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College of Arts and Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences honors LaForge

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, President | No Comments

The faculty, staff and students of Delta State University’s College of Arts and Sciences invite the public to a day of scholarly activities celebrating the inauguration of William N. LaForge.

Dean Paul Hankins said he was looking forward to the schedule as an opportunity to highlight the unique opportunities available through the college.

“The quality of the education at Delta State is second to none. Our students learn with faculty who are experts in their field and are committed to helping them succeed,” said Hankins. “Our faculty will nurture your intellect, stimulate your imagination, inspire your creativity and open the door to your dreams and aspirations.”

Serving more than 1000 undergraduate and 122 graduate students, Hankins said there are a number of exciting happenings.

The Department of Music recently completed the first phase of a planned $339,000 purchase of 20 new pianos. The acquisition includes 10 grand pianos, including a Shigeru Kawai VI for the BPAC recital hall stage, and 10 additional upright and digital pianos for faculty and student use. Upon completion of the purchase, DSU will be an EPIC Partner with Kawai Piano corp.

New degree programs are available in digital media arts, a unique program for creation, use and managing digital content and media. New degree options are also available in entertainment industry/music industry studies.

“A multimillion dollar renovation of the Caylor-White-Walters science building is now in phase three,” added Hankins. “The completed renovation will provide updated facilities for students studying the biological and physical sciences.”

Soon to be installed in the Roy L. and Clara Belle Wiley Planetarium will be a state-of-the-art full-dome 3D projector. The Evans & Sutherland projector is one of the most technologically advanced projector systems in the world.

Hankins said all the recent news and a strong core faculty make the College of Arts and Sciences an exciting option for perspective students.

“Students in the college are advised by faculty members,” he said. “Students are taught by full time faculty, not teaching assistants. Faculty care about the student as a person and a scholar.”

The college’s inauguration events kick off at 10 a.m. on Oct. 30 with First Lady Nancy LaForge’s Campus Architectural History and Arts Walking Tour. The first lady, along with University Archivist Emily Jones and Art Department Chair Ron Koehler, will begin the tour at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The trio will showcase the historic architectural and artistic highlights of Delta State’s beautiful campus.

At noon, inside the auditorium of E.R. Jobe Hall, the Madison Center will be celebrated with a lecture event featuring guest speaker James W. Morhard.

Morhard, a close personal friend and former colleague of LaForge, worked closely with the president during their time together on Capitol Hill.

In the 70s and 80s, Morhard served as an analyst for the Secretary of Navy and as Navy Comptroller in the Pentagon. He became chief of staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2003 and served in that capacity until 2005, when he founded the law firm Morhard & Associates.

Morhard is a survivor of the 2010 Alaska Turbo Otter plane crash that took the lives of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and four others.

At 2 p.m., the college is sponsoring an open house, giving the public an insider’s view and invitation to be part of the inauguration celebration.

Open house events include an art exhibit and a chorale performance in Wright Art Gallery; a virtual dementia tour presented by the Department of Social Work in Bailey Hall; hearing screenings by the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences in Kethley Hall; and student/faculty research poster displays from the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences inside Caylor-White Hall.

At 5 p.m., the Delta State University Colloquia series continues with a presentation by Morhard inside the auditorium in E.R. Jobe Hall. There will be a reception immediately following the speech.

Later that evening, the Delta Players and Division of Languages and Literature perform selected scenes from Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town.” The show starts at 7 p.m. inside the auditorium at E.R. Jobe Hall.

All inauguration events are funded through support provided to the Delta State University Foundation. No university funds are being used during the week of activities.

Ewing Hall

College of Education and Human Sciences celebrates inauguration week

By | College of Education and Human Sciences, Foundation, President | No Comments

Continuing a weeklong celebration marking the inauguration of President William N. LaForge, the College of Education and Human Sciences at Delta State University will showcase some of its highlights that fit with the inaugural theme — “Celebrating Excellence.”

“The many options our programs now offer for internships and field experiences, and the flexibility of programs, makes this an exciting time to consider one of the many degrees the College of Education and Human Sciences has to offer,” said Dean Leslie Griffin.

The school recently received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education to prepare educational leaders for regional schools. In addition, the counselor education program received over $200,000 from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to provide training, scholarships and services in the area of counseling and mental health.

For students interested in child development, a model early childhood training lab is currently being implemented through a grant from the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.

All programs in the College of Education and Human Sciences are fully accredited by the respective accrediting bodies and meet rigorous guidelines for professional preparation.

Each program has online course offerings for flexibility. Elementary and special education master’s degrees are offered totally online, as well as the specialist degrees in elementary education and administration.

“We have such a diverse range of degree offerings — outdoor recreation, to athletic training, dietetics, psychology, education — just to name a few,” added Griffin. “Faculty are attuned to students and meeting their needs. I encourage prospective students to make a campus visit.”

The college’s full day of inaugural activities begins with a classroom lecture by Doris Dixon of the U.S. Department of Education at 8:30 a.m. in rooms 227-228 of James M. Ewing Hall. Dixon will be followed by a Q&A session with Mike Neyman, a consultant on leadership and school reform, at 10:30 a.m. in the Jacob Conference Center.

Neyman, a Delta State alumnus and former principal at Cleveland High School, continues with a luncheon presentation at noon, also in the Jacob Conference Center. Neyman works with the Institute for Education and Workforce Development at the University of Mississippi.

At 2 p.m., the public is invited to attend an open house complete with tours and information about the numerous opportunities available through the college.

Following Tuesday’s open house, the college hosts a reception at 4 p.m. inside the Jacob Conference Center. At 5 p.m., the Delta State University Colloquia lecture series continues with a speech by Dixon.

Dixon and President LaForge were colleagues on various projects in the nation’s capital, and worked together frequently when she was a legislative assistant during LaForge’s time under Sen. Thad Cochran.

In the early 1980s, Dixon served as the membership director for the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce. She currently works as a legislative policy staff member in the office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs for the U.S. Dept. of Education.

In the 80s and 90s, she served as a professional staff member to both Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. Congress, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee and the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Legislative Affairs.

Dixon left Capitol Hill in 1995 to become the first director of federal relations for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, where she established and managed the legislative affairs office for the nation’s preeminent college sports organization.

For more information on the unique opportunities available through Delta State’s College of Education and Human Services, visit www.deltastate.edu/college-of-education.

— All inauguration events are funded through support provided to the Delta State University Foundation. No university funds are being used during the week of activities.

Nursing Excellence

School of Nursing commences inauguration week

By | President, School of Nursing | No Comments

Faculty, staff and students from the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing at Delta State University are honored to kick off inauguration week on Oct. 28 with a variety of activities.

Monday begins a weeklong series of university affairs honoring Delta State’s eighth president, William N. LaForge, who will be officially inaugurated on Nov. 1. The theme for the week is “Celebrating Excellence.”

Dean Lizabeth Carlson said she was looking forward to the series of events as an opportunity showcase the unique distinction of the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing.

“Delta State University was the first nursing program in Mississippi to be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education,” said Carlson. “The CCNE helps to ensure the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency nursing programs and identifies programs offering the most engaging and effective educational practices.”

The school also began offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program this fall.

“The DNP is an online degree program that allows registered nurses to advance their education to the highest level,” she said. “The RN to DNP online degree is the only one of its kind in the U.S. and is unique to Delta State University.”

Nursing events will start at noon with a lecture series and luncheon in rooms 141-143 of the nursing building.

Featured speakers include: Teresa Malone, executive director of the Mississippi Nurses Association and a Delta State alumnus; Rosalyn Howard, executive director of the Mississippi Nurses Foundation and one of Mississippi Business Journal’s 50 Leading Businesswomen for 2013; Nora Davis, nurse practitioner and owner of the Shaw Medical Clinic; and Kimberly Fava, nursing supervisor and women’s health and family nurse practitioner at the Women’s Clinic in Clarksdale.

Both Davis and Fava are alumni of the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to bring these esteemed speakers to Delta State for inauguration week, and to show everyone our building and high tech facility, especially the simulation lab,” added Carlson.

The state-of-the-art simulation lab uses advanced wireless mannequins to provide students a virtual world of client care solutions. The lab prepares students with hands-on training and presents real world situations that occur in healthcare facilities.

At 2 p.m., the school will host an open house with tours of the building and student-led demonstrations within the lab.

A reception for the keynote Colloquia series speaker, Dr. Marcella McKay, Chief Operating Officer of the Mississippi Hospital Association, will start at 4 p.m. At 5 p.m. McKay will speak on “Nurses of the Future: Improving Health Care & Promoting Health.”

McKay also serves as president and CEO for the MHA Health, Research & Educational Foundation. Her areas of expertise include health policy, regulatory compliance, patient safety, quality of care and healthcare administration.

She has been an active member of the Advisory Committee for the Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce since its inception in 1996. McKay currently is a co-lead for the leadership development track of work within the Mississippi Action Coalition.

She has bachelor’s degrees in biology and nursing; a master’s in special education; a Master of Science degree in nursing; and Ph. D. in Clinical Health Science. She completed the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellowship, a world-class leadership program to enhance the effectiveness of nurse leaders to impact the U.S. health system.

To learn more about the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing at Delta State, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/school-of-nursing/.

All inauguration events are funded through support provided to the Delta Stat University Foundation. No university funds are being used during the week of activities.

colloquia logo

Colloquia series continues during inauguration week

By | President | No Comments

Delta State’s recently established Colloquia Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series will be in full swing from Oct. 28-Nov. 1 in conjunction with inauguration week for President William N. LaForge.

LaForge, who will be inducted as the university’s eighth president on Nov. 1, has a personal connection with most of the speakers scheduled during the week.

“As a university, we need to make available to Delta State and the community marquee speakers from across the country and the world,” said LaForge. “Great universities have great programs, and this is another step in the right direction. This is one of the hallmark items of what we’re trying to do here.”

The highlight speaker will be U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi as he keynotes the president’s investiture ceremony. Cochran and LaForge have a personal and professional history that spans more than 30 years.

LaForge, who once served as chief of staff to Cochran, became the second former Cochran chief of staff to lead a Mississippi school. The College Board named Mark Keenum the Mississippi State University president in 2009.

“I am very pleased to accept the invitation to speak at the inauguration ceremony of Bill LaForge as president of Delta State University,” said Cochran. “His educational background, which includes teaching and experiences in government, are unique qualifications for his service as president of this university.”

Each day leading up to inauguration, the Colloquia speakers will celebrate a different constituent college or school. Monday will focus on the School of Nursing, Tuesday on the College of Education and Human Sciences, Wednesday on the College of Arts and Sciences and Thursday on the College of Business.

The schedule kicks off at 5 p.m. on Oct. 28 in rooms 141-143 in the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing. The first speaker, Dr. Marcella McKay, is the Chief Operating Officer of the Mississippi Hospital Association.

McKay also serves as president and CEO for the MHA Health, Research & Educational Foundation. Her areas of expertise include health policy, regulatory compliance, patient safety, quality of care and healthcare administration.

McKay has been an active member of the Advisory Committee for the Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce since its inception in 1996. She currently is a co-lead for the leadership development track of work within the Mississippi Action Coalition.

She has bachelor’s degrees in biology and nursing; a master’s in special education; a Master of Science degree in nursing; and Ph. D. in Clinical Health Science. She completed the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellowship, a world-class leadership program to enhance the effectiveness of nurse leaders to impact the U.S. health system.

Tuesday’s College of Education and Human Sciences guest is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Jacob Conference Center inside James M. Ewing Hall, featuring Doris Dixon.

Dixon and LaForge worked together on various projects while in the nation’s capital, including an earlier stint Dixon had with the U.S. Department of Education. According to LaForge, Dixon was an outstanding legislative assistant dealing with education policy during the time LaForge was chief of staff for Senator Cochran.

In the early 1980s, Dixon served as the membership director for the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce, where she earned two national awards for innovative membership development strategies. She currently works as a legislative policy staff member in the office of Legislation & Congressional Affairs for the U.S. Department of Education.

In the 80s and 90s, she served as a professional staff member to both Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. Congress, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Legislative Affairs.

Dixon left Capitol Hill in 1995 to become the first director of Federal Relations for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, where she established and managed the legislative affairs office for the nation’s preeminent college sports organization.

Wednesday’s College of Arts and Sciences guest is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the auditorium of E.R. Jobe Hall, featuring James W. Morhard.

LaForge and Morhard have been close friends for more than a quarter-century and were colleagues on Capitol Hill. They fought many policy battles together during their staff years in the U.S. Senate.

Morhard holds a degree in accounting from Saint Francis University in Loretto, Penn., an MBA from George Washington University and a juris doctorate from Georgetown University. He is admitted to the practice in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania.

In 1978, he became an analyst for the Secretary of the Navy and the Navy Comptroller in the Pentagon, where he reviewed procurement and research and development appropriations.

Morhard became the chief of staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2003, where he managed a staff of 68 and assembled, personally negotiated, and passed the fiscal year 2004-2005 Omnibus appropriations bills.

After leaving the Senate in the winter of 2005, he founded the law firm of Morhard & Associates, LLC. He has also been a guest lecturer on the legislative process at Harvard University, the Naval War College and Georgetown University. Morhard is an adjunct professor at the Naval Post Graduate School and is a member of the board of Saint Francis University. He also serves on the advisory board for the U.S. Institute of Peace

Amazingly, Morhard is also a survivor of the 2010 plane crash that claimed the lives of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and four others.

The final speaker, scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium of E.R. Jobe Hall, will be Dr. Jeff Lenn, professor of strategic management at George Washington University.

Lenn and LaForge worked together for more than 30 years at GWU, where Lenn was his department chair, dean and vice president. He has remained LaForge’s great friend and mentor since their time together in the school of business.

Lenn teaches in GWU’s School of Business in the department Strategic Management and Public Policy. His areas of expertise include: business-government relations; corporate political strategy; strategic management; executive leadership; managerial ethics; corporate social responsibility; and organizational change.

His current research includes: design and implementation of political strategy; values and ethics in executive decision making; corporate social responsibility; and business as a vocation and occupation.

Lenn has served as a consultant to corporations, trade associations, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. He also has extensive experience in management and executive development programs, both domestic and international.

He has been a featured speaker at academic, professional and business conferences in Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East. His writing includes a number of case studies about management and corporations.

While these Colloquia events will be back-to-back during the week of inauguration, the program will continue throughout the course of the academic year. The lecturers will come from a wide variety of backgrounds and will also be available to the faculty and students throughout the day they are scheduled to present.

“These are all folks our students can look up to,” said LaForge. “This is just part of what a university should be doing.”

To view the upcoming Colloquia schedule go to deltastate.edu/president/colloquia. For all the events related to inauguration, visit the official website at inauguration.deltastate.edu.

All Inauguration events are funded through support provided to the Delta State University Foundation.

PresLaForgeWeb

Stately inauguration ceremony planned for LaForge

By | President | No Comments

Delta State University and supporters from across the region will soon be gathering for a joyous inauguration ceremony honoring the university’s eighth president, William N. LaForge.

The Investiture Ceremony takes place on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus, which will be preceded by a week of scholarly and student activities and will conclude with the university’s homecoming game on Saturday.

Following Friday’s main ceremony, an inaugural luncheon will take place on the university quadrangle. For those unable to attend the official investiture, Delta State will be livestreaming the inauguration at www.ustream.tv/channel/13494725.

The inaugural theme is “Celebrating Excellence,” in tribute to the university’s historic distinction that will continue under LaForge’s leadership.

The Honorable Thad Cochran, United States Senator from Mississippi, will be the keynote speaker for the main event. LaForge was a chief of staff to Cochran during his time in Washington, D.C.

Fittingly, a National Alumni Association reception on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. kicks off the week of celebratory events for LaForge, a member of the class of 1972 who is truly honored to come home.

Another highlight of the week is the recently established Delta State University Colloquia program, an ongoing series of top-flight lectures and addresses featuring prominent speakers.

A total of five Colloquia speakers, one being Cochran, are scheduled daily Monday-Friday, most of whom will address their personal connections with LaForge. Each day will celebrate a different constituent college or school. Monday will focus on the School of Nursing, Tuesday on the College of Education and Human Sciences, Wednesday on the College of Arts and Sciences and Thursday on the College of Business.

On Oct. 27 at 7:00 p.m., the president, a lifelong musician, will take part in a fun-filled jam session along with students from the Delta Music Institute. He will be honored the following day at a student cookout on the university quadrangle sponsored by the Student Government Association.

The final pre-inauguration highlight is the Halloween evening Trunk or Treat and  community cookout sponsored by the Delta State department of athletics and the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce. The entertainment kicks off Thursday at 6 p.m. at Statesmen Park and concludes with a fireworks show at 9 p.m.

For a complete list of scheduled events throughout the week, view LaForge’s official inauguration website at http://inauguration.deltastate.edu.

LaForge, who was selected in February after a six-month national search, took office on April 15. He has set the tone for a positive presidency with an energetic approach to boosting enrollment and effective operations amidst university budget restraints being felt statewide.

Before being appointed president at Delta State, LaForge was an attorney, registered lobbyist, principal of LaForge Government Relations, and worked for three different law or public policy firms. He specialized in federal government relations and represented businesses and other organizations with public policy interests before the United States Congress and federal executive branch agencies.

On Capitol Hill, he served as senior legislative counsel to Republican and Democratic lawmakers in both houses of Congress. He was chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and culminated his government career as chief legislative counsel and chief of staff to Sen. Cochran.

Previously, he served as a congressional liaison for the Peace Corps and as a legislative assistant to Mississippi Congressman David Bowen.

To stay updated on President LaForge’s continuous Delta State efforts, visit his inauguration website at http://inauguration.deltastate.edu, his personal blog at http://president.deltastate.edu or follow him on Twitter @presidentDSU.