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“Boo” Mitchell, Cedric Burnside to headline third annual blues conference

By | Academics, Community, Delta Center, Faculty/Staff, General, Students | No Comments

The Third Annual International Conference on the Blues promises to bring legendary entertainment and academics to Delta State University from Sunday, Oct. 2 through Tuesday, Oct. 4, including GRAMMY award-winner and Royal Studios owner Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell and GRAMMY nominee and four-time Blues Music Award winner Cedric Burnside.

The conference, which is still open for registration, brings together Blues scholars, historians and fans from all over the United States in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, a place known as the epicenter of Blues music and history.

Among the highlights of this year’s International Conference on the Blues:

  •  ‘Blues on the Grounds’ at Historic Dockery Farms featuring music by Jake and the Pearl Street Jumpers;
  • a keynote address by Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell;
  • a conversation and an outdoor concert in downtown Cleveland with Cedric Burnside;
  • a presentation by GRAMMY winner Dr. David Evans, leading specialist in Blues, American folk music, and popular music
  • events highlighting Blues music songwriters and performers including ‘Blues in the Round’ sponsored by Visit Mississippi;
  • and brunch on the front porch of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

Visit here for a complete schedule of events, or here for a complete list of presenters.

“Once again, the International Conference on the Blues is advancing partnerships and engaging diverse populations toward enhancing the educational and cultural climate at Delta State and in the broader community,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, “We appreciate the involvement and support of various local, statewide, and national organizations including the Robert M. Hearin Foundation, the Dockery Farms Foundation, Entergy, Visit Mississippi, Nehi Bottling Company, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, Bridging the Blues, Levitt AMP Series, and others that are making this great conference possible for a third year.”

The third annual conference is part of the International Delta Blues Project, which is funded by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and is based at The Delta Center for Culture and Learning. The conference is being managed by a team of campus and community collaborators including the Delta Music Institute, the Department of Music, the Division of Languages & Literature, the Office of Institutional Grants, and Cleveland Tourism.

“I always marvel at the variety of scholars that our conference attracts,” said Dr. Shelley Collins, a professor in the Department of Music and co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues. “Either our presenters are alums of these schools, graduate students at these universities, or teach at the following institutions: The University of Pittsburgh, University of Washington, Alcorn State University, BYU, Vanderbilt University, University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, Marist College, the University of Memphis, the University of London, the University of Oregon, Stanford University, The University of Idaho, Washington State University, The Ohio State University, and Loyola University of New Orleans. We will even have a participant coming in from Singapore, which gives you an idea of how globally influential the Blues is.”

Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell began working with his father, producer and Royal Studios founder Willie Mitchell, at a young age, accumulating rare credits and abilities. His own career began at age 17 when he played keyboard on one of Al Green‘s gospel albums which later won a Grammy Award. In the early 90’s he began a role as a producer and engineer with credits on albums by artists such as John Mayer, Rod Stewart, Anthony Hamilton, Solomon Burke, William Bell and Cody Chestnutt, among others. After Willie’s death in 2010, Boo and his brother Archie continued their father’s legacy as owners of Royal Studios while maintaining their roles as producers and engineers. In 2016 his work as engineer / mixer on Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ hit “Uptown Funk” was recognized with a GRAMMY award for Record of the Year.

“Personally, Mr. Boo Mitchell defines cool for me,” said Don Allan Mitchell, co-chair of the conference. “I’ve met him on a couple of occasions, and he is so modest about his work. It still blows my mind when I see the clips of him on the GRAMMY stage with Bruno Mars. His keynote speech may well be his first formal academic address on the importance of the Blues in the American tradition, but I know he’ll perform like the consummate professional he is, with a quiet-spoken confidence and a wry sense of humor. It’s great to have him back in Cleveland.”

Grammy-nominee Cedric Burnside was born and raised around Holly Springs, Mississippi. He is the grandson of legendary R.L. Burnside and son of drummer Calvin Jackson. This four-time winner of the prestigious Blues Music Award’s Drummer of the Year (2010-2014) is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world and has begun to make a name for himself as a traditional blues guitarist as well. In addition to his grandfather R.L, Cedric has also played and recorded with countless musicians, including Junior Kimbrough, Kenny Brown, North Mississippi Allstars, Burnside Exploration, Widespread Panic, Jimmy Buffett, T Model Ford, Bobby Rush, Honey Boy Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, Galactic, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, among many others. In 2006, he was featured in Craig Brewer’s critically acclaimed feature film Black Snake Moan, playing drums alongside Samuel L. Jackson. (The film is a loose tribute to R.L. Burnside, and gives many nods to the late bluesman.) The Cedric Burnside Project’s latest album, Descendants of Hill Country, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Blues Album of the Year.

Burnside will perform an outdoor concert Monday night, and Monday morning will be interviewed by Don Allan Mitchell.

“Because of the GRAMMY-nomination, Mr. Burnside is in high demand as a performer this year, and I look forward to talking to him about his life on the road, and how the GRAMMY-nomination has influenced his career trajectory,” said Mitchell. “Hill Country Blues is a cousin of Mississippi Delta Blues, so it will be interesting to discuss the cross-influence with him. The International Conference on the Blues-sponsored Levitt Amp Performance on Monday night will be a great opportunity for our students and fellow Clevelanders to get their ‘full tilt boogie’ on. ”

This year’s conference promises to build on the vision established for the event when it began two years ago, and is a key component to Delta State’s pursuit of building a premiere curriculum around the art, culture, history and heritage of the Mississippi Delta.

“I am looking forward to the renewal of this fall signature conference on the blues, because it reinforces Delta State’s claim as the academic center of the blues,” said Delta State University President William N. LaForge. “It’s always exciting to hear the presentations and performances that highlight our conference. I know this October’s schedule, like those in the past that have been so successful, will not disappoint. I look forward to participating with all the visiting blues scholars and our faculty, staff and students during what will certainly be a wonderful program.

For more information, please contact Mitchell and Collins at blues@deltastate.edu.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/delta-center-for-culture-and-learning/

Nursing school post

Nursing ranks among top in national poll

By | Academics, School of Nursing, Students | No Comments

AffordableSchools.net (http://affordableschools.net) — a college rankings site centering on unique and affordable academic programs — recently announced Delta State as one of the 25 Most Affordable Online Master’s of Nursing Degrees.

Delta State came in at No. 4 in the national ranking.

“This new rankings article provides a broader look at the most affordable colleges offering online master’s degrees in registered nursing in general, to give current nurses an overview of some of the types of advanced-practice registered nurse studies and occupations that are available,” said the article’s lead researcher, Raj Dash.

College rankings for this article were compiled with data from National Center for Education Statistics, a bureau of the Dept. of Education (http://nces.ed.gov/).

AffordableSchools.net first queried for graduate institutions that grant degrees in the NCES categories “Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse” and “Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing, Other” on a distance basis.

In today’s higher education landscape, affordability has become a hot-button issue, so it is outstanding to be recognized in such a manner,” said Dr. Glenn F. Boyce, commissioner of Higher Education in Mississippi.

To view the entire Top 25 list, visit http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/affordableschoolsnet-releases-its-affordability-ranking-of-online-masters-level-nursing-degrees-300324729.html.

 

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I.D.E.A. lunches open to campus

By | Academics, Diversity Committee, Faculty/Staff, QEP, Students | No Comments

Sponsored by Delta State’s Quality Enhancement Plan and the Diversity Committee, two I.D.E.A. lunches will be open to students, faculty and staff this month.

I.D.E.A., which stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Advocacy, aims to improve cultural competency on campus through communication, collaboration and engagement.

The sessions are designed to engage students in rational and critical discussions in regards to the impact of labels on individuals and groups in society,” said Dr. George Beals, assistant professor of counselor education and member of the Diversity Committee.

The free lunches, open to the first 40 registrants, will take place on the second floor of the Student Union.

Lunch schedule:
– Sept. 19 from 12-1 p.m. – “What’s in a Label?”
– Sept. 20 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. – “What’s in a Label?”

To register for a lunch session, complete the form at https://deltastateqep.wufoo.com/forms/z1bmidsg0jzw82o.

For more information, call 662-846-4170, or contact Johansen at mjohansen@deltastate.edu or Wendolyn Stevens at wstevens@deltastate.edu.

Learn more about the QEP at http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/institutional-research-and-planning/sacs-2014-reaffirmation/quality-enhancement-plan-2014/. Learn more about the DSU Diversity Committee at http://www.deltastate.edu/about-dsu/administration/diversity-committee/.

2016-17 members of the Student Alumni Association include (left to right):  Hannah Goudy, Dana Rico, Artis Love, Brittany Earls, Leah Green and Rebecca Hudson.

Student Alumni Association prepares for academic year

By | Alumni, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University Student Alumni Association is in the process of making plans for the 2016-17 school year.

Officers for this year include:

*Hannah Goudy — president
Southaven, Mississippi
senior
nursing

*Brittany Earls — vice president
Cleveland, Mississippi
junior
nursing

*Dana Rico — secretary
Batesville, Mississippi
junior
biology — pre-occupational therapy

*Rebecca Hudson — treasurer
Flowood, Mississippi
junior
mathematics education

*Artis Love — historian
Cleveland, Mississippi
junior
business

*Leah Green — projects chairman
Hernando, Mississippi
sophomore
biology

The SAA also awards scholarships each year. This year’s recipients are: Goudy, Green, Hudson, Rico and Earls.

The Alumni Association recently awarded Meredith Brown with the H.L. Nowell Student Alumni Association Service Award at the annual Student Hall of Fame Banquet in May 2016. The award is named for Henry Lee “H.L.” Nowell Jr., who worked at Delta State from 19481-987. During his 40-year tenure, Nowell served in numerous capacities including dean of men, dean of students, director of student activities, director of public relations, Delta State’s first director of the Student Union, and he was the first paid alumni secretary. The award is given each year to the Student Alumni Association member that has given tireless effort and generosity throughout the academic school year. Brown recently finished her junior year at Delta State and has been an SAA member since her freshman year.

The SAA is a bridge between the Delta State student body and the Delta State University Alumni Association. Goudy will serve on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors as the SAA representative. The organization helps the Alumni Association with projects such as Pig Pickin’ and Homecoming, and is also very active in community service.

To view SAA photos from 2007 to present, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/dsualumni/albums/72157672291991031.

For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660.  To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (http://www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for this year’s Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 24) and Homecoming (Oct. 15).

poverty

Poverty Simulation workshop open to campus and community

By | Academics, College of Education and Human Sciences, Community, Students | No Comments

This Thursday, the Delta State University Department of Social Work, in partnership with the Department of Social Work at Belhaven College, will offer a Poverty Simulation event at the Jacobs Conference Center from 1-3 p.m.

The free event is geared toward senior social work students and any interested campus and community members. Those interested in participating in the workshop are encouraged to contact Dr. Jana Donahoe, assistant professor of social work, before 5 p.m. Wednesday at 662-846-4795 or jdonahoe@deltastate.edu.

“The purpose of the Poverty Simulation is to use a two-hour controlled, role play, experiential learning environment to give participants a glimpse of what it is like to survive for a month on a very low income by pretending to be poor,” said Donahoe.

Participants will be assigned to a family group and given a family member’s role and identity to play. The family is provided with a scenario involving a crisis, which could plunge them into immediate poverty. The family must figure how to survive under the dire circumstances for one month, which is divided into four 15-minute segments, each representing one week during the simulation.

The crisis forces the family to search for ways to survive poverty by living on a fixed amount of income. Social welfare assistance will be made available using volunteer actors who help the family members at tables representing community resources.

The goal is to improve the participants’ attitudes and empathy toward people living in poverty. Additionally, the project seeks to increase participants’ knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of poverty and the work it takes to achieve self-sufficiency.

“It is a very eye-opening experience for participants who are not familiar with the many stressful struggles for survival that people living in poverty face every day,” added Donahoe.