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Mississippi Political Collections to dedicate Pickerings' papers
The Mississippi Political Collections unit of the Mississippi State University Libraries will host a public ceremony on Friday [March 31] commemorating the formal opening of the papers of Judge Charles W. Pickering and his son, Congressman Charles W. "Chip" Pickering Jr. The ceremony, scheduled for 2 p.m. in Mitchell Memorial Library’s John Grisham Room, will feature a panel discussion including former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and former two-term Gov. Haley Barbour, moderated by MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter. All students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome.
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Baldwin and Reichert support renewed DOE-funded efforts on bioenergy and biproducts innovation
Two Mississippi State researchers will continue to support a national initiative on bioenergy and bioproducts thanks to a new round of funding announced this month by the U.S. Department of Energy. The DOE renewed the University of Illinois-based Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation for another five years. MSU’s Brian Baldwin, a professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and Nancy Reichert, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will continue their work as lead scientists in the center’s feedstock production research area. The team is using the “plants as factories” paradigm, in which biofuels, bioproducts and foundation molecules for conversion are grown directly in crops that are resilient and productive.
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Water Warriors: MSU research lab and student organizations host outreach for local students
Students from Starkville Oktibbeha School District’s West Elementary received first-hand experience in water research thanks to Mississippi State University’s associate professor and research associate from the Watersheds and Water Quality Research Lab in the Richard A. Rula School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. John Ramirez-Avila, Sandra Ortega-Achury and students from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Soil and Water Conservation Society and Engineers Without Borders, hosted a Teaching Water outreach event for the fifth graders. “It was a really great experience for the kids, and at the end of the day, we sat down and asked them questions about what they learned, and they really participated in that,” Ramirez-Avila said. “There’s nothing better as a researcher and teacher than to have students engage with you, and that’s what these students did.”
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Nominations for Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards due April 1
Mississippi State’s Staff Council is seeking nominations of outstanding employees for the annual Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards through 11:59 p.m. April 1. Twelve selected honorees will be announced at the annual Junction luncheon, scheduled for 11 a.m. May 19. They will receive a plaque of recognition along with a $1,000 check from MSU President Mark E. Keenum. The honors are a memorial to the university’s 15th president Donald W. Zacharias. To be eligible for the award, nominees must be classified as a professional or support staff employee, be in good standing, work at least half-time, have a minimum of three years service and have never been a recipient of the award.
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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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Du named MSU’s 2023 SEC Faculty Achievement Award winner
Qian “Jenny” Du, a distinguished professor in Mississippi State’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is MSU’s 2023 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award winner. Du holds the Bobby Shackouls Endowed Professorship in MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering and is recognized as a leader in the field of remote sensing, where she has made significant advancements in the area of hyperspectral image exploitation. “Dr. Du epitomizes all the qualities of the exceptional teacher-scholar for which this award has been established,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said.
Womack confirmed as State Chemist by Mississippi Senate
Mississippi State University’s Erika Womack has been confirmed as the State Chemist by the Mississippi Senate. With Senate confirmation on March 23rd, Womack will continue to lead the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, a state agency housed on the MSU campus that provides testing and analysis services on products sold in the state for a wide range of stakeholders. “I appreciate and share the Senate’s confidence in Dr. Womack to fulfill these duties and continue the vital operations of the Mississippi State Chemical Lab. Erika and her team work to ensure the integrity of products that we use every day in Mississippi,” said MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development Julie Jordan.
College of Arts and Sciences honors current and retired faculty with spring awards
Mississippi State’s College of Arts and Sciences is spotlighting eight current and one retired faculty member for their scholarly commitments to the university with the Robert E. Wolverton Legacy Award and six research and teaching awards. Created in 2014 in honor of Wolverton, an MSU professor of classics for more than four decades, the Wolverton Legacy Award recognizes faculty, staff and friends who have made long-term contributions to the College of Arts and Sciences and have advocated the ideals of liberal arts education. The 2023 Robert E. Wolverton Legacy Award winners include Adele Crudden, John Forde and Kimberly Walters.
IHL approves first doctoral program at MSU-Meridian
Mississippi State University-Meridian received approval for its first doctoral program and an additional healthcare program at last week's meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. The board approved both the Doctor of Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration degree programs, extending the university’s growing commitment to meeting critical healthcare needs of the region. “I am excited about the opportunity these programs present in helping us continue to address what matters in our state and community,” said Terry Dale Cruse, associate vice president and head of MSU-Meridian. “Local commitments of funding and clinical support to launch these programs has been overwhelming.”
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