Follett, Harris named HEADWAE honorees
Student Association President Brett R. Harris, left, and Holland Faculty Senate President Randolph F. "Randy" Follett
Holland Faculty Senate President Randolph F. "Randy" Follett and Student Association President Brett R. Harris are Mississippi State's 2015 HEADWAE faculty and student honorees.
An acronym for Higher Education Appreciation Day, Working for Academic Excellence, the program has been held since 1987. Administered by the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of High Learning, the event annually recognizes individuals on campuses "who have made outstanding contributions in promoting academic excellence."
Joining students and faculty members from 34 Mississippi public and private institutions, Harris and Follett traveled to Jackson last Tuesday [Feb. 17] to visit and tour the State Capitol, where they were recognized formally by the Mississippi Legislature.
The honorees also were recognized at a luncheon at the nearby Marriott Hotel.
Originally from Meridian, Follett is a three-time MSU electrical engineering graduate who has now worked for more than 31 years -- four as an instructor and 27 as an assistant professor -- in his alma mater's electrical and computer engineering department.
System simulation, digital control systems, sonar signal processing and computer-aided control systems analysis and design are among his academic and research fields of interest.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Follett said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve as president of the university's Robert Holland Faculty Senate as well as part of numerous campus groups, including the MSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors, Executive Council, Master Plan Development and Advisory Committee, the Committee on Undergraduate Research and Creative Discovery, Game Day and Special Events Committee and the Athletic Council, among others.
Follett also is actively involved with St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Starkville, where he currently is parish council president and a member of the Knights of Columbus Catholic fraternal organization. He previously served as Boy Scouts of America Den Leader for Starkville's Pack 11 and currently is serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 45.
Whether teaching or advising students, working with administrators regarding policies and regulations, or doing research on technologies that can be helpful to the general public, Follett said "my job at MSU has always been to serve."
"I feel honored to be able to serve MSU in whatever capacity I am able to manage, and am always proud to be able to do anything where I get a chance to represent this university. I am grateful to be able to work here and thankful for this recognition," he added.
A senior management and marketing double-major from Florence, Harris has been actively involved in the university's student government since his freshman year. As a member of the Student Association's Freshman Council, he assisted in planning The Big Event, a university-wide day of community service.
During his sophomore year, Harris served as SA Cabinet Director of Late Night Events and was responsible for coordinating events such as the "On Your Mark, Get Set, Glow!" 5K Run, which raised $12,000 for Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson. Additionally, he served as risk manager, pledge trainer and assistant Derby Days chair for Sigma Chi fraternity.
Before being elected last year to the Student Association presidency, he served as chief programming officer for the SA Executive Council.
"I love meeting new people on our campus every day and having the opportunity to show prospective students the family atmosphere that MSU will offer them," said the son of Harold and Rhonda Harris who also received the 2013 Student Association Presidential Award for being the organization's most outstanding cabinet member.
"There are so many outstanding students on this campus, and to be selected is an amazing honor that I will never forget," Harris said of his HEADWAE designation.
Learn more about the HEADWAE program at www.mississippi.edu/headwae.
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Sasha Steinberg | Public Affairs