Delta Music Institute students recently visiting the White House included: (left to right)  Rhett McCormick (Bruce, MS); Anna Katherine McKay (Canton, MS); Kailey Mathis (Madison, MS); Audrianna Johnson (Grenada, MS); Katye Mangialardi (Olive Branch, MS); Brandon Evans (Greenwood, MS); Jacob Lifsey (Lexington, TN); Cody Upchurch (Grenada, MS); Joshua Stubbs (Meridian, MS); and Thomas Walker, Jr. (West Point, MS).

DMI students visit White House

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The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live, in cooperation with the White House and WETA (a non-commercial, public radio station in Washington, D.C.), invited Delta Music Institute students to the White House on Feb. 24 for an education program to celebrate the musical legacy of Ray Charles. The interactive workshop featured gospel legend Yolanda Adams, R&B singer Leon Bridges, singers Audra Day and Demi Lovato, and actor Jussie Smollett talking about, and performing, Charles’ soulful classics for 130 youth from across the country.

These annual education programs are part of the “In Performance at the White House” concert series and is a follow-up to 2010’s “Music that Inspired the Movement,” 2011’s “The Sound of Young America: The History of Motown” and “The History of Country Music: From Barn Dances to Pop Charts,” 2012’s “At the Crossroads: A History of the Blues in America,” 2013’s “Soulsville, USA: The History of Memphis Soul,” “Celebrando el Ritmo Latino: The History of Latin Music,” 2014’s “I’m Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul,” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever: A History of Music and the Military,” and 2015’s “The History of Gospel Music” and “A Celebration of Song.”

This program was supplemented with curriculum and additional educational materials from The GRAMMY Museum education department as well as streamed live for students from around the country to watch in their classrooms.

Joshua Stubbs, entertainment industry major from Meridian, said, “It was awesome that we learned from the experts in D.C. exactly what we’re learning in our DMI classes.”

“I had a great time being able to experience the heart of America in such a meaningful way,” siad EIS major Cody Upchurch from Grenada. “ It was an exceptional trip that opened my eyes to what America truly is.”

Along with the GRAMMY Museum educational program, the students also had the opportunity to tour the Museum of American History and monuments along the National Mall.

“What I hope our students get out of this is the connection between Mississippi and all the great genres of America music,” said DMI director Tricia Walker. “I want them to be proud of the musical legacy that Mississippi has.”

The DMI is an independent center of study under the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State University, offering a bachelor’s degree in entertainment industry studies. The focus of the DMI is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative and business areas of the music and entertainment industry. For information, visit

The Delta Student University African American Student Council held its spring induction ceremony  Wednesday by welcoming 45 new members.

African American Student Council hosts induction

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The Delta Student University African American Student Council held its spring induction ceremony Wednesday in the Lena Roberts Sillers Chapel.

Lead by the executive board members and advisors, the organization inducted and welcomed 45 new members. The ceremony included the origin and significance of the organization’s colors red, black and green, the reciting and signing of the African American Student Council Pledge, and the motivational words of Judge Jaribu Hill.

Hill is the founder and executive director of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights. She serves as municipal judge for the city of Moorhead, Mississippi, and she is a human rights attorney and a veteran community organizer.

Hill is an international human rights spokesperson and a frequent writer and commentator on human rights themes. Speaking about the past struggles of African Americans throughout history, Hill reflected on the legacy of many students and activists who have taken a similar vow, such as Congressman John Lewis when he served as chairperson of Student Nonviolence Coordinator Committee from 1963-1966. She also referenced the host of men and women who suffered great trials in Selma, Alabama to gain the right to vote in 1965.

“It is an honor to congratulate you amazing young men and women of such a momentous and important celebration of culture and unity,” she said.

The students of the African American Student Council have been extremely active in celebrating Black History Month throughout February.

“There have been several displays noting African American historical figures, statistics, Greek organizations, cultural traditions, clothing and music,” said advisor Stedmond Ware. “This will climax as the AASC students, joined by God’s Anointed Voice, gather to sing ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ Friday, February 26 on the quad at noon. Everyone is welcome, so please come out and join us.”

Emily Adams, a freshmen from Boyle, Mississippi, took home the crown for Most Beautiful and was also selected Most Photogenic at the annual Most Beautiful Pageant on Tuesday.

Most Beautiful Pageant winners announced

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Delta State University held its annual Most Beautiful Pageant on Tuesday at the Bologna Performing Arts Center. Recognition was given to Most Beautiful, Most Photogenic, Four Beauties and Top 10.

Emily Adams, a freshmen from Boyle, Mississippi, took home the crown for Most Beautiful and was also selected Most Photogenic.

Four Beauties recognition went to Katie Stover, freshmen (Southaven); Briana Sturgis, senior (Jackson); Abby Ray Vance, sophomore (Grenada); and Leah Green, freshmen (Hernando).

Also included in the Top Ten category were: Brinkley Henry, junior (Greenville), Emily Grossi, junior (Marks); Hailey Ash, senior (Olive Branch); Breanna Bess, junior (Duck Hill); Haley King, junior (Holcomb); and Adams, Stover, Sturgis, Vance and Green.

“We are thrilled with the participation this year,” said Bevin Lamb, executive director of pageants. “We had 34 girls compete, and it was great to see such a large crowd from campus and the community come out and support them.”

The pageant was sponsored by the Delta State University Student Government Association and produced by the Pageant Board, a Delta State student organization.


Moving from Talk to Action: Resource and Community Forum

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Join Delta State and the Center for Community and Economic Development March 16 at 9:30 a.m. for a free event called “Moving From Talk to Action: Resource and Community Forum.”

The forum, housed in the Jacob Conference Center on campus, will highlight resources and programs to assist Mississippi stakeholders make the move from talk to action to tackle current issues affecting the quality of life for Mississippi residents. It will also offer collaborative opportunities for stakeholders to work with other organizations to achieve results more effectively.

A panel discussion will explore information about education, health care, household financial stability and funding in the state.

Representatives from the following organizations will be available:

  • Center for Asset Development – CAD seeks to advance the transformation of the economic landscape of Mississippi, addressing issues such as health care, access to job opportunities, training, community involvement and policy change. They also assist partners on policy reform, developing new programs to target marginalized communities and actively engage more consumers.
  • Center for Household Financial Stability – The St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability was launched to research and strengthen the balance sheets of struggling American families. A basic premise of the center is that families improve their financial stability through broad-based economic growth, higher net household incomes and stronger balance sheets. Financially stable families face less economic risk and more economic mobility within and across generations. As financially healthy families spend, save and invest more, the national also economy grows.
  • Hope Policy Institute – Over a quarter of the nation’s persistent poverty counties and parishes are located in the Midsouth states of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. In addition to high levels of poverty, residents also experience low levels of banking access, health outcomes, quality education and jobs. To support advocacy for investment in persistent poverty places, the HPI has published a series of maps that illustrate the relationship between persistent poverty and a number of other indicators of economic distress.

Participation in the event is free, but registration is required by March 11, as space is limited. Lunch will be provided. To register for the event, visit

An event summary is available at

For more information, contact Teresa Cheeks Wilson at 901-531-5109 or