Aaron Francois, Christopher Phillips, Dr. Yongqin Zhang

MAS-GIT students and faculty represent DSU at state conference

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Dr. Yongqin Zhang, assistant professor and director of the MAS-GIT program in the Department of Biological Sciences, and three MAS-GIT students recently gave presentations at the fourth Mississippi Geospatial Conference held at Long Beach on Oct. 20 and 21.

MAS-GIT student Kory Iman received the student poster award.  His research, “A Geospatial Method to Develop Infrastructure of Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations,” demonstrated the geospatial applications in transportation analysis.  He used multi-factor analysis to identify optimal locations for installing EV charging stations for the walking public, and gave the government some spatial considerations and guidance for transportation planning.

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Kory Iman

Iman was not able to show up in the conference due to a training session in Washington D.C. Dr. Zhang brought the award of a $50 check back on behalf of Iman.

The other two MAS-GIT students Aaron Francois and Christopher Phillips gave presentations titled “Study of the Zika Virus using Disease Mapping and Ecological Niche Models” and “Determining Species of Greatest Conservation Need Occurrence in the Yazoo River Drainage, Mississippi,” respectively. Dr. Zhang gave a presentation titled “Investigating the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Natural Gas Production and Vegetation Change through Remote Sensing.” Their research utilizes GIS and remote sensing technologies in vegetation and natural gas production analysis, mosquito disease mapping and modeling, and fish species and habitat analysis.

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Dr. Zhang

“As the advisor, I am so proud of these MAS-GIT students for their excellent research ability and motivation in applied research using GIT. All of them represented DSU so well. This brings up the reputation of our master’s program.” said Zhang.

Panel participants included (left to right): Scottie Willis (Interdisciplinary Studies); Garyanna Simmons (Social Work); moderator Dr. Carolyn Casale; Rhahan Sarwar (CIS); Kelsa Powell (Social Work); and Hafsa Alharoon (MBA/Accounting). Photo by Kelly Kirkland.

Student panel focuses on technology

By | Faculty/Staff, Office of Information Technology, Students | No Comments

The Office of Information Technology hosted a Connected Learner Panel on Wednesday in celebration of Connected Educator Month.

Five Delta State students participated in the discussion moderated by Dr. Carolyn Casale, assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Sciences. The topic was “Connected Learners: Perspectives in Learning with Technology from Millennials and Gen Z.”

The discussion explored how students representing these generations respond to technologies used in online and face-to-face class environments. Panelists shared their motivations in learning with technology, expectations for using technologies in class, and gave insight as to what the future of technology should look like to prepare them for the future.

“It was very interesting to learn how students see things,” said Casale. “Sometimes, as instructors, we aren’t aware of the positive impact we are having. This was very useful information.”

Casale posed several questions to uncover ways instructors are using technology to improve student participation and performance. Students mirrored recent research by indicating that they would benefit from more technology training tutorials, intermittent social media activity, and tools to develop their online research skills. Panelists agreed that campus instructors were moving in the right direction for engaging learners, technology diversity and interaction.

“I am shy and sometimes afraid to speak in class,” said social work major Garyanna Simmons, “But working online in discussions improved my confidence to speak up and participate.”

“Blended formats work best for me because we like the convenience of online, but we need that occasional face-to-face,”said MBA and accounting graduate student Hafsa Alharoon. “Interaction with the professor is very important.”

Dr. Nicole House, director of instructional technology, said understanding the current technological needs is imperative.

“Gen Z consists of digital natives born between the mid-1990s and 2010, and they are becoming the majority in our college classrooms,” said House. “So if we understand their needs and expectations, we can develop new teaching strategies to challenge them as well as prepare them to work in a world that requires technical proficiency.”

Learn more about Connected Educator Month at http://www.connectededucators.org.

Allie Rose Parker, SGA president at Delta State, recently became the first student appointed to the board of directors for the Cleveland-Bolivar County  Chamber of Commerce.

Parker named to Chamber Board of Directors

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Allie Rose Parker, Student Government Association president at Delta State, recently became the first student member of the Board of Directors for the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce.

Parker was appointed to the position at the recommendation of Board President Heather Robinson ’01, ’03. She will begin her duties next month.

“This is a special opportunity for me because I have the chance to interact with some of the people who work so hard to make Cleveland the awesome city that it is,” said Parker. “As a student, I feel that I’ll be able to learn from these men and women and gain experiences and knowledge for the future.”

“Cleveland is a unique city because the residents here care so deeply about DSU,” she added. “With this position, I hope to involve the city even more with events happening on our campus. Community events are such a big thing in Cleveland, and with the city and Delta State working together, I think we will see some really great things accomplished.”

Chamber Executive Director Judson Thigpen ’78 said he’s thrilled to bring a student voice on board.

“We feel a strong bond with Delta State, especially with the faculty and staff, and we wanted to become more mindful of the things students would like to see,” said Thigpen ’78. “We really value Allie Rose’s input as she represents the student body, and we expect that each year the SGA president would serve this role for the Chamber.”

Dr. Vernell Bennett, Delta State’s vice president of Student Affairs, said this is the perfect opportunity for Parker to strengthen the university’s bond with the community.

“This is a great opportunity for Allie Rose and very insightful of the Chamber to include the student voice on its board,” said Bennett. “In doing so, I believe they’ll see a marked increase in DSU students being engaged in their programming and activities. I think it’s mutually beneficial because it allows both entities to capitalize off of the strengths of the other. DSU students will benefit from the Chamber’s programming, services, networking opportunities and possible merchant mentorships.”

Bennett noted that this has become a semester of firsts for Parker. She also became the first Delta State student to have voting privileges on the President’s Cabinet.

Delta State President William N. LaForge echoed Bennett’s praise for this opportunity.

“We’re very moved that the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber invited our SGA president to be on the board,” said LaForge. “Just as Allie Rose will serve on the President’s Cabinet, now the Chamber has the benefit of student input for the community. It’s a wonderful illustration of town-gown relations and the engagement of students who have very important perspectives. She will be a great member of their board.”

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

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Open auditions for musical “Rock of Ages”

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Open call auditions for Delta State’s February show, “Rock of Ages,” will take place in room 302A located in the Student Union on Nov. 2 from 7-10 p.m.

Director Charly Abraham aims to recreate a stark, Hollywood feel with a full band and a cast that can demonstrate what rock theater is all about.

Auditions will consist of performing one of the four songs listed below and a cold reading from the script. All parts require singing and stage movement. Headshots are requested but not required.

Tracks will be provided to the following audition songs (pick one):

  1. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  2. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
  3. Hit Me with Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
  4. I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Roles are open to everyone between the ages 18-60. Callbacks, if necessary, will be announced on Nov. 4. Character descriptions can be found at http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/35180/rock-of-ages. Performances will run Feb. 20-22, 2017 in Jobe Hall Auditorium on Delta State’s campus.

For more information, contact Carrie Lynn Stanford at rockofagesdsu@gmail.com.

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BPAC School Matinee Series Begins with “A Year with Frog and Toad”

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The Bologna Performing Arts Center presented “A Year with Frog and Toad” on Oct. 25, the first show in its School-Time Matinee Series.

Approximately 1,500 students in pre-kindergarten to sixth grades from schools in Mississippi and Arkansas attended the musical which was nominated for three TONY Awards, including Best Musical. The performance was locally sponsored by Monsanto.

Based on Arnold Lobel’s beloved children’s books, the whimsical musical featuring a jazzy, upbeat score follows two great friends — the cheerful, popular Frog and the curmudgeonly Toad — through four, fun-filled seasons, meeting new friends along the way. Waking from hibernation in the spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, “A Year with Frog and Toad” tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.

“A Year with Frog and Toad” is produced by Casa Mañana, the same theatre company who produced the acclaimed 2013 tour of “Junie B in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” that was presented at the BPAC.

The next performance in School-Time Matinee Series will be Parsons Dance Company on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 11 a.m. Parsons Dance is a New York City-based modern dance company internationally renowned for its athletic ensemble work. Recommended for middle and high school audiences, teachers and students alike will be amazed by these talented dancers. A complete study guide is available to complement the production.

Scholarship tickets are also available for public schools through partnerships with the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi and Double Quick, Inc. For more information, schools groups can visit www.bolognapac.com/education or call 662-846-4844.