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Thorat, HASTAC scholars focus on digital humanities projects as part of national collaboration
Dhanashree Thorat, an assistant professor of English, this semester helped two Mississippi State University English majors become cohorts in the HASTAC Scholars program -- Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory -- a national interdisciplinary student-driven community of graduate and undergraduate students connected through an academic social network. Thorat selected and mentored JaKara A. Singleton, a junior from Jackson, and Cheryl S. Zant, a junior from Columbus, two of approximately 100 students chosen nationwide for the HASTAC Scholars program, created in 2002 as a collaboration of scholars working at the intersection of technology and the humanities to critically consider social dimensions of technology and learning.
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MSU increases number of university teaching awards
The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President at Mississippi State is pleased to announce an increase in the number of university-wide teaching awards, effective immediately. Sufficient funds are now available to make up to three John Grisham Master Teacher Awards, which was the original intent of the program. The Mississippi State University Alumni Association has agreed to fund up to two awards for Outstanding Graduate Teaching. The Donald W. Zacharias Endowment will fund three to four awards for Early Career Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching. “Mississippi State University is blessed with an abundance of genuinely outstanding teachers among our faculty,” said MSU Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Libby Durst
Libby Durst works as a research associate for the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at the Prairie Research Unit in Monroe County. She supervises her team members, works with the beef research herd, and performs tasks related to budget management, inventory control, and asset management. Her role includes guiding team members toward completion of their goals by establishing priorities and assigning responsibilities. In addition to preparing the cattle for projects, she supports the resident scientist’s research projects by assisting in tasks such as project planning and data collection.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Stephany Mays
Stephany Mays developed a special interest in biology -- specifically, the study of cells -- early in her life, and she uses her skills and education to help pathologists diagnose animal diseases. In a process called histology, she studies the tissues that come from necropsies. Her favorite part of the job is being able to solve problems for her clients and watching pathologists diagnose diseases based on her hard work. “Since I began here almost 20 years ago, I have had the opportunity to watch the development of new technology,” she said. “I love that I am in a position to gain new knowledge and information.”
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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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Web links are subject to change. Submit news, questions or comments to Jim Laird.
Grice named executive director of NSPARC
Steven Grice has been named executive director of Mississippi State’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, or NSPARC. Grice, an MSU alumnus who has spent over a decade at NSAPRC, has led the research center on an interim basis since last spring. MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan announced last week Grice’s permanent appointment. “I consider myself fortunate to be able to lead such a talented group of people at NSPARC,” Grice said. “The center is home to an endless amount of creativity and enthusiasm for problem-solving."
National ‘excellence in teaching’ award presented to Owen Nagel
Mississippi State University faculty member Athena Owen Nagel is the recipient of a University Professional and Continuing Education Association national award for her innovative and dedicated distance learning teaching methods. UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing and online education. Owen Nagel, an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Geosciences, will formally accept her 2021 UPCEA Excellence in Teaching Association Award at the national UPCEA conference, held virtually this April. In 2020, Owen Nagel received UPCEA’s Professional, Continuing and Online Educator Award for the South Region. She also received the 2020 Online Teaching Award from MSU’s Center for Distance Education.
Philosophy and Religion department faculty, student represent MSU as 2021 William Winter Scholars
A Mississippi State University associate professor of religion and senior philosophy major with a religion concentration are representing the university as 2021 William Winter Scholars. Selected by the College of Arts and Sciences for his research on environmental justice, Joseph D. Witt was MSU’s faculty scholar at the recent 32nd Annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration. This year’s virtual event titled “Southern Environments” aimed to share “the richness of scholarship in the humanities” while attracting nationally known scholars to Mississippi. Witt chose Collierville, Tennessee, native Hallie E. Green as the student scholar representative.
Extension horticulturists receive regional honors
Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel were honored in February for their work in support of horticultural science. The Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science presented awards to Eric Stafne, Gary Bachman, Christian Stephenson, Christine Coker, Jim DelPrince, Shaun Broderick and Jeff Wilson. Typically given at the organization’s annual meeting, the awards were presented this year virtually via videoconference. The annual awards recognize, encourage and celebrate the outstanding achievements of its members in 14 Southern states, including Mississippi.
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: March 8, 2021Facebook Twitter