Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza (left to right) will be leading a group of Delta State students on a cultural exchange trip to Poland at John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. Others attending include Scottie Willis, Katherine Jackson, Maria Clara Belisário, Paxton Stratton and university photographer/writer Rory Doyle.

Students to visit Poland for cultural exchange

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

A select group of Delta State students are gearing up for an exciting cultural exchange with one of the university’s international partners, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) in Lublin, Poland.

Leaving May 9, the group will travel for two weeks under the direction KUL faculty. The trip, coordinated by DSU International Student Services, will mark the first opportunity for Delta State students to visit KUL’s campus, observe classes, learn about college life in Poland, and gain hands-on knowledge of Polish culture.

Delta State President William N. LaForge continues to strengthen the university’s ties with international institutions, an effort he has made a priority since taking office in 2013.

In 2014, LaForge returned to KUL for the fourth time as a visiting professor, each time focusing on various aspects of law and public policy advocacy in America. KUL’s law school is well known for its quality programming.

“Delta State’s exchange partnership with KUL is a wonderful opportunity for our students to become acquainted with another educational system, with programs at another university and with the people of Poland,” said LaForge. “International partnerships like this afford our students an opportunity to broaden their horizons, see the world, and be better prepared for the global economy, which will greet them upon graduation.”

President LaForge discusses Poland with students.

President LaForge discusses Poland with students.

KUL is one of several universities abroad with which Delta State has signed a memorandum of understanding to further develop international exchanges. Delta State hosted a group of KUL faculty and students in October 2015.

Students attending the trip include: Scottie Willis, a senior from Byram, Mississippi; Katherine Jackson, a junior from Cleveland, Mississippi; Maria Clara Belisário, a junior from Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and Paxton Stratton, a freshman from Fort Worth, Texas. The students recently had the opportunity to meet with President LaForge to discuss expectations for the exchange.

Willis is looking forward to his first experience abroad — a trip he knows will be full of opportunities.

“I’m entering my last semester at DSU this fall, and as President LaForge put it to me recently, ‘You’ve had a good run here.’ But my run isn’t quite over yet,” said Willis. “I plan to go into education after graduation, and I know that going to Europe will definitely give me a ‘real life’ perspective when teaching about it. I hope that my participation in this cultural exchange will encourage current and future students to see that there are life-changing opportunities here at Delta State, and they just have to take advantage of them.”

Belisário, an international student at Delta State, is also looking forward to experiencing Polish education and culture.

“I will be in contact with different students and teachers who are in the same area as me, and I’ll be expanding my knowledge and vision,” said Belisário. “I will be able to interact and learn in some of their classes, and see perspectives and ideas about different issues that can help me in my major. I will use and share all of that when I return to DSU. Contact with another part of the world is one of the best opportunities as an international business major. I am really proud to have this opportunity.”

Dr. A.H.M. Ali Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State, will lead the group as the university’s international partnership liaison.

“I’m thrilled that we are bringing such a strong group of students to KUL,” said Reza. “This will be a great opportunity for us to get an understanding of Polish culture and KUL’s university environment. KUL faculty members have gone above and beyond to help us plan this trip.”

Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services and the Student Success Center at Delta State, added that the university will continue to strengthen ties with its partner schools.

“We are very excited to offer the Poland trip,” said Riddle. “These international partnerships offer the opportunity for our Delta State faculty and students and their faculty and students to travel, teach and study abroad through various exchange programs. It’s is a win-win for Delta State because the students traveling abroad gain a greater understanding of global issues, and it also exposes our on-campus students to other cultures.”

Along with KUL, Delta State has been developing exchange programs with Perm State University in Perm, Russia and The University of National World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, both schools at which LaForge has taught. Delta State is also in the process of developing partnerships with two additional international universities.

Follow all trip updates at www.deltastate.edu.

DMI students Brennan Barham (left) and Brittany McGee  will lead this year's  Levitt AMP Grant Awards concert series.

DMI students to produce second Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Music Institute, Students | No Comments

For the second year in a row, Delta State University has been selected to host the Levitt AMP Grant Awards, a 10-week series of concerts created in 2014 by Levitt Pavilions and the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation.

Leading the organization and production of this year’s series will be two entertainment industry studies majors from the Delta Music Institute program at Delta State University. Brittany McGee from Ecru, Mississippi and Brennan Barham from Clinton, Mississippi will oversee the music series as part of their senior project requirement.

“I chose the Levitt Amp Series as my senior project because I thought it was a rare opportunity that would give me a real life experience in the entertainment industry,” said Barham. “The thing I am most excited about for Levitt AMP is seeing hard work pay off and the community coming together.”

After graduation, Brennan hopes to pursue a career as a manager/producer in the music industry.

Levitt AMP brings the joy of free, live music to people of all ages and backgrounds living in small to mid-sized towns and cities, transforming neglected public spaces into thriving community destinations.

DMI Director Tricia Walker and fellow DMI instructors are credited with guiding their students in making last year’s lineup a success. DMI students will once again play a major role in the production process — from securing talent, to providing sound and lighting at the concerts.

Amber Foster, a DMI entertainment industry studies graduate from DSU, produced the 2015 series lineup for her senior project. In the role, she booked, organized and managed all 10 concerts.

“It’s so exciting as a senior to be able to take on a project like this,” said Foster. “For an entertainment industry student, this is the kind of experience we dream of and hope to have. It was so much fun.”

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The DMI is an independent center of study under the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelor’s degree in entertainment industry studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For information, visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu. For information about this year’s Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series, email levittamp@deltastate.edu.

 

Former Delta State biology professor, Dr. James Steen (left of center with book), recently donated his 20-year project, “A Selected Chronological Bibliography of Biology and Medicine.” Joining in the celebration were (l to r): Emily Jones, university archivist; Dr. Ellen Green, chair of Biological Sciences; Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Ann Steen, Steen’s wife; President William N. LaForge; Dr. David Breaux, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Jeff Slagell, dean of Library Services.

Steen donates 20-year project

By | Academics, Alumni, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

Former Delta State University biology professor, Dr. James Steen, recently made a heartfelt donation of his 20-year project, “A Selected Chronological Bibliography of Biology and Medicine.”

The four-volume bibliography that Steen self-published in 2015 celebrates the secondary authors and laboratory technicians who are responsible for the great labor of discovery in the fields of biology and medicine. The work includes 2,875 pages, 21,457 references, 8,097 first authors cited and 2,632 journals cited.

Steen a Delta State graduate in 1962, taught in the Department of Biological Sciences for 30 years. He recently donated the hard copies of his compilation to Delta State University President William N. LaForge.

The university will now house the hardcover copies, and an online edition is available at http://ntweb.deltastate.edu/jtift/scbm/scbm-1.html.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to see this come to fruition,” said Steen. “I appreciate the university being gracious enough to receive this and put it in their collection. I wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Tiftickjian, my friend and former colleague at Delta State University. John formatted and placed my book on the DSU server, thereby allowing easy access to anyone wishing to search it.”

Steen started the project primarily for students, providing them a guiding source throughout their research. And Steen said he’s not fully done with it, as he and Tiftickjian will continue to update the information online.

LaForge could not be more thrilled to add the work to the Delta State library.

Dr. James Steen (left) with President William N. LaForge.

Dr. James Steen (left) with President William N. LaForge.

“We very much appreciate your contribution to your university. This is a wonderful compilation of work you put together, and it’s truly a labor of love,” said LaForge. “The volumes that you have here represent a lot of time — from the heart and the mind. Thank you for bestowing this on our university.

“It’s the students who will benefit most from this great work you have contributed.”

Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, was also grateful for Steen’s donation.

“Let me just echo the thanks from President LaForge,” said McAdams. “It’s this type of bibliographic information that is extremely valuable for students as they begin their journey down a research path.”

Follow all Delta State University news at www.deltastate.edu.

Sara Evans will perform live in concert at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on April 21. A special pre-show dinner is planned in the Sculpture Garden featuring several food vendors and live music.

BPAC presents Sara Evans live in concert and Sculpture Garden dinner

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

Join the Bologna Performing Arts Center April 21 for Sara Evans live in concert at 7:30 p.m. Evans, a multi-platinum selling country singer and songwriter, has been called one of the most compelling vocalists of her generation.

Since emerging in the late 1990s, Evans has had a prolific recording career that has seen the sale of more than six million albums. She’s had five No. 1 songs, four others appearing in the Top 10, two No. 1 Billboard Country Albums, five appearances on Billboard’s Top 200 all-genre chart, and four consecutive RIAA certified Gold, Platinum or Multi-Platinum albums. She has received awards from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, Billboard Music Awards, and has garnered nominations for Grammy Awards (2), American Country Awards (10) and CMT Music Awards (5).

Prior to the show, there will be a dinner in the Sanders Sculpture Garden located in front of the BPAC. Along with live music by The Callie Champion Band, food and beverages will be sold on site by Delta Dairy, Delta Meat Market, Nehi Botting Company and The Warehouse Restaurant. Sales will be cash only. Dinner in the garden will last from 5:30–7 p.m., and the Sara Evans will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the show start at $30 and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office, open Monday-Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 662-846-4626, or going online at www.bolognapac.com. Tickets to the performance are not required to attend the dinner. Food purchases may be made on site.

For more information, stop by the Bologna Center Ticket Office, call 662-846-4626, or visit www.bolognapac.com.

Biological Sciences to offer post-baccalaureate certificate in Health Sciences

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate and Continuing Studies | No Comments

Beginning in the Summer I 2016 semester, Delta State University will offer a post-baccalaureate certificate in health sciences. To complete the certificate, students are required to take 24 credit-hours from a list of 500–600 graduate level biology, chemistry or physics courses over a 12-month period. The certificate would be signed by the department chairs and would be registered on a student’s transcript.

“Students enrolled in the program would maximize their chances of getting into competitive and professional health-related program and schools — medical, pharmaceutical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy or other graduate programs,” said Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding, professor of biology and environmental science. “With required supervision, students would be guided to take courses that would help fulfill admission requirements to these programs. Students who obtain a post-baccalaureate certificate could show they are capable of handling graduate level courses when applying for admittance or re-admittance to health-related professional programs.”

In Mississippi, post-baccalaureate programs are currently available at William Carey University, The University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi College.

According to Riding, students choosing the program at Delta State University would save money compared to other in-state options, be engaged in a rigorous program, and have the opportunity to improve their academic credentials. Additionally, due to smaller class size at Delta State, students would have more face-to-face time with faculty.

Students must apply to be eligible for the program. Requirements include a Bachelors of Science degree in biology, chemistry or physics and a GPA of a 3.0 or above. Students must also submit their scores on the GRE, Medical College Admissions Test or Dental Admissions Test. For more information about this opportunity, contact Dr. Ellen Green, chair of Biological Sciences (662-846-4484), or Dr. Joseph Bentley, chair of Chemistry and Physics (662-846-4482).