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Lalk awarded regional Rod Nave Award for science teachers
Sarah R. Lalk, an assistant clinical professor in Mississippi State’s geosciences department, is receiving this year’s Rod Nave Award, designated for those who represent a “significant connection between the sciences and the science education community.” Presented to one educator annually by the Southeastern Association for Science Teacher Education, the award was created in 1998 and named for Rod Nave, a Georgia State University physics professor of more than 50 years who developed special classes for science teachers using the latest technologies and emphasizing the conceptual physics approach. The award includes a monetary stipend for educational pursuits.
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Statewide organization names T.K. Martin Center ‘Torchbearer’ honoree for transforming lives
Mississippi State’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability has “carried the torch” for years in championing people with disabilities and working on solutions to transform their lives. That work and the center’s employees who carry it out are being recognized with this year’s Torchbearer Award from the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. The announcement was made recently at the MSCCD annual celebration in Ridgeland. T.K. Martin Director Kasee Stratton-Gadke accepted the honor on behalf of the center in the university’s College of Education. “Accepting the Torchbearer Award is a real honor for the T.K. Martin Center and a testament to our exceptional staff and their work,” she said.
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Phi Kappa Phi wins fifth consecutive Circle of Excellence Award as national model chapter
Mississippi State’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter once again is being nationally honored with a Circle of Excellence Platinum Award from the nation’s oldest and most selective multidisciplinary collegiate honor society. The Platinum Award is the highest PKP honor given to a chapter. The chapter and members have continued to bring recognition to the university with several achievements. Recently, wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture doctoral student Rebecca Bracken was awarded with a PKP national Love of Learning Award; and Professor Missy Hopper, a former PKP national president who also served terms in the president-elect and past president roles, was honored with a named dissertation fellowship.
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MSU Libraries takes Mississippi Republican Party papers online for first time
Historical papers of the Mississippi Republican Party, held by Mississippi State Libraries since 1980, are available online for the first time. A new finding aid -- or descriptive guide -- now helps researchers in electronically examining and understanding the content of the collection which dates back to 1928. Kate Gregory, director of MSU Libraries’ Mississippi Political Collection, said the new online finding aid is “much more user friendly” for perusing the 202 cubic feet of material. MPC gathers relevant materials relating to the state’s political history and the U.S. and makes them available for public use and research. The online site is www.library.msstate.edu/mpc/mississippi-republican-party. “This improvement significantly increases accessibility and discoverability for one of our most unique and comprehensive collections,” she said.
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Mississippi State partners with UMMC to give students additional nursing degree pathway with dual degrees
Mississippi State students choosing to pursue a degree in nursing now have a new route through a partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing that allows completion of an MSU degree in interdisciplinary studies alongside a UMMC nursing degree. MSU Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw said earlier academic matriculation agreements with UMMC have proved beneficial for MSU students interested in medical careers. “This new dual-degree route furthers options for those desiring to enter the nursing profession, which is both in high demand and a source of high-quality employment opportunities,” Shaw said. M.C. Reese, assistant clinical professor and director of MSU’s Dr. A. Randle and Marilyn W. White Health Professions Resource Center, said the agreement is a “wonderful opportunity for our students.”
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Registration for 2022 Staff Development Conference closes Thursday
Registration for the 2022 Mississippi State University Staff Development Conference is open until Thursday [Dec. 1]. Visit https://webapps.its.msstate.edu/staffcouncil/conference to register and view details about the conference. You will receive a confirmation email after you register, and you may change your conference schedule until the deadline. Advance registration for the conference and concurrent sessions is required of all attendees. The conference is a one-day event designed to encourage and support the holistic development and well-being of all MSU staff. It is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Old Main Academic Center. Check-in starts at 7:30 a.m. It is free and open to all professional (executive and managerial) and support staff.
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New search committee training and resources in place
Mississippi State University is announcing a new online training module and handbook for university personnel serving on hiring committees. As part of the hiring process, all search committee members will be required to complete the online training offered through Human Resources Management. It is required for all faculty positions and professional positions that have a search committee. The goal of the training and focus on job search process is to ensure the university is attracting the broadest and most diverse applicant pools possible as the university seeks personnel to fulfill its learning, research and service missions. The training also helps to ensure candidates have a positive experience at all stages of the hiring process.
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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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‘Talent and ideas are everywhere’: Importance of broad research funding highlighted at NSF Day
If the United States is going to continue to grow its research and technological capabilities, ideas and talent from every corner of the country must be incorporated. That was the message from leaders representing the National Science Foundation, U.S. Senate and academia during NSF Day last Monday [Nov. 21] at Mississippi State University. NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan shared details of the NSF’s mission and highlighted the significance of restarting the organization’s NSF Day series in Mississippi. MSU President Mark E. Keenum noted that 17 current MSU faculty members are enhancing their research with funding from the prestigious NSF CAREER Award, one of the top honors that can be awarded to an early career faculty member. With MSU leading 86 active NSF-funded research projects, Keenum said the foundation’s funding boosts MSU’s research capabilities while helping students and faculty thrive.
Rudzin awarded part of $17.5 million to study air-ocean-wave interaction in tropical cyclones
Mississippi State faculty member Johna Rudzin this fall is receiving part of $17.5 million from the Office of Naval Research as a member of the 2023 Young Investigator Program. She is one of 25 recipients sharing the funding to conduct innovative scientific research that will benefit science and technology for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Established in 1985, the ONR YIP is one of the nation’s oldest and most selective basic-research, early-career awards in science and technology. Rudzin said the award helps kickstart new faculty careers by providing opportunities to conduct cutting-edge research and gain national recognition in recipients’ research areas as outstanding early career scholars.
Chrisman, Du listed among most cited researchers in the world
Two Mississippi State professors have been recognized among the most-cited researchers in the world in the fields of business and economics, and geosciences. James J. Chrisman, the Julia Bennett Rouse Endowed Professor in Management in MSU’s College of Business, and Qian “Jenny” Du, the Bobby Shackouls Endowed Professor in the university’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have been named as “Highly Cited Researchers” in Clarivate Analytics’ 2022 Web of Science citation index. They are listed among 6,938 scientists and social scientists around the world whose papers rank in the top 1% of citations for a field and publication year. Mississippi State ranks third overall in academic research output in the Southeastern Conference based on research expenditures per capita among university faculty.
Faculty and graduate students honored by American Society of Agronomy
The American Society of Agronomy recently recognized outstanding contributions by a Mississippi State University professor and graduate students. L. Jason Krutz, director of the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute and professor in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, is a new American Society of Agronomy Fellow, the highest recognition awarded to members of the esteemed professional society. Nominated by Raja K. Reddy, an ASA Fellow since 2005, Krutz has worked at MSU for 10 years. “Mississippi State was very well recognized at one of the largest international meetings in the world on agriculture,” said Darrin Dodds, head of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. “To now have multiple faculty fellows in this professional society from MSU speaks to the caliber of experience in research, education and outreach in our ranks. That our turfgrass students would garner three of the travel grants speaks very highly of their efforts and the mentorship of their major professors, Jay McCurdy and Brian Baldwin.”
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