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Recreation Leadership Archives - News and Events

Todd Davis, Director of Recreation Leadership and Outdoor Education - Cleveland, Mississippi;
Christian Barrett, MBA Graduate Student - Mobile, Alabama; Will Bryer, Senior - Memphis, Tennessee; Nick Zorn, Sophomore - Roswell, Georgia; Heidi Nichols, Senior - Columbia, South Carolina; Laura Nichols, Senior - Columbia, South Carolina; Evan Parker, Freshman - Snellville, Georgia; Chloe Bennett, Freshman - Jasper, Alabama

Team Fear The Okra represents at Tough Mudder

By | College of Education and Human Sciences | No Comments

Students and a faculty member recently participated in the Atlanta Tough Mudder race representing Delta State as team Fear The Okra.

Seven students volunteered for six hours this past Saturday for more than 6,000 participants in various roles and then tackled the grueling, muddy and physically demanding 11-mile obstacle course in the hills of Georgia. Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course challenges designed to test all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. With the most innovative obstacles and over one million participants globally to date, Tough Mudder is the premier obstacle course series in the world.

Todd Davis, director of Recreation Leadership and Outdoor Education, organized the team of eight.

“This is a chance to remain active in competition, but also build upon team and leadership values. I invite students to challenge themselves academically and through outdoor adventure, and I feel this is one more area where students need to be challenged – through teamwork and helping others.”

Nick Zorn, a Sophomore member of the swim team from Roswell, Georgia, invited his parents to the event. They came not only to watch but also volunteered as part of an obstacle safety team.

“The Tough Mudder event is one of the most mentally and physically difficult challenges I have ever experienced in my life.  It allowed me to become  closer with the friends I ran it with.  Although I swim and am very competitive, this competition allows me to be challenged but also help others and be supportive in a way I’ve never experienced. I definitely want to run another one,” said Zorn.

For Laura Nichols, a senior graduating  in a few days with bachelors in marketing and management from Columbia, South Carolina, this is her second Tough Mudder. She was part of an 8-person team that ran the Tough Mudder Houston, Texas event last October.

“TM is a great event that showcases camaraderie among friends and strangers. Volunteering and running for this event are great ways to motivate yourself to be the best version of yourself,” said Nichols.

Heidi Nichols, twin sister to Laura, is a graduating senior in exercise science.

“Running would not be the same without the volunteering, I think. Volunteering the day before gives you a good idea of all the effort that goes into just one of these events (and they do hundreds a year). I’ll be doing more…I WANT THAT BLACK HEADBAND. I don’t think I would mentally be able to complete one on my own. Running with a team helps because just when you feel like giving up someone will start a chant, or yell encouraging words at you. And it definitely gives you the power to keep going,” said Heidi.

Freshman Recreation Leadership major Evan Nicole Parker from Snellville, Georgia, said, “The Tough Mudder isn’t a race, it’s an experience. It takes more than just physical toughness. Running, volunteering and just meeting new people has definitely impacted my life for the better.”

“Tough Mudder is one of the best team building events in the nation, and no one ever tells an interesting story about a 5K,” said Christian Barrett, a two-time Tough Mudder Finisher and MBA student from Mobile, Alabama.

If you are interested in being part of the Mississippi Delta Tough Mudder Team and representing team Fear The Okra, contact Todd Davis at 662-846-4555 or tdavis@deltastate.edu.  To see photos of the event, go to: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.647386355335821.1073741856.100001933880730&type=1&l=8ee8146ad0

The Recreation Leadership Program hosts a birding workshop with Dan Davis on Feb. 14.

College of Education and Human Sciences to host free recreational birding workshop

By | College of Education and Human Sciences, Students | No Comments

Delta State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences is hosting a free “how-to” birding workshop on Feb. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon through the Recreation Leadership Program of the Division of Health Physical Education and Recreation.

Those interested in attending must register in advance by contacting Todd Davis, director of Recreation Leadership, at 662-846-4555 or tdavis@deltastate.edu. Space is limited to 24 participants and no experience or gear is needed. CEUs will be offered (.5 CEUs for $15).

Dan Davis, a certified wildlife biologist and avid birder, will be on hand to introduce and teach the skills needed to recreationally bird, including the use of electronic devices, mobile apps, binoculars, cameras, books and relevant websites. The program will visit nearby Dahomey Wildlife Refuge to call in and spot local and migratory birds.

“One of the most positive, yet underappreciated aspects of recreation in Mississippi, is recreational birding,” said Todd. “With the proximity to migration routes for millions of birds and nearly a hundred species traveling through Mississippi each year, recreational birding is an excellent way to get out and witness an unbelievable wonder.”

Birding is considered one of the top outlets for passive and moderately active outdoor recreation. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are currently 51.3 million birders in the United States alone, and this number continues to grow. Additionally, the Outdoor Foundation reports that Americans average 46 outings per viewer and total 1.2 billion bird watching and wildlife viewing outings per year.

“With the right technology, proper education and access to wildlife areas, birding can be inexpensive and fun for the whole family,” added Todd.

A certified and retired U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Biologist, Dan Davis has over 40 years of experience in the field of wildlife management. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Idaho in wildlife management and has additional master’s level credits in the field of research. He has taught extension classes in Idaho at Lewis Clark State College and the University of Idaho, with a focus on bird identification and management on national forest lands. He has also taught about big game management, plants, amphibians and other wildlife topics.

Dan has collaborated with the Nez Perce Tribe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Fish and Game, Department of Lands, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and numerous environmental NGOs such as the Audubon Society and National Wildlife Federation. He also holds a private pilot and seaplane license and is very knowledgeable in birding applications and technologies. He continues to pursue outdoor recreational activities in all areas of the United States and abroad.

Outdoor Photo Contest

Recreation Leadership to host second outdoor photo contest and film festival

By | College of Education and Human Sciences | No Comments

The Recreation Leadership Program of Delta State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences will host the second annual Outdoor Photo Contest and Adventure Film Festival on March 26 at 6 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Auditorium.

Robby Stine, a junior recreation leadership major, along with Todd Davis, HPER director of Recreation Leadership under the Dave Heflin Professorship, will be directing and coordinating the free campus event.

The photo contest is actively accepting submissions until noon on March 24. Participants are eligible to submit up to five photos, with one photo per category. Categories include: outdoor recreation; outdoor wildlife; outdoor landscape; outdoor whimsical; and Mississippi outdoor.

Definitions for these categories are located on the official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/DSU-Outdoor-Photo-Film-Fest/747188491960537. This link also allows viewers to see submissions from others. All winners will be announced at the Adventure Film Festival intermission. Category winners will receive a commemorative plaque.

“Our outdoor world is viewed differently by everyone,” said Davis. “Regardless of how a photo is taken, where a photo is taken, or who takes a photo, this contest hopes to appreciate all the different views of the outdoors through the eyes and lenses of people.

“Whether you are affiliated with Delta State or not, we want to see some great photos to highlight in the photo contest.”

The film festival will showcase a number of short outdoor adventure documentary films that highlight the hardships and adventures the outdoors can offer.

To enter the contest, entries must be saved as a jpeg or jpg and named in the following fashion: category, last name, first name, photograph and title. Submissions must be emailed separately to dsu.outdoor.photo@gmail.com and photos must have been taken within the last year — January of 2012 to the present.

Voting for People’s Choice Award will begin at noon on March 24 and end March 26 at noon.

For more information, contact Davis at 662-846-4570 or tdavis@deltastate.edu.