Leadership Pipeline faculty present research in New Jersey

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Delta State faculty Dr. Michael Putnam and Dr. Jill Cabrera

Faculty from the Delta School Leadership Pipeline (DSLP) Initiative at Delta State recently traveled to New Jersey to present a session on the program’s education leadership preparation model.

Dr. Michael Putnam, Director of the DSLP Initiative, and Dr. Jill Cabrera, associate professor of Educational Leadership, presented the session on the DSLP model at the Equity, Access, Leadership School Leadership Program Project Directors’ Meeting held in Monroe Township, New Jersey on Nov. 9.

“This meeting afforded us the opportunity to highlight the successful and unique features of our DSU educational leadership preparation model while learning about various components of alternative program models from across the United States,” said Cabrera.

The DSLP is housed in the DSU College of Education and Human Sciences and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The five-year grant was awarded in 2012 and is now in its third cohort. The program continues to build upon an innovative, nationally recognized model for preparing school leaders. Candidates complete intensive school leadership rotations via a sabbatical program funded through the Mississippi Department of Education.

“Experiencing full-time internships at schools other than their home sites coupled with face to face class held each week on the DSU campus provides one of the richest learning environments possible,” Putnam said. “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our students, and the opportunity we have to provide such a data-intensive, research-based, practical hands-on program.”

Division Chair Dr. Tom Brady said, “This is yet another example of a powerful experience our tremendous faculty can bring back to our students.  As with past experiences, Drs. Cabrera and Putnam will train our DSLP students in what they learned, and through these students have impact on the schools throughout The Delta.”

Dr. Leslie Griffin, Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, said the DSLP model helps to build and sustain educational leadership in the Delta.

“Drs. Putnam and Cabrera are a strong leadership team, providing guidance for future school leaders and program development that is cutting edge. The DSLP model utilizes a coaching model and team-building at the district level to build and sustain leadership in Delta area schools. We are appreciative of the support and vision that has been provided at each of the institutional, state, and national levels to sustain this signature program through the years,” Griffin said.

Dr. Rolando Herts (left to right) with Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts, and Malcolm White, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, at "The Future of Arts and Creativity" convening in Washington, D.C.

The Delta Center represents Delta State at National Endowment for the Arts convening

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Dr. Rolando Herts (left to right) with Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts, and Malcolm White, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, at “The Future of Arts and Creativity” convening in Washington, D.C.

By special invitation, Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State, recently attended “In Pursuit of the Creative Life: The Future of Arts and Creativity in America.” The event was hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Over 200 artists, industry leaders, educators, scientists, and civic leaders from across the country attended the day-long convening at The Kennedy Center. Participants developed ideas and strategies to enhance America’s creative infrastructure for the future toward making the arts and creative opportunities more accessible to all Americans.

“This event provided opportunities for interdisciplinary idea exchanges in strategic issue areas like economics, technology, and cultivating creative talent,” said Herts. “Our discussions will enhance The Delta Center’s community-engaged programs like the International Delta Blues Project and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area that connect arts, culture, the creative economy, and people in our region.”

The convening featured keynote speaker Questlove, GRAMMY Award-winning founding member of The Roots and musical director for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” in a moderated discussion with National Public Radio media critic, Eric Deggans. Facilitated working group discussions were framed by expert panel sessions on how to help creative people and communities thrive now and in the future.

Support for the event was provided by the Ford Foundation, Heinz Endowments, The Henry Luce Foundation, McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation.

Travel supplements for invited entities like The Delta Center were provided by South Arts. South Arts is a nine-state regional arts organization based in Atlanta that provides grants, programs and services to artists and arts organizations in the southern United States.

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 serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place On Earth” workshops. For more information, visit


Discover your inner elf! ELF The Musical will play Cleveland, MS on Dec. 2

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NETworks Presentations, LLC, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and Unique Features, bring the Broadway musical ELF to the Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC) in Cleveland, Miss. Tickets are on sale now for the performance on Friday, December 2 at 8:00pm at the BPAC Ticket Office, 662-846-4626 or online ELF is locally sponsored by Planters Bank and Trust.

ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF.

Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, ELF features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). The production will feature direction by Sam Scalamoni and choreography by Connor Gallagher.

The New York Times says that ELF is “A SPLASHY, PEPPY, SUGAR-SPRINKLED HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT!” USA Today calls ELF “ENDEARINGLY GOOFY!” Variety proclaims, “ELF is happy enough for families, savvy enough for city kids and plenty smart for adults!”

Tickets are on sale now at the BPAC Ticket Office. Children must be at least 4 years of age to attend, and parent discretion is always recommended when bringing children to evening performances. Additional information about ELF is also available at