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MSU Extension Service appoints Pieralisi as new cotton specialist
The Mississippi State University Extension Service has a new cotton specialist. Brian Pieralisi was appointed to that role on April 1. He replaced Darrin Dodds, who took the helm of the university’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. He will work with growers to continue to refine cotton production practices in order to help them become more profitable. His activity will include cotton variety testing, as well as research and outreach on fertility management, weed control, irrigation, harvest aids and other areas of cotton production. “Brian’s background of education and experience is very unique and will allow him to work with growers and students and provide multiple perspectives to each,” Dodds said.
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Strawderman recognized for teaching prowess by American Society for Engineering Education
Lesley Strawderman, a professor of industrial and systems engineering within Mississippi State’s Bagley College of Engineering, recently received the 2020 Outstanding Mid-Career Teaching Award from the Southeastern Section of the American Society for Engineering Education. The Outstanding Mid-Career Teaching Award recognizes faculty members who have made exceptional contributions to engineering education through outstanding classroom performance. “It is such a joy working with our students at Mississippi State,” she said.
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Mixon wins top honor at annual Pollstar LIVE! poster competition
A Mississippi State professor of art is the recipient of a top national award through an annual competition for concert industry professionals in Los Angeles, California. Jamie Burwell Mixon’s poster of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg received Poster of the Year at the 31st annual Pollstar LIVE! National Concert Industry Awards and Convention held earlier this semester. Frank “Critz” Campbell III, associate professor and head of MSU’s Department of Art, said this national award “speaks to the quality of Professor Mixon’s work and the expertise she brings to the classroom.”
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MSU Extension Service personnel in overdrive during emergencies
One of Kim Hancock’s routine jobs is assisting 4-H’ers in Jones County with their livestock projects. On Easter Sunday, she was helping some of those same young people and their families sort through the rubble of what was once their homes. Thirty-two counties in Mississippi reported damage from a tornado outbreak April 12 that resulted in 12 fatalities, many injuries and catastrophic destruction to residential, commercial and agricultural property. MSU Extension is a supporting organization in the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency’s emergency management plan. Hancock is one of more than 150 Extension agents in the state’s 82 counties who assist local emergency personnel in the mass care and nourishment of those who are displaced or without resources after disasters, as well as the care of livestock, row crops and domestic animals.
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Looking for a way to help? Give to the MSU Student Relief Fund
The Mississippi State University community continually exhibits a great sense of responsibility and caring for enrolled students that make the land-grant institution such a special place. The MSU Student Relief Fund, built with private gifts, helps those members of the student body affected with day-to-day crises or like now, the impact to their daily lives posed by COVID-19. The Dean of Students' Office assesses needs and administers the fund for acute crises that may impact students’ ability to succeed academically. The funds have a direct impact on students in extenuating circumstances in order to help them achieve their academic success. The MSU Foundation accepts gifts year-round for the MSU Student Relief Fund. Contributions for this effort can be made online or by contacting the Annual Giving office at (662) 325-2466.
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SMART route changes in effect during COVID-19 pandemic to protect riders and staff
As Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit continues to evaluate the best ways to protect transit riders and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, service is being limited (one bus per route) to the following routes: Boardtown North, Boardtown South, Old Main, Highway 12, Sportsplex and Paratransit. Routes will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be limited to nine passengers per bus. Routes will stop from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for cleaning and spraying of all buses.
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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.


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Reynolds named interim leader of university's international programs
Daniel B. Reynolds, a distinguished Mississippi State weed science professor, has been appointed interim associate vice president for international programs and executive director of the university’s International Institute. He will lead International Institute units that include the English Language Institute, International Services, and the Study Abroad and International Student Exchange programs, as well as promoting international collaborations in research and outreach. The International Institute reports to MSU’s provost and executive vice president, vice president for research and economic development, and vice president for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
Babski-Reeves named new department head for Industrial and Systems Engineering
A well-respected leader in the fields of human factors and ergonomics has been selected as the new head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering within Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering. Kari Babski-Reeves, a three-time Mississippi State engineering alumna, will officially begin her tenure as department head in July. She transitions into her new role on a full-time basis after having served as the interim department head since July 2019. She has served as associate dean for research and graduate studies within the Bagley College for the past five years. As a professor, her research efforts are focused in the areas of human factors, ergonomics, and safety
Dyer selected for MSU academic affairs administrative internship
A longtime faculty member in Mississippi State University’s geosciences department will be adding a new administrative role to his responsibilities with the start of the fall semester. Professor Jamie L. Dyer will begin a one-year appointment as assistant vice president intern for academic affairs in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President in mid-August. Among his responsibilities, he will be working with academic units at MSU to identify opportunities to develop new courses and programs that cross traditional boundaries. He will also seek to understand the challenges that come with multi-disciplinary, cross-college collaboration, including student credit, funding and resources, and promotion and tenure criteria.
Mosher named director of Institute for Systems Engineering Research
An engineer with decades of military research experience is now leading the Institute for Systems Engineering Research, a collaborative effort between the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center and Mississippi State University. Reed Mosher, director emeritus of ERDC’s Information Technology Laboratory and most recently a research data scientist at Jackson State University, is the new director of ISER, housed in Vicksburg at ERDC. He spent 40 years at ERDC before retiring in 2018. “Dr. Mosher brings a wealth of experience and connections to this role,” said MSU Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan.
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