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MSU Psychology Clinic holds open house Sept. 10

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 13:55

Contact: Allison Matthews

STARKVILLE, Miss.—It’s available, affordable and effective, and the staff touting it are ready for Starkville, the Golden Triangle and Northeast Mississippi to take advantage of it.

The Mississippi State University Psychology Clinic offers services not widely available within two hours travel time from Starkville, according to licensed psychologist Arazais Oliveros, an MSU assistant professor who directs the clinic.

The clinic will host an open house Sept. 10 from 4-7 p.m. to showcase its new location on campus at 70 Morgan Ave. The event also will observe National Recovery Month and World Suicide Prevention Day. For more, see http://www.recoverymonth.gov/about and https://www.iasp.info/wspd/.

“We aim to make connections with MSU students, faculty, staff, as well as members of the surrounding community,” Oliveros said, adding that she would like to increase visibility of the clinic services.

Payments are charged on a sliding scale based on income. Although the clinic does not accept insurance, the staff is willing to work with clients to ensure they are able to receive the care they need.

“We’re local, and we’re affordable,” said Michael R. Nadorff, an assistant psychology professor who also provides services at the clinic.

Services are provided by licensed clinical psychology faculty at MSU, as well as graduate students who are closely supervised by the faculty. All staff are bound by confidentiality in protecting healthcare information.

MSU psychologists on staff at the clinic focus on a variety of specialty treatments for all age groups, including: parent training and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, sleep disorders, suicidal behavior and geropsychology; aggressive behavior, self-injury and substance abuse; panic and anxiety disorders; behavioral and motivational issues with children and adults. Additionally, there is a trained expert in psychological diagnoses on staff.

“Our clinic is unique in that it provides empirical services in a rural area,” said assistant psychology professor Sam Winer. “Empirical treatments are those that have research showing that they work. We’ve received national recognition for doing treatments that work, and we will continuously evaluate those treatments.”

Because the clinic is staffed with psychologists, not psychiatrists, staff cannot prescribe medications. However, MSU Psychology Clinic experts can work with doctors or other medical professionals if prescription treatments are determined to be an effective course of action in addition to therapy, Oliveros said.

The clinic is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Clinic holidays coincide with those of the university calendar, to which the general public can link at www.msstate.edu.

For more information about the clinic, visit http://clinic.psychology.msstate.edu or call 662-325-0270.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

 

MSU student fashion designer receives national recognition

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 12:19
Taylor Howell’s award-winning ensemble is modeled by Brittany Henderson, also a senior MSU human sciences fashion design and merchandising major.

Taylor Howell’s award-winning ensemble is modeled by Brittany Henderson, also a senior MSU human sciences fashion design and merchandising major.

Contact: Vanessa Beeson

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An Alabama senior at Mississippi State is beginning the 2015-16 school year with a major fashion design award.

Taylor M. Howell of Fayette is a fashion design and merchandising major in the School of Human Sciences of the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Her entry took Best of Show honors in the undergraduate division of the recent 2015 Apparel, Textiles and Design Community Juried Showcase and Exhibition.

The competition was part of the Virginia-based American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences’ 106th annual conference. Some 700 professionals, educators, students and others took part in the Jacksonville, Florida, gathering. 

“The AAFCS is the organization that accredits clothing, fashion, apparel, design, textile and merchandising curricula throughout the U.S.,” said MSU professor Phyllis Bell Miller.

Miller, a veteran faculty member in the School of Human Sciences, said Taylor’s entry was a two-piece set with a cropped top and a circular skirt made from upcycled coffee filters, dryer sheets and teabags. The unconventional creation debuted during last year’s MSU Trashion Show that featured clothes constructed from recycled material, she explained.

An MSU President’s List Scholar, Howell said, “This was the first project I saw through from design to completion. The concept was very different, so I wasn’t expecting to win.

“Placing first encouraged me in my work,” she continued. “It was a big honor to see my ideas recognized as good for the future.”

Miller commended Howell’s dedication to the creative process. “Taylor is a wonderful example of a student who really pushed herself and embraced the process instead of cutting corners,” she said.

Miller also said Howell clearly has taken to heart advice she continually emphasizes in her classes. “I stress doing the best that you can, learning the most that you can and, as a result, producing the best product that you can,” Miller said.

Miller said Howell’s most recent accolade “further demonstrates the integrity and excellence of our program.” Additionally, she noted that another Howell creation had won first-place honors in the garment manufacturing category of the 2014 Cotton Incorporated Fashion Show held on campus. 

Senior Brittany L. Dowell of Vicksburg also was entered in the 2015 AAFCS competition. She and Howell became the first duo from Mississippi State ever to compete at the same event, Miller said.

During last year’s Cotton Incorporated Fashion Show, Dowell, also a President’s List Scholar, won first place in the fabric-design category. Like Howell, her design entry was completed in Miller’s class.

For more about MSU’s fashion design and merchandising academic concentration, visit www.humansci.msstate.edu.  

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

University’s SRC researchers part of study published in Science

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 16:46

Contact: Alan Burns

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State University’s Social Relations Collaborative is part of a large psychology reproducibility study published this past week in Science magazine.

The SRC, a unit of MSU’s nationally recognized Social Science Research Center, participated in the global endeavor that sought to replicate 100 findings published in three prominent psychology journals. The results of this review study appeared in the Aug. 28 issue of Science.

The collaborative is led by Colleen Sinclair, associate psychology professor, and Rebecca Goldberg, assistant counseling and educational psychology professor. They are assisted by undergraduate students Mallorie Miller, Taylor Ritchey, Emily Bullard, Jeri Champion, Mitchell Gressett. Graduate students include Sining Wu, Dominique Simmons, Jessi Dillingham and Chelsey Hess.

The study, which includes a replication conducted at Mississippi State, was conducted by 270 researchers on five continents and attempted to address one of the four tenets of the Scientific Method, reproducibility.

“I was always taught that the four central tenets of Scientific Method were falsifiability, measurability, generalizability, and reproducibility,” Sinclair said. “Neglecting the latter seems like building a table with only three legs.”

The results of the study show that the independent researchers were able to replicate less than half of the original findings. This result may call into question the validity of some scientific findings, but may also point to the difficulty of conducting effective replications and achieving reproducible results.

“We believe that replication is indeed a unique contribution to current professional literature and should be viewed as such,” said Goldberg. “There are certain journal editors who do not care to publish replication projects and certain social scientists who think that replication is unnecessary; however we stand behind reproducibility as being necessary for social science and providing unique contributions.”

The article goes beyond simply calculating an initial estimate of the rate of reproducibility in psychology. It also identifies indices by which reliability studies might be predicted; including the effect size and size of the p-value.

While less than half of the original findings were replicated, it is important to note that a failure to reproduce does not necessarily mean the original report was incorrect. These results should also not be taken as evidence of psychology as a poor science.

“Rather, the fact that we are engaging in this self-examination shows that science is working as it should,” Sinclair said. “Validation of findings should not stop at publication. We need to test, and we need to retest.”

Failure to replicate could be due to three basic reasons. First, though most replication teams worked with the original authors to use the same materials and methods, small differences in when, where or how the replication was carried out might have influenced results. Second, the replication might have failed, by chance, to detect the original result. Lastly, the original result might have been a false positive.

“Open science is critical to the future of research; our ultimate goal is to increase transparency in science and the benefits therein can have great impact on social science in particular,” Goldberg said.

The Social Relations Collaborative has been an integral part of this ongoing program studying reproducibility.  This special issue details the involvement of the SRC in the first phase of the Reproducibility Project. The Social Relations Collaborative plans to continue work to improve openness and reproducibility within psychology. The SRC has joined another collaboration with the Center for Open Science examining some of the practices certain journals have already put in place to improve transparency in research.

Also, to complement their participation in the broad-and-shallow method of testing reproducibility (i.e., many labs individually testing separate studies) employed by the present Science publication, the SRC has also joined forces with the Association for Psychological Science to use a more narrow-and-deep approach (i.e., 10 labs testing one study).

“We believe science is at its best when collaborative and open.  We look forward to further representing Mississippi State as a part of this movement to reinforce the integrity of science,” said Sinclair.

For more information on the SRC, please visit http://advancedsocialpsychlab.weebly.com/. Sinclair can be reached at 662-325-9166.

MSU formulating plans to enhance campus security

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 16:06
After a review of Mississippi State University’s response to a potential active shooter threat last week, MSU President Mark E. Keenum met with other university officials and area law enforcement agencies to formulate a long-term plan to enhance safety and security at MSU – a plan the president called “TLC” – training, locks and communications. MSU Physical Plant staffers Robert Moore, left, and Randal Nickels, right, are shown installing new locks in Carpenter Hall as part of that plan.

After a review of Mississippi State University’s response to a potential active shooter threat last week, MSU President Mark E. Keenum met with other university officials and area law enforcement agencies to formulate a long-term plan to enhance safety and security at MSU – a plan the president called “TLC” – training, locks and communications. MSU Physical Plant staffers Robert Moore, left, and Randal Nickels, right, are shown installing new locks in Carpenter Hall as part of that plan. [Photo by Beth Wynn]STARKVILLE, Miss. — During three post-event meetings with senior administration officials, the Crisis Action Team and law enforcement, Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum today announced a new initiative designed to enhance the safety and security of the institution in the wake of last week’s active shooter scare on MSU’s Starkville campus.

“As I said last week, there were no guns, no shots fired and no injuries,” said Keenum. “Our university was very fortunate that last week’s event turned out to be threats by a lone individual, but the very real threat of an active shooter on our campus has shown us ways that we can make our campus even safer from and more responsive to such dangers.”

After the incident, Keenum praised campus and local law enforcement for their “swift response” in apprehending a student who made threats to harm himself and others.

During a meeting on Friday [Aug. 28], Keenum challenged MSU’s Crisis Action Team, the Division of Student Affairs, and other senior administrators to learn from the event and develop new strategies to enhance the university’s security.

Subsequent meetings were held Monday [Aug. 31] between the MSU president and the university’s vice presidents. University leaders also met again Monday afternoon with area law enforcement agencies to seek their input.

Keenum asked all involved for input and innovation from all the groups on three primary initiatives – training, locks, and communications – what he called “TLC.”

“Some of these TLC enhancements will be immediate and some will require additional study. But by addressing additional training for MSU faculty, staff, and students, we can become safer and more efficient in our response,” said Keenum. “This event showed us areas where we need additional locks and better ways to block or barricade interior doors. Finally, we need to take a hard look at new and emerging technologies that will improve how we communicate Maroon Alert emergency messages and how law enforcement communicates with each other and with us.”

University officials agreed the TLC security enhancements should be systematic in nature and undertaken in conjunction with state and federal emergency preparedness guidelines, also with the approval of the local and state fire marshals.

“The highest priority I have as president of this university is the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” said Keenum. “We are always, always going to err on the side of caution in protecting our most precious resource – our people.”

At approximately 10:30 a.m. Thursday, law enforcement officials at Mississippi State arrested a student near McCool Hall that had been described as a danger to himself and others. The student subsequently withdrew from MSU and was transported to a treatment facility in Jackson.

The incident transpired after a telephone to MSU Police from the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol revealed that a student on the Starkville campus was both threatening suicide and threatening to harm others.

After MSU issued a “Maroon Alert” notice at 10:16 a.m., the individual was taken into custody 10 minutes later. Chief Vance Rice said the MSU Police Department deeply appreciated federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that had responded immediately and assisted in arresting the student.

Assisting agencies included the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, Starkville Police Department, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the Mississippi Department of Health, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Classes resumed under normal conditions at 2 p.m. Thursday.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

University-based education research center celebrates 50 years

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 11:23

Contact: Anne Hierholzer

STARKVILLE, Miss.—This month, the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State will mark a half-century of service to the state.

Housed since 1999 under the university’s Office of Research and Economic Development, the RCU is part of the land-grant institution’s mission to help improve the lives of Mississippians through research, innovation and other areas of public education.

The organization’s professional staff focuses on career and technical education that trains secondary and postsecondary students for careers in high-demand industries.

“The RCU has an established track record of working with educators to improve public education in Mississippi,” said David Shaw, MSU vice president for research and economic development.

“They are to be commended for their decades of service to the students of Mississippi, and I look forward to their many accomplishments in the years to come,” Shaw said.

The RCU traces its history back to 1963 and congressional passage of the Vocational Education Act that many regard as a primary impetus for reawakening interest throughout the U.S. in what was then called vocational education.

With an emphasis on learning that leads to employability, the then-Research Coordinating Unit for Vocational-Technical Education was established 1965. After three years of wide-ranging discussions with educational leaders at all levels, leaders and staff members of the unit began writing new curricula for Mississippi’s career and technical education programs.

During succeeding decades, the RCU concentrated on addressing a theory-practice gap by linking research results with curriculum development. During this time, it also developed customized training programs for emerging areas of industry and implemented a training program for new CTE teachers who were skilled in their fields but often lacked a traditional teaching background.

In 2001, a grant from the Mississippi Department of Education enabled a unit assessment team to begin overseeing statewide assessments for secondary and postsecondary CTE students. The team since has developed, administered and reported on all state secondary and postsecondary assessments in that academic field.

“We at MDE strongly value our longstanding partnership with the RCU, and we congratulate them on their 50 years of service to our state,” said Mike Mulvihill, the Mississippi Department of Education’s career and technical education director.

“We look forward to continuing our work with them to bring innovation and rigor to our state CTE programs,” he added.

RCU director Julie Jordan said her organization also has collaborated with other state agencies and regional organizations on numerous programs and initiatives over the years. She noted that the RCU broadened its longstanding partnership with MDE in 2013 to encompass training, evaluation and research across a variety of public education initiatives.

While the RCU maintains a core focus on CTE curriculum, assessment and professional development, Jordan said it has expanded into such areas as innovative school models, statewide educator-evaluation models and performance-based compensation.

“Since our founding in 1965, the RCU has come a long way,” she said. “Our work to expand and improve CTE education in Mississippi is ongoing, and we continue to collaborate with educators and leaders across the state to bring innovation to public education.”

She and the staff are “proud of all we have accomplished, and we continue our mission to ensure that every Mississippi student graduates ready for college, career, and life,” Jordan emphasized.

For more information on the RCU, visit www.rcu.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

 

 

Mississippi State Trial Gardens to present 'Autumn Window Boxes' workshop

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 16:38

The Mississippi State Trial Gardens will present a workshop on "Autumn Window Boxes" on Sept. 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Dorman Hall greenhouse on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville.

Faculty, staff and students, as well as member of the surrounding community, are invited to learn how to decorate and care for fall container gardens. Participants will be able to make their very own fall container masterpiece to use in their own home during the fall season.

Registration is $20 and space is limited. For more information, please contact Kandiace Gray at ekg19@msstate.edu, or find the gardens on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mstrialgarden.

You can also register online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/autumn-window-boxes-tickets-17809698287.

Lights, camera, action! MSU Television Center now features HD set

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 15:40
Mississippi State’s Office of Agricultural Communications films its first Farmweek episode since the completion of the University Television Center’s new high-definition studio. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Mississippi State’s Office of Agricultural Communications films its first Farmweek episode since the completion of the University Television Center’s new high-definition studio. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s Television Center now is home to a high-definition studio that will better assist the state’s largest higher education video production facility.  

“Using the innovative set construction methods of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Gelbach Designs, we were able to work together to create a new look that specifically caters to high-definition programming, and we were able to do it in a very cost-effective manner,” said David Garraway, the center’s director.

Twenty percent larger than its predecessor, the new set features state-of-the-art, energy-efficient lighting and three high-definition monitors that allow for high-end motion graphics to be presented, Garraway said.

The newly renovated space also enables TV Center staff to utilize its six-foot camera crane for moving shots and dynamic camera angles.

 “Our clients have many, many different needs, audiences and styles, and we feel that the look of the new set really pushes the TV Center into the 21st century, but also gives our clients a more flexible environment in which they can create productions that suit their needs,” Garraway emphasized.

He also expressed appreciation for the support of the university’s Facilities Management division and Office of Agricultural Communications in making the set redesign project a reality. OAC, the TV Center’s primary client, will continue using the set to produce Farmweek for the MSU Extension Service.

 Airing Saturdays at 6 p.m., Farmweek is the state’s oldest and only locally-produced agricultural television news show that broadcasts statewide 52 weeks a year on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. To view the latest edition of Farmweek, visit http://bit.ly/FarmWeekNewSet.

The University Television Center is part of MSU’s Office of Public Affairs. MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter said the new set “gives MSU one of the finest on-campus facilities of this nature in the Southeastern Conference.”

“As MSU enters a new era of marketing and branding, this facility will enable us to produce high quality videos, live satellite feeds and in-depth university programming,” said Salter. “I’m proud of what this upgrade represents for the future of the University Television Center.”

Garraway said the university’s communication department also will be using the new set for its advanced television production classes.

An open house celebrating the TV Center’s studio renovation takes place Sept. 18 from 3-5 p.m. at the Wise Center. All are welcome, and refreshments will be served.

Located at 240 Wise Center Drive, MSU’s Television Center offers broadcast-quality educational, marketing and promotional projects for both traditional and new media. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information, visit www.utc.msstate.edu or call 662-325-1332. Garraway also may be reached at david.garraway@msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Health Equity Cross-Campus Interest Group to meet Wednesday

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 15:34

Faculty, staff and students at Mississippi State are invited to the semester's first meeting of the Health Equity Cross-Campus Interest Group with special guests Corey Wiggins and Buddy Daughdrill on Wednesday [Sept. 2] from noon to 1 p.m. in 210 Lloyd Ricks Watson Building.

Wiggins, the director of the Mississippi Economic Policy Center (MEPC), will lead a discussion titled "The Intersection of Health Policy, Health Disparities, and Advocacy." Daughdrill, executive director of the Mississippi Public Health Association, will describe the history, activities and benefits of the MPHA.

Lunch will be served free to the first 45 people, beginning at 11:45 a.m.

More information on health equity and the initiative's plans for the fall is available at http://guides.library.msstate.edu/healthequity.  If you have questions or would like to be added to the HECCIG listserve, please email heccig@lists.msstate.edu. For information about MEPC and MPHA, visit http://mepconline.org or www.mspha.org.

The MSU Health Equity Cross-Campus Interest Group brings together faculty, staff, and students into a forum for sharing novel ideas, challenges and successes on issues related to health equity. The group aims to encourage participants to conduct health equity research, to create and foster solutions about how to be a conduit for change, and to partner with communities to implement programs focused on health and wellness.

If you need additional information or have questions, please contact David Buys at david.buys@msstate.edu.

MSU announces Bulldog Bash 2015 musical lineup, title charity

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 14:27
(Graphic by Aubrey Pohl and Katie Erickson)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

(Graphic by Aubrey Pohl and Katie Erickson)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—California-based indie rock band Local Natives will headline the Mississippi State University Student Association’s 16th annual Bulldog Bash.

Taking place Sept. 11 in the heart of Starkville’s Cotton District—the day prior to MSU’s Southeastern Conference home football game with Louisiana State University—the state’s largest, free outdoor concert also features:

—Ithaca, New York-based alternative rock band X Ambassadors; and

—New York City indie pop band MisterWives.

A fourth group will be determined with the selection of a winner in the SA-sponsored Battle of the Bands concert competition.

Prior to the Sept. 11 musical performances, the annual Dawg Rally will feature a pep rally at the concert site.

Also that day at the Cotton District location will be an afternoon Maroon Market. Interested local artists and food vendors may email msubash2015@gmail.com for more information and to reserve a booth.

Local Natives’ debut album, “Gorilla Manor,” was released in 2009 in the United Kingdom and in 2010 in the United States. The album debuted in the Billboard Top 200 and at No. 3 in the New Artist Chart. Released in 2013, the Los Angeles group’s second studio album, “Hummingbird,” reached No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200 and was preceded by the single, “Breakers.” For more, see thelocalnatives.com.

Information on X Ambassadors is found at www.xambassadors.com; MisterWives, www.misterwives.com.

Proceeds derived from Bulldog Bash 2015 will benefit the Oktibbeha County Humane Society.

Sponsors for this year’s event include Aramark Corp., Aspen Heights, Busylad Rent-All, City of Starkville, Clark Beverage Group Inc., Coca-Cola, Copy Cow, CSpire, Hail State Rewards, HELiX Starkville, Monster Energy, MSU’s Alumni Association and Office of the President, and Sweet Peppers Deli.

For more, contact the Center for Student Activities at 662-325-2930 or msubash2015@gmail.com. Additional details also may be found at www.msubulldogbash.com and twitter.com/MSUBulldogBash.

The MSU Student Association is online at www.thestudentassociation.com, facebook.com/ MSUStudentAssociation, twitter.com/msu_sa and instagram.com/msu_sa.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Perseverance, academic achievement in focus for MSU’s Men and Women of Color Summit

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 17:36
The Mississippi State University Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion honored six alumni and faculty for their achievements during an empowerment dinner Thursday [Aug. 27] in the Mill at MSU Conference Center as part of the Men and Women of Color Summit. From left are Camille Scales Young, Linda Cornelious, Albert J. Williams, Sebetha Jenkins, Marilyn Crouther and Wanda Williams. The summit continued with a full day of educational sessions Friday [Aug. 28]. (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: Zack Plair

The Mississippi State University Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion honored six alumni and faculty for their achievements during an empowerment dinner Thursday [Aug. 27] in the Mill at MSU Conference Center as part of the Men and Women of Color Summit. From left are Camille Scales Young, Linda Cornelious, Albert J. Williams, Sebetha Jenkins, Marilyn Crouther and Wanda Williams. The summit continued with a full day of educational sessions Friday [Aug. 28]. (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—“Where will you be on Labor Day weekend 2035?”

With that prompt from speaker Albert J. Williams, hundreds of students who were gathered in the Mill at MSU Conference Center ballroom – eyes closed – visualized futures that involved success and accomplishment. Moments later, Williams, a Mississippi State alumnus and president of Chevron Pipeline Company, instructed the students to open their eyes.

“That vision you had will not happen if you do not have a plan,” Williams warned. “You must try and not be afraid of failure.”

Williams was one of three keynote speakers Friday [Aug. 28] for the MSU Men and Women of Color Summit, organized by the university’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. He also was one of six MSU alumni and faculty honored for their achievements during an empowerment dinner Thursday night [Aug. 27].

Themed “Reframing the Dialogue around Men and Women of Color: Academic Success in Higher Education,” workshops and panels focused on the importance of education and developing life skills.

More than 700 registered to attend the summit, and students from six other universities – the University of Mississippi, Mississippi Valley State, Jackson State, Mississippi University for Women, Southern Mississippi and Alabama – joined a strong MSU contingent.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum said he believes the university reflects the kind of impact a focus on diversity can make, and events like the summit help strengthen that impact.

“We take great pride in what we do to promote diversity because diversity enriches and empowers any institution and the people in it,” Keenum said.

One component of each keynote speech, however, was perseverance, and Williams hit that keystroke in his Friday morning speech hard and often.

A Jackson native who came to MSU on a football scholarship, Williams dealt with injury and a rigorous academic regimen on his way to earning an historic place in Bulldog football history – he returned an interception for the game-winning touchdown against Louisiana State University in 1990, breaking a five-year losing streak against the Tigers – as well as earning an electrical engineering degree.

His parents, he said, always valued education, leading eight of the 11 children in his family to receive degrees. He urged participants to get the most from their education, welcome adversity as a building block for success and use their “God-given talents” to realize their potential.

“Strive to shape history rather than just be shaped by it,” he said. “Through academic achievement, anything is possible for you and for us. And remember, life itself is a class, and school is always in session.”

Much in the same vein as Williams’ message, lunch speaker Lori A. Harper told summit participants how she trudged through college as a single mother of two and eventually became the first African-American woman to reach vice president status at Ingalls Ship Building. Working out of Pascagoula, Harper manages the company’s supply chain.

“Life happens,” she said. “When life happens, it’s how you respond that makes a difference.”

Participants also heard from La Doris “Dot” Harris, the director of the Office of Impact and Diversity and assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy. She worked in the private sector for almost 30 years before President Barack Obama appointed her to her current post in 2012.

To persevere, she said, students have to fight against fear.

“You should never have fear in anything you do,” Harris said. “When you tolerate fear, you contaminate faith.”

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

VBOC holds grand opening at research park

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 16:24
The Veterans Business Outreach Center in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park held a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday [Aug. 28]. The center helps veterans and their spouses either start a business or grow an existing business. From left are Bob Seitz, VBOC counselor; Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business; Mark Scott, VBOC director; Janita Stewart, director of the Small Business Administration’s Mississippi office; Trent Kelly, congressman for Mississippi’s

Contact: Zack Plair

The Veterans Business Outreach Center in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park held a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday [Aug. 28]. The center helps veterans and their spouses either start a business or grow an existing business. From left are Bob Seitz, VBOC counselor; Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business; Mark Scott, VBOC director; Janita Stewart, director of the Small Business Administration’s Mississippi office; Trent Kelly, congressman for Mississippi’s 1st district; MSU President Mark E. Keenum; Rodney Pearson, MSU business professor and VBOC board member; and Mike Pornovets, head of the VBOC’s satellite office at The Innovation Center in Biloxi. (Photo by Mitch Phillips)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A ribbon-cutting and open house formally welcomed to the Mississippi State University campus a new resource for military veteran entrepreneurs.

The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) hosted distinguished guests and members of the public for a grand opening ceremony Friday morning [Aug. 28] at its location in Suite 105D, 60 Technology Blvd., in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Park. In partnership with the College of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans, the VBOC is providing guidance for veterans, and their spouses, who either want to start a small business or grow their existing business.

 “Entrepreneurship and support for startups are among our strengths,” said Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business. “The VBOC is a natural extension of what we are already good at. We’ve assembled a great team, and they are already working hard to help veterans.”

MSU received an $825,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to start its VBOC, which will serve veterans and their spouses in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee. MSU’s VBOC is one of 15 nationwide.

Trent Kelly, 1st district congressman for Mississippi and a colonel in the Mississippi National Guard, commended MSU for its commitment to veterans during Friday’s ceremony. He said veterans typically have a servant’s heart, a high level of intelligence and an innate ability to “not accept failure.” These traits, he added, often translate into business success.

“Our veterans are so important to this nation,” said Kelly, who serves on the House Small Business Committee. “This is a wonderful opportunity for them to become entrepreneurs and small business owners because they have what it takes.”

The VBOC officially became operational in May and has already served dozens of clients. Center Director Mark Scott said he and his staff field calls daily requesting consultations. Its free services range from developing ideas into businesses, identifying a business’ customer base and helping veterans form a business plan.

Further, Scott noted the VBOC has set up a satellite office in The Innovation Center in Biloxi to help better serve the four-state region.

A land-grant institution established in 1878 with the U.S. Military Academy as a model, Mississippi State has a long history of service and commitment to veterans. In 2013, U.S. News and World Report ranked the university 29th on its elite list of the 52 best national higher education organizations for veterans, service members, dependents and survivors.

On Friday, MSU President Mark E. Keenum said more than 450 veterans are enrolled at MSU, and more than 2,100 students are directly connected to veterans as dependents or spouses.

“We have a long history of engagement and involvement with veterans,” he said.

Since October 2012, VBOCs have helped more than 136,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs nationwide, said Mississippi SBA Director Janita Stewart. For more information on MSU’s VBOC, visit www.vboc.msstate.edu/~vboc/index.php. The telephone number is 662-325-4990; the email address, vboc@business.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

McComas exhibit featuring ‘outsider art’ from Jackson collection

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:10
 Loy Allen “Rhinestone Cowboy” Bowlin (1909-1995), no title, 1986. Glitter and glue on paper. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of Warren and Sylvia Lowe. 1994.049.

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

 Loy Allen “Rhinestone Cowboy” Bowlin (1909-1995), no title, 1994.049.

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Artworks by the co-author of Mississippi State’s 2015 Maroon Edition book selection—as well as others by self-taught artists—are on display at the university.

Free and open to all through Oct. 2 in the McComas Hall Art Gallery, the exhibit titled “Here and Beyond: Outsider Art from the Mississippi Museum of Art” features 16 varied pieces. They range from visions of space ships to rural landscape memory paintings to observations of New Orleans street life.

Among them is a print made from an original painting by Denver Moore (1937-2012). Titled “We Are All Homeless Just Working Our Way Home,” it shares its name with the last line of this year’s Maroon Edition selection, “Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together.”

Moore is co-author of the 245-page novel released in 2006 by Thomas Nelson, a HarperCollins Publishers subsidiary. His art piece was donated to the MMA exhibit by Cerulean Gallery in Amarillo, Texas.

Among other self-taught artists being featured are Eula Crabtree (20th century), Roy Ferdinand (1959-2004), M.C. “Five Cent” Jones (1917-2003), Prophet Royal Robertson (1936-97), Juanita Rogers (1934-85) and Luster Willis (1913-94).

In addition to the Jackson museum and its Traveling Exhibition Endowment, the campus exhibit is supported by MSU’s Maroon Edition freshman common reading program and College of Architecture, Art and Design’s art department.

A 5 p.m. exhibition reception will take place Oct. 1 in the ground-floor gallery whose main entrance is located off the parking lot on McComas’ east side. The reception also is free and open to all.

In addition to Moore’s creation, the exhibit includes three works by self-taught artist Loy Allen Bowlin (1909-95), a Franklin County native who resided in McComb until his death.

Bowlin experienced a spiritual awakening of sorts in 1975 after hearing Glen Campbell’s hit song “Rhinestone Cowboy,” which he said inspired his passion to create colorful, glittery art works. Bowlin also favored embellished satin suits that, along with his distinctive artworks, earned him the nickname “The Original Rhinestone Cowboy.”

“The art on view was created sometimes for spiritual reasons and sometimes from the sheer pleasure of creating,” said Beth Batton, MMA’s curator of the collection. “Art by outsider artists was shaped less by an ambition to ‘make it’ in the art world and more by the ups and downs of life.”

Ron Hall, the other co-author of “Same Kind of Different as Me,” was keynote speaker for the university’s second Freshman Convocation held earlier this month.

MMA’s Traveling Exhibition Endowment is supported by significant private contributions that are matched by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit www.msmuseumart.org.

Now in its seventh year, Maroon Edition is a university-wide program that encourages incoming freshmen to read the same book prior to fall-semester arrival. Throughout the school year, they discuss the selected work with other students, administration, faculty and staff members. For more, visit www.maroonedition.msstate.edu.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s art department is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. It offers a bachelor of fine arts degree, with concentrations in graphic design, photography and fine art (ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture).

The McComas Art Gallery is one of the several departmental venues that regularly features traveling exhibits, student shows, and group and solo exhibitions by professional artists. Exhibit hours for the gallery are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, as well as by appointment. For more, visit bit.ly/MSUArtGalleriesFB.

Additional gallery information is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art department’s coordinator for gallery and outreach programs, at 662-325-2973 or LNeuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.

Complete information about the college and department is found at caad.msstate.edu, facebook.com/CAADatMSU and twitter.com/CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway can be gateway to global economy

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 09:32

Contact: Carol Gifford

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is an engine for economic development with great potential for future growth, said Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi, executive director of the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, or NSPARC, a research unit of Mississippi State University.

Parisi’s remarks, delivered Thursday [Aug. 27] at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Opportunities Conference in Point Clear, Ala., were based on a recent economic analysis of the Tenn-Tom Waterway produced by NSPARC.

The Tenn-Tom is a 234-mile manmade waterway that connects the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers and runs through Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and opened in 1985, the Tenn-Tom creates a 1,300-mile water system between the Ohio River and Gulf of Mexico.

“The Tenn-Tom Waterway was strategically planned to create an economy around it,” said Parisi, a sociology professor at MSU.

The waterway primarily provides a cost-effective and safe way to transport goods, Parisi said. Shipments are increasing and more diverse commodities are being shipped on the Tenn-Tom due to the development of advanced manufacturing nearby, including automotive, aerospace, chemical, petroleum product and hydropower firms.

“For every federal dollar spent [for the Tenn-Tom’s commercial navigation], an additional $3.54 is returned to the treasury, resulting from local, state, and federal tax revenues and annual economic output,” he said. “The Tenn-Tom is also responsible for more than 24,000 full-time jobs, developing a middle-skill workforce, and supporting an education system of 23 community colleges and 14 universities.”

The Tenn-Tom is poised to capitalize on growth in manufacturing in other parts of the country, added Parisi, citing the rapid growth of a variety of advanced chemical and plastic manufacturing facilities located on the Ohio River basin. He said the Tenn-Tom is uniquely positioned to emerge as the prime means for transporting chemical and plastic goods from Ohio River-based facilities to the Gulf of Mexico.

Outdoor recreation represents another major contribution from the Tenn-Tom, Parisi said. More than 1.7 million annual visitors to the Tenn-Tom region take part in fishing, boating and water activities, camping, hiking picnicking, sightseeing, and hunting.

Parisi said that for every federal dollar spent on recreation around the Tenn-Tom, $1.22 is returned to the treasury from tax revenues, job creation and personal income.

Parisi also discussed other uses of the Tenn-Tom, including water for residential and commercial use, water for irrigation of farmland and infrastructure, and flood control.

“The Tenn-Tom impacts 17 metro areas, 111 counties and 6 million people,” said Parisi. “With expansive room for growth and more investment, the waterway can be the centerpiece of multi-state regional opportunities and become a gateway to the global economy.”

For more about NSPARC, visit www.nsparc.msstate.edu. Parisi may be reached at 662-325-9242.

MSU, Mississippi’s flagship research institution, is online at www.msstate.edu.

STATEMENT OF MSU PRESIDENT MARK E. KEENUM

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 17:11

“Today, our usually placid Thursday campus routine was interrupted by a frighteningly real threat of violence. Fortunately, our MSU Police, the Division of Student Affairs, and our Crisis Action Team were able to manage this threat and the outcome was that no one was injured, no shots were fired, and no gun was found to have been used by the student making threats against himself and others.

“But something else happened today. We tested procedures designed to protect all of us through our Crisis Action Team responses. Those responses and protocols worked and worked successfully. And they worked because by and large, our students, faculty and staff knew what to do and knew how to react.

“I have directed the Provost to make sure that our faculty are as lenient as possible with regard to the attendance policies so no one is unjustly penalized with regard to class absences. I have also taken steps to make sure that we offer appropriate counseling to any member of our MSU family who desires such assistance.

“Tomorrow, our Crisis Action Team will return to the table to examine what we learned during these tense hours and how we can use that knowledge to make us all even safer tomorrow. But for now, let’s all be thankful for the safe resolution of today’s unfortunate incident and keep our eyes firmly on our business here at MSU – learning, research, and service.”

 

MSU President: ‘Safety of our Students is Paramount’

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 17:02

By Sid Salter, 601-507-8004

STARKVILLE, Miss.--At a late-morning press conference today, Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum praised campus and local law enforcement for their “swift response” in apprehending a student who made threats to harm himself and others.

“We take all incidents like this very seriously, and I’m glad to report that there was no weapon found in this incident and no shots were fired,” Keenum said. “Our campus is safe.”

Keenum commended the MSU Police Department, the Division of Student Affairs, and the university’s Crisis Action Team for their handling of the tense situation.

“The highest priority I have as president of this university is the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” said Keenum. “We are always, always going to err on the side of caution in protecting our most precious resource – our people.”

Law enforcement officials at Mississippi State arrested Phu-Qui Cong “Bill” Nguyen today (Aug. 27) on the Starkville Campus at approximately 10:26 a.m. near the university’s McCool Hall.

Nguyen will appear in court to face charges of disorderly conduct and has been referred to a medical facility for routine mental and psychological evaluation. Rice said the investigation into the incident by MSU Police was ongoing.

A call came in to MSU Police from the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol at approximately 10:10 a.m. revealed that a student on the Starkville campus was threatening suicide in addition to threatening to do harm to others.

Keenum said: “The incident Wednesday morning in Virginia is a reminder that institutions such as ours must be vigilant and be prepared to respond as we did today – swiftly, decisively and without hesitation to protect our students, faculty, and staff.”

Despite the disruption on campus, Keenum said his “thoughts and prayers” are with all impacted by this incident, including the suspect’s family.

MSU issued a “Maroon Alert” notice at 10:16 a.m. Nguyen was taken into custody ten minutes later. Chief Vance Rice said MSU Police was grateful to all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who responded immediately and assisted in arresting the 20-year-old freshman computer engineering student from Madison.

Assisting MSU in the incident were the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, Starkville Police Department, the Miss. Emergency Management Agency, the Miss. Department of Health, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Classes resumed under normal conditions at 2 p.m. Thursday.

MSU Student Association President JoJo Dodd said, “We are certain now that our Bulldog Family is safe. We are reminded in these times of the commitment we have to each other and this community that we share.”

The Mississippi State University Student Counseling Services are available to support any students who need assistance.  The center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., for walk-in appointments and counselors are on call 24 hours a day.  Services can be accessed by calling 662-325-2091.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a transcription of the call received by MSU PD from the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol alerting MSU to the potential active shooter.

Transcription of the phone call from Miss. Highway Patrol to MSU Police:

MHP: Hey, Tina. Quinton Williams. I’m with the MS Hwy Patrol. You guys are aware you are going to possibly have an active shooter on campus at this time?

MSU: No. I had a suicide call from Jackson saying the guy was suicidal at Carpenter Hall. What was she (the caller) saying to you?

MHP: Well, she was saying the guy was going to actually shoot others as well as himself. He’s, at this point, in Carpenter Hall.

MSU: Did she say what room?

MHP: She did not say what room that he was in, but they still have her actively on the line as we are speaking now. The subject’s name is Bill Nguyen. He is going to be an Oriental male. Does that help any?

MSU: MSU to all units, we have a possible active shooter in Carpenter Hall. This is not a test. Vietnamese male. Do not know what floor.  Just know he’s a Vietnamese male by the name of Bill. This is not a test.

Mississippi State to host FAA public meeting

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 17:59

Contact: Jim Laird

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi’s flagship research university will host a public meeting next month featuring regulators, scientists and industry representatives who are working together to integrate unmanned aircraft safely into the nation’s airspace.

Open to all, the two-hour, two-part ASSURE Center of Excellence-hosted event will take place Sept. 15 at Mississippi State, and include a discussion on opportunities to partner with the center as well as remarks by the FAA’s Southern Region Administrator Dennis Roberts.

Beginning at 11 a.m. at the Bryan Athletic Administration Building on the MSU campus, participants will discuss the agency’s new national Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems and its role in developing rules regulating commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

After an extensive competitive review process, the FAA in May selected the Mississippi State-led Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence to operate the new center. (For more, see ASSUREuas.org.)

According to ASSURE’s executive director at MSU, the new center will provide the agency and industry with research to maximize the potential of commercial unmanned systems with minimal changes to the current system regulating manned aircraft.

“All of our ASSURE partners know unmanned systems and the FAA,” said USAF Maj. Gen. (Ret.) James Poss.

“The ASSURE team is uniquely positioned to take advanced research and turn it into FAA rules that work for the agency and industry,” he said.

The center of excellence meeting will continue from noon to 1 p.m., and will include a question-and-answer period. Both sessions will feature live unmanned vehicle demonstrations.

“We want to help the UAS market achieve its multi-billion dollar potential, and the best way to do that is to provide accurate information and relevant research to all of our U.S. and international stakeholders,” he said.

The September public meeting is a very important part of that process, Poss said.

Poss encourages members of the local community, media, and students, faculty and staff to attend either session or to stay for both.

For additional information about the meeting, please contact Kelly Collier at kcollier@hpc.msstate.edu or 228-688-3403.

Direct media inquiries to Harriet Laird at hlaird@opa.msstate.edu or 662-325-7460.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Famous Maroon Band begins 113th year, announces drum majors

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 11:39
MSU's Famous Maroon Band (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Paige Watson

MSU's Famous Maroon Band (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—With annual band camp concluded, Mississippi State’s 330-member Famous Maroon Band is turning its attention to fine-tuning routines for the 2015-16 school year.

Veteran director Elva Kaye Lance said this year’s contingent represents 14 states in addition to Mississippi, from which 68 percent hail. While the organization is part of the university’s College of Education, membership, as always, includes a wide range of academic majors, she added.

“We are very excited to be entering our 113th year,” said Lance, who shares Famous Maroon Band duties with co-directors Craig Aarhus and Clifton Taylor.

“During camp, it was incredible to see our incoming freshmen, many of whom held leadership positions in high school, raise the standard and influence our returning members to become better and better each year,” the MSU and Famous Maroon Band alumna said.

Lance said this year’s four drum majors will include:

—Twin sisters Ashley S. and Brittany C. Carey from Olive Branch. Ashley is a junior mechanical engineering major; Brittany, a senior double-major in educational psychology and foreign language/Spanish.

—Junior Cooper A. Haywood of Madison, an instrumental music education and vocal music education double-major.

—Junior Jesse D. Newton of Eupora, a human sciences/fashion design and merchandising major.  

According to Haywood, this year’s camp was “one of the best” he has experienced while at MSU.

Junior Ellen S. Moore of Brandon, also a music education major, joined Haywood in praising the training program. “During band camp, I made a ton of friends and everything was so organized,” she said. “The week moved quickly, but we managed to accomplish a lot.”

Lance said the MSU marching unit could not be successful without the “hard work and tireless dedication” of Aarhus and Taylor.

“In addition to the band directors, another vital member of our leadership team is Jason Baker,” Lance continued, explaining that the music department associate professor “arranges and instructs our percussionists.”

At her promotion to director in 2002, Lance became only the eighth leader of the marching unit over its long history. During her time at the helm, “We’ve received tremendous support from both former band members and faculty in the College of Education, which is a great fit for us,” she said.

Lance said 2015 fall football halftime performances will include a variety of popular pieces, including a “Funkytown” theme and a play on Disney classic “The Happiest Show on Earth.”

In addition, the band also coordinates two pep bands for men’s and women’s basketball, as well as numerous choral ensembles and concert bands throughout the spring semester. To learn more, visit www.msuband.msstate.edu/index.php.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Livestream for Wednesday's General Faculty meeting

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 00:00

The fall General Faculty meeting at Mississippi State on Wednesday [Aug. 26] will be available for viewing online beginning at 4 p.m. at http://mymedia.msstate.edu/viewer.php?live=faculty.

Planned water outage for Hill Poultry Science Building early Wednesday

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 16:27

Due to a water line repair, there will be a planned water outage at Mississippi State's Hill Poultry Science Building on Wednesday [Aug. 26] beginning at 6 a.m. The interruption is expected to last approximately two hours.

Thank you for your patience during this temporary outage.

Sign up today for faculty/staff meal plans with MSU Dining

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:09
The Fresh Food Company

Patrons make lunch selections at MSU’s newest residential dining facility, The Fresh Food Company.

MSU Dining invites faculty and staff at Mississippi State to sign up for a new meal plan to save money and enjoy rewards. There are several options available.
 
Block meals are redeemable at the brand new Fresh Food Company, The Marketplace at Perry, Templeton, Pegasus Dining at the Wise Center, and McArthur Cafe Express. One block equals one swipe at the front register.

The door rate at all-you-care-to-eat dining halls is $11.02 per meal, including tax. With a faculty/staff meal plan, you will pay $6.65 per meal with the Bulldog Elite and $6.95 per meal with the Bulldog Pass.

After 4 p.m., you may use block meals at Chick-Fil-A, Burger King, Burrito Bowl, Panda Express, Panda Sushi and Pizza Hut at a $6 value.
 
Pick one of the below faculty/staff meal plans and pick up your rewards at the MSU Dining office:
 
Bulldog Elite: 40 Block Meals & 100 Flex Dollars for $366, and choose five free burritos from Moe’s or five free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.
 
Bulldog Pass: 40 Block Meals for $278, and choose three free burritos from Moe’s or three free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.
 
Faculty/staff meal plans never expire, and you may choose payroll deduction to pay over time. Questions? Please call the MSU Dining office at 662-325-7120 or visit www.msstatedining.com.

Click here to access a PDF with additional information.

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