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Student success at forefront of new teaching grants for College of Arts and Sciences faculty awardees
Four Mississippi State faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences recently were awarded inaugural Professional Development in Teaching Grants, a new initiative designed to foster undergraduate student success by equipping faculty and staff with tools needed to lead large numbers of students. The new grants, to be awarded annually, will provide awardees the funds to attend a professional teaching-based workshop or conference and an additional stipend to implement new ideas or teaching practices. The awardees include Cody Fondren, an instructor in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures; Evan Kaplan, an instructor in the Department of Biological Sciences; Amanda Patrick, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry; and Angelle Tanner, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
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Strategic Research Initiatives provide funding boost to College of Arts and Sciences faculty-led research
To better serve faculty in conducting cutting-edge research into pressing social and scientific issues, Mississippi State’s College of Arts and Sciences announces this year’s recipients of the Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) programs -- the Faculty Seed Funding program and the Race and Racism Research Funding program -- an annual grant program providing funds for faculty research. The SRIs provide up to $10,000 per proposal through two tracks: Track I for pre-tenure CAS faculty, and Track II for any CAS faculty members who believe they have a “hot-topic” or priority-area projects necessary to springboard new competitive federally funded proposals or will lead to quality peer-reviewed publications. The program was developed to support CAS faculty members who contribute significant positive impacts in their fields of study.
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MSU Foundation announces officers and incoming members for 2024
The Mississippi State University Foundation is announcing its 2024 leaders and incoming members for the board of directors which guides the fundraising arm of the land-grant institution. Incoming officers with new one-year terms which began this month include three alumni: Anthony L. Wilson of Gulfport as chair; Rodger L. Johnson of Atlanta, Georgia, as vice chair; and Paul J. Karre of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, as treasurer. Rounding out the remaining board officers are MSU personnel. John P. Rush, vice president for development and alumni, is the board’s president and CEO; Janet H. Carraway, executive director of finance, is chief financial officer; and Jack McCarty, executive director of development, serves as board secretary. All are MSU graduates.
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Lyceum Series begins Black History Month with musical honoring America’s first Black cowboys
Acclaimed jazz vocalist, guitarist and composer Allan Harris brings his country rock-inspired musical story “Cross That River” -- honoring America’s first Black cowboys -- to Mississippi State’s 76th Lyceum Series. Through a mix of fact and fiction, the Tuesday [Feb. 6] production tells the story of runaway slave Blue, played by Harris, who escapes Texas in the 1860s to pursue new beginnings in the unsettled West. The “Cross That River” cast takes the Bettersworth Auditorium stage in historic Lee Hall for a show free to MSU students. The general public can purchase tickets at www.union.msstate.edu/student-activities/lyceum/tickets. Individual tickets are $30 per person and $25 for MSU employees and senior citizens.
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University commemorates Black History Month with numerous special events
Mississippi State is celebrating Black History Month throughout February. A number of activities and events, sponsored by the university’s Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, Division of Access, Opportunity and Success, and other campus units, feature music, art, history, virtual reality experiences and more.
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Highly anticipated musical line-up announced for 18th annual Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival
The stage is set for a premier showcase of musical talent during the 2024 Charles H. Templeton Sr. Ragtime and Jazz Festival, taking place Feb. 22-24 at Mississippi State. MSU Libraries and the Charles H. Templeton Sr. Music Museum are hosts for this 18th annual event, promising an unforgettable experience with a stellar line-up of both returning favorites and exciting new performers. The three-day event will include two major concerts, mini concerts, talks at the piano and more. Attendees will have the chance to learn about this year’s performers, and what inspires their music. The always-popular silent movies performance will again be included, according to Festival Co-Chair Stephen Cunetto.
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Spring general faculty meeting next week
The Office of the President and the Robert Holland Faculty Senate invite all faculty to the spring meeting of the General Faculty at 2 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Colvard Student Union’s Fowlkes Auditorium. Interested members of the campus community are also welcome. The program will include updates from President Mark E. Keenum, Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw, Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan, and Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Keith Coble.
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Reminder: University policy addresses employee political activity
With qualifying and campaigning for elected offices underway this year, Mississippi State's Office of General Counsel offers the following reminder of the university’s policy on political activities. There are several basic guidelines that university employees should keep in mind when engaging in any form of political activity. MSU employees are encouraged to review OP 01.14: Political Activities in its entirety and to understand their rights and responsibilities.
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Smoke-free policy enhances healthy environment
Mississippi State University is a smoke-free campus. Official policy prohibits the use of any combustible or vapor products anywhere on campus property including university buildings, university grounds, university vehicles, parking areas and sidewalks. The smoke-free campus policy is part of the university's commitment to creating a healthy environment for all members of the campus community. Use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah or other similar devices are prohibited by this policy. The complete policy is available at www.policies.msstate.edu/policy/91301.


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Mississippi State launches groundbreaking Bulldog Experience initiative
A new transformative initiative at Mississippi State is enabling students to better shape their futures through greater leveraging the power of experiential learning. With the launch of MSU’s Bulldog Experience program, undergraduates are going beyond traditional classroom education, experiencing more immersive activities that foster personal growth, intellectual development and professional preparedness. The Bulldog Experience initiative is the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, a university-wide focus on improving student learning. “Bulldog Experience is about much more than getting a degree,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “It is a transformative journey that empowers our students to connect their experiences with their academic pursuits. This program is preparing them to be successful in a rapidly changing world by developing the skills and hands-on involvement they need to thrive as leaders, innovators and problem solvers.”
Rendon named executive director for Veterans and Military Affairs at MSU
A longtime Mississippi State student affairs administrator and Mississippi Army National Guard colonel is the university’s new executive director of Veterans and Military Affairs. Andrew S. Rendon began his new role Jan. 1 and is responsible for the overall development and enhancement of university services for U.S. service members, veterans, disabled veterans, dependents, survivors and ROTC programs. His oversight encompasses the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans at Nusz Hall, as well as the Army and Air Force ROTC programs. Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt said Rendon’s MSU experience, dating back to his time as an MSU Army ROTC Bulldog Battalion cadet, coupled with his military experience and ongoing leadership training, make him ideally suited for the position.
Mississippi Sweet Potato Council honors Willard
Scott Willard, dean of Mississippi State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES), was honored with the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council’s Tater Boy Award at the 54th Annual Mississippi Sweet Potato Meeting. The council’s most prestigious award is given to an individual who demonstrates exemplary service and support for the state’s sweet potato industry. “Mississippi ranks third in the country in sweet potato production. The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station conducts meaningful research to improve the quality of outcomes for sweet potato producers across the state and nation. This includes designation as one of six Clean Plant Centers of the National Clean Plant Network for sweet potatoes, which provides virus-tested clean plant material to growers,” Willard said.
Walters named director of university's Office of Technology Management
A seasoned software executive and entrepreneur is now leading Mississippi State University’s Office of Technology Management. John Walters, a two-time MSU alumnus, assumed the new role this month, leading the university’s efforts to turn cutting-edge research into real-world impact. “Every day, MSU researchers are developing new tools that will make a positive impact on our world, and the Office of Technology Management plays a major role in ensuring our discoveries reach their full potential,” said MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan. “Tech transfer is also a key part of our economic development strategy as we work to grow Mississippi’s innovation-based economy. John brings decades of experience to this position, and I look forward to him growing the many ways we can connect our researchers with technology transfer opportunities.”
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: February 5, 2024Facebook Twitter