Delta State University launches nationally-recognized faculty program

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Delta State University has joined a growing national initiative to dramatically expand the use of evidence-based teaching practices shown to promote college student completion and success.

University educators have launched a new, national certificate program in Effective College Instruction offered through the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) and endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE). The new partnership builds on recent student success achievements and a deepening commitment to the University’s core values of embracing civility, inclusion, and diversity.

“Instructional excellence is key to our students’ success, both in their studies here on campus and for their careers after graduation,” said Charles McAdams, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Delta State. “This partnership with ACUE recognizes the role that effective instruction plays in promoting critical thinking skills and supports Delta State’s mission to ensure all of our students succeed.”

The Office of Academic Affairs will implement a customized faculty development program that includes ACUE’s course in Effective Teaching Practices. ACE, as part of its nearly century-old mission to improve access to postsecondary education and help institutions enhance student outcomes, is collaborating with ACUE to dramatically expand the use of effective teaching practices in higher education.

“ACUE’s program offers higher education institutions a scalable, extensive opportunity to support instructors through tools and techniques proven to help students succeed,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “ACE and ACUE have an important shared goal to expand dramatically the use of effective teaching practices to benefit students, faculty, and institutions.”

Delta State University’s new program will focus on the research-based teaching techniques shown to make classrooms more engaging, civil and embracing of diversity. Research shows that students learn more, persist in their students, and complete their degrees with access to evidence-based instructional practices.

“The research is clear: High quality instruction helps students learn more and complete their degrees,” said Penny MacCormack, Chief Academic Officer at ACUE. “We are honored to partner with Delta State University as they work to provide the highest quality learning experiences for their students.”

Faculty members who complete the program will earn badges and a Certificate in Effective College Instruction endorsed by ACE. ACUE’s comprehensive services also include exclusive access to an online Community of Professional Practice designed to sustain development and connect educators from around the country.

ACUE’s program was developed with colleges and universities nationwide. Course modules feature videos of classroom demonstrations with award-winning college faculty and interviews with the nation’s leading subject matter experts. Since ACUE and ACE announced the collaboration in March, institutions across the country have recognized the value of providing this support and are making effective instruction central to student success. To date, over 1,800 faculty members have learned about and are implementing evidence-based approaches.

About ACUE

ACUE partners with colleges and universities to make effective instruction central to their student success agendas. Founded by leaders in higher education, ACUE fulfills this mission by helping institutions implement faculty development resources that are scalable, research-based, and of the highest quality. ACUE’s online modular course of study leads to a first-of-its-kind Certificate in Effective College Instruction endorsed by the American Council on Education. For more information, visit http://acue.org.

“Viva Ginastera! A Centennial Celebration” by guest pianist Jovanni-Rey V. de Pedro

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Community | No Comments

The Department of Music at Delta State University presents guest artist Dr. Jovanni-Rey V. de Pedro in a master class at noon and recital at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 in the Recital Hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

In celebration of the centennial of Alberto Ginastera’s birth, de Pedro will perform piano solo works written by the Argentine composer and two other composers, Christopher Norton and Sonny Chua, at the evening recital. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Delta State Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

Filipino-American pianist de Pedro enjoys an artistic career that has brought him to concert venues and musical institutions in Asia, across North America, South America, Australia and Europe. Winner of the Boesendorfer Stipendium and Grand Prizewinner of the Fidelio Competition sponsored by the city of Vienna’s Cultural Affairs Department, de Pedro also acquired top prizes in several competitions including the United States Open Music Competition, Pacific Piano Competition in Canada, Ibiza Competition in Spain, and the Beethoven Society of Europe’s Intercollegiate Piano Competition in England.

Upon graduation from Trinity College of Music, he received the Isabelle Bond Gold Medal for Performance Excellence. He was recently given a first place award at the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, which led to a performance in Weill Recital Hall. His artistic and educational activities have been further supported by grants from the Solti Foundation in Belgium, the Irish Arts Council and the American Women’s Association in Vienna.

de Pedro ’s academic research and pedagogical interests have led to numerous presentations at conferences for the Music Teachers National Association, College Music Society, European Piano Teachers Association/World Piano Teachers Association in Serbia and the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Association. As a passionate and dedicated educator, he has presented numerous master classes in institutions in the U.S. and abroad. He has served on the teaching staff at City University London and the New Ross Chamber Music Festival (Ireland), and he currently is on the piano faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan.

As a chamber musician, de Pedro has collaborated with numerous instrumentalists and vocalists. Together with Irish cellist Tara-Lee Byrne and Portuguese clarinetist Sergio Neves, he founded the Tarvangio Trio in 2008. After making their debut at the Yamaha Chamber Music Series in London, they joined with Hungarian violinist Gwendolyn Masin for a tour of Ireland performing Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time.” Tarvangio continues to bring entertaining and innovating programs to audiences in the U.S. and Europe.

He continually seeks to serve the music profession and wider community. Through benefit and outreach recitals, he has raised funds for various community, educational, religious and non-profit organizations. As president of the University of Michigan’s MTNA Collegiate Chapter, he established the Piano Pedagogy Symposium, a national pedagogy conference for university students, which aims to promote communication, fellowship and collaboration among these future music professionals.

A California native, de Pedro holds a Konzert Diplom (with auszeichnung) from the Vienna Conservatory in Austria, where he spent six years as a scholar of the ASCAP/Leiber and Stoller Foundation, a Master’s of Music from Trinity College of Music in London, and a doctoral degree in piano pedagogy and performance from the University of Michigan. He has worked with pianists Robert Ward, Aries Caces, Gerhard Geretschlaeger, Yonty Solomon, Mikhail Kazakevich, Deniz Gelenbe and Louis Nagel, and he coached with Menahem Pressler, Martino Tirimo and Pierre Laurent Aimard. He received additional studies in pedagogy with John Ellis and collaborative piano with Christopher Harding and Eugene Asti.

de Pedro recently served as a visiting professor of music at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and an instructor of piano and chamber music at the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. He joined the faculty at the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton School of Music in 2014 as an assistant professor of piano and piano pedagogy and co-director of the preparatory division.

Walkathon raises funds for breast cancer screenings

By | BEEP, Center for Community and Economic Development, Community, Students | No Comments

To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Breast Education & Early-detection Project (B.E.E.P.) and the Outdoor Recreation Program at Delta State University held the third annual B.E.E.P. Walk-a-thon on Oct. 5 at the DSU Fitness Trail.

The event was attended by 261 participants who walked 827 laps, or the equivalent of 413.5 miles. It was sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Roger Blake and the Blake Surgical Association. Delta Dairy of Cleveland provided samples of ice cream to event participants.

Also partnering for the event were: the College of Education and Human Sciences; Dean of Graduate Studies, Continuing Education and Research; Department of Athletics, HPER; greek organizations; Robert E. Smith School of Nursing; and the Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

A special thanks was expressed to volunteers assisting with the event, including: Debbie Allen, Todd Davis, Dr. Beverly Moon,  Nancy Reginelli, Dr. Rose Strahan, and Kimberly Williams. Also assisting with the walk were DSU students Tia Brown, Katie Genneralli,and Liz Hansen from the Outdoor Recreation Program, and Eric Rush from the School of Nursing.

B.E.E.P. focuses on raising awareness of breast cancer and breast health and increasing the number of women who adopt early cancer detection methods. The project has been funded by a grant from the Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation since 2008. B.E.E.P. provides breast health education and funding for clinical exams, mammograms, and ultrasounds for women who have limited income, are uninsured or underinsured, and have limited access to preventative healthcare in Bolivar, Sunflower, Washington and surrounding counties.

The walkathon raised $1,000 for B.E.E.P. to utilize, in addition to the grant funds, to provide breast cancer screenings and education.

B.E.E.P. has maintained long-term partnerships with local healthcare facilities and community organizations since 2008. Through March 31, 2016, the project has:

  •  sponsored or participated in over 400 breast cancer awareness events.
  •  reached 21,444 individuals
  •  provided 546 mammograms, 37 ultrasounds and 637 clinical exams
  •  provided 511 transportation stipends to participants to assist with costs of travel for the screenings
  •  referred 72 individuals for further testing after the screenings
  •  assisted in identifying 14 individuals with cancer through additional testing

For more information on B.E.E.P., contact Gail Bailey at 662-846-4008 or gbailey@deltastate.edu.

 

Honors Program boosting curriculum

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Delta State is committed to providing its students superior academic experiences. With that in mind, Delta State University Provost Dr. Charles McAdams has charged the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. David Breaux, with leading a task force to develop a more robust Honors Program at the university.

The task force will be comprised of faculty from across campus and will begin work soon. While the group is conducting their work, Michael Smith, associate professor of English, will serve as interim director.

“As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, I want to thank professor Leslie Fadiga-Stewart, former director of the Honors Program, for her undying commitment to the Honors Program and its students,” said Breaux. “Delta State is truly blessed to have faculty like professor Fadiga-Stewart and Smith, who go beyond the call of duty to ensure that its students receive a first-rate education.”

Currently, the Honors Program provides enhanced educational and cultural experiences for talented and academically committed students within an environment that fosters discovery and creativity.

“We are in the process of revamping the curriculum to increase the sense of identity and community an honors program can provide,” said Smith. “We are also expanding our vision of the program to include engagements off campus and outside of the classroom, including attendance at state and national conferences, as well as retreats that will bring current fellows together with alumni of the program. The Honors Program also includes a very active student organization, the Honors Program Association, which meets monthly on campus.”

Students accepted into the program become Honors Fellows and enjoy benefits such as smaller class size, priority for early registration each semester, and recognition at the university commencement ceremonies.

In addition, Honors Fellows have access to opportunities for extra-curricular activities, including but not limited to cross-cultural experiences, civic engagements and lectures. The program also provides mentoring and advising opportunities for participants.

“Delta State benefits from a great number of high-achieving students, so the application process is competitive and the curriculum is rigorous,” added Smith. “Each Honors Fellows class is capped at 20 spots per year.”

A select number of high school students who apply to Delta State as incoming freshmen are selected as fellows each academic year. Guidelines for consideration include: a composite ACT score of 26 or higher (no sub-score may be below 17), a high school GPA of 3.5+ (4.0 scale), and documented evidence of leadership and community engagement.

“I’m honored to have been asked to serve as interim director, and I’m excited about the direction the program is headed,” said Smith. “As a scholar, I’ve always been interested in cross-curricular dialogue and study, and the Honors Program, although housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a university-wide initiative. I feel it’s important for scholars to occasionally move beyond the limits of their own disciplines and see the interesting work being done across campus — and inter-disciplinary programs like the Honors Program allow students and faculty to do just that.”

For a program application, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/honors-program/. For more information, contact Smith at honors@deltastate.edu.

 

 

It’s Your Voice, Be Heard: Voter Registration Drive at Delta State University

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This past week, the American Association of University Women partnered with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at Delta State University to motivate students to exercise their right to vote.

Whether students wanted to sign up to vote in Bolivar County or their hometown, the voter drive gave students one last opportunity before vote1the Oct. 8 deadline to get their Voter Registration Card in time to cast their ballot.

The association reported a surge in freshman registration this year, with over 35 freshman students registering to vote.

AAUW also supports the only program in the country that encourages and trains college women to run for student government and future political office, Elect Her.  Elect Her addresses the need to expand the pipeline of women candidates and to diminish the longstanding political leadership gender gap.