Hamilton host MSMS student for summer research

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Dr. Sharon K. Hamilton, assistant professor of chemistry, recently coordinated a two-week research experience at Delta State University for Sarah Tierce, a rising senior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus.

Tierce, a Cleveland native, also worked with Katie Penton, a graduate student in Hamilton’s lab, as they explored the creation of a new degradable nanofiber that can be used in biomedical applications such as drug delivery and wound healing.

Tierce’s experience is part of a renewed effort to reestablish connections between the Delta State University Chemistry and Physics Department and the science faculty at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science.

“Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, a chemistry teacher at MSMS, and I worked together to make this high school research experience possible,” said Hamilton. “Dr. Morgan helped identify interested and motivated students that would benefit from working in a research lab over the summer. I believe Sarah, a rising senior at MSMS, gained great insight into what research means and how a research lab functions.”

From left: Dr. Sharon Hamilton, Sarah Tierce and Katie Penton.

From left: Dr. Sharon Hamilton, Sarah Tierce and Katie Penton.

Hamilton added that this experience provides a great opportunity for high caliber students to learn about Delta State and its great learning atmosphere on campus and in the department.

“Moreover, this provided a chance for one of my graduate students, Katie Penton, to provide mentorship to a younger student — an invaluable skill in the workforce,” said Hamilton. “I would love to host more high school students in my lab. I believe it gives students a cutting edge when it comes to college applications, and it puts Delta State at the forefront of their mind when applying for colleges their senior year.”

The research is a collaborative effort between Hamilton and Dr. Gisela Buschle-Diller in the Department of Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University. The work is supported by the Mississippi INBRE, funded by an Institutional Development Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103476.

Dr. Joseph Bentley, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Delta State, was also thrilled to rekindle the relationship with MSMS.

“Our department is very pleased to have a student from MSMS doing research with Dr. Sharon Hamilton this summer,” said Bentley. “Dr. Hamilton is our new organic chemist and is doing exciting polymer research. This collaboration is just one of several efforts reestablishing a connection with MSMS that our department enjoyed previously, in large part thanks to Dr. Henry Outlaw, who was instrumental in maintaining the DSU/MSMS relationship. In the past, faculty from MSMS helped DSU host education workshops for local Delta teachers and this is a tradition the Department of Chemistry and Physics and MSMS look forward to renewing. In the future, we hope to host more MSMS students in research experiences at Delta State.”

Learn more about the department at http://www.deltastate.edu/artsandsciences/chemistry-and-physics.

RESSON tops national ranking for nurse practitioner program

By | Academics, School of Nursing | No Comments
Delta State’s Robert E. Smith School of Nursing continues to rank high in national polls. RESSON recently came in at No. 1 on College Choice’s 2016 Top 10 list of Most Affordable Nurse Practitioner Programs.

According to College Choice, NPs are part of the seventh fastest growing profession in the United States.

Delta State’s program stood out nationally for its affordabilty and quality education. RESSON offers three different options for those intending to sit for examinations as NPs.

Learn more about College Choice’s ranking at http://www.collegechoice.net/rankings/most-affordable-online-rn-to-bsn-degree-programs.

College Choice is an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college. The organization publishes rankings and reviews that make choosing the best college easier, as well as resources to help students get into, pay for, and thrive at the college of their choice.

For information on RESSON, which has been regionally accredited by the  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/school-of-nursing.

GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi Presents An Evening With Cody Dickinson

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GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is pleased to welcome Cody Dickinson to the Sanders Soundstage, August 13 at 7:00 p.m. for an intimate discussion on his new album and career, moderated by Shannon McNally, GRAMMY® nominee and Board member of The Recording Academy® Memphis Chapter.

Dickinson, who is probably best known for being a member of the GRAMMY-nominated North Mississippi Allstars, recently released his first solo album, Leeway for the Freeway which features a few collaborations, including one with his brother, Luther Dickinson.  The evening’s conversation will be followed by a special musical performance by Dickinson.

Tickets for the program are $10 for Museum members and $15 for non-members.  Tickets can be purchased online, by calling the Museum box office at 662-441-0100, or in person at the Museum at 800 West Sunflower Road, Cleveland, MS.

About Cody Dickinson

Cody Dickinson is an artistic entrepreneur in the fields of music and film. Over the course of his career Cody has contributed to several major motion picture soundtracks, including “Barnyard”, “Snoop’s Hood of Horror”, “The Mechanic”, “Black Snake Moan”, and “Brand” the film. In recent years Cody has transitioned from creating music for films to producing films.

Cody’s most recent achievement in film is the award-winning documentary he produced and co- created, Take Me to the River. An incredible journey through the music of Memphis, the film brings multiple generations of first-class Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians together and captures the creative process of recording a historic new album. Cody also co-produced the soundtrack for the documentary, which pairs music legends and contemporary artists as they reinterpret songs that define the soul of American music.

Perhaps best known as the drummer and founding member of North Mississippi Allstars, Cody continues to be one of the music industry’s premier drummers, demonstrated by his 2013 Blues Music Awards nomination in the ‘Best Instrumentalist/Drums’ category. He’s earned three GRAMMY nominations as a member of North Mississippi Allstars and shared the stage with the likes of Robert Plant, the Allman Brothers, Mavis Staples, and Patty Griffin among others. As a music producer, Cody has worked with a wide range of musicians including Lucero, Ross Neilson and The Grahams. He also produced British blues guitarist Ian Siegal’s two recent albums, “The Skinny” (2011) and “Candystore Kid” (2012), both of which were nominated for ‘Best Contemporary Blues Album’ at the annual Blues Music Awards.

In 2015, Cody performed on many new releases, including Jim Lauderdale’s “Soul Searching”, The Word’s “Soul Food” and Cody Simpson’s “Free”.

His first solo record Leeway for the Freeway was released worldwide online via the Orchard on July 8, 2016.

For more information about GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, visit www.grammymuseumms.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @GRAMMYMuseumMS on Twitter and Instagram, and like “GRAMMY Museum Mississippi” on Facebook.

Baghai-Riding represents Delta State University at the Earth Educators Rendezvous

By | College of Arts and Sciences | No Comments

Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding was one of 20 participants selected nationally to attend the Earth Educators Rendezvous (EER) that met from July 18-22, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.

She received a travel stipend by applying through a Geo-Needs Project funded by an NSF in early March 2016.

Baghai-Riding was selected because she advises undergraduate DSU Environmental Science majors, teaches two regularly scheduled geology courses that many minority students complete as part of their environmental science/biology degree requirement, incorporates geological concepts into other environmental science classes. In addition, Delta State University serves many minority students that major in the sciences.

As part of the stipend requirement, Baghai-Riding was expected to complete an action plan on her Physical Geology for Life Sciences course. As part of the action plan, she provided strategies and methods that will ensure success for all students, plans for outreach to recruit students to the course, and curriculum plans. In addition, the action plan included plans for evaluation and assessment. Her action plan received favorable comments and will be published by the end of the fall 2016 semester.

Overall, more than 310 attended the Earth Educators Rendezvous, and Baghai-Riding attended numerous workshops throughout the week. One titled Designing Effective Assignments and Activities focused on new ways of teaching including gallery walks, jigsaw, and concept mapping. Other workshops emphasized the components of writing a successful NSF grant proposal, teaching demonstrations of various geological and environmental science concepts, incorporating thinking about the Earth across disciplines, and broadening participation in the geosciences workforce.

Handouts and Power Points of all the various workshops and activities are free to download and can be found under the program header of the Earth Educators Rendezvous website: http://serc.carleton.edu/earth_rendezvous/2016/program/index.html.

Baghai-Riding said she intends to utilize many of the concepts she learned this coming academic year.

“The Rendezvous was exceptionally well done,” she added.

Contact Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding (nbaghai@deltastate.edu) for more information about the environmental science program at Delta State University.

Rushing completes photo book on Parchman

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Delta State University photography professor Kim Rushing’s new book, “Parchman,” will soon be available for purchase.

In 1994, Rushing was given the unique access to photograph and interview inmates in the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

The 10-inch by 10-inch book, being published by the University Press of Mississippi, features 125 black and white photos and stories written by the inmates.

According to the book’s forward, Rushing’s visit to Parchman was the first time an outside photographer was allowed to photograph its inmates. For almost four years, he was given access and created images about their lives and prison conditions.

The men featured in his work volunteered to be photographed and permitted Rushing to share their experiences.

“The images I made in Parchman Penitentiary, and the stories the inmates wrote, were completed almost 20 years ago,” said Rushing. “The process of making the book happened only during the past two years. The work at Parchman evolved into what felt like a natural way for me, but making the book was a real education.

“University Press allowed me creative control throughout the process, and they were a pleasure to work with. It’s great to see the book completed, but I’m ready to start the next one.”

Beginning in September, the book will be available here: http://www.upress.state.ms.us/books/1932.

Rushing will also take part in a panel discussion with four other authors during the Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson on Aug. 20. He will talk at 3 p.m. in the Capitol Building, and a limited supply of books will be available for Rushing to sign and sell at the event.

Rushing, has taught photography at Delta State for 23 years. His photographs have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and Garden and Gun.

Learn more about photography courses at Delta State and the Department of Art at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/art.