Sponsored by The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
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December 22, 2017
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The University will be closed from December 21, 2017 - January 1, 2018. Faculty/Staff will return on January 2nd and classes start back on January 16th. Have a safe and joyous holiday season!
Dissertation Examines Black Entrepreneurship in the Delta                 
Dr. Timla Washington defended her Human Capital Development program dissertation titled  Self-Perceptions of Black Entrepreneurship in a Black Majority Rural Context - The Mississippi Delta , which examined black entrepreneurs' perceptions of agency and structural factors (i.e., human capital, social capital, industry type, financial capital, inter-generational link, discrimination, state government, black elected officials, and access to resources) impacting their success in rural black-majority population counties. The overall conclusion was that being a black majority does not automatically generate a perceived positive influence on business success unless people invest in themselves. None of the entrepreneurs in the study viewed the Delta as an advantage to their business success.  Rather the Delta is viewed as a structural barrier to success, with race relations and the regional economy being the main issues. They acknowledge barriers exist in the region but believe some barriers are not related to the Delta but rather personal barriers (e.g., mindset, knowledge). Dr. Washington is Community, Economic, and Workforce Development Coordinator for U.S. Congressman Bennie G. Thompson in Greenville, MS.
New Mentorship Course Option for Practitioners in the MSED Program

Practitioners working on their Master of Science of Economic Development now have the option of a mentorship course instead of the traditional 300-hour internship requirement. Practitioners in the program can select an experienced economic development practitioner to mentor them over the course of the program. This theory-to-practice experience will allow the student to reflect on what they learn from the program and apply it in the workplace. ED 791 Mentorship is a one-credit hour course that can be taken for the three cumulative semesters of the program for 3 credit hours in total.  Total graduate tuition plus basic fees is $4,109 for 9-13 graduate credit hours in 2018 so there is no additional cost for the extra hour for students taking a full load of four MSED courses per Fall/Spring semester. This helps reduce the overall cost of the 30-hour program to around $10k for tuition and basic fees (i.e., student activities and capital improvement).
Merging Community and Economic Development
By Oprah Payne

Community development is becoming a subset of economic development due to current needs and changes in communities globally, according to a research report prepared by MSED Graduate Assistant, Oprah Payne. She examined the new direction Community Development is headed, the theory of merging community and economic development organizations, and the new trends in community development. Previously, Community Development focused on facets of self-help, mutual support, and the building of neighborhood integration. However, it is evolving as to become a complementary function of economic development. Payne graduated from the Master of Science in Economic Development program this December and will start employment in January at the University of Memphis. To request a copy of the report, contact ophrah.payne@usm.edu
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