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Participants of the Meridian Freedom Project visiting Mississippi State last week met with MSU President Mark E. Keenum. He welcomed them to campus and discussed the importance of higher education. The organization emphasizes core values of leadership and character development, academic support, arts enrichment, educational travel and health training. The Meridian Freedom Project’s annual “Freedom Summer” program includes a week on a college campus in which participants live in residence halls, meet professors and college students, learn about the application and enrollment process, and enjoy a preview of college life. The group, led by Director Anna Stephenson Watson, is a sponsored program of Meridian Community College, operated in partnership with The Montgomery Institute. Other instrumental support has come from The Phil Hardin Foundation, among others. PHOTO: Beth Wynn | Public Affairs

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New faculty orientation, welcome reception, teaching academy, Canvas training set for August
Mississippi State University is announcing a variety of programs to officially welcome new faculty to the Bulldog family this fall. The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President is sponsoring an Aug. 14 orientation program at The Mill at MSU in Starkville. MSU President Mark E. Keenum and First Lady Rhonda Keenum also are hosting a welcome reception at The Mill for new faculty and their spouses or significant others. MSU's Center for Teaching and Learning also is offering a New Faculty Teaching Academy on Aug. 15 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. in the third-floor John Grisham Room at Mitchell Memorial Library. The program is intended for new faculty who will begin teaching in the fall or spring semesters.
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State, industry leaders to converge at Data Summit
Registration is now open for the third annual Data Summit, hosted by Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC). Discussions and activities at the two-day event, held at The Mill Conference Center on 600 Russell St. in Starkville on September 13-14, will focus on data science and the growing emergence of “smart cities.” “Opening a dialogue on improving the smart city framework is important because it will help us understand how data science can help towns and cities modernize and compete in the growing data economy,” said NSPARC Executive Director Mimmo Parisi.
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‘Godmother of Soul’ Patti LaBelle headlines 2018-19 Lyceum Series
Musical treasure Patti LaBelle will fill Lee Hall’s Bettersworth Auditorium with her legendary rhythm and blues when she headlines the upcoming season of Mississippi State’s Lyceum Series. Known as the “Godmother of Soul” and ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the “Top 100 Singers of All Time,” the Grammy Award winner will perform Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. Doors open approximately 30 minutes before the curtain rises on all shows scheduled for the 2018-19 Lyceum Series, the university’s long-running performing arts program.
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ITAR, export control briefing set for September
The Office of Research Security at Mississippi State will host an ITAR and export control briefing open to all faculty and staff on Sept. 5 at 1 p.m. in Conference Room 20 at the High Performance Computing Collaboratory. Jonathan Barnes, a special agent with the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Export Enforcement, will lead the one-hour session. He will provide an introduction and overview of U.S. export control laws regulating academic and private sector R&D projects. He also will discuss how academic research may be pursued within the context of this legal environment.
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Reminder: University policy addresses employee political activity
With political campaigning for Congress and other races currently underway, Mississippi State's Office of General Counsel offers the following reminder of the university’s policy on political activities. There are several guidelines that employees of the university should keep in mind when engaging in any form of political activity. The Office of General Counsel encourages each employee to review this policy in its entirety to make certain you are fully aware of your rights and responsibilities.
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Institute for the Humanities issues call for papers
Mississippi State’s Institute for the Humanities invites faculty members to submit individual paper proposals for the 2018-2019 Interdisciplinary Forum Workshop Series to be held in the upcoming academic year. The Interdisciplinary Forum Workshop Series will consist of six gatherings anchored around the theme of “Examining Governance from an Interdisciplinary Perspective.”
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Faculty, staff volunteers needed for Heifer Ranch trip
Mississippi State faculty and staff volunteers/chaperones are needed for the annual trip to Heifer Ranch, Arkansas, for the Global Village educational experience Oct. 12-14, 2018. Heifer International is an Arkansas-based non-profit organization focused on community development to resolve poverty and hunger around the world. The Global Village is a hands-on educational experience where students are challenged to live in modeled developing world conditions.

 

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Thomas named head of Department of Finance and Economics
Mississippi State Professor of Economics Kathleen Thomas is now leading the university’s Department of Finance and Economics. Thomas has been a faculty member in the department since joining the College of Business as an assistant professor in 2002. A distinguished researcher in the field of economics, Thomas now oversees the department’s continued growth in academic offerings and research programs. “We are thrilled that Dr. Thomas is taking on this leadership role,” College of Business Dean Sharon Oswald said. “She has been a tremendous asset to the College of Business during her time here, and I look forward to seeing her continue the positive momentum we have in our Department of Finance and Economics.”
Martindale elected president of international teaching and learning association
A leading researcher in online learning environments and head of Mississippi State’s Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development is the incoming president of the flagship international research organization in his field. Trey Martindale is the new leader of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Founded in 1921, it is the preeminent scholarly association for researchers in instructional design, a field that examines how people teach and learn effectively. “It has been an honor to serve for the last eight years on the AECT board, and this new office will bring new challenges in leading a dynamic and growing organization,” he said.
University encourages campus-wide sustainability awareness, participation
Mississippi State is hailed as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, and the university’s ongoing sustainability efforts are one way to ensure proper stewardship rings true for years to come. MSU Associate Director of Engineering Services J.D. Hardy said the university has saved more than $50 million on energy costs over the last decade by making innovative enhancements to facilities on campus. A percentage of these energy-efficiency savings are being set aside for future campus sustainability projects. Sustainability Coordinator Christine Lashley of the division’s Office of Sustainability said increasing recycling awareness and participation among students, faculty, staff and visitors is another major focus of “Maroon Goes Green.”
U.S. Small Business Administration awards $824K for ‘Boots to Business’ entrepreneurship training
The U.S. Small Business Administration has exercised Mississippi State University’s Boots to Business Revenue Readiness Program’s Option Year One cooperative agreement contract for $824,099. “The Boots to Business Revenue Readiness Course is an accelerated learning experience designed to help entrepreneurial-minded veterans take their ideas from a concept to a business plan in a short six-week period.” said College of Business Dean Sharon Oswald. “Small businesses are the cornerstone of the U.S. economy and our experienced team of small business owners are proud to work with our veterans.”
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