King found many similarities to the incident after his father was killed in a shooting at the age of three. King also taught with Schmidt’s wife at a local elementary school through his participation in the Delta Arts Alliance’s artist-in-residence program.

“It was personal for me to create this piece, but I also wanted to do it for Ethan’s wife and his kids,” said King. “I wanted to show them that I was three when my father was killed, and I think I turned out alright.”

Michael Stanley, chair of the Delta State Department of Art, was thrilled with King’s dedication, noting that he was the first student/alumni to have work displayed in the sculpture garden.

“Lawson’s piece is a very powerful tribute to Dr. Ethan Schmidt because he elegantly intertwines a number of very complicated ideas into one sculpture,” said Stanley. “The broken arrow is a symbol that represents peace and also refers to Ethan’s expertise in Native American history. It’s also a direct reaction to the events that took place the day of the shooting. Instead of using an image of violence, Lawson chose an image of peace, which is much more powerful in my opinion.”

The sculpture garden has developed into an iconic element of Delta State’s campus, and it has shown growth in recent years while expanding across the university, to the grounds of GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, and downtown Cleveland.

Judson Thigpen, executive director of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, said the sculpture garden’s development continues to forge the town-gown relationship.

“The sculptures are a continuation of the Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden at Delta State into the community,” said Thigpen. “It’s an added treasure that one of the sculptures is dedicated to the life of Ethan Schmidt and the lives he touched while here.”

Stanley agreed that the expansion of the sculpture garden strengthens the partnership between the university and the city of Cleveland.

“We cannot survive without the other, and this is a wonderful display of cooperation and a great visual reminder of this unique relationship,” he said.

Public sculpture was a big reason King pursued his art degree, as he felt public art was lacking in his hometown. The facilities in the art department make it possible for students to create large-scale public works.

King said it was an incredible honor to be selected in the first group of downtown sculptures.

“It feels like such a big accomplishment for me,” he said. “It’s awesome to be included with super talented sculptors from across the country. Just to be accepted and be among them in the first round of downtown sculptures — it means a whole lot to me.”

Learn more about the Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden at http://thesculpturegardenms.com/.