Dr. Rolando Herts receives the Georgene Clark Diversity Champion Award from Arlene Sanders, Diversity Committee chair (center) on behalf of The Delta Center, along with staff members (left to right) Patricia Webster, Heather Miller, Lee Aylward and student employees Lydia Haley and Moira Fair. Student employees not pictured include Stephanie Green and Erica Spiller.

Delta Center presented 2016 Georgene Clark Diversity Champion Award

By | Delta Center, Diversity Committee, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

The Diversity Committee at Delta State University recently awarded the 2016 Georgene Clark Diversity Champion Award to The Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

The inaugural Diversity Champion Award was presented to Georgene Clark, retired assistant professor of English. The award was presented to Clark at the 2015 Winning the Race conference where it was announced that the award was being named in her honor. The annual conference promotes conversations between and among individuals and communities about race relations, social justice, diversity and inclusion.

This is the second year that the award has been presented, which was was established by Delta State University’s Diversity Committee to recognize individuals and divisions/departments that have made extraordinary efforts to promote diversity awareness at Delta State and in the broader community.

Dr. Temika Simmons and Dr. Garry Jennings, co-chairs for the 2016 Winning the Race conference, both praised The Delta Center for its commitment to diversity awareness.

“The Delta Center has been an active partner with the Winning the Race conference since it began three years ago,” said Simmons, assistant professor of psychology and recipient of the 2016 Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning’s Award for Excellence in Diversity. “The Delta Center’s ongoing support of the conference, among several other projects and initiatives, is noteworthy and deserves the university-wide recognition that this award embodies.”

“The Delta Center’s collaboration is essential to the success of the Winning the Race Conference. It means that the conference has the support of an organization deeply involved with the culture, history and, most importantly, the soul of the Mississippi Delta,” said Jennings, professor of political science and director of the The Madison Center. “In keeping alive the history of this region, the Delta Center connects the past to our efforts in the present, building hope for justice in the future. This is essential for our work on the Winning the Race Conference.”

Arlene Sanders, instructor of political science and chair of the Diversity Committee, presented the award during the closing session of the 2016 Winning the Race conference.

“For several years, The Delta Center has offered programs that highlight the Mississippi Delta’s rich cultural diversity,” said Sanders. “They offer National Endowment for the Humanities workshops that attract educators from all over the country to learn about the Delta. They manage the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area that offers programs like the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership about African American church mothers. They direct an international blues project that highlights the global influence of blues music and culture. For these reasons and many more, The Delta Center is most deserving of this award.”

Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center, accepted the award on behalf of The Delta Center.

“The Delta Center is honored to receive the Georgene Clark Diversity Champion Award,” said Herts. “For over 15 years, The Delta Center has been promoting appreciation of the Mississippi Delta’s diverse culture and history as part of the American experience. That includes telling inclusive stories involving cultural perspectives regarding race, social injustice, civil rights, regional identity, and even expressions of faith.”

The Delta Center met the following criteria for the award: innovative teaching, educational programming, or activities designed to engender diversity within the classroom and/or curriculum at Delta State; a documented record of committee work, community involvement or outreach to the local community by a campus organization or department or division; and active leadership in promoting cultural diversity at Delta State.

To learn more about The Delta Center, visit http://deltacenterdsu.com/.

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.

The 2015 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Lucy Janoush (center) with Ann Giger, director of Donor Relations, and Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs.

Alumni Association Seeking Nominations for Annual Awards Gala

By | Alumni | No Comments

The Delta State University Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the 2016 Alumni Service Awards, Alumni Hall of Fame and Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. The deadline for nominations is May 27. The award recipients will be recognized at the Annual Alumni Awards Gala on October 14 during Homecoming weekend.

“The Annual Alumni Awards Gala celebrates the accomplishments of our alumni and friends of Delta State University,” said Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs. “The awards banquet gives us the opportunity to showcase our alums, invite alumni to campus, and host a formal gathering in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.”

The Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award was established to give recognition to an alumnus of Delta State who has made significant contributions to human or institutional programs in which a situation, an institution or a movement has been materially changed for the better because of that individual’s personal participation.

Induction into the Delta State University Alumni Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the Alumni Association. Established in 2007, the Alumni Hall of Fame is extended to alumni and friends who have achieved professional distinction and made significant community service contributions at the local, national and/or international level, and who have thus brought honor and distinction to the university.

The Gladys Castle “Friend of Delta State” Service Award was named for Gladys Castle, a 46-year employee of Delta State who served as the first alumni secretary, and is presented to recognize outstanding service and contributions to the university by a non-alumnus.

The Kent Wyatt “Young Alumnus” Service Award is named for Dr. Forest Kent Wyatt, president emeritus of 24 years, and recognizes outstanding service and contributions to Delta State by a young alumnus 36 years of age or younger.

The Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award is named for Hugh Ellis Walker, a 24-year director of the Delta State University Alumni/Foundation, and recognizes outstanding service and contributions to Delta State by an alumnus.

The Legacy Award is presented to someone who has made an institutional change upon the university. The Alumni Chapter of the Year is presented to an alumni chapter that is dedicated to raising scholarship dollars for Delta State students in their area.

The Dr. Henry Outlaw Faculty and Staff Service Award was established in 2014 as a way to recognize former faculty or staff members who have made a significant influence in the life of the university and/or the National Alumni Association.

To nominate a person or a group for an award, and to view past recipients, visit http://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/alumniawardwinners. Nomination forms can be submitted online or mailed to DSU Box 3104 Cleveland, MS 38733.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (http://www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for this year’s Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 24) and Homecoming (Oct. 15).

President Lashaundrea Crook (left) of the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, presents Delta State student Katherine Floyd with the 2016 Outstanding Dietetics Student award.

Floyd honored as 2016 Outstanding Dietetics Student

By | College of Education and Human Sciences, Students | No Comments

Delta State student Katherine Floyd recently received statewide recognition as the 2016 Outstanding Dietetics Student (Coordinated Programs) for Mississippi. She received the award at the annual Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MSAND) meeting in Hattiesburg in early April.

The Outstanding Dietetics Student Award program recognizes the emerging leadership and achievement of students in ACEND-accredited and approved dietetics education programs, and encourages their participation in the MSAND.

“Katie is one of the extremely rare students who combines most any characteristic and skill a professor could wish for in a student — professionalism, curiosity, quest for knowledge, ability to work as a team or individually, and strong work ethic. I could go on and on,” said Dr. Virginia Webb, assistant professor of Family and Consumer Sciences at Delta State. “Katie has served as a leader at each university she attended and also served her university through volunteer efforts.”

Floyd excels as a student in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at Delta State. She came to DSU after completing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi and a Master’s degree at the University of Southern Mississippi.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Delta State, and I believe my experience in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics has given me the knowledge and resources I need to begin my career as a successful dietitian,” said Floyd. “Working with my fellow interns, professors, patients, and interdisciplinary team of medical professionals has been an experience unlike any other, and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of nutrition and dietetics.”

Dr. Ensley Howell also attended the MSAND conference.

“Katie is a very mature and hard working student,” said Howell. “She has served as president of the Student Dietetic Association and has been a model student. “

MSAND is a state affiliate association of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which has 70,000 members nationally and throughout the world.

Alpha Epsilon Delta recently held its annual initiation ceremony at Delta State University. This year's initiates included: (front row, left to right) Kimberly Austin, Skylar Kuehn, Dana Rico, Lavenus Dudley, Christin Manor, Sara Barrett (back, l to r) Zachary Kinler, Kelby Flemons, Jean Blackmon, Parker Pearson, Anthony Tate and Tyler Sullivan

AED initiates 2016 members

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

Alpha Epsilon Delta recently held its annual initiation ceremony at Delta State University.

This year’s initiates included: Kimberly Austin, Skylar Kuehn, Dana Rico, Lavenus Dudley, Christin Manor, Sara Barrett, Zachary Kinler, Kelby Flemons, Jean Blackmon, Parker Pearson, Anthony Tate and Tyler Sullivan.

AED is the world’s largest honor society exclusively serving premedical education. The mission of the society is to encourage and recognize excellence in premedical scholarship; to stimulate an appreciation of the importance of premedical education; to promote communication between medical and premedical students and educators; to provide a forum for students with common interests; and to use its resources to benefit health organizations, charities and the community.

The Mississippi Eta Chapter seeks to provide its members with the opportunity to meet with various professionals within the medical community, pre-health advisors, and admissions officers from various professional schools. Additionally, it works to provide its members with the necessary information (such as application deadlines, course requirements, and interview strategies) that is vital to successfully gaining admission to professional school and for succeeding once arriving. Its members are also encouraged to participate in community service.

For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/biological-and-physical-sciences/aed.


U.S. Sen. Kerry Moran of Kansas will keynote the 81st annual Delta Council meeting at Delta State on May 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Senator Jerry Moran to keynote Delta Council

By | Delta Council | No Comments

Delta Council President Al Rankins, of Greenville, announced today that U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas will be the featured guest and keynote speaker for the 81st annual meeting of Delta Council, to be held on the Delta State University campus at 10:30 a.m, May 20, at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

“We are so pleased that our friend from Kansas, Jerry Moran, will be the featured speaker for this year’s Delta Council Annual Meeting,” said Rankins, a retired businessman and elected official. “Senator Moran has been to the Delta several times to meet with us over the years and has a passion for rural development and job creation issues.”

Moran was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Additionally, he serves as chairman of the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee. Since joining the Senate, Moran has been a leading advocate for issues related to entrepreneurship, job creation and innovation. 

“We have known Senator Moran since he was a leader in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Agriculture Committee, and after moving to the Senate, he has ascended into an extremely prominent position, chairing the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee,” said Gibb Steele, chairman of the Delta Council Rice and Small Grains Committee. “Chairman Moran has been to the Delta many times in his capacity as Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, and he has weighed in heavily on our behalf on several matters since passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.”

Prior to his service in the Senate, Moran served Kansas in the “Big First” Congressional District for seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as eight years in the Kansas State Senate, spending the last two as Majority Leader.

Moran attended Fort Hays State University and later, the University of Kansas, where he received both an undergraduate degree and a juris doctorate. 

In addition to the keynote by Moran, Delta Council will honor more than 140 high school seniors as Delta Honor Graduates with the ceremony beginning at 9 a.m., located under the tent next to the BPAC. Dignitaries will welcome the Honor Graduates, their families and school officials, to the annual meeting and present them with engraved certificates recognizing them as 2016 Honor Graduates. The top Honor Graduate will be selected by higher education officials and be presented a $2,500 scholarship during the 10:30 a.m. business session.

“The Delta Honor Graduate event is designed to raise the level of awareness of parents, teachers,and our local communities of the importance of bringing these bright young minds back to the Delta after they have completed their formal and advanced education,” said Cass Pennington of Indianola, who serves as chairman of the Delta Council Education and Health Policy Committee.

The tradition of a fried catfish luncheon on the quad will conclude the program.

Sponsors for the meeting include: BankPlus, Catfish Farmers of Mississippi, Cotton, Inc., Sanders, Inc., Mississippi Corn Promotion Board, Mississippi Rice Promotion Board, Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, and Southern Ag Credit/Mississippi Land Bank.