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Mississippi Horse Park’s Rotary Classic Rodeo wins regional ‘Justin Boots Best Footing Award’ for second consecutive year
Through a 20-year partnership between Mississippi State University, the city of Starkville and Oktibbeha County, the award-winning Mississippi Horse Park has become a nationally recognized destination for hundreds of diverse events, from roping and barrel racing to concerts and garden expos. For the second consecutive year, the Horse Park’s Rotary Classic Rodeo is receiving the first-place Justin Boots Best Footing Award for the Southeastern Circuit. The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association honor recognizes rodeo committees in each of 12 designated rodeo circuits for their efforts in ensuring safe, consistent ground conditions for all rodeo livestock, specifically barrel racing horses.
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$2.5 million DOE grant to help researchers measure benefits of growing trees for biofuel
A $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy will benefit Mississippi State researchers in the university’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center studying the economic and ecological benefits of growing trees for biofuel production. The DOE funding will help MSU scientists study how to produce better, hardier hybrid poplars and eastern cottonwoods harvested for biomass energy. The team also will quantify the ecosystem services these fast-growing trees provide. Assistant Professor Heidi Renninger in MSU’s College of Forest Resources is the project’s principal investigator.
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Existing telework agreements set to expire; new agreements required for 2021
The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President reminds all Mississippi State University employees that Telework Agreements implemented in 2020 will expire at the end of this year. If any employee in your department plans to continue to telework, a new 2021 Telework Agreement must be completed by the employee and approved by you. Before approving the 2021 Telework Agreement, you should evaluate both the job duties and the ability of the employee to ensure that the essential functions of the job can be effectively performed by the employee from a remote location. Most employees are no longer working remotely and have returned to their physical work locations. If an employee is not performing the same quality of work from a remote location as the employee could perform in the office, a 2021 Telework Agreement should not be approved.
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‘Look Up and Look Out’ pedestrian safety campaign launched as fall season brings shorter days and 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, runs through the month of November. Injuries, and even fatalities, are caused by three main violations on campuses across the nation. These are failing to use marked crosswalks, not looking up from cell phones and not looking out for cars, motorcycles and bicycles. “Look Up and Look Out” also includes the placement of campaign signs at campus crosswalks during November, social media videos and graphics, and a new website at www.lookup.msstate.edu.
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Construction: Use caution at the intersection of Bailey Howell Drive and Lee Boulevard
The intersection of Bailey Howell Drive and Lee Boulevard is now a four-way stop as part of the East Road (Bulldog Way) construction project. Caution should be given to the new south leg of the intersection, which will serve as the primary entrance for construction traffic entering the road site. New traffic signals will be installed over the next several months and, as the construction process will allow, be turned on with full intersection function and use expected in September 2021. To increase safety and notification, existing traffic signals are operating in a blinking red condition in an effort to start the all-stop pattern. The blinking red will continue until the stop signs are installed and signals removed.
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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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Testing waivers for Graduate School, College of Education continue into new year
As prospective college students continue to navigate admissions and enrollment processes in a relentless and lingering pandemic, Mississippi State continues its student support into the new year with testing waivers. Students applying to MSU’s Graduate School will have the GMAT and GRE tests waived in many of the university’s on-campus and online programs. Also, those applying for entrance into many of the College of Education’s teacher training programs or working toward teacher certification will have testing waived as defined by the Mississippi State Board of Education.
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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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Corey named interim chief human resources officer
Leslie M. Corey, a veteran leader in Mississippi State’s Human Resources Management department, has been named the university’s interim chief human resources officer. MSU Provost and Executive Vice President David R. Shaw said Corey’s leadership “will bring stability and innovation to the university’s vital human resources activities.” “Leslie’s years of experience in HRM will enable her to be effective on the first day, and I have great confidence in her ability to take care of our faculty, staff and students,” Shaw said. Corey has served since 2006 as senior human resources generalist and more recently as deputy director for Human Resources Management at Mississippi State.
Brooks named interim director of Raspet Flight Research Lab
An engineer with decades of experience in the design, testing and certification of aircraft systems is now leading Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. Tom Brooks is the interim director of the university’s distinguished research center focused on unmanned aircraft systems. Since 2018, Brooks has served as Raspet’s chief research engineer. Prior to joining MSU, Brooks spent nearly 30 years in leadership positions at Texas aerospace company Bell Textron. During his career at Bell Textron, Brooks led the team responsible for certifying the world’s first commercial fly-by-wire rotorcraft. In addition to industry awards, he has several patents and patents pending for work related to advanced flight control systems.
Rangappa honored by Association of Agricultural Scientists of Indian Origin
Raju B. Rangappa, an assistant research professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in Mississippi State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, received the Early Career Agricultural Scientist Award from the Association of Agricultural Scientists of Indian Origin, or AASIO. Rangappa was honored at the AASIO’s annual meeting, held virtually on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 as part of the Tri-Society annual conference of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America.
MSU, Mississippi SBDC partner to provide cybersecurity resources and support
With more small businesses moving parts of their sales and operations online, a new initiative from Mississippi State and the Mississippi Small Business Development Center is providing cybersecurity resources and support to the state’s business owners. The MSU Small Business Development Center Cybersecurity project brings together the resources of the university’s Small Business Development Center and MSU’s Center for Cyber Innovation to give business owners the information they need to make cost-effective cybersecurity decisions. “MSU has a long history of supporting Mississippi small businesses and a reputation as a national leader in cybersecurity,” said MSU College of Business Dean Sharon Oswald. “I am incredibly proud that we can merge these two areas and create an invaluable resource for our state."
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: November 23, 2020Facebook Twitter