Malone to receive honorary doctorate

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Delta State University will continue its tradition of recognizing green and white greatness by conferring an honorary doctoral degree at fall commencement ceremonies Dec. 9.

Delta State confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally or other areas of society. Achievements can include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support.

Receiving the honor will be Percy Malone, who attended Delta State in 1960 and was named the university’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for 2017.

“Senator Percy Malone is a most-deserving honorary degree recipient,” said Delta State University President William N. LaForge. “It is customary for universities to bestow honorary degrees, and they are intended to do just that — honor the recipient for distinguished service, accomplishments, successes and contributions to society. Sen. Malone is the ideal candidate for this honor. His record of community service and leadership is enviable. And he credits Delta State with providing him the basic science education to launch his professional school, and later, his business, successes. He is a leader who cares about people and who has demonstrated, time and time again, his commitment to human and civic causes.”

Malone, who was raised in a humble upbringing in Rosedale, Mississippi, credits his time in the classroom at Delta State as paving his way to pharmacy school, and then to eventually becoming a representative and senator in Arkansas.

Long before he sat in his senate and representative seats in the Arkansas legislature, long before he established a chain of pharmacies across Arkansas, and long before he traveled to Oxford to learn his vocation, he sat in classes at Delta State soaking up the knowledge and wisdom from several teachers that would influence him the rest of his life.

“I had a professor in physics – Dr. Wiley – he took a special interest in his students,” Malone said. “It was an affordable school, and when I got out, I was prepared for pharmacy school at Ole Miss.”

“This is a great honor from a school that helped me get out of poverty,” Malone said in a previous press release about being named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. “I have fond memories of being able to go to Delta State. It was a hand out and not a hand up.”

After receiving his pharmacy degree in 1965, Malone began working with I.B. Fuller in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Fuller became a mentor for Malone’s community involvement, which has ranged from serving on the board of directors of the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce, to serving as a delegate to the Arkansas Constitutional Convention in 1980. He was also a member of the state Board of Pharmacy.

His political career began in 1995 when he was elected to represent District 36, which he did until 1999. In this capacity, he served as co-chairman of the joint budget committee and as a member of the insurance and commerce committee, the public health and welfare committee, and other important committees and subcommittees. Malone’s stint in the state senate ran from 2001-2012.

President LaForge said Delta State has bestowed fewer than 20 honorary degree’s in the institution’s history, acknowledging the significance and prestige of Malone’s degree.

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Delta State welcomes Global UGRAD-Pakistan students

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2017 Global UGRAD-Pakistan students (left to right): Husinah, Ayesha and Hadia.


Delta State University is pleased to welcome three new international students this semester as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan).

Joining the Delta State community and international family are Husinah, Ayesha and Hadia. The Global UGRAD-Pakistan program is coordinated through the Delta State International Student Services, a division of the Student Success Center.

The program, which places participants at U.S. colleges and universities, is part of broader U.S. Department of State’s efforts to promote a better understanding of the United States abroad, particularly among future world leaders.

“The program allows talented, highly-motivated undergraduate students from underserved populations across Pakistan to spend one semester at a U.S. college or university,” said Elise Mallette, coordinator of International Student Services.

Through academic study, exploration of U.S. culture, participation in community service projects, and interactions with Americans in their host communities and campuses, Global UGRAD-Pakistan students develop a broad and nuanced understanding of American culture and values, and go on to share this understanding of the U.S. with friends, family, fellow students and others upon their return to Pakistan.

“This has been an awesome experience beyond my expectations,” said Hadia. “This is my first time out of my home country, so being here has allowed me to learn about people from different backgrounds. Coming to Delta State and learning about American culture has been such a special opportunity.”

Husinah, Ayesha and Hadia.

Amir said she has enjoyed learning in a new environment.

“The best thing about studying here is being able to learn in a different culture,” said Husinah. “I have learned that the methodology for teaching is very different in America, but I’ve really enjoyed it. I find that things are taught more practically, and I like that methodology.”

Global UGRAD-Pakistan students also enrich the learning experience for American students by sharing their unique perspectives and backgrounds. The program is part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is implemented by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX).

Since 1968, IREX has embraced a people-centered approach that maximizes human potential and helps people promote positive lasting change. With an annual portfolio of $80 million, IREX maintains presence in over 100 countries with innovative programs that empower youth, women and girls; cultivate leaders; strengthen institutions; and extend access to quality education and information.

“I’ve really been impacted by all the Southern hospitality we’ve received,” said Ayesha. “I heard about Southern hospitality before we came, but being in Mississippi, I’ve really experienced it. We’ve felt that from our classmates, but even from people in the community too. Everyone is so welcoming and makes us feel like family.”

For more information, contact DSU International Student Services at


Statesman Emerald Award of Excellence winners

By | Student Affairs, Student Life, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Office of Student Affairs recently released its inaugural list of Statesman Emerald Award of Excellence winners.

The awards were part of the 2017 Men’s Conference at Delta State University. The conference, along with the 2017 Women’s Conference in March, were instituted by Dr. Vernell Bennett, vice president for Student Affairs.

“These awards do a great job of recognizing green and white excellence because they reflect the students’ voice,” said Bennett. “The students are the reason we’re here, so their opinion is paramount. The fact that students identify the winners makes the faculty, staff and administrative nominations and winners that much more special. That sort of recognition speaks to how much the students value and appreciate them.”

Bennett said the men’s and women’s conferences educate, uplift and train students to become strong leaders and stewards of the institution and its local community.

“The tutelage, professional development and collaborations that the conferences provide cultivate and improves our students’ skill sets and prepare them for their professional lives beyond DSU,” she said.

This year’s Statesman Emerald Award of Excellence winners, which recognized male students, faculty and staff, included:

Top Student Leader
Samuel Cooper

Top International Student
Abulfaz Hajizada

Most Spirited
Charlie King

Top Resident Assistant
Thomas Kemp

Most Talented
Long Time Coming

Top Housing Staff
Josh Stevens

Top Organization President
Chandler Ector

Top Fan
Cuong V. Truong

Community Service Award
Undra Richardson

Statesman Advocate Award
Anthony Wilson

Top Interfraternity Council Fraternity
Phi Kappa Alpha

Top National Panhellenic Council Fraternity
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated

Top Football Athlete – Tyler Sullivan
Top Basketball Athlete – Devin Schmidt
Top Baseball Athlete – Zack Shannon
Top Golf Athlete – Zack Hammons
Top Swimmer Athlete – Matteo Fraschi
Top Tennis Athlete – Mason Vice
Top Soccer Athlete – Ashley Walker

Top Administrator
Dr. Billy Moore

Top Director Award
Michael Lipford

Top Faculty Award
Dr. Don Alan Mitchell

Top Male Staff
Matt Jones

College of Education Human Sciences Top Scholar
Paxton Stratton

College of Business and Aviation Top Scholar
John A. Hamilton

College of Arts and Sciences Top Scholar
Zachary Johnson

Robert E. Smith School of Nursing Top Scholar
Morris “Tad” Barrington

The Women’s Conference is held each spring and the Men’s Conference is held each fall. The Emerald Awards of Excellence are held for both conferences. Students submit nominations in person and online. Each conference features keynote speakers, plenary sessions, workshops, a luncheon, a community service project and social events.

The 2018 Women’s Conference is scheduled for March 20-21.

Herts selected for Delta Leadership Institute program

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The Delta Regional Authority is continuing its partnership with the Harvard Kennedy School to offer an advanced education opportunity exclusively to members of the Delta Leadership Network. The
Delta Leadership Institute program, designed and led by Harvard faculty, focuses on cultivating authentic leadership to move Delta communities forward.

The program sends 41 representatives from across the eight states of the DRA footprint, including Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University.

This year’s four day-session, from Nov. 27-30, will be led by retired Air Force Brigadier General Dana Born, co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at HKS.

“This executive training will equip regional leaders across the Delta with the latest advancements in leadership skills and will prepare them to make positive changes in their local communities,” said Peter Kinder, DRA’s alternate federal co-chairman. “These participants are alumni of the Delta Leadership Institute’s Executive Academy and were selected due to the leadership they have exemplified in their communities and their ability to translate these experiences to actionable solutions for the region.”

The class includes six members from Alabama; seven from Arkansas; six from Illinois; two from Kentucky; four from Louisiana; four from Mississippi; six from Missouri; and six from Tennessee. The group reflects the diversity of the Delta region and includes public, private and non-profit leaders that have graduated from the DLI’s Executive Academy. Chairman Kinder, DLI director Spencer Lucker, and select DLI staff will participate with the delegation of Delta leaders in the continuing education session.

“Being selected to participate in DLI’s Authentic Leadership program at Harvard is quite an honor,” said Herts. “The Delta Center has provided educational and professional development opportunities to DLI alumni and people they serve, including the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, the International Delta Blues Project, and our NEH Most Southern Place on Earth workshops. I look forward to learning ways to enhance this trend through collaborative regional leadership.”

The 2017 Authentic Leadership participants are:

Susan Keith of Selma | City of Selma
Teresa McCall of Montgomery | Alabama Department of Mental Health
Donald Mills of Livingston | The University of West Alabama Small Business Development Center
Chad Nichols of Hoover | Sight Savers America
Gena Robbins of York | City of York & The University of West Alabama
Max Snyder of Northport | City of Northport

Mellie Bridewell of Lake Village | Arkansas Rural Health Partnership
Jennifer Conner of Lake Village | University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
Lynn Hawkins-Caldwell of Lexa | Arkansas Rural Health Partnership
Bevin Hunter of Wilson | Lawrence Group
Karen McDaniel of Jonesboro | Arkansas State University
Trudy Redus of Pine Bluff | City of Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation
Peggy Wright of Jonesboro | Arkansas State University

Brandi Bradley of Marion | Office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin
Lynne Chambers of Grand Chain | Bigler Law Office
Brian Chapman of Ava | Southern Illinois University System
Tracey Glenn of Herrin | Peoples National Bank
Jennifer Olson of Carterville | The Lookout at the Lake
Woody Thorne of Makanda | Southern Illinois Healthcare

Brandi Harless of Paducah | City of Paducah
Mark Lee of Madisonville | Paragon Development Consultants, LLC

Cole Avery of Jonesboro | Office of U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham
Leslie Durham of St. Joseph | Office of Governor John Bel Edwards
Adam Holland of Oak Grove | Town of Oak Grove
Heather Malone of Vidalia | City of Vidalia

Josh Bower of Jackson | Hinds Community College
Rolando Herts of Cleveland | Delta State University – The Delta Center for Culture and Learning
Tim Lampkin of Clarksdale | Higher Purpose Co.
Lane Riley of Cleveland | Delta Hands for Hope

TR Dudley of Potosi | City of Potosi
Steve Halter of Poplar Bluff | Greater Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce
Maude Harris of Sikeston | University of Missouri Extension
Kris Klaus of Perryville | Klaus Construction
Scott Sattler of Perryville | Perry County Economic Development Authority
Christina Wade of Caruthersville | Delta Regional Authority

Minnie Bommer of Covington | City of Covington
Julie Allen Burke of Milan | Milan Chamber of Commerce
Landy Fuqua of Martin | University of Tennessee at Martin REED Center
Travis Martin of Jackson | TLM Associates, Inc.
Bill Rawls of Brownsville | City of Brownsville
Kayla Taylor of Jackson | Younger Associates

DLI Staff
Andrea Allen | Arkansas State University
Shawnie Carrier | Arkansas State University
Leigh Hersey | University of Louisiana Monroe
Lauren Lewis | The University of Alabama

Since 2005, the Delta Leadership Institute has worked to strengthen the knowledge and skills of community leaders across the Delta by broadening their understanding of regional issues and building a corps of alumni that have a regional and national perspective. DLI is a program of the Delta Regional Authority in partnership with three institutions of higher education from the DRA’s states: The University of Alabama, Arkansas State University and the University of Louisiana Monroe.

The DRA is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development and infrastructure projects in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. DRA has provided leadership development to nearly 500 community leaders over twelve years and strengthened regional collaboration through the Delta Leadership Institute. Learn more at

Harvard Kennedy School aims to improve public policy and public leadership in the United States and around the world through research, teaching and direct engagement with policymakers and public leaders. Nearly 20,000 alumni of the school’s degree programs and 44,000 people who have taken executive education courses at the school work in more than 200 countries. In addition, faculty, staff and students of the school are currently undertaking projects to advance knowledge and strengthen public policy and leadership in dozens of countries. Around the world, the skills and energy of the HKS community are dedicated to helping make people’s lives safer, more prosperous and more fulfilling.

The mission of The Delta Center at Delta State 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

DMI to offer Pro Tools training

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments

The Delta Music Institute’s entertainment industry program at Delta State University will offer two weekends of professional instruction and certification in Pro Tools, the recording industry standard for audio recording software.

The workshops, which are open to all interested parties, are scheduled for Jan. 13-15 and Jan. 20-21, 2018 and will be held in Studio B at the DMI on the campus of Delta State. Seating is limited to 10 registrants.

As the sole AVID Learning Partner in the state of Mississippi, Delta State’s DMI program is credentialed to offer training and professional certification in audio production, recording, mixing and related multimedia training.

The Pro Tools training sessions will be offered in two separate courses over two weekends with a daily schedule from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Pro Tools Fundamentals I (PT101) course introduces fundamental Pro Tools concepts and principles during a three-day workshop at a cost of $650. The Pro Tools Fundamentals II (PT110) course, covered during a two-day workshop, expands upon the basic principles taught in the PT101 course and introduces the core concepts and techniques needed to competently operate a Pro Tools system running mid-sized recording sessions. The cost for Pro PT 110 is $550. Together with PT 101, PT 110 provides the training required to prepare for the Avid Certified User certification exam. If the two courses are taken together, the registration fee is $950 for both classes. Discount pricing is available for students.

The workshops at the DMI will be taught by Travis Calvin, instructor in entertainment industry studies at Delta State. Calvin teaches multiple audio courses in the DMI program and is an AVID Certified Instructor.

Avid certification helps professionals attain and demonstrate the skills and credentials they need to increase their value, competency and efficiency in the highly competitive media industry.

For more information about the workshops or to register, call 662-846-4579 or email

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelors degree in entertainment industry studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For information, contact 662-846-4579 or visit