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logy o e a h c r A hool c f i e l d sts get their ts studen le

e dirt

hands in th

And they say money doesn’t grow on trees...

Proceeds from the Sharp Forest, part of the Bulldog Forest program, have provided over $1 million in scholarship support for students at Mississippi State University.

C      L   M SU Transform your real estate into a meaningful gift for Mississippi State University. If you have questions about how to make a gift, or would like to request a free copy of our Guide to Giving Real Estate, please contact a member of our MSU Foundation real estate team today. You may also visit our website at

Jud Skelton

Director of Development for Real Estate (662) 325-0643 |

Jeff Little

Director of Development for Bulldog Forest (662) 325-8151 |

MSU is an AA/EEO university.

Winter 2010 | Volume 85 | Number 3 USPS 354-520 The People’s University



A new chapter of service | page


Dr. Mark E. Keenum, who became Mississippi State’s 19th president in January 2009, was installed formally in October. “A New Chapter of Service” was the theme of the day’s events.


Mark E. Keenum (’83, ’84, ’88)

High-flung views of campus | page

Alumni Association Executive Director and Associate Vice President, Development and Alumni

Images from the University Archives of Mitchell Memorial Library show that the university long has attracted birds’-eye viewers.

Jimmy W. Abraham (’75, ’77)

Vice President for Development and Alumni John P. Rush (’94, ’02)

Mississippi State Alumnus is published three times a year by the Office of University Relations and the Mississippi State University Alumni Association at Mississippi State, Miss. Send address changes to Alumni Director, P.O. Box AA, Mississippi State, MS 397625526; telephone 662-325-7000; or e-mail fcarr@ Editorial offices: 102 George Hall, P.O. Box 5325, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5325 Telephone, 662-325-3442 Fax, 662-325-7455 E-mail,

Protecting and preserving our natural resources | page


In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated 1977 MSU graduate Sam Hamilton to serve as director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, a key position in the Department of the Interior.

Support program opens doors for students | page


The primary mission of Student Support Services at Mississippi State is to guarantee that incoming students facing the stresses of college life have every opportunity to adjust and succeed.

‘Wounded warriors’ learn digital forensics through MSU program | page Two university faculty members—Ray Vaughn and David Dampier—have created a unique program to provide employment opportunities for injured veterans.

Archaeology field school offers practical skills | page


When it comes to archaeology, there is only so much that students can learn from books. Their education is not complete until they get their hands in the dirt.

Going beyond the call of duty | page


Former Alumni Association national president Durr Boyles, an Army colonel serving in Afghanistan, has a commendable perspective on the reasons he is there.

Advertising: Contact Libba Andrews at 662-325-3479 or

Editor Allen Snow (’76)

Associate Editor Kay Fike Jones

Designers Mary Howell (’93) Judy Smith

Photographers Russ Houston (’85) Megan Bean Kristen Hines Baker Kenny Billings

Mississippi State University Alumni Association National Officers Charles A. Cascio (’79), national president Karen Dugard Lawler (’83, ’94), national first vice president Jerry Toney (’96) national second vice president Jodi White Turner (’97, ’99), national treasurer Andrew D. Hunt Jr. (’70) immediate past president

Campus news................... 27 Alumni news. .................... 34 Foundation news.........42 Class news. ......................... 44 In memoriam.................... 46

On the cover: the archaeology department’s biennial archaeology field school, students get hands-on experience in uncovering and interpreting cultures of the past. Photo by Kenny Billings.


Keenum era ushers in

A NEW CHAPTER of SERVICE By Maridith Geuder • Photos by Russ Houston, Megan Bean and Kristen

Hines Baker


r. Mark E. Keenum, a university alumnus who became Mississippi State University’s 19th chief executive in January 2009 following a

public service career in Washington, D.C., was installed formally in October. “A New Chapter of Service” was the theme of the day’s events. The investiture included members of Mississippi’s congressional delegation and Gov. Haley Barbour, among other special guests. The public ceremony was held at noon in the Bettersworth Auditorium of Lee Hall, and was preceded by two other public programs: a worship service in the Chapel of Memories and a mid-morning reception in the Foster Ballroom of the Colvard Student Union. The congressional delegation included Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, and Reps. Gregg Harper and Travis Childers. Barbour led a state delegation that included Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann,

Reeves, and Agriculture Attorney General Jim Hood, Auditor Stacey Pickering, Treasurer Tate and Commerce Commissioner Lester Spell. of higher learning, College board officials, representatives of other Mississippi institutions and Starkville and Oktibbeha County representatives also participated. res, overflow Because of smaller-than-normal venues compared to previous MSU investitu Center. seating was provided in the Colvard Student Union and at the Hunter Henry University Television Events were simultaneously broadcast throughout the morning by the webcast on www. Center to monitors in the union, as well as via local cable channel 98 and The events also were broadcast to MSU-Meridian. president of the state Hank Bounds, state commissioner of higher education, and Scott Ross, the presidential medal Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning, invested Keenum with of office.

economics from Keenum holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in agricultural MSU marketing graduate MSU. He is married to the former Rhonda Newman of Booneville, an administration. They are who formerly worked at the White House during the George W. Bush the parents of four children.

2 Alumnus Winter 2010

Excerpts from the inaugural address of Dr. Mark E. Keenum, October 16, 2009 and contributions of Thank all of you for being here to help celebrate the enduring strength Mississippi State University. t, I hope this occasion For while I am greatly honored to formally assume the role of presiden person—but by the tens will be a reminder that our university is defined and shaped not by one give it life each and of thousands who have built it, and nurtured it, and whose labor and love every day.~

keen awareness that I become the 19th president of my alma mater in its 131st year with a predecessors have been Mississippi State has a long and distinguished history; that among my ty is of vital importance some exceptional leaders; and that the continued success of this universi to the State of Mississippi and its citizens. , with determination With these things in mind, I accept the office of president with humility had the confidence in to do my best, and with deep gratitude to the board of trustees and all who most importantly, your me to bestow this responsibility. I solicit your patience, your advice and, prayers.~

I came home I was born in Starkville while my father was a student at Mississippi State. campus student housing from the hospital wrapped in a maroon and white blanket and lived in for the first two years of my life. family and friends. My earliest memories include attending MSU athletic events with my out our years as I earned three degrees here. I began my career here. I dated Rhonda through sary. We are blessed students here, and earlier this year we celebrated our 25th wedding anniver , and Torie—here in this by the opportunity to raise our four children—Katie, Rett, Mary Phillips community and on this campus. coming home. We When our family arrived in January from Washington, D.C., we were truly wonderful welcome we can never thank the Mississippi State family enough for the warm and have received over the past nine months.~

Alumnus Winter 2010


A New C ha At the other end of the education spectrum, MSU is making a

major commitment to be the center for academic programs focusing on the needs of community colleges. More than 60 graduates of

our master’s and Ph.D. programs in community college leadership are currently serving as faculty members and administrators in Mississippi’s outstanding two-year institutions.

Our Meridian Campus will play an increasingly important

role in the educational and economic life of Lauderdale and the surrounding counties, growing in enrollment, programs, and service—with exceptional community support.~ All of the university’s achievements—in teaching, in research I am proud that Mississippi State, as much as any university, is

and in service—are the products of an enormously talented and

dedicated to the ideal of service—to our students, to our state, and

dedicated faculty and staff. Our world-class faculty includes more

to our great nation.

than 50 fellows of major national and international professional

Our university embraces its role as a major contributor to the

societies, numerous winners of prestigious national and

economic development of Mississippi through targeted research and

international awards such as Fulbright Scholarships, and editors of

the transfer of ideas and technology to the public.

scholarly journals. We have attracted to our campus members of

We welcome our responsibility as the state’s flagship research university to help make business, industry, agriculture, and schools more productive and competitive. MSU ranks 58th among all U.S.

the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. All of these scholars truly are at the forefront of their

public universities in research and development, based on annual

disciplines, and our undergraduate and graduate students are the

research expenditures of more than $200 million, and I want to see

direct beneficiaries. Our faculty members are committed to quality

us move into the top 50 within the next few years.~

in the classroom and the laboratory, and they also are dedicated to

Learning begins at birth, and during those critical and vulnerable first years, children gain the groundwork for success in

student success. That focus shows in our rising graduation rates.~ Today, Mississippi State, along with other universities, state

kindergarten, in school and in life. If we fail our youngest citizens,

governments and private businesses throughout the country, face

we risk relegating them to a lifetime of underachievement. I am

economic challenges that are undoubtedly the most difficult in

proud that MSU is taking the lead in addressing this vital need of

memory for most of us here today.

our state and nation.

We are in the process of adapting to a reduced and still declining

MSU unveils StatePride As part of his investiture ceremonies, MSU President Mark E. Keenum announced a bold new endeavor for private gifts. StatePride: An Initiative for Student and Faculty Support has

recruit and retain exceptional faculty members and increase research and development opportunities in all areas of study. In conjunction with the new initiative, the MSU Foundation has

raised more than $20 million toward a goal of $100 million since

partnered with the Athletic Department for a matching gift program.

January 2009. The initiative will allow the university to award need-

The Athletic Department has agreed to match up to an average of

based scholarships for deserving students and academic scholarships

$750,000 annually for scholarships and faculty support as funds

to compete for the best and brightest students. It also seeks support to

become available.

4 Alumnus Winter 2010

apter of Servicc level of state support, squeezing out efficiencies and implementing

Today’s ceremony is the turning of a page in the long history

innovative ways to stretch our dollars wherever we can. We know

of the university. I hope it will herald, as the theme for this event

that it may get worse before it gets better, and that the days ahead

proclaims, “a new chapter of service” to the state and nation.~

may be painful for many of us.

But we do not despair. As a university, we have enormous

Seated on the stage with us today are the real VIPs present

for this occasion. These MSU students are representatives of our

reservoirs of strength and talent and a history of perseverance in the

academic colleges and numerous organizations that reflect the

face of adversity. These are not, after all, the worst of times.

diversity of our campus and the range of student interests and

Every generation of Mississippi State people, and almost every

achievements. We asked them to participate, and to occupy a

president, has faced difficulties, but they rolled up their sleeves and

position of honor and high visibility, in order to remind all of us of

steeled their nerves and went ahead, and we will, too.

why we are here.

We will emerge from this recession focused, efficient and well-

Each one of these students is an outstanding individual and a

positioned to help our state and its citizens achieve new levels of

promising leader. Beyond that, however, they represent all 18,600

prosperity. In the meantime, we will protect the quality of our core

MSU students and the many thousands more who will follow in

functions of teaching, research and service.~

their footsteps. Quite simply, these students represent our future.

Our immediate goals for Mississippi State are straightforward: We will continue to expand student enrollment, broadening access to higher education and producing capable professionals and educated citizens. We will recruit and retain the most outstanding teachers and researchers as we continue to strengthen our faculty. We will become a top-50 research university and make even greater contributions to the economic development of our state. We will shelter a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and become the first Mississippi member of the Association of Research Libraries. We will raise the visibility and prominence of the university

And when I look at them, my optimism about our future soars, for I know that our university and our state will be well served by this next Greatest Generation.~ With your help and with God’s blessing, Mississippi State University will open a new chapter of service, leadership, and excellence, and will build on its long and proud history of contributions to our state to help usher Mississippi into a new era of prosperity and a future filled with promise. Thank you, and may God bless you. For the full text of Dr. Keenum’s address, see

while enhancing global awareness among our students and faculty. We will compete for championships in athletics. And we will continue to help our students become whatever they want to be in life.

All contributions for annual scholarships and faculty support

For more information about StatePride, visit the MSU

made to the university before Dec. 31, 2012, will count toward

Foundation online at, or contact Bo


Hemphill, executive director of development, at 662-325-7000.

Over the course of StatePride, the MSU Foundation will continue to raise funds for other campus needs such as building renovations and expansions, but an emphasis will be placed on scholarships and faculty support.

Alumnus Winter 2010


g n u fl h g i H ampus views of c

esy of University

avid • Photos court

By Sammy McD


The observation deck of Rockefeller Plaza reportedly is New York City’s most popular tourist attraction. While Mississippi State has neither such a location, nor such a vast urban landscape to consider, the university long has attracted birds’-eye viewers. And no wonder. As the central campus area grew and developed over 130 years to today’s more than 800 acres, there always has been much to see—and contemplate. Such was the case even when the East Mississippi prairie-based institution was in its formative years. Consider this small collection of high and very-high views of Mississippi A&M College/Mississippi State College/Mississippi State University. All the images from the University Archives of Mitchell Memorial Library were located with the valuable assistance of senior associate Betty Self.

In an undated Photo 1 looking west, the image of four dominant brick-and-mortar structures probably was captured from atop the Industrial Education Building, another substantial building (and known as “the Twin Towers’’ by older alumni) that was constructed in 1900 on a hill at the eastern edge of campus. Directly ahead in the view is Montgomery Hall, with The Dormitory (Old Main, in its early phase that included a later-removed steeple) at the right. To its east was the equally ornate Administration Building (situated in front of what now is Lee Hall and alternately called The Chapel) and, closest of the four, the Chemical Laboratory (alternately the Science Building). Along the left side of the photograph, the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad spur line travels west toward Starkville, with its own spur line going north to carry coal to the campus steam plant. Among wooden structures in the background are various support buildings, including the one-story Mess Hall.

6 Alumnus Winter 2010

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 2, apparently taken from approximately the same location, shows how things had changed by the 1930s. Old Main, with an altered exterior, is to the right of Montgomery Hall, but the Administration and Science buildings now have passed into history. The Drill Field clearly has been defined by sidewalks and (at right) the four-story Chemical Laboratory, now Carpenter Engineering Building, helps give a structural balance to the older buildings across the way. Tennis, always a popular campus sport, was played on courts where Mitchell Memorial Library later was built. What today is the McCain Engineering Building is partially visible at the Chemical Lab’s right and the top floors of Lee Hall may be detected over its roofline. A mule-drawn wagon travels north along what may have been the beginnings of Hardy Road.

The “Twin Towers” from which the first two photographs were taken, clearly is visible in the upper left of Photo 3, an airplane-captured 1938 view of a developing campus. Next to “the towers” is Herbert Residence Hall, then, counterclockwise, are the Steam Plant, Laundry Building (replaced years later by the Patterson Engineering Building) and Dairy Department Building (now Middleton Hall). Harned Hall dominates the bottom portion of the photo, then Magruder Hall, George Hall, the YMCA Building, and, partially visible at right, a nowquadrangle Old Main. Even the newest alumni should be able to recognize the other major buildings at the center of this cloud-level view.

Photo 3

Alumnus Winter 2010


Continuing from the air in 1949, Photo 4 shows, among other things, Mitchell Memorial Library under construction in the lower center. The GM&O Railroad track at lower left now has a branch coming in from a different direction as Photo 1. Toward the upper right are some of the renovated former military barracks brought in to deal with the great influx of World War II veterans coming or returning to campus on the G.I Bill.

8 Alumnus Winter 2010

Photo 4

Looking eastward from the air in 1953, Photo 5 shows the even larger “temporary” (some would be used for 20 years) family housing complex made up of former barracks sitting along the western edge of campus that borders the city of Starkville. The ovalshaped structure across the “Malfunction Junction” street-and-railroad-line interchange at center is the Newell-Grissom Building that now houses the women’s volleyball arena. During the ’60s and very early ’70s, Newell-Grissom, built as an animal show arena, took on a second life as “The Cowbarn,” the dirt-floor site of major campus concerts by the Beach Boys, The Association, Dionne Warwick, James Brown, The Fifth Dimension, and other major rock-n-roll and pop groups. Also of note, the U.S. Highway 12 Bypass is yet to be built around the western edge of campus, approximately midway between Newell-Grissom and the barracks housing complex. Until the bypass was completed in 1962, the major northeast-southwest roadway had coursed through the heart of campus as Lee Boulevard from the Mississippi Highway Patrol district station on U.S. Highway 82 (now State 182) to the “Malfunction Junction” interchange, where it turned left and led to Sturgis, Kosciusko and points southwest.

Photo 5

Alumnus Winter 2010


Protecting and preserving our natural resources By Robbie S. Ward

Walk into Sam Hamilton’s

He has spent much of his life enjoying the outdoors

office inside the U.S.

and three decades working to preserve and enhance it

Department of the Interior

so the rest of the nation can have opportunities as rich

and you’ll see a carving of a

as his.

maroon bulldog sitting on his

Hamilton recalls catching his first fish. He was

coffee table. The small statue

five years old and with his dad at Noxubee Refuge.

rests beside a book about

He spent much time there during his teenage years,

Mississippi State—a place

learning to band wood ducks and Canada geese, build

Hamilton calls home.

waterfowl pens, and to understand the importance of

The maroon bulldog reminds the Starkville native

wildlife management. More than four decades later, he

of family and opportunities. His father, a World War II

still loves to fish and spend time at the nation’s wildlife

fighter pilot, was commander of the Air Force ROTC


program at MSU. Growing up in Starkville, Hamilton

“Our national refuges provide some of the richest

spent lots of time in the outdoors, particularly at the

experiences this country has to offer,” he said. “Some

Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge a few miles south

of my best memories of growing up are fishing and

of the city and university.

hunting with friends.”

His family is filled with Bulldogs. His two brothers

Hamilton will continue to devote his life to making

and sister all graduated from MSU, and one of his

sure wildlife continues to be a part of the American

sons attends the university now. At Starkville and

experience. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama

Mississippi State, Hamilton discovered his love for the

nominated the 1977 Mississippi State graduate to serve

outdoors and everything it offers.

as director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, a key

"Our national refuges provide some of the richest experiences this country has to offer. Some of my best memories of growing up are fishing and hunting with friends." --Sam Hamilton

10 Alumnus Winter 2010

office in the Department of the Interior. In this position, Hamilton has administrative duties over the National Wildlife Refuge system, the Migratory Birds Program,

Respect for Hamilton’s background and career in the FWS also spreads throughout the organization. Hamilton said that a background as a career service

National Fish Hatchery System, Endangered Species

employee with the FWS helps him understand the

Program, and the service’s Office of Law Enforcement.

caliber of biologists, researchers and other wildlife

“Visionary” and “innovative” are words that have been used to describe his leadership at the Fish and

professionals involved in the service. Cindy Dohner, now director for the Southeast

Wildlife Service. Elected officials on both sides of the

region, said Hamilton’s approach to working on key

partisan aisle agree that Hamilton brings experiences,

issues, innovative conservation partnerships and

judgment and vision to his position. He is known for

leadership style make him the right choice to lead the

the use of sound science and collaborative efforts to


solve challenges. U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said during testimony for Hamilton’s confirmation hearing during this past summer that Hamilton understands the role of states working with the federal government in

“His conservation policy is that the service must work with partners,” Dohner said. “It’s not the service dictating—it’s a shared partnership.” One key point that Hamilton emphasizes is his commitment to

using the best science

conserving the nation’s wildlife resources. Cochran pointed to Hamilton’s experience for more than a decade as the Southeast regional director of the FWS. During that time, he handled some of the toughest and most significant conservation challenges, including the restoration of the Florida Everglades and coastal Louisiana. “Mr. Hamilton and I both believe that abundant wildlife and healthy outdoor environments are very important resources to our nation,” Cochran said. “We must coordinate government activities with private landowners to preserve lands managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service for the benefit of future generations.”

Alumnus Winter 2010 11

available to make decisions related to the FWS, from determining when to place animals on or remove them from the endangered species list. “This science-driven, strategic, big-picture approach implies partnership and is particularly important since it takes into account the dimensions of the threats that now exist to the sustainability of our fish and wildlife resources,” Hamilton said. Climate change is the transformational conservation challenge of our time, Hamilton said, “not only because of its direct effects, but also because of its influence on all of the other stressors of our wildlife resources,” he said. In the spirit of collaboration and partnership, Hamilton also has worked with energy companies and NGOs on issues related to climate change. He has worked on carbon sequestration programs, among others, to help limit global warming that affects habitats. During his tenure as the director for FWS’s Southeast region, Hamilton helped lead efforts to restore more than 80,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forests, much of it on National Wildlife Refuge System lands. These techniques, which will sequester an estimated 33 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere during the next decade, restore or improve habitat, directly benefiting fish and wildlife. While Hamilton enjoys discussing the value of nature, he has found himself in difficult situations in his job. While state administrator in Texas for the FWS, he worked to protect habitat for the golden-cheeked warbler, a bird listed on the federal Endangered Species Act. “Sometimes, people can get really emotional about these kinds of issues,” Hamilton said. “But, usually, when you bring everyone to the table, people want to work together.” Hamilton’s belief in having everyone work together helped change the tone of discussion in Florida when he encouraged greater partnerships and Wildlife Conservation Commission and

information sharing with the Florida Fish and other conservation partners interested in helping

“Mr. Hamilton and I both believe that abundant wildlife and healthy outdoor environments are very important resources to our nation.” --Sen. Thad Cochran

12 Alumnus Winter 2010

save manatees, which were decreasing in numbers and habitat in Florida. People involved in the discussions said the tone and tenor of the conversation changed when Hamilton spearheaded efforts for collaboration. Now, back to Hamilton’s office at the Department of the Interior. Perched at one of his windows, a couple of redcockaded woodpecker carvings enjoy the view. Hamilton’s work affects the entire nation through policies of the FWS, but he only has to look at the painted woodpeckers to know that the decisions made in his office will determine the quality of our natural resources for future generations. “This is as much of the American experience as anything I can think of,” he said.

“This is as much of the American experience as anything I can think of.” --Sam Hamilton

Alumnus Winter 2010 13

support s e r v i c e s


opening doors for students By Kenny Billings • Photos by Megan Bean

14 Alumnus Winter 2010

Making the transition from high school to college can be one of the most stressful, if not terrifying, experiences in a student’s life. New environments, new people and new rules, combined with a new emphasis on selfresponsibility, are enough to overwhelm even the most grounded student.

Should that student have a disability, or possibly

handicap-accessible areas of campus. Students

come from a financially disadvantaged background and

also are given priority registration

be the first in the family to attend college, a whole new

to ensure they have first access to

set of challenges is added that could possibly be the

classes in buildings that are handicap-

deciding factor in whether or not the student makes a


successful transition to college life and earns a degree. The primary mission of Student Support Services

Graduate student Matt Watson, who navigates campus in a wheel chair because of

at Mississippi State is to guarantee that students facing

spinal muscular atrophy, has been involved with DSS

these challenges have every opportunity to reach their

since coming to MSU in 2006. He said that being able

fullest potential. Through Disability Support Services

to rely on its services made making the transition to

and TRIO, a program for low-income and first-generation

such a large campus much smoother.

students, MSU provides the necessary tools to navigate the challenges of their individual situations. While only a handful of the overall campus

“Any time a person with a disability comes to a campus as big as Mississippi State, it is always tough,” Watson said. “Even though this is a pretty

population is even aware of the department’s existence,

accessible campus, there are still issues sometimes

the importance of its function at the university is

and it helps to have a place to come where, even


though we may not share the same disability, we can

“Hands down, this is one of the most important

relate to one another and share information. And when

departments at the university,” said retired dean of

there are problems somewhere, such as a non-working

students Mike White. So great, in fact, that despite

elevator in a building or something, the people here can

retiring last year, he continues to volunteer at the

address it and have it taken care of.”

department, helping with the weekly luncheon for program participants. White is credited with helping found Student Support Services. In 1981, after serving as campus vocational rehabilitation counselor, he was named the first director

Advocacy is a major aspect of DSS’s role. The department often works closely with university administration and campus landscaping on behalf of students with disabilities. “From the very beginning, we have always taken

of Disabled Student Services. In 1983, he wrote the

a common sense approach to working with persons

federal grant application which established TRIO and the

with disabilities,” said Julie Berry, Student

two programs soon were merged into Student Support

Support Services director and assistant

Services. White was named its first director.

dean of students. “We are here to try and

For a student with a disability, simple things which

level the playing field. With our students’

traditional students often take for granted, such as taking

input, we have a very good handle on the

notes or navigating campus from one class to another,

areas that are still in need of improvement

can be daunting and sometimes seemingly impossible.

to make the campus accessible.”

SSS provides individual assistance through a wide range of resources, including note-takers and maximizing the availability of audio-books and maps indicating the

TRIO While the issues first generation and low-income students face when stepping into a university setting are quite different from

sometimes confusing matrix of schedules, deadlines and paperwork. “Most students at the university have parents and other family

those faced by persons with disabilities, they are still challenging

members who have attended college and are well prepared for

and can have a significant impact on a student’s success or failure.

what to expect when they get here. And, when problems or

Berry said a strong support system is an essential element for college students, especially incoming freshmen, to help them navigate the

questions arise, they have that built-in support system where they can go to ask questions and get advice,” she said. “When a student who does not have that support system is thrust into a university setting, it can be a most confusing and overwhelming experience, and as a result, they often become discouraged and may even eventually leave without ever completing their degree. That is where TRIO comes in.” Through TRIO, the university has the capacity to provide a wide range of services dealing with both academic and social issues that can impede a student’s progress and

“From the very beginning, we have always taken a common sense approach to working with persons with disabilities.” --Julie Berry, Student Support Services director 16 Alumnus Winter 2010

success, she explained.

mission and purpose. While providing academic and

Berry said the federally funded TRIO program, which has the capacity to

social resources from tutoring to self-improvement

serve about 160 students, initially incorporated Upward Bound, Talent Search

sessions and time-management skills, it also can be

and Student Support Services programs, but has expanded to include several

a significant unifying experience for individuals of

other initiatives. It is designed primarily to help program participants acclimate

similar backgrounds, she observed.

to the campus, both academically and socially.

“We serve as a resource for our students, to give

Junior banking and finance major Bridget Taylor, who became involved in

them an opportunity to learn all of the ins and outs

TRIO as a freshman, said she can only imagine what her college experience

of college life and administration,” Berry said. “All

would have been like without its support and resources.

students are searching for a place to plug in, and our

“There were so many things that being a part of TRIO has helped me with,” Taylor said. “They make sure you know when all the deadlines are, from

best service is providing the one-on-one interaction with other students they need and crave.

financial aid to registration. And, when there might be a problem or particular

“That helps us build a network of people from

issues I don’t know how to deal with, I always know I can come here and find

the same backgrounds and relative experiences as

someone who understands and can advise me on what I need to do.”

first generation college students,” she added.

Sophomore De’Ja Davis only recently joined the program, spending her freshman year trying to wade through the red tape that comes with being a

A Network of Friends Probably one of the most important services

college student. “One of my biggest problems was not knowing who my adviser was. Because of that, I didn’t know the dates of things like advising and registration, and when does it start, where do I need to go, things like that,” Davis said. “But, this program is very detailed and helps you with advising, making sure you

provided by Student Support Services for meetings with other students who have similar experiences and backgrounds, giving them a social network and, also, a support network. As an example, Berry named lunchtime

know important dates and

“fellowship” meetings held every Tuesday. At the

deadlines and stay on

sessions, speakers discuss the skills required for academic, professional and business success.

track.” Berry said Taylor’s and Davis’ collegiate experience epitomize TRIO’s

“It was really hard my freshman year, and at times it was discouraging, but being a part of TRIO and having people to relate to who share your experiences keeps you motivated to do your best and not give up,” Davis said. “My freshman year, I wasn’t involved in anything and I knew the people on the hall in my dorm, but outside that, I didn’t know anybody. This program opens up a whole new world to you. With this program and the different luncheons and meetings, I meet so many different people and my social circle has grown tremendously. It has given me the courage to get more involved with other things on campus.”

Alumnus Winter 2010 17

‘wounded warriors’ learn digital forensics at military medical facilities through MSU program By Robbie Ward

More than two dozen wounded soldiers and sailors sat inside a classroom at the Naval Station in Norfolk, Va., and listened to a Mississippi State University computer science instructor tell them about a second career option. They all shared an interest in becoming digital detectives.

create an income to support themselves and their families. Fitting for people with injuries, digital forensics requires little mobility.

These men and women in uniform learn

Wearing his camouflage battle dress uniform, Phillip

techniques to fight cyber crime through digital

Granderson, 39, of St. Louis, Mo., listened to the instructor

forensics. For injured veterans or active duty

explain methods and techniques in the introductory cyber crime

soldiers likely leaving the military due to

course. Granderson considered himself a lucky man to be sitting

injuries, this opportunity can help them

in the classroom—or just to be alive. He returned from Iraq after suffering injuries from an enemy attack. After surgery, Granderson has two screws in his shoulder. He’s even thinking about cyber crime fighting after he leaves active duty in the military. “I called the police department back home to see if they needed help in the forensics department,” said Granderson, who has served a decade in the military. “This is something to go home to.” Retired Army Col. Ray Vaughn, department head of computer science and engineering at Mississippi State, and David Dampier, a retired Army major and associate professor of computer science and engineering at MSU, created the program, available at no cost. The professional opportunities Vaughn and Dampier created in digital forensics provide an employment option for “wounded warriors.” Norfolk isn’t the only medical facility where MSU instructors have taught the courses. The program has trained wounded soldiers in other places, including the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Photo by Megan Bean

Photos by Robbie Ward

and the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Veterans Administration

Forensics Training Center. “This gives them options they

Hospital in Jackson.

wouldn't have otherwise.”

The courses are based on the model Mississippi State has

John Fauer, 52, who has spent 24 years serving his country

used to train more than 3,200 law enforcement officers from

in the Navy, views the digital forensics option as a way to

more than 25 states in the field of digital forensics.

supplement his income after leaving military service. Along with

Speak with Vaughn about his military experience and you'll

the honor and pride from serving his country, Fauer will leave

learn he has never forgotten his fellow soldiers from his Vietnam

the Navy missing two vertebrae from his neck. During his active

days, more than four decades ago. Through this program, the

duty in Kuwait, his injury has limited his physical abilities, but

computer science professor has found another way to assist

not his desire to stay active.

wounded veterans from the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the globe. “Soldiers and sailors need all of the support and gratitude

When Fauer returns to Detroit after his military discharge, he plans to follow up with the digital forensics employment option. He has purchased informative books to learn more about the

that the American people can give them," Vaughn said. "They put

field. He said his background in information technology makes

service to this nation first and we owe them a debt of gratitude

employment as a cyber detective a logical fit. He has become

because of that.”

such a believer in the program that he already has recruited

With more than 25 years of experience in the field, Vaughn has a depth of knowledge about computer security that he uses

several of his friends to become cyber sleuths. “I informed them about what we covered in the class and said

to assist veterans. He has helped establish MSU as one of the

it's something they’d be interested in doing,” Fauer said. “It's a

leading computer security centers in the nation. Vaughn and

good fit for me.”

Dampier have developed the Center for Computer Security

Vaughn said more advanced opportunities exist for people

Research, a Cyber Corps program, a National Forensics Training

like Fauer who would like to pursue more intensive studies in

Center, and other significant programs in the field.

digital forensics. The SANS Institute, a national organization

The duo blended digital forensics training and a desire to

that provides information about security training, now offers

help veterans when they created the three-year, $1-million digital

10 graduates of the MSU digital forensics courses $3,500

forensics program funded by the National Science Foundation.

scholarships to continue studying in SANS classes.

The program includes partnerships with Auburn and Tuskegee universities in Alabama. Dampier said the program gives veterans who experience disabilities on the battlefield another career option. “One of the worst things about being disabled is worrying

“What we’re trying to do is help those who may have had a traumatic experience during their military career, or for some reason cannot continue in military service and need to make a career change,” he said. “We’re trying to offer them hope and a new vocation.”

about 'what my future will be like now that I can’t do what I know how to do,” said Dampier, director of MSU's National

Alumnus Winter 2010 19

Story and photos by Kenny Billings

Photos and story by Kenny Billings

When it comes to archaeology, there is only so much that students can learn from books. They can study about collection methods, read about identifying artifacts and be taught—by the best professors—about the subtle differences in the pottery of prehistoric periods, yet they still only have a one-dimensional concept of practical archaeology. It is not until students actually have the chance to get their hands in the dirt and put those methods to work that they have a true appreciation and understanding of archaeology in action. A biennial field school offered through the university’s department of anthropology and Middle Eastern cultures provides students the opportunity to take those learned skills outside of the classroom and put them to practice at known archaeological sites. Last summer, the nine-week course was split into two sessions, giving students an almost total immersion into archaeological field practices. Led by university archaeologists Janet Rafferty and Evan Peacock, students first traveled to Kinlock in Sunflower County to a site along the Sunflower River to be introduced to surface artifact collection and geophysical mapping. Later, they traveled to one of the most important archaeological sites in North America, Poverty Point in Louisiana, for four weeks of excavation archaeology.

20 Alumnus Winter 2010

KINLOCK SITE Just down the road from Indianola,

on the surface. Here, they are laying out

take what I learned in the classroom and

Kinlock is a small farming community

grids and getting an understanding of

put it to work.”

situated along the swift-moving

how to label grid points and document

For research assistant and graduate

Sunflower River. Alongside the roads,

the variability of the site surface. Those

student Bradley Carlock, the field school

soybeans, cotton and corn thrive in the

kinds of skills are very specific to

was an opportunity to conduct research

rich Delta soil. Underneath, often lie

archaeology and are very important in

necessary for his master’s thesis, which

clues to the region’s past and evidence of

collecting scientific information and

examines the Kinlock shell ring in detail

earlier cultures.

turning it into meaningful data.”

and investigates its structure, as well as

Thousands of years ago, Native

At first glance, the field appears to

Americans were spread throughout

the untrained eye to be riddled with rock

“Shell rings have not been

the region, often migrating throughout

and gravel, but closer inspection reveals

investigated very much and we are

the Southeast, leaving behind clues

evidence of an early society. Mussel

hoping to see a specific pattern to the

that centuries later can be used to help

shells, some whole and some crushed,

ring. We hope to date it to the archaic

scientists understand their culture and

give the dark soil of the approximately

period,” he said. “By studying the site’s


five-acre field a silver cast, while the

artifacts and structure, we can learn what

thin smooth rocks riddling the field

they were eating and determine what

1200 B.C. to A.D. 1000 and is situated in

make it appear anything but conducive

animals were available. We can also

the middle of a soybean field left barren

to farming. To an archaeologist,

get an idea of climate patterns, and by

by the farmer so students could conduct

those shells tell a story about how the

looking at artifact clusters, we can see

their research. It was selected for the

inhabitants lived. Mussels were a staple

where they may have been doing specific

field study course after aerial photos

in the diet of many Native Americans


revealed it as a possible shell ring where

living near water, and those smooth

an ancient Native American settlement

stones are actually cherds of pottery that

students exposure to a wide variety of

once had been situated.

were used for a variety of purposes, such

artifacts from arrowheads to pottery

as preparing food.

with very little excavation, the second

The Kinlock site dates from about

By allowing students to participate in the site examination, archaeology

when and how it was formed.

While the shell ring at Kinlock gave

“To find things people touched and

part of the field school at the famous

professor Janet Rafferty said they

used thousands of years ago is an awe-

Poverty Point National Monument in

would get a thorough introduction to

inspiring experience,” said Leah Sellers,

northeast Louisiana would provide them

archaeological methods and practices.

an anthropology major from Vicksburg.

a four-week introduction into excavation

“One of the big things they will learn

“This site is so unique, and I find it

archaeology at a site explored many

from this site is artifact recognition,”

amazing that everything is just sitting

times since its discovery in 1873.

Rafferty said. “What we are conducting

here on top of the ground.”

here is surface collection, as opposed

The senior added, “I felt this was the

to what most people think of when they

best way to see if this is what I really

think of archaeology: digging square

want to do for the rest

holes and examining it layer by layer. Most of the artifacts here are visible

of my life, as well as

Alumnus Winter 2010 21

poverty point Poverty Point National Monument

at the site displays hundreds of the

some as far away as Arkansas, North

lies alongside Bayou Macon just outside

artifacts unearthed during the dozens

Carolina and Wisconsin.”

Epps, La., in West Carroll Parish as part

of expeditions conducted at the site in

Because of the absence of natural

of Poverty Point State Park. Though

the half-century since discovery of the

rock material, Peacock said, inhabitants

evidence that a prehistoric culture once

mounds and ridges.

adapted a way of cooking using clay

inhabited the area was discovered in

“Poverty Point is one of most

balls, dubbed Poverty Point objects

1873, the true complexity of the site was

famous sites in North America” Peacock

because of their uniqueness to the area,

not realized until 1950.

said. “It is believed to have been built

created from the rich, heavy, local clay.

Aerial photographs revealed

approximately 3,500 years ago by a

They would mold the balls and fire-

a complex pattern of man-made

colony of hunter-gatherers. One reason

harden them, and then these objects

earthworks consisting of six concentric

it is famous among the archaeological

could be reheated and placed in a pit

rings forming an arc against Bayou

community is because of the hundreds

with food, making essentially a clay

Macon, encompassing about 500 acres.

of tons of raw materials. There were


Accompanying the ridges are five

literally millions of these rocks brought

earthen mounds, with the “T-shaped”

in from hundreds of miles away. The

of artifacts over the years, and a student

primary mound (Mound A), often

sheer scale and complexity of what has

having the chance to be a part of an

described as a flying bird effigy, at the

been discovered here flies in the face

excavation at such a historic site was a

head of the ridges standing nearly 70

of our perception of a hunter-gatherer

once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

feet high.


Since its discovery, Poverty

“The Indians who lived here did not

Poverty Point has given up a wealth

Peacock said the expedition to Poverty Point was focused on a recent

Point has been studied extensively

have a lot of natural rock to work, and it

discovery made when University of

by archaeologists, yielding a wealth

has been discovered that there are rocks

Kentucky archaeologists conducted

of information about the culture that

not indigenous to the area that were

a remote sensing study using a

once called the area home. A museum

brought here from very, very far afield;

magnetometer, which essentially looks

22 Alumnus Winter 2010

into the ground and measures the

soil, we hope to begin to get some kind

strength and direction of the magnetic

of understanding of what may have

working knowledge of what


formed these rings.”

archaeology is all about. When you’re

What they discovered, he said,

Peacock said that while the

“Field school gives practical

studying in the classroom, you get a

were a series of perfectly circular

Kinlock and Poverty Point sites gave

strong theory-based knowledge of what

features throughout the site, adding

students two different opportunities for

anthropology and archaeology are.

another level of complexity to one of

archaeological study and examination,

Being able to take that theory and put

the most intriguing archaeological sites

together they serve a common goal for

it into practice in real archaeological

in North America.

students participating in the field study

settings gives you a whole new

course: job preparation.

dimension of understanding,” Collins

“We are going to be excavating areas targeting some of these rings

“At Kinlock, students learned to


to possibly determine what they

find sites and recognize artifacts on

were,” Peacock said. “We have placed

the surface and how to develop the

collected data and artifacts began when

excavation blocks at different parts of

tools needed to go where no one has

students returned for the fall semester,

the site on different examples of these

found anything before and make new

Peacock said, and preliminary

rings. We are going down, excavating

discoveries. Once they have found a

findings are being presented at various

very slowly and very carefully,

site determined to be important, the

archaeology conferences.

studying the changes in the soil and

next step is excavation, and that is what

looking for clues to tell us what we

they learned at Poverty Point. Things

he said, will likely be the source of

want to know. This is our first real

they learn in the field are things they

numerous publications and articles and

look at these rings. Are they posts,

can never learn in the classroom—we

will continue to yield important data

trenches or maybe lines of pits? We

are teaching them job skills.”

over the next several years.

have no idea at all, but by studying the artifacts and subtle changes in the

Examination and analysis of

Information obtained at both sites,

Senior anthropology major Joe Collins agrees.

ings “To find th d and he people touc ds of an used thous an aweyears ago is perience.” x inspiring e llers, an -- Leah Se major y anthropolog urg b from Vicks

Alumnus Winter 2010 23

going beyond Former national Alumni As s o c i ation president

going beyond the

call of


By Sheri Pape

Former Alumni Association national president and engineering graduate Durr Boyles is not your typical Bulldog alumnus. Since last December, Boyles has been serving his alma mater, and more importantly, his nation, with the 168th Engineer Brigade out of Vicksburg. Boyles, an Army colonel who is also a principal at Boyles Moak Insurance Services in Jackson, is a proud member of the Mississippi National Guard, a role that was influenced by his father, a retired National Guard colonel, and also his time as an ROTC cadet at Mississippi State. “Mississippi State made it easy to be in the ROTC because there was an accepted friendly environment surrounding the military on campus,” said Boyles. “I had three fraternity brothers who were in ROTC, and knew many other MSU students, as well. ROTC was a very positive experience for me.”

24 Alumnus Winter 2010

If you ask me why I am here, it’s to be here with the officers and noncommissioned officers I have served with previously; and, to be with the youngsters who are here to serve our country with a devotion to a cause that is

much greater than themselves. --Durr Boyles

Alumnus Winter 2010 25

call of Photo by Kristen Hines Baker

His graduation in 1982 proved to be one of


Afghanistan National Army and Afghanistan Border Patrol with construction

the proudest moments in his Bulldog and military

efforts at their locations. They also provided schools for the Afghan people to help

career. While the country was still recovering from

develop construction skills that provide a trade for citizens to learn and earn a

the scars of Vietnam, Boyles and 11 other MSU

better living.

ROTC members took a stand for their country at graduation. “At the time, it was not a popular endeavor to join the military,” he said. “After receiving my diploma at the graduation ceremony, as instructed, I walked to the back of the coliseum and removed

Boyles is one of many Bulldog graduates defending his country overseas. MSU is proud to be the home to thousands of brave men and women serving in military and civilian roles. “While I’ve been in Afghanistan, I have met a number of Bulldogs,” said Boyles. “You’ll be proud to know that several MSU graduates are serving in key

my robe to uncover my dress Army uniform

positions in Special Forces, aviation, engineering, and with the CIA/NSA


organizations here. Bulldogs are serving their country in some very important

Soon, 12 ROTC cadets walked down the middle isle toward the front. At first, they experienced

roles in Afghanistan.” The Alumni Association is proud to have many military volunteers and

sporadic cat calls and whistles from the crowd, but

professionals as part of the Bulldog family. It is individuals like Boyles who make

through the procession, intermittent claps began to

MSU and the United States a better and safer place.

outnumber the jeers. “As we approached the podium,” he continued,

“In May 2009, we invited all of our former national presidents back to campus to thank them for their service to Mississippi State” said Jimmy Abraham,

“the entire coliseum was applauding. It was a

associate vice president for development and alumni and executive director of

magical moment for me. I felt very proud to receive

the alumni association. “All of us could not help but think of Durr, and while we

my commission as second lieutenant that day and I

wished he could be with us and we missed him, he would not be anywhere else but

became aware that perhaps this single, small event

serving his country. Durr is an outstanding person and a true Bulldog who loves

characterized that, as a country, we were heading in

our university so much, and we are very proud of him, as we are all of our men

a renewed patriotic direction.”

and women in uniform.”

The memory of his graduation and

When he isn’t overseas, Boyles resides in Jackson with wife Robin and

commissioning ceremony is one that Boyles carries

children Graham, 18, and Conner, 15. Apart from his education at MSU, Boyles

with him to this day.

also holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War

Boyles recently returned home from a one-year deployment in Afghanistan. When there, he acted as

College. “My experience in Afghanistan has been very rewarding,” Boyles said. “I am

deputy commander of the 168th Engineer Brigade,

proud and humbled by the young men and women who are only a few months

which is the engineer command for combat

or years out of high school, performing complex tasks under very, very difficult

engineering, construction engineering and mine

circumstances. If you ask me why I am here, it’s to be here with the officers and

clearing for the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions.

noncommissioned officers I have served with previously; and, to be with the

Among the many responsibilities while deployed, the 168th Brigade assisted the

26 Alumnus Winter 2010

youngsters who are here to serve our country with a devotion to a cause that is much greater than themselves.”



10 WINTER Alumnus

MSU, HABITAT OFFICIALS HELP DEDICATE HOME The Maroon Edition Habitat House is a reality, and an early one, at that. In early December, Mississippi State President Mark Keenum joined Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity representatives in dedicating the residence constructed over the fall semester as a service-learning component of the univeristy’s Maroon Edition First-Year Reading Experience. During a Dec. 1 ceremony, Keenum welcomed Rufus Harvey, Sabrina Randle and their three children to their new home. “The partnership between Mississippi State and the Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity is wonderful and for this to be our first Maroon Edition project is a special occasion,” Keenum said, adding, “I hope this will be an annual event and am looking forward to continuing this tradition and partnership.”

MSU President Mark Keenum (l) offered congratulations to Rufus Harvey and Sabrina Randle, new owners of the Maroon Edition Habitat House in Starkville. The residence was built over the fall semester by MSU student, faculty and staff volunteers, and the couple themselves.

EcoCAR team continues winning ways in new challenge A Mississippi State student team holds third-place honors among 17 North America institutions in the 2009 finals of “EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge.” During recent competition in Canada, the university’s vehicle design again was among the top finishers to redesign conventional vehicle engines and make them “greener” and more energy efficient. MSU teams were overall first-place winners in 2007 and 2008 during a similar but separate competition. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, the Canadian government, and numerous

other organizations, the student challenge involves a 2009 Saturn VUE. While improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, the collegiate teams also must retain the vehicle’s performance and consumer appeal. While the MSU team was third overall, it won first place in the mechanical systems presentation subcategory and second in outstanding outreach (i.e., promotion of its work). It also received a separate award for “creative promotion” of the MSU EcoCAR entry. The MSU team began work in August on the 2010 phase of the competition.

Alumnus Winter 2010 27



10 WINTER Alumnus

Schmitz receives major professional recognition Alumnus and professor Darrel W. Schmitz is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. A member of the geosciences department since 1990 and its leader since 2004, Schmitz is active in GSA and other organizations. His research interests include groundwater movement, natural water composition and hydrogeology related to environmental areas of hazardous and non-hazardous waste disposal, among other areas.

DOCTORAL STUDENT HELPS FBI IDENTIFY MEDICAL CLINIC THREAT A Mississippi State computer science major’s cooperation with the FBI led to the arrest of a Texan accused of planning a major computer “hack” of a Dallas medical facility. Wesley McGrew of Collinsville, a computer science doctoral student, turned over his research about a potential hack to an FBI agent in Jackson. The agent passed the information to the Dallas bureau to investigate for possible federal crimes. According to McGrew, online bragging by the suspect “mentioned control and SCADA computer systems responsible for critical infrastructure that could jeopardize lives, if compromised.” The suspect also discussed breaking into a facility’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning computer system, with plans for a serious attack that could harm patients and affect medications kept at specific temperatures, he added. FBI special agents have identified the suspect as Jesse William McGraw of Arlington, who allegedly posted plans for a “Devil’s Day” attack and referred to an organized “distributed denial of service,” a type of computer attack in which an unauthorized person takes control of secured computers and uses them for potentially malicious attacks. With bachelor and master’s degrees in computer science completed at MSU, Wesley McGrew currently focuses his doctoral studies on vulnerability analysis and penetration testing in computer systems. Last year, he earned praise for a similar piece of detective work that uncovered major flaws in numerous national critical infrastructure software programs. After the super-secret National Security Agency was made aware of his discovery, the Department of Homeland Security broadcast an alert that included information on how to correct the flaws.

28 Alumnus Winter 2010

Nine receive Tillman Scholarships Nine Mississippi State students are among the inaugural group receiving national university scholarships awarded in memory of NFL player and late Army Ranger Pat Tillman. Tillman was a starting safety with the Arizona Cardinals from 1998-2001. In mid-2002, he placed his professional football career on hold to become a U.S. Army Ranger. Two years later, the San Jose, Calif., native was killed on active duty in eastern Afghanistan. “Mississippi State University is recognized nationally as a strong militaryand veteran-friendly university,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “We are extremely grateful to be among the first schools selected to receive these special Tillman Military Scholarships in memory of a young soldier who fought valiantly for his country. “The MSU students who are linked to these inaugural awards will carry the imprint of Pat Tillman with them as they pursue their academic goals,” he added. The scholarships support the education of both veterans and their families. Amounts for the MSU group vary between $3,500 and $12,000. The Arizona-based Pat Tillman Foundation was created by family and friends following his death. Marie Tillman, his widow, is chair of the foundation’s board of directors.

MHP, MSU develop pilot computer-reporting system Increasing the number of Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers at locations and times when and where there may be a higher degree of accidents with fatalities can save lives. Determining how many trooper patrols to schedule during university sporting events, large concerts and other major special events throughout the state can help prevent tragedies. These are just two reasons why the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Mississippi State’s Social Science Research Center have joined together to upgrade the state safety agency’s system for analyzing patrolman reports. Scientists at the center are using satellite imagery to develop a pilot computer program that overlays traffic data about accidents, fatalities and other critical information into a mapping system. The computer-based program enables officers to see in real time what is effective and to adjust their locations on the basis of the latest information. The previous penciland-paper system developed in the 1990s resulted only in basic information and required significant manpower and time to analyze individual trooper reports.

Capt. Randy Ginn, left, of the Mississippi Highway Patrol in Starkville and Lee Weiskopf, research associate at Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center, review reports produced by the research center based on data from the state agency. As of July, all highway patrol districts in the state use the upgraded reporting system.

Tuck among ‘leading business women’ Amy Tuck, special assistant to the president, is among 50 professionals in the 2009 “Leading Business Women in Mississippi” program. Sponsored by the Mississippi Business Journal, the annual honor recognizes individuals with significant professional and personal accomplishments, as well as major levels of influence. Tuck, a former District 15 state senator and two-term lieutenant governor, assumed current duties at her alma mater in 2008. An Oktibbeha County native and 1985 political science graduate, Tuck also holds a 1994 MSU master’s degree in public

policy and administration, as well as 1989 law degree from Mississippi College. Her public roles also have included service as secretary of the Mississippi Senate. At MSU, Tuck continues to promote state economic development activities. She provides consultation on public policy issues and interacts with a wide variety of local, state and federal officials to ensure that the land-grant institution continues to be aligned with public needs.

Alumnus Winter 2010 29



10 WINTER Alumnus

Gregory Bohach of Idaho is new ag vice president

Tucci named MSUMeridian dean

A senior agriculture administrator from the University of Idaho is the new vice president for one of Mississippi State University’s oldest academic units. Gregory A. Bohach was named vice president for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine in late summer. Bohach served concurrently as associate dean of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and director of the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station, Idaho Center for Host-Pathogen Interaction Research, and Idaho State EPSCor/IDeA Programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh/Johnstown, and master’s and doctoral degrees from West Virginia University. He also completed a master’s at Connemaugh Memorial Hospital in Johnstown and postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota.

Jack E. Tucci, head of the business division at Mississippi State University-Meridian, is the Lauderdale County campus’ new dean and executive director. In addition to leading the business division since 2003, Tucci serves as regional director for the Technology Resources Institute and the Meridian campus’ State of Mississippi technology initiatives. He is a doctoral graduate of the University of North Texas. Before coming to Mississippi, Tucci was an associate professor at Marshall University in West Virginia, Abilene Christian University in Texas and Southeastern Louisiana University. He also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas, Permian Basin.

Football gamedays are ‘greener’ Football gamedays at Mississippi State were greener this fall thanks to a new initiative developed by the athletic department and the university’s Environmental Collaborative Office. Called “Keep It Clean: Green Gameday, Sustainable Season,” the effort encourages Bulldog fans and visitors to reaffirm existing efforts to maintain a sportsmanlike atmosphere and to be responsible for picking up tailgating trash. For the first time, fans also are being invited to participate in recycling aluminum, plastic and glass. “Our fans have shown over time that they’re a big part of creating a great gameday experience at Mississippi State,” said athletic director Greg Byrne. “We’re excited about this new collaboration that heightens our commitment to stewardship when thousands of people are on our campus for home games.” Byrne said “’Keep It Clean’ reinforces our commitment to providing the best college football experience possible throughout the season.” While many universities charge tailgating fees to defray the costs of extensive post-game cleanups, MSU does not, Byrne observed. The school depends on fans to do their part by bagging tailgate trash and recycling whenever possible, he added. Typically, maroon and white trash receptacles are located throughout campus on game weekends. For the first time this year, green recycling boxes were provided by MSU’s ECO and the Mississippi Department of Transportation and Waste Management.

30 Alumnus Winter 2010

Ragtime, jazz festival planned for 2010 STUDENT FORESTRY GROUP NOW ‘TOPS’ FOR A DECADE Mississippi State’s student chapter of the Society of American Foresters continues among the top organizations of its kind in the nation. The 46-member body recently placed first in the SAF Student Chapter Web site competition and now ranks third overall in the outstanding student chapter category. The group has finished atop the overall chapter rankings for the past decade, capturing first place in the 1996-97, 200001, 2003-04, and 2005-06 school years; second place in 1998-99, 2001-02 and 2004-05; and third place in 2002-03 and 2007-08. With this year’s achievements, the chapter has achieved first place for six years in Web site competition. Designed and maintained by members, the site—www.cfr.—was judged on design and content, among other criteria.

The fourth annual Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival is scheduled for March 26 and 27, 2010, sponsored by MSU Libraries and the Charles Templeton Sr. Music Museum. The ragtime, jazz fest is comprised of a blend of major concerts, mini-concerts, seminars, and tours of the music museum. Artists for the year include ragtime pianist Frederick Hodges, American popular music authority David Jasen, musician Sonny Leyland, performer and historian Adam Swanson, and Terry Waldo, one of America’s top performers of ragtime and early jazz. For the latest information, visit the ragtime Web site at ragtime/festival/index.html.


MARY MATALIN Nationally known political commentators and strategists Mary Matalin and James Carville were featured speakers in late September in Lee Hall. Wife and husband and ardent Republican and Democrat spokespersons, respectively, they helped kick off the third annual MSU Leadership Summit. The two-day event is sponsored by the College of Business and Division of Academic Outreach and Continuing Education.

Alumnus Winter 2010 31



10 WINTER Alumnus

Shaw promoted to research vice president A veteran faculty member and research scientist is the new vice president for research and economic development. David R. Shaw, who holds the university’s highest honorary distinction as a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor, assumed his new duties Jan. 1, pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning. He succeeds Kirk Schulz, who now is president of Kansas State University. Beginning his career at MSU in 1985 as assistant professor of weed science, Shaw has played a key role in the creation and leadership of several crossdisciplinary research centers that focus on the applications of remote sensing technology to resource management. Shaw is a fellow of the Weed Science Society and, in 2008, was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Cameron University in Oklahoma and a master’s and doctorate from Oklahoma State University, both in weed science.

MSU, Choctaws form continuing partnership Mississippi State and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians are strengthening ties between the university and tribal government to promote leadership development, academic excellence and civic engagement. University President Mark Keenum recently joined Miko Beasley Denson for a ceremony at Choctaw Central High School to sign a memorandum of understanding establishing a mutually beneficial relationship between the two entities. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is the Magnolia State’s only federally recognized tribe. With headquarters at the Pearl River community near Philadelphia, the community has more than 10,000 members. Denson, the band’s elected leader, is a 1974 MSU graduate in horticulture.

MSU hits all-time high enrollment

JOSEPH STIGLITZ Joseph Stiglitz, the 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics who also was lead author of a report on climate change that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, paid a visit to Mississippi State in mid-November. Stiglitz is a creator of the branch of study called “economics of information” and holds the rank of University Professor at Columbia University.

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Surpassing its historic high numbers last year, Mississippi State announced a fall semester enrollment of 18,601, a 4.4 percent increase over 2008. “We’re pleased that so many students see the value of a degree from Mississippi State, where they can pursue any career option they desire,” said university President Mark E. Keenum. Fall enrollment included more than 17,900 on the Starkville campus and 700 at the Meridian campus. The College of Arts and Sciences remains the largest academic unit, with 4,533 students, followed, respectively, by the education, engineering and business colleges. “We’re very proud that our ACT average also has shown an increase, to 23.7,” Keenum said. “There is no question that Mississippi State is attracting the best and the brightest.”

With the new 2010 MSU hanging wall calendar, you’ll feel like you’re spending every day on the Mississippi State University campus.

Enjoy beautiful pictures of familiar places and campus scenes that bring back special memories of your time spent at State. The official MSU calendar has become a Bulldog tradition. With pictures taken by MSU’s own award-winning photographers, it’s truly a one-of-a-kind treasure. Get a paw up on your friends and neighbors and order one today. Visit the MSU Foundation Web site at or call 662-325-7000.

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Alumni help recruit students to MSU In 2007, the Mississippi State Alumni Association and the Office of Admissions and Scholarships began a unique program that allows alumni and friends to participate in the ongoing recruiting efforts of the university. The Alumni Recruitment Network is an unmatched group of 125 volunteers who help recruit quality students to MSU. Members provide a unique and personal service to the university by helping organize in-home recruiting parties, meeting prospective students and their parents and spreading the word about the opportunities at Mississippi State. Kathy Bryan of Madison helps promote the university in Central Mississippi by hosting recruiting parties each fall and spring and attending college fairs at area high schools. As an alumna and parent to two MSU students, Bryan is proud of her role as a volunteer recruiter. “I have seen firsthand the effect recruitment has on high school students,” said Bryan. “I enjoy taking the time to visit students at various high schools and promoting MSU as an alumna and offering assistance if they have any questions.” Bryan serves as the student recruitment chair for the Central Mississippi Chapter. She believes it is important for every

Lincoln County Chapter Brookhaven, Miss.

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alumnus to help promote the Mississippi State spirit in their communities. “It is such a great feeling to pass on the enthusiasm and love of Mississippi State to students in hopes that they, too, will become part of our Bulldog family,” said Bryan. Working towards a common goal, it takes each and every volunteer recruiting in areas all over the country to see the university continue to grow. Volunteers receive a list of names each month with students who are within their area of residence. Many volunteers contact the students through e-mail, phone calls and letters, or personal contact. In the last three years, Danny and Ann Hossley of Hideaway, Texas, have helped recruit more than 40 Texas high school students to MSU. As retired alumni, the Hossleys represent their alma mater by attending college fairs, hosting events and visiting local high schools. “We spend a great deal of time speaking to students, high school counselors and parents about MSU,” said Danny. The Hossleys’ goal is to help create awareness for MSU wherever they go. Danny and his wife have done everything from television interviews, to sending out media releases, to visiting with students

West Tenn. Chapter Jackson, Tenn.

Atlanta, Ga. Chapter

and parents one-on-one in their homes to spread the maroon spirit in East Texas. Danny, who is a past president of the East Texas Alumni Chapter, encourages fellow alumni in his area to be involved with recruiting. “The East Texas Chapter makes recruiting a major emphasis in all of our events,” he said. “We have created a scholarship fund for East Texas students wanting to enroll at Mississippi State, and discuss recruiting at every chapter meeting.” Last year, members of the ARN helped contact more than 3,500 potential students. Each volunteer has the same ultimate goal–to share their loyalty and pride for Mississippi State. Much like the Hossleys, Rhonda Stutts has a passion to spread the maroon and white fever to students in northern Alabama. Stutts has been involved with student recruitment since before ARN was formed. “Several years ago, I had some students ask if I would take them down for a campus tour,” said Stutts. “Bringing students to campus for sporting events and giving them tours is one of my favorite things to do.” Stutts has made great friends with the parents of students she has taken on campus trips. “On any given Saturday in the fall, you will find a large group of us going to games and tailgating,” she continued.


Whether through campus visits, chapter recruiting events or college fairs, ARN volunteers are dedicated to Mississippi State. “With almost every student I recruit, I learn something new about MSU,” said Stutts, “and that just reaffirms what a wonderful place it truly is.” Meredith Clifton, counselor for the Office of Admissions and Scholarships at Mississippi State, oversees the Alumni Recruitment Network. “Our Mississippi State alumni are unlike any others,” said Clifton. “They each have a unique and personal passion for their alma mater, and the efforts that our volunteers make for our recruitment mission is remarkable. “The recruitment season is under way for the incoming class of 2010 and beyond. We would like to invite you to join the MSU Alumni Recruitment Network for another wonderful year of student recruitment. “The ARN is one of Mississippi State’s best-kept recruiting secrets,” continued Clifton. “Many of our alumni use their personal experiences to illustrate to prospective students what a wonderful institution MSU truly is.” For more information on the Alumni Recruitment Network or to get involved, please contact Meredith Clifton at or 662-3251566.

A soggy afternoon didn’t keep Mississippi State fans from participating in a growing, first day of class tradition. Hundreds of students, faculty, alumni, and fans gathered on MSU’s historic Drill Field with cowbells in hand to help ring in the new school year. Initiated in 2004, The Drill is a pep rally held to welcome new and returning students to campus, as well as raise excitement about the upcoming athletic seasons. Student Association President Blake Jeter led the event. Featured speakers included President Mark E. Keenum, Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman and head football coach Dan Mullen. The Famous Maroon Band and other MSU spirit groups were also in attendance, helping lead the crowd. An MSU cheerleader helped prepare new students for football season by teaching a few of the traditional cheers. Keenum greeted students and encouraged them to make the most of their time at Mississippi State. Wiseman represented the city of Starkville, and expressed excitement about the continual growth of the student body. Mullen encouraged students, alumni and fans to support the football team, especially at the season opener against Jackson State. “This is a very important event for our students and a great way to begin the first day of class. Despite the rain and mist, we’re glad everyone came out to show their Bulldog spirit,” said Jimmy Abraham, associate vice president for development and alumni and executive director of the Alumni Association. Jesus Valdez, a first-year MBA student, says The Drill is one of the most important new traditions at Mississippi State. “The Drill helps build the culture of MSU and shows new students what it is like to really be a Bulldog,” said Valdez. “The weather only showed how we as fans can stick it out through the gloomy days. We still all showed up with our maroon on and our cowbells ringing.” The Drill was sponsored by the Student Association and the Alumni Association and held on Aug. 17, the first day of classes.

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BULLDOGS TRAVEL TO BIG APPLE FOR 30TH ANNUAL NEW YORK PICNIC On Saturday, June 13, the MSU Alumni Association participated in the 30th annual New York Mississippi Picnic in Central Park. MSU alumni gathered together under the big-top tent to help “Celebrate Mississippi,” the theme of this year’s picnic. President Mark E. Keenum was in attendance, along with other university representatives. “We always have a lot of fun at Mississippi in the Park,” said Jimmy Abraham, associate vice president for development and executive director of the Alumni Association. The picnic included several activities, such as contests for the best amateur art, best dessert and best picnic spread. There also was a scavenger hunt for the children and a Mississippi blues band providing live entertainment. The first Mississippi picnic in New York took place in 1979 when a group of local Mississippi natives living in the Big Apple decided to get together for a Southern reunion. More than 500 individuals attended the inaugural event. Since its beginning, many Mississippi universities have become involved in the picnic. It has become an annual tradition for Bulldog alumni living in New York, as well as those from the university who travel to Central Park each year for the event. “This is a special time for not only MSU alumni to gather together, but all of our wonderful Mississippians who have relocated to that area,” said Abraham. The Mississippi Picnic in Central Park is held each year in June. For more details, visit the official Web site at 36 Alumnus Winter 2010

University alumni chapters play vital role with student scholarships Alumni chapters from around the world help make a difference for students at Mississippi State. Annual and endowed scholarships play a significant role in helping exceptional students attend MSU. Currently, 40 chapters across the country and one international chapter sponsor MSU scholarships, typically awarded to students in the chapter’s local area. Several alumni chapters have established multiple scholarships to provide tuition funding for local students. The GeorgeGreene County Chapter has a total of three separate scholarships available to incoming students, two of which are endowed. Other alumni chapters with multiple scholarships include Central Mississippi, Lee County, Oktibbeha County, and Warren County. “We are very grateful to our alumni chapters that provide scholarships for our students each year,” said Jimmy Abraham, associate vice president for development and alumni and executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. “They mean so much to so many, as they award deserving students with funds needed to attend MSU, as well as give our alumni chapters a great way to give back in a tangible, meaningful way.” The MSU Alumni Association has 89 chartered alumni chapters throughout the United States, and one international chapter in South Korea. These chapters keep alumni and friends informed about the programs, happenings and needs of Mississippi State. Local chapter members serve as MSU representatives in local communities by hosting events ranging from socials to student recruitment parties to community service projects. Gifts of any amount from individual donors may be designated to a specific chapter’s endowed or annual scholarship fund. For more information on chapter scholarships, please contact Cathy Lammons, director of donor relations for the MSU Foundation, at 662-325-7000 or via e-mail at clammons@advservices.

Alumni Association serves as sponsor for 2009 Bulldog Bash

The MSU Alumni Association was proud to partner with the MSU Student Association again as the title sponsor for the 10th annual Bulldog Bash on Friday, Sept. 25. Bulldog Bash, the state’s largest free outdoor concert, is an annual event held in Starkville’s Cotton District. Family activities and fanfare kicked off around 5 p.m., with a pep rally helping pump up the crowd in anticipation for the MSU vs. LSU game that followed on Saturday. Following the fanfare, live performances began on the AT&T main stage on University Drive and an additional stage on Page Street. The featured bands included Jamie Davis and Soul Gravy, the Flames, Z-Flo, Sterling-Y and Red Hill City. This year’s Bulldog Bash headliner was Third Eye Blind, the national alternative rock sensation. According to their Web site,, the group has released three best-selling albums since 1997. In August, it released its first studio recorded album in five years titled “Ursa Major,” which turned into a hot seller on iTunes and “We want to do all we can to promote activities like this for Mississippi State students, alumni and friends,” said Jimmy Abraham, associate vice president for development and alumni and executive director of the Alumni Association. “We want to do all we can to promote activities like this for Mississippi State students, alumni and friends.” This year, Bulldog Bash partnered with the Mobile Giving Foundation to help raise money for United Way. A call went out to the crowd to text a special code to UNITED, and a $5 donation was added to the phone bill of each person who texted the code. “Bulldog Bash was a great way to have fun and, at the same time, have our student body give back to the Starkville community,” said Blake Jeter, president of the MSU Student Association. “This was the first text-message donation event in the state of Mississippi, we were really excited to be a part of it.” For more information about Bulldog Bash, visit the Web site at

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GO ON AN ADVENTURE WITH THE TRAVELING BULLDOGS Do you long to journey to ancient Greek ruins? Have you always wanted to go on an African safari? Would you enjoy a cruise through the European countryside? If so, take a trip with the Traveling Bulldogs! The MSU Alumni Association, along with our travel partners, will be offering 12 trips around the world in 2010. Locations include England, South America, Canada, Greece, Spain, and many more. The trips include a comprehensive itinerary filled with educational opportunities and exciting excursions at each location. You can discover beautiful European architecture, participate in local customs and traditions, feast on exotic cuisine, and explore historical destinations with details and accommodations arranged by one of the expert tour operators. Enjoy a luxurious vacation with fellow Bulldog alumni and friends. Make new friends who share the passion for maroon and white, and mingle with alumni from other universities around the United States.

For more detailed information on the endorsed 2010 trips, visit www.alumni. Join us and make some new Bulldog memories in 2010.

ALUMNUS CLIMBS KILIMANJARO Alumnus David Still (’67) of Kent, Wash., a retired senior vice president for Weyerhaeuser Co., showed his Bulldog spirit atop Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in October. Still said the climb took eight days and the temperature at the summit was 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

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ANNUAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE AND BANQUET TO BE HELD IN FEBRUARY Each February, the Alumni Association hosts hundreds of its most valuable and dedicated alumni volunteers from around the globe. The 2010 Alumni Association awards banquet and leadership conference is set for Feb. 12-13, 2010. The banquet, held on Friday night, will honor the distinguished service award members, outstanding chapters, college alumni of the year and our national alumnus of the year. The one-day conference on Saturday helps provide ideas for alumni representatives to implement in their local chapters. Conference attendees will hear reports on the state of the university, student recruiting and athletics. At the 2009 conference, more than 400 individuals attended the awards banquet and 175 attended the leadership conference. Alumni leaders enjoyed networking with chapter volunteers, learning about outreach opportunities and honoring some of the most outstanding alumni associated with MSU. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to see two men’s basketball games, if they wish. On Thursday, Feb. 11, MSU will take on arch rival Ole Miss at Humphrey Coliseum at 8 p.m. Following Saturday’s conference, MSU will play Auburn at 6 p.m. For ticket information, contact the MSU Ticket Office. For further details on the 2010 awards banquet and leadership conference, visit the Alumni Association Web site at www.alumni.

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ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2009-10 NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS The 2009-10 national officers will be joined by board members from all around the country. These individuals will serve as the national board from July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010. The national board members include: NATIONAL PRESIDENT: Charles A. Cascio, ’79, Cleveland NATIONAL FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: Karen Dugard Lawler, ’82, ’94, Madison, Ala. NATIONAL SECOND VICE PRESIDENT: Jerry L. Toney, ’96, Starkville NATIONAL TREASURER: Jodi White Turner, ’97, ’99, Tallassee, Ala. IMMEDIATE FORMER NATIONAL PRESIDENT: Andrew D. “A.D.” Hunt Jr., ’70, Hattiesburg

NORTH 1 REGION DIRECTOR: Robert L. “Lance” Peacock, ’02, Olive Branch NORTH 2 REGION DIRECTOR: Roger N. Childs, ’91, Ripley NORTH 3 REGION DIRECTOR: Sandra L. Murray, West Point YOUNG DIRECTOR - NORTHERN REGION: Audrey T. “Taneka” Milliner, ’07, Southaven CENTRAL 1 REGION DIRECTOR: Gerald J. “Jerry” Fulton, ’71, Yazoo City CENTRAL 2 REGION DIRECTOR: Andrew C. Frank, ’91, Kosciusko CENTRAL 3 REGION DIRECTOR: H. Riley Nelson, ’99, ’01, Vicksburg YOUNG DIRECTOR - CENTRAL REGION: Louie Arthur “Art” Smith, ’01, Brandon SOUTH 1 REGION DIRECTOR: Ronald E. “Ron” Black, ’80, Meridian

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SOUTH 2 REGION DIRECTOR: Christie D. Walters, ’98, Collins SOUTH 3 REGION DIRECTOR: Exton R. “Buck” Johnson, ’63, Gulfport YOUNG DIRECTOR - SOUTHERN REGION: Jessica H. Maholm, ’02, Hattiesburg OUT-OF-STATE DIRECTORS: Robert L. “Rob” Carpenter, ’72, Baton Rouge, La. Susan J. Hill, ’93, Gulf Breeze, Fla. Stephanie S. Williford, ’72, Mobile, Ala. AT-LARGE DIRECTORS: David T. Cozart, ’86, Tuscumbia, Ala. Robert Steven “Steve” Tuttle II, ’95, Memphis, Tenn. Camille Scales Young, ’94, ’96, Madison ATLANTA CHAPTER DIRECTOR: Michael W. “Mike” Criswell, ’80, Atlanta, Ga.


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BIRMINGHAM CHAPTER DIRECTOR: Matthew B. “Matt” Frederiksen, ’00, Moody, Ala. CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI CHAPTER DIRECTORS: Lee A. Benoist, ’81, ’84, Jackson Steven A. “Steve” Corbitt, ’76, Jackson Angela W. Dallas, ’82, Jackson HARRISON-STONE CHAPTER DIRECTOR: Colleen F. Johnson, ’83, Long Beach HOUSTON CHAPTER DIRECTOR: Dale M. Saul, Webster, Texas HUNTSVILLE CHAPTER DIRECTOR: James D. “Jim” Pepper, Jr., ’69, ’91, Huntsville, Ala. LAUDERDALE COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTOR: Gary A. Futch, ’75, Meridian LEE COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTOR: William H. “Beau” Lacey, ’69, ’72, Blue Springs LOWNDES COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTOR: John C. Dowdle, ’97, Columbus MEMPHIS CHAPTER DIRECTOR: Thomas R. “Tommy” Roberson, ’67, Memphis, Tenn. OKTIBBEHA COUNTY CHAPTER DIRECTORS: Loren “Bo” Bell, ’91, Starkville Daniel J. “Jason” Ryder, ’00, Starkville SOUTHEAST MISSISSIPPI CHAPTER DIRECTOR: John M. Shappley, ’97, Hattiesburg PRESIDENT, STUDENT ASSOCIATION: Cameron B. “Blake” Jeter, Starkville CHAIR, HOLLAND FACULTY SENATE: R. “Hart” Bailey, ’75, ’77, Starkville CHAIR, MSU PROFESSIONAL AND SUPPORT STAFF ADVISORY COUNCIL: Sam R. Manning, ’00, ’02, Starkville PRESIDENT, MSU FOUNDATION: Richard C. Adkerson, ’69, ’70, Phoenix, Ariz. PRESIDENT, BULLDOG CLUB: John W. “Johnny” Chapman, ’69, Brandon ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT AND ALUMNI, AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: (Ex Officio) Jimmy W. Abraham, ’75, ’77, Starkville

Alumni Fellows speak to students, faculty Each fall, nine individuals are selected, one from the Meridian campus and one from each college, as representatives of the MSU Alumni Association. These Alumni Fellows serve as ambassadors for the Meridian branch and each college of which they are alumni. The Alumni Fellows program, begun in 1990, is an educational activity that enriches the university experience for students by exposing them to outstanding alumni. The representatives come to campus and speak to students and faculty on specific competencies, attitudes and efforts needed to succeed in their particular field of study. As leaders in their professions, the individuals selected retain the honor and title of Alumni Fellow for life. In November, the 2009 class of Alumni Fellows spoke to students and faculty, and represented every area of the university. Those selected were: William J. “Billy” McCoy (’64) of Rienzi for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. McCoy earned a bachelor of science in agriculture and extension education. He currently serves as the speaker of the house for the Mississippi House of Representatives. Kimberly A. Brown, AIA (’94) for the College of Architecture, Art and Design. Brown is a project architect for SHoP Architects PC in New York City. Mark A. Worthey (’84) for the College of Arts and Sciences. Worthey received a bachelor’s degree in petroleum geology and is the president at McClaren Resources, Inc. in McKinnly, Texas. Lee D. Miller (’79) for the College of Business. Miller is the president of Miller Transporters Inc. in Jackson, and has a bachelor of science in transportation. Regina P. Sanford (’91) for the College of Education. Sanford, of Covington, La., has a doctorate in secondary education and serves as the supervisor of secondary instruction for St. Tammany Parish Public Schools. R. Steven “Steve” Boggan (’86) for the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering. Boggan is a biological engineering graduate and serves as president of BioHorizons Implant Systems Inc. in Birmingham, Ala. Edith “Edy” Williams-Rhodes (’76) for the College of Forest Resources. Rhodes is a forestry graduate and retired chief of the Division of Fire and Aviation for the National Park Service. She is currently a realtor for Coldwell Banker, Don Nace Inc. Realtors in Hattiesburg. Bruce L. Clark (’81,’82) for the College of Veterinary Medicine. Clark is the director of training and technical services development with NorthStar Cooperative Inc. in East Lansing, Mich. He earned a bachelor of science in biochemistry and a doctorate of veterinary medicine. Mary L. Hooper (’82) for MSU-Meridian. Hooper has a doctorate in elementary education, and is a former instructor at MSU and Meridian Community College.

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JEREMY WIGGINTON: A SUCCESS STORY Photo by Jay Ferchaud, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Jeremy Wigginton isn’t ashamed to admit that he was overcome with emotion upon learning a scholarship would make possible a college education and move him closer toward realizing his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. A chance meeting with an MSU scholarship coordinator may have altered Wigginton’s life. In fact, he vividly recalls the day he had enough courage to simply ask for an opportunity. In 2001, the Belmont native was desperately trying to find a way to enroll in the biological engineering program at Mississippi State as a precursor for medical school. A visit to the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering provided the light at the end of the tunnel. “One day, I just drove to the engineering college and happened to wander into the office of the late Jan Batchelder. I basically told her my life story and how hard I was willing to work for an education,” Wigginton recounts. “A few weeks later, I got a call informing me I had received a scholarship and I think

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I cried for about two hours just knowing that my dream was moving forward,” he admits. Wigginton was selected as a recipient of the Sydney L. Cate Scholarship, one of more than 900 endowments for scholarships awarded at Mississippi State. The scholarship was established in memory of Cate, a 1917 Mississippi A&M alumnus, by his son Sydney L. Cate Jr. of Omaha, Neb. The award, which carries with it certain academic benchmarks, was created to ensure that promising students are afforded the opportunity to study engineering. Although he never met Cate, Wigginton faithfully corresponded with him throughout his MSU experience, writing on one occasion: “I do not know how I will ever thank you for your gracious and kind-hearted contribution to not only my education, but also my future. You have truly made my greatest dreams and aspirations a reality.” Wigginton came from an economically challenging situation, having lost both

his parents while in his early teens. While attending MSU, he held several jobs, from waiter to lab assistant to tutor. Although he received some federal assistance, the Cate Scholarship absorbed much of Wigginton’s educational expenses. In May 2005, Wigginton proudly graduated from MSU with a biological engineering degree and a 4.0 grade-point average. Today, Wigginton is a promising resident at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He graduated from the medical program in May and eventually plans to practice general family medicine. “I feel that doctors in family practice have the most impact on a person’s wellbeing. They are the coordinators of a person’s health and have a strong personal connection with their patients, which is my desire,” he said. In his quest to become a physician, Wigginton has learned it takes more than a stethoscope and a lab coat to make an effective doctor. He passionately believes

a physician should be a caring individual with a great sense of duty. The seeds of this revelation were sown very early for him, but his dream was nearly shattered when his parents died. His mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was only 4, and succumbed to the diseases on his 11th birthday. “I was always so confused and upset that my mom was sick. She told me she would be there for my birthday, but she died about 4 o’clock that afternoon in a small hospital in Alabama,” he painfully remembers. Several years later, Wigginton was once again drawn to that same hospital as his father died from complications of alcoholism. With each and every tragedy, Wigginton emerged from his grief stronger and more determined. From age 11, he lived with his grandparents and worked odd jobs which led to part-time employment with a local grocery store. He spent 20-30 hours a week earning money for clothes and school supplies until he graduated from high school.

During his senior year at Belmont High School, he attended a junior college one night a week. Luckily, he graduated valedictorian of his senior class and received a small amount of scholarship money to pay for that coursework. Wigginton’s belief in himself kept his dream alive. “After my mother’s death, I knew I was meant to become a doctor who made people feel better not just physically, but mentally,” he said. “I realized each doctor gave her basically the same medicine, but each made her feel quite differently because of how they interacted with her.” In the future, should the opportunity present itself, Wigginton would definitely consider giving back to Mississippi State University. “I would love to set up a scholarship for premedical majors, especially in biological engineering for those students with financial need. It is my desire to help someone else with the overwhelming drive that I had to overcome a huge financial barrier and make it to medical school,” Wigginton said.

Scholarships do change lives and Mississippi State is working to grow endowments for scholarships to recruit more talented and hard-working students like Jeremy Wigginton. For more information on establishing a scholarship or contributing to an existing fund, contact Cathy Lammons, director of donor relations for the MSU Foundation, at 662-325-7000 or via e-mail at clammons@ Editor’s note: A scholarship was later established in memory of Jan Batchelder for her many years of work with MSU students on behalf of the engineering college. The fund remains open for additional contributions.

Start your Bulldog traditions now! You can receive a “Future Bulldog” certificate for your son or daughter by simply calling the Office of Admissions and Scholarships at 662.325.2224, by e-mailing, or visiting futurebulldog.php. You must include the child’s full name, preferred name, and birthday, as well as your name and address.

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4’ 9

HARRY GARRETSON of Leakesville has been elected mayor of the city.


DAVID WORK, former mayor of Cleveland and director of the RosedaleBolivar County Port Commission, has been honored with the naming of the David Work Municipal Terminal at the Cleveland Municipal Airport.


JAMES E. CORLEY of Lucedale, a retired mechanical engineer and artist, has received the Daughters of the American Revolution’s national Community Service Award.


JAMES EARL KENNAMER (Ph.D. ’70), chief conservation officer for the National Wild Turkey Federation, is one of 29 animal conservationists nominated for the 2010 Indianapolis Prize. The $100,000 prize was initiated by the Indianapolis Zoo.


LOUIS VALENTINE has been reelected alderman-at-large for the city of Lucedale.


THOMAS MCKNIGHT (Ph.D. ’75) has been elected to the executive committee of the American Board of School Psychology, an affiliate board of the American Board of Professional Psychology. MICHAEL M. PICKARD (M.S. ’71, Ph.D. ’93) of Nacogdoches, Texas, has been promoted to professor and chair of the department of computer science at Stephen F. Austin State University.

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ROGER SUMMEROUR of Lucedale has been awarded the Karatedo Rank of Sho Dan (first-grade black) in the style of Shi Toh Ryu Karate Do. KENT WINGATE (M.S. ’75), a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, has been named chair of the aviation and technology department at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.


JOHN A. GRAFTON, a market analyst with AJC Media Solutions in Atlanta, Ga., has received his doctor of divinity degree from the Universal Life Church. JOSEPH C. TOWNSEND, a certified public accountant with Nicholson & Company, has completed the process to earn his designation as a certified valuation analyst.


DAVID EARL FARRIS (M.Ed. ’76) of Brandon has joined Priority One Bank as vice president and loan officer.


JOHN MCKIE of Madison has been named managing partner for GodwinGroup advertising agency in Jackson.


SUSAN R. MORRIS of Atlanta, Ga., is a managing partner with the accounting firm Ernst & Young in Atlanta.


JOHN COLLINS, a copy editor for the State Newspaper in Columbia, S.C., has received the paper’s annual Hampton Award.

CLINTON VAUGHN JR. of Memphis, community affairs officer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., has received the “Men of Excellence” award presented by the Memphis newspaper Tri-State Defender. He also was honored as the Omega Psi Phi-Memphis Chapter’s 2009 Citizen of the Year.


CAREY A. BUCKLES has been appointed vice president of biofuels operations for Verenium Corp. SCOTT HUTCHINS of Indianapolis, Ind., a crop protection research and development leader for Dow AgroSciences, has been named a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America.


SAMUEL D. DUDA of Salinas, Calif., has been named corporate vice president of DUDA, a diversified land company, and vice president of western vegetable operations for Duda Farm Fresh Foods. LACY LUCKETT of Tupelo has rejoined Robinson & Associates marketing and public relations firm as vice president of client services.


JEFFREY B. LACEY of Kosciusko, president and chief banking officer of Kosciusko-based M&F Bank, has been elected to a three-year term on the Mississippi Bankers Association board of directors.


J. DOUGLAS FORD has joined the law firm of Mitchell McNutt & Sams as a shareholder in the Columbus office.


STEPHEN CLANTON of Huntsville, Ala., recently returned from a volunteer assignment in Malawi, where he worked with a national farmers’ association to

identify suitable areas for irrigation and recommend an irrigation plan. His trip was part of a project with CNFA, a nonprofit supporting people and enterprises in the developing world.


JONATHAN J. LESSEM has been promoted to principal with the architectural firm Davis Architects in Birmingham, Ala. He is project manager for the firm’s work on the University of Alabama’s Science and Engineering Complex.


JULIE RATLIFF of Jackson has joined the law firm of Jeffery P. Reynolds.


JAY ALLEN (M.S. ’95) of Raymond, dean of enrollment services at Hinds Community College, has received the college’s 3-E Award, its highest employee recognition. STEVEN N. HORTON of Houston, Texas, has been named regional vice president for financial institutions at W&S Financial Group Distributors. STEVE VERNER of Nashville, Tenn., an associate with Gresham, Smith and Partners architectural firm, has been named a finalist for the Nashville Emerging Leader Award in Engineering, Architecture and Construction.


JEFF WALDRIP of Austin, Texas, a design engineer with Intel Corp., has received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas.


MORGAN WEBB FILES of Tupelo has been promoted to vice president of advertising for Lane Home Furnishings.


WILLIAM T. CARPENTER (M.B.A. ’02) of Meridian has been promoted to assistant vice president with Trustmark National Bank in Meridian. JEFF MATHIS of Lucedale is a forestry teacher at George County High School. JENNIFER F. MATHIS of Lucedale has been chosen Star Teacher at George County High School. She is a high school algebra teacher.


NANCY CATHERINE NAUGHER YOUNG has been named director of marketing and communications at McPherson College in McPherson, Kan.


MEAGAN SCOTT (M.S. ’04) of Poplarville, MSU Extension 4-H youth agent for Pearl River County, has received the 2008 Outstanding Mississippi 4-H Youth Agent Award. She also was awarded the Overall Program and Team Program awards by the Mississippi Association of Extension 4-H Agents. NICK THOMPSON (’05) of Jackson has joined the staff of the Mississippi Supreme Court as a law clerk for Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr.


EMILY SANFORD of Jackson is pastor of students at Galloway United Methodist Church in Jackson.


CONNIE HARRIS has graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and plans to enter the internal medicine internship program at Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, W.V. STAN MILLS of Lucedale is member services representative for Singing River Electric Power Association.


PETEY CROWDER of Dallas, Texas, was named an ambassador for Nike’s Human Race 10K held in October. He is director of young adult community formation for a Dallas church.


JEREMY R. PORTER, a post-doctoral Fellow in Sociology at Rice University, has won a major student award, including a check for $1,200, from the American Statistical Association.


ANNOUNCEMENTS Mary Laurel Boykin, Sept. 9, 2009, to LORRAINE WALTERS BOYKIN (’00) and husband Smith of Madison. Adleigh Noel Bufkin, July 30, 2009, to GREG BUFKIN (’02) and wife Anya of Hattiesburg. Ana-Miller Coker, Aug. 13, 2009, to JAMIE COKER (’01) and DEE DEE SMITH COKER (’99) of Tupelo. Elizabeth Grace Johnson, May 28, 2009, to MICHAEL JOHNSON (’03) and wife Christine of Biloxi. Brantley Claire Jones, Oct. 18, 2009, to JASON JONES (’04) and TIFFANY JONES (’06) of Clinton. Rebecca Claire Lawrence, May 16, 2009, to CLAYTON LAWRENCE (’86, M.S. ’88) and wife Ashley of Lucedale. Madeline Marianne McCann, Jan. 17, 2009 to CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM MCCANN (’02) and LAUREN HANCOCK MCCANN (’04) of Cordova, Tenn. Joseph Blair Morgan, May 28, 2009, to T. BLAIR MORGAN (’93) and wife Jennifer of Cordova, Tenn.

Alumnus Winter 2010 45




Please send obituaries to Allen Snow, P.O. Box 5325, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5325 or e-mail to

WINTER Alumnus

MALCOLM Y. MULLEN (’37)— Aliquippa, Pa.; retired senior project engineer for U.S. Steel Corp., Jan. 7, 2008. JOE C. FULTON (’39)—93, Philadelphia; retired county agent for Neshoba County, Aug. 21, 2009. ALTON LANDY GODBOLD SR. (’40, M.Ed. ’49)—92, Clanton, Ala.; former counselor and industrial arts teacher at Mississippi State, retired salesman for Steck Vaughn Co., and World War II veteran, Aug. 10, 2009. ROYAL N. GOBER (’42)—88, Grenada; retired director of the Mississippi State Employment Service, retired director of the adult literacy program for the Grenada School District, and World War II veteran, Aug. 17, 2009. SAMUEL THORNTON JR. (’43, M.S. ’73)—Starkville; retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, Aug. 4, 2009. BEN F. CARRUBBA (’47)—87, Hattiesburg; retired Internal Revenue Service employee and World War II veteran, Aug. 9, 2009. HUGH H. HUDSON (’47)—Lakewood, Colo.; retired hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, April 1, 2009. SPENCER EUGENE SMITH (’47)—83, Austin, Texas; retired deputy director of the astrionics laboratory for NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 28, 2009. CALEB MORRIS ADAMS (’48)—83, High Point, N.C.; retired vice president of marketing and corporate affairs for Thomas Built Buses, July 16, 2009. WILLIE D. CALLAHAN (’48, M.S. ’52, M.S. ’71)—88, Southaven; retired teacher and vocational rehabilitation counselor, Sept. 19, 2009. WILLIAM HENRY MORGAN JR. (’49)—80, Greenwood; Master Cattleman, farmer and timberlands owner, Nov. 2, 2008. JAMES MARLER ROCHESTER (’49)—Morton; retired lumber company owner, Oct. 11, 2009. HENRY EDWARD WAMSLEY JR. (’50)—81, Lake Charles, La.; band director, Sept. 4, 2009. JOHN DUNKLIN ASHCRAFT JR. (’50)—80, Greenwood; retired farmer and cattleman and Korean War veteran, March 19, 2009.

46 Alumnus Winter 2010

WILLIAM F. WATROUS (’50)—83, Long Beach; retired personnel officer for Ingalls Shipyard, historian, and World War II veteran, Jan. 30, 2009. JOHN C. UPSHAW (’51)—Weirsdale, Fla.; retired construction supervisor for Stone & Webster Engineering, Sept. 16, 2009. W.H. PYRON (’52)—80, Hazlehurst; state Highway Commissioner, Southern District, 1967-79, March 22, 2009. OLLIE ALLEN BEAN (’53)—86, Memphis, Tenn.; retired certified public accountant and World War II veteran, Dec. 14, 2009. WILLIAM F. WHEATLEY (’53)—78, Jackson; retired sanitarian for Mississippi Department of Health and Korean War veteran, Oct. 13, 2009. JAMIE MCGOWIN (’55)—77, Louisville; retired owner of McGowin & Associates General Contractors, March 5, 2009. MACON C. HOLLIMAN (’56, M.Ed. ’72)—79, Prentiss; vocational agriculture teacher and retired superintendent of education for Jefferson Davis County Schools, June 24, 2009. WILLIS N. PUCKETT II (’56)—79, Columbus; owner of Memorial Funeral Home, Oct. 4, 2009. JAMES E. WARD (’60)—71, Huntsville, Ala.; retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and Vietnam War veteran, June 5, 2009. ROBERT LOUIS MCMILLAN JR. (’61)—63, Lucedale; mathematics teacher and coach for the George County School System, Aug. 14, 2009. VERNON L. TREVATHAN JR. (’63)— St. Louis, Mo.; retired manager of process control engineering for Monsanto Co. and Solutia Co. and vice president of Benham Co., May 10, 2009. PAGE BOX JR. (’66, M.S. ’69)—65, Ripley, Tenn.; retired owner of Page Box and Associates insurance agency, Aug. 2, 2009. DON C. HINES (’68, M.S. ’70)—64, Troy, Ala.; former president of the University of West Alabama and dean of the Sorrell College of Business at Troy University, Aug. 26, 2009. JOHN MARSHALL EUBANKS (’70)— 73, Lucedale; retired engineer for International Paper, April 29, 2009.

SHERRY ANN DECKER (’77)—56, West Point; special education teacher in Monroe County for 32 years, Sept. 19, 2009. WILLIAM DAVID WOODARD (’77)— 54, Clinton; retired test stand designer for Vickers, now Eaton Aerospace, March 27, 2009. CHIP FREUNDT (’82)—51, Clinton; Sept. 12, 2009. FRANK W. PETERS (’87)—44, Starkville; information technology specialist at Mississippi State, July 28, 2009. MONTGOMERY HUGHSON (’98)— Starkville; associate research professor for the CAVS SimCenter research unit at Mississippi State DERRICK M. BEARD (student)—22, Vicksburg; biological sciences major at Mississippi State, Sept. 11, 2009. THOMAS J. KIRK (attended)—Bentonia; farmer and former Farm Bureau president and World War II veteran, Sept. 25, 2009. BOB V. MOULDER (attended)—82, Ridgeland; journalist, former director of public information at Mississippi State, retired senior vice president for communications at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, and World War II veteran, Nov. 4, 2009. PAULETTE B. STRIBLING (attended)— Tampa, Fla.; former staff member in the housing department at MSU and executive assistant for AIA Tampa Bay, July 15, 2009. LORA J. DEFORE (employee)—49, Starkville; instructor in the department of communication at Mississippi State, Nov. 2, 2009. EVERETTE IRL HOWELL (former employee)—95, Pensacola, Fla.; professor emeritus and head emeritus of physics and astronomy at Mississippi State, Sept. 13, 2009. ZOLTAN TAKACS (former employee)—95, Starkville; professor emeritus of foreign languages at Mississippi State, Sept. 9, 2009. ELIZABETH COSSAR BECKER (friend)—95, Brookhaven; homemaker and instrumental in founding the Brookhaven Recreation Department, Sept. 9, 2009. BENJAMIN HAL BUCHANAN JR. (friend)—Tupelo; orthopedic surgeon, Eugene Butler Fellow at Mississippi State, and strong supporter of the College of Veterinary Medicine at MSU, Oct. 4, 2009.

Talented students deserve the opportunity to learn from top-notch faculty. Endowed positions enable Mississippi State University to recruit and retain these individuals with funds beyond state salaries. Join us as we educate the next generation of leaders of our state and nation by supporting an endowed position. A world of knowledge awaits students who study and learn from these exceptional mentors.

“My professorship allows me to concentrate efforts on ecologically-based and sustainable designs for which I have a passion. The endowment for my position provides additional funds for research, equipment and other opportunities that enable me to enlighten my students.�

michael a. berk Johnny Crane Professor of Architecture and Interim Director of the School of Architecture | 662.325.7000

MARCH 2009

48 Alumnus Winter 2010

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Mississippi State Alumnus Winter 2010  

Mississippi State Alumnus Vol. 85, No. 3

Mississippi State Alumnus Winter 2010  

Mississippi State Alumnus Vol. 85, No. 3