Applications open for McNair Research Scholars

By | Academics, Graduate and Continuing Studies, Students | No Comments

The Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Delta State University is now accepting applications for the spring 2018 cohort of McNair Research Scholars.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was established in memory of astronaut-physicist and Challenger crew member, Ronald E. McNair.

The McNair Research Scholars program is administered through the Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Delta State. The program is one of eight federal TRIO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education. TRIO outreach aims to improve student programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The goal of the McNair cohort is to increase the attainment of doctoral degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society.

The application deadline is Feb. 21 at 4:30 p.m.

Scholars will benefit by:
-oppportunities for research and scholarly activities
-paid Summer research internships
-seminars and workshops to prepare participants for doctoral study
-intrusive academic advising and counseling
-assistance in preparing for and applying to graduate and doctoral programs, and securing financial assistance
-career counseling and exploration
-financial literacy and planning
-increased access and exposure to STEM coursework and careers

For more information, contact project director Wendolyn Stevens at, or visit for eligibility requirements.

Reza selected for prestigious Australian fellowship

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

Dr. AHM Ali Reza, associate professor of biology and environmental sciences, was recently selected for a highly competitive fellowship spearheaded by the government of Australia.

The program, Australia Awards–Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, is a merit-based fellowship providing opportunities for Australians to undertake study, research or professional development overseas, and for overseas citizens to do the same in Australia.

The fellow selection process of the Endeavor program is conducted through a global competition open to all nations.

“This is an absolute honor to be selected as a recipient of the Endeavour executive fellowship,” said Reza. “Selection of this program goes worldwide, and it’s extremely competitive and merit-based. Being selected for this program brings enormous credit to anyone, and I feel no exception. I feel like even though I am from a small regional school in the Mississippi Delta, we are strong enough to compete on a global stage.”

Through the program, he will be in Australia from mid-May to early August, and he’ll be utilizing the fellowship for both research and teaching.

Reza will be based at the Australian Museum in Sydney, the country’s oldest museum, which also holds international distinction in the fields of natural history and anthropology.

His host will be Dr. Jodi Rowley, a scientific officer at the museum who also holds a position at University of New South Wales. Working as a lab partner with Rowley, Reza’s time will be divided between the museum and UNSW conducting research on frogs and teaching classes on wildlife ecology.

“My goal is to learn the latest techniques used in conservation genetics,” added Reza. “The Australian Museum houses the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics, and I will be learning conservation genetics there under the supervision of Dr. Rowley.”

In addition, Reza said the experience would help him develop and revise his coursework at Delta State to the benefit of his students.

Reza has taken part in and organized a number of international educational experiences in the past few years. Most recently, he led a field course in December 2017 in his homeland of Bangladesh.

The two-week field experience provided hands-on practice in the ecology and conservation of unique wildlife species in two highly biodiverse ecosystems — Lawachara National Park, a tropical evergreen forest in northeastern Bangladesh, and the Sundarbans Reserved Forest, the world’s largest mangrove forest in southwestern Bangladesh.

The overall objective of the course was to introduce students to tropical wildlife and their habitats, taxonomy, natural history and biogeography, with an emphasis on the conservation challenges and prospects faced by animals within the region.

James Allen, a student at Delta State, had the privilege of attending this exclusive outdoor course.

“The course in Bangladesh was truly one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said Allen. “I was able to visit ecologically unique places with a group of people who have a passion for ecology and conservation. Having Dr. Reza leading the course, joined with local naturalists and students, gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t have received visiting these places alone. It went far beyond anything one could get from a traditional classroom setting. I lived and worked with folks from Bangladesh, India, and the U.S., learned a great deal, and made great friendships.”

Learn more about opportunities within Delta State’s Department of Biological Sciences at

Youth wildlife camp to be offered during Spring Break

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A grant from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks will help support the inaugural DSU Spring Outdoor Youth Camp during spring break 2018 from March 12-15 on the campus of Delta State.

The overall objective of the camp, open to children ages 9-11, is to educate and train young members of the community to be responsible citizens with a deep love for the outdoors while encouraging them to hunt and fish responsibly.

The total spots for the camp will be limited to 30, and participants are encouraged to reserve a spot as soon as possible. View a more detailed camp schedule at

Fees for the camp are $125 and must be paid in full prior to March 12. Camp registration is available online at

Dr. AHM Ali Reza, associate professor of biology and environmental sciences, applied for the grant funded through the Youth Participation Initiative Program of MDWFP. The Youth Participation Program was established in 2009 to provide funding for the purpose of educating children in the areas of hunting, fishing, conservation and safety.

Reza planned the schedule with project partner Nathan Aycock from the fisheries program of MDWFP, who is based at Charlie Capps Wildlife Management Area near Rosedale, Mississippi.

“We look forward to introducing this new camp to local youth who are passionate about the outdoors, hunting, fishing and conservation,” said Reza. “We are very thankful to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for making this camp a possibility. Campers will have a number of unforgettable hands-on experiences.”

The camp’s home base will be at Delta State’s campus with outdoor activities at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, Bear Pen Park and DSU’s Center for Science and Environmental Education in Merigold.

Attendees will learn personal safety, outdoor navigation and nature photography, along with a lecture on ecological aspects and conservation of the ecosystem. Participants will also learn about scientific aspects of hunting and fishing, wildlife and fish identification, types of fish sampling equipment, terminal tackle, water quality analysis, fishing safety and fish cleaning, and more.

Campers will be provided with giveaways including fishing rods, a T-shirt, gift items, lunch, snacks and more.

Two spots for the camp will be reserved for scholarship recipients and will be waived from paying the course fees. To be considered for the scholarship, participants must answer a few questions and write an essay.

For more information, or to reserve a spot, contact Reza at

Students present at National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Workshop

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

The Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Delta state presented three professional lectures at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Co-State (MS/AL) Workshop on January 25-26.

The workshop was comprised of professional lectures and seminars on recreation and wellness aspects concerning the campus recreation field.

Todd Davis, director and instructor of recreation administration and outdoor education; Katie Gennarelli, graduate assistant for outdoor recreation; and Heather Wilson, senior, recreation leadership major, presented on a variety of topics. In addition to the presenters, 10 HPER majors from exercise science, sport management, physical education teacher prep, and recreation administration participated in the two-day workshop.

Davis presented “Perceived Benefits and Barriers Among African American Students’ Participation in Outdoor Recreation as Leisure-Time Physical Activity at Selected Universities in Mississippi: A Mixed Methods Study.”

Gennarelli presented “Gender Equality in the Outdoor Adventure & Recreation Industry.”

Davis, Gennarelli and Heather Wilson presented, “Transferring Classroom Curriculum to Outdoor Recreation Leadership Fundamentals: Notes from the Field”

“It’s a privilege and honor to be selected to speak at association conferences,” said Davis. “These local workshops are associated with our national organization, however, they provide an amazing platform to network, expose students to the campus recreation profession, and allow students to see new and different sport and recreation landscapes. The University of Alabama and the University Recreation Services team were amazing hosts, and our students walked away from this event with a new vision for their future.”

“This particular conference was extremely enlightening and educational,” said Gennarelli. “I was impressed with the scope of recreation and wellness services that the University of Alabama provides for their students. The amount of energy and dollars spent to provide state-of-the-art recreation outlets is amazing. Being able to speak on my research was also a highlight. I was honored to be chosen for this presentation opportunity.”

The Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation is housed in the College of Education and Human Sciences. The division offers majors in K-12 physical education teacher preparation, sport management, exercise science and recreation administration.

Registration open for Spring Break Arts Camp at BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

The Bologna Performing Arts Center has opened registration for 5-8-year-olds for Spring Break Arts Camp, a week-long fine and performing arts camp that will be held on campus at Delta State in conjunction with the spring break holiday, March 12-16.

Campers will participate in multiple artistic classes on the BPAC mainstage such as introduction to 3-D design, painting, mixed media and dance.

Tuition for the camp is $200 and includes snacks, all art supplies, and a camp T-shirt. Included in the tuition payment is a $50 non-refundable deposit. Camp classes are from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and space is limited.

Participants of the camps should pack a sack lunch and wear close-toed shoes for dancing on stage. A lunch schedule will be provided for parents and guardians of registered campers should they wish to come and eat with their camper during the day. Campers will have a mid-morning snack in between classes, and a rest and recreation period for all campers will take place in the afternoon.

For more information, you can contact the Arts Education office at 662-846-4844. The Spring Break Arts Camp application, waiver, and other information is available online: