Rodgers to serve Geosciences as interim head

John Rodgers

Veteran Mississippi State professor John Rodgers has been appointed interim head of the Department of Geosciences.

With more than 15 years of teaching at MSU and conducting physical geography and geographic information system research, Rodgers’ emphasis on maintaining excellence within the department will be his focus during his tenure as interim department head.

“As interim, I am excited to work with the faculty, staff and students. This university has been very good to me during my time here, and I look forward to giving back,” Rodgers said.

“This is an excellent department, and I am pleased to have this opportunity to lead it,” he said.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Rick Travis said because the geosciences department is “a rather complex unit,” offering numerous courses from the undergraduate through Ph.D. levels, “we needed someone with a familiarity of the department and with the ability to work effectively in a team-based environment.”

The geosciences department has the largest distance education student base at the university --over 400 students -- and a graduate program with more than 200 students.

“John has been well-exposed to a variety of issues that all department heads face,” Travis said. “He has taught a wide range of courses, both face-to-face and distance, and he truly understands the complexities of the department.”

Rodgers has served as the geosciences undergraduate coordinator, chaired the department’s curriculum committee, served on the Holland Faculty Senate and has been a member of numerous college and university committees. Additionally, he was the recipient of the 2014-2015 College of Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year award.

Rodgers is a 1991 graduate of the University of Tennessee in biology, earned his master’s degree in botany from UT in 1994, and his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Georgia in 1999. He spent three years as a professor of geography at the University of New Orleans before joining the faculty at MSU in 2001. He has approximately 30 publications to his name.

Students at MSU may rotate through Department of Geosciences for courses such as climatology, geography, geology and meteorology, to name a few. The geosciences program provides unique contributions in the areas of weather, environment, natural resources and distance learning.

With more than 5,000 students, the College of Arts and Sciences is both the land-grant institution’s largest and most academically diverse academic entity, with geosciences among its 14 departments.

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Sarah Nicholas | College of Arts and Sciences

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