Civil Rides bikes through campus for awareness

By | Community, Delta Center, President, Winning the Race | No Comments

Delta State University hosted Civil Rides on campus April 5-6 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Civil Rides was a three-day group bicycle ride from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi. The trek followed the civil rights footsteps of King.

The purpose of the ride was to raise awareness around persistent rural poverty in America, just as King did with the Poor People’s Campaign. Additionally, the event advocated for racial justice and healing, and created a space for racial discourse and dialogue.

Civil Rides was organized and sponsored by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Together for Hope, and Out Hunger. Participants in the ride came from Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Mississippi.

Delta State also sponsored the campus visit as a post-conference activity linked to Delta State’s annual Winning the Race race relations conference, which took place March 26-27. Along with WTR, other campus sponsors included the DSU Quality Enhancement Plan, DSU Diversity Committee and Delta Center for Culture and Learning .

Delta State hosted the riders for a meet-and-greet opportunity on April 4, along with a reception and information session in the Baioni Conference Center. Dr. Jason Coker with Civil Rides shared a summary of their efforts, and participants were shown student videos created at the Lens Collective workshop, housed on campus by the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

On April 5, the university provided the riders with a nutritious breakfast, followed by a press conference at the Student Union as a sendoff for the bikers as they continued their 200-mile journey.

Following the press conference, Civil Rides bikers, Delta State riders, and President William N. LaForge got on their bikes for a ceremonial exit from campus. Participants took off from the Student Union and traveled down Court Street into downtown Cleveland.

The group finished at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum with a celebratory festival.

Dr. Temika Simmons, co-chair of this year’s Winning the Race conference, said the event was a fitting followup to the race relations conference.

“It was an honor to partner with Dr. Jason Coker, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and Out Hunger in support of Civil Rides,” said Simmons. “Many of our students come from the communities the rides are intended to support. The Winning the Race conference is committed to continuing its work within and beyond Delta-area communities by partnering and supporting area initiatives that seek to combat racial inequities, fight for social justice, and to improve the condition of our communities. It was a privilege to host Civil Rides in commemoration of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We look forward to continuing this partnership in the fight against rural poverty.”

For more information on Civil Rides, visit

To learn more about Winning the Race, visit

New DMI scholarships to honor Nowell and Warrington

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, Foundation, Students | No Comments
Pictured (left to right): Desira Coleman Warrington, Paul Janoush and Becky Hawes Nowell.


Two new academic scholarships have been created to benefit rising sophomore students enrolled in the Delta Music Institute entertainment industry program at Delta State University.

Paul Janoush of Cleveland, recently gifted the DSU Foundation with funds to establish the Becky Hawes Nowell and Desira Coleman Warrington Scholarships to honor the love, service and friendship Nowell and Warrington provided to the late Lucy Richardson Janoush.

The Janoush family has given generously to the DMI over the years by funding student scholarships and enrichment opportunities.

“These scholarships are a wonderful way to remember Lucy and all that she did for DMI and the community,” said Warrington.

“She had a passion for music and the DMI,” added Nowell. “Music helped her fight her battle. One of the first things that she did was to make a playlist to listen to while she fought cancer. We are honored to have these scholarships given in our names to continue Lucy’s legacy, and give students an opportunity to pursue their dream in the music industry.”

DMI Director Tricia Walker added, “We are so grateful for the generosity of the Janoush family in supporting the DMI program since its inception. Our students’ lives continue to be enriched by the opportunities these types of awards provide.”

Gifts and donations to the Friends of DMI fund are encouraged. For online giving, please visit and search for Delta Music Institute.

The Delta Music Institute is an independent center of study under the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State University, offering a B.S. degree in Entertainment Industry Studies degree. 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

Fireside Chat – April 9, 2018 – Summer School

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Joining President LaForge is Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Delta State.

There are numerous paybacks for enrolling in summer classes. Among those are finding a job faster and potentially saving thousands of dollars in overall tuition and fees. According to Rise Up Mississippi, an additional year of college in Mississippi can cost you more than $50,000, which includes extra tuition, lost wages, and related costs.

Additionally, there are financial aid options available for summer school. Options range from federal aid to state-based assistance, such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which helps students complete their degree and find employment.

Financial aid applications for the summer are due during fall pre-registration, with the priority deadline of April 6, and the final deadline of June 12.

Students should also be aware of the general deadlines to enroll in summer course work. The deadline for the Summer I session is May 29, and the Summer II deadline is July 2.

In other news on campus, Career Services is hosting its “Passport to Success” program on Tuesday from 1:30-4:00 p.m. on the second floor of the H.L. Nowell Student Union.  On Thursday, the Union Program Council will host its annual Springfest event from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. on the Quad.

In athletic news, the softball and baseball teams will host Lee University in GSC action this weekend, with both doubleheaders starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, the games begin at noon for softball and at 2 p.m. for baseball.

To keep up with all of our news, events and activities, please visit our website at

New York-based quartet The Westerlies to perform at BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

The Westerlies are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of four childhood friends from Seattle, Washington — Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone. The Westerlies will be performing on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University. The event is part of the Recital Hall Series, featuring a more intimate audience setting in the BPAC’s 145-seat Recital Hall. Tickets are on sale now.

Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the West to the East. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies explore jazz, roots and chamber music influences to create the rarest of hybrids — music that is both “folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music). Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along.

Their latest concert program, “Songs We Sang: American Vocal Music of the 20th Century,” traces the sound of the 20th century through a variety of American vocal traditions. From the songs of Charles Ives .to the spirituals of the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, The Westerlies draw a line through jazz, classical and folk languages.

In addition to their public performance, The Westerlies will perform a mini-concert for a local assisted living community, as well as conduct a masterclass for Delta State University students.

Tickets to see The Westerlies are $35, and discounts are available for students and groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale now at or at the BPAC Ticket Office at 662-846-4626.

Sassenrath-Cole named Employee of the Month

By | Faculty/Staff, Library | No Comments

The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Gregory Sassenrath-Cole, library assistant II, as the March 2018 Employee of the Month.

Sassenrath-Cole, originally from central Illinois, has worked at the university for 6 years.

He is married to Rachel Tate, and the couple has two sons. One is a double-major at Delta State and will graduate in December. The other is finishing his undergrad and is going on to get his master’s in library science.

In his free time, Sassenrath-Cole enjoys racing his car on weekends and going on trips with his wife.

Made up of volunteers from the Staff Council, the Incentives & Recognition committee meets monthly to review nominations for the Employee of the Month award. The committee has been celebrating staff performance in this manner for over 15 years.

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.