STATEMENTS: Around Campus

James E. Henderson was named head of the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center. He now oversees the daily operations of MSU Extension and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in the southeastern region.

Jane Parish now oversees the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center. She earned a doctorate in animal and dairy science from the University of Georgia in 2001, a master’s from Texas Tech University in 1998 and a bachelor’s from Texas A&M University in 1997. Additionally, she recently received her master of business administration from MSU.

Josh Maples has joined the faculty of the Mississippi State University Department of Agricultural Economics as an assistant professor with Extension responsibilities in livestock marketing and agribusiness. A native of Alabama, he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from MSU and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University.

Senior biochemistry major Lucas J. Ferguson of Batesville, a 2016 Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College Outstanding Research Award recipient, became Mississippi State University’s first finalist for the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

An award-winning Mississippi State College of Education faculty member authored a new guide for all involved in the kindergarten-high school learning process. Assistant professor Angela S. Farmer’s “School Days 101” provides practical information on a range of 21st century classroom and related issues.

Mississippi State University’s Air Force ROTC detachment received the national 2016 Team Excellence Award for AFROTC, topping 145 U.S. units for the honor. The national award comes shortly after Detachment 425 earned the Air Force ROTC Team Excellence Award for the Air Force ROTC Southwest Region.The detachment is under the command of Lt. Col. Joseph Cassidy, a professor of aerospace studies in MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The 2017 U.S. News & World Report rankings of best online programs lists MSU’s Distance MBA program at No. 18 nationally in the latest rankings, up from No. 22 in last year’s rankings. MSU’s Distance Master of Science in Information Systems (non-MBA) program is ranked No. 43. The online graduate program in the Bagley College of Engineering was once again ranked in the top 25 nationally, coming in at No. 24, and the College of Education’s distance graduate program came in at No. 84.

Hal Schramm recently was designated a Fellow of the American Fisheries Society in tribute to his four decades of service. Specifically, he was cited for excellence in leadership, research, mentoring, resource management and public outreach. In addition to leading U.S. Geological Survey’s Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, he is adjunct fisheries professor.

Alexandra “Alix” Hui, an associate professor of history, will spend three summers in Germany after receiving a Humbodt Research Fellowship for Experienced Scholars, one of the most prestigious academic awards in Germany. The awards are designed to foster international exchange and networking among scientists and scholars.




L-R: Morocco’s Université Internationale de Rabat President Noureddine Mouaddib and Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum shake hands to commemorate the institutions’ partnership which received the 2017 Andrew Heiskell Award for International Partnerships from the Institute of International Education. With the recognition as America’s top international university partnership, the dual-degree program was featured as a “best practice” in international education by the Institute of International Education.




Instructor Frances O. McDavid was named 2016 Outstanding Faculty Adviser by the National Academic Advising Association based on “significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising.” She previously was recognized with a NACADA regional student advising award. In 2015, McDavid received MSU’s Irvin Atly Jefcoat Excellence in Advising Faculty Award, which led to nomination for the NACADA regional competition.

Mississippi State University agribusiness student A.J. Bland, a native of Tunica, is among 21 U.S. students to receive a National Black Farmers Association scholarship.

José Santos Portugal III, a doctoral student, was awarded a $500 research grant by the Entomological Society of America’s medical, urban and veterinary entomology section. A Euless, Texas, native, he is an entomology major in MSU’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology in the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Mississippi State is receiving a nearly $900,000 National Science Foundation grant to help public schools enhance critical middle-school teaching and learning skills. Awarded to associate professor Dana Franz in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education, the funding supports a three-year interdisciplinary partnership with university colleagues in the Bagley College of Engineering, Department of Biological Sciences, Office of Research and Economic Development and Research and Curriculum Unit. The project is titled “Opportunities to Learn: Creative Science Through Inquiry, a Middle Grades Teaming Framework.”

At the Southern Public Relations Federation’s annual conference in Sandestin, Florida, Mississippi State earned 23 awards for its communications work. The campus units recognized include the Office of Public Affairs and Office of Agricultural Communication, the Agriculture and Natural Resources marketing team and High Performance Computing Collaboratory publications group.

Mississippi State University is again listed among the best colleges for military veterans, coming in at No. 31 in the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings. MSU is listed in the four-year college category of the rankings and moved up 13 spots from its place at No. 44 in the 2016 rankings.

MSU was the only school in Mississippi and one of two Southeastern Conference institutions to be selected by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education for recognition on the President’s Higher Education and Community Service Honor Roll in the Interfaith Service category. Nationwide, MSU was one of 86 institutions recognized as leaders in interfaith service.




Student members of the Society of American Foresters at Mississippi State again are tops among their U.S. peers based on accomplishments throughout the academic year, with an emphasis on campus and community service and outreach programs. Professional engagement and organizational management also are considered.



Regina Young Hyatt, MSU vice president for Student Affairs, will serve a three-year term on the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities’ Council on Student Affairs Executive Committee, an APLU operational council.

James W. “Jimmy” Hardin and Kate McClellan, who are, respectively, associate and assistant professors in the university’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, received a nearly $80,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program.

Courtney Thompson, an assistant professor who specializes in the history of U.S. women, science and medicine, has been named a 2017 recipient of the New York Academy of Medicine’s Audrey and William H. Helfand Fellowship in the History of Medicine and Public Health.

Lori Mann Bruce, Mississippi State’s Graduate School dean, was named a distinguished lecturer by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She has been designated as an expert in the areas of remote sensing, image processing, unmanned aerial vehicles and precision agriculture.

Senior Omkar H. Prabhu is the third architecture major at Mississippi State to earn the recently established Method Studio Undergraduate Research Fellowship. His research with the Utah-based architectural design firm, will be supervised by Jacob Gines, an assistant professor in MSU’s School of Architecture who also is Method Studio’s research and design vice president. 

Daniel Punday is the new head of Mississippi State’s English department. Prior to assuming his new role, he led the English and philosophy department at Purdue University, Calumet. He also was a faculty member at the Northwest Indiana institution for nearly two decades.

Adam D. Skarke, an assistant professor of geology, was among 10 recipients of the prestigious Early Career Research Fellowship awarded by the Washington, D.C.-based National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

James E. “Ed” Davis of Starkville is the Rural Community College Alliance’s selection for the 2016 George Autry Lifetime Achievement Award.

Associate professor Stamatis Agiovlasitis is the new president-elect of the North American Federation of Adapted Physical Activity. A member of the university’s Department of Kinesiology, he will be among the organization’s top leaders for the next six years. After two years as president-elect, he then serves periods as president and past-president.

Jeremy Baham, who has served MSU as associate dean of students since 2011, was named assistant vice president for Student Affairs, a role focusing on student support and wellbeing.

Missy Hopper, an associate professor in MSU’s Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education, was recently elected to serve as president-elect of Phi Kappa Phi’s national board of directors. Her election represents a six-year commitment that will include terms as president-elect, president and past-president.



Habitat for Humanity and university officials held a dedication ceremony to welcome Lena and LaShay Evans into their new home. This marking the completion of the eighth MSU Maroon Edition Home built by volunteers, including MSU students, faculty, staff and retirees.