Environmental science presents at Mississippi Academy of Sciences

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

Four Delta State environmental science students and two professors presented at the 81st annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences (MAS) in Hattiesburg on Feb. 23-24.

Two presentations were given during the oral session as a part of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Division of MAS.

Heather Brewer, a senior at Delta State, received the first place graduate and undergraduate award for her presentation entitled, “Impact of urbanization on bird nest materials in the Mississippi Delta,” co-authored by herself, Alexis Patterson and Dr. AHM Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State. 

In absence of undergraduate student Christian Frew, Reza presented, “What can affect the movement patterns of white-tailed deer in central Mississippi,” co-authored by the duo. Both of these presentations were a product of Reza’s vertebrate biology courses, ornithology and mammalogy.

Four poster presentations were also given at the division’s poster session.

Patterson and Brewer received a second place award for their poster entitled, “Prey remains found in 24 owl pellets from Carolina Biological Science,” co-authored by Patterson, Brewer, Karoline Lambert, Madison Zoeller, Roxy Kimes, Dr. Eric Blackwell and Dr. Baghai-Riding.

Student Brittany Husley gave her presentation, “Comparison of dental changes in Varans exanthematicus to ontogenetics shifts in diet,” co-authored by herself, Christine Beck, Baghai-Riding and Blackwell.

Baghai-Riding presented two poster presentations, “Effects of wild hogs at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi,” co-authored by Matthew Galloway, Peyton Hamblin, Mitchel Coleman, Brady Chambley, Matt McGregor; and “Bird surveys conducted at Bear Pen Park, Cleveland, Mississippi,” c0-authored by Sheketra Bell, Jarrica Carey, DeAndra Felton, Monique Price and Kimberely Davis. The posters were a product of Baghai-Riding’s  conservation biology course.

This year’s MAS annual meeting had its largest attendance with over 1,000 attendees. Reza plans to establish a stronger Delta State presence for the 2018 event and seeks all appropriate disciplines to consider joining.

In addition, Reza chaired the EEB Division of MAS in 2016-17. Baghai-Riding and Reza served as judges for the zoology and entomology poster presentations. Also, Reza will serve as the chair of the EEB Division and Baghai-Riding will serve as the vice chair for 2017-18.

To learn more about the Delta State’s environmental science program, contact Baghai-Riding (nbaghai@deltastate.edu) or Reza (areza@deltastate.edu), or call the Department of Biological Sciences at 662-846-4240.

12th annual International Business Symposium set for March 29-30

By | Academics, College of Business | No Comments

Delta State University’s College of Business will hold the 12th annual International Business Symposium on March 29-30.

The theme for this year’s symposium is business innovation, focussing on how businesses must remain innovative in both macro and micro aspects.

The symposium is sponsored by David and Sherry Abney, Mississippi Delta natives who currently reside in Atlanta. Abney, a 1976 graduate of DSU, began his career as a part-time United Parcel Service (UPS) package loader while in college. He now serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board for UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company. Abney is the eleventh CEO in the 107-year-history of UPS.

“Sherry and I wanted to do something meaningful for the Delta. By bringing global leaders onto campus and sharing their experiences with students, I believe we’ll be able to expand Delta State students’ horizons in how they see and prepare for their futures,” Abney said in a previous Delta State interview.

Along with Abney, the schedule will feature four distinguished speakers, all Delta State graduates:

*Laird Hamberlin: Hamberlin returns to the symposium to share his expertise. He received his bachelor’s in business administration from Delta State before going on to become the vice president of sales and commercial for Terminix (a division of ServiceMaster). Prior to being an equity investor of ServiceMaster and taking the company public in June 2014, he worked for various conglomerates including UTC Climate, Controls and Security, where he served as president of the access controls division.
*Teresa Hubbard: Hubbard is president and CEO of CITE ARMORED, a company which provides every level of service for the armored vehicle industry, including manufacturing, refurbishing, repair and part replacement. She is well-versed in business operations, staff supervision, sales and marketing and financial analysis and management. Hubbard received her bachelor degrees in accounting and CIS from Delta State.
*Rodney Scaife: Scaife serves as vice president and chief human resources officer for CPA Global-North America, the world’s leading intellectual property (IP) management and IP technology firm company. He previously held international positions as head of HR operations for PANDORA Americas, with oversight for the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Scaife studied business administration at Delta State before completing his executive education studies at Cornell University’s Center for Advance Human Resources Studies.
*Josh West: West serves as CEO and co-founder of Blue Delta, a bespoke denim manufacturing company. Blue Delta jeans are made in the U.S.A with globally sourced premium raw materials. The company sells jeans in over 44 U.S. cities and abroad with accounts in Toronto and London. West is a 2005 graduate of Delta State, where he served as student body president.

The 2017 International Business Symposium is free and open to public. For more information, contact Zina Taran at 662-846-4190 or email ztaran@deltastate.edu.

Students tour Cochran Aquaculture facility

By | General, Students | No Comments

Students from Delta State University recently toured the Thad Cochran National Warm Water Aquaculture Research Unit in Stoneville.

The tour has become an annual event for students in Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding’s Biology 123 (Foundation in Environmental Science) class.

This year’s tour was led by Daniel Oberle, a fisheries biologist, associated with the USDA-ARS. He showed the students the 300-acre facility and explained how catfish are grown, monitored and processed for distribution.

Thousands of catfish are raised at this environmental site. It takes three to five years for channel catfish to reach maturity, and some of the large catfish at the site were more than 10 years old.

Throughout the tour, Oberle mentioned bacteria and virus infections (including herpesvirus disease) that are common to channel catfish and disease preventative measures. Students also learned about other environmental parameters that the facility uses to raise catfish: water temperature, quality and quantity of food, and breeding success strategies. They also were exposed to agricultural biotechnology and food costs that are required for this industry.

Students were able to see channel catfish, big blue catfish, and hybrid catfish and toured all of the outdoor ponds, handled catfish, and saw them being fed. In addition, students also met some former Delta State University biology and environmental science students who currently work at the facility.

Lahenric Phillips, one of Dr. Baghai-Riding’s students, said what he found most interesting was seeing the process as well as how many catfish occur in one small pond.

Overall, this tour tied well into the topic of agricultural food production that Baghai-Riding’s class had been exploring this semester. Commercial catfish production is a major aquaculture industry in the Mississippi Delta and in recent years there has been a lot of discussion to about the importance of eating locally-grown food.

To learn more about the Environmental Science program at Delta State University, contact Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding (nbaghai@deltastate.edu) or call the Department of Biological Sciences @ 662-846-4240.

42nd Street performance set for March 20

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

The quintessential backstage musical comedy classic 42nd STREET will celebrate a one-night engagement at the Bologna Performing Arts Center with a sparkling new production on Monday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m.

42nd STREET will be directed by co-author Mark Bramble and choreographed by Randy Skinner, the team who staged the 2001 Tony Award® winning Best Revival.

Tickets to 42nd STREET are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by calling 662-846-4626 or going online to www.bolognapac.com.

42nd STREET is the song and dance fable of Broadway, with an American Dream story and some of the greatest songs ever written, including “We’re In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and of course “42nd Street.”

With book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, 42nd STREET is based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie and tells the story of a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves her Allentown home and comes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical Pretty Lady. When the leading lady breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and becomes a star.

The original production of 42nd STREET was produced in 1980 on Broadway by David Merrick and featured direction and dances by Gower Champion. It played on Broadway for 3,486 performances, winning 1981 Tony Awards® for Best Musical and Best Choreography. The Broadway revival, which opened in 2001, played for 1,524 performances and earned two Tony Awards® including Best Revival of a Musical.

Mark Bramble (director/co-author) began his theatrical career working for legendary producer David Merrick on many Broadway productions. He directed the 2001 Tony Award® winning Best Revival of 42nd STREET on Broadway for which he received a Tony Award® nomination and has staged productions of the show in London, Sydney, Tokyo, Berlin, Amsterdam, Shanghai, and Vienna. Randy Skinner (choreographer) choreographed the 2001 Tony Award® winning Best Revival of 42nd STREET on Broadway for which he received a Tony Award® nomination. He also received Tony Award® nominations for his choreography of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Ain’t Broadway Grand.

The design team includes scenic design by Tony Award® winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One, The Scottsboro Boys, Annie), costume design by Tony Award® winner Roger Kirk (The King and I, 42nd Street, Jesus Christ Superstar), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Ken Billington (Chicago, Annie, White Christmas) and sound design by Peter Fitzgerald (Movin’ Out, Will Rogers Follies, 42nd Street). Musical supervision is by Todd Ellison (American in Paris, La Cage Aux Folles, 42nd Street). Casting is by Joy Dewing CSA, Joy Dewing Casting (Annie, Wonderland, 42nd Street). The tour is produced by TROIKA Entertainment, LLC.

For more information, visit www.42ndstmusical.com or www.bolognapac.com.

MDNHA Provides Grant Information to Delta Communities

By | Delta Center, General | No Comments

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area recently hosted a series of grant workshops throughout the region in collaboration with Mississippi Arts Commission, Mississippi Humanities Council, and Mississippi Department of Archives & History.

The workshops were held in Senatobia, Indianola and Vicksburg and engaged over 60 individuals representing 48 organizations from 12 MDNHA counties, as well as Hinds County (Jackson) and Jefferson County (Alcorn State University).

The MDNHA grant program supports projects that provide a deeper understanding of the culture and heritage of the Mississippi Delta. The workshops provided proposal writing tips for the MDNHA grant program. For those unable to attend, video segments of the workshops and other helpful information can be found on the MDNHA website at https://www.msdeltaheritage.com/grants.

“One of the things I was most impressed with was how adamant all of the organizations were to help everyone that showed interest in the process,” said Adrienne Hudson, Executive Director of RISE, Inc. “It didn’t matter if you were a corporate entity, a long standing non-profit, an education-based group, or just a community member looking to make things better – the goal was clearly to help as many people as possible understand the resources that are available to them. I’m excited to know I can revisit this information on the MDNHA website, just in case I still have questions moving forward.”

In addition to information about the MDNHA’s grant program, representatives from Mississippi Arts Commission, Mississippi Humanities Council, and Mississippi Department of Archives & History were on hand to discuss their grant opportunities.

Brenda Outlaw attended the Indianola workshop in hopes of getting a better understanding of possible projects that could be implemented in her hometown of Merigold.

“It was so helpful to have these four agencies in the same place at the same time,” she said. “I went in thinking there were only a few possibilities for different things we could do in Merigold and came away realizing there is support for lots of ideas that can help us in our little town.”

This is the second year the MDNHA has offered grants. Last year over $180,000 was awarded to 14 organizations throughout the MDNHA. Projects ranged from arts-based projects and oral histories to cultural signage and infrastructure.

Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, March 20, at The Delta Center for Culture and Learning in order to be considered for this funding cycle.

The MDNHA is a cultural heritage partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service. Led by Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, the MDNHA includes 18 counties that contain land located in the alluvial floodplain of the Mississippi Delta: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo.

The MDNHA was designated by U.S. Congress in 2009 and is governed by a board of directors representing agencies and organizations defined in the congressional legislation. More information about the MDNHA, including the complete approved management plan, is available at www.msdeltaheritage.com. Information about the grants program is also available at this website.

For more information, contact The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at 662-846-4311, or email grants@msdeltaheritage.com.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit http://deltacenterdsu.com/