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Over 260 participants took part in the third annual B.E.E.P. Breast Cancer Walk-a-thon.

Walkathon raises funds for breast cancer screenings

By | BEEP, Center for Community and Economic Development, Community, Students | No Comments

To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Breast Education & Early-detection Project (B.E.E.P.) and the Outdoor Recreation Program at Delta State University held the third annual B.E.E.P. Walk-a-thon on Oct. 5 at the DSU Fitness Trail.

The event was attended by 261 participants who walked 827 laps, or the equivalent of 413.5 miles. It was sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Roger Blake and the Blake Surgical Association. Delta Dairy of Cleveland provided samples of ice cream to event participants.

Also partnering for the event were: the College of Education and Human Sciences; Dean of Graduate Studies, Continuing Education and Research; Department of Athletics, HPER; greek organizations; Robert E. Smith School of Nursing; and the Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

A special thanks was expressed to volunteers assisting with the event, including: Debbie Allen, Todd Davis, Dr. Beverly Moon,  Nancy Reginelli, Dr. Rose Strahan, and Kimberly Williams. Also assisting with the walk were DSU students Tia Brown, Katie Genneralli,and Liz Hansen from the Outdoor Recreation Program, and Eric Rush from the School of Nursing.

B.E.E.P. focuses on raising awareness of breast cancer and breast health and increasing the number of women who adopt early cancer detection methods. The project has been funded by a grant from the Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation since 2008. B.E.E.P. provides breast health education and funding for clinical exams, mammograms, and ultrasounds for women who have limited income, are uninsured or underinsured, and have limited access to preventative healthcare in Bolivar, Sunflower, Washington and surrounding counties.

The walkathon raised $1,000 for B.E.E.P. to utilize, in addition to the grant funds, to provide breast cancer screenings and education.

B.E.E.P. has maintained long-term partnerships with local healthcare facilities and community organizations since 2008. Through March 31, 2016, the project has:

  •  sponsored or participated in over 400 breast cancer awareness events.
  •  reached 21,444 individuals
  •  provided 546 mammograms, 37 ultrasounds and 637 clinical exams
  •  provided 511 transportation stipends to participants to assist with costs of travel for the screenings
  •  referred 72 individuals for further testing after the screenings
  •  assisted in identifying 14 individuals with cancer through additional testing

For more information on B.E.E.P., contact Gail Bailey at 662-846-4008 or gbailey@deltastate.edu.

 

Honors Program boosting curriculum

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

Delta State is committed to providing its students superior academic experiences. With that in mind, Delta State University Provost Dr. Charles McAdams has charged the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. David Breaux, with leading a task force to develop a more robust Honors Program at the university.

The task force will be comprised of faculty from across campus and will begin work soon. While the group is conducting their work, Michael Smith, associate professor of English, will serve as interim director.

“As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, I want to thank professor Leslie Fadiga-Stewart, former director of the Honors Program, for her undying commitment to the Honors Program and its students,” said Breaux. “Delta State is truly blessed to have faculty like professor Fadiga-Stewart and Smith, who go beyond the call of duty to ensure that its students receive a first-rate education.”

Currently, the Honors Program provides enhanced educational and cultural experiences for talented and academically committed students within an environment that fosters discovery and creativity.

“We are in the process of revamping the curriculum to increase the sense of identity and community an honors program can provide,” said Smith. “We are also expanding our vision of the program to include engagements off campus and outside of the classroom, including attendance at state and national conferences, as well as retreats that will bring current fellows together with alumni of the program. The Honors Program also includes a very active student organization, the Honors Program Association, which meets monthly on campus.”

Students accepted into the program become Honors Fellows and enjoy benefits such as smaller class size, priority for early registration each semester, and recognition at the university commencement ceremonies.

In addition, Honors Fellows have access to opportunities for extra-curricular activities, including but not limited to cross-cultural experiences, civic engagements and lectures. The program also provides mentoring and advising opportunities for participants.

“Delta State benefits from a great number of high-achieving students, so the application process is competitive and the curriculum is rigorous,” added Smith. “Each Honors Fellows class is capped at 20 spots per year.”

A select number of high school students who apply to Delta State as incoming freshmen are selected as fellows each academic year. Guidelines for consideration include: a composite ACT score of 26 or higher (no sub-score may be below 17), a high school GPA of 3.5+ (4.0 scale), and documented evidence of leadership and community engagement.

“I’m honored to have been asked to serve as interim director, and I’m excited about the direction the program is headed,” said Smith. “As a scholar, I’ve always been interested in cross-curricular dialogue and study, and the Honors Program, although housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a university-wide initiative. I feel it’s important for scholars to occasionally move beyond the limits of their own disciplines and see the interesting work being done across campus — and inter-disciplinary programs like the Honors Program allow students and faculty to do just that.”

For a program application, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/honors-program/. For more information, contact Smith at honors@deltastate.edu.

 

 

DSU Day brought in 170 future Statesmen prior to this year's Pig Pickin' festivities.

DSU Day attracts large number of recruits

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

The recruiting staff at Delta State University continues to work hard at shining light on the institution’s top-notch opportunities.

Their efforts were on display at DSU Day, a major recruiting event on campus that kicked off prior to this year’s Pig Pickin’ festivities.

On the heels of a three-year enrollment increase at Delta State, campus representatives welcomed 170 future Statesmen, along with over 130 additional guests to the first campus preview day of the year.

To begin DSU Day, faculty and staff from approximately 30 academic and student-related departments spoke with guests at an academic fair.

In the courtyard next to the legendary Margaret Wade statue, students heard from campus leaders including President William N. LaForge, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Charles McAdams, Chief of Police Lynn Buford and Student Government President Allie Rose Parker.

A group of student recruiters known as the Delta Diplomats and faculty members guided tours around campus. Stops included the H.L. Nowell Student Union, Roberts-LaForge Library, Foundation Hall, Wyatt Gymnasium and the recently remodeled Roy L. and Clara Belle Wiley Planetarium.

Students were informed about the admissions process and financial opportunities before participating in Pig Pickin’ activities and attending the Statesmen football game.

According to Caitlyn Thompson, director of recruiting, feedback from participants has been positive, and the staff is looking forward to working with each student on enrollment.

“DSU Day provides an opportunity for the students to see themselves as a Statesman. They get to breathe Delta State air and experience campus first-hand,” said Thompson. “The attendance numbers for this year are encouraging and exciting. The more students that we can bring to campus, the better. The personal connections that incoming students will make with students, staff and faculty are will help make their transition to Delta State easy. Our green and white community guides students on a daily basis to a successful life after college completion. Excellent programming coupled with affordability make up the duo of diligence that Delta State maintains.”

Among many other efforts to attract future Statesmen, recruiters are attending college fairs, holding campus visits at high schools and community colleges, meeting with counselors, and communicating with prospective students. Delta Diplomats are guiding multiple tours of campus on a daily basis.

Like previous years, President LaForge is visiting students in their schools to speak about opportunities at Delta State. This effort continues as part of the recently-branded Student To Statesman tour.

The Delta State community continues to provide support throughout the year to recruit new students through many methods, including academic representation, communication with prospective students and quality programming.

For more information on the admission process, scholarships, or to get in touch with a recruiter, visit www.deltastate.edu/admissions, or call 662-846-4020.

The international student body at Delta State has doubled in three years.

International student body sees major growth

By | Faculty/Staff, International, President, Student Success Center, Students | No Comments

In a span of just three years, Delta State University has seen a dramatic uptick in the number of international students attending the institution.

According to Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of the Student Success Center and International Student Services, there are 129 international students attending this fall, doubling the amount enrolled three years ago. Additionally, Delta State is sponsoring 14 post-graduate internships, which brings this semester’s international student enrollment to 143 students.

“It’s so gratifying to see how quickly our international student population is growing,” Riddle said. “International students bring additional perspectives and diversity to campus, and we look forward to their contributions across campus. We look forward to even more international students in the years to come.”

According to Riddle, another success story is the current retention rate of 96 percent for international students, a figure of pride for Riddle and her staff.

Elise Mallette, coordinator of International Student Services, is also thrilled with the rise of students coming from abroad.

“Most of our students will probably never have the opportunity to travel to other countries or experience other cultures firsthand,” said Mallette. “Our international students allow all of us, not just our students, to learn about other cultures, life outside of the American norm, and broaden our prospective without having to leave the comforts of Cleveland.

“By increasing enrollment this semester, we now have 50 countries represented on campus compared to 39 last semester. In just one semester we have 11 new cultures right here at our doorstep. The more students we bring to campus, the more we can learn and appreciate other cultures.”

Delta State University President William N. LaForge, who has experience teaching at a number of institutions abroad, has long made it a priority to boost the international presence on campus. He has also spearheaded efforts for Delta State students to study abroad, which has led to cultural exchange trips in Russia and Poland.

“I am absolutely thrilled with the increase in the number of international students at Delta State,” said LaForge. “It’s incredibly exciting to have 50 countries represented here. Our international students add a terrific dynamic to this campus as they bring their cultures and experiences from other parts of the world to our Delta State family.”

To learn more about International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/student-success-center/international-student-services.

 

Institutional effort leads to retention increase

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, President, Student Success Center, Students | No Comments

Delta State University continues to exhibit increases in institutional retention rates thanks to a campus-wide effort.

A comparison of data between Fall 2014-15 and Fall 2015-16 shows an increase in three major categories:

retention-data

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improving retention at Delta State has been at the forefront of the agenda for Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

“Helping students succeed is at the heart of what we do at Delta State University. We are committed to implementing strategies to help students create a path and to stay on a path to degree completion,” said McAdams. “Completing a degree is the most important step a student can take to make sure he/she can enter their chosen career path and fulfill their professional aspirations.”

McAdams believes the positive retention rates are a result of the university’s redesigned First Year Seminar program, increased use by faculty and staff of the S.O.S. Early Alert program, and most importantly, the increased collective awareness to reach out to students who may be struggling.

“Earlier this fall, we announced new initiatives that will increase our retention efforts and hopefully build upon the success we have experienced,” added McAdams. “The new initiatives we have put into place this fall that we hope will help with this year’s freshmen class are 15 is Full-Time, Academic Maps and Meta-Majors. It is essential that all degree-seeking undergraduate students enroll for a minimum of 15 hours each semester in order to graduate in four years. We also encourage our students to seriously consider taking at least one class each summer to help them stay on track to graduate on time.”

Additionally, there is now an academic map for each major listing the specific courses students need to complete their degree. Courses are listed by semester in order to make planning and registration easier. Academic Maps are located at http://www.deltastate.edu/academic-affairs/academic-maps.

Meta-Majors features a cluster of courses in four broad areas for undecided students to make certain all the courses they take in their first year will count towards a degree in the area they have selected. These Meta-Major choices are provided to undecided students in Academic Advising Services in the Student Success Center.

Finally, this January, faculty will have access to a new software tool, CRM: Advise, which will make it easier to stay in touch with their advisees and to reach out to those students who may need extra help in their classes.

McAdams said much credit should also be given to Dr. Christy Riddle and her staff in the Student Success Center.

“Our approach is two-fold. We focus on big picture items, such as First-Year Seminar and academic maps, but we also focus heavily on one-on-one interaction with students,” said Riddle. “Since Delta State is a small university, our faculty, staff and Student Success team know our students. As the saying goes, ‘DSU students are not just a number,’ but individuals with potential for success. Our efforts are based upon the experiences and attributes of our students, not simply a cookie cutter, off-the-shelf approach.”

Riddle said her staff would continue to focus on data analysis, proactive academic advising and increased promotion of pre-registration.

“Knowing exactly who is leaving Delta State will help us establish targeted programs and initiatives to assist the students and encourage them to stay here,” she said. “Involving academic advisors in the retention of students is key. Efforts are underway to strengthen and enhance proactive academic advising beyond simply helping students select their classes. Additionally, pre-registration is a way to get ahead of the game. In late October, we will launch an awareness campaign to stress the importance of pre-registration. That way, when pre-registration arrives in November, students are ready to select classes for the spring semester.”

Delta State University President William N. LaForge was also thrilled with the upward tick in retention.

“I’m extremely pleased to see the percentage increases that we have experienced in retaining students at Delta State,” said LaForge. “These are terrific numbers because they represent the reality of Delta State programs that are helping our students develop a path to success — meaning graduation. We, as a university, are doing a much better job of helping our students be successful and stay in school.

“This retention improvement is a huge factor in our overall enrollment numbers. The enrollment status of any university is a combination of recruitment, the first ‘R,’ and retention, the second ‘R.’ These two factors have to work together as a formula to build enrollment. The statistics are bearing out the hard work that our faculty, staff, business services and our Student Success Center are all combining to offer to keep our students on the path to graduation. This is extraordinary news for Delta State.”

Follow all university news at www.deltastate.edu.