trio and CCED

Dept. of Education awards $1.1 million for Delta Educational Opportunity Center

By | Academics, Center for Community and Economic Development, Community | No Comments

Delta State University’s Center for Community and Economic Development recently received news of a major grant from the Department of Education in the amount of $1,180,000 to establish the Delta Educational Opportunity Center.

The grant is for five years at $236,000 per year.

The overall goal of the DEOC will be to increase the number of adults who enroll in postsecondary education institutions. The program will provide counseling and information on college admissions to qualified adults who want to enter or continue postsecondary education.

Services will also be provided to improve the financial and economic literacy of participants. An important objective of the program is to counsel participants on financial aid options, including basic financial planning skills, and to assist in the application process.

“The DEOC will be very important for this region because the Mississippi Delta has some of the state’s poorest educational outcomes when it comes to obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent and graduating from college,” said David Tanner with the CCED. “I am looking forward to increased enrollment numbers and graduation rates at Delta State. Many jobs are requiring applicants to have certain skills acquired from a post-secondary education, and the DEOC will help strengthen the economy with workers who are skillfully trained.”

Another key figure to help secure the grant for the CCED was Robin Boyles, director of the Office of Institutional Grants at Delta State.

“There is such a need for an Educational Opportunity Center that serves the residents of the Mississippi Delta,” said Boyles. “Through the Delta EOC, adults will be able to obtain assistance through the oftentimes overwhelming steps required for college admission. Providing these services to help those desiring to enter post-secondary education is one more opportunity that we have to address and positively impact the educational and economic development needs of our community.”

The program will be one of the eight federal TRIO Programs, which are outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO works continuously to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

Thanks to the grant, around 1,000 participants in 12 Delta counties will be serviced by DEOC. These counties include: Bolivar, Coahoma, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tunica and Washington.

News of the grant also pleased Mississippi Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, who has worked hard to service those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

I am very pleased that Delta State University has been selected as a new recipient of an Educational Opportunity Center grant through the Department of Education’s TRIO programs,” said Thompson. “This will be the first time that counties in this area will benefit from this very important grant funding. Delta State has long worked as a community partner with counties in the Mississippi Delta to provide educational attainment opportunities and better health outcomes in the region. The programming that Delta State will put in place is yet another example of their continued commitment to the Mississippi Delta’s citizens and I applaud their efforts.”

Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies and Research at Delta State, is also thrilled to begin the DEOC venture.

We are so excited to be funded for this project, which we’ve been imagining and discussing for some time,” said Moon. “Finally, we were able to propose to the best possible funder, the Department of Education’s TRIO programming. The CCED’s 20-year history includes impactful programs in economic development, social justice, health services and educational programming. For a couple of years now, all of us involved with the CCED have worked specifically towards programming that would further the university’s positive impact on educational attainment levels.”

For more information, contact the CCED at 662-846-4808.

Delta State University President William N. LaForge delivered his State of the University address today during convocation ceremonies.

President outlines vision for university’s future

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

Delta State University President William N. LaForge delivered his annual State of the University address during opening convocation today at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus.

The address was titled “A Vision of Excellence” and began with a welcome to faculty and staff at the start of Delta State’s academic calendar.

LaForge characterized the state of the university as “strong and stable.”

“We have made solid advances in several key areas of endeavor,” he said. “As the saying goes, we are trending in the right direction — onward and upward.”

The president highlighted Delta State’s continued efforts to improve and stabilize its budget situation, a second consecutive year with an enrollment increase, the first pay raises for faculty and staff in four years, and the implementation of a visioning process that will lay the groundwork for the university’s future.

A major area of focus in his speech was the budgeting challenges the institution has faced in recent years, including two unexpected mid-year budget cuts by the state in 2015-16.

“Because we have put our financial house in order through prudent budgeting and spending, we are able to absorb the recent $435,000 reduction in state support, as well as a three percent cut equating to an additional $725,000 less in state funding in our new budget, all without any reductions to programs or personnel on campus,” said LaForge.

With savings the university is realizing from outsourcing campus health services, previous program reductions, and other efficiencies, Delta State is continuing to make headway in another focus area for LaForge — pay raises for faculty and staff. Efforts will continue to bring salaries to at least minimum levels of compensation based on regional market comparisons.

In this year’s facilities and equipment budget — completely separate from Delta State’s general operational budget — the university is providing funding in the following areas:

– science building furniture and equipment
– renovation and furniture replacement in the Union
– a new power generator for Bailey Hall to back up technology services
– temperature control upgrades in Broom, Gibson-Gunn and the Union
– pre-planning and design for a new president’s home
– security camera equipment for residence halls
– a chiller upgrade
– roofing repairs on a number of buildings.

Grander scale projects that will commence this year include major renovation of the dining hall and Zeigel Hall, razing of the old president’s home, and the building of Statesmen Boulevard connecting Highway 8 to the athletic complex.

Beyond this year, LaForge also outlined the detailed visioning process that will guide Delta State to a better and brighter future.

“Our mission has been to look forward and help determine where and what Delta State should be three, five, 10 and 25 years down the road,” he said.

LaForge explained the 10 elements of priority in the visioning process:
– academic excellence and student success
– providing a student-centric focus
– establishing a solid business and financial platform
– increasing efforts in the areas of marketing and student recruitment
– pursuing new revenue and funding streams
– providing programs that encourage a lifelong Delta State experience for graduates
– complementing the academic mission with first-class intercollegiate athletic experiences
– embracing and enhancing the distinguishing factors that define Delta State
– promoting and embracing traditional core values
– embracing community engagement and programs.

“This visioning process has given us a good jump-start on our future,” said LaForge. “But to elevate our game and support our vision for the future, we will certainly need significantly more revenue than provided by the State and generated by tuition. It is very clear that we will need substantial private resources to pursue our dreams. The plans for a major fundraising campaign are already underway through the good work of the Delta State Foundation.”

“With our vision to guide us, let us continue to think and act boldly and wisely, while marshaling all the resources we can to move Delta State toward excellence,” he added. “We are off to a great start. Terrific opportunities lie ahead for us. It is now time to create the path that will guide us to our vision.”

Visit www.deltastate.edu to stay updated on university news and event coverage.

2014 Convocation edits-57

Live Streaming Available for Convocation

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, General, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State University President William N. LaForge will deliver his State of the University convocation address today at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The event will be live streamed at: www.livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity

The address will serve as a welcome to faculty, staff and the community at the start of Delta State’s academic year. Leading the event with LaForge will be Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Heather Robinson, president-elect of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, will provide a community welcome.

Dr. Chris Jurgenson, president of the Faculty Senate, will provide an introduction of new faculty, followed by an introduction of new staff by Christie Rocconi, chair of the Administrative Staff Council.

As is the tradition at each Delta State convocation address, new Student Government Association officers will also be recognized.

LaForge will conclude the ceremony with his address, highlighting university achievements over the last year, along with goals and visions for Delta State’s future.

Visit www.deltastate.edu to stay updated on university news and event coverage. Track the president’s efforts on his blog at http://president.deltastate.edu and Twitter via @presidentDSU.

Work from Julie Morrisroe's "I'm Sorry You Were Saying?" opens the season at Delta State’s Fielding Wright Art Center Aug. 25 at 5 p.m.

Art gallery opens 2016-17 season August 25

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center opens its 2016-17 season on Aug. 25 from 5-7 p.m. with an exhibition of Julia Morrisroe’s work “I’m Sorry You Were Saying?”

Morrisroe is an artist and associate professor in painting and drawing at the University of Florida. Her work explores the question of what it means to paint in an age in which digital technology has led to the proliferation and instant availability of images. She is interested in how the flood of images streaming in front of our eyes has affected the way we perceive images.

“Images can be replicated, expanded, enhanced or associated with other images — relevant or not — instantaneously,” said Morrisroe. “The simultaneity of image and experience has led to images becoming hyper-contextualized. The image can no longer exist as a single painting, but belongs to a network.”

Morrisroe creates series of abstract paintings that invite the viewer to explore this hyper-contextualized condition. In her work, patterns are repeated, inverted, rescaled, disrupted or reappear in different media. The artist’s intention is to “subvert the viewers’ desire to look at one painting, compelling a rambling, hyper-linked experience of viewing.”

She received her BFA from Northern Illinois University and her MFA from the University of Washington, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Morrisroe has received numerous awards, grants and fellowship grants for her work. Last year, she spent time at Anadolu University in Turkey as a Mevlana Faculty Exchange Scholar.

Morrisroe will be on campus to present a public lecture on  Sept. 22 at 4 p.m in the gallery.

The Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.

For more information, visit the Department of Art’s website at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/art/, or contact 662-846-4720. For updates and announcements of upcoming events, follow Delta State Art Department on Facebook, or join the email list.

Header

Delta State University Hosts a Mississippi Today Conversation with Andrew Lack and Walter Isaacson

By | Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, General, Students | No Comments

CLEVELAND – Delta State University is hosting a Mississippi Today panel discussion Aug. 31 on New Media and Politics featuring NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack and Aspen Institute president and CEO Walter Isaacson.

The conversation between Lack, founder of Mississippi Today, and Isaacson, author of several celebrated historical books, is part of a two-day celebration and outreach to the Delta region about the Mississippi Today story.  Lack and Isaacson will discuss how the rise of New Media has impacted the 2016 presidential election.

Mississippi Today is inviting Delta residents to join in celebrating the news organization’s launch at a no-cost business casual public reception Aug. 30 at the Grammy Museum Mississippi beginning at 6 p.m.

Mississippitoday.org, is a digital-only nonpartisan news site that launched on March 28 and has aggressively and objectively covered state and local government affairs and community issues, as well as Mississippi’s social culture, including sports coverage by celebrated columnist Rick Cleveland. The news operation is committed to covering issues and events across the entire state, including the Delta region.

The panel discussion hosted by Delta State University will be held in the auditorium of E.R. Jobe Hall. The event will begin with coffee and pastries at 8:30 a.m., with the panel discussion beginning at 9 a.m.

Delta State University President William N. LaForge will introduce the panel, which will be moderated by Jim Barksdale, CEO of Barksdale Management. Barksdale serves on the board of Mississippi Today.

Lack, now chairman of NBC NEWS, chose Mississippi for the site of this innovative approach to news coverage largely because of his family ties to the Delta running back through several generations. His great-grandfather was the mayor of Greenville.

“All of us involved in this project have great aspirations for Mississippi’s future, and believe that competitive, world-class journalism is an essential piece of that puzzle,” Lack said.

Isaacson, a New Orleans native, leads the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, D.C. His most recent book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014) is a biographical tale of the people who came up with the great innovations of the digital age. Among his other books are Steve Jobs, Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.

The Mississippi Today Conversation is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/mstodayconversation.

Access to MississippiToday.org is free and its stories are meant to be shared through social media and with other news organizations. The organization is committed to providing wide-ranging coverage presented by a diverse staff of journalists.

The news venture is co-edited by Fred Anklam Jr. and Dennis Moore, award-winning journalists with long ties to Mississippi who have returned home to help bring this innovative news coverage to the state.

“The chance to do public service journalism in a digital format in my home state made the decision to join Mississippi Today a no-brainer,” Anklam said. “We are already seeing a great response to our reporting efforts from our state residents and those interested in Mississippi.”

Mississippi Today is the public arm of Mississippi News and Information Corp., a nonprofit corporation established in 2014. The launch of Mississippi Today was realized through grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation and through the generous support from individual donors, including Lack.

Mississippi Today also is committed to helping develop the next generation of distinguished journalists who reflect the state’s diversity by recruiting exceptional graduates of journalism, communications and public policy programs and by working with current students in the state’s colleges and universities to develop skills that will prepare them for productive careers.

“The team at Mississippi Today is focused on informing residents about state and local government, education and poverty.  Their journalism has the potential to increase civic engagement, by making Mississippians more aware of how government action or inaction affects their lives,” said Karen Rundlet, program officer for journalism at Knight Foundation, the nation’s leading funder of journalism and media innovation.

Support for continued operation of Mississippi Today comes from sponsors, donors, advertising and Mississippians Together, our annual fund that unites readers from different backgrounds who share an interest in meeting challenges facing the state.

For more information, see our events page.