Mississippi Poet Laureate and former United States Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, will present through the Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

Mississippi Poet Laureate to present colloquium address

By | Community, President | No Comments

Former United States Poet Laureate and current Mississippi Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, will return to Delta State’s campus as part of the institution’s Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

Trethewey’s event, “An Evening with Natasha Trethewey: Reflections from a U.S. Poet Laureate,” is free and open to the public.

The Mississippi native has been tied to Delta State for many years, having received an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree during the university’s 2007 fall commencement ceremony.

Trethewey was last on campus in 2012 to launch her new book of poetry “Thrall.” The work was her poetic follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Native Guard,” which also won the 2007 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize. The visit was also her first Mississippi reading as U.S. Poet Laureate, and her first reading after she was officially introduced for the position at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, Trethewey was the 2008 winner of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Her Pulitzer-winning poems feature elements of her personal history as the daughter of interracial parents — and the story of her mother, who died at the age of 40.

Don Allan Mitchell, interim chair of the Division of Languages & Literature, has been instrumental in bringing Trethewey back to campus.

“We are so very fortunate to have a supporter of Delta State University like Natasha Trethewey,” he said. “She understands that memory has a special resonance in Mississippi and in the Delta, and I have made it a personal mission of mine to make sure she is properly honored in her home state.

“After two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate, and as the current Mississippi Poet Laureate, she has represented Mississippi and America well. She has shown that now, more than ever, poetry is vital to our understanding of our broader world.”

Delta State President William N. LaForge established the lecture program when taking office in 2013. The platform is an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers. William F. Winter, former Mississippi governor, was honored as the first speaker in 2013.

“This is a university-wide program that will continue to bring a unique and diverse array of people — from judges, former government officials, lawyers and business people,” said LaForge. “These are all folks our students can look up to.”

Learn more about the lecture series at www.deltastate.edu/president/colloquia.

Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Delta State leaders focus on college completion

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, IHL, Students | No Comments

Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, recently guided a team of 12 Delta State leaders at Mississippi’s College Completion Conference in Jackson, which focused on college completion and graduation tactics.

Sponsored by Mississippi Public Universities, the Mississippi Community College Board, and Complete College America, the conference, held Sept. 28-29 at the Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University, emphasized the benefits of obtaining a college degree.

The benefits of earning a postsecondary degree are well-documented — higher earnings, lower unemployment, greater civic involvement and better health are just a few recognized. But getting across the finish line is not always easy.

Students face challenges both inside the classroom and beyond. Helping students overcome these challenges and graduate was the primary focus of the conference open to community college and university educators from across Mississippi.

“We need to have more students completing their degrees because they are going to be required for the workforce in the future,” said McAdams. “Students can’t achieve their personal aspirations and goals if they don’t have a degree.

“Another reason having a degree is essential is because of finances. A lot of our students take five or six years to complete their degree, but I’m not sure they’re aware of how much that actually costs them in the long run.”

McAdams said one beneficial topic at the conference was the concept of academic maps.

“Academic maps is the notion of providing each student in each major exactly what they need so they can graduate,” he said. “I know we’ve had four-year programs in the past, but these maps go into a much greater detail, and they really allow academic chairs, advisors, and students to see how prerequisites and scheduling come into play.

“We don’t want anything to get in the way or be a barrier for a student to complete on time. I’d like the public to know that Delta State is committed to finding ways to help and support students to graduate on time.”

Mississippi’s Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. Glenn F. Boyce, also provided guidance at the conference.

“Increasing educational attainment is a very important issue for our university system and our state,” said Boyce. “This conference provides us with the opportunity to bring together national leaders in the field with the educators who work directly with the students. Our goal is to help every student graduate in a timely manner, and these discussions will help us explore ways we can improve the programs and services offered to help achieve this goal.”

Heather Miller, with the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, was named the September 2015 Employee of the Month.

Miller named Employee of the Month

By | Delta Center, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

The Delta State University Staff Council recently honored Heather Miller as the September 2015 Employee of the Month. Miller works in the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State.

Miller, from Cleveland, Miss., received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Delta State in 2003 and her MBA form Delta State in 2009. 

She has worked in various roles at the DCCL since 2007. She currently works as the program associate for projects.

Miller is married to her husband, Marc, and they have a two-year-old son named Cole.

Employee of the Month distinction is given to a staff member who has provided service at Delta State that is considered over and beyond those duties outlined in his or her job description. Nominations are submitted by colleagues on campus.

Each winner receives a plaque, monetary award, WalMart gift card from the Student Government Association, an engraved insulated coffee mug, a free parking decal courtesy of the Campus Police Department, a box of treats from The Sweetery, a parking spot of their choice, marquee announcement and website recognition.

For an archived list of previous Employee of the Month winners, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/about-dsu/administration/staff-council/staff-council-employee-of-the-month/employee-of-the-month-archives/

Delta State’s Staff Council serves as a liaison between the administration and the staff to provide a formal process for staff to discuss issues involving university policies and procedures and to forward ideas, recommendations and opinions to the president.

Jeremy Davis, Clay Johnson and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra will perform at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Oct. 20. A special pre-show dinner will take place in the Jimmy & Hazel Sanders Sculpture Garden.

Big band performance and sculpture garden dinner planned at BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

Jeremy Davis, Clay Johnson and their fiery hot 17-piece big band Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, will perform at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. The event will also feature a pre-show dinner and live music in the Jimmy & Hazel Sanders Sculpture Garden.

All across America, audiences have fallen in love with these two sophisticated Southern gentleman and their high-energy show. Along with the greatest songs, the best original arrangements, and phenomenal musicianship, the duo brings their rich friendship and charm to the stage.

Fashioned in the style and swagger of legendary entertainers like Frank Sinatra, Davis and Johnson are putting their own stamp on the great American songbook, graced with a touch of Motown, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Elvis and more. The show offers a freshness and relevance that speaks to every soul.

Prior to the show, the sculpture garden will feature a special dinner and live music. Delta Meat Market will be cooking on site offering select items for purchase. Tours will also be available of the recently installed sculptures in the garden. Dinner is scheduled from 5:45-7:15 p.m., and the main performance begins on stage at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the show are $25-35 and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office, open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 662-846-4626 or purchase tickets online at www.bolognapac.com. Tickets to the performance are not required to attend the dinner, as food purchases may be made on site.

For more information, stop by the Bologna Center Ticket Office, call 662-846-4626 or visit www.bolognapac.com.

Dr. Myrtis Tabb

Tabb to retire after years of Delta State dedication

By | Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Delta State University will gather to thank one of its retiring employees, Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dr. Myrtis Tabb, who began working for the institution in 1991.

Fittingly, the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus will host her retirement ceremony Oct. 16 from 2-4 p.m. In her role at Delta State, Tabb supervised the BPAC staff and played a major role in its success.

She also provided leadership to the Human Resources Office, Office for Institutional Grants, and served as the contract liaison for Ellucian, the company providing informational technology services on campus.

Additionally, she served as a member of the President’s Cabinet, Title lX coordinator, chair of the University Naming Committee, chair of the Jimmy and Hazel Sanders Sculpture Garden, and provided leadership to the B. F. Smith Scholars Program.

“Delta State University is a wonderful institution and the contributions this institution makes to the region and state are impossible to count,” said Tabb. “I have enjoyed working with President LaForge, other administrators, and faculty and staff as they provide positive vision for the future of Delta State. I will continue to support this great institution as a retiree.

“I am having a difficult time walking away from my association with Delta State University. I enjoy the people and the challenges of the work. However, it is obvious that this is the right time for me to begin a new chapter of my life. I look forward to spending more time with my family and my friends.”

Along with being a dedicated employee, Tabb impressively completed four degrees at Delta State: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Master of Education in Elementary Education and Supervision, Educational Specialist Degree (1991) and Ed. D. (1994).

She has also authored or co-authored several successful grant applications from a variety of funding sources, and continues to facilitate creative solutions for the university and Delta region.

Her community efforts are extensive, as she serves on the following boards: Bolivar County Medical Hospital Foundation Board, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Board, Planters’ Bank Board, chair of Cleveland/Bolivar Chamber of Commerce Tourism Council, and International Women’s Forum-Mississippi. She serves as president-elect of the Women’s Forum and will be installed as president in 2016. She has also served for several years as a member of the board of the Delta Arts Alliance and the president of the Cleveland/Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce.

Having collaborated with so many university and community members over the years, Tabb said she would deeply miss working with these leaders on a daily basis.

“The highlight of my career has been my association with all the people I have met,” she said. “In every role, I have had the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most amazing people. I will always be grateful for the friendships made along the way.”

Tabb and her husband, Billy, are the proud parents of Tracy and Randy Dye and Leslie and Bill Ryan Tabb. They have five grandchildren — Daniel, Madeline and Jacob Dye and Collins and Annsley Tabb.

The retirement ceremony will feature a short program at 3 p.m. DMI director Tricia Walker will perform a song, and remarks will be made by President William N. LaForge, Christy Riddle and Laura Howell.

Personal messages are being collected for a memory book. Those interested in contributing are asked to provide submissions by mail to: DSU Box 3232, Cleveland, MS, 38732 or by email to criddle@deltastate.edu.

tabb retire