currently enrolled
international retention rate
countries represented
Currently Participating in Post-Completion Optional Practical Training


Delta State University welcomes international students to the Mississippi Delta – providing them with a HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME experience. International students receive assistance, guidance and advice from application through post-graduation.

Are you interested in attending Delta State University?

Check out our International Admissions webpage for details regarding the application process and other vital information you will need to know.

Are you currently enrolled at Delta State University?

Click on the Current Student tab for information you will both need and find useful while you are a Delta State student.

Prospective Students

Am I eligible to apply?
When should I apply?
How do I apply?
Who should I talk to for more information?

Our International Admissions webpage contains the answers to these questions, details regarding the application process, and other vital information potential undergraduate and graduate students need to know.

Interested in knowing more about Cleveland, Mississippi? Visit Cleveland Mississippi has all the information on our little town.

Current Students

Welcome to Delta State, your HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME, located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta! On these pages, you will find a convenient collection of links and documents with answers and information specific to you, the international student.

Your international advisors provide assistance, guidance, and advice throughout your time at Delta State, as well as post-graduation.

As you connect with the Student Success Center’s Division of International Student Services, you will find out why so many students choose to make Delta State University their HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME.

General Information/Forms

Administrative Fee

DSU does not require an out-of-state fee, which most universities use to help fund their international offices, so DSU requires all international students to pay an administrative fee at the beginning of each semester. The fee is automatically posted to your student account and can be paid through MyDSU when paying tuition, insurance, or other student fees. This fee is used to assist International Student Services with DSU van rentals, student events, international student materials, support staff, etc.

Dining and Meal Plan Options

FERPA – Consent to Release Academic Information Link

DSU Payment Guide & Dates

Maintaining Your F1 Student Visa


Check-in with International Student Services, Union 308, within 5 days of arrival on campus at the beginning of each semester and after breaks/holidays. Be sure to bring your I-20, visa, and passport. After any international travel an updated I-94 must be printed upon check-in with International Student Services.


Check-out with International Student Services office no less than 5 days prior to leaving campus at the end of each semester and before all breaks/holidays. Be sure to bring your I-20, visa, and passport to make sure that all travel documentation is update. Failure to do so could result in refusal to enter the U.S. by U.S. Customs and Department of Homeland Security.

Academic Regulations

F1 visa regulations require the following during fall and spring semesters.

  • Undergraduate – Must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours per semester with at least 9 hours instructed in-person/face-to-face. Zoom/virtual video meetings are not approved to replace necessary in-person/face-to-face hours.
  • Graduate – Must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 hours per semester with at least 6 hours instructed in-person/face-to-face. Zoom/virtual video meetings are not approved to replace necessary in-person/face-to-face hours.

International students are required to notify International Student Services prior to withdrawing from any academic courses and/or change of major.

Personal Information Changes

International students are required to notify International Student Services of any changes to student information (address, phone number, academic major/minor, employment, etc.) within 5 days of the change. International Student Services must then update the student’s information and issue an updated I-20, if needed, within 10 days of the change.


If any international travel documentation (I-20, passport, visa, I-94, etc.) is lost, stolen, or misplaced, please contact International Student Services immediately.

Active Visa Status

All DSU international students are required to maintain an active F1 visa status throughout enrollment. If an F1 visa needs to be extended to maintain an active status, please contact International Student Services no less than 2 months prior to visa expiration.

Health Insurance

Health Insurance

DSU requires all international students be enrolled in DSU’s international student health insurance. Students are automatically enrolled upon acceptance and renewed throughout enrollment. Coverage begins on the program start date (first day of classes) and expires on the program end date/graduation/last date of enrollment. Enrollment/renewal fees are automatically charged to the student account and can be paid at the same time as tuition and other student fees.

Please report any medical appointments or surgeries to International Student Services within 5 days for insurance clarification and processing. Any information not submitted in a timely manner may result in the denial of insurance payment, in which case the student will be responsible for any and all charges occurred. If you miss class for any reason, please contact your individual teachers and coach immediately.

Important Instructions Regarding Your Insurance

Insurance Summary of Coverage

Want to find something interesting to do in Cleveland? Visit Cleveland Mississippi has all the information on local events and businesses.

International Student Spotlight: Kyuhyeon Cho

Kyuhyeon is a sophomore from Seoul, South Korea, in the Delta Music Institute’s Entertainment Industry Studies degree program.

Q: Why did you choose to attend Delta State?

A: I chose to attend Delta State for several reasons. Firstly, they offered an Entertainment Industry Studies program aligned with my academic interest and career goals. Secondly, Delta State’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community was appealing, especially for international students. Lastly, the university’s location in the United States presented a unique opportunity to experience Bible Belt culture and affordable education.

Q: What has been a memorable class and professor, and why?

A: One of my most memorable classes was English Composition 2 [ENG 102] with Professor Cowser. Professor Cowser was incredibly engaging, passionate, and knowledgeable about English composition, and I got to experience how to write in the British style. His teaching style made the class informative and enjoyable, and although that was the only B I got from my sophomore year, I learned a lot.

Q: What is your advice about Delta State for current or future international students?

A: My advice to current and future international students at Delta State is to embrace every opportunity to get involved and meet people. Join clubs or organizations like the Student Government Association, fraternities and sororities, DSU Choir, and DMI band that interest you, attend events, and make connections. Additionally, feel free to seek support, whether related to academics or adjusting to a new culture. Delta State has resources to help you succeed.

Employment Options

All on-campus and off-campus employment must be pre-approved by DSU’s International Student Services and meet United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regulations.  Any unapproved employment can/will result in visa termination. For more information, please contact International Student Services, (662) 846-4574, Union 204.

On Campus Employment

On Campus Employment

Undergraduate and graduate F1 visa students are eligible to work on campus as a Regular Student Employee (RSE). Graduate level F1 students are also eligible to work on campus as a Graduate Assistant (GA). Employment availability depends on individual on-campus departmental openings and work hours depend on the individual department’s needs. For more information, please see the On Campus Guidelines & Application Process form below.

On Campus Guidelines and Sample Employment Letter
Social Security Office Sample Letter
Resume Tips

Curriculum Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows F1 students to participate in off-campus internship, cooperative education, practicum, or employment that is directly related to their current program of study. The work can be paid or unpaid and students are eligible to work full-time (20+ hrs/wk) or part-time (-20 hrs/wk). In addition, the work must be eligible for academic course credit and pre-approved by International Student Services before the student can begin working. Any off-campus work (paid or unpaid) that is not pre-approved by International Student Services will be considered unlawful by the US Department of Homeland Security and is grounds for visa/immigration status termination and deportation.

For more information, please see the CPT Guidelines & Application Process form below.

CPT Guidelines & Sample Letters
Social Security Office Sample Letter
Resume Tips

Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (Pre-Completion OPT)

Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (Pre-Completion OPT)

Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (Pre-Completion OPT)  allows F1 students to gain off-campus employment while enrolled in their degree program through work or internship in their field of study. The employment can be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, and must be pre-approved by International Student Services before employment can begin. For more information, please see the Pre-Completion OPT Guidelines & Application Process form below.

Pre-Completion OPT Guidelines & Application Process
Pre-Completion OPT Employer Sample Letter
Social Security Office Sample Letter
Resume Tips

Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (Post-Completion OPT)

Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (Post-Completion OPT)

Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (Post-Completion OPT)  allows F1 students to gain off-campus employment upon completion of their degree program through work or internship in their field of study. The employment can be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, and must be pre-approved by International Student Services before employment can begin. For more information, please see the Post-Completion OPT Guidelines & Application Process form below.

Post-Completion OPT Guidelines & Application Process
Post-Completion OPT Employer Guidelines & Letter
Sample Letter for Social Security Office
Resume Tips

International Student Association (ISA)

All current international students are members of the International Student Association. ISA organizes fun events that promote cross-cultural awareness to bridge the gap between international and local students. One of the signature events is the “Taste of the Nations” food fest, held each March during International Student Month, and international students prepare displays, presentations, and food from their home countries. ISA also holds monthly meetings that allow international students to fellowship and receive important information such as: upcoming local and campus events, off/on-campus employment regulations, maintaining immigration status, banking, and much more.


The mission of the International Student Association is to create the best possible environment for every international student, provide assistance, and integrate international students with DSU students, faculty, staff, and community.

Where are you now?

Near or far, in the United States or abroad, let us know where you are. Simply fill out and submit the form below. That way we can keep you up-to-date on what’s happening at the University, invite you to special events and make sure you get access to all the perks of being a DSU Alumni.

No matter where you go, your Delta State University family will always be here for you!

Mailing Address
DSU Degree Earned and Graduation Year(Required)
Graduation Year
Examples include supporting recruitment efforts, hosting alumni events in your home country, participating in Homecoming activities, host events for Delta State faculty/staff travelers visiting your home country, etc.
What kinds of communication are you interested in? How often? What do you hope to gain from being a member of the Delta State International Student Association (ISA)?

International Alumni Spotlight: Huibri-Mari Botha

Today we meet Huibri-Mari Botha! She is an alumnus from South Africa that graduated from DSU in 2002 in Sport Management and Business, what is she up to now? Let’s find out together!

Q: Why did you choose to attend Delta State University?

A: Tennis has been a great passion of mine and it started with joining my father for tennis after school. The bond we shared gradually turned into a appreciation and enjoyment of the sport.One of my goals was always to travel and play tennis in the States. I chose to attend Delta State University and was offered a  tennis scholarship and the opportunity to compete with players from around the world. Initially, my goal was to enhance my tennis skills and learn from players with diverse backgrounds. However, a few months in, I quickly realized that the experience was far more profound than just tennis; it was about immersing myself in a different culture and embracing opportunities I had only dreamed of. Delta State not only helped me honemy athletic abilities but also opened doors to invaluable connections, meaningful relationships, and countless life opportunities that continue to shape my journey. It also made me appreciate the strong foundation, love and support my parents and family gave me to help move along to the next phases in life.

Q: What were some of the clubs, organizations, activities, events, etc. that you were involved in when you were at DSU? Any honors, scholarships, or recognitions you want to share?


  • Vice President for the International Student Association, very involved in helping with events to include and connect international students
  • United Methodist Student Association
  • 2000 & 2001 National Collegiate Women’s Tennis Championship D2 – Regional Participant
  • 1999 – 2000 Most Improved Award 
  • Female Coach of the Year: Philadelphia 2022.

Q: What are you doing/ have been doing since you graduated from DSU?

A: Since graduating from Delta State University, my journey has been filled with many career adventures. I did my internship at Julian Krinsky School of Tennis, which was the stepping stone for me to my career in sports and tennis.  I began my coaching career alongside Larry Hyde at Magarity Tennis Club near Philadelphia, which provided me with valuable experiences. Transitioning to the Upper Dublin Sports Center near Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to apply the skills I acquired from my degree in Sports Management, laying the foundation for my professional growth. Working with Simon Gale in New York further refined my coaching abilities and leadership skills. Now, as the Assistant Director of Tennis at Upper Dublin Sports Center, I am dedicated to expanding and enhancing tennis and pickleball programming. There is nothing like introducing the sport I love to beginners or helping people fall in love with tennis all over again! Throughout this journey, I’ve embraced independence, problem-solving, and the significance of networking, which have been pivotal in my personal and professional development.

Q: How did DSU prepare you for what you’re doing now?

A: Delta State University provided me, as an international student and tennis athlete, with a multifaceted preparation for life beyond academia and athletics. The university’s diverse community and welcoming atmosphere helped me acclimate to a new culture and environment, fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging.

Moreover, Delta State’s academic curriculum, particularly in my field of Sports Management, equipped me with essential knowledge and practical skills relevant to my career aspirations. 

Beyond academics and athletics, Delta State fostered a supportive community that encouraged personal growth, leadership development, and cultural exchange. Through interactions with professors, coaches, peers, and mentors, I gained valuable insights, built meaningful relationships, and developed crucial life skills such as adaptability, resilience, and effective communication.

It’s crucial to acknowledge the significant impact of individuals like Ginger Holland, a United Methodist Minister, during my time at Delta State University. Ginger’s guidance and connections played a pivotal role in linking me with key supporters. One such connection was with Maxine and Tom Tyree from Jarrettown United Methodist Church in the Philadelphia area. Their unwavering support became instrumental in nurturing my personal growth and success, providing me with a familial foundation as I navigated through various challenges and opportunities.  Without that   connection I am not sure the next parts of success in my career and life would’ve been possible.

Q: What’s a favorite DSU memory?

A: One of my most cherished memories at Delta State University revolves around my arrival in Memphis and the subsequent journey to Cleveland, MS, where the campus is located. As Coach Asa greeted me at the airport, the landscape and surroundings defied my preconceived notions of America, with its swamp lands and catfish ponds. The encounter with the distinctive Southern accent initially left me questioning whether this was indeed the America I had imagined.  (I quickly learned, “Bless your heart” didn’t really mean bless your heart.)

However, what truly captivated me was the warmth, acceptance, and genuine support extended to me by the local community. Despite the initial cultural differences, I quickly discovered a sense of belonging and inclusivity among the people I encountered. Their eagerness to help and genuine interest in getting to know me as an individual made me feel embraced and valued, reaffirming the notion that home is not merely a place, but a feeling of acceptance and community. This experience taught me the power of openness and kindness in transcending cultural barriers and fostering meaningful connections.

International Alumni Spotlight: Hasin Sadik Karim

Today we meet Hasin Sadik Karim! He is an alumnus from Bangladesh that graduated from DSU in 2021, what is he up to now? Let’s find out together!

Q: Let’s get to know you! What is your name, home city and country, and degree and graduation date from DSU?

A: I’m Hasin Sadik Karim. I’m from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I graduated with a BCA in Aviation Management in May 2021.

Q: Why did you choose to attend Delta State?

A: I chose DSU because of its affordable tuition and also for its blended business and aviation degree that I pursued later on.

Q: What were some of the clubs, organizations, activities, events, etc. that you were involved in when you were at DSU? Any honors, scholarships, or recognitions you want to share?

A: I was the President of the International Student Association and also served as a senator for the Student Government Association of DSU. I received the President’s List in terms of my grades during the Spring 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Q: What are you doing/ have been doing since you graduated from DSU?

A: After graduating from DSU I went back to Bangladesh and worked for a Youth Organization in terms of Marketing and Public Relations and also worked for an agency as an IELTS Instructor and International Admissions Officer. I did all this work for a year and then started my MBA at University of Prince Edward Island in the Fall of 2022 and still currently pursuing.

Q: How did DSU prepare you for what you’re doing now?

A: DSU helped me gain the theoretical and practical knowledge to make myself a diversified corporate individual.

Q: What’s a favorite DSU memory?

A: My favorite memory from DSU would be helping with the representation of International students and their countries during the 2019 DSU Homecoming as one of the head members of the International Student Association.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share for the newsletter?

A: I believe that consistency is the key towards success. Success is a long road, and in order to achieve it you will have to consistently work on gaining skills and knowledge over a very long period of time that can help bring positive change to the world.

We would like to thank Hasin for his time and the answers! We wish him best of luck for his current studies and future plans! And as always… GO STATESMEN!!!

International Alumni Spotlight: Kan Guvensel

Kan Guvensel is a DSU Alumni from Turkey. During his time here at Delta State, he was part of the DSU Swim and Dive team under Coach Mayers, where he broke multiple school records and became an All-American selection multiple times.

Q: Why did you choose to attend Delta State?

A: I grew up in Istanbul, which is a 16-17 million people city. I was so tired of the chaos of living in such a metropolitan city that I wanted to study in a place where I would have the exact opposite of this chaos. I was a Turkish national swimmer, and I was also looking for a strong swim program, and finally, I had to get full scholarship to be able to afford to come to the U.S in the first place. Delta State checked all those boxes. It also helped that the business program was strong. I had a couple of other offers from Northern and Mid-Western colleges, but I chose Delta State. A decision I am very proud of even 24 years after making it…

Q: What were some of the clubs, organizations, activities, events, etc. that you were involved in when you were at DSU? Any honors, scholarships, or recognitions you want to share?

A: I was a member of DSU Swimming and Diving Team under the leadership of the legendary Ronnie Mayers. Honestly, the team consumed all my time. Swimmers train longer and harder than any other athletes, thus, when I was not in class, I was either at the pool training or on the road to some swim meet. During my time at DSU, I won the NSISC conference and broke the university record in 200 Breaststroke and 4×100 Medley Relay.  I also had the privilege of representing DSU at the NCAA Nationals many times. I was 6 times All-American (which requires to finish top 8 in the country at NCAA nationals), 2 times Academic All-American (which requires to have a 3.5 GPA AND finish top 8 in the country at NCAA Nationals at the same time). I also won a Finance Award in my senior year as a finance major. After graduating from DSU, I obtained my permanent residence (a.k.a Green Card) under the extraordinary ability clause that the U.S. government has for athletes and other talented professionals. My time at DSU and with the DSU swim team played a tremendous role in this accomplishment.

Q: What are you doing now that you’ve graduated from DSU?

A: Currently, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of Georgia. I am a Clinical Assistant Professor at Georgia State University, and I coordinate the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services. We have a very selective counseling program at Georgia State, and I have the privilege of providing leadership to this nationally respected program.

Q: How did DSU prepare you for what you’re doing now?

A: After living in Istanbul for 19 years, in which people are often just a number in the public education system, I received individual attention at DSU. Not only in classroom, but also in social aspects of life as well… DSU taught me how to be successful, how to overcome adversity, and how to be disciplined. The interpersonal connections I made at DSU allowed me to value my own self, have more confidence in my own abilities, and move on to the next stage in my life which has been in Atlanta since 2005. I will be forever grateful for Delta State University for all that it provided for me, which goes miles beyond a college degree.

Q: What’s a favorite DSU memory?

A: I have so many great memories at DSU. From hanging out at the Quad during the Springfest, to the customary Thursday night outings with friends… From going to football games to winning the NSISC Conference 4 times in a row with the swim team… There are just too many to count. But there is this one moment that I will never forget. In my senior year, I did not do as well as I had hoped in my swimming events. I cannot remember my exact placement now (it was 20 years ago), but I think I finished 4th or 5th in 200 Breaststroke in the NSISC Conference final. This was an event I previously won and broke school records in. After the race, I was disappointed, and I went to warm down by the diving boards at the DSU Aquatics Center. Ronnie Mayers came by, stopped me, and said “don’t worry about this race. You gave me so many good years that I don’t care you didn’t swim fast! Just don’t worry about it”! I thanked him quickly and pushed off the wall back in the water so that he would not see me crying in my goggles. This showed how he really cared about me and all the other athletes. How we mattered to him, and we were not just wins and tittles for him. I am forever grateful for and indebted to Ronnie Mayers and the Swimming and Diving program at DSU. That moment really touched me, and it is the perfect illustration of why DSU matters so much to me and why it will always have a very special place in my heart.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

A:Fun Fact: I still swim competitively within the US Masters Swimming. I was at Summer Masters Nationals in Sarasota Florida in August, and I finished 2nd in the country in 200 Breaststroke in the 40-44 age group. I have my eyes at the 2025 World Masters. It would be thrilling to medal at the world championship in a couple of years. We will see how my aging body handles the training for such an ethereal goal.

Advice: If you are an international student, it is likely that Cleveland will be so much different than your home country and culture. And this is what is so wonderful about Cleveland and DSU. My advice is EMBRACE it!!! Embrace how different it is. Do not attempt to replicate your former life in Cleveland, but rather infuse yourself in the southern culture and learn as much as you can learn about and from it. Whether you want to stay in the U.S. after college or want to go back home, you are afforded an amazing and unique opportunity that will broaden your horizons if you let it. So, LET IT!

I had many friends who talked about not being able to wait to go back home once they were finished with school. I never quite understood that mentality. Your home will always be there if you choose to return to it. Allow yourselves these four years to experience a different world in Cleveland. You will not regret it!

We would like to thank Dr. Guvensel for sharing his experience at Delta State and we wish him the best of luck for his future plans and successes. GO Statesmen!!!

International Alumni Spotlight: MARWA HARPS, ’18, ’20

Marwa (Cherraf) Harps graduated from Delta State University with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in International Business in 2018 and then completed a Master’s of Business Administration degrees in 2020 with two concentrations. Along the way, she was inducted into the Delta State Student Hall of Fame for her outstanding academic and extra-curricular accomplishments. Check out the video below for a look into her time at DSU.

Q: Why did you choose Delta State to transfer to?

A: I am the product of a Community College, as a transferring Phi Theta Kappa member, I was selected to receive a scholarship to attend DSU tuition free for the remainder of my undergraduate degree. I then chose to continue on at DSU as a graduate student because DSU became my home and the DSU family feel really took into effect in my journey at the time 😊

Q: What were some of the clubs, organizations, activities, events, etc. that you were involved in when you were at DSU? Any honors, scholarships, or recognitions you want to share?

A: Absolutely, DSU was my place of education, work and involvement for many years, I worked in Residence Life as a Resident Assistant and a Hall Director, Athletics as an event operations staff member and the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs as an intern. The internship at the VPSA’s office allowed me to be involved in Admissions as a Delta Diplomat, in Student Life at the Director of Campus Engagement, and to collaborate with Marketing on various social media campaigns to highlight the work Student Affairs was doing at the time. I also had the chance to serve as the President of the International Student Club, I was a re-chartering member and Parliamentarian of the DSU chapter of Phi Beta Lambda. During my time at DSU I was involved in the planning and execution of various events namely: Culture on the Quad, DSU Emerald Awards of Excellence, DSU Women’s & Men’s conferences, OKRAout Pride Event, DSU Homecoming Week, DSU International Business Symposium. I was inducted into Delta Mu Delta Honor Society for Business, Omicron Delta Kappa Circle of Collegiate leadership, Was awarded the George C. Wofford Memorial Scholarship, Two times “Top International student award”, and was inducted into the DSU Hall of Fame class of 2018. In Graduate School, I was able to continue the work I was doing on campus and serve as the Graduate Assistant for the office of Career Services as well.

Q: What are you doing now that you’ve graduated from DSU with 3 degrees?

A: After working for corporate America during the pandemic as a Multi-Unit Operations Manager for the Northern California Region, I am now back in Higher Education as an Administrator overseeing Student Engagement, Undocumented and International Student Supports, and the Student Government Programming Board at my Alma Mater, Sierra College in Rocklin, CA.

Q: How did DSU prepare you for what you’re doing now?

A: DSU was a catalyst in both my academic and professional careers, I’ve earned my degrees and a large portion of my professional skills in Management, Higher Education and Equity work through my journey at DSU, as a student, as a professional and as an individual living in the Delta. The combination of lived experiences and education I’ve earned at DSU were extremely helpful in preparing me to tackle the professional world and to be a better leader in and out of the workplace.

Q: What’s a favorite DSU memory?

A: My favorite DSU memory, is realizing one day while surrounded by my friends who became family, and by then boyfriend who is now my husband, during the holiday season, that DSU and the Mississippi Delta was nothing like I expected. I came to DSU with a sole focus on my academics and did not expect to make lifelong friends, lifelong mentors and most of all, meeting my husband and my life partner. In that moment, in the Lobby of Cain-Tatum, I realized, the DSU family is a real thing, it’s an experience like no other that challenged me, taught me, and most of all, helped me grow as a person, as a student and as a leader!

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share for the newsletter?

A: For all of my International Students, first years or transfers: Make the most out of your DSU experience! There’s such high advantage of being in a smaller campus, this is where you learn, you grow, you get involved and you make a difference. There are many things that our community can bring to the campus through our International lens, use this opportunity to leave your mark on campus, no matter how small it is! Love your institution in a way that you contribute to the good and you point out the opportunities for growth! It’s not easy but it’s damn worth it! I wish you all the very best in you journey! And if you need a friend, please do not hesitate to contact me 😊

International Alumni Spotlight: MYRIAM LARSEN

Q: What were some of the clubs, organizations, activities, events, etc., that you were involved in when you were at DSU? Are there any honors, scholarships, or recognitions you want to share?

A: When I was at DSU, I tried participating in as much as I could. I was involved with the psychology club and PSI CHI honor society. I was active in the international student association and became the vice president. We brought together the international students and integrated them with the rest of the school and the community. While at Delta State, I was on the president list every semester, which was very rewarding.

Q: What are you doing now that you’ve graduated from DSU?

A: Now that I have graduated from DSU, I am pursuing my education in psychology by getting my doctorate in clinical psychology. I am in my second year, and we have started our clinical practicum training, which is exciting. I also work part-time, which can be challenging, especially balancing academic work. However, it is a beautiful journey that has been very rewarding and will allow me to help individuals from various backgrounds and hopefully make a meaningful impact on their lives.

Q: How did DSU prepare you for graduate school?

A: My years at Delta State were transformative and contributed to who I am today. I would say the people at Delta State were the most impactful. The psychology department’s faculty was invaluable in helping get me to graduate school in the first place. Coming from Haiti, I knew I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. but had not heard of a PsyD before, focusing more on clinical work on a practitioner-scholar model. Dr. Goldman, one of the past professors in the psychology department, inspired me and discussed the possibility of pursuing a doctorate directly after my undergraduate studies. From then on, Dr. Westfall led me to be successful in graduate school. The help and guidance I received from assisting in writing my personal statement, having great recommendation letters, and preparing for a successful interview was priceless. In senior seminar classes, we also had crash courses about different aspects of graduate school that would be important for us to learn. The staff in the international office were present every step of the way, and being able to rely on them meant that I could be more efficient in my academic work. I can’t count how many times Missey would advise us and help us with our personal goals in all the ways she knew. A small community around the university made it much more impactful and personable.

Q: What’s your favorite DSU memory?

A: I had to think about this question. I have so many great memories of Delta State. Before COVID, I met some lifetime friends to make memories with them by hanging out in study rooms and sharing essential milestones in each other’s lives, like graduation. I think being able to present my research project for sexual awareness month was a gateway to my future career as a clinical psychologist. My last semester at DSU was also filled with great memories, especially preparing for graduation and all the events leading up to it. I took more general electives and went on a trip with some students to the Rio Grande, which opened my eyes and brought me memories of a lifetime. Overall, time spent with friends, great class discussions, campus events, and even some of the shifts at my on-campus job made my time at DSU much better and graduation day a bitter-sweet memory day.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share for the newsletter?

A: Sometimes, you may not realize how to improve your situation, and the solution is hidden in the people around you! At Delta State, I learned the value of relationships, and often, it is the relationships that heal, inspire, and motivate. Reach out and connect with people on campus; your college experience or overall life might be better thanks to the community you will have built!


We would like to thank Myriam Larsen for this month’s interview and we wish her the best of luck for her future success!

Go Statesmen!

Today we would like to introduce Prof. William Jira Katembe, he is one of the International Faculty members here at Delta State and he teaches Biotechnology and Cell Biology.

Q: How did you get to Delta State? In other words, why did you choose Delta State?

A: My response to this question is slightly off everyone’s expectation. I did not chose Delta State University, Delta State University chose me. When I was looking for a faculty position, my focus was very narrow; I wanted to teach Cell Biology and Biotechnology or Plant Physiology and Biotechnology. Delta State University had an open position for someone to teach Cell Biology and Biotechnology, so I applied for the position. I believe I was one among several or possibly many applicants, and Delta State University chose me. I accepted the position and moved here. I loved the place and decided to stay.

Q: What’s your favorite course to teach and why?

A: To me the three courses I teach (BIO 100, BIO 300 and BIO 442/618) are just like my four children, I love all of them equally. Anytime I enter any of the three classes, it is always time to enjoy the opportunity to help my students learn the subject as they enjoy my vibrant and happy presence.

Q: What advice do you have for international students to be successful at Delta State?

A: My advice is simple; please do not let down the family and community in your home country. Those people you left back home are very proud that you made it this far. Stay focused on your education, so that when you return home, your family, neighbors, and the community at large can receive you with pride.

Q: So far in your career, what do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

A: Building the Biotechnology and Cell Biology programs from scratch to me was the greatest achievement. With Biotechnology, I found a program that had been running for many years but did not modern pieces of equipment for most of the lab exercises. The Cell Biology was running as a lecture only course without a laboratory component. I changed that by adding a lab component to it. When the Caylor-Walters science building was up for renovation, I made sure that both Cell Biology and Biotechnology would have their own laboratories. I worked hard and got some grant money to acquire most of the pieces equipment for both Biotechnology and Cell Biology. Today, the Biotechnology and Cell Biology programs have most of the pieces of equipment. To me this is the greatest achievement of my career.

Q: What is something that you are looking forward to? (personal or professional)

A: To live long enough to see my own kids and students become parents.

Q: If you could wake up tomorrow having mastered one new ability, what would it be?

A: I wish I could have a telescope to the future, to give me the new ability to see how the world will look like say 40 or 50 years from now. Long time ago, I read two science fiction/futuristic books by Alvin Toffler (1. “The Future Shock” and 2. “The Third Wave”). I have lived to see man land on the moon, rovers on Mars, the telephone booth and rotary phones give way to cell phones and smart watches, then the green revolution, and all the way to artificial and synthetic biology, gene editing, to RNA vaccines. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI), men receiving pig hearts, self-driving cars, tiktok, and so many other things. We have a world where technological innovations are occurring at an ever increasing pace. It is as if I am living in what Alvin Toffler referred to as the “Future Shock” and Third Wave. It is very interesting to see how AI and other technologies are changing how we live. Will they eventually, say in four to five decades from now change who we are?

We would like to thank Prof. William Jira Katembe for the interview and wish him best of luck on his future projects!

Missey Hudson
Union 204; DSU Box 3232
Cleveland, MS 38733
P: 662.846.4500

sosbutton1S.O.S. (Stay Okra Strong) Early Alert system helps identify and assist at-risk students through organized outreach.

Your gift to International Student Services supports American students fulfilling their dreams of studying abroad, robust international programming that brings the world to Delta State, and international students who enrich our campus and community.

Thank you for your gift! For more information, please contact us at international@deltastate.edu

Countries Represented










Costa Rica




East Timor























South Africa

South Korea


Sri Lanka