DSU GIT Center joins United Nations effort in Nepal

By | Faculty/Staff, GIT | No Comments
Photo: The UN-SPIDER TAM team presented an all-day workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal about the use of geospatial and space-based technologies for disaster risk reduction and response. Delta State’s GIT Center Director Talbot Brooks provided several blocks of instruction to the group and moderated a roundtable discussion.


The Delta State University Geospatial Information Technologies Center (GIT) continues to make a global impact.

Talbot Brooks, the center’s director, traveled to Nepal this summer to take part in a technical advisory mission to evaluate the current and potential use of space-derived information in all aspects of disaster management and emergency response in the country.

The mission, from July 31-Aug. 4, was conducted upon request from the Ministry of Home Affairs and with the technical support of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). ICIMOD is one of the 21 regional support offices of the United Nations SPIDER program (UN-SPIDER).

Brooks frequently travels abroad in this capacity as a member of UN-SPIDER’s Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) team.

UN-SPIDER provides a mechanism for sharing satellite imagery and similar space-based data from both private companies and government-funded space programs, free-of-charge during times of crisis, through the UN’s International Charter on Space and Major Disasters.

Along with Delta State’s GIT Center, the mission team was comprised of nine experts from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, UN-SPIDER, ICIMOD, Chinese Academy of Sciences, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Affiliated Center for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and the Pacific hosted by Indian Space Research Organization and DigitalGlobe, Singapore.

“The Nepalese suffered devastating losses during the earthquake of 2015 — as many as 9,000 people were killed, and approximately 22,000 suffered serious injuries,” said Brooks. “This experience served as a motivator to develop better plans and policies for leveraging the resources available by UN-SPIDER and through the International Charter for reducing the risk of loss to future disasters.”

The team visited key stakeholder agencies contributing to disaster management to take account of current policy and gaps, availability of geospatial information, current use of space-derived information, data sharing practices, applications of geospatial information, challenges and constraints, existing capacity and needs, institutional linkages and coordination, and applications to strengthen disaster risk reduction and emergency response.

“Beyond playing an international leadership role, the GIT Center and Delta State benefit from participation in this program as the United Nations often funds grants and contracts based upon the findings of technical advisory missions,” added Brooks. “Relationships with sister universities formed during TAMS have resulted in several memorandums of understanding with schools in the Republic of Georgia and Vietnam, and international students from these countries will begin attending classes with DSU in the coming year.”

When appropriate, Brooks said GIT students participate in the TAM process and are invited to attend missions, help with the reporting process, and present at UN-sponsored events.

UN-SPIDER will continue to work with Nepal to implement recommendations of the technical advisory mission. Learn more about the program at http://www.un-spider.org/.

Learn more about opportunities at Delta State’s Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/center-for-interdisciplinary-geospatial-information-technologies/.

The mission of the center is to provide geospatial services, accessible education and training, and institutional knowledge for geospatial information technologies to the widest possible audience, and particularly, the mid-Delta region.

Dept. of Music to host traditional Korean musicians

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Community | No Comments
Left to right, Dr. Jiyoon Kim, Yoon Jeong Bae and Eunhye Jang

The Delta State Department of Music will host “In the Beauty of Gugak: Korean Traditional Music,” Sept. 26-28, featuring three performers of Korean traditional music, Dr. Jiyoon Kim, Yoon Jeong Bae and Eunhye Jang.

The program will include a workshop for Delta State woodwind students on Sept. 26, a lecture on Korean traditional music and instruments on Sept. 28, and evening recitals on Sep. 26 and Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. These lecture and recitals, all held at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, are free and open to the public.

“In the Beauty of Gugak” is sponsored by the Department of Music and the DSU Quality Enhancement Plan.

Dr. Jiyoon Kim is a Certified Apprentice of Korean National Intangible Cultural Heritage 46 Piri Jeongak & Daechwita, and the first Ph.D. in the field of Piri, a Korean traditional woodwind instrument. She distinguished herself as a performer by winning awards in various competitions such as the Dong-A Korean Traditional Music Concours and the Chun-Hyang Korean Traditional Music Contest. As an artist from Art & Culture Management CloudPoseidon, she has received both critical and public acclaim through solo performances such as “Cloud Way,” “Scent of gratitude,” “Wind blowing from the East,” and “Harmony.” She has also been invited to perform at concerts organized by the National Gugak Center in Seoul, Busan and Jeollanam-do. Since she won the Korean Association of Critics Special Award in 2015, she has internationally publicized Korean Traditional Music by performing in Yakutia White Night International Music Festival; TNB International Music Festival in Brno, Czech Republic; the Composers Festival of Krokow, Poland; and Dolby Concert in USA. She is CEO of Sound Research Association Sori Soop and Music Director of Hecabe SE Company. She has earned her bachelor’s, master’s,and docroral degrees at the Department of Music of Seoul National University. A former lecturer at Seoul National University and Ehwa Womans University, she currently teaches at Dankook University and Chugye University for the Arts in South Korea. She will present solo works for piri and collaborate with DSU music faculty members at the recital.

Yoonjeong Bae, who will present a Gayageum performance at the Tuesday recital, graduated from Korean Traditional Cultural High School in Busan. She is currently attending Busan National University. She has performed with the Youth Orchestra of the Busan National Gugak Center and has been selected as Young Artist by Art & Management CloudPoseidon to perform ‘Tradition n Trend.’

Also featured in the Tuesday recital, Eunhye Jang, has played Haegeum, a Korean traditional string instrument, since 2012 when she was 13 years old. She graduated from the National High School of Traditional Arts in Korea and currently attends the Korea National University of Arts (K’Arts). She participated in Korea-Germany Electromobility Forum (2015), and K’Arts’ ‘2017 Sound from Spring’ and ‘Soul.’ She has also been selected as Young Artist by Art & Management CloudPoseidon to perform ‘Tradition n Trend.’

For more information about the program, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615 or visit http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/music/events/ .

Campus to celebrate bicentennial with series of arts and humanities events

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

In celebration of the State of Mississippi’s bicentennial anniversary, a special series of events involving several Delta State University departments has been planned for the first week of October.

Programming will include:

  • A juried art show from Oct. 4 until the end of the month at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the DSU campus.
  • A historical lecture on Indian Mounds of the Delta on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at the BPAC.
  • An evening celebrating diversity sponsored by members of the DSU LGBTQ community on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in front of the Roberts-LaForge Library.
  • An evening “poetry slam” featuring student submissions on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. at Mississippi Grounds Coffee Shop.

The celebration will culminate with an evening gala concert event on Friday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. This special concert will highlight the sounds of Mississippi, with three world premiere performances of works commissioned specifically for the event by the Delta State Wind Ensemble, Delta State Chorale and voice faculty artists. The Delta Music Institute All-Stars will also perform Mississippi-centric music, and audience members will be treated to the unique sounds of the Delta, with performances by special guest artists Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and the Rising Star Fife and Drum band.

Programming is sponsored in part by the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Delta Center for Culture and Learning and Delta State’s QEP Committee.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Music Department at 662-846-4615.

Campus update from President William N. LaForge

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Happy Birthday to the Ol’ School We Love Best!  It’s Delta State’s 92nd anniversary!  On September 15, 1925, Delta State Teachers College opened for business.  So, here’s to another great year as we march toward our centennial celebration in 2025!

With a month already under our belt into the new academic year, it is my pleasure to report that we have started the fall semester with a high-spirited campus climate and several points of great news.  There is a distinct “buzz” of excitement on campus as we begin what promises to be a super year.  From the hustle and bustle around the Union due to the temporary relocation of the dining hall, to new and exciting student activities, to the major construction projects underway on campus, to two season-opening football victories, Delta State is teeming with excitement.  New students are choosing Delta State because they see our momentum, our quality programs, and our fun and welcoming environment.  And, we have the stats and some terrific news to back it up.

  • Delta State’s fall 2017 enrollment is up 201 students over last year’s numbers, bringing our fall total to 3,789 students.  That represents a 5.66% increase in one year, and our fourth consecutive year of increased enrollment.  It is also the highest percentage increase in enrollment of all eight public universities in the state this year.  In the area of retention, we experienced a 6% increase in the retention of freshmen students over the last year, and a 14.8% increase over the last three years.  Credit and thanks are due to many DSU family members and campus enterprises — our faculty and staff; our Enrollment Management Office and recruiters; our Student Success and First Year Seminar programs; our “growth areas” on campus, including Delta Music Institute, Aviation, Nursing, and Health, Physical Education, and Recreation; our international student program; and, our student life programming that is creating a welcoming and engaging campus environment for our students.
  • As it turns out, we are great conservationists in addition to being smart budgeteers.  I am pleased to report that we saved a total of $163,724 for the months of May – August, 2017, as a result of the university’s summer utility savings program.  We had budgeted conservatively and expected savings of $96,000.  We exceeded that goal by $67,724.  These savings, realized mostly from reduced HVAC/electricity costs, helped us offset the state budget cuts, so that we could avoid laying off any employees or closing any campus programs.  The summer utility savings program was successful because of campus-wide support from faculty, staff, administrators, and students alike, and I extend my thanks to all.  This project was led by our CFO, Mr. Jamie Rutledge, with great advice and assistance by our Facilities Management Director, Mr. Jeff Barkman, and his outstanding staff. The program included the closure of some buildings and prudent temperature control in all others, plus the move to a four-day, ten hour per day workweek from mid-May through early August, with key university units remaining open on Fridays.  We intend to continue this energy-saving and cost-saving program next year.  Once again, I thank the Delta State family for helping us conserve and be frugal in these challenging budget times.
  • This year’s Delta State University Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Program will feature Dr. Rod Paige, former United States Secretary of Education, on Tuesday, October 10thin Jobe Auditorium, and Mr. Fred Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx, on Wednesday, March 21st.  Please plan to attend these lectures, and encourage students to do so as well.
  • Dr. Temika Simmons has been selected to head the university’s new Local Government Leadership Institute that will help provide guidance to Delta municipal and county leaders on effective methods of governance.  This community outreach program, funded by grants from private foundations, will be headquartered in the Center for Community and Economic Development complex on College Avenue, and will begin operation this fall.  Special thanks to the Hearin Foundation and Casey Family Foundation for their partnership and support.
  • Senior Finance major, Juwan Burney, a star member of Delta State’s baseball team, and Chair of the Delta State Student- Athlete Advisory Committee, has been appointedby the NCAA as a member of the Division II National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representing the Gulf South Conference.  He joins other student-athlete leaders from around the country in providing student representation and perspectives in NCAA decision-making.

I am very grateful to our campus team — faculty, staff, and administrators — for your commitment to Delta State, and for making this the best year ever!  Onward and upward!

Very best regards,

Bill LaForge


Country music star Tracy Lawrence to take BPAC stage

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center | No Comments

Multi-platinum Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music award-winning recording artist Tracy Lawrence will perform live in concert at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert is locally sponsored by Robinson Electric.

Lawrence is one of the most recognizable voices in country music, with songs such as “Paint Me a Birmingham,” “Time Marches On,” “Alibis,” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” The entertainer has enjoyed 22 songs on the Billboard Top 10 charts with 18 No. 1 singles, selling over 13 million albums. Few country artists have known the kind of success that Lawrence has earned. His iconic voice has influenced the country music genre like none other.

Prior to Lawrence ‘s concert, weather permitting, there will be a picnic-style dinner in the Sanders Sculpture Garden located in front of the BPAC. Moonlight Smokers and Catfish Cabin will have their food trucks on site for dinner purchases. Additionally, patrons can enjoy the recently installed sculptures in the sculpture garden. Dinner in the garden will last from 5:30-7:15 p.m., and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the concert are now on sale at www.bolognapac.com or by contacting the BPAC Ticket Office at 662-846-4626.