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MSU horticulture experts to hold book signings, holiday décor demonstrations in Meridian, Starkville
Mississippi State University horticulture experts will spread holiday cheer with book signings and floral design demonstrations in Meridian and Starkville this week. The authors of “The Promise of Good Things – Floral Design for the Fall and Winter Holiday Season” will share their expertise at the Bulldog Shop and Coffee Counter at MSU-Meridian’s Riley Campus from 2-3 p.m. on Friday [Dec. 10], and at the Barnes and Noble bookstore on MSU’s Starkville campus on Saturday [Dec. 11], from 1-2 p.m. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at both events. Produced by the MSU Extension Service, the book is a catalogue of floral design ideas for the fall and winter holidays. With decorations from baskets to wreaths to centerpieces, readers can find plenty of inspiration to spruce up their holiday settings. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at both events.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Stacia Johnson
As a Head Start teacher, Stacia Johnson is responsible for the day-to-day instruction of the 4-year-olds in her Biloxi classroom. She makes sure they are engaged in activities that nurture their curiosity and love for learning, as well as making sure they feel safe while advancing physically, socially, and cognitively. She says teaching is something she’s always known she was created to do. “Some people have a certain career in mind when they are younger and that changes as time goes on,” Johnson said.” But for me, teaching has always been a passion of mine, and I knew that would never change. I’ve had many teachers throughout my life that taught me so much and want to apply it in my daily life. I’m the teacher I am today because of my former teachers.”
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Julie White
For Julie White, teaching children about farming is second nature. She is the coordinator of the FARMtastic program and liaison for the GrOW, or Gardening and Overall Wellness, program with the Starkville Oktibbeha County School District. As a farmer herself, she is well-suited to educate Mississippi’s children about agriculture. “In our family, farming is more than just a tradition,” White said. “It is truly a way of life. There is nothing better than watching baby calves run across the pastures. My husband and I are raising our children the way we were raised. We are teaching our children how to take care of the land and animals that have been entrusted to them.
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FOX Weather establishes scholarship for meteorology students
A recent partnership with FOX News Media will benefit students studying meteorology in Mississippi State University’s Department of Geosciences through newly created scholarship opportunities. The commitment from FOX Weather, a network subsidiary, has established the FOX Weather Endowed Scholarship and the FOX Weather Annual Scholarship to further increase diversity and expand opportunities for academic success in the field of meteorology. In addition to the scholarship, FOX Weather also will provide an internship position along with a dedicated mentor for recipients throughout their college experience. The inaugural FOX Weather scholarship recipient will be awarded for the 2022-23 academic year.
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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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University celebrates commencement this week
Mississippi State is announcing plans for fall commencement exercises to be held on the university’s Starkville and Meridian campuses. The Starkville campus will host two ceremonies -- 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. -- on Friday [Dec. 10] in Humphrey Coliseum. MSU-Meridian will celebrate commencement at 11 a.m. Thursday [Dec. 9] at the MSU Riley Center. Those who wish to watch these events remotely can do so via the MSU TV Center’s livestream at https://livestream.com/mstv/live and the MSU Facebook page at www.facebook.com/msstate. MSU is requiring all unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth. Fully vaccinated individuals are highly encouraged, but not required, to wear facial coverings. University leaders planning for the ceremonies said many elements of past graduations will be the same this fall; however, ongoing guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic are requiring several adjustments to the conventional program.
Four faculty-led projects receiving funding for research to advance diversity and inclusion
Mississippi State’s Office of Research and Economic Development and the Division of Access, Diversity, and Inclusion are supporting four faculty-led research projects as part of an internal program that supports new research and creative activities that contribute to the understanding of racial equity. Research funded by the program is designed to identify, study or remediate factors that contribute to racism, bias or inequities. Faculty members receiving funding through the program include Zaccheus Ahonle, Elaine Wei, Rachel Allison, Qiana Cutts and Sumedha Therthani. For more on the ORED and ADI research program, as well as other sources of internal research funding from ORED, please visit www.research.msstate.edu/initiatives/internal-funding.
Grady and Seitz help veterinarians aid clients in decision-making for furry friends
Published this month in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, research from two Mississippi State faculty members details a newly devised tool targeted at helping veterinarians tailor their communication to clients as they make medical decisions for their pets. Jesse G. Grady, an assistant clinical professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Holli H. Seitz, an assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ communication department and a faculty fellow in the Social Science Research Center, co-authored the article, “Measuring veterinary client preferences for autonomy and information when making medical decisions for their pets.” The open-access article in the flagship veterinary journal examines developing and testing a new instrument -- a reliable questionnaire -- veterinarians can use to assess how much clients want to participate in shared decision-making related to their pets’ health and well-being.
Zhao recognized by IEEE PES for volunteer efforts
Junbo Zhao, an assistant professor of electrical & computer engineering, was recently awarded the Outstanding Chapter Volunteer Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Power & Energy Society. Zhao was recognized by the Mississippi chapter for his efforts in promoting activities, increasing visibility and membership and educating the next generation of power engineering students. “Serving our power and energy community is always a great pleasure,” Zhao said. “I am pleased that the activities and impacts that I brought could really benefit people. It is a great honor to be recognized by IEEE PES, and I will continue to better serve our community.”
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