Photo (left to right): Dr. Temika Simmons (Psi Chi advisor), Dr. Leslie Griffin (Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences), Jammie Marquez (Psi Chi president 2015-16), Dr. Duane Shuttlesworth (psychology faculty), Caroline Bickley (inductee), Alexis Williams (inductee), Dr. Jon Westfall (Psi Chi advisor), Heather Hudgins (inductee), Todd J. Hendrix (inductee), Mary Ashton Fowler (inductee), and Arianna Hodges (Psi Chi secretary).

Psi Chi inducts new members

By | College of Education and Human Sciences | No Comments

The Division of Counselor Education and Psychology recently introduced the spring 2016 inductees for Psi Chi, an international honor society in psychology.

The inductees include: Caroline Bickley, Katherine Cabrera, Mary Ashton Fowler, Todd J. Hendrix, Heather Hudgins, Alexis Williams and Karley Windham.

Psi Chi is an earned, lifelong, honorable membership. This honor is reserved for psychology majors and/or minors completing at least nine semester hours in psychology with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Bob Santelli, executive director of the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE, will keynote commencement ceremonies May 7 at 10 a.m. inside Walter Sillers Coliseum. Santelli will also receive the Doctor of Arts and Letters honorary degree.

Delta State to honor Santelli at commencement

By | Academics, GRAMMY, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State University will celebrate the 2016 Spring Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. May 7 inside Walter Sillers Coliseum. The institution, friends and family will unite to recognize the accomplishments of 442 graduates.

The graduates include recipients of bachelors, masters, education specialists and doctoral degrees — all of whom have made their impact on the storied history of Delta State.

The keynote speaker for the commencement address is Bob Santelli, executive director of the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE. Santelli’s leadership was crucial to making GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi a reality on Delta State University’s campus.

Santelli will also be granted an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts and Letters as part of Delta State’s long-running tradition of recognizing green and white greatness.

Delta State confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally or other areas of society. Achievements can include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support.

Santelli was named executive director of the GRAMMY Museum in 2006. A noted blues and rock historian, he is credited for developing the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festival, and has authored three books on the blues: “The Big Book of Blues: A Biographical Encyclopedia,” “The Best of the Blues: The 101 Essential Blues Albums” and “Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey.”

Santelli also served as a consultant on Scorsese’s “The Blues” series for PBS, and co-created a 10-part history of the blues series for PBS radio. He was also honored with the Keeping the Blues Alive Award from The Blues Foundation, and taught courses on the blues at Monmouth University in New Jersey and the University of Washington.

Delta State President William N. LaForge will provide introductions at the ceremony, while presentations of candidates and degrees will be led by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles McAdams.

Follow all news at Delta State University at

Delta State student Zack Odoms recently completed a semester-long internship for U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

Odoms completes Senate internship with Cochran

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U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) recently commended Zack Odoms, a senior at Delta State University, for successfully completing a semester-long internship in his Washington, D.C. office.

“I appreciate the good assistance that Zack provided my office this semester, and hope that his experience on Capitol Hill will serve him well in the future,” said Cochran.

A native of Pascagoula, Mississippi, Odoms is a biology major and enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard. He served in Washington as the 2016 Congressional Fellow sponsored by Delta State, the Delta Council and the Staple Cotton Cooperative Association. He is the son of Clifford Odoms of Jackson and Janretta Odoms of Crystal Springs. 

During his internship, which began in January, Odoms assisted Cochran’s staff in different capacities, including constituent service, correspondence and tracking veterans’ health and defense issues. 

The Cochran internship program is designed to give young Mississippi students a first-hand opportunity to experience the federal legislative process and the operation of a U.S. Senate office.



BPAC announces 2016 Summer Movie Series

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Now in its fourth year, the Bologna Performing Arts Center plans to screen major motion pictures on its big screen in the Delta & Pine Land Theatre through the annual Summer Movie Series. All tickets are $5 for general admission seating. Popcorn and other movie-style concessions will be available to complement the experience. Sales will be cash only.

The first film of the summer will be “Zootopia,” rated PG, on June 7 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The film is the latest from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

On June 14, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Studio’s “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” will be shown at 7 p.m. The film is rated PG-13 and stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, and Amy Adams.

On June 21, the 2016 release of “Miracles From Heaven” will be screened at 7 p.m. Based on the incredible true story of a young girl’s miraculous cure from a disorder, this faith-based drama stars Jennifer Garner and is rated PG.

Tom Hank’s latest film, “A Hologram for the King,” will be shown June 28 at 7 p.m. The film is rated R and is based on the book by the same title, in which an American businessman tries to close the deal of a lifetime in Saudi Arabia.

Finally, on July 19, the BPAC will feature Disney’s all-new, live-action epic adventure “The Jungle Book” at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The PG-rated film is inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s works and the 1967 Walt Disney animated classic of the young orphan boy Mowgli who is raised by animals.

For more information, tickets, and to see film trailers, visit, or call the ticket office at 662-846-4626.

After learning about the new blues studies program at Delta State, a group of Swedish music enthusiasts gathered at the Cast of Blues exhibit at The Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

DCCL immerses Swedish tour group in Mississippi Delta’s culture

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The Delta Center for Culture and Learning’s experiential learning component continues to introduce diverse groups of visitors to the vibrant cultural heritage of the 18-county Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area.

Recently, The Delta Center hosted a Swedish tour group visiting the Mississippi Delta during Juke Joint Festival. This is the third year the center has hosted this international group of traveling music enthusiasts.

Organized and led by Anders Roddar and Klaus Engstrom, the group came to the Mississippi Delta to be immersed in the “Birthplace of the Blues.” During this particular visit, the group also learned about and experienced more of the Delta region’s various cultural heritage assets, including African American worship practices, civil rights landmarks and soul food.

“We try to vary our trips each year. This year’s trip is called ‘Rock Your Blues’ and we started in Woodstock, New York before making our way down here,” said Engstrom. “We have been in Clarksdale several times before, but this is our first time here for the Juke Joint festival.”

“The culture here in the Delta is so rich and so real. We love the music, the food, the places, and most of all, the people,” said Roddar. “This time, we wanted to do something that we had not done before, so I said let’s see if we can go to an African American church service. We are so happy that The Delta Center did this for us. The church was so welcoming and the members there embraced us. It felt like coming home.”

During the week, the group visited the “Cast of Blues” exhibit at The Delta Center, Dockery Farms, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and Po Monkey’s Lounge, the world famous rural juke joint in Merigold. They crossed the Emmett Till Memorial Highway to gather at Robert Johnson’s gravesite at Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Greenwood. The group dined on fried catfish and BBQ at The Senator’s Place and Airport Grocery in Cleveland. And they attended worship service at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksdale.

Attending a worship service at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksdale.

Attending a worship service at New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksdale.

For many on the trip, this was their first visit to Mississippi. Peggy Sempler-Boccalini now makes her home in the south of France and attends music festivals regularly. For her, Clarksdale’s festival was one of the best she has attended.

“The feeling is all about the festival. I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “I live in France now, and we have a lot of festivals and they’re very nice, but there’s something different here. The communication, the being together. You speak with everyone. You are friends. It’s just a very nice feeling here.”

Several of The Delta Center’s experiential learning sites are included on the Top 40 Places to Visit in the Mississippi Delta website. The website was launched recently by GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in partnership with the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area to promote the entire Mississippi Delta as a cultural heritage tourism destination. To learn more, visit

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 Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and is the home of the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop and the International Delta Blues Project.