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VISTA accepting applications

By | Center for Community and Economic Development | No Comments

In its fight against poverty, the AmeriCorps*VISTA program, under the direction of Linda Stringfellow, is now accepting applications for full-time members. Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members focus on building sustainable programs by strengthening an organization’s infrastructure, expanding community partnerships, and securing long-term resources.

VISTA members will receive, in exchange for a 12-month commitment to service, a modest living stipend, an end of term education award or cash stipend, free health insurance, student loan forbearance or deferment, priceless skills development and much more.

“In combatting illiteracy, health concerns and economic despair, some of your efforts may include implementing marketing campaigns, coordinating educational workshops, recruiting other volunteers, or organizing fundraising efforts,” said Stringfellow.

May’s Member of the Month, Shannon Curtis, is a testament to impactful community change. Joining VISTA led her to Mississippi where helps build and sustain a viable local food system with the Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network and Sustainable Oxford.

During her first six months in Oxford, Curtis hosted monthly forums and potlucks concerning issues of sustainability, social justice, poverty, transportation, water issues and more. She facilitated discussions of food systems development during the LOU Homelessness Summit. Additionally, she also developed the MSAN program Sustainable Oxford by building a steering committee of more than 25 volunteers.

Curtis has built coalitions with partner organizations like the University Of Mississippi Office Of Sustainability, City of Oxford Recycling Department, McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, Leadership Lafayette, Oxford City Market, Mississippi Farm to School Network and more.

VISTA openings in Sunflower, Panola and Tunica counties are waiting to be filled.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen. Apply to the program at www.nationalservice.gov and select “I’m Ready to Serve.” Participants must also attend one of the recruitment sessions on either June 28 or June 30. Sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m.

For more information, contact Lakisha L. Butler, program associate for marketing and recruiting, at 662-846-4848 or kbutler@deltastate.edu.

Teachers taking part in the Delta Math Science Partnership Initiative  included: (front row, left to right) Darla McDaniel, Tina McDonald, Meghan Davis, Allison Berg, Anna Melton, Sonya Burchfield, Anna Glenn, Sherri Williams,
(second row, l to r) Karen Bright, Sheronda Lee, Demetras Jones, Bruce Goldstein, Aneshia McDaniel, Betty Shelly, Chandria McKnight, Shunquita Henry, Tameka Davis, Rolanda Swarptue. Mary Frances Malatesta.
(third row, l to r) Mary Garcia, Camellia Jenkins, Rosemary Collins, Arika Armstrong, Elizabeth Stallworth, Karen Haun, Jacinta Brown, Annie Steele, Heidi Barbian, Yolanda McGee, Betty Roby, Annie Love, Katherine Thomas, Glenda Lollis-Hawkins, Maria Thigpen, Gregory Jackson Jr., Samuel Mettu and Patrick Evans .

Delta Math Science Partnership hosts institute

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Sciences | No Comments

Delta State University recently hosted 39 Mississippi teachers at the Delta Math Science Partnership Summer Institute (MSP) from June 6-17.

The program providing learning designed to support increased content knowledge for grades K-8 in-service mathematics teachers who are committed to fidelity of implementation of the Mississippi College- and Career- Readiness Standards for Mathematics.

Mathematics instruction was provided by Dr. David Hebert and Dr. Liza Cope from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Mathematics, with support from Laura Little, Cecelia Jones, Bib Belenchia and Kathleen Lott. Leadership was also provided by the College of Education and Human Sciences.

MSP, a federal program backed by the U.S. Department of Education, strives to improve teacher quality through partnerships between state education agencies, institutions of higher education, high-need local education agencies and schools in order to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science.

In January, MSP at Delta State was selected by the State Board of Education for a new round of grant support to continue its programming. The major grant funding will come over a three-year period, totaling over $1.1 million.

NEH "Most Southern" workshop participants enjoy a welcome reception before starting an intensive week of Mississippi Delta experiential learning led by the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

Delta Center begins “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop

By | Delta Center | No Comments

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning’s “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop kicked off its seventh year with an opening reception at the Martin and Sue King Railroad Museum in downtown Cleveland on Sunday.

The workshop is a week-long educational and cultural immersion experience for 36 participants from over 20 states. The workshop is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Joshuah Totten-Greenwood teaches high school history in New Hampshire. He was particularly drawn to the workshop because of the hands-on learning environment it provides.

“I like to learn by doing. I needed to see the actual places — talk about them with the people that are from here,” said Totten-Greenwood. “Otherwise forget it. It’s just not the same learning from books as it is actually being there.”

For the next five days, participants will travel around the Delta interacting directly with historically and culturally significant people and places in the region.

“I’ve always loved jazz and the blues. I’m classically trained, but I’ve never really been in the South before. I’ve always just listened to the music,” said Melody Nishinaga, a New York elementary school music teacher. “I’m really excited to be able to explore the history and the culture this week.”

The NEH workshop has created a national network of over 500 educational and cultural ambassadors for the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. Participants take what they have learned from the workshop back to their schools and communities, sharing stories and lessons from the Delta with students, colleagues, family and friends, nationally and globally.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop and the International Delta Blues Project.

Frank Sibley '71 has been elected chairman of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

Alumnus elected chairman of Mississippi Bankers Association

By | Alumni, Community | No Comments

Frank Sibley ’71, president and CEO of Citizens Bank & Trust Bancshares in Marks, Mississippi, has been elected chairman of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

Sibley graduated from Delta State with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. He also completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University and the Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma.

The MBA is a 127-year-old trade association representing all banks and savings institutions operating in Mississippi. MBA members hold over 95 percent of all bank deposits in the state.  

As MBA chairman, he will chair the association’s board of directors and executive committee.

Sibley has been an officer with Citizens Bank & Trust for 32 years. He joined the company in 1984 after working for Peoples Bank of Indianola for 12 years.

His involvement in the MBA includes service as vice chairman and treasurer, as well as a three-year term on the MBA board of directors. Additionally, he served as chairman of the board of the MBA Education Foundation, and served on the MBA Insurance Committee, Executive Committee and Legislative Committee.

Active in his community, Sibley is president of Wellsgate Homeowners Association in Oxford. He is also a past president of the Wilson Lake Country Club, Delta State University Foundation Board, Marks Rotary Club and Indianola Lions Club. He is a member of Marks Presbyterian Church where he serves as an Elder.

Sibley and his wife, Kay ’73, have two children. Their son, Taylor, is president and chief operating officer of the Marks office of CB&T. Their daughter, Dr. Gina Russell, is an audiologist at Magnolia Speech School in Clinton. 

First Lady Nancy LaForge will serve as vice president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.

Mrs. LaForge elected VP of MIAL

By | Community, President | No Comments

Delta State University First Lady Nancy LaForge was recently elected to the role of vice president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL).

Now in its 37th year, MIAL celebrates Mississippi’s artists, musicians and writers.

LaForge, who previously served as a MIAL board member, will serve one year as VP and then as president.

“I am humbled to be elected vice president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and grateful for the opportunity to serve an organization so dedicated to promoting the arts,” said LaForge. “MIAL sponsors the only juried arts and literature competition and awards ceremony in the state of Mississippi.”

“As vice president, I will oversee the category chairmen responsible for receiving and organizing all nominations for awards,” added LaForge. “I am thrilled to be working with an outstanding group of people in the MIAL, and I am dedicated to supporting the artists, musicians and writers who share our wonderful Mississippi connection.”

JoAnne Prichard Morris of Jackson will serve as president this year, and LaForge will begin her service as president in 2017.

In 1978, MIAL was dreamed up by a few discerning individuals, including former Governor William Winter, Dr. Aubrey Lucas (former president of Delta State), Dr. Cora Norman, Dr. Noel Polk, and Keith McLean of Cleveland. These founding members believed that among Mississippi’s greatest riches are its artists, writers, and musicians, who must be supported, nurtured and recognized.

MIAL strives to recognize outstanding achievement in seven categories: fiction, non-fiction, visual arts, musical composition (concert), musical composition (popular), photography and poetry.

Each year, MIAL hosts an awards gala to recognize and honor the artistic achievements of living Mississippians. The ceremony, which is hosted in different cities across the state, will take place at Delta State in June of 2017.

Learn more about MIAL at http://www.ms-arts-letters.org.