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Delta State University Hosts a Mississippi Today Conversation with Andrew Lack and Walter Isaacson

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

CLEVELAND – Delta State University is hosting a Mississippi Today panel discussion Aug. 31 on New Media and Politics featuring NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack and Aspen Institute president and CEO Walter Isaacson.

The conversation between Lack, founder of Mississippi Today, and Isaacson, author of several celebrated historical books, is part of a two-day celebration and outreach to the Delta region about the Mississippi Today story.  Lack and Isaacson will discuss how the rise of New Media has impacted the 2016 presidential election.

Mississippi Today is inviting Delta residents to join in celebrating the news organization’s launch at a no-cost business casual public reception Aug. 30 at the Grammy Museum Mississippi beginning at 6 p.m.

Mississippitoday.org, is a digital-only nonpartisan news site that launched on March 28 and has aggressively and objectively covered state and local government affairs and community issues, as well as Mississippi’s social culture, including sports coverage by celebrated columnist Rick Cleveland. The news operation is committed to covering issues and events across the entire state, including the Delta region.

The panel discussion hosted by Delta State University will be held in the auditorium of E.R. Jobe Hall. The event will begin with coffee and pastries at 8:30 a.m., with the panel discussion beginning at 9 a.m.

Delta State University President William N. LaForge will introduce the panel, which will be moderated by Jim Barksdale, CEO of Barksdale Management. Barksdale serves on the board of Mississippi Today.

Lack, now chairman of NBC NEWS, chose Mississippi for the site of this innovative approach to news coverage largely because of his family ties to the Delta running back through several generations. His great-grandfather was the mayor of Greenville.

“All of us involved in this project have great aspirations for Mississippi’s future, and believe that competitive, world-class journalism is an essential piece of that puzzle,” Lack said.

Isaacson, a New Orleans native, leads the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, D.C. His most recent book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014) is a biographical tale of the people who came up with the great innovations of the digital age. Among his other books are Steve Jobs, Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.

The Mississippi Today Conversation is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/mstodayconversation.

Access to MississippiToday.org is free and its stories are meant to be shared through social media and with other news organizations. The organization is committed to providing wide-ranging coverage presented by a diverse staff of journalists.

The news venture is co-edited by Fred Anklam Jr. and Dennis Moore, award-winning journalists with long ties to Mississippi who have returned home to help bring this innovative news coverage to the state.

“The chance to do public service journalism in a digital format in my home state made the decision to join Mississippi Today a no-brainer,” Anklam said. “We are already seeing a great response to our reporting efforts from our state residents and those interested in Mississippi.”

Mississippi Today is the public arm of Mississippi News and Information Corp., a nonprofit corporation established in 2014. The launch of Mississippi Today was realized through grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation and through the generous support from individual donors, including Lack.

Mississippi Today also is committed to helping develop the next generation of distinguished journalists who reflect the state’s diversity by recruiting exceptional graduates of journalism, communications and public policy programs and by working with current students in the state’s colleges and universities to develop skills that will prepare them for productive careers.

“The team at Mississippi Today is focused on informing residents about state and local government, education and poverty.  Their journalism has the potential to increase civic engagement, by making Mississippians more aware of how government action or inaction affects their lives,” said Karen Rundlet, program officer for journalism at Knight Foundation, the nation’s leading funder of journalism and media innovation.

Support for continued operation of Mississippi Today comes from sponsors, donors, advertising and Mississippians Together, our annual fund that unites readers from different backgrounds who share an interest in meeting challenges facing the state.

For more information, see our events page.

The Delta Center's "Most Southern" workshop participants at the Fannie Lou Hamer memorial garden in Ruleville. The workshop will be presented again in June and July 2017. through generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities."

The Delta Center’s NEH “Most Southern” workshop funded for eighth year

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In its 50th anniversary year, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced $79 million in grants for 290 humanities projects and programs across the United States. The grants will be awarded in 14 humanities fields or areas, and also include $42.8 million in annual operating support for the national network of state and local humanities councils.

The grants will support a wide range of efforts in the humanities, with institutions, scholars and humanities organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories receiving NEH support. Complete state-by-state listings of grants are available through the NEH website.

“NEH grants help bring humanities experiences to Americans across the country,” said chairman William D. Adams. “Our funding supports museums, libraries and cultural institutions, and the local state councils that create and sustain humanities programs in their communities. Through films, original research and new intellectual insights, our grants strengthen the nation’s cultural fabric and identity.”

For the eighth year, The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University has been awarded a NEH grant for “The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, History, and Culture of the Mississippi Delta” workshop. The workshop is one of several Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for School Teachers that NEH funds across the country. The purpose of this grant category is to support a series of one-week workshops for K-12 educators that address central themes and topics in American history, government, literature, art history and other humanities fields related to historic landmarks.

NEH workshop participants experiencing the Delta's rich fertile soil.

NEH workshop participants experiencing the Delta’s rich fertile soil.

“We are pleased that the National Endowment for the Humanities once again is funding the ‘Most Southern Place on Earth’ workshops,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center and co-director of the workshop. “This is one of the longest running NEH Landmarks workshops. We are excited to have the opportunity to offer it once again to K-12 educators who have a passion for learning and teaching about the rich culture and history of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, identified by the National Park Service as ‘the cradle of American culture.'”

Over the years, the NEH “Most Southern” workshops have built a dedicated network of over 500 alumni scholars who serve as educational and cultural ambassadors for the MDNHA and for Delta State University. The workshops use an experiential learning approach, engaging participants directly with historically and culturally significant people and places in the MDNHA.

Workshop participants take what they have learned back to their schools and communities, sharing stories and lessons from the MDNHA with students, colleagues, family and friends, nationally and globally. Many past participants have made return visits to the region, bringing students, colleagues, family and friends with them, which has broadened the “Most Southern” workshops’ educational and economic impact.

“Participants from as far away as Alaska, California and New Hampshire remain connected to The Delta Center, Delta State and the Delta region because of this workshop,” said Lee Alyward, program associate for education and community outreach at The Delta Center and workshop co-director. “In fact, several of them completed the International Blues Scholars Program this summer, our online Blues Studies certificate. We look forward to working with another group of educators in summer 2017 who are passionate about the Delta.”

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 NEH Most Southern Place on Earth workshop and the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit http://www.deltacenterdsu.com.

The MDNHA is a partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service. 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 http://www.msdeltaheritage.com.

Delta State University President William N. LaForge will deliver the State of the University address Aug. 19 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Convocation scheduled for Aug. 19

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, President | No Comments

Delta State University President William N. LaForge will deliver his State of the University convocation address on Aug. 19 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The address will serve as a welcome to faculty, staff and the community at the start of Delta State’s academic year. Leading the event with LaForge will be Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Heather Robinson, president-elect of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, will provide a community welcome.

Dr. Chris Jurgenson, president of the Faculty Senate, will provide an introduction of new faculty, followed by an introduction of new staff by Christie Rocconi, chair of the Administrative Staff Council.

As is the tradition at each Delta State convocation address, new Student Government Association officers will also be recognized.

LaForge will conclude the ceremony with his address, highlighting university achievements over the last year, along with goals and visions for Delta State’s future.

Tune into the address remotely through live stream. The link for the live stream will be available on the Delta State home page and social media platforms Friday.

Visit www.deltastate.edu to stay updated on university news and event coverage.

MS public universities

Board of Trustees to meet this week

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The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning will hold its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, August 18, 2016, beginning at 9 a.m.  Members of the Board may participate in the meeting via teleconference.  Members of the public and media may attend the meeting in the IHL Board Room, located in the Universities Center, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, Miss. An Executive Session may be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

The Real Estate Committee, a standing committee of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning chaired by Trustee Hal Parker, will meet at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 to review the FY 2018 Facilities Needs Requests submitted by the universities. Members of the Board may participate in the committee meetings via teleconference. The public may attend the meeting in the IHL Board Room, located in the Universities Center, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211. An executive session may be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

The Health Affairs Committee, a standing committee of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning chaired by Trustee Ford Dye, will meet at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 to discuss University of Mississippi Medical Center projects and priorities. Members of the Board may participate in the committee meetings via teleconference. The public may attend the meeting in the IHL Board Room, located in the Universities Center, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211. An executive session may be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Tickets available for BPAC School-Time Matinee Series

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

School is back in session and the Arts Education office at the Bologna Performing Arts Center is ready to help teachers make their reservation to the 2016-17 School-Time Matinee Series.

The series connects children, teachers and schools with the performing arts in meaningful ways by bringing performances to Mississippi that complement the school curriculum. Exposure to live theater ignites a child’s imagination in a unique way, opening the door to a greater understanding of the world and a life-long love of the arts.

The School-Time Matinee Series offers a wide variety of programming that incorporates academic subject matter, literary classics, and art-forms such as music and theatre. The series also aims to meet the artistic and educational needs of students from preschool through high school seniors. Each production provides a variety of curriculum connections, as well as comprehensive study guides that aid in classroom learning both before and after the performance.

The season kicks off Oct. 25 with “A Year with Frog and Toad,” based on Arnold Lobel’s beloved children’s books. The program was nominated for three TONY Awards, including Best Musical.

Next, the internationally renowned dance company Parsons Dance Company will perform its energized, athletic ensemble work on Nov. 9. On Nov. 18, audiences are invited to spend some time with the groovy Pete the Cat and rock out as they learn about friendship and adventure.

The first show of 2017 will be Feb. 1 with “Alonzo King LINES Ballet,” which is hailed by critics as stunning, fierce and evocative. On Feb. 23, get ready for the ultimate playdate as “Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo LIVE” takes the audience on a breathtaking tour of pre-historic Australia.

The season concludes with the musical adaptation of the Caldecott award-winning Cinderella tale of John Steptoe’s “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” on April 12.

Tickets are now on sale for all productions in the School-Time Matinee Series. To place a reservation for a school group or family, visit http://bolognapac.com/education/school-time-matinee-series/ and complete an order form. Payment is required to hold reservations. For more information, call Joannah Taylor, Arts Education coordinator, at 662-846-4844.