Honors Program Archives - News and Events

Honors Program boosting curriculum

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Delta State is committed to providing its students superior academic experiences. With that in mind, Delta State University Provost Dr. Charles McAdams has charged the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. David Breaux, with leading a task force to develop a more robust Honors Program at the university.

The task force will be comprised of faculty from across campus and will begin work soon. While the group is conducting their work, Michael Smith, associate professor of English, will serve as interim director.

“As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, I want to thank professor Leslie Fadiga-Stewart, former director of the Honors Program, for her undying commitment to the Honors Program and its students,” said Breaux. “Delta State is truly blessed to have faculty like professor Fadiga-Stewart and Smith, who go beyond the call of duty to ensure that its students receive a first-rate education.”

Currently, the Honors Program provides enhanced educational and cultural experiences for talented and academically committed students within an environment that fosters discovery and creativity.

“We are in the process of revamping the curriculum to increase the sense of identity and community an honors program can provide,” said Smith. “We are also expanding our vision of the program to include engagements off campus and outside of the classroom, including attendance at state and national conferences, as well as retreats that will bring current fellows together with alumni of the program. The Honors Program also includes a very active student organization, the Honors Program Association, which meets monthly on campus.”

Students accepted into the program become Honors Fellows and enjoy benefits such as smaller class size, priority for early registration each semester, and recognition at the university commencement ceremonies.

In addition, Honors Fellows have access to opportunities for extra-curricular activities, including but not limited to cross-cultural experiences, civic engagements and lectures. The program also provides mentoring and advising opportunities for participants.

“Delta State benefits from a great number of high-achieving students, so the application process is competitive and the curriculum is rigorous,” added Smith. “Each Honors Fellows class is capped at 20 spots per year.”

A select number of high school students who apply to Delta State as incoming freshmen are selected as fellows each academic year. Guidelines for consideration include: a composite ACT score of 26 or higher (no sub-score may be below 17), a high school GPA of 3.5+ (4.0 scale), and documented evidence of leadership and community engagement.

“I’m honored to have been asked to serve as interim director, and I’m excited about the direction the program is headed,” said Smith. “As a scholar, I’ve always been interested in cross-curricular dialogue and study, and the Honors Program, although housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a university-wide initiative. I feel it’s important for scholars to occasionally move beyond the limits of their own disciplines and see the interesting work being done across campus — and inter-disciplinary programs like the Honors Program allow students and faculty to do just that.”

For a program application, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/honors-program/. For more information, contact Smith at honors@deltastate.edu.



Honors Program attends conference

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Students in Delta State University’s Honors Program recently traveled to Hattiesburg to attend the annual Mississippi Honors Conference held on March 21-22 at the University of Southern Mississippi. Honors Program Director Dr. Leslie Fadiga-Stewart attended with two honors students.

Anna Kate Bodin, an Elementary Education major from Biloxi, presented a poster, The Evolution of Down Syndrome, which outlined the historical treatment of people with Down Syndrome. Bodin’s presentation drew lots of interest from the conference participants and demonstrated how people with this genetic condition are more accepted in our society. She also underscored the importance of special education and programs on the Gulf Coast which have played an important role in helping these members to thrive in their community.

Jessica Faith Wishard, a Music Industry Studies major from Monticello, Ark.,won first place for her presentation, The DMI: a Delta Treasure. She discussed the role of the Delta Music Institute (DMI) and highlighted the Grammy Museum scheduled to open in 2015. Wishard pointed out the numerous opportunities for Delta State University students to express their creativity, to participate in engaging programs such as GrammyU and to meet different recording artists. She also showed how outreach programs such as the DMI Mobile Lab are helping communities to appreciate the rich cultural and musical heritage of the Mississippi Delta.

This is the second year that Delta State students have attended the Mississippi Honors Conference. Mason Shelton, a Biology major from Grenada, won first place for his poster presentation, No Voice: the Oppression of Women and Children Worldwide, at the inaugural conference hosted by Mississippi State University in 2013.

This year’s conference began with a welcome program for the student presenters and continued with student poster and oral presentations, a panel on graduate school and an awards ceremony at the close. The 2014 conference included presentations by honor students from around the state.

The Mississippi Honors Conference grew out of the efforts of honors program directors and deans to create the Mississippi Honors Council in 2012. The mission of the Mississippi Honors Council is to connect students, faculty and administrators in an effort to improve honors institutions and programs across the state. Honor students from the College of Business, Education, Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing are encouraged to participate in the next conference that will be hosted by Mississippi University for Women in 2015.

Honors Council Meeting

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This event is sponsored by the Honors Program.

For additional information concerning this event or the Honors Program, contact Leslie Fadiga-Stewart at (662) 846-4119.