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Delta State alumnus featured in BBC story

By | Alumni | No Comments

The BBC recently published a story about UPS CEO David Abney, a Mississippi native and alumnus of Delta State University.

The story, titled “David Abney: The UPS boss who rose from the bottom rung,” mentions the impact Delta State had on Abney’s career.

“A business student at Delta State University in Mississippi, at night he would work at the local UPS depot, loading packages onto vans. By day he would sleep between lectures on a sofa in the student lounge … He also regularly returns to Delta State University, where he is a member of the board of directors for the university’s foundation, and sponsors an annual business conference at the college,” the article states.

To read the complete story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37087358.

Thanks to donations from the First Baptist Church College Ministry, Delta State's new international students were welcomed with “Dorm Room Essentials” kits.

International students welcomed with “Dorm Room Essentials” kits

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, International, Student Success Center, Students | No Comments

Members from Cleveland’s First Baptist Church College Ministry stepped up in a big way recently to support the arrival of Delta State’s new contingent of on-campus international students.

Church member Missey Hudson helped coordinate the group effort to purchase and organize what they call the “Dorm Room Essentials” kit.

The idea was presented to Hudson by an international student she met last year through the church’s ongoing efforts to welcome international students.

“What we wanted them to be able to do after an international flight and a two-hour drive from Memphis, was to be able to go into their dorm room, have a snack, take a shower and go to bed — and not have to go to WalMart to pick up the things they need after they’re exhausted and jetlagged,” said Hudson. “We wanted to make sure students don’t have to arrive to an empty bedroom.”

Hudson took the idea to the church’s college minister, and church members came together to donate funds for the kits.

“This was really a group effort,” stressed Hudson. “I had the blessing of coordinating someone else’s idea and everyone else’s hard work.”

The donations included sheets, a pillow, blanket, towel set, a planner and a small bag of snacks.

Marwa Cherraf, an international student from Morocco, was thrilled to receive the welcome gift.

“I was very pleased to get the basket — it meant a lot,” said Cherraf. “There are some international students who don’t know where to go and what to get when they first arrive. This was such a nice gift because it had all the stuff we need, especially for the first couple days. It makes me feel really welcomed as a new international student at Delta State. I appreciate that people want to make sure we feel comfortable and at home.”

To top it all off, Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, boxed everything together in new laundry baskets.

“This was such a kind act from the First Baptist Church,” said Riddle. “It warms our hearts that people in our community want to help welcome our international students. We have a growing international student body at Delta State, and this help will go a long way.”

Hudson said the church’s small act of kindness was a simple way to make the new students feel more at home.

“I’m hoping this idea will grow,” added Hudson. “International students are so far away from home, their friends and their family members. They’re looking to Cleveland and Delta State to form those friendships and family-like connections. As members of the Cleveland community, we can all step up and welcome these folks into our homes and our lives.”

Learn more about International Student Services at http://www.deltastate.edu/student-success-center/international-student-services.

Dr. Md. Fokhray Hossain (left to right), director of International Affairs at Daffodil International University in Bangladesh, Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State and the university’s international partnership liaison, and Dr. Fazlul Haque, Registrar at DIU, recently signed a memorandum of understanding to begin developing international exchanges between the two universities.

Delta State forges partnership with university in Bangladesh

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

Delta State University has worked hard to develop international partnerships in recent years, and these developments have grown once again thanks to a new relationship with Daffodil International University in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 The partnership formed thanks to efforts from Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, and the university’s international partnership liaison.

Reza, a native of Bangladesh, had been communicating with former colleagues and peers at Daffodil, and during a research trip Reza took to Bangladesh in July, both institutions signed a formal memorandum of understanding to begin developing international exchanges at the schools.

“I have several very good connections at Daffodil International University who worked hard to make this partnership happen with Delta State,” said Reza. “Being one of the leading private universities in Bangladesh, DIU has a good reputation for offering high-quality higher education to the students. They have been working hard to grow their connections in the international market, and forming this connection between DIU and DSU is a great opportunity for both universities.”

The main goal of this partnership is to send students and faculty abroad for academic and cultural exchanges. Reza is hopeful that these formal exchanges will soon become available for both faculty members and upper level students.

Dr. Md. Fokhray Hossain, director of International Affairs at DIU, is also thrilled to move forward with the exchanges.

“It is important to bridge the international partnership for student exchange, academic exchange, research and sharing resources between both of the institutions,” said Hossain. “Initially, we look forward to start a short-term student and academic staff exchange program, such as a summer program to develop cross-cultural activities.”

Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, is excited to see Delta State’s international connections building.

“As we continue to expand our international partnerships, we increase the opportunities for DSU faculty to teach abroad,” said Riddle. “This partnership will also allow our students the opportunity to participate in international study abroad opportunities.”

DIU is recognized in independent government assessments as one of top graded universities in Bangladesh. The university combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research with its proud heritage of service and achievement. Learn more at http://www.daffodilvarsity.edu.bd.

Follow all news at www.deltastate.edu as advancements will continue with DIU and other international partner institutions.

Dr. Rolando Herts (right) presented at the Jus' Blues Music Foundation's conference with CEO and founder Charles Mitchell (center) and GRAMMY-nominated blues legend Bobby Rush.

Delta Center presents at Jus’ Blues conference for second year

By | Delta Center, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State, recently presented at the “Blues Got A Soul” Technology Conference sponsored by the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation.

This is the tenth year the conference has been held, and this is the second year that Herts has represented The Delta Center at the conference.

The event brought industry professionals and aficionados together to discuss cultural heritage preservation and legal issues pertaining to blues music. The conference was held at Horseshoe Casino’s Bluesville event venue in Tunica, Mississippi.

Herts’ presentation focused on blues heritage partnerships in the Mississippi Delta led by The Delta Center. He spoke about the International Delta Blues Project, including the upcoming International Conference on the Blues, a public screening of the film “Take Me To The River” at GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, and Delta State’s new International Blues Scholars Program, an online blues studies certificate.

The conference also featured GRAMMY-nominated blues legend Bobby Rush and Atlanta based entertainment attorney Jonathan Mason. The event was moderated by Charles Mitchell, CEO and founder of the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation.

Bobby Rush speaks to conference attendees before performing.

Bobby Rush speaks to conference attendees before performing.

“For a second year, I invited Dr. Herts to present at the conference,” said Mitchell. “The Delta Center and Delta State University are continuing to provide great leadership in blues education and awareness of the importance of blues culture. We were excited to learn more about the good work that these organizations are doing here in the Mississippi Delta to preserve blues traditions.”

The conference was held in conjunction with the 16th annual Jus’ Blues Music Awards. The awards honored various music professionals who have contributed much of their lives to advancing and promoting blues music and culture.

This year’s honorees included Sly Johnson, Ruby Andrews, Zac Harmon, Queen Ann Hines, King Edward, Chick Rodgers, Billy Branch, Big Bill Morganfield, Mud Morganfield, Eddie Cotton, Jr., and Clarksdale native L.C. Cooke, brother of soul legend, Sam Cooke. In addition, a special presentation was made to R&B legend Millie Jackson, the inaugural Millie Jackson Award.

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 National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop and the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit http://www.deltacenterdsu.com.

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.