Follow Your Heart Arts Program partners with DMI

By | Academics, Delta Music Institute, General, Students | No Comments

The Follow Your Heart Arts Program, launched by Warner Brothers recording artist Charlie Worsham and funded by a grant from the Country Music Association Foundation, recently completed the first season of partnership with the DMI Entertainment Industry program at Delta State University.

The mission of the Follow Your Heart program is to enrich and empower the lives of young people living in Grenada County through music education, music business career exploration, and the study of the rich history of Mississippi music.

The DMI works with the Follow Your Heart Arts Program by connecting entertainment industry majors who provide instruction and mentoring to students in the program.

In addition to the Follow Your Heart Arts Program, Worsham, a native of Grenada, also founded the Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund to provide financial support to Grenada youth who dream of a career in the arts. In late 2016 he hosted the inaugural Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund Gala, which benefited the fund. Since starting the campaign, Worsham has raised approximately $60,000.

“I realize this is the most important work I’ll ever get to do,” Worsham said.

The idea for the fund was sparked in Worsham during a conversation with a class of teenagers at a high school in Grenada when one girl was too embarrassed to verbalize her dream of acting on Broadway. Worsham said it broke his heart.

“The kids in my hometown need to have hope. And if the kids in my hometown see me doing it, they need to know they can do it, too,” he said.

Worsham most recent CD, “Beginning of Things,” was released on Warner Brothers Records in April.

For more information on Worsham’s Follow Your Heart Scholarship Fund, visit www.FollowYourHeartArts.org. To learn more about the Follow Your Heart Arts program, visit https://www.facebook.com/FollowYourHeartArts/

The DMI offers a B.S. in Entertainment Industry Studies degree in the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State. 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, contact (662) 846-4579 or visit http://dmi.deltastate.edu.

DMI student to intern with Yokohama Theatre Group in Tokyo

By | Delta Music Institute, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

While many students across the nation are enjoying the carefree vibes of summer vacation, Delta State student Chris Autry is hard at work preparing for his internship in Tokyo, Japan, next fall.

Beginning Sept. 6, Autry, a senior Delta Music Institute major from Picayune, will be working with the Yokohama Theatre Group doing live and recorded sound for live performances and video recording. He will also assist with mixing and mastering audio for video as well as video editing.

Originally founded in 1900, the Yokohama Theatre Group is located in Yokohama, Japan, just south of Tokyo. As Japan’s capital city, Tokyo is a mix of modern and traditional society – a change from the cotton fields and never-ending sunsets of the Delta. But, the change in culture is also what attracted Autry. He chose to apply for an internship in Tokyo after visiting friends that lived in Tokyo and Osaka.

“After visiting, I realized that Japan was where I eventually wanted to move to and live,” Autry said. “I considered other places within Japan such as Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and a couple of more places.”

After some further research and a little help from his friends, he found his dream internship. While studying abroad, Autry hopes he can inspire future students to experience new cultures.

“I will also be studying abroad learning the language and hopefully making a study abroad program for other students to be able to come to Japan and experience the same magic that I have,” Autry said. “I hope that I can also share with other students from Delta State some interviews as well as some videos to show a different view of how amazing Japan is.”

DMI Director Tricia Walker said she looks forward to Autry sharing his experiences with other Delta State students when he returns.

“Chris transferred to Delta State from another institution and from day one has been very proactive in his degree path,” said Tricia Walker, director of the DMI. “Having visited Japan before, he took the initiative to seek out an internship position there in his field. He’ll have lots to share with our other students when he returns.”

For more information about the DMI, contact Tricia Walker at 662-846-4579 or twalker@deltastate.edu.

Rockin’ with DMI Fast Track

By | Academics, Delta Music Institute, GRAMMY | No Comments

Story and photos by Rory Doyle

With the majority of Delta State students gone for the summer, local youth were given exclusive access to the state-of-the-art Delta Music Institute facilities for the Fast Track Summer Music Camp this week.

Presented by GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi and Delta Music Institute’s Mobile Music Lab, and support from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, the camp offers junior high musicians insight into the creative and technological processes of recording and performing music.

Campers explored exhibits at the museum and learned about the influence of Mississippians on American music and cultural heritage. Studying the works by Mississippi artists featured in the museum, the students were inspired by their Mississippi predecessors for a closing performance at the museum on June 23.

Throughout the week, guest artists and DMI faculty and students led instruction on recording techniques, mic technique, signal flow, and sonic shaping both in studio and live applications. Aspiring songwriters sharpened the skills of their craft while exploring song structure, harmony, melody, lyric writing and vocal technique. The students also took a special visit to the B.B. King Museum in Indiana to learn about the legend’s roots in the Delta, and had a special visit from Shardé Thomas, a unique fife player in the vanishing blues tradition. She is the granddaughter of Othar Turner, who founded the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band.

See the full story and photos at: http://www.deltastate.edu/photostories/2017/06/28/rockin-dmi-fast-track/

Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS) Announces $3.12 Million in AmeriCorps funding

By | Academics, Community, General | No Comments

Delta State University’s Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) will be one of 11 Mississippi organizations receiving grant funding from a $3.12 million AmeriCorps campaign to support nonprofit and educational organizations across the state.

The grant will continue to support the Delta Reads Plus (DRP) program, which is housed at the CCED on campus. DRP will receive $293,616 thanks to the grant.

Through DRP, 50 AmeriCorps members will provide one-one-one and small group tutoring to students in kindergarten through sixth grade five days a week for the 2017-18 academic term in school districts in Bolivar, Coahoma, Leflore, Sunflower, and Washington counties.

The program will help reach 400 economically disadvantaged students. Focus areas include literacy and math. The AmeriCorps tutors will guide the students to program completion by participating in at least 50 tutoring sessions and helping these students increase their literacy and/or math skills by at least one grade level according to STAR assessment data.

“Public schools in the Mississippi Delta face significant challenges to provide students with a high quality education, such as insufficient resources,” said David Tanner Jr., program director. “Parents, schools, and communities have an exceptional role in the academic success of students. Our goal is to bridge the achievement gap by involving these stakeholders from educationally and economically distressed communities in effective tutorial programs and community improvement projects”.

According to Heather Miller, director of Institutional Grants at Delta State University, “The CCED, MCVS, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) have a long history of successful partnerships. Through Delta Reads Plus, we will further strengthen that partnership and our commitment to provide successful student outcomes.”

DRP is currently seeking school districts and potential members interested in receiving and providing tutoring services within the five target counties for the upcoming school term. Interested districts should contact Tanner at  662-846-4808 or dtanner@deltastate.edu. Interested individuals should contact Bria Beal, program assistant, at 662-846-4807 or bbeal@deltastate.edu. Those interested in serving can also learn more by visiting www.americorps.gov/joinor http://volunteermississippi.org/americorps/americorps-state-programs/.

AmeriCorps members typically receive a modest living stipend and a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, or scholarship, upon completion of their service. The award can be used to pay for future education costs or to pay back student loans.
The federal investment includes 11 AmeriCorps grants to Mississippi nonprofits, Institutions of Higher Learning, and state and local agencies, totaling $3.12 million dollars. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $2.14 million dollars in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment. This funding will support 535 AmeriCorps members who will tackle some of the toughest problems in Mississippi including tutoring and mentoring pre-k through 12 students, conservation/environmental services, and providing health education and physical activities to address obesity.

CNCS will also provide up to $1.6 million dollars in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training, or pay back student loans.

Learn more about Delta State’s CCED at www.deltastate.edu/cced.

Hundley named interim executive director of Alumni-Foundation

By | Alumni, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, President | No Comments

Delta State University recently welcomed Patrick D. Hundley as the interim executive director of the Delta State University Alumni-Foundation.

Hundley took over after former director Keith Fulcher transitioned to the new position of special assistant to the president for donor relations.

He joins Delta State from the REGISTRY for College and University Presidents, an organization that provides experienced higher educational professionals on an interim basis. University and Foundation officials will conduct a search later in the year for a permanent executive director.

“I could not be more pleased with the welcome that I have received here,” said Hundley. “The entire staff of the Foundation and Alumni division has been wonderful, with each person reaching out to do all in his or her power to assist me. I hope to provide the kind of leadership during my short tenure here that will position this excellent staff to be even more successful in the future.

“Furthermore, President LaForge is totally committed to see that Delta State University reaches a next level of greatness, and I am finding that working with him is a real honor and privilege. Delta State and its development and alumni programs are in great hands. The future is very bright.”

Hundley is a native of Jackson, Tennessee. He received a bachelor’s in English from Tennessee Wesleyan College, a master’s in English from Middle Tennessee State University, and an ABD in English from Oklahoma State University.

He has 35 years of experience in university advancement, including serving as assistant chancellor at University of Wisconsin Platteville, vice president at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and vice chancellor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“I am very pleased that Patrick Hundley has joined our alumni-foundation staff as a consultant, and I look forward to working with him during this transition period,” said President William N. LaForge. “He brings a wealth of skills and knowledge in the foundation, development, and alumni fields at several universities, including many very similar to Delta State in size and character.”

Short-term, Hundley’s primary focus is to raise more private funds for the betterment of the university. One goal, he said, was to raise the percentage of alumni who contribute from 7.8 percent to 15 percent.

“We must identify more potential donors among our alumni and friends, and we must get out and see these people, taking the message of Delta State’s importance in educating the best and the brightest for our region and our nation,” he said.

Additionally, as an interim director, Hundley said he hopes to have everything in place so that the next director can hit the ground running to raise funding for Delta State.

“Next year will be the first year when tuition income is greater than the funds provided by the state for the university,” said Hundley. “Therefore, private funds become more important as we keep this great University affordable for our students now and in the future. We especially need to raise more funds for scholarships and student projects. This will be one of the charges that I will give our staff as we move forward.”

Hundley has been married to his wife, Susan, for 42 years. They have three children and three grandchildren.

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