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College of Arts and Sciences announces 2020 faculty award winners
Mississippi State’s College of Arts and Sciences recently announced four new recipients of the Dean’s Eminent Scholar Awards honoring “exceptionally meritorious faculty who have achieved national recognition and enhanced the quality and stature of academic programs.” “It is one of the personal highlights of my year when I get to present these awards on behalf of the Dean’s Office. They are all worthy recipients,” said CAS Dean Rick Travis in recognizing the 2020 winners. Honorees are John E. Forde, professor of communication; Rinat I. Gabitov, associate professor of geosciences; Andrew F. Lang, associate professor and graduate coordinator for the history department; and Julius A. Nukpezah, assistant professor of public policy and administration.
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Arts and Sciences Ambassadors select 25 faculty for 'excellence in teaching' awards
The Mississippi State University College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors created a new award to honor excellence in teaching for faculty who “eased the burden” COVID-19 restrictions placed on students in 2020. “This is a new award that CASA chose to create this semester,” said Hannah Bateman, admissions coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences and advisor to CASA. “In our ambassador meetings, we talked about the frustrations they were experiencing. The ambassadors wanted to recognize the professors who really helped them during the fall semester. They were aware that professors were in the same boat as them and this award was a way to focus on the positives and say thank you.”
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MSU congratulates third annual Community Engagement Award winners
Mississippi State is recognizing four outreach projects with the university’s third annual Community Engagement Awards. Two awards -- winner and honorable mention -- are given in four categories. These include community-engaged research; community-engaged teaching and learning; community-engaged service; and scholarship of engagement. Winning projects receive $3,000, and honorable mention projects receive $750 to further community-engagement activities. Recipients are selected by MSU’s Center for Community-Engaged Learning, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, Office of Research and Economic Development, and the Division of Student Affairs.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Tammy Layton
Tammy Layton is a nutrition educator with the MSU Extension Service Office of Nutrition Education who teaches local children and adults about healthy eating habits. When she first took the job, she could not have predicted the grocery store conversations in her future. “After a lesson about dairy products and calcium, I was in the store and a little girl came up to me and asked about the skeleton I use as a teaching prop. ‘How is Mr. Bones, is he drinking his milk?’ she asked. Her mother walked over and wanted to know who Mr. Bones was, because that was all her daughter could talk about. After she realized Mr. Bones wasn’t a real person, the mom was excited too. Her little girl could remember how many bones there are in the human body.”
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: La Cheryl Love
La Cheryl Love works for the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences as a childcare assistant where she supports teachers by providing quality care to each child. She engages in fun activities with the children, assists in anything the teacher or children need and writes daily reports. “My favorite aspect of my job is knowing that each day is going to bring something exciting with the children as I watch them grow, learn and develop,” La Cheryl said. “I recently ran into a parent and child who was in my class a few years ago, and it was so exciting to see how that child has grown.” Despite the challenges of the pandemic, La Cheryl said working in childcare is very rewarding to her because her ultimate goal is to keep every child well and safe.
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MSU-Meridian announces inaugural class of new Master of Physician Assistant Studies program
Twenty students comprising the inaugural cohort of Mississippi State University’s new Master of Physician Assistant Studies program reported last week for orientation at MSU-Meridian’s Riley Campus. These students are among over 250 applicants and 50 finalists who vied for limited slots in the state’s only publicly funded PA program. The program achieved Accreditation-Provisional status, the initial phase of accreditation for all new programs granted by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, or ARC-PA, in October 2020. In addition to Mississippi natives, the inaugural class includes students from six other states across the country.
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MSU Extension Service launches new 4-H center
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is launching a new Extension Center for 4-H Youth Development to grow the next generation of leaders. This name change leverages current funding and restructuring of existing positions to allow for greater support and service to Mississippi’s young people. 4-H provides nonformal youth development education across the state for 8- to 18-year-olds through programs delivered locally by Extension agents and registered 4-H adult volunteers. “Renaming the office and program furthers our strategic goal of expanding outreach and engagement while adhering to Extension’s core values,” said Extension Director Gary Jackson.


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Veteran MSU faculty member tapped to lead MSU-Meridian’s Division of Business
A veteran Mississippi State University faculty member has been tapped to lead the Division of Business on the Meridian campus as of Jan. 1. Rebecca Long, professor of management in MSU’s College of Business, joined the university in 1999 and has spent the past 21 years on the university’s Starkville campus. In addition to teaching and conducting extensive research on family business succession, she also served administratively in the Graduate School. “I am excited about the insight and experience Dr. Long brings to our campus, and I anticipate continued growth in our local Business division,” said Terry Dale Cruse, associate vice president and head of campus at MSU-Meridian. The joint appointment was announced by Cruse and College of Business Dean Sharon Oswald.
Bethel named interim director of Social Science Research Center
A distinguished Mississippi State faculty member is now leading the university’s Social Science Research Center. Cindy Bethel, Billie J. Ball Endowed Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, has been named interim director of the SSRC, MSU Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw and Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan announced last month. Longtime SSRC Director Arthur Cosby, a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Sociology, has retired after leading the center since 1985. “I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. Cosby for his longtime service to MSU as director of the SSRC,” Jordan said. “I appreciate Dr. Bethel taking on this leadership role as we begin the search for a new director."
Angle joins fundraising staff
Mississippi State is welcoming David Angle as the university’s new director of development for the College of Architecture, Art and Design. The Tallassee, Alabama, native began his duties with the MSU Foundation fundraising staff in December. “We are pleased to welcome David to our team of development professionals,” said Jack McCarty, executive director of development for the MSU Foundation. “He brings 30 years of professional experience in providing leadership, building relationships with donors and volunteers, and raising money for special projects -- all of which will be beneficial to his duties to advance the College of Architecture, Art and Design and our university.”
Veteran marine scientist named co-director of two MSU research institutes
A marine scientist with extensive research and leadership experience will become the new co-director of the Northern Gulf Institute, a NOAA Cooperative Institute, led by Mississippi State. He will also serve as an associate director of the university’s Geosystems Research Institute. Paul F. Mickle comes to MSU from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources where he has been the chief scientific officer since 2017. Mickle will assume his research institute responsibilities and serve as the new technical lead at MSU’s Science and Technology Center located at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. “In just the past six years alone, Dr. Mickle has developed and acquired more than $7 million in research funded programs,” said NGI and GRI Director Robert Moorhead.
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