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National Council on Family Relations recognizes Phillips with Outstanding Paper Award
Tommy Phillips, associate professor in the School of Human Sciences in Mississippi State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, recently received the Outstanding Paper Award for the Religion and Family Life Section of the National Council on Family Relations, or NCFR. Phillips will present the paper titled, “Family Home Evening: Benefits and Challenges,” at this year's NCFR conference, held virtually November 11-13, 2020. The paper focuses on the benefits and challenges associated with families attempting to schedule regular family time together. He said the research was a team effort. "My name is on the plaque, but this is the result of the efforts and contributions of 10 individuals across four different universities. On behalf of my co-presenters and co-investigators, I'm honored to receive this award," he said.
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MSU geosciences researchers partner with UM for Major Research Instrumentation award from NSF
A Mississippi State associate professor of geosciences is partnering with colleagues at the University of Mississippi, and UM is receiving a crucial instrument essential to innovative materials development research thanks to a Major Research Instrumentation award from the National Science Foundation. The Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation is a highly sensitive balance that can detect changes in mass at the molecular level using a quartz crystal, which registers minuscule deviations in frequencies and loss of energy. Rinat Gabitov, MSU associate professor of geosciences, is a co-principal investigator on the award. Gabitov said geoscience researchers at MSU study the geochemistry of waters and minerals at both macro and micro scales. The QCM-D will help these researchers expand existing programs in this field of study.
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Reminder: University policy addresses employee political activity
With Tuesday's [Nov. 3] general election in mind, Mississippi State's Office of General Counsel offers the following reminder 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 OP 01.14: Political Activities in its entirety and to understand their rights and responsibilities.
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COVID-19 prevention measures expand at polls
Mississippians voting in person on Election Day will notice extra precautions in place to ensure the safety of polling locations. Residents should make preparations of their own before they go to the polls to keep themselves and others safe. “Along with your identification and other prepared items you carry when you go vote, bring an extra mask, tissues, sanitizer and your own pen if you can,” said Mississippi State University Extension health specialist David Buys. “Wash your hands or use sanitizer before entering and after leaving your voting place, and stay at least two arms’ lengths away from others as much as possible.”
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Faculty, students and professional staff recognized by Southern Public Relations Federation
Mississippi State University’s Department of Communication is now displaying eight awards from the Southern Public Relations Federation for outstanding work in the public relations field, earning three Lantern Awards and five Awards of Excellence during the organization’s fall conference. “We are so proud of our students and faculty for earning SPRF honors,” said Terry Likes, professor and head of the communication department. “These are prestigious awards as SPRF is well-known in the world of public relations. Many of these winners graduated this spring and already are working in public relations or are in graduate school. It is gratifying to know industry professionals recognize MSU’s PR concentration for its high-quality instruction and award-winning student work.”
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MSU Extension Service office associates stay busy despite pandemic
Staying active and socially involved is not hard during a pandemic when favorite pastimes include outdoor activities and individual hobbies. That’s the consensus of several office associates with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. These administrative professionals work across the state in county Extension offices helping to serve clients who need information, training and resources on a range of topics. Carolyn Reynolds, Extension office associate in Claiborne County, learned to save money in online shopping during the pandemic. “I learned how to stack savings with online purchases,” Reynolds said. “My hobby is shopping, and since I was confined and couldn’t go to the store, I picked up shopping online.” But Reynolds didn’t just stay indoors. She also formed a new habit of walking with her sisters. Now, Reynolds’ 5-year-old granddaughter rides her bike while she walks.
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University offering winter session Dec. 1-Jan. 4
For the first time in more than a decade, Mississippi State University is offering a winter session to help students advance in their academic journeys and earn credits on an accelerated schedule. With the launch of MSU’s comprehensive “Winter Express,” students at every level can choose from an updated, expanded selection of more than 200 online courses that begin Dec. 1 and conclude Jan. 4. By enrolling in Winter Express, students can get a head start on the spring 2021 semester, finish core course requirements, take classes within majors, or pick up extra credits to accelerate graduation. They also can explore new subject areas, concentrate on difficult courses, and benefit from smaller classes taught by MSU’s world-class faculty.
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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 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. The complete policy is available at www.policies.msstate.edu/policy/91301.


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‘Look Up and Look Out’ pedestrian safety campaign launched as fall season brings shorter days, less daylight
“Look Up and Look Out” is a new pedestrian safety awareness campaign at Mississippi State aimed to show students that being more attentive when crossing campus roads can be a life-saving part of their day. The social media campaign, posted by the MSU Division of Student Affairs, begins Nov. 5 and runs throughout the month. “As we transition out of Daylight Saving Time this month, we’re at a good point to bring this campaign forward as the days get shorter in hopes it resonates with student pedestrians -- and also drivers and cyclists -- and causes all of us to be more careful and aware,” said Regina Hyatt, MSU’s vice president for Student Affairs.
University joins national alliance aimed at developing a more inclusive and diverse STEM faculty
Mississippi State University is joining a national effort to develop more inclusive faculty recruitment, hiring and retention practices. MSU is one of 19 universities joining the third Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty cohort. The initiative is led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and is funded by the National Science Foundation. “In a state as diverse as Mississippi, and on a campus that is among the most diverse in the Southeastern Conference, we must do everything we can to ensure our university is as inclusive as possible,” said MSU Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw. “Recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and staff members is a vital component of our campus culture.”
Wang researching fusion energy science with U.S. Department of Energy grant
A Mississippi State professor of physics and astronomy is receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to study fusion energy science -- specifically magnetized dust plasma -- widely considered by the scientific community to be one of nature’s most complex subjects. Professor Chuji Wang’s proposal, “Optical trapping and manipulation of single particles for MDP,” received a 24-month, $214,000 grant, one of four DOE-funded programs currently in progress. “This award is just the beginning,” said Giselle Thibaudeau, associate dean for research in MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, noting Wang’s research is intended to investigate how experimental techniques can be used to manipulate and study a single dust particle within magnetic plasma.
Department of Poultry Science adds biosecurity level 2 research laboratory
Mississippi State University’s Department of Poultry Science is now equipped with a new laboratory for conducting biosecurity level 2 research. The Animal BioSafety Level (ABSL)-2 facility, which opened last month, provides a distinctive setting for investigating and conducting research on pathogenic bacteria that affects the poultry industry. Mary Beck, professor and poultry science department head, said the ABSL-2 lab enhances the department’s commitment to serve the Mississippi poultry industry through the land-grant mission of education, research and outreach.
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