Environmental science program highlights for 2016-17

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

The environmental science program in Delta State’s College of Arts and Sciences completed a successful curriculum in the 2016-17 academic year.

“Opportunities this past academic year for Delta State University environmental science students were numerous,” said Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding. “For example, many students were co-authors on at least one scientific oral and poster presentation given at state, national and international meetings.”

Their presentations resulted from research investigations conducted in courses such as Materials and Methods in Environmental Science, Conservation Biology, Problems in Biology, wildlife management classes, and more.

Projects included Mississippi Delta ice age fossils, wild hogs at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, prey elements associated with Carolina Biological owl pellets, palynomorphs from the Bucatunna, Hattiesburg, and Morrison Formations, bird surveys conducted at Bear Pen Park in Cleveland, MS from 2008-2016, carbon dioxide and stomatal density patterns associated with four woody plants from the Mississippi Delta, ontogenetic dentition patterns pertaining to monitor lizards and more.

Baghai-Riding said these research opportunities have helped students get admitted to graduate school programs throughout the country.

“Other students preferred to acquire full-time positions after completing their degree in environmental science,” she said. “Many employers seek out our students because of their training. They mention that DSU students can think critically, possess hands-on and writing skills, and have good work ethics.

Upgraded laboratories and recent acquisitions were also a highlight of the previous year. Acquired equipment included a scanning electron microscope, a trinocular zoom stereomicroscope on a boom stand with HD video camera, and a $3,000 rock and mineral collection from Ron Brister, former curator at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum.

Students considering a degree option in environment science may choose from three concentrations areas: general, wildlife management and geospatial science.

For more information about the program, contact Baghai-Riding at 662-846-4797 or nbaghai@deltastate.edu.

Alumni to gather in Atlanta and D.C.

By | Alumni, Community | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association is gearing up to visit alumni and friends this summer at Atlanta’s Mississippi in the Park on June 10, as well as the Mississippi on the Mall event in Washington, D.C. on June 17. All Delta State Alumni and friends are invited to attend the events and visit Alumni staff at the Delta State tent.

Atlanta’s Mississippi in the Park, hosted by the Mississippi Society of Georgia, is sponsored annually by various alumni associations from Mississippi schools and Mississippi businesses. At Chastain Park in Buckhead, guests will enjoy live music entertainment while dining on a Mississippi catfish lunch. During the picnic, the society will announce the winner of a $1,000 scholarship for a class of 2017 Georgia high school senior to attend a four-year Mississippi institution in the fall of 2017.

For more information about the event, visit www.mssocietyofga.org.

On June 17, Alumni staff will be present at the Mississippi on the Mall event in the nation’s capital, connecting with Delta State alumni and friends living in the area. All things Mississippi will be celebrated at the event, which will be held at the Henry Bacon Ball Field at the northeast corner of the Lincoln Memorial.

Mississippi on the Mall is hosted by the Mississippi Society of Washington, D.C., whose funding consists of dues paid by Mississippi society members and donations from Mississippi based businesses and universities.

Additionally, the National Alumni Association is excited to announce dates recently added to the event calendar. The Greater Jackson Alumni Chapter will hold their meeting on July 13 at the Jackson Yacht Club. On Aug. 1, the Leflore County/Greenwood Alumni Chapter will hold its meeting at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta. The DeSoto County Alumni Chapter will meet on Aug. 12 with additional details to be announced.

Save the dates for this year’s big Alumni events: Pig Pickin’ (Oct. 7) and Homecoming (Nov. 11.)

For more information on the National Alumni Association, call 662-846-4660 or email alumni@deltastate.edu.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1)

Loper honored as Employee of the Month

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The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Rhonda Loper, articulation specialist, as the May 2017 Employee of the Month.

Loper began working at Delta State in October of 2012 as a research and information specialist in the Office of Institutional Research & Planning.

“My journey at DSU began in the fall of 2009 when I began pursuing my undergraduate degree,” said Loper. “This October, I will celebrate five years of employment here. During my time of employment, I have been privileged to work with some of the greatest people I know. I am honored that my small contributions were deemed worthy of this honor. Working together for a better DSU!”

In her free time, Loper enjoys spending time with her family, especially with her little grandson, Milo Alexander Lee.

Each Employee of the Month winner receives a plaque, monetary award, an engraved insulated coffee mug, a free parking decal courtesy of the campus police department, a box of treats from The Sweetery, a parking spot of their choice, marquee announcement and website recognition.

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 opinions to the president.

Literacy Across the Curriculum Institute kicks off

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Delta State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences kicked off its 13th Literacy Across the Curriculum Institute (LACI) for teachers of grades 6-12 on June 1.

The institute, which runs June 1-28, is designed to enable teachers in middle and secondary schools to effectively incorporate the teaching of literacy skills in their respective content areas.

LACI’s curriculum is rigorous and broad in scope to enable both new and experienced teachers to attain highly qualified status according to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Participants gain skills regarding the Mississippi Curriculum Frameworks, test blueprints provided by the Mississippi Department of Education, College and Career Ready Standards, national standards, and data driven instruction and performance based assessments.

“The institute provides teachers with a whole new toolbox of literacy strategies to help struggling and proficient readers become stronger students in all academic areas, not just literacy,” said Dr. Merideth Van Namen, institute director. “This helps students perform better on their state tests and ultimately, be more successful.”

LACI is provided through the support of the No Child Left Behind Act: Improving Teacher Quality State Grant.

Participants in this year’s programming represent various school districts from the Mississippi Delta who are eager to improve their classroom instruction and student performance. They will attend the 22-day institute, which includes 20 days in June and a spring and fall follow up session.

The administrative staff for 2017-18 includes Van Namen; Pam Maxwell, instructor; and Dr. Cheryl Cummins, instructor. For more information, contact Van Namen at mvannamen@deltastate.edu or 662-846-4412.

Passport to Success preps students

By | Alumni, Career Services, Students | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association and Delta State Career Services recently partnered to “Passport To Success 2017.” The program successfully prepped Delta State students to enter their careers confidently, while maintaining a strong professional social media presence.

Students were given assistance with creating professional LinkedIn profiles, were offered headshots for their LinkedIn profiles and resumes, received résumé assistance, and learned about best practices for searching for jobs and internships. Additionally, students were given guidance on professional attire, were able to register for graduation regalia and complete the senior exit survey for the Department of Institutional Research.

“The National Alumni Association is in the business to develop partnerships,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni. “Through the leadership of our National Alumni Association Board of Directors, we have established Passport to Success and are excited to partner with Career Services at Delta State. We will look forward to the event year after year as we aid our students in developing professional LinkedIn profiles and getting guidance as they prepare to begin their careers.”

The inaugural event was open to all juniors, seniors and graduate students. Multiple stations and staff were on site to assist more than 40 students who took advantage of the programming.

“With the growing number of users on the professional social media platform LinkedIn, we are seeing more and more students gain exposure and leads to career opportunities,” said Davlon Miller, director of Career Services. “These days, a foot in the door may actually start online. It is important for these students to recognize this trend.”

As a special incentive, students who participated in each station were also entered in a drawing for special prizes. Student Johnna Ladd’s name was drawn as the winner of a Yeti Hopper cooler.

Following the event, students who met specific criteria on their LinkedIn pages were eligible for one of two $500 scholarships to Delta State. The scholarship winners were social work major Kayla Gary and outdoor recreation major Heather Wilson.

“This successful event enabled alumni staff to enhance their relationship with upperclassmen, developing life-long relationships with the future alumni,” said Sayward Fortner, National Delta State University Alumni president. “Students also gained the ability to engage with other alumni who have LinkedIn profiles.”