south-central

Alumni announces chapter meeting in Brookhaven

By | Alumni, General | No Comments

The Delta State University National Alumni Association announced plans for the annual South Central Mississippi Alumni Chapter Meeting Jan. 26 at Mitchell’s Steak & Seafood in Brookhaven. The registration and social will begin at 6 p.m, followed by dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m.

The event will host an All-Star cast featuring Delta State President William N. LaForge and baseball coach Mike Kinnison. Other special guests will include Ronnie Mayers, director of Athletics, Tricia Walter, director of the Delta Music Institute, and representatives from the Admissions Office.

“The Delta State University South Central Chapter is full of Delta State pride,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs. “The chapter is always eager to come together in the name of their alma mater.”

Molly Hoagland Johnson ‘94 will be recognized as the South Central Mississippi Chapter Alumnus of the Year.

Johnson lives in McComb and is married to Pender Johnson. She received her bachelor’s in 1994 and MBA in 1995. She was president of Kappa Delta Sorority and a member of the Delta State tennis team from 1990-94. Additionally, Johnson is a member of the Delta State Student Hall of Fame. Currently, she serves as the executive director for the United Givers of Southwest Mississippi.

The cost for the meeting is $15 per person. Prospective students are invited to attend as guests of the Alumni Association. To RSVP, call 662-846-4660 or visit www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/southcentralevent.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (http://www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for this year’s Go Green Weekend (April 8), Pig Pickin’ (Oct. 7) and Homecoming (Nov. 11).

Alonzo-King-LINES-Ballet-photo-by-RJ-Muna-1

San Francisco’s Alonzo King LINES Ballet to dance at BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

The Bologna Performing Arts Center is thrilled to host the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

Hailed by critics as “stunning, fierce and evocative,” Alonzo King LINES Ballet leaps to uncharted heights with bold new dance innovations that redefine what ballet can be. Brought to life by the extraordinary LINES Ballet dancers, Alonzo King’s visionary choreography is renowned for connecting audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity.

They will perform two pieces, “Art Songs” and “Sand,” on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-35. For more information, visit www.bolognapac.com, or call the Ticket Office at 662-846-4626.

The performance is locally sponsored by the USA International Ballet Competition.

Collaborating with noted composers, musicians and visual artists from around the world, Alonzo King creates honest and spiritually-gripping work that draws on a diverse set of deeply-rooted cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential.

King has received several performing arts awards and honors over the course of his career, including the Doris Duke Foundation Artist Award, Kennedy Center Master of Choreography and Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award.

LINES Ballet will arrive in Cleveland on Jan. 30 to begin their three-day residency. The company will give two master classes that afternoon at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. for dance students ages four and up. Limited space is available, and interested students are asked to call 662-846-4844 to sign up for the free master classes.

Following their evening public performance Jan. 31, the company will present one ballet for students on Feb. 1 at 10:30 a.m. at the BPAC. Grant funding is available for free tickets for Delta area schools, but advanced reservations are required. Following the performance, schools can take a guided campus tour with Delta State University’s Office of Admissions as part of “Experience DSU Day,” a recruiting event and arts showcase that will highlight the best of what Delta State has to offer. Contact the BPAC Arts Education office for more information at 662-846-4844.

The Southern Company is the national sponsor for the Southern U.S. tour of the LINES Ballet. The LINES Ballet performance and residency activities are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Conner Taylor

Taylor recognized for Pi Kappa Alpha role

By | Students | No Comments

Senior accounting major Conner Taylor recently received national distinction after achieving Gold Level Certification from Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity for volunteerism and leadership.

Taylor, who is president of Delta State’s chapter, was one of only seven students across the nation to receive this distinction.

“It’s an unreal feeling, and it’s a sense of accomplishment that very few members of the fraternity all over the country get to experience,” said Taylor, a Cleveland native. “It is something that I didn’t think I would be able to achieve the first time I went to a Pike University event.”

Taylor said he is humbled to be recognized for volunteerism and leadership — traits he has always put at the forefront.

“I have always been involved with volunteering throughout my life, whether it be through church, RUF at Delta State or Pi Kappa Alpha,” he said. “We have a duty to help those in need. It doesn’t mean giving a handout to someone undeserving, but lending your time and talents to a worthy cause.”

“Leadership is an important quality because it molds young people into successful adults,” he added. “The most important thing about being a leader is that you don’t have to hold an official leadership title to be a leader. There are many leaders in my fraternity who have never held office but are influential members in the chapter.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Vernell Bennett said she was also thrilled with Taylor’s recognition.

“This is great news because Conner has worked hard throughout his matriculation here at DSU,” said Bennett. “Scholarship, volunteerism and service are at the bedrock of his success as a Statesman.”

“Student Affairs is constantly striving to produce holistically well-rounded students,” she added. “We want students to be scholars and civic-minded with a social conscious. Conner is the epitome of just that.”

Learn more about Student Affairs at Delta State at http://www.deltastate.edu/student-life.

Chris Jurgenson

Jurgenson to be honored with new professorship

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

The Department of Chemistry and Physics at Delta State University will hold a program and reception naming Dr. Christopher Jurgenson as the first Sullivan-Outlaw Assistant Professor of Biochemistry on Jan. 27 from 1:30-3 p.m. in Caylor 201, the upstairs auditorium.

The professorship was initiated by a $50,000 gift from Dr. Ken Harden ’70, who prior to his retirement was a professor of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Mr. I Dean Spradling ’53 also made a six-figure contribution to help establish the professorship.

The professorship honors two men — Dr. Barry Sullivan, a local physician, and Dr. Henry Outlaw, a longtime Delta State professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Physical Sciences.

Sullivan, a native of New Albany, moved to Cleveland in 1983 to practice internal medicine. Outlaw, a Delta State graduate, returned as a chemistry faculty member and soon became department chair. He retired in 2003, although he continued to work at the Delta State Foundation office. Both men are now deceased.

Jurgenson is in his fourth year at Delta State. He received his bachelor’s in biochemistry from Indiana University, a master’s in physical chemistry from Seton Hall University, and a master’s and doctorate in biophysical chemistry from Cornell University. He also did post-doctoral work at Yale University, and previously worked at Merck Pharmaceutical.

Dr. Alan Huckleberry

8th Annual Art of the Piano set for Jan. 27

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The Delta State University Department of Music will present the 8th Annual Art of the Piano on Jan. 27-28 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Dr. Alan Huckleberry, associate professor of piano pedagogy and collaborative arts at the University of Iowa, will be the Guest Artist of the event this year. On Friday, Jan.27, at 7:30 p.m., Huckleberry will present a recital, featuring piano solo works by J. S. Bach, Hindemith, and Mussorgsky. The recital will be free and open to the public.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, students and teachers will participate in the many performance events held throughout the day. Huckleberry will provide comments on the performance of each student and give a lecture for teachers. The Art of the Piano is sponsored by the Dulce Fund and the Department of Music.

For registration information and schedule details, please contact the DSU Music Office at (662) 846-4615 or visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/music/piano-studies/the-art-of-the-piano/.

Praised for his “impeccable musicianship, exhilarating technique, and panache” (American Record Guide), Huckleberry is recognized as a multi-faceted artist on the classical music scene. He has performed both in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in Germany, England, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Spain, France, Costa Rica, Colombia, and across the United States.
Huckleberry is also in demand as a chamber musician, with recitals across the United States, Australia, and Europe. He can be heard on five compact disc recordings on the Crystal Record, MSR and Albany Record labels. Two further CDs will be released in the fall of 2014.

In addition to his performing career, Huckleberry is equally passionate about his role as an educator. At the University of Iowa, he heads the piano pedagogy program, which is now recognized as one of the leading programs in the nation. He is a sought-after speaker on pedagogical topics, including talks at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and the Music Teachers National Conference. He also maintains a studio of national and international students at UI, who themselves are beginning to leave their mark in their field. In fact, all DMA graduates from his piano pedagogy program are now teaching at academic institutions across the country and abroad.

A native of Indiana, Huckleberry began serious studies at the piano in Germany with Polish pianist Barbara Szczepanska. Further studies at the conservatories of Karlsruhe and Cologne with Japanese pedagogue Naoyuki Taneda and German pianist Josef A. Scherrer solidified a diverse and international musical background. He then returned to the United States where he received his doctorate at the University of Michigan under the guidance of Arthur Greene (performance) and John Ellis (pedagogy).

Huckleberry’s repertoire not only includes the standard works of the piano literature, but he is an ardent supporter of new music and young composers, as seen by a long list of compositions which were written for him. Among the many 20th and 21st century styles he enjoys, he is particularly interested in contemporary rags and other crossover genres.

Huckleberry has recently embarked upon a massive video recording project. Together with Dr. Jason Sifford, he is creating the largest known database of performances of piano pedagogical literature. In the end, it will encompass some 9000 videos of beginning to intermediate repertoire. The videos are available to all, free of charge, at YouTube. To go along with his video project, Huckleberry has created a Wiki style website, which includes piano pedagogical information on each recorded piece, as well as composer and publisher information. To visit this site, please click here: http://www.uipianoped.wikia.com.