Alumni to host Jackson event

By | Alumni, Community | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association will be traveling to Jackson for the annual Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event on Thursday at 6 p.m. More than 100 alumni and friends are expected to attend the event held at the Jackson Yacht Club.

Speakers for the event include Delta State President William N. LaForge and head football coach Todd Cooley. Entertainment will be provided by Delta State alum Brady Stewart.

“We’re really looking forward to another great event here in Jackson,” said Jeff Arnold, president of the Greater Jackson Alumni Chapter. “The committee has been working very strategically to recruit alumni and friends of Delta State to attend, uncover event sponsors, and collect items for the silent auction.”

All proceeds from the silent auction go to the Greater Jackson Area Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a student from the greater Jackson area who will attend Delta State.

Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event planning committee: (left to right) Jeffrey Farris '04; Jeff Arnold '91; Lisa Grantham '88; Renee Deweese '92; Johnathan Stark '99; Mandy Gardner '07; John Fletcher '91; John Stringer '05; and Will Crump '05.

Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event planning committee: (left to right) Jeffrey Farris ’04; Jeff Arnold ’91; Lisa Grantham ’88; Renee Deweese ’92; Johnathan Stark ’99; Mandy Gardner ’07; John Fletcher ’91; John Stringer ’05; and Will Crump ’05.

Each year at the alumni event, the chapter recognizes an individual for his or her service to Delta State. This year, the chapter will recognize President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt and former first lady Janice Wyatt. The chapter will also recognize former Delta State baseball players who live in the Jackson area.

The Alumni Association is still accepting sponsorships for this event. Businesses or individuals can sponsor at the $100, $250 or $500 levels. Pre-register online at www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/jacksonalumnievent. Walk-ins are welcome the night of the event.

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

For more information on the DSUNAA, call 662-846-4660 or email alumni@deltastate.edu. To stay up to date with DSUNAA activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Zoeller to intern with Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary

By | Academics, General, Students | No Comments

Having just wrapped up her senior season playing Delta State softball, Madison Zoeller knows the importance of teamwork in the circle of life.

On a team, every player has a role. Whether it’s behind the plate, on the field or from the sidelines, individuals mesh together like cogs in a machine to achieve a desired goal. They depend on one another for success and survival amongst the toughest competition in their environment. Zoeller may be hanging up her softball cleats, but she will be taking on a bigger role by helping organisms find their place in the ecosystem.

Beginning July 17, Zoeller, an environmental science major at Delta State, will join a new team — the staff at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in Hubert, North Carolina, where she will be interning. Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that rehabilitates injured animals with the intent of releasing each animal back into the wild. The organization also provides educational programs and presentations to teach the public about the native local wildlife, ecology, environment, natural resources and backyard habitat creation.

During her internship, Zoeller will learn to rehabilitate and care for wildlife by performing functions such as feeding, weighing, bandaging, and administering medications to animals. She will assist in wildlife presentations and programs and help conduct tours of the sanctuary. She will also learn to work with the non-releasable animals and birds used in programs/presentations and assist in the recovery program for raptors.

“I am thrilled about starting this internship,” Zoeller said. “To me, this is the beginning of a long career in environmental science and wildlife biology, and it’s my way of making the world a better place. It starts with the little things, and the little things may be something as simple as caring for an abandoned animal. My long term goal is to make my community understand the importance of every living thing.”

Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding, professor of biology and environmental science at Delta State, explained more about the opportunity Zoeller will have to care for wildlife and educate others during her internship.

“Back in March, Madison mentioned that she was taking an internship at the Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in North Carolina,” Riding said. “During the internship, she will learn how to take care of and rehabilitate shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, small mammals, and reptiles. Some of her training will include resilience with animal care, choosing appropriate medication for the animals, and maintaining the raptor facility. She also will be able to train volunteers, assist with future planning, work with large groups, and run the sanctuary in absence of staff.”

While Zoeller’s internship will come to an end August 26, she hopes to continue her passion for wildlife by pursuing graduate studies in wildlife biology in the future. For now, she has accepted a position in waste management in the Nashville area and will start work after her internship ends.

For more information about the environmental science program at Delta State, contact Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding at 662-846-4797 or nbaghai@deltastate.edu. For more information about Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary, visit www.possumwoodacres.org.

BPAC receives more than $5,000 in grant funding for summer arts programming

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, General | No Comments

The Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute at the Bologna Performing Arts Center was granted more than $5,000 in funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission for the 2017-2018 school year.

These grants are a portion of the $1.3 million in grants the Commission will award in 2017-2018 and will be used to present Chuck Galey, an award-winning Mississippi illustrator and children’s book author from Jackson at the 2017 PLUS Camp. Further funding will be used for the 2018 CORE Arts camp, which will open to 12-18 year old artists in June of next year.

The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Arts organizations throughout the state of Mississippi play a pivotal role in sharing the power of the arts with people from all walks of life,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “The arts are for everyone, and the Mississippi Arts Commission is pleased to support arts organizations committed to growing the presence of the arts in their communities.”

Now in its 20th year of operation, the arts programs at the Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute are held on the campus of Delta State University, and function as a significant draw to DSU and the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Each year, MSAI provides arts education opportunities for more than 175 participants ranging in age from 5 to 18. PLUS Camp is a week-long day camp for children ages 5-11 that began Monday, June 17. The 2017 PLUS Camp is currently at full capacity, but a final free performance that is open to the public will be held on Saturday, July 22, at 10 a.m. on the mainstage of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

GRAMMY Museum receives Mississippi Arts Commission grant

By | GRAMMY, Uncategorized | No Comments

GRAMMY Museum ® Mississippi of Cleveland, Miss has been awarded an $18,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the $1.3 million in grants the Commission will award in 2017-2018 and will be used to provide unique learning opportunities based on the enduring legacies of all forms of music; the entire creative and technological processes of recording; and the history of the GRAMMY Awards® with a focus on the continuing achievements of Mississippians. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Arts organizations throughout the state of Mississippi play a pivotal role in sharing the power of the arts with people from all walks of life,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “The arts are for everyone, and the Mississippi Arts Commission is pleased to support arts organizations committed to growing the presence of the arts in their communities.”

The Museum provides a one-of-a-kind visitor experience – engaging, educational, celebratory and inspirational. Students and visitors explore music and culture using Museum tours, education and public programs, workshops, summer camps, leadership opportunities and outreach activities. Through its exhibits and programming, the Museum provides an engaging exploration of music history for its visitors while educating them on the significant music and cultural contributions of Mississippians.

The Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, serves the residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. Established in 1968, the Mississippi Arts Commission is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources. The agency serves as an active supporter and promoter of arts in community life and in arts education.

For information from the Mississippi Arts Commission, contact Anna Ehrgott, Communications Director, 601-359-6546 oraehrgott@arts.ms.gov.

For information on GRAMMY Museum Mississippi visit www.grammymuseumms.org or for further inquiries contact Jane Marie Dawkins, Education and Public Programs Manager, 662-441-0100 or jdawkins@grammymuseumms.org.

Follow Your Heart Arts Program partners with DMI

By | Academics, Delta Music Institute, General, Students | No Comments

The Follow Your Heart Arts Program, launched by Warner Brothers recording artist Charlie Worsham and funded by a grant from the Country Music Association Foundation, recently completed the first season of partnership with the DMI Entertainment Industry program at Delta State University.

The mission of the Follow Your Heart program is to enrich and empower the lives of young people living in Grenada County through music education, music business career exploration, and the study of the rich history of Mississippi music.

The DMI works with the Follow Your Heart Arts Program by connecting entertainment industry majors who provide instruction and mentoring to students in the program.

In addition to the Follow Your Heart Arts Program, Worsham, a native of Grenada, also founded the Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund to provide financial support to Grenada youth who dream of a career in the arts. In late 2016 he hosted the inaugural Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund Gala, which benefited the fund. Since starting the campaign, Worsham has raised approximately $60,000.

“I realize this is the most important work I’ll ever get to do,” Worsham said.

The idea for the fund was sparked in Worsham during a conversation with a class of teenagers at a high school in Grenada when one girl was too embarrassed to verbalize her dream of acting on Broadway. Worsham said it broke his heart.

“The kids in my hometown need to have hope. And if the kids in my hometown see me doing it, they need to know they can do it, too,” he said.

Worsham most recent CD, “Beginning of Things,” was released on Warner Brothers Records in April.

For more information on Worsham’s Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund, visit www.FollowYourHeartArts.org. To learn more about the Follow Your Heart Arts program, visit https://www.facebook.com/FollowYourHeartArts/

The DMI offers a B.S. in Entertainment Industry Studies degree in the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State. 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 http://dmi.deltastate.edu.