Benjy Mikel to lead international efforts

A respected researcher and campus administrator is assuming a new role at Mississippi State.

William "Benjy" Mikel has been named Associate Vice President for International Programs and Executive Director of the university's International Institute (AVP-IP/ED-II). He will begin his role May 20, pending formal approval of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Mikel is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, Director of the Food Science Institute, Principal Investigator for the Office of Nutrition Education Program and Interim Head of the Department of Poultry Science at MSU. He currently oversees unit budgets exceeding $10 million with approximately 130 faculty and staff and more than 275 undergraduate and graduate students.

He has an outstanding international and national record of achievement in food science, extension and industry service. He has been involved in more than two dozen international ventures, both in-country and domestically. His accomplishments include various multistate project developments in extension and research, and he is well known throughout the food industry.

As AVP-IP/ED-II, Mikel will be responsible for fostering and providing oversight to the international academic, research and outreach activities in support of the vision of MSU administration, faculty, and staff in the goal of promoting and expanding the institution's global visibility and activities. This comprehensive international program will be consistent with MSU's strategic planning, stakeholder needs and its land-grant mission.

The new International Institute will house and/or coordinate international programs at MSU including the Office of International Programs, Study Abroad, and the International Services Office. The units within the International Institute will report to Mikel. He will be responsible for leading the team that helps guide MSU's administration in the delivery of services to members of the university community participating in international research, outreach and academic activities.

Mikel currently serves as the President of the American College of Animal Sciences, President-elect of the American Meat Science Association, past-president of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists Department Heads and past faculty advisor for the Institute of Food Technologist Student Association. He also serves as technical advisor to numerous associations and organizations. He has been awarded the AMSA Extension-Industry Meritorious Service Award and inducted into the Food Systems Leadership Institute as one of only 25 members nationwide.

Mikel will report jointly to the Provost and Executive Vice President, the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

Jim Laird | University Relations

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