Allie Rose Parker, Student Government Association president, became the first student in Delta State's history to vote on the President's Cabinet on Aug. 22.

Parker casts historic first student vote on President’s Cabinet

By | Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

For the first time in Delta State University’s storied history, a student has earned an active voting role in the President’s Cabinet.

On Aug. 22, Allie Rose Parker, president of the Student Government Association, casted her first vote at President William N. LaForge’s weekly cabinet meeting.

“It’s a huge honor for me, and I’m very thankful to be part of a university that places so much responsibility with the student body. I know that’s not something you see every day,” said Parker. “It’s very humbling to have this opportunity, and I’m extremely thankful it’s happening during my years.”

LaForge, who has sworn to an all-inclusive approach during his presidency, said it was a no-brainer to include the SGA president as a voting member of his cabinet. During his inaugural State of the University address in 2013, LaForge announced the first addition of the SGA president on his cabinet as a non-voting member.

“We decided that the student voice should become a student vote as well,” said LaForge. “I think it’s the right thing to do to make sure our students are fully engaged to share in decision making on campus. It’s also the result of a great track record of the SGA presidents who have served during my time at Delta State.

“We are proud to have Allie Rose on board, and we are excited to have her as a voting member,” said LaForge. “I think this will be a more complete way to share the authentic shared governance on campus. I encourage full student participation, and I think we’ll be better off for it.”

Parker first started attending cabinet meetings in June after her election as SGA president.

“It’s really interesting to be part of the meetings and hear ideas bounce off all the important people on campus,” said Rose. “I’m the youngest in the room, so I was a little intimated when I first started attending — but they absolutely include me in everything. They really make sure the students are represented well on the cabinet.”

Parker said having the voting right is a big plus for the student population.

“The cabinet really does try and make the best decisions for the student body, but it’s also really helpful for them to be able to turn to an active student and ask if the student body will like a particular decision,” she said. “I think it’s really helpful for me to provide an opinion reflective of the student body.

“I’m very thankful to the SGA presidents before me who paved the way and gave me this opportunity to vote.”

Delta State now joins Mississippi Valley State University and the University of Southern Mississippi to include student body presidents as voting members of the president’s cabinet.

Follow all Delta State University news at www.deltastate.edu.

 

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RESSON ranks nationally among most affordable online master’s programs

By | Academics, School of Nursing | No Comments

Delta State University’s Robert E. Smith School of Nursing was recently ranked nationally for having one of the most affordable online master’s degrees in nursing.

RESSON came in at No. 3 on the list compiled by GradSchoolHub.com.

Editors for the poll selected schools based on accreditation, ranking with major publications, and tuition rates as published by NCES College Navigator. RESSON was noted for having strong diversity in its programming.

View the entire Top 30 list at http://www.gradschoolhub.com/best/affordable-online-masters-nursing-msn/.

GradSchoolHub.com’s mission is to provide expert information on high-quality accredited graduate degree programs offered by the nation’s best universities. 

Learn more about RESSON at http://www.deltastate.edu/school-of-nursing/.

Nursing school post

Brenton King has been named the 2016 John S. and Jutta Karnstedt Ferretti Fellow.

King receives John S. and Jutta Karnstedt Ferretti Fellowship

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences | No Comments

Delta State’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program (MA-LS) is proud to announce the 2016 John S. and Jutta Karnstedt Ferretti Fellow.

This year’s recipient of the Ferretti Fellowship is Brenton King, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Social Science Education from Delta State in 2016. King is a native of Inverness, Mississippi, and a very deserving recipient, according to Dr. Charles Westmoreland, assistant professor of history and coordinator of the MA-LS program.

“Brent King is a terrific young scholar with a great passion for education and a bright future,” said Westmoreland. “We are proud to recognize him as this year’s Ferretti Fellow. “Brent’s commitment to learning makes him a fitting recipient of the fellowship, which goes to an incoming MA-LS student and honors both Mrs. Jutta Ferretti and her husband, John. Nobody embodies a commitment to lifelong education and service better than Mrs. Ferretti. She is a Delta State treasure and her presence, energy and support is a true blessing to the university family. We in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program want to thank her for her dedication to our students.”

The degree program is one of only a few in the South and provides graduate-level, interdisciplinary expertise in literature, history, gender and diversity studies, globalization studies, and the humanities in general.

The fellowship is made possible by a $10,000 gift from Ferretti and her late husband John. Ferretti graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree in 2010, becoming the oldest graduate in the history of Delta State at the age of 86.

“Education has always been very important to me and my late husband, John,” said Ferretti, in a previous Delta State release. “Learning in all fields affects the present and future as there is still so much to be discovered that we are not aware of today. Education also opens many doors to the students which impact lives locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally. You cannot help people in this life without being helped yourself.”

For more information about the MA-LS program and the John S. and Jutta Karnstedt Ferretti Fellowship, contact Westmoreland at 662-846-4174, or visit http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/languages-literature/master-of-arts-in-liberal-studies/.

The inaugural fellows of the Teach for America Graduate Fellows Program at Delta State include: (front row, left to right) Javier Peraza, Sarah Hawley, Jena Howie, Kandace Lewis, MacKenzie Stroh Hines, (back, l to r) Matty Bengloff, James Forte, Jon Delperdang, Boyce Upholt and Jeremiah Smith.

TFA graduate fellows kick off program at Delta State

By | Community, Graduate and Continuing Studies, Students, Teach for America | No Comments

Delta State University’s Graduate and Continuing Studies department recently completed its inaugural week-long immersion experience for the new Teach for America Graduate Fellows Program.

Teach For America and Delta State University are piloting the new innovative two-year fellowship program to teach 10 Teach For America alumni how to launch and run a social venture in the communities they serve while also completing a graduate degree program of their interest.

During the immersion week, the cohort refined their leadership skills while also being introduced to entrepreneurial perspectives when tackling social problems.

“We offered the cohort tangible tools for them to use by providing a framework and space to plan out the implementation and design of their projects,” said program coordinator Harrison Wood. “During our week together, we weaved in aspects of school leadership, Mississippi Delta history and community engagement. Our week was met with unbelievable success. The fellows were able to foster a ‘think-tank’ like environment, which will enable them to use one another as a resource throughout the length of the fellowship, and hopefully longer, as they each continue to positively impact Mississippi.”

The week opened with Dr. Samuel Jones, a professional keynote speaker and author who specializes in the area of leadership development. Participants then had the opportunity to take part in a Delta tour with The Delta Center for Culture and Leaning to gain a greater understanding of the Mississippi Delta culture and history.

For the next two days, the schedule focused on the expansion participants’ proposed social entrepreneurship projects. The facilitators for these days included Spud Marshall and Alexis Taylor. Marshall is the chief catalyst for co.space, an international network of homes for change-makers that launched in State College, Pennsylvania. He is also the co-founder of New Leaf, a nonprofit social innovation incubator in State College. Taylor, of Austin, Texas, is the program manager and facilitator for 3 Day Startup, an international non-profit organization that builds entrepreneurial capabilities in students and employees at colleges, corporations, organizations and governments.

On the final day, the cohort visited KIPP-Delta and the Thrive Center, both operational social enterprises in Helena, Arkansas. This trip provided the fellows an opportunity to visualize and learn from fruitful social ventures positioned in a rural area. The week closed with an afternoon canoe trip on the Mississippi River with John Ruskey of Quapaw Canoe Company, fostering a team-building experience for the participants.

Fellow Boyce Upholt was thrilled to begin the program.

TFA graduate fellows spent the week introducing entrepreneurial perspectives and social issues.

TFA graduate fellows spent the week introducing entrepreneurial perspectives and social issues.

“Immersion week was a great chance to get to know the other fellows in the program, and to begin to thought partner about how to accomplish our goals,” said Upholt. “Our projects are in varying states of development, from kernels of ideas to already operational programs, but we all walked away with tangible next steps, as well as inspiring examples of what entrepreneurship can look like in this region.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with the fellows, our support staff, and the faculty in my academic program. I’m aiming to use storytelling to better connect Deltans with one another, and with their local landscape, and I can’t think of a better program for doing so.”

To complete the fellowship, each participant will focus on social entrepreneurship, while simultaneously completing a graduate degree at Delta State. The cohort will regularly convene to share experiences in a collaborative environment, allowing participants to develop goals.

The project is funded through a grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. The principal goal of the foundation is to contribute to the overall economic advancement of the state of Mississippi by making funds available to four-year colleges and universities and graduate professional schools located in the state.

Applications for the 2017 cohort will open Jan. 1, 2017. For more information on the program, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/graduate-and-continuing-studies/tfa-graduate-fellows-program or call 662-846-4700.

Robin Boyles, director of Delta State's Office of Institutional Grants, was recently named to the Advisory Board for the Grants Resource Center.

Boyles named to Grants Resource Center’s Advisory Board

By | Faculty/Staff, Office of Institutional Grants | No Comments

Robin Boyles, director of the Office of Institutional Grants at Delta State, was recently named to the Grants Resource Center’s Advisory Board.

The GRC, a unit of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, has enhanced the research and sponsored programs capabilities of higher education institutions since 1967. A main goal of the organization is to boost an institution’s success in securing competitive grants from federal and private sponsors.

The Advisory Board is one of GRC’s enduring hallmarks, acting as an intermediary to help GRC staff better represent the needs of member institutions. It also plays a crucial role in helping GRC develop new resources and services. Advisors participate in periodic meetings via conference calls and are expected to attend the Funding Competitiveness Conferences held in February each year in Washington, D.C., which is followed by an Advisory Board meeting.

“I’m very honored to have been asked by the Grants Resource Center staff to serve as an at-large member of the GRC board,” said Boyles. “I have been active with the GRC over the past several years, having presented at several of their Funding Competitiveness Conferences held in Washington, D.C. I find the resources that they provide to be very helpful and timely.”

Boyles added that for smaller, regional institutions with limited resources, GRC provides invaluable tools and information to increase external funding. The organization has relationships with federal funding agencies, as well as private foundations. It serves as a conduit for information as well as facilitating interactions with funders.

The Office of Institutional Grants provides support to Delta State University faculty and staff for securing external funding from federal, state and non-federal institutions such as foundations and corporations. This support includes workshops and seminars, as well as training and technical assistance. Interested faculty should contact the Office of Institutional Grants at 662-846-4804.

Additionally, the office maintains an official file of grants and contracts, and is responsible for reporting external funding to the IHL and other government entities.

Learn more about the Grants Resource Center of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities at http://www.aascu.org/GRC/AboutGRC.