Boldon accepted into MS Rural Physicians Scholarship Program

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Emilee Ann Boldon, a junior at Delta State and a native of Greenwood, was recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program. Boldon is the daughter of Billy and Treasa Boldon of Greenwood.

Created in 2007, MRPSP identifies college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained rural primary care physicians in Mississippi. The program offers undergraduate academic enrichment and a clinical experience in a rural setting. Upon completion of all medical school admissions requirements, the student can be admitted to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine or William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

During medical school, each MRPSP scholar may receive $30,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of MRPSP translates to 60 medical students receiving a total of $1,800,000 to support their education this fall. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support.

Upon completion of medical training, MRPSP Scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. The MRPSP scholar must provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 15,000 or fewer population located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.

MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, receive mentoring during the medical school application process, earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship in return for four years of service and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.

For more information, contact MRPSP Associate Director Dan Coleman at 601-815-9022, or

The Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program and the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program are state-funded efforts to increase the number of dentists and physicians serving the healthcare needs of Mississippians in rural areas. Housed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, and collaborating with its schools of medicine and dentistry and the College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, the programs use various outreach, mentoring and training methods to identify, support, educate and deploy new generations of healthcare workers for Mississippi’s underserved populations.

Aviation introduces top flight simulator

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Delta State University’s Department of Commercial Aviation recently had its new top-of-the-line flight simulator certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Made by Frasca International, the Level 6 Diamond DA42 FTD (flight training device) was certified by the FAA to be used in the private multi engine, commercial multi engine, and flight instructor flight training syllabi.

The simulator will feature Frasca’s TruVision visual system, a 220 degree wrap-around visual system, an advanced cockpit weather and traffic interface, and Garmin G1000 advanced avionics paired with the KAP 140 autopilot.2017 Aviation simulator-7

The new simulator is an addition to the university’s three other Frasca TruFite FTDs for the Cessna 172 and Beechcraft Duchess that are currently in use. The model will simulate the Diamond DA42 aircraft, which is a complex multi-engine airplane used by students for in-air training.

“We are thrilled to have this showpiece ready for service,” said Dr. Julie Speakes, chair of commercial aviation. “Our students will save money and enjoy the visuals. In fact, the visuals are so realistic I’ve seen students leaning into a turn.”

Chip Cooper, director of flight operations, is also thrilled with the training opportunities the simulator will provide.

“This is a very nice piece of equipment to be able to have here in the Commercial Aviation Department,” he said. “This FTD is as close to the real experience you can get without it actually being an aircraft. I believe we all can agree that in aviation it’s sometimes best to first experience a maneuver or procedure on the ground and have the capability to pause the event.”

Garrett Gee, staff flight instructor added, “The realism of the new FTD allows us to train our students on normal and emergency procedures like never before. It responds and reacts just like the real aircraft. It also allows us to teach procedures that we are not able to teach in the airplane, such as landing with a flat tire with amazing realistic responses.”

Gee said the model has more advanced capabilities than the program’s previous FTDs, but the instructor interface has not changed much, providing instructors a familiar computer interface to teach with.

The Department of Commercial Aviation offers a bachelor’s of commercial aviation, as well as a master’s of commercial aviation. The department provides courses in general aviation, aviation management and aviation logistics management. Students have access to a flight training fleet that includes over 15 single-engine aircrafts and three multi-engine training planes.

Delta State is the only institution in Mississippi currently offering these baccalaureate degree programs.

“Graduates from this aviation program serve as members of flight crews, air traffic control specialists, and executives with supervisory and managerial responsibilities at all levels — while boasting no out-of-state and competitive flight training costs,” added Speakes.

Learn more about commercial aviation at Delta State by visiting

TFA Graduate Fellows host day of service

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The Teach For America Graduate Fellows Program at Delta State University hosted their first Service Day on June 3 at the Rosedale Freedom Project (RFP) in Rosedale.

Two current fellows, Jeremiah Smith and Lucas Rapisarda, have dedicated their social entrepreneurship project to serving the RFP, a leadership program that works to prepare middle and high school students to be leaders in their schools, communities and collegiate pursuits.

The fellows, RFP and a group of volunteers came together to support cleanup efforts at RFP. They were joined by friends and families, RFP students, RFP summer interns from around the country, and doctoral candidates who teach during the Freedom Summer. The group spent the day preparing RFP for Freedom Summer 2017 by revitalizing the basketball court, cleaning the inside of the building, classrooms and library, and working in the RFP garden.

Each summer, RFP hosts Freedom Summer, a five-week summer school program, offering seventh through ninth grade Freedom Fellows rigorous instruction in reading and math; creative opportunities in visual arts and drama; and access to health and wellness training through fitness, gardening, and a healthy lunch program. After completing the academic portion of the summer, Freedom Fellows travel to Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee to camp in the wilderness, visit civil rights monuments and museums, and learn more about the deep history of empowerment and social justice in the South.

Smith said he was thrilled to utilize joint resources between Delta State and TFA.

“The Teach for America Graduate Fellows program has allowed me the opportunities and resources necessary to make the Rosedale Freedom Project a reality,” said Smith. “The support, resources and education that I’ve benefited from at Delta State has helped me to organize community members, build a strong and diverse staff, enlist supporters, and plan a rigorous summer program that promotes leadership within the community.

“At the RFP, young people take ownership over their growth as leaders and community members. Opportunities like the Service Day are perfect demonstrations of how our fellows and our staff see their role in Rosedale holistically — we do not simply provide fellows with educational opportunities. Rather, we contribute to and engage with the community; we strengthen intergenerational and interracial bonds; and we bring vision, drive and passion to the challenging but rewarding task of social change.”

Harrison Wood, program coordinator for the Teach For America Graduate Fellows Program, was thrilled to see progress made through the fellowship.

“Thanks to support from the Hearin Foundation, Delta State and TFA came together to make these partnerships possible,” said Harrison Wood, program coordinator. “The TFA Graduate Fellows Program provides TFA alumni the opportunity to continue their education in Delta State’s graduate school, while also helping to reimagine what is possible for Mississippi. Each TFA Fellow works on an individualized social entrepreneurship project that will ultimately have positive social impact in communities throughout Mississippi.”

Learn more about program at

Campus to host International Day of Yoga

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Delta State University will honor the International Day of Yoga on June 23 at 8 a.m. on the Quad with a free public yoga gathering.

Yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice which aims to transform both body and mind.

International Day of Yoga is a platform to come together to share, celebrate and deepen the path of yoga along with parallel celebrations in more than 100 cities across the country.

Leading the event will be instructor Parveen Chawla, who has invited all ages to join in. Participants are asked to bring their own mats or blankets.

“We are excited to welcome Parveen Chawla onto our campus and host this free public event,” said Jeanna Wilkes, coordinator of student activities at Delta State. “We hope to have a quad full of participants in celebration of International Day of Yoga.”

If there is rain Friday, the group will move to the second floor East Lobby of the H. L. Nowell Student Union.

Sponsors for the event include the Office of Student Life and DSU Quality Enhancement Plan.

Learn more about the International Day of Yoga at

Alumni gather in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

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Delta State University alumni recently gathered in Atlanta (left) and Washington, D.C.


The Delta State University Alumni Association recently traveled to Atlanta’s Mississippi in the Park, as well as the Mississippi on the Mall event in Washington, D.C.

The special events allowed Mississippi natives and Delta State alumni to celebrate their home state by visiting with alumni staff. Delta State University was well represented, along with other universities and businesses from the Magnolia State.

Centered around the celebration of Mississippi’s bicentennial birthday, the Mississippi Society of Georgia hosted the Atlanta event on June 9-10. Mississippians occupied a special section of the crowd at the Atlanta Braves baseball game on Friday night during the inaugural season at the new SunTrust Park. On Saturday, guests gathered at Chastain Park in Buckhead, where Penn’s catfish and chicken was served. Southern blues band The Shufflejunkies also put on a show for the crowd.

Additionally, the society presented a $1,000 scholarship for a class of 2017 Georgia high school senior to attend a four-year Mississippi institution in the fall of 2017.

“The Mississippi Society of Georgia volunteers provided a wonderful experience for all to enjoy,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of the Alumni Association. “Special thank you to the Delta State alumni volunteers who serve on the committee.”

On June 17, Mississippi Society of Washington, D.C. hosted the annual Mississippi on the Mall event at the Henry Bacon Ball Field beside the Lincoln Memorial. This year’s event included Simmons’ Mississippi Farm-Raised Catfish, live music by Kingfish and fellowship.

“Mississippi on the Mall presented a wonderful opportunity to connect with alumni and friends in a fun environment,” said Melissa Love, assistant Alumni director. “Statesmen pride is strong in our nation’s capitol,”

Delta State’s first lady, Nancy LaForge, was among over 600 people who attended this year’s event.

See more photos from the Atlanta event here:, and view D.C. photos here:

The Greater Jackson Alumni Chapter will hold its meeting on July 13 at the Jackson Yacht Club. On Aug. 1, the Leflore County/Greenwood Alumni Chapter will hold its meeting at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta in Greenwood. The DeSoto County Alumni Chapter will meet on Aug. 12 with additional details to be announced.

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

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).