Points of Pride

Mississippi State produces outstanding students who earn national awards.

  • A graduate student from Greenville is among four awarded $5,000 postgraduate grants from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Hunter Perry is a 2005 magna cum laude gradate of the university now pursuing a master's degree in entomology and plant pathology.
  • A team of MSU engineering students who developed a diesel-electric hybrid automobile capable of getting 35 miles-per-gallon finished third in the 2006 national Challenge X competition, re-engineering a sport utility vehicle to minimize energy use, emissions and greenhouse gases.
  • Two Mississippi State senior chemical engineering majors are recipients of $5,000 scholarships from separate organizations serving their professional field. Lekeith B. Terrell of Brookhaven recently won a yearly renewable scholarship from the American Chemical Society's Scholars Program, while Ashley N. Holt of Decatur, Ala., is receiving a scholarship from the Southwest Chemical Association.Both are students in the university's Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, a part of the Bagley College of Engineering.
  • MSU's student chapter of the Society of American Foresters placed first in the 2005-06 SAF Student Chapter Web site competition and tied for first overall as the outstanding student chapter.
  • Computer engineering major Wesley Holland of Brandon in 2006 became MSU's 10th national Goldwater Scholar in engineering, math or science since 1999. Holland is studying natural language processing and how to make computers understand and translate the human voice.
  • MSU's undergraduate program in landscape architecture is among the nation's top 15 programs, according to the national publication DesignIntelligence.
  • A Mississippi State senior from Ocean Springs is the sole U.S. Air Force ROTC cadet receiving a special national award. At a special university ceremony earlier, aerospace engineering major Christine M. Schudrowitz was presented with a $3,000 scholarship from the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association, in partnership with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Her award is one of only four given in 2006 to ROTC participants and the only one going to a member of the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps.
  • MSU students were top winners at the 2006 American Institute of Floral Designers annual symposium. Horticulture/retail floristry management majors Mariah Baird and Jena Oh of Starkville were the top overall scorers for designs in categories such as dried arrangements, sympathy flowers, flowers-to-wear, and centerpieces. MSU is one of only a few universities offering a degree in floristry management.
  • MSU's student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers is nationally ranked for overall excellence. In addition, the group was cited for its service in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It also won the Zone II Vice President's Award, placing it among the ASCE's top five chapters in the nation.
  • MSU's student chapter of Pi Omega Pi national business education honor society ranked third in the nation in 2006.
  • Mississippi State accounting graduates lead the state in pass rates for the certified public accounting examination. MSU also exceeds the national average passing percentage.

The university is increasing its focus on student recruiting and access to the “People's University.”

  • A Mississippi State leadership program launched by university President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong in 2006 is expanding its scope and programs to provide what he terms as a "leadership continuum." Through a highly competitive process, an inaugural group of 31 second- and third-year students recently were selected as the initial Fellows in the university's Sonny Montgomery Chapter of the Appalachian Leadership Honors Program. They will participate in activities that develop communication, strategic planning, project management, and technical skills needed for leadership roles. Among the latest programs, a "Young Guns" summer leadership camp is being rolled out for 200 rising high school seniors, including participants from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. For "Young Guns" participants who choose to enroll at MSU, the university this fall will introduce a "Day One" program that coincides with the first day of classes. Initially, "Day One" activities will include an hourlong leadership forum, along with service learning and mentoring.
  • The university also will expand its international programs and the potential for global academic experiences. MSU currently enrolls students from more than 70 countries and has 12 international student organizations. Beginning in 2006, the foreign languages department offered the first Mandarin Chinese academic class in the state. In fact, 30 undergraduate and five graduate students visited South Korea at the end of spring semester as part of the university's Korean Study Tour. Their travel-and-learning opportunity was developed as the result of a November 2006 visit to the country by MSU President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong and J.P. Shim, a professor of management information systems. Five South Korean universities and two companies covered all costs. They included Catholic University of Daegu and Daejon, Kyungpook National and Kwangwoon universities, along with Chew Young Roo Food and Donguibogam Health Department Store.

Mississippi State provides facilities, programs and resources that enhance student life.

  • Roommates in MSU's residence halls are matched on criteria that range from their preferred bedtimes and taste in music to their academic majors and in-room study habits.
  • The John C. Longest Student Health Center has the only pharmacy in the community that provides delivery service.
  • The Richard Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, named for MSU's first African- American student, provides workshops, seminars, lectures, and forums attended by more than 4,000 MSU students each year.
  • The nearly 300-member Famous Maroon Band, which includes students from a variety of academic majors, is the oldest band program in the South and one of the oldest in the nation.
  • The cooperative education program, one of the oldest in the Southeast, allows students to alternate their academic class work with semesters of employment at companies around the region and nation. More than 700 students are enrolled.
  • Mississippi State was recognized again by Kiplinger magazine as one of the top 100 "best values" among the nation's public colleges and universities for 2007. Selected schools are "noteworthy for their combination of top-flight academics and affordable costs," the publication's editors said.

MSU faculty members are making major contributions in scholarship and service.

  • Over the last decade, five MSU professors have been named Mississippi CASE Professors of the Year. The award is presented annually by the national Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • MSU professors also consistently earn national honors for their excellence in academic advising. Diane L. Daniels, a mathematics instructor at MSU, received the National Academic Advising Association's 2006 Outstanding Advising Certificate in the faculty academic advising category.
  • Award-winning classical guitarist and Mississippi State faculty member Michael Patilla received a 2007-08 Fulbright Scholar Award. The award allows Patilla, an assistant professor of music, to teach guitar over a four-month period at the National Autonomous University in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the capital city of the Central American republic.
  • Landscape architecture professor Cameron Man received the 2006 American Society of Landscape Architects Medal, given in recognition of lifetime achievements. It is the organization's highest honor.
  • Two National Academy of Sciences members have joined the MSU faculty as distinguished research professors. Reproductive biologist Neal First has begun an appointment in biological sciences, and electrical engineer James Flanagan is affiliated with the Bagley College of Engineering. They are Mississippi's only members of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Tor P. Schultz, professor in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society's Cellulose and Renewable Materials Division. ACS's cellulose division--also known as CELL--is recognized worldwide as a leader in the chemical science and technology of renewable materials and biopolymers.

Mississippi State is making significant contributions to research and development that will advance the state.

  • Mississippi State ranks fifth among the nation's universities in research and development expenditures in agricultural sciences, according to the National Science Foundation.
  • The university is one of five Southern universities recognized by Southern Business and Development Magazine for its contributions to fostering new businesses. The publication listed the university as one of "Ten University Markets that Really Have Their Act Together."
  • There are ambitious plans to expand the capabilities of the Thad Cochran Research, Technology, and Economic Development Park adjacent to campus, including the recruitment of more high-tech industries, and the commercialization of more university-generated technologies that can create knowledge and jobs.
  • A new invention by engineers at the Institute for Clean Energy Technology, formerly known as the Diagnostic Instrumentation and Analysis Laboratory, will be commercialized by Excelerate Inc. of Huntsville, Ala. The invention tests the structure of bridges.
  • From new grass varieties to the onboard communications of Humvees, MSU's intellectual capital is at work. The university has more than 60 patents and for fiscal year 2003 (the last reported) showed a 15 percent increase in royalties generated by taking research to the marketplace

Mississippi State has created unique programs to address regional and national issues.

  • The Mississippi State Community Action Team, a new MSU initiative, is pulling together experts around campus who can respond on short notice to needs identified by state agencies or communities.
  • MSU's Formosan Termite Research and Educational Facility is one of the only laboratories in North America testing building materials for Formosan termite resistance. It involves faculty members in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, engineering, and architecture.
  • The university's captive bobcat facility was established in 1982 and is the only facility in the world with a captive breeding population of bobcats, a typically nocturnal and solitary wild animal.
  • The Social Science Research Center has a longstanding research program in DUI rehabilitation and runs the state's Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program. Social scientists have established nationally recognized research programs related to smoking, children, and the environment.
  • The Carl Small Town Center in the School of Architecture focuses on design and quality of life issues related to the state's small communities. It is named for Fred Carl Jr. of Greenwood, founder of the Viking Range Co. and a major MSU benefactor.
  • The College of Education is home to the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Blindness and Low Vision, the only national center focusing on employment and independent living of persons who are blind or visually impaired.
  • The T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability, now more than a decade old, provides technological solutions that allow those with disabilities to become more independent. It has served more than 6,000 clients in the state and region.
  • In 1996, MSU established the World Class Teaching Program in the College of Education to assist the state's teachers in seeking National Board certification. The first such program at a state university, it has successfully mentored more than 500 teachers in achieving the rigorous professional designation.
  • MSU agricultural economists played a key role in providing expert assessments of damages and losses in the agricultural sector following Hurricane Katrina. Farmers and farm organizations drew on the published estimates as an objective guideline for relief requests.
  • Working with the American Academy of Pediatrics, social scientists at MSU developed a mental health screening and referral kit for physicians and child care professionals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Mississippi State ranks 55th among the nation's public universities in research and development expenditures, as reported by the National Science Foundation. A university goal is to move into the top 50.

Unique academic programs are in place at Mississippi State.

  • The College of Forest Resources is one of only three in North America to offer a course in wildlife forensics. CFR also is the first North American university to offer an agriculture/natural resources program.
  • The broadcast meteorology program is one of the oldest in the United States. Approximately one-fourth of all television meteorology broadcasters in the U.S., representing nearly every major media market, are MSU graduates.
  • MSU is home to the state's only professional architecture school and Mississippi's only College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • A unique retail floristry program gives students hands-on experience in managing a business operation.