6th Annual International Conference on the Blues ● October 4, 2019


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LEE AYLWARD is Program Associate for Education and Community Outreach in the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at DSU. She has a BA from Mississippi University for Women in Library Science with a minor in English, and a MS from Mississippi State University in Education.

LAURISSA BACKLIN is Assistant Professor of Music at Delta State University where she teaches studio voice, lyric diction, and song literature. She received the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from University of North Texas.

GREGORY BRAGGS JR earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (2015) and in Entertainment Industry Studies (2016) from Delta State University. He's currently working as Delta State's university web designer and is working on his MBA in Management Information System, also from Delta State.

KELLI CARR is the Tourism Director at the Cleveland- Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce. She represents Cleveland on the Mississippi Tourism Association’s Board of Directors and serves as Secretary of the Mississippi Delta Tourism Association. She is a graduate of DSU.

TIM COLBERT is Chair of the DSU Health, Physical Education, & Recreation Faculty. He holds a BS and MS from Mississippi State University.

SHELLEY COLLINS (Co-Chair) is Professor of Music at DSU, where she teaches music history, history of rock, and flute. She has been Secretary of the National Flute Association and President of the Mid-South, Seattle, and Colorado flute associations. DMA, University of Colorado; MM, Arizona State.

CHELSEA HALL graduated from Delta State University in 2013 with a BS in Elementary Education. She is currently working as the Senior Secretary for the Division of Languages & Literature at Delta State University and pursuing a master’s degree in Counseling.

ROLANDO HERTS is the Director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at DSU. His research includes university-community partnerships and engagement, place promotion/marketing, and community and regional development. Ph.D., Rutgers University; MA, The University of Chicago; BA, Morehouse College.

HEATHER MILLER, Director of Institutional Grants, works closely with faculty and staff in securing funding for education, research, scholarship, and service projects. She holds an MBA from Delta State University.

DON ALLAN MITCHELL (Co-Chair) is Chair of the Division of Languages & Literature and Associate Professor of English at DSU. He was host of Highway 61 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting from 2002-2005. He teaches literature, history, & culture of the Blues classes at DSU. MFA, University of Mississippi; BA, University of Virginia.

TRICIA WALKER is Director of the Delta Music Institute. As a staff writer for Word Music and PolyGram music, she had songs recorded by Faith Hill, Patty Loveless, Kathy Troccoli, and Allison Krauss, who won a GRAMMY for her version of “Looking in the Eyes of Love,” co-written by Ms. Walker. www.

SHELIA WINTERS, originally from Clarksdale, MS, received her BS in Business Administration from Lemoyne Owen College and a MBA from DSU. She worked 29 years at Coahoma Community College and currently works in the Delta Center for Culture and Learning as Program Associate for Projects.