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MSU News

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Updated: 57 min 58 sec ago

Mississippi State Trial Gardens to present 'Autumn Window Boxes' workshop

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 17:38

The Mississippi State Trial Gardens will present a workshop on "Autumn Window Boxes" on Sept. 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Dorman Hall greenhouse on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville.

Faculty, staff and students, as well as member of the surrounding community, are invited to learn how to decorate and care for fall container gardens. Participants will be able to make their very own fall container masterpiece to use in their own home during the fall season.

Registration is $20 and space is limited. For more information, please contact Kandiace Gray at ekg19@msstate.edu, or find the gardens on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mstrialgarden.

You can also register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/autumn-window-boxes-tickets-17809698287.

Lights, camera, action! MSU Television Center now features HD set

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 16:40
Mississippi State’s Office of Agricultural Communications films its first Farmweek episode since the completion of the University Television Center’s new high-definition studio. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Mississippi State’s Office of Agricultural Communications films its first Farmweek episode since the completion of the University Television Center’s new high-definition studio. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s Television Center now is home to a high-definition studio that will better assist the state’s largest higher education video production facility.  

“Using the innovative set construction methods of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Gelbach Designs, we were able to work together to create a new look that specifically caters to high-definition programming, and we were able to do it in a very cost-effective manner,” said David Garraway, the center’s director.

Twenty percent larger than its predecessor, the new set features state-of-the-art, energy-efficient lighting and three high-definition monitors that allow for high-end motion graphics to be presented, Garraway said.

The newly renovated space also enables TV Center staff to utilize its six-foot camera crane for moving shots and dynamic camera angles.

 “Our clients have many, many different needs, audiences and styles, and we feel that the look of the new set really pushes the TV Center into the 21st century, but also gives our clients a more flexible environment in which they can create productions that suit their needs,” Garraway emphasized.

He also expressed appreciation for the support of the university’s Facilities Management division and Office of Agricultural Communications in making the set redesign project a reality. OAC, the TV Center’s primary client, will continue using the set to produce Farmweek for the MSU Extension Service.

 Airing Saturdays at 6 p.m., Farmweek is the state’s oldest and only locally-produced agricultural television news show that broadcasts statewide 52 weeks a year on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. To view the latest edition of Farmweek, visit http://bit.ly/FarmWeekNewSet.

The University Television Center is part of MSU’s Office of Public Affairs. MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter said the new set “gives MSU one of the finest on-campus facilities of this nature in the Southeastern Conference.”

“As MSU enters a new era of marketing and branding, this facility will enable us to produce high quality videos, live satellite feeds and in-depth university programming,” said Salter. “I’m proud of what this upgrade represents for the future of the University Television Center.”

Garraway said the university’s communication department also will be using the new set for its advanced television production classes.

An open house celebrating the TV Center’s studio renovation takes place Sept. 18 from 3-5 p.m. at the Wise Center. All are welcome, and refreshments will be served.

Located at 240 Wise Center Drive, MSU’s Television Center offers broadcast-quality educational, marketing and promotional projects for both traditional and new media. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information, visit www.utc.msstate.edu or call 662-325-1332. Garraway also may be reached at david.garraway@msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Health Equity Cross-Campus Interest Group to meet Wednesday

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 16:34

Faculty, staff and students at Mississippi State are invited to the semester's first meeting of the Health Equity Cross-Campus Interest Group with special guests Corey Wiggins and Buddy Daughdrill on Wednesday [Sept. 2] from noon to 1 p.m. in 210 Lloyd Ricks Watson Building.

Wiggins, the director of the Mississippi Economic Policy Center (MEPC), will lead a discussion titled "The Intersection of Health Policy, Health Disparities, and Advocacy." Daughdrill, executive director of the Mississippi Public Health Association, will describe the history, activities and benefits of the MPHA.

Lunch will be served free to the first 45 people, beginning at 11:45 a.m.

More information on health equity and the initiative's plans for the fall is available at http://guides.library.msstate.edu/healthequity.  If you have questions or would like to be added to the HECCIG listserve, please email heccig@lists.msstate.edu. For information about MEPC and MPHA, visit http://mepconline.org or www.mspha.org.

The MSU Health Equity Cross-Campus Interest Group brings together faculty, staff, and students into a forum for sharing novel ideas, challenges and successes on issues related to health equity. The group aims to encourage participants to conduct health equity research, to create and foster solutions about how to be a conduit for change, and to partner with communities to implement programs focused on health and wellness.

If you need additional information or have questions, please contact David Buys at david.buys@msstate.edu.

MSU announces Bulldog Bash 2015 musical lineup, title charity

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 15:27
(Graphic by Aubrey Pohl and Katie Erickson)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

(Graphic by Aubrey Pohl and Katie Erickson)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—California-based indie rock band Local Natives will headline the Mississippi State University Student Association’s 16th annual Bulldog Bash.

Taking place Sept. 11 in the heart of Starkville’s Cotton District—the day prior to MSU’s Southeastern Conference home football game with Louisiana State University—the state’s largest, free outdoor concert also features:

—Ithaca, New York-based alternative rock band X Ambassadors; and

—New York City indie pop band MisterWives.

A fourth group will be determined with the selection of a winner in the SA-sponsored Battle of the Bands concert competition.

Prior to the Sept. 11 musical performances, the annual Dawg Rally will feature a pep rally at the concert site.

Also that day at the Cotton District location will be an afternoon Maroon Market. Interested local artists and food vendors may email msubash2015@gmail.com for more information and to reserve a booth.

Local Natives’ debut album, “Gorilla Manor,” was released in 2009 in the United Kingdom and in 2010 in the United States. The album debuted in the Billboard Top 200 and at No. 3 in the New Artist Chart. Released in 2013, the Los Angeles group’s second studio album, “Hummingbird,” reached No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200 and was preceded by the single, “Breakers.” For more, see thelocalnatives.com.

Information on X Ambassadors is found at www.xambassadors.com; MisterWives, www.misterwives.com.

Proceeds derived from Bulldog Bash 2015 will benefit the Oktibbeha County Humane Society.

Sponsors for this year’s event include Aramark Corp., Aspen Heights, Busylad Rent-All, City of Starkville, Clark Beverage Group Inc., Coca-Cola, Copy Cow, CSpire, Hail State Rewards, HELiX Starkville, Monster Energy, MSU’s Alumni Association and Office of the President, and Sweet Peppers Deli.

For more, contact the Center for Student Activities at 662-325-2930 or msubash2015@gmail.com. Additional details also may be found at www.msubulldogbash.com and twitter.com/MSUBulldogBash.

The MSU Student Association is online at www.thestudentassociation.com, facebook.com/ MSUStudentAssociation, twitter.com/msu_sa and instagram.com/msu_sa.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Perseverance, academic achievement in focus for MSU’s Men and Women of Color Summit

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 18:36
The Mississippi State University Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion honored six alumni and faculty for their achievements during an empowerment dinner Thursday [Aug. 27] in the Mill at MSU Conference Center as part of the Men and Women of Color Summit. From left are Camille Scales Young, Linda Cornelious, Albert J. Williams, Sebetha Jenkins, Marilyn Crouther and Wanda Williams. The summit continued with a full day of educational sessions Friday [Aug. 28]. (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: Zack Plair

The Mississippi State University Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion honored six alumni and faculty for their achievements during an empowerment dinner Thursday [Aug. 27] in the Mill at MSU Conference Center as part of the Men and Women of Color Summit. From left are Camille Scales Young, Linda Cornelious, Albert J. Williams, Sebetha Jenkins, Marilyn Crouther and Wanda Williams. The summit continued with a full day of educational sessions Friday [Aug. 28]. (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—“Where will you be on Labor Day weekend 2035?”

With that prompt from speaker Albert J. Williams, hundreds of students who were gathered in the Mill at MSU Conference Center ballroom – eyes closed – visualized futures that involved success and accomplishment. Moments later, Williams, a Mississippi State alumnus and president of Chevron Pipeline Company, instructed the students to open their eyes.

“That vision you had will not happen if you do not have a plan,” Williams warned. “You must try and not be afraid of failure.”

Williams was one of three keynote speakers Friday [Aug. 28] for the MSU Men and Women of Color Summit, organized by the university’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. He also was one of six MSU alumni and faculty honored for their achievements during an empowerment dinner Thursday night [Aug. 27].

Themed “Reframing the Dialogue around Men and Women of Color: Academic Success in Higher Education,” workshops and panels focused on the importance of education and developing life skills.

More than 700 registered to attend the summit, and students from six other universities – the University of Mississippi, Mississippi Valley State, Jackson State, Mississippi University for Women, Southern Mississippi and Alabama – joined a strong MSU contingent.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum said he believes the university reflects the kind of impact a focus on diversity can make, and events like the summit help strengthen that impact.

“We take great pride in what we do to promote diversity because diversity enriches and empowers any institution and the people in it,” Keenum said.

One component of each keynote speech, however, was perseverance, and Williams hit that keystroke in his Friday morning speech hard and often.

A Jackson native who came to MSU on a football scholarship, Williams dealt with injury and a rigorous academic regimen on his way to earning an historic place in Bulldog football history – he returned an interception for the game-winning touchdown against Louisiana State University in 1990, breaking a five-year losing streak against the Tigers – as well as earning an electrical engineering degree.

His parents, he said, always valued education, leading eight of the 11 children in his family to receive degrees. He urged participants to get the most from their education, welcome adversity as a building block for success and use their “God-given talents” to realize their potential.

“Strive to shape history rather than just be shaped by it,” he said. “Through academic achievement, anything is possible for you and for us. And remember, life itself is a class, and school is always in session.”

Much in the same vein as Williams’ message, lunch speaker Lori A. Harper told summit participants how she trudged through college as a single mother of two and eventually became the first African-American woman to reach vice president status at Ingalls Ship Building. Working out of Pascagoula, Harper manages the company’s supply chain.

“Life happens,” she said. “When life happens, it’s how you respond that makes a difference.”

Participants also heard from La Doris “Dot” Harris, the director of the Office of Impact and Diversity and assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy. She worked in the private sector for almost 30 years before President Barack Obama appointed her to her current post in 2012.

To persevere, she said, students have to fight against fear.

“You should never have fear in anything you do,” Harris said. “When you tolerate fear, you contaminate faith.”

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

VBOC holds grand opening at research park

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 17:24
The Veterans Business Outreach Center in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park held a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday [Aug. 28]. The center helps veterans and their spouses either start a business or grow an existing business. From left are Bob Seitz, VBOC counselor; Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business; Mark Scott, VBOC director; Janita Stewart, director of the Small Business Administration’s Mississippi office; Trent Kelly, congressman for Mississippi’s

Contact: Zack Plair

The Veterans Business Outreach Center in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park held a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday [Aug. 28]. The center helps veterans and their spouses either start a business or grow an existing business. From left are Bob Seitz, VBOC counselor; Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business; Mark Scott, VBOC director; Janita Stewart, director of the Small Business Administration’s Mississippi office; Trent Kelly, congressman for Mississippi’s 1st district; MSU President Mark E. Keenum; Rodney Pearson, MSU business professor and VBOC board member; and Mike Pornovets, head of the VBOC’s satellite office at The Innovation Center in Biloxi. (Photo by Mitch Phillips)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A ribbon-cutting and open house formally welcomed to the Mississippi State University campus a new resource for military veteran entrepreneurs.

The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) hosted distinguished guests and members of the public for a grand opening ceremony Friday morning [Aug. 28] at its location in Suite 105D, 60 Technology Blvd., in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Park. In partnership with the College of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans, the VBOC is providing guidance for veterans, and their spouses, who either want to start a small business or grow their existing business.

 “Entrepreneurship and support for startups are among our strengths,” said Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business. “The VBOC is a natural extension of what we are already good at. We’ve assembled a great team, and they are already working hard to help veterans.”

MSU received an $825,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to start its VBOC, which will serve veterans and their spouses in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee. MSU’s VBOC is one of 15 nationwide.

Trent Kelly, 1st district congressman for Mississippi and a colonel in the Mississippi National Guard, commended MSU for its commitment to veterans during Friday’s ceremony. He said veterans typically have a servant’s heart, a high level of intelligence and an innate ability to “not accept failure.” These traits, he added, often translate into business success.

“Our veterans are so important to this nation,” said Kelly, who serves on the House Small Business Committee. “This is a wonderful opportunity for them to become entrepreneurs and small business owners because they have what it takes.”

The VBOC officially became operational in May and has already served dozens of clients. Center Director Mark Scott said he and his staff field calls daily requesting consultations. Its free services range from developing ideas into businesses, identifying a business’ customer base and helping veterans form a business plan.

Further, Scott noted the VBOC has set up a satellite office in The Innovation Center in Biloxi to help better serve the four-state region.

A land-grant institution established in 1878 with the U.S. Military Academy as a model, Mississippi State has a long history of service and commitment to veterans. In 2013, U.S. News and World Report ranked the university 29th on its elite list of the 52 best national higher education organizations for veterans, service members, dependents and survivors.

On Friday, MSU President Mark E. Keenum said more than 450 veterans are enrolled at MSU, and more than 2,100 students are directly connected to veterans as dependents or spouses.

“We have a long history of engagement and involvement with veterans,” he said.

Since October 2012, VBOCs have helped more than 136,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs nationwide, said Mississippi SBA Director Janita Stewart. For more information on MSU’s VBOC, visit www.vboc.msstate.edu/~vboc/index.php. The telephone number is 662-325-4990; the email address, vboc@business.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

McComas exhibit featuring ‘outsider art’ from Jackson collection

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 13:10
 Loy Allen “Rhinestone Cowboy” Bowlin (1909-1995), no title, 1986. Glitter and glue on paper. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of Warren and Sylvia Lowe. 1994.049.

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

 Loy Allen “Rhinestone Cowboy” Bowlin (1909-1995), no title, 1994.049.

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Artworks by the co-author of Mississippi State’s 2015 Maroon Edition book selection—as well as others by self-taught artists—are on display at the university.

Free and open to all through Oct. 2 in the McComas Hall Art Gallery, the exhibit titled “Here and Beyond: Outsider Art from the Mississippi Museum of Art” features 16 varied pieces. They range from visions of space ships to rural landscape memory paintings to observations of New Orleans street life.

Among them is a print made from an original painting by Denver Moore (1937-2012). Titled “We Are All Homeless Just Working Our Way Home,” it shares its name with the last line of this year’s Maroon Edition selection, “Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together.”

Moore is co-author of the 245-page novel released in 2006 by Thomas Nelson, a HarperCollins Publishers subsidiary. His art piece was donated to the MMA exhibit by Cerulean Gallery in Amarillo, Texas.

Among other self-taught artists being featured are Eula Crabtree (20th century), Roy Ferdinand (1959-2004), M.C. “Five Cent” Jones (1917-2003), Prophet Royal Robertson (1936-97), Juanita Rogers (1934-85) and Luster Willis (1913-94).

In addition to the Jackson museum and its Traveling Exhibition Endowment, the campus exhibit is supported by MSU’s Maroon Edition freshman common reading program and College of Architecture, Art and Design’s art department.

A 5 p.m. exhibition reception will take place Oct. 1 in the ground-floor gallery whose main entrance is located off the parking lot on McComas’ east side. The reception also is free and open to all.

In addition to Moore’s creation, the exhibit includes three works by self-taught artist Loy Allen Bowlin (1909-95), a Franklin County native who resided in McComb until his death.

Bowlin experienced a spiritual awakening of sorts in 1975 after hearing Glen Campbell’s hit song “Rhinestone Cowboy,” which he said inspired his passion to create colorful, glittery art works. Bowlin also favored embellished satin suits that, along with his distinctive artworks, earned him the nickname “The Original Rhinestone Cowboy.”

“The art on view was created sometimes for spiritual reasons and sometimes from the sheer pleasure of creating,” said Beth Batton, MMA’s curator of the collection. “Art by outsider artists was shaped less by an ambition to ‘make it’ in the art world and more by the ups and downs of life.”

Ron Hall, the other co-author of “Same Kind of Different as Me,” was keynote speaker for the university’s second Freshman Convocation held earlier this month.

MMA’s Traveling Exhibition Endowment is supported by significant private contributions that are matched by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit www.msmuseumart.org.

Now in its seventh year, Maroon Edition is a university-wide program that encourages incoming freshmen to read the same book prior to fall-semester arrival. Throughout the school year, they discuss the selected work with other students, administration, faculty and staff members. For more, visit www.maroonedition.msstate.edu.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s art department is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. It offers a bachelor of fine arts degree, with concentrations in graphic design, photography and fine art (ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture).

The McComas Art Gallery is one of the several departmental venues that regularly features traveling exhibits, student shows, and group and solo exhibitions by professional artists. Exhibit hours for the gallery are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, as well as by appointment. For more, visit bit.ly/MSUArtGalleriesFB.

Additional gallery information is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art department’s coordinator for gallery and outreach programs, at 662-325-2973 or LNeuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.

Complete information about the college and department is found at caad.msstate.edu, facebook.com/CAADatMSU and twitter.com/CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway can be gateway to global economy

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 10:32

Contact: Carol Gifford

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is an engine for economic development with great potential for future growth, said Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi, executive director of the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, or NSPARC, a research unit of Mississippi State University.

Parisi’s remarks, delivered Thursday [Aug. 27] at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Opportunities Conference in Point Clear, Ala., were based on a recent economic analysis of the Tenn-Tom Waterway produced by NSPARC.

The Tenn-Tom is a 234-mile manmade waterway that connects the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers and runs through Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and opened in 1985, the Tenn-Tom creates a 1,300-mile water system between the Ohio River and Gulf of Mexico.

“The Tenn-Tom Waterway was strategically planned to create an economy around it,” said Parisi, a sociology professor at MSU.

The waterway primarily provides a cost-effective and safe way to transport goods, Parisi said. Shipments are increasing and more diverse commodities are being shipped on the Tenn-Tom due to the development of advanced manufacturing nearby, including automotive, aerospace, chemical, petroleum product and hydropower firms.

“For every federal dollar spent [for the Tenn-Tom’s commercial navigation], an additional $3.54 is returned to the treasury, resulting from local, state, and federal tax revenues and annual economic output,” he said. “The Tenn-Tom is also responsible for more than 24,000 full-time jobs, developing a middle-skill workforce, and supporting an education system of 23 community colleges and 14 universities.”

The Tenn-Tom is poised to capitalize on growth in manufacturing in other parts of the country, added Parisi, citing the rapid growth of a variety of advanced chemical and plastic manufacturing facilities located on the Ohio River basin. He said the Tenn-Tom is uniquely positioned to emerge as the prime means for transporting chemical and plastic goods from Ohio River-based facilities to the Gulf of Mexico.

Outdoor recreation represents another major contribution from the Tenn-Tom, Parisi said. More than 1.7 million annual visitors to the Tenn-Tom region take part in fishing, boating and water activities, camping, hiking picnicking, sightseeing, and hunting.

Parisi said that for every federal dollar spent on recreation around the Tenn-Tom, $1.22 is returned to the treasury from tax revenues, job creation and personal income.

Parisi also discussed other uses of the Tenn-Tom, including water for residential and commercial use, water for irrigation of farmland and infrastructure, and flood control.

“The Tenn-Tom impacts 17 metro areas, 111 counties and 6 million people,” said Parisi. “With expansive room for growth and more investment, the waterway can be the centerpiece of multi-state regional opportunities and become a gateway to the global economy.”

For more about NSPARC, visit www.nsparc.msstate.edu. Parisi may be reached at 662-325-9242.

MSU, Mississippi’s flagship research institution, is online at www.msstate.edu.

STATEMENT OF MSU PRESIDENT MARK E. KEENUM

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 18:11

“Today, our usually placid Thursday campus routine was interrupted by a frighteningly real threat of violence. Fortunately, our MSU Police, the Division of Student Affairs, and our Crisis Action Team were able to manage this threat and the outcome was that no one was injured, no shots were fired, and no gun was found to have been used by the student making threats against himself and others.

“But something else happened today. We tested procedures designed to protect all of us through our Crisis Action Team responses. Those responses and protocols worked and worked successfully. And they worked because by and large, our students, faculty and staff knew what to do and knew how to react.

“I have directed the Provost to make sure that our faculty are as lenient as possible with regard to the attendance policies so no one is unjustly penalized with regard to class absences. I have also taken steps to make sure that we offer appropriate counseling to any member of our MSU family who desires such assistance.

“Tomorrow, our Crisis Action Team will return to the table to examine what we learned during these tense hours and how we can use that knowledge to make us all even safer tomorrow. But for now, let’s all be thankful for the safe resolution of today’s unfortunate incident and keep our eyes firmly on our business here at MSU – learning, research, and service.”

 

MSU President: ‘Safety of our Students is Paramount’

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 18:02

By Sid Salter, 601-507-8004

STARKVILLE, Miss.--At a late-morning press conference today, Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum praised campus and local law enforcement for their “swift response” in apprehending a student who made threats to harm himself and others.

“We take all incidents like this very seriously, and I’m glad to report that there was no weapon found in this incident and no shots were fired,” Keenum said. “Our campus is safe.”

Keenum commended the MSU Police Department, the Division of Student Affairs, and the university’s Crisis Action Team for their handling of the tense situation.

“The highest priority I have as president of this university is the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” said Keenum. “We are always, always going to err on the side of caution in protecting our most precious resource – our people.”

Law enforcement officials at Mississippi State arrested Phu-Qui Cong “Bill” Nguyen today (Aug. 27) on the Starkville Campus at approximately 10:26 a.m. near the university’s McCool Hall.

Nguyen will appear in court to face charges of disorderly conduct and has been referred to a medical facility for routine mental and psychological evaluation. Rice said the investigation into the incident by MSU Police was ongoing.

A call came in to MSU Police from the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol at approximately 10:10 a.m. revealed that a student on the Starkville campus was threatening suicide in addition to threatening to do harm to others.

Keenum said: “The incident Wednesday morning in Virginia is a reminder that institutions such as ours must be vigilant and be prepared to respond as we did today – swiftly, decisively and without hesitation to protect our students, faculty, and staff.”

Despite the disruption on campus, Keenum said his “thoughts and prayers” are with all impacted by this incident, including the suspect’s family.

MSU issued a “Maroon Alert” notice at 10:16 a.m. Nguyen was taken into custody ten minutes later. Chief Vance Rice said MSU Police was grateful to all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who responded immediately and assisted in arresting the 20-year-old freshman computer engineering student from Madison.

Assisting MSU in the incident were the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, Starkville Police Department, the Miss. Emergency Management Agency, the Miss. Department of Health, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Classes resumed under normal conditions at 2 p.m. Thursday.

MSU Student Association President JoJo Dodd said, “We are certain now that our Bulldog Family is safe. We are reminded in these times of the commitment we have to each other and this community that we share.”

The Mississippi State University Student Counseling Services are available to support any students who need assistance.  The center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., for walk-in appointments and counselors are on call 24 hours a day.  Services can be accessed by calling 662-325-2091.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a transcription of the call received by MSU PD from the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol alerting MSU to the potential active shooter.

Transcription of the phone call from Miss. Highway Patrol to MSU Police:

MHP: Hey, Tina. Quinton Williams. I’m with the MS Hwy Patrol. You guys are aware you are going to possibly have an active shooter on campus at this time?

MSU: No. I had a suicide call from Jackson saying the guy was suicidal at Carpenter Hall. What was she (the caller) saying to you?

MHP: Well, she was saying the guy was going to actually shoot others as well as himself. He’s, at this point, in Carpenter Hall.

MSU: Did she say what room?

MHP: She did not say what room that he was in, but they still have her actively on the line as we are speaking now. The subject’s name is Bill Nguyen. He is going to be an Oriental male. Does that help any?

MSU: MSU to all units, we have a possible active shooter in Carpenter Hall. This is not a test. Vietnamese male. Do not know what floor.  Just know he’s a Vietnamese male by the name of Bill. This is not a test.

Mississippi State to host FAA public meeting

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:59

Contact: Jim Laird

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi’s flagship research university will host a public meeting next month featuring regulators, scientists and industry representatives who are working together to integrate unmanned aircraft safely into the nation’s airspace.

Open to all, the two-hour, two-part ASSURE Center of Excellence-hosted event will take place Sept. 15 at Mississippi State, and include a discussion on opportunities to partner with the center as well as remarks by the FAA’s Southern Region Administrator Dennis Roberts.

Beginning at 11 a.m. at the Bryan Athletic Administration Building on the MSU campus, participants will discuss the agency’s new national Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems and its role in developing rules regulating commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

After an extensive competitive review process, the FAA in May selected the Mississippi State-led Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence to operate the new center. (For more, see ASSUREuas.org.)

According to ASSURE’s executive director at MSU, the new center will provide the agency and industry with research to maximize the potential of commercial unmanned systems with minimal changes to the current system regulating manned aircraft.

“All of our ASSURE partners know unmanned systems and the FAA,” said USAF Maj. Gen. (Ret.) James Poss.

“The ASSURE team is uniquely positioned to take advanced research and turn it into FAA rules that work for the agency and industry,” he said.

The center of excellence meeting will continue from noon to 1 p.m., and will include a question-and-answer period. Both sessions will feature live unmanned vehicle demonstrations.

“We want to help the UAS market achieve its multi-billion dollar potential, and the best way to do that is to provide accurate information and relevant research to all of our U.S. and international stakeholders,” he said.

The September public meeting is a very important part of that process, Poss said.

Poss encourages members of the local community, media, and students, faculty and staff to attend either session or to stay for both.

For additional information about the meeting, please contact Kelly Collier at kcollier@hpc.msstate.edu or 228-688-3403.

Direct media inquiries to Harriet Laird at hlaird@opa.msstate.edu or 662-325-7460.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Famous Maroon Band begins 113th year, announces drum majors

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 12:39
MSU's Famous Maroon Band (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Paige Watson

MSU's Famous Maroon Band (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—With annual band camp concluded, Mississippi State’s 330-member Famous Maroon Band is turning its attention to fine-tuning routines for the 2015-16 school year.

Veteran director Elva Kaye Lance said this year’s contingent represents 14 states in addition to Mississippi, from which 68 percent hail. While the organization is part of the university’s College of Education, membership, as always, includes a wide range of academic majors, she added.

“We are very excited to be entering our 113th year,” said Lance, who shares Famous Maroon Band duties with co-directors Craig Aarhus and Clifton Taylor.

“During camp, it was incredible to see our incoming freshmen, many of whom held leadership positions in high school, raise the standard and influence our returning members to become better and better each year,” the MSU and Famous Maroon Band alumna said.

Lance said this year’s four drum majors will include:

—Twin sisters Ashley S. and Brittany C. Carey from Olive Branch. Ashley is a junior mechanical engineering major; Brittany, a senior double-major in educational psychology and foreign language/Spanish.

—Junior Cooper A. Haywood of Madison, an instrumental music education and vocal music education double-major.

—Junior Jesse D. Newton of Eupora, a human sciences/fashion design and merchandising major.  

According to Haywood, this year’s camp was “one of the best” he has experienced while at MSU.

Junior Ellen S. Moore of Brandon, also a music education major, joined Haywood in praising the training program. “During band camp, I made a ton of friends and everything was so organized,” she said. “The week moved quickly, but we managed to accomplish a lot.”

Lance said the MSU marching unit could not be successful without the “hard work and tireless dedication” of Aarhus and Taylor.

“In addition to the band directors, another vital member of our leadership team is Jason Baker,” Lance continued, explaining that the music department associate professor “arranges and instructs our percussionists.”

At her promotion to director in 2002, Lance became only the eighth leader of the marching unit over its long history. During her time at the helm, “We’ve received tremendous support from both former band members and faculty in the College of Education, which is a great fit for us,” she said.

Lance said 2015 fall football halftime performances will include a variety of popular pieces, including a “Funkytown” theme and a play on Disney classic “The Happiest Show on Earth.”

In addition, the band also coordinates two pep bands for men’s and women’s basketball, as well as numerous choral ensembles and concert bands throughout the spring semester. To learn more, visit www.msuband.msstate.edu/index.php.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Livestream for Wednesday's General Faculty meeting

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 01:00

The fall General Faculty meeting at Mississippi State on Wednesday [Aug. 26] will be available for viewing online beginning at 4 p.m. at http://mymedia.msstate.edu/viewer.php?live=faculty.

Planned water outage for Hill Poultry Science Building early Wednesday

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 17:27

Due to a water line repair, there will be a planned water outage at Mississippi State's Hill Poultry Science Building on Wednesday [Aug. 26] beginning at 6 a.m. The interruption is expected to last approximately two hours.

Thank you for your patience during this temporary outage.

Sign up today for faculty/staff meal plans with MSU Dining

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 13:09
The Fresh Food Company

Patrons make lunch selections at MSU’s newest residential dining facility, The Fresh Food Company.

MSU Dining invites faculty and staff at Mississippi State to sign up for a new meal plan to save money and enjoy rewards. There are several options available.
 
Block meals are redeemable at the brand new Fresh Food Company, The Marketplace at Perry, Templeton, Pegasus Dining at the Wise Center, and McArthur Cafe Express. One block equals one swipe at the front register.

The door rate at all-you-care-to-eat dining halls is $11.02 per meal, including tax. With a faculty/staff meal plan, you will pay $6.65 per meal with the Bulldog Elite and $6.95 per meal with the Bulldog Pass.

After 4 p.m., you may use block meals at Chick-Fil-A, Burger King, Burrito Bowl, Panda Express, Panda Sushi and Pizza Hut at a $6 value.
 
Pick one of the below faculty/staff meal plans and pick up your rewards at the MSU Dining office:
 
Bulldog Elite: 40 Block Meals & 100 Flex Dollars for $366, and choose five free burritos from Moe’s or five free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.
 
Bulldog Pass: 40 Block Meals for $278, and choose three free burritos from Moe’s or three free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.
 
Faculty/staff meal plans never expire, and you may choose payroll deduction to pay over time. Questions? Please call the MSU Dining office at 662-325-7120 or visit www.msstatedining.com.

Click here to access a PDF with additional information.

Christine Jackson named MSU assistant athletic director of academics

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:18
Christine Jackson

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Christine Jackson, the director of student services at the University of Louisville since 2012, has been named Mississippi State’s new assistant athletic director of academics, Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin announced on Tuesday.  

Christine Jackson
Jackson replaces Ray Berryhill, who retired earlier this summer. She will oversee MSU’s Templeton Athletic Academic Center and report to the Office of the Provost as well as MSU Athletics.  

“We are proud to welcome Christine to our Bulldog athletic family,” said Stricklin. “She brings a wealth of experience to our program with over 15 years dedicated to athletic academics. She will set a vision for our academic center that continues our top mission of graduating our student-athletes and equipping them for their futures beyond Mississippi State.”  

“I am delighted that we have attracted Ms. Jackson to head our athletic academics,” said Provost Jerry Gilbert. “She will bring outstanding leadership and vision to ensure that we achieve optimal success with our student-athletes in their academic pursuits.” 

Jackson has served over 13 years at the University of Louisville, including in her most recent role since July 2012. As director of student services, Jackson coordinated the admissions process for football student-athletes. She was responsible for the academic needs of all freshmen and incoming transfer football student-athletes. She organized all aspects of the Kick Off Summer Bridge Program, which promoted academic success. She also supported the assistant athletic director with day-to-day operations of the Woodruff Academic Center and its staff.

“My family and I are excited for this wonderful opportunity at Mississippi State University as well as being a part of the Bulldog family,” said Jackson. “I am truly eager to lead a team that will strive to be an academic frontrunner in the Southeastern Conference as well as nationally. My goal for all Mississippi State student-athletes is to pursue athletic and academic excellence as well as develop a foundation for life after sports. I want to thank Dr. Jerry Gilbert and Scott Stricklin for entrusting me with the wellbeing of all MSU student-athletes.  This is an exciting time for Bulldog Athletics and I am grateful to be a part of it.” 

Prior to her promotion in the summer of 2012, Jackson served as the director of football student-athlete development (2010-12), coordinating life-skills programming for all football student-athletes at Louisville.

Jackson was the associate director for academic services at Louisville from 2006-09 and responsible for the academic affairs of women's basketball, baseball, volleyball, field hockey, men's and women's golf as well as the spirit groups. Jackson also oversaw all financial and business matters of the Olga S. Peers Academic Center.

Jackson got her start in athletics at the University of Kentucky in 1999. During her three years in Lexington, she served in a variety of roles. She was the academic counselor for track and field, volleyball, rifle and men's tennis. She also served as the director of tutoring while also being an advisor to the student-athlete advisory committee.

Jackson has served several national leadership roles during her career. She was the 2004 recipient of the Matt Schmauch Professional Promise Award giving by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A). In 2005, she participated in the first N4A Professional Development Institute and then graduated from the inaugural class of the NCAA Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Females in June 2006.

From June 2009-June 2010, Jackson fulfilled the role of N4A President, coordinating the association’s strategic plan, managing the 17 members of the Board of Directors and presiding over the 2010 national convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. Currently, she is serving on the N4A's Past President Council.

Jackson earned her bachelor's degree in kinesiology in 1997 and her master's degree in sport management in 1999 -- both from the University of Kentucky.

Jackson and her husband Richard have three sons –Trey (13), Reese (11) and Rashawn (4).

MSU researcher Varco named new Triplett Chair holder

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:15
Jac Varco

Contact: Vanessa Beeson

Jac Varco

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An award-winning Mississippi State researcher is receiving another campus recognition.

Professor Jac Varco has been selected for the Dr. Glover B. and Imogene C. Triplett Endowed Chair in Agronomy. He is a faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ plant and soil sciences department, as well as the university-based Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station.

Earlier this year, Varco received the college’s Excellence in Teaching, Upper Division Undergraduate Award. In 2014, he was named Conservation Systems Cotton Researcher of the Year at the 17th National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference.

“Dr. Varco is an outstanding teacher, researcher and mentor who has remained on the cutting edge in the precise placement of nitrogen fertilizer in his research program,” said department head Mike Phillips.

Phillips also praised Varco as “as a highly-recognized authority in soil fertility teaching and research.”

In 2007, Triplett, an MSU alumnus and retired distinguished faculty member, and wife Imogene established what then was the college’s first fully funded faculty position now bearing their names. Imogene Triplett died in 2013.

Speaking for college and departmental colleagues, Phillips said, “We are especially grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Triplett for their commitment and support of this chair as well as many other contributions,” adding their generosity “has made a huge impact in making Mississippi State University a very special place to live and work.”

Varco, an MSU faculty member for nearly 30 years, is a University of Kentucky doctoral graduate in agronomy, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees completed at the University of Florida.

In expressing his appreciation for the honor, Varco said the academic designation will help to encourage further research in conservation tillage systems and contribute to graduate recruitment.

“As the Dr. Glover B. and Imogene C. Triplett Chair in Agronomy, I look to further develop conservation tillage systems with improved sustainability,” he said. “This recognition will also allow for recruitment of highly-qualified graduate students motivated by the potential for developing row crop production systems which not only improve profitability, but also enhance soil and environmental quality.”

Varco said he considers Triplett as a mentor, noting that the MSU alumnus’ ground-breaking research was cited in his UK doctoral dissertation.

After completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MSU, Glover Triplett went on to earn a doctorate at Michigan State University. While an Ohio State University agronomist in 1960, he and soil physicist Dave Van Doren began research on growing crops in unplowed ground. Termed no-tillage farming—or “no-till”—the now-standard method went against what most farmers at the time considered the only proper way to grow crops.

In 1982, Triplett retired from OSU. He and Imogene, both Noxubee County natives, returned to Mississippi State, where he continued his no-till research at the experiment station.

Varco is the second Triplett Endowed Chair holder. Earlier this year, colleague Dan Reynolds, who previously held the position, was selected for the newly established Edgar E. and Winifred B. Hartwig Endowed Chair in Soybean Agronomy.

For more about the department, visit www.pss.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi's flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Barbour hopes new Hurricane Katrina book makes Mississippians proud

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:39
MSU President Mark E. Keenum, right, looks on as former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour shares stories of sacrifice and courage exhibited by Mississippians and others from around the country in response to Hurricane Katrina. The Yazoo City native’s well-attended presentation was held Monday [Aug. 24] in Mitchell Memorial Library’s John Grisham Room. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, right, looks on as former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour shares stories of sacrifice and courage exhibited by Mississippians and others from around the country in response to Hurricane Katrina. The Yazoo City native’s well-attended presentation was held Monday [Aug. 24] in Mitchell Memorial Library’s John Grisham Room.   (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—“I hope this book makes you proud to be a Mississippian,” former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday [Aug. 24] during his visit to Mississippi State University.

Titled “America’s Great Storm: Leading through Hurricane Katrina,” the 276-page memoir “is a story about the sacrifice, courage, unselfishness and generosity of the people of Mississippi who got knocked down flat…who lost everything they had in the storm…but got right back up, hitched up their britches and went to work to help their neighbors,” Barbour said. The Yazoo City native had been the state’s chief executive for only 20 months when the costliest and third-deadliest natural disaster in American history hit the Magnolia State.  

From firemen, policemen, highway patrolmen and emergency medical technicians to those serving in the U.S. National Guard and Coast Guard, Barbour expressed gratitude for “so many people who made a difference” during this challenging time.

“Our state employees were magnificent,” he said. “The hours they worked…the commitment to the people they served, particularly the people who had the least to be able to take care of themselves.”

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and former White House political affairs director, also shared various memories regarding the out-of-state support Mississippi received following Katrina’s landfall. They include:

--A Mobile, Alabama-based Coast Guard station flew helicopters into Mississippi and Louisiana, and, in the course of a week, rescued 1,900 people by air.

--46 states sent resources to Mississippi, and sister states sent more than 10,000 National Guardsmen.

--More than 25,000 employees of local and state governments came to Mississippi to help.

--954,000 volunteers came to Mississippi and registered with either a church or a charity. Most of them were tasked with cleaning up more than 47 million cubic yards of debris, a process that took 11 months to complete.

“My momma raised my two older brothers and me, and she used to say crisis and catastrophe bring out the best in most people, and I saw that time and time and time again down on the Coast,” Barbour said. “She also used to follow that up by saying, ‘Remember, catastrophe doesn’t create character; it reveals it.’ These were strong, courageous people before Katrina ever hit, but it brought it out of them.”

Barbour said he believes the people of Mississippi’s response to Katrina “has done more to improve the image of our state than anything else that has happened in my lifetime, and that’s why I wanted to write this book for Mississippians.”

Also making remarks during Monday’s program in Mitchell Memorial Library’s third-floor John Grisham Room were MSU President Mark E. Keenum, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert; Amy Tuck, vice president for campus services who previously served eight years as Mississippi’s lieutenant governor; and Frances Coleman, dean of MSU Libraries.

“For us to have had a disaster of that magnitude in our state, if it was meant to be, we could not have been more blessed as a state to have Haley as our governor and Marsha as our first lady to be where they were at that time of need to help lead us, to lead this state to rebuild and recover, to reassure and comfort all of those who had been so terribly affected by this devastating storm,” Keenum said.

Barbour was assisted by contributing author Jere Nash. The book’s foreword is by Ricky Mathews. Copies of the book may be purchased via Amazon at http://bit.ly/BarbourKatrinaBook.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Harvey to lead Title IX seminar Tuesday afternoon for faculty, administrators

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:38

The Center for Teaching and Learning at Mississippi State is hosting a seminar on "A Brief History of Gender Equality: Title IX" on Tuesday [Aug. 25] at 2 p.m. in the 1405 Presentation Room located on the first floor of Mitchell Memorial Library.

The seminar will provide an introduction to Title IX for faculty and administrators, and help them to understand their related responsibilities to it. The session will be led by Brett Harvey, the university's director of Title IX and EEO programs.

Please register for the seminar at www.ctl.msstate.edu. For additional information, please contact Linda Morse at 662-325-2083.

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