Your vote is needed to bring Levitt back to Cleveland

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

Delta State University is now in the running to bring back another 10-week live music series to Cleveland during the fall of 2016.

The concerts are sponsored by Levitt Pavilions, the national nonprofit organization behind the largest free concert series in America, and Delta State is bidding to be one of the 15 winning organizations competing in the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards in early 2016.

The Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards are an exciting matching grant opportunity created by Levitt Pavilions to serve small to mid-sized towns and cities up to 400,000 people. Fifteen nonprofits, or municipalities partnering with a nonprofit group, will receive up to $25,000 each in matching funds to produce their own Levitt AMP Music Series—an outdoor, free concert series featuring a diverse lineup of professional musicians.

Delta State University successfully received a grant in 2015, and 10 free concerts were held in the Green Space of Cleveland’s downtown walking trail. It was a huge success as the community came together every Thursday night between August 20-October 22 to enjoy a variety of bands from different genres. Delta State has now submitted the 2016 proposal, which is posted on the Levitt AMP website for public voting:

A successful campaign for Delta State depends on community participation to get as many online votes as possible to bring the concert series to town. Community support, as measured by the number of online votes received, will be one of the key factors when Levitt Pavilions selects the 15 winners.

Supporters are asked to visit to register and vote. Online public voting is now open and ends Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. (PST). The Top 25 finalists will be selected through online public voting. Levitt Pavilions will then review the proposals of these 25 finalists, and the 15 Levitt AMP winners will be announced on January 5, 2016.

Amber Foster, Levitt Amp Cleveland coordinator and a student at Delta State’s Delta Music Institute, said votes are important to continue the success of the previous series.

“The Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series 2015 was awesome,” Foster said. “It not only provided a free opportunity for students, but for the whole Cleveland community. That’s the mission for Levitt Pavilions, bringing community together through music. Also, it was an opportunity to bring new music in our area. I can’t wait to see what happens for 2016. The votes are so important for getting this grant. It’s a great way to show community support when applying for a grant like this one.”

Delta State asks supporters to start spreading the word to family, friends, colleagues and neighbors and rally the community to sign up and vote for Delta State’s proposal.

Learn more at


National Alumni Association to host Black Alumni Tailgate Reunion

By | Alumni | No Comments

The National Alumni Association is proud to announce the Black Alumni Tailgate Reunion to be held at Statesmen Park on Saturday (Nov. 7) from noon to 4 p.m.

“Homecoming is about reconnecting with classmates to keep the history of our experiences alive. Delta State today isn’t the same as it was 10, 20 or even 40 years ago. Imagine reuniting with fellow alumni to share those experiences with each other and current students,” said Kelly Hunter, Black Alumni representative to the National Alumni Association Board. “Homecoming is also about making new connections. Together we are a valuable resource to each other. As the representative for the Black Alumni constituent group, I’m looking forward to this year’s Black Alumni Tailgate Reunion and with anticipation, the success of many future events.”

Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs, is looking forward to the organization’s first event.

“The Alumni Office has been overwhelmed with positive interest concerning the first Black Alumni Tailgate Reunion,” said Farris. “Every black alumnus we have a good mailing address for, which totals over 5,000 recipients, received a letter inviting them back to campus for this Homecoming reunion. Thanks to our National Alumni Association board member Kelly Hunter for her hard work and dedication for continuing to grow and engage this constituency group.”

Hotdogs and hamburgers will be provided thanks to Patrick Davis State Farm Agency in Cleveland. T-shirts will be for sale for $12. To RSVP or purchase a t-shirt, visit Active Alumni members who attend the event will entered in a drawing to win a Yeti Hopper Cooler.

The official hashtag for the 2015 Homecoming is #DSUHC15. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 662-846-4660. To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1).

Delta State’s College of Education and Human Sciences will host the 3rd annual Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment Event Nov. 12 from 3-5 p.m. in the Jacob Conference Center, to honor the retired educator Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley.

COEHS to host annual literacy event

By | Academics, College of Education and Human Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Delta State’s College of Education and Human Sciences invites the public to an event celebrating the efforts of retired educator Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley.

From 3-5 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Jacob Conference Center in Ewing Hall, the college will host the 3rd annual Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment Event, with a theme of “A Legacy of Literacy.”

Allen-Bradley was a dedicated promoter of literacy during her time at Delta State and now has The Janie Allen-Bradley Literacy Endowment established in her name.

“As an undergraduate student, Dr. Allen-Bradley taught me an infinite amount of knowledge and pedagogy related to literacy,” said Dr. Merideth Van Namen, assistant professor of teacher education. “It is an incredible feeling to come full circle and honor her and her passion for literacy.”

This year’s featured speaker is Kelly Butler, director of Program Strategy for Barksdale Reading Institute. In her role, she is responsible for leadership and instructional support, teacher evaluations, data collection and analysis, planning professional development programs for BRI and school staff, and serves as a liaison to literacy-related projects linked to the institute.

Prior to joining BRI, Butler served as a teacher in Greenwich, Conn. public schools, and has worked extensively with a variety of non-profit organizations in social service, health care and education in the areas of program development, support and evaluation.

She holds a bachelor’s in special education from the University of Alabama and a master’s in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.

“Please join us in honoring an esteemed former professor from Delta State University, Dr. Janie Allen-Bradley, by taking part in an afternoon devoted to the discussion of literacy featuring Kelly Butler, a wonderful speaker with the Barksdale Reading Institute,” said Dr. Tom Brady, chair of the Division of Teacher Education, Leadership and Research.

Classroom teachers, parents, pre-service teachers and librarians are encouraged to benefit from this event. RSVP the College of Education and Human Sciences at 662-846-4412. Refreshments will be served.

The COEHS operates collaboratively with the other colleges of the university, the university staff, and outside agencies to produce professional graduates who will be effective in the field of human learning and services. The college strives for a stimulating, positive environment and provides its students with professional faculty who emulate and model the profession competencies, skills and affects expected of Delta State graduates.

For more information on the COEHS or its degree programs, visit or call 662-845-4400.

Over 400 Mississippi high school students visited campus Oct. 27 to take part in the Chick fil A Leader Academy Kickoff event.

Delta State hosts Leader Academy for high school students

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Delta State University hosted the Chick fil A Leader Academy Kickoff event on Oct. 27, a program that brought over 400 Mississippi high school students and administrators to campus.

The event kicked off the year-long academy, a platform that will be held in 18 Mississippi high schools that teaches leadership skills and empowers students to put those skills to action. A major goal of the Leader Academy is to inspire students to remain in school and become leaders within their community.

Students will take part in monthly leadership labs at their schools and complete several service projects in their communities throughout the year.

The kickoff included multiple events and was an integral aspect of the students’ initiation into the academy. Students began the day at the Bologna Performing Arts Center where they received detailed information on expectations and goals and heard direct testimonies from schools that have participated in the program.

The assembly was followed by their first Impact Project of the program with Feeding Children Everywhere, packing meals to feed needy children across the state of Mississippi. The project is part of a national effort spanning 325 schools and 10,000 students to feed 1 million children across the United States. The students and administrators came together and packed 101,466 non-perishable meals for children in the state.

Elizabeth Joel, coordinator of Continuing Education at Delta State, has worked closely with Chick fil A over the past few months to plan the event.

“We are very excited about the partnership between Delta State and Chick fil A for this project,” said Joel. “It is a wonderful opportunity for our campus to host over 400 students who are future leaders of our community. We want to demonstrate how important community involvement is at Delta State, in hopes that these students will bring their development, compassionate leadership skills back to our campus when they attend college.”

In addition to hosting the kickoff event, Delta State departments and student organizations have received an open invitation to attend the leadership labs in several high schools over the next year to serve as mentors.

The Leader Academy is funded completely by Chick fil A branches throughout Mississippi. Lance Read, operator of Chick fil A in Oxford, and a team of nine other state-wide operators are spearheading the project. They will work closely with the 18 high schools registered in the program as they complete their monthly leadership labs and service projects for their communities.

Gillian Oakley was crowned 2016 Miss DSU.

Southaven native named Miss DSU

By | Students | No Comments

This past Thursday, Oct .29, Gillian Oakley was named the 2016 Miss DSU.

The SGA sponsored event was hosted at the BPAC on campus. Contestants of the pageant had four categories to participate in: gown, swimsuit, talent and on-stage questions.

Oakley, a freshmen music major from Southaven, sang “Orange Colored Sky” by Natalie Cole for the talent portion of the competition. Her platform is suicide prevention and awareness. In the upcoming months, she will be busy visiting different local and state schools promoting an issue that is very close to her heart.

Oakley said she is very excited about winning the crown.

“I am completely shocked that I now hold the title of Miss DSU, but I am so excited to represent my school this year,” she said.