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MSU News

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Updated: 59 min 52 sec ago

Mississippi State, Cadence Bank align to help businesses battle fraud

1 hour 42 min ago
 Is Your Business Ready for Battle?" The event was a partnership between MSU and Cadence Bank.

 Is Your Business Ready for Battle?" The event was a partnership between the university and Cadence Bank.

Contact: Harriet Laird, MSU Office of Public Affairs; Danielle Kernell, Cadence Bank

STARKVILLE, Miss.--A forum to help local businesses address the critical issue of cyberterrorism and develop strategies to guard against cyber fraud was held Thursday [Sept. 3] by Cadence Bank in partnership with Mississippi State University.

Speakers from Cadence and MSU’s Distributed Analytics and Security Institute addressed more than 120 business owners and executives for the forum “Cyber Attacks: Is Your Business Ready for Battle?”

“We often hear it’s a matter of when, not if, an attack will occur,” said Jerry Toney, president, Cadence Bank Mississippi. “We felt it was imperative that we take the lead in addressing such a monumental threat against businesses in the Golden Triangle. Helping local companies protect their financial assets is another way we can contribute to keeping our community strong and healthy.”

Presenters included Dave Dampier, director of Mississippi State’s DASI; Wesley McGrew, assistant professor for DASI; Roy Sexton, director of corporate security at Cadence Bank and former U.S. Secret Service; and Katrina King, treasury management executive at Cadence.

Dampier explored recent occurrences of cyber incidents in the news, vulnerabilities that enabled these incidents, and a framework for dealing with cyber intrusions. He stressed that cyber intrusions will happen, and every organization must have an adaptive incident response program in place for dealing with intrusion incidents. Such programs, he contended, are essential in minimizing the loss or theft of information, returning impacted systems back to normal operating status quickly, and properly dealing with the legal issues that may result from these incidents.

McGrew discussed the importance of penetration testing, including what to expect at each stage of the process.

“Every day, organizations face advanced threat perpetrators who are well organized, funded and motivated to compromise their targets,” he explained. “To have a shot, companies have to think like thieves.”

He emphasized that simulating relevant and realistic threats against a business’s network, performed by a skilled third-party team, should be a critical part of every company’s cybersecurity defense plan.

Sexton discussed the shift from the physical risks of years’ past to today’s cybersecurity threats. Former special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Birmingham District Office, Sexton saw an explosion in cyberterrorism when he returned to the field in the early 2000s as well as increased involvement by the U.S. Secret Service. He challenged the audience with the question, “Are we prepared for the evolution of terrorism as we knew it?”

King continued with a conversation on cybersecurity best practice strategies. She urged businesses to educate their employees about cyber fraud risks and empower them as the front line of defense.

“Ensuring that anti-virus/spyware software is installed, functional and updated with the most current version is a must,” she added.

King recommended that all businesses use Positive Pay and ACH Positive Pay on every account. “These tools act as fraud prevention systems for check and electronic fraud by alerting businesses to potentially fraudulent transactions before they impact a company’s accounts,” she said.

MSU administrator receives major political science award

3 hours 50 min ago
K.C. Morrison

K.C. Morrison

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The head of Mississippi State’s political science and public administration department is receiving a major professional recognition.

Professor Minion K.C. Morrison is this year’s selection for the Frank J. Goodnow Award for Distinguished Service of the American Political Science Association. He accepted the honor in ceremonies prior to the association’s recent annual conference in San Francisco, California.

Since 2009, Morrison has led the academic unit that is part of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. He also is a senior associate in MSU’s African American Studies program.

Morrison is the author of several books, the most recent of which is a biography of a major figure in the state’s 1960s civil rights struggle who later won election to the Mississippi House of Representatives. “Aaron Henry of Mississippi: Inside Agitator” is a July release of the University of Arkansas Press.

APSA was founded in 1903 and currently enrolls more than 13,000 members in more than 80 countries. Considered the leading organization in its academic field, the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit works to help political scientists in and out of higher education continually expand their knowledge of politics, democracy and citizenship throughout the world. For more, see www.apsanet.org.

Established in 1996, its Goodnow Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of teachers, researchers and public servants working in the many fields of politics.

Morrison is a 1968 honors graduate of Tougaloo College who went on to complete master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also holds a certification in African studies from the University of Ghana in Accra.

Before returning to Mississippi, he held the Frederick Middlebush Chair of Political Science at the University of Missouri. He earlier taught at Syracuse University, Hobart and William Smith College and Tougaloo.

In extending the College of Arts and Sciences’ congratulations, Dean R. Gregory Dunaway praised Morrison for “epitomizing the very best in academic values.

“He has produced extraordinary scholarship, been an invaluable teacher and mentor to our students and has been an effective and highly respected leader at our university, as well as the larger community,” Dunaway added.

Learn more about the political science and public administration department at www.pspa.msstate.edu; the College of Arts and Sciences, at www.cas.msstate.edu.

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

 

MSU researcher studies e-cigarette regulation

4 hours 1 min ago
Robert McMillen

Robert McMillen

Contact: Alan Burns

STARKVILLE, Miss.--E-cigarettes may be creating a new public health threat and researchers are calling for more regulation.

Robert McMillen, a research fellow at Mississippi State University’s nationally recognized Social Science Research Center and an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, is the lead author on an article that seeks to bring attention to e-cigarettes.

The article titled “E-Cigarettes: The Roles of Regulation and Clinicians” was printed Aug. 31 in The Journal of the American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine publication.

McMillen raises questions about the role of e-cigarettes and their effect on the health of the individuals that use them. While e-cigarettes are widely viewed as less harmful than normal cigarettes, their effects are still largely unknown.

The e-cigarette market started in 2007 and has since seen substantial annual growth in use among adults from 2010-2013. In the absence of federal regulation, e-cigarettes have created a divide within the medical and public health communities.

Some clinicians and public health advocates worry that the use of unregulated e-cigarettes may be seen as an adequate therapy by patients and could dissuade them from trying a full nicotine replacement therapy. 

On the other end, is the argument for the value of providing nicotine through any other means other than cigarette smoking.  

“The harm reduction debate over the potential of e-cigarettes for smokers, however, overlooks another issue. People who do not smoke may initiate and maintain e-cigarette use,” McMillen said.

In the article, McMillen points out that e-cigarettes can produce volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, and other aerosolized toxins, but at lower levels than combustible tobacco.

“E-cigarettes are not harmless to users and bystanders,” McMillen said. “They are simply less harmful than cigarettes. These products haven't been on the market long enough for any potential long-term harms to develop.”

The debate about e-cigarettes stretches far beyond just smokers. The real worry is within the unregulated appeal to nonsmokers. Due to a lack of federal oversight, the e-cigarette market is attracting a growing number of nonsmokers or people who have never used combustible tobacco.  

“The features and marketing designed to make e-cigarettes attractive to smokers are also likely to broaden their appeal to non-smokers, especially adolescents,” said McMillen. “In our research, we found that at least 20 percent of current users of e-cigarettes were not smoking when they started using e-cigarettes.”

In June of this year, McMillen testified in front of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) addressing product design, flavors and marketing that appeal to younger individuals and non-smokers.

“E-cigarette regulations are needed to improve quality control, protect children from accidental poisonings, restrict marketing and appeal to youth, and protect non-users from indoor air pollution,” said McMillen.

While the FDA does not currently regulate the e-cigarette market, in 2010 a federal appeals court ruled that the FDA may regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products, as an alternative to the more rigorous approval process for drug delivery devices.

However, as of July 2015, the FDA has yet to finalize its authority to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products. The regulation would allow the FDA to require health warning labels, restrict sales to people 18 years or older and prohibit free samples.

The regulation does not address marketing to people younger than 18 years, the use of menthols and other flavors in e-cigarettes that make the product more appealing, child safety issues, or prohibit the use of the devices in places that are smoke free.

For more information on the Mississippi Tobacco Control Unit, visit http://mstobaccodata.org/ or contact McMillen at 662-325-7127.

Los Lonely Boys take MSU Riley Center stage this month

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 15:31

Los Lonely Boys

A family that plays together will play at the MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian when Los Lonely Boys bring their “Texican rock ’n’ roll” to the stage on Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Los Lonely Boys burst into stardom in 2004 with the catchy single “Heaven,” which hit number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and won them a Grammy Award. Their seamless vocal harmonies and energetic onstage chemistry reflect the closeness of the Garza brothers: Henry, Jojo and Ringo Jr., who play guitar, bass and drums, respectively.

The Garzas have roots in Texas and also spent time in Nashville, so they have absorbed a wide variety of musical influences. Bluesy rock and Latin-flavored soul form the bedrock of their sound. Many songs also betray a fondness for melodic pop music.

“We’re all about having a good time, but we also make an effort to write about things that really matter,” Jojo Garza said. “We want to create music that’s about the love and the energy and the spirit that we all carry as people.”

Tickets are $43 and $37 at the MSU Riley Center Box Office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets can be purchased online at www.msurileycenter.com or by calling the box office at 601-696-2200.

Rising country music artist Lee Brice coming to Starkville

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 14:59
Mississippi State's Music Maker Productions presents Lee Brice in concert Nov. 6, at 8 p.m., at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville.

Mississippi State's Music Maker Productions presents Lee Brice in concert Nov. 6, at 8 p.m., at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville.

Contact: Sammy McDavid

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Award-winning country music singer-songwriter Lee Brice will perform in concert Nov. 6 at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville.

The 8 p.m. event is sponsored by Mississippi State’s Music Maker Productions.

General admission tickets are $30 each. Advance purchases may be made online at www.msuconcerts.com, by telephoning 662-325-2930 or visiting the university’s Center for Student Activities in Suite 314, Colvard Student Union.

MSU student tickets are $20 each with a valid campus identification card. Only one discounted ticket and one regular-priced ticket may be purchased per student.

A South Carolina native, Brice was honored last year with the Academy of Country Music’s Song of the Year award for “I Don’t Dance.” In 2012, he was nominated for the CMA’s New Artist of the Year award.

Brice—who wrote his first song as a child and sang in church choirs as a youth—began work as a professional songwriter in 2007. That same year, he signed with Nashville’s Curb Records and co-wrote “More Than a Memory” for Garth Brooks.

“More Than a Memory” went on to become the first single ever to debut at No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Hot Country Songs chart.

A former Clemson University football player who turns 35 Sept. 25, Brice also has written successful songs for Jason Aldean, Keith Gattis and others. For more on Brice, visit www.leebrice.com.

Music Maker Productions is a student organization working to provide quality, contemporary entertainment for MSU and area communities. More information about the organization and the Brice concert can be found at the above-listed website.

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

Closures set during Carpenter Hall fire escape stairwell construction

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 14:04

Construction of a fire escape stairwell is moving forward at Mississippi State's Carpenter Hall and will be complete this semester, as mandated by the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Beginning on Monday [Sept. 7], the hatched areas in red shown on the accompanying map will be closed through Dec. 31.

During this temporary closure, the exit from the back of Etheredge Hall will be for emergencies only. ADA-accessible parking and one 15-minute parking space will remain open during construction.

Temporary sidewalk closure in front of Simrall begins Tuesday

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 13:58

The sidewalk in front of the Simrall Engineering Building at Mississippi State will be closed Tuesday [Sept. 8] and Wednesday [Sept. 9], as detailed in the accompanying map. The sidewalk is expected to reopen on Thursday [Sept. 10].

This temporary closure is needed to ensure pedestrian safety while a construction crane is erected as part of the expansion project at Mitchell Memorial Library.

Changes for international scholar invitation process

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 13:53

The request process for inviting international scholars to Mississippi State on a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa has undergone recent changes, effective Sept. 1. While many departments regularly invite international research scholars, short-term collaborators or interns, inviting international scholars may be fairly new to other units on campus.
 
Due to recent internal procedural changes, many campus visitors with access to labs and university research projects will be subject to federal export control regulations and university intellectual property guidelines.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also added additional reporting requirements to our immigration paperwork and oversight.

These changes have resulted in 1) an updated request form for Exchange Visitor visa paperwork, 2) additional steps in the routing process to request an Exchange Visitor DS-2019, and 3) a one-time fee charged to departments for the issuance of a DS-2019 to an invited research scholar or intern.
 
Officials are confident that the visitor program is now in compliance with university and federal regulations with these changes, and they are looking forward to working across campus to expand Mississippi State's J-1 Research Scholar program to benefit faculty, staff and students.

For additional information, click here to read the memo describing the processes from Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw, which was developed in collaboration with Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert and Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Greg Bohach.

View the Official Visitor Agreement to be used in the invitation process by clicking here.

Click here for the updated DS-2019 Request Form.
 
Please contact Caroline Hearnsberger at caroline@international.msstate.edu</a> with any questions about these changes.

MSU grad student now at intersection of industry, research

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 11:49
Mississippi State graduate student John Buol, left, recipient of the Will D. Carpenter Distinguished Field Scientist Graduate Assistantship, and Monsanto Co. researcher Anthony Mills, worked together this summer at the university’s R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center.

Mississippi State graduate student John Buol, left, recipient of the Will D. Carpenter Distinguished Field Scientist Graduate Assistantship, and Monsanto Co. researcher Anthony Mills, worked together this summer at the university’s R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center.

Contact: Vanessa Beeson

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State is giving special recognition to a new graduate student beginning research on the impact of emerging plant herbicides.

John T. Buol is receiving the university’s 2015 Will D. Carpenter Distinguished Field Scientist Graduate Assistantship. The Monroe, Wisconsin, resident began work during the spring semester on a master’s degree in agronomy/weed science.

The Monsanto Co.-funded award honors the 1952 MSU agronomy graduate who spent 34 years of his career with the Missouri-based multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation. Carpenter retired in the early 1990s as vice president and general manager of the new products division.

Buol said most of his early years were spent on a dairy farm before graduating from high school and entering the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “I chose biochemistry because it is a basic science you can apply to anything,” he said. “It proved to be a challenging program that provided a good base.”

While at UW, Buol first worked as a research assistant in a biotechnology and genetics laboratory. He then held the same position in UW’s agronomy department, where he conducted research in small-plot integrated pest management.

That work enabled him to combine personal passions for agriculture and research. After excelling in his duties, he was allowed to pursue his own research interests and attend competitions and conferences. Prior to his senior year at the Wisconsin land-grant institution, his accumulated expertise earned a summer internship with an agricultural biotechnology company.

“During my undergraduate experience, I discovered I loved both the agricultural industry and research, and I sought to find a path that would combine the two,” Buol said, adding that his quest for more knowledge and experience led him to Mississippi State.

At the Starkville land-grant institution, Buol is investigating cotton’s susceptibility to auxin herbicide injury. His work is directed by weed science professor Dan Reynolds, holder of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Edgar E. and Winifred B. Hartwig Endowed Chair in Soybean Agronomy.

Buol said he purposely chose cotton in order to move beyond his research comfort zone and, in the process, significantly enhance his professional expertise and prospects for post-graduate employment.

“I grew up in the Midwest so I have appreciable experience with corn, soy and alfalfa, but I didn’t know anything about cotton,” Buol explained. “This research gave me a chance to diversify my knowledge of various crops, cropping systems and challenges faced by producers.”

Buol said he considers the assistantship to be more like an apprenticeship. “In my opinion, graduate school teaches you how a bicycle works and how to ride it. The assistantship shows me what the street looks like around me.

“I have the opportunity to ride along with field scientists, which shows the relevancy of the research and shows how my work will be applied,” he continued. “It takes me out of the classroom, contextualizes everything I do and shows me how our work as researchers impacts the industry, government and world.”

The assistantship also pairs Buol with Anthony Mills, a Monsanto researcher for nearly 30 years specializing in weed management technology. Because of many achievements he has received over the decades, Mills holds the title of Monsanto Distinguished Field Scientist.

“Monsanto created the distinguished field scientist position as a way for senior development representatives to further advance their careers in the field,” Mills said. “The designation requires that the scientist conduct or oversee a special project. My project centers on recruiting and developing new talent to bring into our company.”

Mills, a University of Kentucky doctoral graduate in agronomy and crop science, said he finds the mentor role to be most rewarding.  â€śMy passion lies in the field assisting customers. More recently, at this stage in my career, I’ve found it a lot more satisfying to see younger people come on board and benefit in ways I can help those students or new employees develop within the company.”

He especially enjoys helping further develop students like Buol so they may join a company like Monsanto following graduation and require only a truncated training period. 

“Hands-on training with our agronomists in the field can take up to two years when a new hire comes on board,” Mills said. “The program affords a student the opportunity to gain critical, tactile industry experience while still in graduate school.”

Mills said the spirit of the Mississippi State assistantship also epitomizes the personal and professional character of the university alumnus whose name it carries.

Carpenter and a company team received international recognitions some years ago for helping greatly increase global food production through their development of two popular weed- and grass-control products, RoundUp® and Lasso®.

Mills praised Carpenter for being “a great leader for Monsanto and for the agricultural industry as a whole. He did much to further the advancement of crop protection.”

He also acknowledged Carpenter’s well-known and continuing support for Mississippi State University.

For more on academic programs in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, visit www.cals.msstate.edu.

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

MSU Psychology Clinic holds open house Sept. 10

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 14:55

Contact: Allison Matthews

STARKVILLE, Miss.—It’s available, affordable and effective, and the staff touting it are ready for Starkville, the Golden Triangle and Northeast Mississippi to take advantage of it.

The Mississippi State University Psychology Clinic offers services not widely available within two hours travel time from Starkville, according to licensed psychologist Arazais Oliveros, an MSU assistant professor who directs the clinic.

The clinic will host an open house Sept. 10 from 4-7 p.m. to showcase its new location on campus at 70 Morgan Ave. The event also will observe National Recovery Month and World Suicide Prevention Day. For more, see http://www.recoverymonth.gov/about and https://www.iasp.info/wspd/.

“We aim to make connections with MSU students, faculty, staff, as well as members of the surrounding community,” Oliveros said, adding that she would like to increase visibility of the clinic services.

Payments are charged on a sliding scale based on income. Although the clinic does not accept insurance, the staff is willing to work with clients to ensure they are able to receive the care they need.

“We’re local, and we’re affordable,” said Michael R. Nadorff, an assistant psychology professor who also provides services at the clinic.

Services are provided by licensed clinical psychology faculty at MSU, as well as graduate students who are closely supervised by the faculty. All staff are bound by confidentiality in protecting healthcare information.

MSU psychologists on staff at the clinic focus on a variety of specialty treatments for all age groups, including: parent training and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, sleep disorders, suicidal behavior and geropsychology; aggressive behavior, self-injury and substance abuse; panic and anxiety disorders; behavioral and motivational issues with children and adults. Additionally, there is a trained expert in psychological diagnoses on staff.

“Our clinic is unique in that it provides empirical services in a rural area,” said assistant psychology professor Sam Winer. “Empirical treatments are those that have research showing that they work. We’ve received national recognition for doing treatments that work, and we will continuously evaluate those treatments.”

Because the clinic is staffed with psychologists, not psychiatrists, staff cannot prescribe medications. However, MSU Psychology Clinic experts can work with doctors or other medical professionals if prescription treatments are determined to be an effective course of action in addition to therapy, Oliveros said.

The clinic is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Clinic holidays coincide with those of the university calendar, to which the general public can link at www.msstate.edu.

For more information about the clinic, visit http://clinic.psychology.msstate.edu or call 662-325-0270.

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

 

MSU student fashion designer receives national recognition

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 13:19
Taylor Howell’s award-winning ensemble is modeled by Brittany Henderson, also a senior MSU human sciences fashion design and merchandising major.

Taylor Howell’s award-winning ensemble is modeled by Brittany Henderson, also a senior MSU human sciences fashion design and merchandising major.

Contact: Vanessa Beeson

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An Alabama senior at Mississippi State is beginning the 2015-16 school year with a major fashion design award.

Taylor M. Howell of Fayette is a fashion design and merchandising major in the School of Human Sciences of the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Her entry took Best of Show honors in the undergraduate division of the recent 2015 Apparel, Textiles and Design Community Juried Showcase and Exhibition.

The competition was part of the Virginia-based American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences’ 106th annual conference. Some 700 professionals, educators, students and others took part in the Jacksonville, Florida, gathering. 

“The AAFCS is the organization that accredits clothing, fashion, apparel, design, textile and merchandising curricula throughout the U.S.,” said MSU professor Phyllis Bell Miller.

Miller, a veteran faculty member in the School of Human Sciences, said Taylor’s entry was a two-piece set with a cropped top and a circular skirt made from upcycled coffee filters, dryer sheets and teabags. The unconventional creation debuted during last year’s MSU Trashion Show that featured clothes constructed from recycled material, she explained.

An MSU President’s List Scholar, Howell said, “This was the first project I saw through from design to completion. The concept was very different, so I wasn’t expecting to win.

“Placing first encouraged me in my work,” she continued. “It was a big honor to see my ideas recognized as good for the future.”

Miller commended Howell’s dedication to the creative process. “Taylor is a wonderful example of a student who really pushed herself and embraced the process instead of cutting corners,” she said.

Miller also said Howell clearly has taken to heart advice she continually emphasizes in her classes. “I stress doing the best that you can, learning the most that you can and, as a result, producing the best product that you can,” Miller said.

Miller said Howell’s most recent accolade “further demonstrates the integrity and excellence of our program.” Additionally, she noted that another Howell creation had won first-place honors in the garment manufacturing category of the 2014 Cotton Incorporated Fashion Show held on campus. 

Senior Brittany L. Dowell of Vicksburg also was entered in the 2015 AAFCS competition. She and Howell became the first duo from Mississippi State ever to compete at the same event, Miller said.

During last year’s Cotton Incorporated Fashion Show, Dowell, also a President’s List Scholar, won first place in the fabric-design category. Like Howell, her design entry was completed in Miller’s class.

For more about MSU’s fashion design and merchandising academic concentration, visit www.humansci.msstate.edu.  

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

University’s SRC researchers part of study published in Science

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 17:46

Contact: Alan Burns

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State University’s Social Relations Collaborative is part of a large psychology reproducibility study published this past week in Science magazine.

The SRC, a unit of MSU’s nationally recognized Social Science Research Center, participated in the global endeavor that sought to replicate 100 findings published in three prominent psychology journals. The results of this review study appeared in the Aug. 28 issue of Science.

The collaborative is led by Colleen Sinclair, associate psychology professor, and Rebecca Goldberg, assistant counseling and educational psychology professor. They are assisted by undergraduate students Mallorie Miller, Taylor Ritchey, Emily Bullard, Jeri Champion, Mitchell Gressett. Graduate students include Sining Wu, Dominique Simmons, Jessi Dillingham and Chelsey Hess.

The study, which includes a replication conducted at Mississippi State, was conducted by 270 researchers on five continents and attempted to address one of the four tenets of the Scientific Method, reproducibility.

“I was always taught that the four central tenets of Scientific Method were falsifiability, measurability, generalizability, and reproducibility,” Sinclair said. “Neglecting the latter seems like building a table with only three legs.”

The results of the study show that the independent researchers were able to replicate less than half of the original findings. This result may call into question the validity of some scientific findings, but may also point to the difficulty of conducting effective replications and achieving reproducible results.

“We believe that replication is indeed a unique contribution to current professional literature and should be viewed as such,” said Goldberg. “There are certain journal editors who do not care to publish replication projects and certain social scientists who think that replication is unnecessary; however we stand behind reproducibility as being necessary for social science and providing unique contributions.”

The article goes beyond simply calculating an initial estimate of the rate of reproducibility in psychology. It also identifies indices by which reliability studies might be predicted; including the effect size and size of the p-value.

While less than half of the original findings were replicated, it is important to note that a failure to reproduce does not necessarily mean the original report was incorrect. These results should also not be taken as evidence of psychology as a poor science.

“Rather, the fact that we are engaging in this self-examination shows that science is working as it should,” Sinclair said. “Validation of findings should not stop at publication. We need to test, and we need to retest.”

Failure to replicate could be due to three basic reasons. First, though most replication teams worked with the original authors to use the same materials and methods, small differences in when, where or how the replication was carried out might have influenced results. Second, the replication might have failed, by chance, to detect the original result. Lastly, the original result might have been a false positive.

“Open science is critical to the future of research; our ultimate goal is to increase transparency in science and the benefits therein can have great impact on social science in particular,” Goldberg said.

The Social Relations Collaborative has been an integral part of this ongoing program studying reproducibility.  This special issue details the involvement of the SRC in the first phase of the Reproducibility Project. The Social Relations Collaborative plans to continue work to improve openness and reproducibility within psychology. The SRC has joined another collaboration with the Center for Open Science examining some of the practices certain journals have already put in place to improve transparency in research.

Also, to complement their participation in the broad-and-shallow method of testing reproducibility (i.e., many labs individually testing separate studies) employed by the present Science publication, the SRC has also joined forces with the Association for Psychological Science to use a more narrow-and-deep approach (i.e., 10 labs testing one study).

“We believe science is at its best when collaborative and open.  We look forward to further representing Mississippi State as a part of this movement to reinforce the integrity of science,” said Sinclair.

For more information on the SRC, please visit http://advancedsocialpsychlab.weebly.com/. Sinclair can be reached at 662-325-9166.

MSU formulating plans to enhance campus security

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 17:06
After a review of Mississippi State University’s response to a potential active shooter threat last week, MSU President Mark E. Keenum met with other university officials and area law enforcement agencies to formulate a long-term plan to enhance safety and security at MSU – a plan the president called “TLC” – training, locks and communications. MSU Physical Plant staffers Robert Moore, left, and Randal Nickels, right, are shown installing new locks in Carpenter Hall as part of that plan.

After a review of Mississippi State University’s response to a potential active shooter threat last week, MSU President Mark E. Keenum met with other university officials and area law enforcement agencies to formulate a long-term plan to enhance safety and security at MSU – a plan the president called “TLC” – training, locks and communications. MSU Physical Plant staffers Robert Moore, left, and Randal Nickels, right, are shown installing new locks in Carpenter Hall as part of that plan. [Photo by Beth Wynn]STARKVILLE, Miss. — During three post-event meetings with senior administration officials, the Crisis Action Team and law enforcement, Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum today announced a new initiative designed to enhance the safety and security of the institution in the wake of last week’s active shooter scare on MSU’s Starkville campus.

“As I said last week, there were no guns, no shots fired and no injuries,” said Keenum. “Our university was very fortunate that last week’s event turned out to be threats by a lone individual, but the very real threat of an active shooter on our campus has shown us ways that we can make our campus even safer from and more responsive to such dangers.”

After the incident, Keenum praised campus and local law enforcement for their “swift response” in apprehending a student who made threats to harm himself and others.

During a meeting on Friday [Aug. 28], Keenum challenged MSU’s Crisis Action Team, the Division of Student Affairs, and other senior administrators to learn from the event and develop new strategies to enhance the university’s security.

Subsequent meetings were held Monday [Aug. 31] between the MSU president and the university’s vice presidents. University leaders also met again Monday afternoon with area law enforcement agencies to seek their input.

Keenum asked all involved for input and innovation from all the groups on three primary initiatives – training, locks, and communications – what he called “TLC.”

“Some of these TLC enhancements will be immediate and some will require additional study. But by addressing additional training for MSU faculty, staff, and students, we can become safer and more efficient in our response,” said Keenum. “This event showed us areas where we need additional locks and better ways to block or barricade interior doors. Finally, we need to take a hard look at new and emerging technologies that will improve how we communicate Maroon Alert emergency messages and how law enforcement communicates with each other and with us.”

University officials agreed the TLC security enhancements should be systematic in nature and undertaken in conjunction with state and federal emergency preparedness guidelines, also with the approval of the local and state fire marshals.

“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.”

At approximately 10:30 a.m. Thursday, law enforcement officials at Mississippi State arrested a student near McCool Hall that had been described as a danger to himself and others. The student subsequently withdrew from MSU and was transported to a treatment facility in Jackson.

The incident transpired after a telephone to MSU Police from the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol revealed that a student on the Starkville campus was both threatening suicide and threatening to harm others.

After MSU issued a “Maroon Alert” notice at 10:16 a.m., the individual was taken into custody 10 minutes later. Chief Vance Rice said the MSU Police Department deeply appreciated federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that had responded immediately and assisted in arresting the student.

Assisting agencies included the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, Starkville Police Department, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the Mississippi Department of Health, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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

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

University-based education research center celebrates 50 years

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 12:23

Contact: Anne Hierholzer

STARKVILLE, Miss.—This month, the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State will mark a half-century of service to the state.

Housed since 1999 under the university’s Office of Research and Economic Development, the RCU is part of the land-grant institution’s mission to help improve the lives of Mississippians through research, innovation and other areas of public education.

The organization’s professional staff focuses on career and technical education that trains secondary and postsecondary students for careers in high-demand industries.

“The RCU has an established track record of working with educators to improve public education in Mississippi,” said David Shaw, MSU vice president for research and economic development.

“They are to be commended for their decades of service to the students of Mississippi, and I look forward to their many accomplishments in the years to come,” Shaw said.

The RCU traces its history back to 1963 and congressional passage of the Vocational Education Act that many regard as a primary impetus for reawakening interest throughout the U.S. in what was then called vocational education.

With an emphasis on learning that leads to employability, the then-Research Coordinating Unit for Vocational-Technical Education was established 1965. After three years of wide-ranging discussions with educational leaders at all levels, leaders and staff members of the unit began writing new curricula for Mississippi’s career and technical education programs.

During succeeding decades, the RCU concentrated on addressing a theory-practice gap by linking research results with curriculum development. During this time, it also developed customized training programs for emerging areas of industry and implemented a training program for new CTE teachers who were skilled in their fields but often lacked a traditional teaching background.

In 2001, a grant from the Mississippi Department of Education enabled a unit assessment team to begin overseeing statewide assessments for secondary and postsecondary CTE students. The team since has developed, administered and reported on all state secondary and postsecondary assessments in that academic field.

“We at MDE strongly value our longstanding partnership with the RCU, and we congratulate them on their 50 years of service to our state,” said Mike Mulvihill, the Mississippi Department of Education’s career and technical education director.

“We look forward to continuing our work with them to bring innovation and rigor to our state CTE programs,” he added.

RCU director Julie Jordan said her organization also has collaborated with other state agencies and regional organizations on numerous programs and initiatives over the years. She noted that the RCU broadened its longstanding partnership with MDE in 2013 to encompass training, evaluation and research across a variety of public education initiatives.

While the RCU maintains a core focus on CTE curriculum, assessment and professional development, Jordan said it has expanded into such areas as innovative school models, statewide educator-evaluation models and performance-based compensation.

“Since our founding in 1965, the RCU has come a long way,” she said. “Our work to expand and improve CTE education in Mississippi is ongoing, and we continue to collaborate with educators and leaders across the state to bring innovation to public education.”

She and the staff are “proud of all we have accomplished, and we continue our mission to ensure that every Mississippi student graduates ready for college, career, and life,” Jordan emphasized.

For more information on the RCU, visit www.rcu.msstate.edu.

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

 

 

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.

 â€śOur 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.

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