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Franz selected for new administrative role of academic quality director
A Mississippi State professor serving the university for almost 20 years in teacher education is a new administrator in the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. Dana Franz, a Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education faculty member in the College of Education, has been appointed OIRE director of academic quality. Most recently serving as an associate vice president intern in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, Franz will work in the new OIRE position to lead academic programs’ continuous improvement cycle, the general education review for the university, as well as other curricular improvement projects and activities.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Lindsey Gregg
Lindsey Gregg has only worked for Mississippi State University since May, but she is quick to tell everyone how much she loves working here. “I have a magnificent work family,” Gregg said. “When I need a hand, my coworkers are quick to help me and teach me new things.” As the admissions assistant in the clinical sciences department, Gregg is responsible for communicating with clients and working with doctors when patients come in for routine care, specialty care, or emergencies. Gregg is the link between clients and doctors no matter the situation and that requires focus, patience, and a great attitude.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Lora Leigh Patridge
Lora Leigh Patridge is passionate about teaching students enrolled in the veterinary and veterinary technician programs at the College of Veterinary Medicine. As a certified veterinary technician, Patridge is responsible for assisting veterinarians with patients and performing various technical health procedures, including handling animals, drawing blood, and giving medication. “After working at a veterinary clinic, I knew that this was what I wanted to do the rest of my life,” she said. “I knew I wanted to help animals.” The job can be stressful, pointing out that animals who need care aren’t always perfect patients. That’s why she says patience is an important trait for certified veterinary technicians. That patience should be paired with good training as well.
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Chamberlain creates open-access journal to share analyses on capitalism
James Chamberlain, an associate professor in Mississippi State’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration, has created an open-access journal -- Emancipations, a journal of critical analysis -- as a venue for “the intellectual critique and social criticism of capitalism.” The first edition was posted in August. Chamberlain credits MSU Mitchell Memorial Library staff Julie Shedd, coordinator of digital initiatives and web services, and Mary Ann Jones, an associate professor of library services, with helping him navigate the logistics through Scholars Junction for the international journal. “To date there have already been 591 article downloads from 49 countries,” Chamberlain said.
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October is Faculty Athletics Month with special events for faculty and staff
To show appreciation to members of Mississippi State University’s faculty and staff and recognize their role as a part of winning the national championship, the university is planning special events to celebrate this accomplishment and designating October as Faculty Athletics Month. Activities planned for faculty and staff begin with a National Championship Trophy photo-op at the Home Plate entrance to Dudy Noble Field on Monday [Oct. 4] from 4:30-6 p.m. Faculty and staff are invited to bring their phone and family for a picture.
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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 Monday [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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Employees should review coverage in preparation for benefits open enrollment in October
Mississippi State University faculty and staff should review their existing coverage in preparation for benefits open enrollment during the month of October. You may review your current coverage and deductions in your MyState account. The HRM website provides an overview of benefits. You may access our website at https://www.hrm.msstate.edu/benefits. Open enrollment is for the election of new coverage and changing or dropping existing coverage. The appropriate form(s) must be completed and submitted to your Benefits Specialist no later than Friday, October 29, 2021. If you do not want to add additional coverage or make changes to your existing coverage, no further action is required for your benefits to continue in 2022.
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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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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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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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Rai leading NSF-funded effort to boost computational molecular sciences education
A professor in Mississippi State’s Bagley College of Engineering is leading a National Science Foundation-funded effort to enhance computational training in molecular sciences. Neeraj Rai, Ergon, Inc. Distinguished Professor in MSU’s Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, is the principal investigator on an approximately $1 million NSF grant to establish an Institute for Computational Molecular Science Education, which will help train the next generation of molecular scientists and engineers in the computational techniques such as molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo methods, data science and machine learning that are defining the future of the field.
Tang earns NSF CAREER award for research into artificial intelligence
An assistant professor in Mississippi State’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has earned the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation. Bo Tang has earned a $500,000 grant from the NSF to study the lifelong learning capabilities of artificial intelligence systems. The goal of the research project, titled “Career: Towards Biologically Inspired Lifelong Learning with Multimodal Association,” is to develop an artificial intelligence that better accumulates knowledge and learns multimodality association. Tang joins a list of recent Mississippi State engineering faculty to win the CAREER Award. Recent recipients of the honor include Jean Mohammadi-Aragh, Ali Gurbuz, Wenmeng “Meg” Tian and Neeraj Rai.
Webster secures National Science Foundation grant for synthetic fuel research
A National Science Foundation award worth $712,000 will support a Mississippi State chemistry professor’s research as he works toward the goals of reducing greenhouse gasses and producing synthetic fuels by capturing energy from sunlight. Charles Edwin Webster, professor and associate head of the chemistry department, is collaborating with Elizabeth Papish of the University of Alabama and Jared Delcamp of the University of Mississippi on the three-year grant titled “Collaborative Research: Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Pincer Catalysts Using Ruthenium and First Row Metals for Carbon Dioxide Reduction.” “We can use the sun to take carbon dioxide and make fuels for our energy needs,” Webster said. “Using sunlight to create fuels as stored chemical energy available on demand is an ultimate goal.”
Brown awarded endowed faculty fellowship for College of Arts and Sciences
Mississippi State Professor Michael E. Brown, a longtime faculty member in the university’s Department of Geosciences, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Charles L. Wax Endowed Climatology Faculty Fellowship -- the first fund of its kind for the College of Arts and Sciences. Endowed in December 2020 with a $100,000 gift from former MSU student Bruce Thomas -- who today is the chief meteorologist for the News-Press Gazette TV station in Saint Joseph, Missouri, and a consultant for Weather2020 -- the fellowship is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Charles L. Wax, a former geosciences department head and faculty mentor for both Thomas and Brown. In addition to celebrating the fellowship, Thomas also was on campus in recent days as an Alumni Fellow.
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