The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Tarnisha Smith, coordinator of university facility reservations and calendar, as the June 2016 Employee of the Month.
Smith, a native of Drew, has been working in the Office of Student Life since 2013.
“I was completely shocked when I received the award,” said Smith. “I really feel like Delta State is home, so this was just icing on the cake for me.”
Outside of work, Smith enjoys spending time with her children and family.
Each Employee of the Month winner receives a plaque, monetary award, WalMart gift card from the Student Government Association, an engraved insulated coffee mug, a free parking decal courtesy of the Campus Police Department, a box of treats from The Sweetery, a parking spot of their choice, marquee announcement and website recognition.
Delta State’s Staff Council serves as a liaison between the administration and the staff to provide a formal process for staff to discuss issues involving university policies and procedures and to forward ideas, recommendations and opinions to the president.
Delta State University has received quite a bit of airtime on national television lately — first with an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” followed by a shoutout from Al Roker on NBC’s “Today” show.
Delta State’s very own “BBQ Princess” Leslie Roark Scott ’95 made an appearance on “Fox & Friends” June 11 taking part in the 14th annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York City.
Scott and her father Gary Roark are masterminds behind the award-winning Ubon’s BBQ in Yazoo City, and the duo has received national attention for their tasty BBQ.
Scott is no stranger to national TV, having made appearances on “Chopped Grill Masters,” “Chopped Impossible,” and will be on the new show “Smoked” July 6 on the cable channel Destination America.
“It’s getting easier for me to be on TV, but it’s definitely taken some time. I’m always excited about having the chance to represent Ubon’s, Delta State and Mississippi,” said Scott. “That’s the most exciting opportunity right now — to be out there and talk about the things I love.”
Tune into Scott’s new show July 6 on Destination America.
“I’m excited about it because I got to talk about Delta State, I cooked okra and I talked about the Mississippi Delta the entire time,” said Scott.
And Delta State made a strong appearance on the “Today” show Tuesday when host Al Roker was drawn to Kate Hargrave Hood ’98 passionately waiving her Fighting Okra flag in the crowd.
Hood and her family are vacationing in New York this week after winning the trip from the Junior Auxiliary of Cleveland Children’s Benefit Ball Auction.
“It was an unbelievable and awesome experience to make it on the show,” said Hood. “Nothing gets attention like the Fighting Okra! I’m a second generation ‘Today’ show watcher, and I knew Al Roker being a food fanatic would love the flag and it would get him interested. I’m proud to be a DSU alumnus!”
Roker approached Hood, who proudly shouted her Delta State Pride.
“All right, the Fighting Okra — wow, they go up against the Battling Rutabaga. Watch out,” joked Roker.
Mayors from across the Mississippi Delta recently gathered at Delta State University for the third annual Delta Mayors’ Summit hosted by President William N. LaForge.
The university invited the mayors as a way to engage in discussion about campus and community activities, and to continue forging collaborations and partnerships in the Delta.
“It was a pleasure to host the third Delta Mayors’ Summit on our campus,” said LaForge. “I always enjoy the opportunity to visit with our local mayors, hear about their activities, and learn how Delta State can be engaged with them in partnerships. We are collaborating to ensure continued improvement of local government management.”
LaForge was excited to build on the success of previous summits, a conference he instituted after becoming president in 2013.
This year’s meeting focused on campus updates, a summary of university initiatives, topics for Delta State’s annual race relations conference, student recruitment, as well updates from a number of campus leaders.
The mayors in attendance also had an opportunity to discuss common challenges and successful initiatives in their respective communities, and agreed that it is important for them to have open dialogue in order to continue to improve the region’s opportunities and quality of life.
“I look forward to continuing our collaboration with the mayors of the many municipalities in the Delta,” added LaForge.
Delta State students Tyler Daniels of Oak Grove, and Tyler Sullivan of Louisville, were recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP).
Created in 2007, MRPSP identifies college students who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained, rural primary care physicians in the state of Mississippi.
The program offers undergraduate academic enrichment and a clinical experience in a rural setting. Upon completion of all medical school admissions requirements, participants can be admitted to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine or William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
While in medical school, the scholars are under consideration for $30,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of MRPSP translates to 60 medical students receiving a total of $1,800,000 to support their education. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support.
Upon completion of medical training, MRPSP Scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. The scholar must also provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 20,000 people or less located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.
MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, receive MCAT preparation, earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship, and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.