Delta State celebrates admitted students

By | Admissions, Students | No Comments

The Office of Admissions at Delta State recently hosted a series of events called “DSU Family Dinner” to celebrate the admitted class for the fall  of 2017.

Admitted freshmen students, along with transfer applicants across the region, were invited to have dinner with university representatives, future classmates, current students, and alumni. Dinners were held in Cleveland, Southaven, Oxford, and Jackson in March and April.

The goal of the event series was to provide the incoming students with an atmosphere that fosters commitment and a sense of belonging. Admissions recruiter Derrick Bean led the Oxford area dinner and wanted his guests to feel like family.familydinner1

“I wanted students to feel like they were going to be a part of a family, to have the opportunity to meet new people, and to feel like they were going to have a friend when they started a new school year at Delta State this fall,” said Bean.

The Alumni Association sponsored exclusive gifts for the students. Students received a #deltastatebound yard sign and were asked to snap a photo for social media. The signs are part of a digital campaign to promote awareness of the DSU family from future statesman to alumni.

Over 140 students and guests attended the dinners where information regarding housing, orientation, student accounts and more was shared. The Admissions staff continues to work with prospective students through the admissions process.

Caitlyn Thompson, director of recruiting, encouraged applicants to be aware of communications.

“A great deal of informative messaging goes out from Delta State during this time of year,” said Thompson. “Applicants are receiving letters, emails, text messages and social media reminders to take care of required items before enrolling in class in the fall. We encourage all applicants to be mindful of communication from Delta State because it is all important in the enrollment process.”

Students interested in enrolling at Delta State may apply online at www.deltastate.edu/apply, and campus visits may be scheduled at www.deltastate.edu/visit. Students who have submitted an application may check their status by logging in to their student account at any time or by calling 662-846-4020.

For more information on the admissions process or admitted student events, contact the Office of Admissions at 662-846-4020 or email admissions@deltastate.edu.

Delta State to host Dancing with the DSU Stars

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

The Office of Student Affairs presents Dancing with the DSU Stars on April 22 at 7 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The show is modeled closely after the “Dancing with the Stars” television show.  Participating Delta State dancers will be partnered with a husband and wife professional team out of Memphis — Benji and Beth Smith of DanceSmiths Studio.

Participants include: Delta State President William N. LaForge; Michael Lipford, director of Student Development; Dr. Michelle Roberts, vice president for University Relations and chief of staff; Dr. Temika Simmons, assistant professor of psychology; Todd Cooley, head football coach; and Madison Nash, 2016 Delta State University Homecoming queen.

Dr. Vernell Bennett, vice president for Student Affairs, said this will be a great event to improve town-gown relations.

“We are focused on improving student engagement and building collaborations across campus and within our community,” said Bennett. “This fun event will achieve both endeavors because it’s a wonderful opportunity for the campus and community to enjoy one another. It’s also a way for students to see another side of our faculty, staff and administrators.”

“Going forward, Student Affairs will offer at least one event annually that will be for both the campus and the community,” added Bennett. “We’re most grateful to our dancers for committing to this project, especially President LaForge.”

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

Delta State launches new Student-Athlete Academic Support Services program

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Delta State University is launching a new Student-Athlete Academic Support Services program in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

The program will offer academic labs, academic coaching and programs aimed at increasing student athlete retention rates. MDHS has contributed funding for the partnership through 2017 with the possibility of renewed funding in coming years.

Delta State President William N. LaForge said this is a big step for the university.

“Thanks to MDHS, Delta State will now be able to provide our student-athletes with enhanced academic support that will help them complete their studies and graduate,” LaForge said. “This is huge for Delta State and our student-athletes.”

The program will work with units across campus to create academic workshops, community service opportunities and leadership opportunities. In addition, student-athletes will have access to a state-of-the-art learning lab equipped with tutors and supplemental instructors, as well as academic counseling, collaborative learning spaces, tutors in general education and prerequisite subjects, interactive study tables, opportunities for career planning and personal development, assistance in monitoring athletic eligibility, opportunities for priority registration, and advisement on current NCAA, Gulf South Conference, and university rules and regulations.

Each athletic team will have its own academic coach to provide individualized attention and assistance as it relates to eligibility and procedures in compliance with NCAA academic standards. In addition to academic coaching, student-athletes will have access to a learning specialist and lifestyles coach who will mentor the students in the areas of overall health and wellness and academic skill building. Each student-athlete will be monitored for academic progress and have access to disability services, degree and career counseling, learning styles identification, and any other services which relate to academic success and degree attainment.

Dr. Charles McAdams, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, said the program is part of a university-wide effort to increase retention and student success.

“I am very excited about this program as it will enable us to provided targeted efforts to increase the academic success of our student-athletes,” McAdams said. “Helping students stay in school and complete their degree is a major priority for us. Athletes often have challenges that non-athletes do not have. This initiative is designed to help student-athletes make good academic decisions and lifestyle choices.”

Tricia Killebrew, a three-time Delta State graduate (’02, ’08, ’13), has been named the Project Director for the program. Other members involved in creating and implementing the program include Dr. Charles McAdams, Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs; Dr. Christy Riddle, Executive Director of Student Success Center; Ronnie Mayers, Athletic Director; Dana George, Senior Executive Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance, Academics, and Internal Operations; Matt Jones, Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Relations; and Becky Finley, Registrar.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with my alma mater to help enrich the lives of our student-athletes,” Killebrew said. “It has always been a desire of mine to work with student-athletes to prepare them to balance their academic, athletic, and social lives while in college. I am eager to lead this effort to produce higher levels of achievement and create positive outcomes for student-athletes.”

The Student-Athlete Academic Support Services program is a division of the Student Success Center, which was established in fall 2012 to address retention and the challenges many students face during their academic career. The Center includes six divisions focusing on specific aspects of retention: Academic Advising Services, Academic Support Services, First Year Seminar, International Student Services, Okra Scholars, and Student Athlete Support Services. Each division of the Student Success Center focuses on a targeted area of retention and will be involved in the implementation of the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services program.

For more information regarding the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services program, contact Tricia Killebrew at (662) 846-4654 or tkillebrew@deltastate.edu.

Alumni Association hosts successful Crawfish Boil

By | Alumni | No Comments

The annual Bolivar County Alumni Crawfish Boil was held April 6, attracting a large group of current students, alumni and friends of Delta State University. Hosted by the Bolivar County Chapter of the Delta State National Alumni Association, the festivities included a silent auction, live entertainment by Southern Duality, a kids zone, crawfish races and more.

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Crawfish King, Jerry Ainsworth, and Crawfish Queen, Dot Bright ’62.

Special to this year’s event was the crowning of the Crawfish King, Jerry Ainsworth, and Crawfish Queen, Dot Bright ’62. Presented by Jeffrey Farris, alumni director, and Melissa Love, assistant director.

“These outstanding alumni awards were given in the form of royalty — complete with a green cape, crawfish beads, and a crawfish crown for their long-time service, support and dedication to their alma mater,” said Love. “The king and queen also took home a custom engraved wooden plaque, courtesy of Merigold Cabinets & Carpentry.”

“The Crawfish King and Queen is a fun way for the Bolivar County alumni planning committee to recognize outstanding alumni in Bolivar County,” said Gary Crews, Bolivar County Alumni Chapter president. “Dot and Jerry both bleed green.”

Other highlights from the scholarship fundraiser were guest speakers President William N. LaForge, head football coach Todd Cooley, Miss DSU Hannah Leflore, and Southern Tradition Tailgating’s combat tailgate vehicle.

Proceeds from tickets, the silent auction and sponsorships benefit the Liza Vaughn Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to incoming Delta State students from Bolivar County. The scholarship was established in 2011 and was named for past assistant director of Alumni Affairs, Liza Vaughn, who lost her battle with cancer in April of 2012.

To donate to the scholarship, visit https://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/lizavaughnmemorialscholarshipfund.

The event was made possible through the support of volunteers and sponsors. The 2017 Bolivar County Alumni Crawfish Boil planning committee consisted of Shane Howell, Shannon Brown, Corley Mullins, Shauna Allen, Jimmy L. Avery, Gary Crews, Bennett Crow, Dillon Vickers, Rebekah Arant, Matthew Mullins, Tricia Killebrew, Dianne Schattner, the Delta State golf team, Phi Mu and the Student Alumni Association.

This year’s sponsors included: Okra Level – YoEddie BBQ, Needle Specialty Products Corporation, Boyle Lumber Company, Domino’s, and the American Legion “Bingo Baby” ; Green Level – Auto Mark, Nehi Bottling, Planters Bank, Denton’s Dairy, Mississippi Land Bank, The Image Specialist, College Heights Apartments, Security Services, Guaranty Bank, Lenny’s Subs, Cleveland State Bank, Delta Home Designs & Flooring Co., McNeer Mini Storage, Robinson Electric, and Cox & Moore, PLLC; White Level – Debbie Davis Real Estate, Byrd Service Station, Rogers Entomological Services Inc., Bolivar Commercial, Abraham’s, Griffith Real Estate And Rentals, Mississippi Grounds, Abe Draper Photography, Ely Weeks – Merigold Cabinets & Carpentry, Todd Walley Plumbing, Craig Verhage – Shelter Insurance, Tentwentyfour, Meador & Crump, A Polished Image, and Williams Supply & Rentals.

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 Pig Pickin’ (Oct. 7) and Homecoming (Nov. 11).

Delta Center hosts Amherst, Mississippi State, Wisconsin and Yale students

By | Academics, Community, Delta Center, Faculty/Staff, International Delta Blues Project | No Comments
University of Wisconsin students visited Dockery Farms as part of their Geography of the Mississippi Delta course.

 

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning recently hosted several groups of college and university students conducting experiential learning tours of the Mississippi Delta.

Yale University students gather at The Delta Center's Cast of Blues exhibit.

Yale University students gather at The Delta Center’s Cast of Blues exhibit.

Students from Amherst College in Massachusetts, Mississippi State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Yale University traveled to the Delta as part of a variety of structured educational and cultural programs. These included spring break service learning initiatives, Jewish Hillel student organizations and a formal course on the Mississippi Delta.

The students from Yale stayed in the region for a week, touring Mound Bayou and Po Monkey’s Lounge while completing service projects with Delta Hands for Hope of Shaw, Mississippi. The Amherst and Mississippi State groups visited The Delta Center on the same day, visiting Dockery Farms and the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden in Ruleville.

The University of Wisconsin students visited The Delta Center for the first time as part of a course about the geography and culture of the Delta.

“We learned that the geography course has been offered at the University of Wisconsin for several years now,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center. “It is fascinating and exciting to know that such a course about the Mississippi Delta exists at a major research university like Wisconsin.”

Over 40 students from the University of Wisconsin visited the Delta as part of their enrollment in the course. Based on feedback from the visiting faculty and students, interest in the culture and history of the Delta at Wisconsin is strong.

University of Wisconsin students receiving their orientation to the Mississippi Delta at Delta State.

University of Wisconsin students receiving their orientation to the Mississippi Delta at Delta State.

“Their university administration, including the president, is very supportive of that course,” said Lee Aylward of The Delta Center. “We look forward to working with them and the other groups again.”

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 Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit http://deltacenterdsu.com/.