The U.S. Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants will present a free concert April 13 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

U.S. Air Force Band in free BPAC concert

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center | No Comments

The United States Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants from Washington, D.C., are coming to Cleveland as part of a 12-day, five-state community relations tour. The performance will take place April 13 at 7 p.m. at Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University.

The concert is free and open to the public. Tickets are required and can be picked up at the BPAC ticket office or by phone at 662-846-4626. Seating will be general admission. The event is presented by the BPAC and proudly sponsored by The Bolivar Commercial, The Cleveland Current, WABG and WXVT.

The U.S. Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants are two of the six performing ensembles within The United States Air Force Band, the premier musical organization of the U.S. Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., the band honors those who have served, inspires American citizens to heightened patriotism and service, and positively impacts the global community on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and the United States of America.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the band. The April 2016 tour also includes stops in Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.

For more information, visit the Bologna Center Ticket Office or call 662-846-4626.

RESSON

Nursing School ranks third in national list

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Delta State’s online graduate program in Nursing ranked third in the nation in a recent list from TopMastersInHealthcare.com.

“In this ranking of the 50 best graduate nursing programs, we set out to uncover precisely what advanced nursing students want (and need) from a master’s degree,” according to TopMastersInHealthcare.com.

The website said it selected graduate schools based on program flexibility, faculty involvement in the healthcare field, and tuition cost.

Vicki Bingham, chair and associate professor of nursing, said, “The Master of Science in Nursing program of study has been offered online since 2000. This program of study in an online format provides flexibility to schedules and accessibility to an advanced education for working nurses in different geographical locations.”

The graduate enrollment has increased from 32 in 2000 to 78 in 2016.

“Faculty in the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing are committed to offering quality degree programs and providing students with the knowledge, skills,confidence, and attitudes to practice as a professional nurse providing quality healthcare,” said Shelby Polk, associate professor of nursing.

Polk said being ranked third “speaks to the dedication of our faculty in delivering a quality online program with high standards and student expectations.”

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can be earned either as a degree or there is a certificate option which provides study in a role concentration (i.e. Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Administrator, or Nurse Educator) beyond the Baccalaureate in Nursing (BSN).

Bingham said, “We have been ranked twice by the U.S. & World News report for the Best Online Graduate Nursing Program in 2016 ranked at 42 and in 2014 at 41. In addition to this ranking by the TopMastersInHealthcare, we received notification that we were ranked eighth as the 2016 Most Affordable Online College by OnlineU.”

Bingham said they feel very “honored and delighted” to be ranked third among all of the other universities.

“The expertise of our faculty members, availability to the students, and affordability of the program put us as one of the best schools to obtain an education and advance in the nursing profession,” Bingham said.

Annyce Campbell of Mound Bayou, whose portrait graces the cover of "Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother's Wisdom," recently enjoyed a visit to the White House.

MDNHA, Delta Jewels partnership visits the White House

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When University of Mississippi journalism professor Alysia Burton Steele embarked on a journey to record oral histories from African American church women in the Mississippi Delta over three years ago, she was not sure exactly where the journey would take her.

It started at as labor of love to reconnect with her recently deceased grandmother, which led to the publishing of her critically acclaimed book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.” The book led to an oral history partnership with the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, a partnership that culminated in an opportunity for Annyce Campbell, featured on the book cover, to visit the White House in Washington, D.C.

“When they said they wanted the woman whose portrait graces the book cover to attend the presentation, I knew that we had to get Mrs. Campbell to the White House,” said Steele. “She was so proud when President Obama was elected. So much so that the walls in her home are filled with portraits of the president and first lady.”

The visit occurred March 12 during a trip to the nation’s capital for a presentation at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. The Smithsonian program was held in honor of Women’s History Month and the National Park Service Centennial, which is about reconnecting people with their national parks, especially those from underrepresented communities. The White House is part of President’s Park, a National Park Service site.

Campbell still lives in the Mound Bayou, Mississippi home where she and her husband of 69 years raised their nine children. The election of the first African American President of the United States was something she never imagined would happen in her lifetime. Her goal was to enable her family to have opportunities she never enjoyed. She was thrilled that she and her daughters would get a chance to experience the visit together.

“That moment — visiting the White House with my daughters — was more than my mind could conceive,” said Campbell. “I held my ID in my hand for so long. How many more stops do I get to make? Where do we get to go next? Who do we get to meet? I can’t fully express the joy of that trip. Everyone should have an opportunity like this in their lifetime.”

The trip to the White House was not part of the original itinerary. It wasn’t until Campbell landed in D.C. that the tour was finalized.

Annyce Campbell, seated, poses in the White House with her daughters Alma Campbell and Emily Harris, as well as Dr. Rolando Herts, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

Annyce Campbell, seated, poses in the White House with her daughters Alma Campbell and Emily Harris, as well as Dr. Rolando Herts, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

Mossi Tull, board member for the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, sponsored Campbell’s travel to Washington.

“My grandparents were from Kentwood, Louisiana, and I spent many summers down there,” he said. “Visiting with Mrs. Campbell and her daughters brought back so many wonderful memories for me, and reminded me of the importance of my own family. We laughed. We smiled. We celebrated the fact that we were all together in that moment. It was truly a wonderful afternoon.”

Through the efforts of Maggie Tyler, Southeast Region National Heritage Areas program manager, Campbell was able to participate in the tour with her daughters Emily Harris and Alma Campbell, as well as Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State.

“I was so excited to walk up to the White House gates with them and give Mrs. Campbell her tour ticket and introduce her to the NPS ranger working that day,” said Tyler. “Everyone was so gracious to Mrs. Campbell and her daughters and they were all beaming from ear to ear.  It’s these small moments that make me proud to work for the National Park Service.”

The Delta Center serves as the managing entity of the MDNHA. The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of the Mississippi Delta’s history and culture through education, partnerships, and community engagement. According to Herts, serendipitous moments like this are precisely why their efforts are so important.

“This White House visit is significant on so many levels,” said Herts. “It represents a lifelong dream come true for Mrs. Campbell, her family and her community. It represents the kind of powerful connections that are being made between people and national parks, which is what the National Park Service Centennial is all about. And it represents a story that will be told again and again, which is part of a rich oral history tradition that we are celebrating and honoring with Alysia Burton Steele.”

Steele spent the early years of her career as a photojournalist and editor. She never viewed herself as an oral historian, but through the Delta Jewels project has discovered the craft to be her new passion. Working with the MDNHA and The Delta Center, Steele has been empowered to share the importance of telling stories that have often been left untold and to demonstrate the positive effect conversations can have on communities.

“It’s pretty simple, really, why this important. We’re not going to learn and grow if we don’t talk to each other,” said Steele.

Reena Evers, daughter of Medgar Evars and Myrlie Evers-Williams, enbraces Annyce Campbell after a presentation of "Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother's Wisdom" at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, DC.

MDNHA, Delta Center partner with Delta Jewels author for Smithsonian presentation

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Annyce Campbell has lived in the same house in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, for over two-thirds of her life. She raised 12 children in the home, teaching them to respect themselves and to respect their community. She raised them quietly and diligently, wanting them to have more opportunities in their lives than she had in hers.

On March 13, Campbell was recognized for her strength and commitment at a Women’s History Month and National Park Service Centennial presentation at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, D.C. The event was a Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership program organized by the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, and University of Mississippi journalism professor Alysia Burton Steele, author of “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.” The book is a collection of oral histories and portraits featuring 54 African American church mothers from the Mississippi Delta. Campbell’s portrait is featured on the book’s cover.

“My grandmother used to tell me that you learn something new everyday,” said Campbell. “I passed that on to my own children. You have to learn to love life, to love living, and to be appreciative of every moment we’re given.”

For Steele, the presentation served as a reinforcement for the importance of gathering oral histories. Her family sat in the audience to hear her speak for the first time, finally under-standing what she strives to do as a journalist. Seeing the way the audience embraced Campbell was also a poignant moment.

“Mrs. Campbell was glowing all weekend,” Steele said. “I was so happy to have helped make this trip happen for her.”

Alysia Burton Steele (from left) poses with Annyce Campbell of Mound Bayou, who is featured on the cover of Steele's book "Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother's Wisodom." Seated next to Campbell are her daughters Alma Campbell and Emily Harris, also of Mound Bayou.

Alysia Burton Steele (from left) poses with Annyce Campbell of Mound Bayou, who is featured on the cover of Steele’s book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisodom.” Seated next to Campbell are her daughters Alma Campbell and Emily Harris, also of Mound Bayou. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution.

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning serves as the managing entity for the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. The MDNHA creates partnerships that promote and empower the Mississippi Delta’s people and communities to tell their stories and to celebrate their pride in the region’s unique and diverse cultural heritage.

“After a year of planning, the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area is excited to see that this collaborative effort was a success,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of the Delta Center and MDNHA. “This would not have been possible without a team of strategic partners. Mossi Tull, a member of the Smithsonian Anacostia board, sponsored travel for Mrs. Campbell and her family. Maggie Tyler with the National Heritage Areas program made important connections with the National Park Service. And, of course, Alysia Burton Steele’s oral histories and photography provided critical subject matter for educating audience members about the Mississippi Delta’s cultural significance. Everyone brought something to the table.”

The MDNHA is one of 49 National Heritage Areas, which are cultural heritage partnerships with the National Park Service. All areas are being encouraged to commemorate the National Park Service Centennial.

According to Tyler, National Heritage Areas program manager for the National Park Service, this year’s centennial celebrations are intended to engage the next generation of visitors, supporters and advocates, and the 49 congressionally designated Heritage Areas around the country are an integral part of the process.

“National Heritage Areas help us achieve this goal by exposing grassroots movements, heritage tourists, and community members to the benefits of having a partnership with the National Park Service in their community,” said Tyler.

Dr. Rolando Herts (l to r), director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, and Reena Evers, daughter of Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams, pose with Maggie Tyler, Martha Raymond and Kathleen Durcan of the National Heritage Areas Program, National Park Service.

Dr. Rolando Herts (l to r), director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, and Reena Evers, daughter of Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams, pose with Maggie Tyler, Martha Raymond and Kathleen Durcan of the National Heritage Areas Program, National Park Service. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian presentation attracted over 70 guests who were eager to hear from Steele and Campbell, as well as to learn about the MDNHA. In addition to receiving words of wisdom directly from Campbell, audience members were treated to a presentation from special guest and Mound Bayou native Reena Evers, daughter of civil rights activists Myrlie Evers-Williams and Medgar Evers. Myrlie Evers-Williams also is a Delta Jewel.

Tull, board member of the museum, was moved by the presentation. “Mrs. Evers family has endured, struggled and fought through things no family should have to face,” he said. “Having her speak with such grace, strength and aplomb was a reminder and inspiration for all of us that face difficult situations to endure as well.”

The Smithsonian presentation follows a series of successful Delta Jewels presentations which have engaged over 600 Delta residents and visitors from diverse backgrounds in several Mississippi Delta communities including Clarksdale, Cleveland, Charleston, Indianola, Itta Bena, Mound Bayou, Ruleville, Vicksburg and Yazoo City.

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Wicker lectures as part of Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series

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

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker presented at the Delta State University Colloquia: Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series Tuesday night in the auditorium of E.R. Jobe Hall.

Wicker, who has represented Mississippi in the United States Senate since December 2007, discussed numerous topics, including getting things done in a time of divided government. The senator then fielded questions from a panel of Delta State State students and faculty, followed by a Q&A with audience members.

Those on the panel included Dr. David Breaux, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; students Allie Rose Parker and Chelsey Rhodes; and Delta State University President William N. LaForge.

During his time in the Senate, Wicker has championed pro-growth policies to create jobs and has worked to reduce spending, limit federal overreach and maintain a strong national defense. He is a member of the Senate Republican leadership team, serving as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Wicker also chairs the Subcommittee on Seapower.

Learn more about Delta State’s ongoing lecture series at www.deltastate.edu/colloquia.