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College of Veterinary Medicine awarded $3.3 million NIH grant for chemical antidote research
A Mississippi State William L. Giles Distinguished Professor with a long history of chemical antidote research is leading a newly funded $3.3 million project aimed at identifying better therapeutic medical countermeasures to protect the brain against chemical threats. Janice Chambers, director of MSU’s Center for Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, is receiving the new U01 grant, which is the university’s third award through the National Institutes of Health CounterACT program. The five-year Optimization U01 grant is titled “Optimization of Substituted Phenoxyalkyl Pyridinium Oximes as Therapies for Organophosphate Poisoning.” Co-investigators include CVM faculty and staff Matthew Ross, Robert Wills, Edward Meek and Alicia Olivier.
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MSU leads new $1.7 million research project to help disadvantaged communities confronting wildfires and related cascading hazards
An interdisciplinary team led by Mississippi State researchers is receiving a $1.7 million grant to better equip emergency planners and other stakeholders to reduce the vulnerability of disadvantaged communities to the impacts of wildfires and related cascading hazards such as mudslides, landslides and flooding. The three-year funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the Cyber-Physical Systems program, which is a joint program with the National Science Foundation’s Smart and Connected Communities program. MSU’s Farshid Vahedifard, CEE Advisory Board Endowed Professor in the university’s Richard A. Rula School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is the lead principal investigator. Other MSU researchers include Alireza Ermagun, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, as a co-principal investigator, and Diego Thompson, assistant professor of sociology, as senior personnel.
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MSU researchers think ‘outside the block,’ win big at MDA V-Quad competition
For a team of Mississippi State researchers, concrete design isn’t set in stone. Jilei Zhang, Warren S. Thompson Professor of Wood Science and Technology, and a team of MSU Department of Sustainable Bioproducts researchers have rethought the material’s design and cemented their product’s status by participating in the Mississippi Development Authority’s inaugural V-Quad competition, a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored initiative to boost innovation in the state’s energy and agriculture sectors. Last month, Zhang’s team won $7,500 during the “Pitch in the V-Quad” competition with his patented technology using bio-based waster material to produce graphene for concrete production. In addition to Zhang, MSU researchers on the technology include Xuefang Zhang, assistant research professor, and Jason Street, associate professor, both in the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center. Collaborators include the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory.
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Kent Sills celebrated with Band Hall naming, special halftime recognition
A legend of Mississippi State’s Famous Maroon Band is being remembered and celebrated with the naming of the university’s Kent Sills Band Hall. Band alumni, current members, university employees, retirees and friends of the late Kent Sills, director of bands from 1983-1999, paid tribute to the former MSU professor and founder of many MSU music education programs during a building dedication ceremony on Sept. 10 sponsored by the MSU Foundation. MSU President Mark E. Keenum commemorated the naming of the Sills Band Hall on Hardy Road by applauding the former director for his commitment to excellence. “To this day, Kent Sills remains a legendary figure at Mississippi State for his many contributions, not just to music, but the entire university,” Keenum said. “There’s no better way to recognize his passion for music, music education and teaching than by adding his name to this facility.”
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MSU Class Ring Days coming up Sept. 27-Oct. 1
The class ring tradition is a great way to show the world how you are a proud alumnus or alumna of Mississippi State University. The unique design makes it an easily recognized symbol that links all generations of Bulldog graduates, whether from two or sixty-two years ago. This year's MSU Ring Days are coming up Sept. 27 through Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hunter Henry Center. If you are unable to purchase your ring in person during Ring Days, you are welcome to place an order for your ring at any time by contacting the MSU Alumni Association. If you have any questions or would like to order your MSU Class Ring today, please contact Jordan Ramsey at jramsey@alumni.msstate.edu or 662-325-7000.
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Applications open for 2022 university teaching awards
The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President is now accepting applications for the 2022 Grisham Master Teacher Awards, Donald Zacharias Early Career Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Awards and the MSU Alumni Association Graduate and/or Professional Teaching Awards. Interested faculty must submit an electronic application in PDF form to the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President at grishamaward@provost.msstate.edu by October 21, 2021 if their teaching can only be observed in the Fall 2021 semester or by November 18, 2021 if their teaching can be observed in the Spring 2022 semester. All current full-time faculty members at Mississippi State University with the required years of service, regardless of rank, are eligible to apply for these awards. Late applications will not be accepted.
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Faculty and staff invited to learn more about Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research opportunities
The Office of Research and Economic Development invites faculty and staff to the following seminar: Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research: Research Resources and Funding Opportunities, featuring Dr. Joey Granger, Principal Investigator and MCCTR director, UMMC, on Oct. 4 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. via WebEx. Participants will learn about opportunities for pilot grants, mentor development, and community engagement training supported by a new 5-year NIH-funded partnership between MSU, UMMC, and other universities in Mississippi.
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CDE fall panel series focuses on online teaching and learning
In March of 2020, the entire world got a taste of what it means to be "online." However, long before that time, the world of online learning and teaching has been a thriving campus at Mississippi State University. An upcoming Center for Distance Education panel series will feature various experts about what it truly means to teach and learn online, traditionally, and not just as an emergency measure. Join us to learn about what it means to be online at MSU. Panels will be held in Memorial Hall, Coskrey Auditorium and available via WebEx. Each session will be 2-3 p.m. CST. Visit https://forms.gle/hXTQG3qwRbAxMXmX8 to register.
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ORED adds financial incentive for faculty writing for The Conversation
Mississippi State University's partnership with The Conversation allows faculty to communicate research to a broad audience online at https://theconversation.com/us and beyond. The Conversation publishes faculty-written articles under a Creative Commons license, meaning that other news sources can republish The Conversation’s content. Publishing your work in The Conversation communicates MSU’s scholarly activities to wider audiences and increases the public’s understanding about the types of work being done at MSU. In order to recognize the importance of sharing research with a wide variety of audiences MSU's Office of Research and Economic Development will provide a $500 incentive for any MSU faculty member whose work is successfully published in The Conversation.
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International Institute shares passport reminders
Mississippi State's International Institute is encouraging all students and faculty who are considering travel within the next six months to apply or renew (if needed) their passport now. Current U.S. passport processing times are significantly longer than normal, so it is more important than ever that you plan early. First-time passport applications and renewals are taking up to 18 weeks for routine service and up to 12 weeks for expedited service (additional $60). If you aren't sure if you need to renew your passport, check the expiration date and make sure it is valid for six months after the end of your potential travel dates. Additionally, keep in mind that if your travel requires a visa, you often need to send your passport to the embassy to receive your visa prior to travel.
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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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MSU earns ‘Great College to Work For’ status for 6th consecutive year
For the sixth consecutive year, Mississippi State University has retained its title as one of the nation’s best campus workplaces in the Great Colleges to Work For recognition program. The latest results released last week in a special insert of The Chronicle of Higher Education are based on positive feedback from faculty and staff. “It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized for excellence by the very employees who have carried forward Mississippi State’s legacy as a leading institution of higher learning,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “Their talent and dedication have made all the difference in helping students keep their educational journeys on track, especially during one of the most challenging eras in our history, while upholding MSU’s commitment to teaching, research and service.”
Singh receives Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from ORAU
A faculty member in Mississippi State’s James Worth Bagley College of Engineering is among this year’s recipients of the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards from Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Prashant Singh, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will receive $10,000 in seed money to support his research through the award program, with the $5,000 grant from ORAU being matched by MSU. He is among 35 junior faculty members from ORAU institutions receiving the honor, which aims to support the development of young faculty. ORAU is a consortium of more than 100 universities that provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, health, education and national security. “This award recognizes Dr. Singh’s immense research talent and potential as he continues the next steps in his career,” said Julie Jordan, MSU vice president for research and economic development and ORAU member councilor.
Ezell enters director role with proven leadership, student advocacy in Department of Health Promotion, Wellness
Mississippi State’s Division of Student Affairs is announcing a new director for the university’s Department of Health Promotion and Wellness. Santee Ezell, former assistant director of health promotion and wellness, is now the department’s director, selected by a student affairs-appointed search committee. In this management position, she will administer programming and services of general health education and wellness, and also specific university student health. “We’re delighted to welcome Santee as director of the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness,” said Regina Hyatt, vice president for student affairs. “In her previous roles within the department, Santee has proven to be an effective leader and advocate for all dimensions of health and wellness. She is a strong collaborator and a valued member of our team. I’m excited about her continued leadership on behalf of this department and the Division of Student Affairs.”
RCU's Tedder selected for ASCD Emerging Leaders Program
Mississippi State University Research and Curriculum Unit (RCU) Project Manager Ginger Tedder was recently selected to participate in the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Emerging Leaders Program. Tedder, who joined the RCU in 2020, was one of 24 people selected for the Class of 2021 out of 125 applicants. The cohort includes educators from 12 states, the United Kingdom, Singapore and India. “Leadership is a journey of lifelong learning. I am excited for this opportunity to learn from and grow with these amazing educators, and I look forward to representing the many accomplished Mississippi educators who have been my friends, colleagues and mentors through the years,” Tedder said.
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