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Join the Delta State University National Alumni Association for the annual Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event July 14 at the Jackson Yacht Club.

Alumni Association to host annual Jackson event

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The Delta State University National Alumni Association will be traveling to Jackson for the annual Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event July 14 at the Jackson Yacht Club.

The evening begins with a social at 6 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. featuring Delta State President William  N. LaForge, Alumni-Foundation staff, and

Jeff Arnold (left to right), Lydia Watson McCardle, Lisa Grantham, Jennifer Covington Stringer, John Stringer and Jeffrey Farris.

Jeff Arnold (left to right), Lydia Watson McCardle, Lisa Grantham, Jennifer Covington Stringer, John Stringer and Jeffrey Farris.

other guests from campus. Entertainment will be provided by Douglas Hurd. Complimentary draft beer and a cash bar will be available for guests 21 and over.

The silent auction is always a signature component of the Jackson alumni event. All proceeds raised from the auction benefit the Greater Jackson Area Scholarship, which is awarded to incoming freshmen from the area attending Delta State. The 2016-17 scholarship recipients are Hannah McMardle, Madison

Sims and Elizabeth Swindle.

The annual event would not be possible without the generosity of sponsors. This year’s sponsors include: BankPlus, Polles Properties, BKD, Casey Myrick, and AvantGarde Strategies, LLC. Corporate Sponsors of the Alumni Association are: Polk’s Meat Products, Bolivar Medical Center, Celia Manley Real Estate, Hey Joe’s, Air Evac Lifeteam, Patrick Davis State Farm and Renasant Bank.

To purchase tickets or donate to the fund, visit http://www.deltastategiving.org/alumniassociation/jacksonalumnievent. Join the Facebook group at Statesmen Graduates, Greater Jackson Area Alumni Event (https://www.facebook.com/events/1766770780270888/).

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (http://www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for this year’s Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 24) and Homecoming (Oct. 15).

Delta State shines on national TV

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Delta State University has received quite a bit of airtime on national television lately — first with an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” followed by a shoutout from Al Roker on NBC’s “Today” show.

Delta State’s very own “BBQ Princess” Leslie Roark Scott ’95 made an appearance on “Fox & Friends” June 11 taking part in the 14th annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party in New York City.

Scott and her father Gary Roark are masterminds behind the award-winning Ubon’s BBQ in Yazoo City, and the duo has received national attention for their tasty BBQ.

Scott is no stranger to national TV, having made appearances on “Chopped Grill Masters,” “Chopped Impossible,” and will be on the new show “Smoked” July 6 on the cable channel Destination America.

“It’s getting easier for me to be on TV, but it’s definitely taken some time. I’m always excited about having the chance to represent Ubon’s, Delta State and Mississippi,” said Scott. “That’s the most exciting opportunity right now — to be out there and talk about the things I love.”

Tune into Scott’s new show July 6 on Destination America.

“I’m excited about it because I got to talk about Delta State, I cooked okra and I talked about the Mississippi Delta the entire time,” said Scott.

And Delta State made a strong appearance on the “Today” show Tuesday when host Al Roker was drawn to Kate Hargrave Hood ’98 passionately waiving her Fighting Okra flag in the crowd.

Hood and her family are vacationing in New York this week after winning the trip from the Junior Auxiliary of Cleveland Children’s Benefit Ball Auction.

“It was an unbelievable and awesome experience to make it on the show,” said Hood. “Nothing gets attention like the Fighting Okra! I’m a second generation ‘Today’ show watcher, and I knew Al Roker being a food fanatic would love the flag and it would get him interested. I’m proud to be a DSU alumnus!”

Roker approached Hood, who proudly shouted her Delta State Pride.

“All right, the Fighting Okra — wow, they go up against the Battling Rutabaga. Watch out,” joked Roker.

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

Frank Sibley '71 has been elected chairman of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

Alumnus elected chairman of Mississippi Bankers Association

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Frank Sibley ’71, president and CEO of Citizens Bank & Trust Bancshares in Marks, Mississippi, has been elected chairman of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

Sibley graduated from Delta State with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. He also completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University and the Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma.

The MBA is a 127-year-old trade association representing all banks and savings institutions operating in Mississippi. MBA members hold over 95 percent of all bank deposits in the state.  

As MBA chairman, he will chair the association’s board of directors and executive committee.

Sibley has been an officer with Citizens Bank & Trust for 32 years. He joined the company in 1984 after working for Peoples Bank of Indianola for 12 years.

His involvement in the MBA includes service as vice chairman and treasurer, as well as a three-year term on the MBA board of directors. Additionally, he served as chairman of the board of the MBA Education Foundation, and served on the MBA Insurance Committee, Executive Committee and Legislative Committee.

Active in his community, Sibley is president of Wellsgate Homeowners Association in Oxford. He is also a past president of the Wilson Lake Country Club, Delta State University Foundation Board, Marks Rotary Club and Indianola Lions Club. He is a member of Marks Presbyterian Church where he serves as an Elder.

Sibley and his wife, Kay ’73, have two children. Their son, Taylor, is president and chief operating officer of the Marks office of CB&T. Their daughter, Dr. Gina Russell, is an audiologist at Magnolia Speech School in Clinton. 

Dominique Rashad Warren, a Delta State biology graduate in 2013, is serving in the Peace Corps in The Gambia.

Delta State grad serving in Peace Corps

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Dominique Rashad Warren, a Delta State University biology graduate in 2013, is making his mark in the world by serving in the Peace Corps. Warren has been with the organization since October of 2015.

Despite being based in a rural area of The Gambia, a small West African country, Delta State Communications and Marketing was able to communicate with the distinguished alumnus via email.

Warren will serve for 27 months as a health extension volunteer, which will allow him to provide malaria, malnutrition and sanitation education, as well as work hands-on and with the people of the country.

“I had no previous connection with The Gambia before applying, but I was interested in the health positions they had available in this country, and the culture looked very interesting,” said Warren. “I’m really glad I chose The Gambia as my first choice because this place has lots of history. Being here makes me want to know more about my family history. I feel a deep connection with this place.”

The Cleveland native first considered applying to the Peace Corps when his passion to make a global impact grew.

Dominique Rashad Warren '13.

Dominique Rashad Warren ’13

“I always wanted to travel the world, see new places and meet new people, but I couldn’t think of a way to do it,” he said. “I was very glad I stumbled across the Peace Corps website because it gave me the opportunity to combine my passions. I would be able to help people in need and explore the world at the same time, for free. I don’t think you could ever get a better deal than that.”

He has already experienced numerous life-changing moments, but his favorite thus far occurred during training in the village of Jalambere.

“My host family there was amazing,” said Warren. “Every day after language class I would walk home. As soon as the children saw me they would run full speed to the end of the road to meet me. Sometimes I would have as many as 10 kids holding each of my fingers and singing my name as we walked home. This is easily one of the best experiences of my life.”

Warren said the area is quite reminiscent of the Mississippi Delta, but pressing issues plague the region such as education, health care, infrastructure, poor water quality, and lack of electricity and air conditioning.

While at Delta State, he was known for being an active student who made an impact. He was inducted into Delta State University’s Hall of Fame in 2013, and was elected Mr. Delta State University the same year. Additionally, he served on the SGA, was a tenor in Delta Singers, was a founder of the Delta Sigma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and worked as a RA and hall director.

Dr. Ellen Green, department chair and associate professor of biology at Delta State, got to know Warren as his teacher.

“The first time I met Rashad in class, we were discussing prospecting for biofuels in various countries,” said Green. “In our very first conversation, he told me that he wanted to see the world. Rashad is a natural for the Peace Corps because he is curious, has great work ethic and amazing people skills. Coupled with his biology degree, he is well equipped to tackle the medical mission that he volunteered for as his Peace Corps service.

“Rashad was voted Mr. DSU in his senior year, in large part I think, because of his personality. He became friends with everybody. I expect him to be voted Mr. The Gambia any day now.”

Dr. Christy Riddle, executive director of the Student Success Center and International Student Services, said Warren would be a strong representative for Delta State while volunteering.

“While serving with the Peace Corps, Rashad is also a cultural ambassador for DSU,” said Riddle. “People say that DSU is the best kept secret in education, and we continuously search for ways to spread the word abroad about the benefits of attending DSU.”

While Internet access is extremely hard for Warren to come by, on the rare occasion he gets online, he is blogging about his experiences. Follow Warren’s journey at https://rashadinthegambia.wordpress.com.

To stay updated with Delta State news and events, visit www.deltastate.edu.

 

 

Former Alumni Association president Donald Green  '80 (left to right), George Miller Sr. '71, James Washington Sr. '86, and current Alumni Association board member George Miller Jr. '00.

Alums honored in Coahoma County

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Two Delta State University graduates were inducted into the Clarksdale/Coahoma County Sports Hall of Fame April 2 at the Pinnacle Building of Coahoma Community College. George Crump Miller ’71 and James Washington Sr. ’86 were both a part of fifth Hall of Fame class.

Miller was a member of the Delta State tennis team from 1967-71, serving as the No. 4 singles player and the No. 3 doubles player. He earned his degree in accounting.

Washington coached basketball at Coahoma Agricultural High School and Coahoma Junior College for 32 years. He obtained his master’s in education.

The banquet is in honor of Aubrey Rozell, a member of the Delta State football team and a 1956 graduate. Rozell would go on to play in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Delta State Alumni Director and tennis coach Jeffrey Farris was the featured speaker for the event.

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (http://www.dsualumni.tumblr.com), LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for this year’s Pig Pickin’ (Sept. 24) and Homecoming (Oct. 15).