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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Edicarlos Batista de Castro
Edicarlos Batista de Castro is an Extension Associate in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Mississippi State University specializing in program planning, conducting scientific studies, communicating results, and locating and acquiring funding. He assists in the oversight of undergraduate student projects, and he teaches as well. “Since my childhood in Tres Pontas in the Minas Gerais state in Brazil, I helped my parents in jobs related to agriculture,” he said. “This made me want to work with plants and be able to contribute to the development of agriculture.”
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Ronnae Redmond
As a 4-H agent in Warren County, Ronnae Redmond plans programs for the young people in her community. Klub 4 Kids is one of the programs she really enjoys. “The pandemic has affected my ability to see the kids, but we are able to navigate and stay connected to the 4-H’ers through zoom meetings, social media and emails,” she said. She strives to help people understand more about Extension, the services available to the public, and how Extension helps connect people with the information they need. One of the most popular Extension programs in Warren County is the Master Gardeners program.
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USDA grant to support scientific exchanges, African Union food safety programs
A new grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service will facilitate scientific exchanges between Mississippi State University and key partners in Africa to support food, plant and animal safety programs. The $974,000 grant focuses on establishing and harmonizing regulations put forth by the African Union’s Continental Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee by developing knowledge, support and leadership in stakeholders. “This project is a great example of the role MSU plays in working to ensure a safe and abundant global food supply,” said MSU Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan.
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Raspet leads way for UAS to fly during icy conditions
Mississippi State engineers in the university’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory are spearheading research that could make unmanned aircraft systems operational by the U.S. government as well as civilian aviation in icy conditions. MSU is leading an icing system development and technology team in what the U.S. Department of Defense hopes will result in lightweight anti-icing systems, leading to certification for UAS to operate in forecasted icing conditions. The DOD recently awarded $5 million for this effort that also includes the university’s aerospace engineering department and several industry partners. “Our innovative approach allows us to replicate the most severe in-flight icing conditions without traveling to cold and remote areas,” said Tom Brooks, Raspet interim director.
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Campus Services plans power assurance test for early Tuesday morning
On Tuesday, MSU Campus Services will conduct the annual Power Assurance Test of the Generation Plant to verify its ability to operate during a prolonged area-wide power outage. Power will be shut down and taken off the Starkville Utilities’ system at 3:30 a.m. and will be off for up to 60 minutes until power is restored by the MSU Power Generation Plant. Over the next three and a half hours, the MSU Facilities Management personnel will operate the 26 Megawatt turbine system through various generation modes, verifying the system’s proper operation during an extended outage. During this testing, further outages are unlikely but may occur. Normal utility power will be restored from Starkville Utilities’ system before 7:30 a.m.
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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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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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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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MSU, MGCCC partner on ag science pathway
Mississippi State University and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College are creating new academic opportunities for students in agricultural science. MSU President Mark E. Keenum and MGCCC President Mary Graham signed a memorandum of understanding last week at MGCCC’s George County Center to establish a pathway for students to earn an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree in the field of agricultural science. “We are proud to once again partner with MGCCC to offer new degree pathways for students,” Keenum said. “This pathway prepares students for a wide range of careers in agriculture, the leading economic sector in our state. It will also benefit our state as a whole as we work together to shape the next generation of the agricultural workforce and its leaders.”
Pierce receives national recognition with second career Pushcart Prize
A Mississippi State professor of English is the recipient of a second Pushcart Prize, a prestigious national literary award, for her poem “Entreaty.” Catherine Pierce also received a 2018 Pushcart Prize for her poem “I Kept Getting Books about Birds.” The Pushcart Prize is open for nominations in short stories, essays, memoirs, stand-alone excerpts from novels, translations, reprints, as well as traditional and experimental writing. “Entreaty” originally was printed in 32 Poems, a magazine known for publishing work by winners of honors such as the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, MacArthur Genius Grant and Poets Laureate. “Winning a second Pushcart is as much of an honor and thrill as winning the first one,” said Pierce, who is co-director of MSU’s creative writing program.
Barrett named chair of regional board
A Mississippi State University Extension Service water quality specialist has been named 2020 chair of a regional professional and trade association. Jason R. Barrett, an assistant Extension professor in the MSU Water Resources Research Institute, is now chair of the Alabama/Mississippi Section of the American Water Works Association, or AWWA. This organization is an international nonprofit scientific and educational society dedicated to the improvement of drinking water quality and supply. Founded in 1881, the AWWA is the largest organization of water supply professionals in the world. It includes experts from more than 4,000 utilities that supply water to roughly 180 million people in North America.
Buys elected to national board
A Mississippi State University Extension Service specialist has been elected to the National Board of Public Health Examiners board of directors. David Buys, Extension health specialist and associate professor in the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, will serve on the board for two years. Established in 2005, the National Board of Public Health Examiners offers certification to ensure public health professionals have a sound knowledge base and skill set relevant to today’s public health issues. The board is an independent organization.
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: December 7, 2020Facebook Twitter