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Extension's Bensaid named to national committee
A Mississippi State University Extension instructor has been selected to a national Extension Foundation committee focused on improving mental health. Bobbie Jo Bensaid recently joined the foundation’s Mental Health and Well-Being leadership team. Based in the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, she collaborates with other Extension professionals across the U.S. to share resources and publicize mental health services and events. Bensaid said the group highlights non-clinical, prevention-based work being done in the allied areas of mental health and well-being, facilitates the sharing of resources, informs members of upcoming events, and explores ways that Extension professionals can collaborate more effectively.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Kase Kingery
Although a native Mississippian, Kase Kingery’s position as an Extension associate has taken him to towns he had never visited -- or even heard of -- until recently. “I really enjoy working with people across the state,” said Kingery. “I’m learning more about local government now than I ever realized possible, and I’m becoming a more active member in my community as a result.” Mississippi has 800 rural public water systems and nearly 4,000 board members who oversee those systems. As an Extension associate with the Center for Government and Community Development, Kingery oversees the state-mandated training for the board members of water systems serving populations of less than 10,000.
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DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Penny Rachal
Penny Rachal said working at Mississippi State University over the past 24 years has provided opportunities for growth and advancement. “I’m grateful for the educational opportunities to obtain long-term goals, a bachelor’s degree in 2012 and a master’s in 2021,” said Rachal. “If I did not have a career at MSU Extension, I probably would be still working on or given up on those goals.” After working as an office associate for 19 years, she became an Extension agent in Adams County in 2018 and now helps others achieve their goals. As an Extension agent, Rachal serves clientele in the areas of 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences, and community resource development. One of the many groups she works with is the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, and her favorite memory is the sewing project with the group.
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‘American exceptionalism’ conversation opens 2023 Institute for the Humanities season
Mississippi State University’s Institute for the Humanities kicks off its 2023-2024 season this week with an in-depth discussion on American exceptionalism from the Civil War era through present times, led by Associate Professor Andrew F. Lang, a Civil War expert in MSU’s Department of History. The Tuesday [Sept. 19] event -- “Understanding American Exceptionalism from the Civil War to Today” -- will be held at 2 p.m. in the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library Auditorium, on the fourth floor of Mitchell Memorial Library. The event is free and open to the public. Lang will offer insights into his book, “A Contest of Civilizations: Exposing the Crisis of American Exceptionalism in the Civil War Era,” a 2021 University of North Carolina Press publication and finalist for the 2022 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. He will take questions following the talk.
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MSU authors confront global challenges, discuss solutions through fall Faculty Book Talk series
Mississippi State faculty members will tackle issues ranging from remote warfare to underrepresentation in public relations to the biology of wetland plants in this semester’s MSU Faculty Book Talk series hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences. Free to all, the first talk is 3:30 p.m. Wednesday [Sept. 20] in Mitchell Memorial Library’s John Grisham Room and will include a public reading and book signing. Peter DeGabriele, an associate professor in MSU’s Department of English, will present selections from his recently released University of Virginia Press publication “Drone Enlightenment: The Colonial Roots of Remote Warfare.” His book delves into drone warfare and questions about responsibility, war and sovereignty. “The MSU Faculty Book Talk series hopes to highlight and celebrate academic books and the MSU faculty who write them,” said Eric Vivier, MSU associate professor of English and series director.
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SMART Business Act proof-of-concept funding application now open
The SMART Business Act proof-of-concept funding application is now open. The SMART Business Accelerator Initiative provides proof of concept funding to support the development of Mississippi State University intellectual property into products and services. Grants up to $85,000 per project may be used by public universities or affiliated university research corporations to validate the commercial viability of state-owned intellectual property through activities such as the development of early product concepts, conducting proof-of concept studies and manufacturing prototypes. Preference will be given to teams already working with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach, the Office of Technology Management, or InnovateMS to protect and commercialize an innovation, but is not a requirement.
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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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MSU named ‘Great College to Work For’ eight years in a row
For the eighth consecutive year, Mississippi State University has been honored as an exemplary employer by the Great Colleges to Work For recognition program. The latest results released last week in a special insert of The Chronicle of Higher Education are based on survey feedback from MSU employees. “This honor is especially meaningful because it reflects the voices of Mississippi State’s faculty and staff,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “They are committed to creating a world-class learning environment for students, including the largest freshman class in MSU history. Our ability to provide a workplace that inspires excellence is essential in carrying out our mission of teaching, research and service.”
MSU-Meridian announces $1 million grant for health care simulation
Mississippi State University has received more than $1 million from AccelerateMS’s Nursing and Allied Health Grant Program. Grant funds will be used to construct an interprofessional simulation space on the university’s evolving health sciences campus in Meridian. This facility will prepare future physician assistants, mental health providers and social workers, as well as support curriculum needs of the university’s proposed Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program. “We are honored AccelerateMS recognizes the impact our health sciences programs have on the vital medical community in Meridian. Furthermore, this grant expands the university’s ability to take care of what matters through our innovative Master of Science in Nursing pre-licensure program,” said Terry Dale Cruse, associate vice president and head of MSU-Meridian.
Mississippi State signs MOU with Korea Institute of Science and Technology
Mississippi State University leaders are marking a new partnership with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. A delegation from the Korean research institute is in Starkville last week to explore potential collaborations and learn more about MSU’s capabilities, particularly related to advanced composite materials. The two institutions held a ceremonial signing for a memorandum of understanding to promote education and research collaborations. “It is exciting to showcase our capabilities in advanced composite materials with a leading international institute in this field,” said MSU Advanced Composites Institute Director Chris Bounds.
Foundation’s Bjorkman named associate director, corporate and foundation relations
The Mississippi State University Foundation is announcing Lilly Bjorkman as the new associate director of corporate and foundation relations. as associate director of corporate and foundation relations, Bjorkman joins veteran fundraiser Alex McIntosh, director of corporate and foundation relations, to focus on engaging with corporate and foundation friends and partners to advance the university. Corporate and private foundation support typically contributes a critical portion of funds the MSU Foundation raises annually, and many corporations match their employees’ gifts to MSU.
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: September 18, 2023Facebook Twitter