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MSU ranks fourth in U.S. academia for supercomputing power
Mississippi State University is again among the nation’s elite in supercomputing power. MSU’s Orion supercomputer is the fourth most powerful academic data center in the U.S., according to rankings released this week by Top500.org. Orion is ranked at No. 68 on Top500’s list of the world’s most powerful computing systems. Managed by MSU’s High Performance Computing Collaboratory, Orion was installed on campus last summer with the support of $22 million in grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. With eight systems listed in the Top500 rankings combining for over 29 million megaFLOPS of processing capability, the state of Mississippi is ranked No. 5 nationally for its supercomputing power. Mississippi trails only California, Tennessee, Texas and New Mexico in this area.
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University issues revised academic calendar for fall
Mississippi State is announcing a revised fall academic calendar, keeping the health and safety of the university family top-of-mind while delivering the highest quality academic experience possible for students. Considering the potential effect of a late fall peak of the coronavirus, the restructured calendar has students beginning classes on August 17 with commencement set for November 25 in Starkville and December 1 at MSU-Meridian. “As we all know, this is an unprecedented time for Mississippi State, and we are taking a proactive approach to designing our path forward. With the directive to resume operations from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, this university has been at the forefront in working to set policies and procedures to best meet the needs of students this fall,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Butch Bailey
Not everyone gets to turn a passion into a career. MSU Extension forester Butch Bailey loves being in the woods and uses his extensive knowledge to help Mississippians through forestry education programs for landowners, loggers, foresters, and 4-H’ers. “I love teaching and seeing the light going on when someone gets it or they figure out how to make more money in their jobs,” he said. “My work varies daily as my role is similar to that of an Extension agent, but with a focus on forestry. I also get to do research and am interested in longleaf pine.” His graduate research focused on forestry best management practices and water quality, specifically the effectiveness of streamside management zones in working pine forests.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Amanda Waggoner
When concerned pet owners need a listening ear and helpful guidance, Amanda Waggoner is a steady presence at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center in Flowood. Part of the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, the AERC provides advanced emergency, specialty, and surgical care, primarily for dogs and cats. She guides clients when they experience an emergency with their pets, answers questions, and offers counsel and consolation when animals pass away. “I like seeing all of the interesting cases that come through the hospital,” she said. “I’m constantly learning things that I didn’t know, even after 20 years’ experience working at veterinary clinics.”
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'Extension Engage!' webinars available on Canvas
Mississippi State’s Extension Service is offering “Extension Engage!” webinars via the Canvas platform. Faculty and staff can access all recorded sessions on Canvas for self-directed study. In-service credit is available for those who watch the videos and complete the related quizzes or assignments for individual sessions. For more information, contact Marina Denny, MSU School of Human Sciences assistant professor, Extension specialist and MSU Extension Apprenticeship Program director, at mdd269@msstate.edu.
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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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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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After nearly 70 years in education, Wolverton announces retirement
Distinguished Mississippi State University Professor of Classics Robert E. “Bob” Wolverton, Sr. is announcing his retirement after approximately 70 years in education. Wolverton, 94, will step down from his full-time role in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures effective June 30. He plans to focus on writing his autobiography and return to MSU classrooms on a part-time basis in future semesters. Wolverton has been a fixture on the MSU campus since coming to Starkville as the university’s vice president for academic affairs in 1977. “I couldn’t have found a better fit for me,” Wolverton said. “I have a wonderful relationship with MSU, the city of Starkville and so many people. I couldn’t have found a better place to develop myself and do things I never thought I would be doing.”
Blackbourn steps down after 15-year tenure as College of Education dean, returns to the classroom in January
Mississippi State’s Richard Blackbourn, who has led the university’s College of Education for 15 years, is stepping back to the faculty and returning to the classroom effective Jan.1, 2021. The announcement was made last week by MSU Provost and Executive Vice President David R. Shaw who commended the longtime dean for his leadership of the college and for his work in preparing highly qualified professionals in the education field. One of Blackbourn’s major successes has been his involvement in the establishment of the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program in 2012. He was a co-principal investigator on the $42 million proposal that established the METP, a joint project with the University of Mississippi that today provides academic and scholarship opportunities to bright students pursuing teacher degrees.
Reddy elected president of Mississippi Academy of Sciences
A Mississippi State faculty member has been elected to lead the Mississippi Academy of Sciences by members-at-large. K. Raja Reddy, research professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, started his term as MAS president July 1. Reddy succeeds LaShan Simpson as president, who transitions to the role of past president within MAS. Simpson is an associate professor in MSU’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and a MAFES scientist as well. As president, Reddy plans to further the state’s conversation on agriculture science and facilitate new student opportunities.
Marcus wins Lifetime Achievement Award from history society
A Mississippi State professor and head of the history department is receiving the highest honor awarded by the Agricultural History Society for his professional influence on the scholarly organization throughout the past 36 years. Alan I. Marcus, an MSU William L. Giles Distinguished Professor, is the 2019 selection for the Gladys L. Baker Award for Lifetime Achievement, announced this month. He will formally accept his award during a 2021 in-person ceremony due to this year’s cancellation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Arts and Sciences Dean Rick Travis said, “The committee recognized Marcus’s myriad of intellectual contributions to the study of agricultural history and its tributary disciplines, as well as his nearly four-decade association with the organization.”
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: July 6, 2020Facebook Twitter