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Ervin details threats to wetlands, importance of aquatic plants in new textbook
A new textbook by a Mississippi State University professor of biological sciences highlights the impending encroachment of human activities on wetlands and how aquatic plant life plays an important role in the ecosystem. Gary N. Ervin’s “The Biology of Aquatic and Wetland Plants,” a 2023 CRC Press publication scheduled for release this spring, offers a deep dive into the importance of aquatic plants in the ecosystem and is aimed at courses in plant biology, physiology and ecology. His text focuses on “botanical diversity from the perspective of evolutionary relationships, emphasizing the role of evolution in shaping adaptations to the aquatic environment.”
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Mississippi Philosophical Association annual meeting at MSU to explore understanding and reimagining ways of life
The Mississippi Philosophical Association -- dormant for the past two years because of COVID-19 -- returns this month with its annual meeting featuring noted philosopher Elizabeth Anderson as keynote speaker. The two-day event at The Mill Conference Center in Starkville is hosted by MSU’s Department of Philosophy and Religion. MSU students, faculty and staff are invited to attend Anderson’s keynote address from 4-6 p.m. on March 24. Manuel Rodeiro, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and chair of the event, said he hopes listeners will gain insight into the work of contemporary social/political philosophers in understanding and reimagining ways of life.
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ORED hosting March 21 Symposium on Public Health and Health Sciences Research
The university's Office of Research and Economic Development will host a Symposium on Public Health and Health Sciences Research on March 21 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Ballroom M of the Colvard Student Union. Mississippi State is poised to be a major contributor to important research and outreach priorities among Public Health and Health Sciences funders. Please join ORED, a panel of distinguished guests, and our MSU faculty research colleagues, for a discussion about research in Public Health and Health Sciences. The goals of the event are 1) to be a catalyst for future conversations around the current issues and challenges around several sub-topics central to "health," and 2) to coalesce interest among MSU stakeholders and identify institutional capacities to pursue funding in these areas.
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Center for Teaching and Learning accepting proposals for 2023 Ottilie Schillig Special Teaching Projects Program
Proposals for the 2023 Ottilie Schillig Special Teaching Projects Program will be accepted through March 22. This program provides financial support to encourage new ideas for improving undergraduate teaching. The awards are restricted to projects related to undergraduate instruction and learning with a maximum award of $3,000. Guidelines for submitting a proposal may be found on the MSU Center for Teaching and Learning website at www.ctl.msstate.edu/resources/ottilie-schillig-special-teaching-projects-grants. Proposals must be submitted electronically as a PDF to the CTL by email at SchilligAward@msstate.edu no later than March 22.
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MSU International Institute to host Fulbright virtual campus visit
The Mississippi State International Institute is excited to share that the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program recently opened its 2024-25 competition with more than 400 awards in 135 countries. Included in the awards are opportunities for teaching, researching and conducting professional projects ranging from a few months to one year. For faculty interested in learning more about this year's cycle, the International Institute is hosting a Fulbright staff member for a virtual campus visit on March 28 from 1-2 p.m.
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Nominations for Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards due April 1
Mississippi State’s Staff Council is seeking nominations of outstanding employees for the annual Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards through 11:59 p.m. April 1. Twelve selected honorees will be announced at the annual Junction luncheon, scheduled for 11 a.m. May 19. They will receive a plaque of recognition along with a $1,000 check from MSU President Mark E. Keenum. The honors are a memorial to the university’s 15th president Donald W. Zacharias. To be eligible for the award, nominees must be classified as a professional or support staff employee, be in good standing, work at least half-time, have a minimum of three years service and have never been a recipient of the award.
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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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Wood garners prestigious NSF CAREER award to research hurricanes
Mississippi State’s Kimberly M. Wood is the recipient of a more than $500,000 grant through the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program to study factors that influence weakening of hurricanes. Wood, an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences and an MSU faculty member since 2015, will use the $529,705, five-year award to research previous storms like 2018’s Hurricane Florence before it made landfall in North Carolina. She will examine how hurricanes weaken over the ocean and how those factors might change when a hurricane is near land.
Ural named MSU’s first Frank and Virginia Williams Endowed Chair of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Studies
Susannah J. Ural, a noted Civil War-era history professor and researcher, is Mississippi State’s inaugural Frank and Virginia Williams Endowed Chair of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Studies. The Williams Endowed Chair is a tenured position residing within the Department of History that helps manage the Williams Collection of Lincolniana based in MSU Libraries, which also hosts the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Museum. Ural will continue development of the Frank and Virginia Williams Lectures Series on Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Studies, collaborate with the Grant Library and ensure academic courses have been developed in these respective areas of specialty, utilizing the Williams Collection in concert with the Department of History, African American Studies program and other university units.
Rangappa receives national agronomy Early Career Award
A member of Mississippi State University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences is receiving the American Society of Agronomy’s Early Career Award. Raju Bheemanahalli Rangappa, assistant research professor of crop stress physiology in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, accepted the award at the recent annual meeting of the ASA­ Southern Branch in Oklahoma City. He was nominated for the award by fellow MSU agronomist and W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor Raja Reddy. Rangappa’s work, in partnership with MSU’s Geosystems Research Institute, focuses on identifying phenotypes and varieties for climate-resilient agricultural systems.
Graduate students, Catchot honored at national cotton conference
Six Mississippi State students and a faculty member are recent award winners at the 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conference, known as the world’s largest cotton technology transfer conference. Whitney Crow, assistant professor of entomology, serves as advisor to many of the students. “We are proud to have six students place out of the eight categories we participated in,” Crow said. Angus Catchot, associate director of MSU’s Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and interim head of the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center, was honored with the Excellence in Integrated Pest Management Award recognizing individuals who have made substantial contributions in this field.
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