Members of Delta State's Delta Center for Culture and Learning, along with members of the Community Center of Economic Development, recently participated in a community development panel discussion at the Coahoma County Higher Education Center in Clarksdale.

Delta Center, CCED participate in rural community development research panel

By | Center for Community and Economic Development, Delta Center | No Comments

A group of applied population researchers recently held their annual workshop and mini-conference in the Mississippi Delta. The meeting was part of a multi-state research project titled “The Great Recession, Its Aftermath, and Patterns of Rural and Small Town Demographic Change.”

To better understand issues of concern to rural community and health development professionals, participants engaged in an interactive panel discussion held at the Coahoma County Higher Education Center in Clarksdale.

Sixteen scholars from research institutions across the nation – including Cornell University, Penn State University, Auburn University, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin, and the USDA Economic Research Service —joined seven of their Mississippi colleagues to present research on demographic and socioeconomic issues of concern following the Great Recession.

The group discussed strategies for better disseminating their work to the public. Additionally, they developed plans for the next five years of their work together, including their recently launched research brief series that is available online as “Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America.” Interested readers should check the website periodically as new publications are released at http://w3001.apl.wisc.edu/.

The panel discussion was moderated and organized by Dr. John J. Green, director of the Center for Population Studies at University of Mississippi. Panelists included: Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State; Linda Stringfellow, director of the AmeriCorps VISTA Program in the Center for Community and Economic Development at Delta State; Aurelia Jones-Taylor, CEO of the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center; and Desta Reff, Delta Clinical Fellow, a partnership between Mississippi State University and Harvard Law School.

The group of applied population researchers is associated with the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Directors. The 2016 meeting was co-hosted and co-sponsored by the University of Mississippi’s Center for Population Studies, Department of Sociology and Anthropology and McLean Institute.

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 http://deltacenterdsu.com/.

Mavis Staples and The Blind Boys of Alabama visit the Bologna Performing Arts Center Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Mavis Staples and Blind Boys of Alabama coming to BPAC

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Two powerful acts will deliver a potent performance of fervent vocals and uplifting lyrics Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Delta State’s Bologna Performing Arts Center. The BPAC proudly presents Mavis Staples and the Blind Boys of Alabama in an incredible night of music. The concert is sponsored by Cannon Motors of Mississippi.

Mavis Staples is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Kennedy Center Honoree and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient. Since her first recording at age 13 in 1954, Staples has learned from, worked with, and schooled countless legends, and has brought her own timeless talent to every performance.

Staples stardom began with the Delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s with her father, Pops, and her brother and sisters as The Staple Singers. She then became known for her freedom songs of the Civil Rights era, and then topped the radio charts during the Stax era with hits like “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.” She served as muse to both Bob Dylan and Prince at the peak of their careers, and later formed 21st century collaborations with Van Morrison, Billy Preston, Zac Brown, Ry Cooder, Chuck D. and Willie Nelson. She then formed a GRAMMY-winning partnership with fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy. Throughout it all, the one constant has been Mavis and her singular voice. Staples has embraced her evolution, absorbing new sounds and ideas, rising to meet the challenges of longevity and bringing her message of hope and positivity to new listeners, song after song, show after show.

Winner of five GRAMMYs, the Blind Boys of Alabama have the rare distinction of being recognized around the world as both living legends and modern-day innovators. They are not just gospel singers borrowing from old traditions; the group helped to define those traditions in the 20th century and almost single-handedly created a new gospel sound for the 21st.

Since the original members first sang together as kids at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s (including Jimmy Carter, who leads the group today), the band has persevered through seven decades to become one of the most recognized and decorated roots music groups in the world. The Blind Boys’ live shows are roof-raising musical events that appeal to audiences of all cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to virtually every continent. The Blind Boys of Alabama have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 75 years and shows no signs of diminishing.

Tickets start at $30 and are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, open Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by phone at 662-846-4626, or online www.bolognapac.com.

Alumnus of the Year awardee Charlie M. Pleas III

Alumni Association announces 2016 award winners

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The Delta State University National Alumni Association recently announced its 2016 alumni award recipients, who will be honored during a series of events Oct. 14-15 during the 84th Delta State Homecoming weekend.

The Alumni Association will recognize the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, the Hall of Fame inductees and the Alumni Service Awards. The Delta State Department of Athletics will honor the Athletic Hall of Fame, Coaches Hall of Fame and Distinguished Statesmen Award. In advance of formal announcements to follow, the Alumni Association released names of the winners today. To read more about the 2016 Sports Hall of Fame and awards winners, visit http://www.gostatesmen.com/news/2016/8/9/athletic-department-dsu-athletics-announces-2016-hall-of-fame-class.aspx?path=athleticdepartment.

The Outstanding Alumnus of the Year is presented to a graduate who has made significant contributions to human or institutional programs in which a situation, an institution or a movement has been materially changed for the better due to that individual’s personal participation. This year’s recipient is Charlie M. Pleas III ’87, of Germantown, Tennessee.

Induction into the Delta State University Alumni Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the DSU Alumni Association. Established in 2007, the Alumni Hall of Fame is extended to alumni and friends who have achieved professional distinction and made significant community service contributions at the local, national and/or international level, and who have thus brought honor and distinction to Delta State. This year, three distinguished alumni, along with Pleas, will be inducted into the hall: Charlene Bagwell Graham ‘64; Dwight Herlong ‘91; Bob “Pic” Billingsley ’83; and Walter W. Bettinger ’83.

The Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to Delta State by an alumnus. Richard Showse Myers ’91 will receive the award this year.

The Kent Wyatt “Young Alumnus” Service Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to Delta State by a graduate 36-years-old or younger. The 2016 recipient is Matthew Parker Lipscomb ’04.

The Gladys Castle “Friend” of Delta State Service Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to Delta State by a non-alumnus or institution. This year’s winner is Senator Eugene S. “Buck” Clarke.

The Legacy Award is presented to an alumnus or Delta State affiliated organization who made an institutional changing impact at the university. This year, a previous National Alumni Association president will be recognized.

The Dr. Henry Outlaw Faculty/Staff Service Award was established in 2014 as a way to recognize former Delta State faculty or staff members who have had a significant influence in the life of the university and/or the National Alumni Association. Established by the National Alumni Association Board of Directors, and inspired by the Dedicated Statesmen Association, the award will be given this year to Dr. Wayne Blansett ’73, Delta State Vice President of Student Affairs Emeritus.

The National Alumni Association will be releasing more information about the 2016 winners in the fall edition of the Alumni & Foundation magazine.

The association has a variety of activities planned throughout Homecoming weekend. This year’s featured reunion is the class of 1966, which will be celebrating 50 years since graduating from Delta State College. The 1966 class will be inducted into the prestigious Golden Circle, which is a constituency group of the association that honors alumni who graduated at least 50 years ago.

The official hashtag for the 2016 Homecoming is #DSUHC16. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660. To purchase tickets to the Alumni Awards Gala, contact the association at 662-846-4660 or http://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/homecoming2016.

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).

Delta State University launches nationally-recognized faculty program

By | Academics, General, Uncategorized | No Comments

Delta State University has joined a growing national initiative to dramatically expand the use of evidence-based teaching practices shown to promote college student completion and success.

University educators have launched a new, national certificate program in Effective College Instruction offered through the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) and endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE). The new partnership builds on recent student success achievements and a deepening commitment to the University’s core values of embracing civility, inclusion, and diversity.

“Instructional excellence is key to our students’ success, both in their studies here on campus and for their careers after graduation,” said Charles McAdams, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Delta State. “This partnership with ACUE recognizes the role that effective instruction plays in promoting critical thinking skills and supports Delta State’s mission to ensure all of our students succeed.”

The Office of Academic Affairs will implement a customized faculty development program that includes ACUE’s course in Effective Teaching Practices. ACE, as part of its nearly century-old mission to improve access to postsecondary education and help institutions enhance student outcomes, is collaborating with ACUE to dramatically expand the use of effective teaching practices in higher education.

“ACUE’s program offers higher education institutions a scalable, extensive opportunity to support instructors through tools and techniques proven to help students succeed,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “ACE and ACUE have an important shared goal to expand dramatically the use of effective teaching practices to benefit students, faculty, and institutions.”

Delta State University’s new program will focus on the research-based teaching techniques shown to make classrooms more engaging, civil and embracing of diversity. Research shows that students learn more, persist in their students, and complete their degrees with access to evidence-based instructional practices.

“The research is clear: High quality instruction helps students learn more and complete their degrees,” said Penny MacCormack, Chief Academic Officer at ACUE. “We are honored to partner with Delta State University as they work to provide the highest quality learning experiences for their students.”

Faculty members who complete the program will earn badges and a Certificate in Effective College Instruction endorsed by ACE. ACUE’s comprehensive services also include exclusive access to an online Community of Professional Practice designed to sustain development and connect educators from around the country.

ACUE’s program was developed with colleges and universities nationwide. Course modules feature videos of classroom demonstrations with award-winning college faculty and interviews with the nation’s leading subject matter experts. Since ACUE and ACE announced the collaboration in March, institutions across the country have recognized the value of providing this support and are making effective instruction central to student success. To date, over 1,800 faculty members have learned about and are implementing evidence-based approaches.

About ACUE

ACUE partners with colleges and universities to make effective instruction central to their student success agendas. Founded by leaders in higher education, ACUE fulfills this mission by helping institutions implement faculty development resources that are scalable, research-based, and of the highest quality. ACUE’s online modular course of study leads to a first-of-its-kind Certificate in Effective College Instruction endorsed by the American Council on Education. For more information, visit http://acue.org.

Dr. Jovanni-Rey V. de Pedro

“Viva Ginastera! A Centennial Celebration” by guest pianist Jovanni-Rey V. de Pedro

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Community | No Comments

The Department of Music at Delta State University presents guest artist Dr. Jovanni-Rey V. de Pedro in a master class at noon and recital at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 in the Recital Hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

In celebration of the centennial of Alberto Ginastera’s birth, de Pedro will perform piano solo works written by the Argentine composer and two other composers, Christopher Norton and Sonny Chua, at the evening recital. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Delta State Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

Filipino-American pianist de Pedro enjoys an artistic career that has brought him to concert venues and musical institutions in Asia, across North America, South America, Australia and Europe. Winner of the Boesendorfer Stipendium and Grand Prizewinner of the Fidelio Competition sponsored by the city of Vienna’s Cultural Affairs Department, de Pedro also acquired top prizes in several competitions including the United States Open Music Competition, Pacific Piano Competition in Canada, Ibiza Competition in Spain, and the Beethoven Society of Europe’s Intercollegiate Piano Competition in England.

Upon graduation from Trinity College of Music, he received the Isabelle Bond Gold Medal for Performance Excellence. He was recently given a first place award at the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, which led to a performance in Weill Recital Hall. His artistic and educational activities have been further supported by grants from the Solti Foundation in Belgium, the Irish Arts Council and the American Women’s Association in Vienna.

de Pedro ’s academic research and pedagogical interests have led to numerous presentations at conferences for the Music Teachers National Association, College Music Society, European Piano Teachers Association/World Piano Teachers Association in Serbia and the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Association. As a passionate and dedicated educator, he has presented numerous master classes in institutions in the U.S. and abroad. He has served on the teaching staff at City University London and the New Ross Chamber Music Festival (Ireland), and he currently is on the piano faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan.

As a chamber musician, de Pedro has collaborated with numerous instrumentalists and vocalists. Together with Irish cellist Tara-Lee Byrne and Portuguese clarinetist Sergio Neves, he founded the Tarvangio Trio in 2008. After making their debut at the Yamaha Chamber Music Series in London, they joined with Hungarian violinist Gwendolyn Masin for a tour of Ireland performing Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time.” Tarvangio continues to bring entertaining and innovating programs to audiences in the U.S. and Europe.

He continually seeks to serve the music profession and wider community. Through benefit and outreach recitals, he has raised funds for various community, educational, religious and non-profit organizations. As president of the University of Michigan’s MTNA Collegiate Chapter, he established the Piano Pedagogy Symposium, a national pedagogy conference for university students, which aims to promote communication, fellowship and collaboration among these future music professionals.

A California native, de Pedro holds a Konzert Diplom (with auszeichnung) from the Vienna Conservatory in Austria, where he spent six years as a scholar of the ASCAP/Leiber and Stoller Foundation, a Master’s of Music from Trinity College of Music in London, and a doctoral degree in piano pedagogy and performance from the University of Michigan. He has worked with pianists Robert Ward, Aries Caces, Gerhard Geretschlaeger, Yonty Solomon, Mikhail Kazakevich, Deniz Gelenbe and Louis Nagel, and he coached with Menahem Pressler, Martino Tirimo and Pierre Laurent Aimard. He received additional studies in pedagogy with John Ellis and collaborative piano with Christopher Harding and Eugene Asti.

de Pedro recently served as a visiting professor of music at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and an instructor of piano and chamber music at the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. He joined the faculty at the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton School of Music in 2014 as an assistant professor of piano and piano pedagogy and co-director of the preparatory division.