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Forest and Wildlife Research Center to lead management of vital coastal forestland
A partnership with multiple conservation agencies is positioning Mississippi State University’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center to manage and positively impact coastal forestland for teaching, research and conservation of this vital ecosystem. The 14,000 acres of bottomland hardwood and upland forests—part of the Coastal Headwaters Protection Initiative—are in Harrison County along the Wolf River, which distributes into the Bay of Saint Louis. The acquisition is made possible through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environment Benefit Fund, Mississippi Forestry Commission, U.S. Forest Service, Nature Conservancy, and Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain. Wes Burger, dean of MSU’s College of Forest Resources and FWRC director, said the partnership will have a substantial impact on coastal conservation.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Valerie Bonner
Valerie Bonner may be new to her position, but her passion for education spans a quarter of a century. As the project coordinator at the Willie Locke Resource and Referral (R&R) Center, Bonner’s responsibilities include establishing and maintaining a resource library and other family enrichment programs specifically to serve the Soria City community. “I chose this job to help enrich the lives of others in a meaningful and impactful way -- what greater reward is there than to be of service to others,” said Bonner. “Making a satisfactory impact in someone’s life gives me great reward of purpose and fulfillment.” The R&R Center is part of MSU Extension and offers support to give high-quality early care and educational programs to serve infant to pre-school age children in the out-of-school setting.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Sherri Lowe
Before visitors walk the trails or view exhibits at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, they are greeted by Sherri Lowe. As the business coordinator, her job extends beyond computer work and financials. From ordering office supplies and items for the gift shop to coordinating events, scheduling meetings and tours, and checking guests in and out, Sherri wears many hats. “At times, my job demands the ability to multi-task,” said Sherri. “As things change often, you have to be willing to go with the changes, and you must be organized in order to multi-task.” One of her favorite parts about her job is talking to visitors and meeting people from all over the world who come to enjoy the tranquil environment nestled in the Piney Woods region of Mississippi.
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Save the date: MSU Staff Conference set for Dec. 12 at Old Main Academic Center
This year’s Annual Staff Development Conference and lunch will be held Dec. 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Old Main Academic Center will offer speakers, skill development, educational panels to help you improve your professional development and more. This conference is open to all professional and support staff at Mississippi State University. Please reserve the date and stay tuned for more information on registration details, as some sessions will have limited seating.
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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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Hyatt earns NASPA Pillar of the Profession distinction for career in student affairs
Regina Young Hyatt, Mississippi State’s vice president for student affairs, will be recognized next year by a top U.S. professional organization for her work in higher education. Hyatt recently earned a 2023 Pillar of the Profession distinction from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators for her career contributions in student affairs. Specifically, recipients are chosen for providing service through regional or national leadership roles within the organization; creating a lasting impact in their professional roles; and demonstrating sustained, lifetime professional distinction in the field of student affairs or higher education in general. In 2015, Hyatt became the first woman to lead MSU’s student affairs efforts when she was named the division’s vice president.
Anderson named dean of Shackouls Honors College
Tommy Anderson is the new dean of Mississippi State University’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College. Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw announced last Wednesday [Nov. 9] that Anderson will permanently assume this role effective Nov. 16, pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning. Anderson has served as interim dean of the honors college since January. “The Shackouls Honors College is a hub of excellence at our university. With more than 2,500 outstanding students who comprise diverse interests and majors but have the common commitment to intellectual inquiry, Dr. Anderson will be both personable and accessible while leading the college to new heights in undergraduate research and opportunities for students to make global connections,” Shaw said.
G.I. Jobs magazine names Locke among select group of ‘Veteran Champions of the Year’
As one of the nation’s most veteran-friendly universities, Mississippi State also is now the home of a “Veteran Champion of the Year.” Brian Locke, MSU’s veteran and military affairs director, is among a select group of 22 nationwide named “Veteran Champions of the Year in Higher Education” by G.I. Jobs magazine. The publication, which features Locke on the cover representing these champions, is a leading source of job opportunities, education and transition assistance for veterans and military service members. Locke, who began his service in the Army National Guard, pointed to those working with him at the center when commenting on the honor. “While a tremendous personal honor to receive this recognition, it is a testament to the dedication and commitment of my staff and Mississippi State in how we care for and support our veterans and other military-connected students,” Locke said.
MSU, MGCCC, state/federal partners celebrate opening of Mississippi Cyber Center
A ribbon cutting held last Wednesday [Nov. 9] marks a new era of collaboration in cybersecurity across the Magnolia State. Officials from Mississippi State University, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, along with multiple state and federal partners, celebrated the opening of the Mississippi Cyber Center. “Cybersecurity is a critical piece of our shared future, regardless of who you are or what kind of business you are in,” said MSU Provost and Executive Vice President David Shaw. “Through the Mississippi Cyber Initiative, we are creating a statewide network that is using unparalleled collaboration to address these issues head on. I am incredibly excited about the impact of this facility and the unlimited potential of what we can accomplish working together.”
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: November 14, 2022Facebook Twitter