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Harrison earns award from international cybersecurity professional organization
A Mississippi State University distance learning instructor in computer science and engineering was recently recognized as one of the top information security professionals in North, Central and South America. Anna Harrison, who teaches an online malware reverse engineering course in the Bagley College of Engineering, was awarded the 2019 ISLA Americas Information Security Practitioner award by (ISC)2, an international cybersecurity professional organization. Harrison is also a computer science alumna. She earned a master’s degree in computer science from Mississippi State in 2015 after having completed a bachelor’s degree in communication from MSU in 2011.
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Seitz tapped for media interview on success of coronavirus PSAs
A faculty member in Mississippi State’s Department of Communication recently spotlighted her research on how to efficiently and effectively evaluate public service announcements during a Hearst Television interview. In the interview conducted by Hearst Chief National Investigative Correspondent Mark Albert, MSU Assistant Professor of Communication Holli H. Seitz shared insight on the effectiveness of various COVID-19 PSAs that have gone viral. “Giving a concrete message and stirring emotion—those are two things that will make a message incredibly memorable,” said Seitz, who also serves as director of The Message Laboratory in MSU’s Social Science Research Center.
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Moyen chronicles rise of marketing in the NCAA and big-time athletics
A Mississippi State department head in the College of Education is the co-author of a new book that chronicles the rise of collegiate sports marketing and tells the story of a major industry entrepreneur. Published last month by University Press of Kentucky, “Changing the Game: My Career in Collegiate Sports Marketing,” is co-authored by Eric Moyen, associate professor and head of MSU’s Department of Educational Leadership, alongside Jim Host, founder and CEO of Host Communications. “I wrote this book with Jim because I research university leadership and policy from a historical perspective, and I have learned that college presidents have to spend considerable time and attention on athletic matters,” Moyen said.
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Engineers and researchers at MSU using 3D printers to produce face shields for Meridian medical personnel
With personal protective equipment in short supply nationwide, a team of engineers and researchers at Mississippi State University is turning to an unlikely combination of 3D printers and office supplies to aid medical personnel tackling COVID-19. The team, led by faculty from MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering and researchers at the university’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, is producing face shields by combining 3D-printed head bands with transparent plastic sheets and elastic bands generally found at office supply stores. Working on the project are Linkan Bian, who holds the Thomas B. and Terri L. Nusz Professorship in industrial and systems engineering; Steve Elder, professor of agricultural and biological engineering; Wenmeng Tian, assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering; Tyler Hannis, research engineer at CAVS; and Abdullah Al Mamun, an industrial and systems engineering Ph.D. student from Bangladesh.
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Institute for Clean Energy Technology tests materials as Mississippi companies transition to manufacturing masks
As Mississippi’s manufacturers begin producing supplies to aid in the state’s COVID-19 response, Mississippi State researchers are helping them assess the filtering capabilities of their materials. MSU’s Institute for Clean Energy Technology, or ICET, is using its testing infrastructure to help manufacturers know the air filtration rates of materials they are using to produce masks. ICET Director Charles Waggoner said that when studying air filtration capabilities, researchers at ICET are typically studying air particles that are 50 times smaller in diameter than a piece of human hair.
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MSU's Center for Cyber Innovation and Circadence partner to create virtual cyber defense tool
Researchers with Mississippi State’s Center for Cyber Innovation are helping protect the country’s most secretly held assets through a partnership that’s creating state-of-the-art, virtual cyberattack defenses. A university alliance with cyber readiness company Circadence Corporation is customizing an existing MSU-designed Netmapper computer program to develop next-generation cyber learning and training software that can scan and map the military’s complex computer network infrastructures. Bob Reese, MSU CCI researcher, and Phil Akers, CCI senior research engineer, designed Netmapper to automatically scan and map a network with the resulting information used to replicate that network in a cyber range environment.
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MSU Extension Service amends plans for operations through July
The Mississippi State University Extension Service will continue operations as it has through the statewide shelter-in-place order, but has canceled all face-to-face events, meetings and trainings through August 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cancellation includes all scheduled Extension in-person conferences as well as 4-H youth programs on and off campus. In addition, Extension offices and units, including the Bost Extension Center, the four regional Research and Extension Centers and each of Extension’s 82 county offices, will be closed to the public, with employee-only access until further notice.
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Financial Aid, Enrollment Services staff donate to students through Bully’s Closet and Pantry
Staff members within Mississippi State’s Office of Financial Aid led a team effort to help students in need of food items and other basic supplies, and their effort culminated this week with a donation to Bully’s Closet and Pantry. Director of Financial Aid Paul McKinney said his staff has been meeting weekly on WebEx, and they decided during one of these online discussions to help students facing a difficult time. The Office of Financial Aid reached out to include other units within MSU’s Enrollment Services, including Account Services, Admissions and Scholarships, the Office of the Registrar, and Orientation and Events. “We all worked together to make this successful,” McKinney said.
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Choose healthy coping strategies for stress
When confronted with the need to change or adapt to life’s circumstances, people cope with the resulting stress in many ways. David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the domino effect of multiple changes caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic may result in trauma. “Usually trauma is a major life event that leads to intense stress reactions,” Buys said. “But we are seeing so many changes in such a short time it’s a struggle to manage our feelings and thoughts without falling into anxiety and depression.”
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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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Mississippi State celebrates research success with annual awards recognition
Mississippi State is honoring more than 50 students, faculty and staff for their exceptional contributions to the university’s research enterprise. “The dynamic research activity taking place at MSU makes a tremendous impact on our state, nation and world,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “It is inspiring to see the Bulldog family working every day to solve critical problems and create new knowledge.” David May, professor in the Department of Sociology, is being recognized with the university’s top research honor -- the Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award. “I would like to congratulate Dr. May and all of this year’s award winners,” said MSU Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan.
Bagley College of Engineering honors faculty and staff with year-end awards
The Bagley College of Engineering is honoring seven members of its faculty and staff who have contributed significantly to Mississippi State University’s mission of research, teaching and service. Bagley’s annual awards are presented each year in order to recognize faculty and staff for their accomplishments in the college’s eight departments and multiple research centers. “We have a long list of talented and hard-working faculty and staff within the college and I am happy to be able to applaud this year’s award winners,” said Dean Jason Keith. “Their contributions support a vibrant research community as well as outstanding teaching and service efforts.”
Shaw announces Academic Affairs organizational and role changes
Mississippi State University Provost and Executive Vice President David R. Shaw last week announced several organizational and role changes for the Division of Academic Affairs. He said over the last nine months he has received extensive feedback from direct reports and Robert H. Holland Faculty Senate leadership and now is restructuring the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President “to optimize talents with responsibilities and functions.” Specifically, he said he expects better alignment to improve the office and make it more service oriented. He said he has worked to accomplish these changes while creating no new positions and saving money everywhere possible.
Peterson contributes to significant cotton genomics study published in Nature Genetics
A new study from a Mississippi State University faculty member and colleagues from around the world shares new insights into the genomic similarities between wild and domesticated cotton, information that can help improve resistance to adverse conditions in the crop. The study was published last week in Nature Genetics. Among the authors is Daniel Peterson, director of MSU’s Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology and a professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. In the study, Peterson and other authors describe the genetic sequencing and comparison of all five AD polypoid cotton species, which includes the two main species of commercial cotton grown worldwide.
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