Counseling conference July 22 open to campus

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

The Division of Counselor Education and Psychology is hosting a conference on July 22 titled “#BlackFamiliesMatter: Historical Trauma and Resilience.”

The visiting presenters are from the counseling program at Xavier University – New Orleans and will bring a presentation about working with African American Families.  Presenting from their experience and research about post-Katrina trauma, the faculty will be teaching insights and techniques that every counselor can use.

Presenters include:
Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji
Dr. Walter Breaux
Dr. Judith Miranti
Dr. Ariel Escalade-Mitchell

The conference is set for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Jacob Center on the Delta State campus.

To sign up, visit :

For more information, contact Dr. George Beals  at or Dr. Bryon Pickens at

$10,000 Monsanto grant to fund BPAC spring break camp

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center | No Comments

A recent grant from the Monsanto Fund will fund a spring break camp focused on helping young students explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

Local Monsanto employees recommended the Bologna Performing Arts Center be awarded the $10,000 grant from their companies’ Monsanto Fund’s 2016 site grant initiative.

Funds from the grant will be used towards the S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Spring Break Camp. The camp seeks to gather campers looking for a challenge and a creative and comprehensive experience that extends beyond their academic year. Creative thinkers and explorers are encouraged to attend.

“We are excited to partner with the Science department here on Delta State’s campus to offer a S.T.E.A.M. Camp during the spring break week of 2017.  The visual arts work so nicely with math and science, as you use many of the same problem solving skills and creativity,” said Joannah Taylor, BPAC’s arts education coordinator.

This year, the Monsanto Fund awarded more than $1.4 million to nonprofit organizations through its site grant initiative to help address essential needs in rural communities. Nonprofit organizations across the U.S. have received more than $7.5 million through this program over the last five years.

The BPAC is dedicated to providing exceptional artistic and educational opportunities to children in the Mississippi Delta region. Through its affiliation with Delta State University, it is able to offer a variety of programming to suit the needs of local families, school children, and educators.  BPAC has a long history of providing interactive camp experiences for young people through their Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute.

The purpose of the Delta State University Foundation is to foster private financial support for Delta State University, such as the Bologna Performing Arts Center.  The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at

MDNHA awards $160,000 in regional grants

By | Community, Delta Center | No Comments

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area recently announced nearly $160,000 in grants for eleven cultural heritage development projects in the Mississippi Delta.

The projects represent the diversity of the region’s rich cultural heritage including Native and African American history, music, art, storytelling, the Delta Chinese, and the Mississippi River.

“The grants committee was impressed with the projects proposed through the application process,” said Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Chair of the MDNHA Board of Directors. “Organizations and agencies are doing outstanding community service, and the MDNHA is pleased to provide funding to support this work.”

“The MDNHA is a partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service designed to engage and empower organizations and individuals to promote the cultural heritage of the region,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, which serves as the management entity for the MDNHA. “The successful completion of this first round of grants represents a major milestone as the MDNHA continues to do this work throughout the Mississippi Delta.”

This is the first round of grants awarded by the MDNHA. In January of this year, the MDNHA launched the new grants program and provided a series of workshops throughout the region to educate and inform the people of the Mississippi Delta on how to apply. Workshops were held at Clarksdale/Coahoma County Tourism, Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Sharkey-Issaquena County Library in Rolling Fork, The Capps Center in Indianola, and Desoto County Tourism in Southaven.

Proposals received were reviewed by a grants committee comprised of members of the MDNHA Board of Directors. The eleven organizations and projects that were awarded MDNHA grants represent six of the 18 counties served by the MDNHA including Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Leflore, Sharkey, and Warren. The grant recipients and funded projects are as follows:

ArtPlace Mississippi, Greenwood, MS
Delta Wild: Connecting people to the Mississippi Delta’s natural habitat and resources

DeSoto Foundation, Hernando, MS
First Contact Historical Trail: Native Americans’ first encounter with Europeans in the Mississippi Delta

Cleveland Music Foundation, Cleveland, MS
Exploring a Culture of Creativity: Engaging students in telling local stories through music at Grammy Museum Mississippi

Lower Mississippi River Foundation, Clarksdale, MS
Between the Levees: Telling the story of the Mississippi River batture

Bologna Performing Arts Center, Cleveland, MS
Public performance of “Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till”

Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Cleveland, MS
Cleveland Chamber/Tourism office relocation and signage plan

Delta State University Archives and Museums, Cleveland, MS
Amzie Moore House Museum and MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum docent program

Rolling Fork Visitors Center and Museum, Rolling Fork, MS
Multimedia interpretive display expansion and exhibit preservation

Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, Vicksburg, MS
1868 St. Francis Xavier Convent restoration

Delta Hands for Hope, Shaw, MS
Photography and Oral History Program for high school students

Rosedale Freedom Project, Rosedale, MS
Unsung Voices of Bolivar County: civil rights stories past and present collected by high school students

The MDNHA recently held a second grant competition round with proposals due on July 5. Proposals are under review currently. The MDNHA expects to announce grant awardees for the second round in fall 2016.

“The grant program is a critical part of the MDNHA’s Management Plan. We look forward to the program continuing in the future and look forward to receiving more proposals from organizations that are serving the Mississippi Delta region,” said Herts.

The MDNHA includes 18 counties that contain land located in the alluvial floodplain of the Mississippi Delta: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo. The MDNHA was designated by U.S. Congress in 2009 and is governed by a board of directors representing agencies and organizations defined in the congressional legislation. More information about the MDNHA, including the complete approved management plan, is available at

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place On Earth” workshops. For more information, visit

State financial aid now requires 15-hour course load

By | Academics, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

Beginning in Fall 2016, undergraduates must enroll in and complete 15 credit hours each semester to remain eligible for state financial aid programs.

These programs require that students are considered full-time:

  • Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students Scholarship (HELP)
  • Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG)
  • Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)
  • Law Enforcement Officers and Firemen Scholarship (LAW)
  • Teacher Education Scholars Forgivable Loan (TES)
  • William Winter Teacher and Alternate Route Teacher Forgivable Loan (WWTS/WWAR)
  • Health Care Professions Undergraduate Forgivable Loan (HCP-UG)

Students registered for less than 15 credit hours should contact the registrar to add hours.

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions:

  • Summer hours cannot be added to Fall or Spring hours.
  • If enrollment drops below 15 credits before state aid is disbursed to the student, the aid will be cancelled for that term and the following term. If enrollment drops below 15 credits after state aid is disbursed to the student, the aid will be cancelled for the following term.
  • Students should not report their enrollment directly to the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid. Enrollment is reported by the institution on behalf of its students.
  • All credit hours for a given term must be completed at a single institution. Credit hours cannot be completed at multiple institutions for a single term.
  • Students with fewer than 15 credit hours remaining in the course of study may appeal for an exception for a single term. Students with 24 or fewer credit hours remaining in the course of study may appeal for an exception for two terms.  Instructions for submitting an appeal is provided below.
  • Students enrolled in certain programs with defined curriculum pathways (lock-step) should not apply for individual exceptions. Each institution will apply for program exceptions to apply to all students in such programs.
  • Exceptions will be made for students in certain majors that require clinical, practicum, or student teaching terms. Each institution is being advised regarding how to report enrollment for such terms.
  • All students, even athletes, will be impacted in the same way. In order to receive and continue to receive state aid, the student must take and complete 15 hours, regardless of whether or not the student is an athlete or on any other kind of institutional scholarship.

For more information please visit or call Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid 601-432-6997 or 800-327-2980 (toll-free).

Video: GRAMMY Museum MS unveils Stevie Ray Vaughan exhibit

By | General, President | No Comments

Joining President William N. LaForge is Emily Havens, executive director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi.

On June 30, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi unveiled its second special exhibit, which follows the success of its first exhibit devoted to the Beatles. This new exhibit focuses on the life and music of blues musician Stevie Ray Vaughan and is a traveling exhibit curated by the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE. The exhibit offers visitors an in-depth look at Stevie Ray Vaughan’s iconic career, and the Museum hosted at the exhibit’s opening Stevie’s brother, Jimmie Vaughan, who is serving as a guest curator.

The exhibit features numerous items from Stevie Ray’s career including guitars, personal photographs, and outfits worn by the performer on stage. The Museum kicked off the exhibit with a concert on its front lawn, headlined by Wes Sheffield and the Slowburners, along with 17-year-old blues musician Christone “Kingfish” Ingram from Clarksdale. It was another example of the growing environment of music and culture here at Delta State, and the university is proud of the partnership with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and the wealth of opportunities it provides not only Delta State students but also the state and region.