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Dallas Brooks, right, director of the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, and graduate research assistant Madison Dixon, left, close the fuselage hatch on Raspet’s newest Outlaw-G2 unmanned aircraft in final preparation for flight. The aircraft is set to serve a variety of roles at MSU, including flight testing, airborne sensor research and pilot training for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Mississippi State serves as the national lead university for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Center of Excellence for UAS, putting MSU on the cutting edge of this new era of research, development and integration into the nation’s airspace. PHOTO: Russ Houston | Public Affairs

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Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence honors faculty graduates
More than a dozen Mississippi State faculty members are new graduates of the university’s Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence program. Now in its fifth year, the three-week intensive institute trains teachers from a variety of university departments to modify course syllabi to incorporate more writing-to-learn strategies into class assignments. “We ask a lot of our faculty participants. They learn new strategies for incorporating writing in their classes and they challenge their pre-existing ideas about how writing assignments and student engagement can and should work in their classes,” said Deborah Lee, who co-directs the Maroon & Write QEP with English Instructor Ann Spurlock.
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Smith to lead men's golf program
One of the top assistant coaches in the nation will be heading the Mississippi State men's golf program as Director of Athletics John Cohen tabbed Vanderbilt assistant Dusty Smith as the Bulldogs' eighth head coach. This season Smith and head coach Scott Limbaugh took Vanderbilt to a program-record fourth consecutive NCAA Championship, where it won the stroke play portion of the championship by 12 shots and advanced to the semifinals of match play. Vandy recorded its third-straight appearance in match play and is the only SEC team currently on that stretch.
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MSU Extension hires new soil lab manager
New manager of operations Keri Jones recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Laboratory, and she's ready to enhance the unit's efficiency. As leader of the Soil Testing Lab, Jones will oversee Extension’s analysis of soil and plant samples to determine what nutrients are available. Results help crop producers improve their yields and homeowners improve the quality of their lawns and gardens.
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Gallery exhibition June 13 for Miller's artistic textiles
A Mississippi State professor of fashion design and merchandising will showcase her award-winning artistic textiles featuring knitwear, crochet, embroidery, dyeing, beading and felting, as well as jewelry design. The gallery exhibition, which also will serve as a retirement reception for Phyllis Bell Miller, will take place June 13 from 4-5:30 p.m. at MSU’s Visual Arts Center on University Drive. The exhibition will continue through June 15 and is being sponsored by MSU’s School of Human Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Gail Gillis
From the time Gail Gills was a graduate student in the MSU Department of Agricultural economics, she has been interested in figuring out how everything works from a financial standpoint. She earned her Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics in 1983 from Mississippi State University. Her work with the department began in 1982 as a research technician. She now manages data for farm management and appraisal projects. “We publish cost and return estimates for row crops grown in Mississippi,” she explained. “Producers use them as planning tools. Bankers use them in their lending decisions.”
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Miranda Tucci
A chance conversation in her Sunday School class led West Virginia native Miranda Tucci to a job she loves. Miranda, now a grants and contracts specialist with the Southern Rural Development Center, had been a stay-at-home mom while her husband of 10 years, Shelby, was in the Navy. But when he decided to pursue a degree in professional golf management at MSU, they switched roles. “We moved around for eight years, and when we came to Starkville I needed a job,” Miranda explained. “Rachael Welborn heard me mention it at church, and said they had an opening for an intermittent worker at SRDC. I’ve been here ever since.”
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MSU continues role in helping universities work toward global food security
Mississippi State University leaders recently helped guide a new report from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities that identifies ways public research universities can lead in domestic and global food security. The APLU’s Challenge of Change Commission’s report, titled “Harnessing University Discovery, Engagement and Learning to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security,” centers on the vast academic, research and leadership capabilities of public research universities to address the interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities for collaboration on food and nutrition security.
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Policy addresses employee political activity
With local political campaigning underway this year, Mississippi State's Office of General Counsel reminds employees to be aware 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 the policy in its entirety and to understand their rights and responsibilities.
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Registration open for Service DAWGS Day 2017
The Maroon Volunteer Center at Mississippi State details a number of volunteer opportunities for the campus community on its website and in its newsletter this week, including registration for Service DAWGS Day 2017, information about becoming a mentor to at-risk young people, reading tutors, communication partners, Habitat for Humanity home build, and more.
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Policy reminders from University Health Services
University Health Services at Mississippi State reminds the campus community of several important policies for its patients to keep in mind when seeking treatment, parking, refilling a prescription, privacy and more.

 

‘We Ring True’ branding initiative wins Best of Show award from PRAM
Mississippi State University’s Office of Public Affairs continued its award-winning momentum for the “We Ring True” branding initiative by garnering seven awards, including Best of Show, during the recent Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s PRism Awards competition. “The fact that we can tie the ‘We Ring True’ initiative to tangible results like increased enrollment and fundraising speaks to the power of storytelling,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.
Pierce, Ward honored by Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters
Two Mississippi State faculty authors were honored by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters during the 38th annual awards ceremony in Cleveland last Saturday. Catherine Pierce is this year’s poetry award recipient, with Jason Morgan Ward recognized for nonfiction. MIAL gives annual awards to creative individuals in seven categories: fiction, nonfiction, visual art, musical composition (concert), musical composition (popular), photography and poetry. The out-of-state judges are prominent professionals in their respective fields.
Governor appoints Shaw to new task force
Mississippi State’s chief research officer will play a key leadership role in a new statewide maritime technologies initiative. Gov. Phil Bryant announced the formation of his Ocean Task Force last Thursday in Gulfport. David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development at MSU, will serve as co-chair. The governor has charged the group with developing a master plan to identify and meet critical needs for economic development around maritime technologies, including unmanned maritime systems.
DAWG program grads hone sponsored-project administration skills
Seventeen Mississippi State staff members are graduates of the fifth-annual professional development program offered by the university’s Office of Sponsored Projects. This year’s edition of the Departmental Administrator Working Group -- also known as DAWG -- involved a nine-month curriculum designed to develop participants’ sponsored-project administration skills and foster networking opportunities with campus peers, according to OSP Director Jennifer Easley.
The Office of Public Affairs provides Maroon MEMO as a general information
resource for Mississippi State University employees.

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