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WINTER/SPRING 2016

I N S I G H T T H R O U G H C O L L A B O R AT I O N COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES | VISION FALL 2013

A PUBLICATION OF THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES


DEAR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS: We are already well in to the new year and I hope yours is off to a great start! We concluded another amazing year in our College in 2015, and 2016 promises to be even better. Our students and faculty have hit new heights in extraordinary achievements in scholastics and scholarship. The cover of this issue is the ampersand symbol (&). This might seem an unlikely choice for the cover of our College’s magazine. However, we feel that the symbol is both an appropriate and important choice. We intentionally use this symbol to link the disparate fields of the liberal arts and sciences. The symbol suggests a much closer linkage between things than simply using the word and. In our college the liberal arts and sciences are uniquely intertwined to create something special that is much greater than the sum of our parts. This allows our college to accomplish great things, and it is also why our college is essentially the connective tissue for the entire University’s educational mission. With this in mind, the theme of this issue of Vision is collaboration. Here we highlight a number of exciting developments and achievements that have occurred as a result of individuals working across disciplinary boundaries, as well as across organizational units. Faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences have been at the forefront of collaboration efforts which have led to wonderful initiatives in research and innovations in teaching. We are particularly proud of some of the recent recognitions that our faculty have received in the area of instruction. As you will see nearly every major university teaching award was earned by faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences. Every good teacher knows that to be successful, collaboration is essential. Effective learning only occurs through a collaborative and reciprocal relationship between professor and student. Our students are actively engaged in their education and challenge and inform our faculty’s teaching. I hope you will enjoy reading about the successes of both our students and faculty earned through creative and productive collaboration. I also wish to inform you that I am writing to you as the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences for the last time. I will be retiring from Mississippi State University later this spring. I have spent my entire career at MSU and for the past 26 years I have been extraordinarily fortunate to serve as a faculty member and administrator in the College of Arts & Sciences. I could not have asked for a better institution to work for. I have been very honored to have served as the dean for the past five years. And I am so very proud of the achievements of the College’s faculty, staff and students. In keeping with the theme of this issue, I can truly say that any successes that I have had have all been a result of productive collaborations. Throughout my career, I have been blessed to work with amazing colleagues, administrators, staff and students. They have been instrumental in helping, pushing, encouraging, challenging, and mentoring me. They have, quite simply, made me a better researcher, teacher and administrator. No more has this been the case during my tenure as dean. Our College has undergone major changes in the past five years, and I was very fortunate to have worked very closely with my predecessor Dean Gary Myers which helped immensely in preparing me to lead the College. Since taking over as dean, I have had the good fortune of working with an amazing group of individuals in the Dean’s Office. I have never known a more dedicated, caring, hard-working and fun group of people. They have made our efforts to advance the college successful and enjoyable. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have worked with them. One of these individuals, Dr. Rick Travis our associate dean for academic and student affairs, will be taking over as the interim dean. I have known Dr. Travis for more than 20 years and he was one of the first individuals I approached to work with me when I came to the Dean’s Office. I can think of no better individual to lead our college during this transition. Dean Travis is a professor of political science, an award winning educator, an experienced academic administrator and an exceptional leader. He is a man of strong academic values and integrity. I know he will do a truly outstanding job leading the College of Arts & Sciences. As I make my transition to the sidelines, please rest assured that I will continue to watch with great anticipation the wonderful things that the College will achieve going forward. Like you, I will be cheering our faculty and students on as they make Arts & Sciences even better! Thank you for your continued support for our College and thank you especially for your support and confidence in me. It has been an honor to serve the College of Arts & Sciences and MSU.

Hail State, Forever!

R. Gregory Dunaway Dean


TABLE OF CONTENTS 21 SOCIETY OF SCHOLARS

22 DEAN’S ADVISORY BOARD

23 DONOR LIST

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4

MSU Named Center of Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences

RETIRED MARINE LOOKS TO HISTORY FOR THE FUTURE

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES STAFF

Expanding Boundaries and Knowledge: Gender Studies

6

Faculty Recognized with Major Campus Awards

10 Dr. James C. Giesen: Researcher & Agricultural Historian

8

12

14 Dr. John Bickle: Philosophy and Science Collide

Pre-Medical Advising Office

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DR. R. GREGORY DUNAWAY - Dean DR. GISELLE THIBAUDEAU MUNN - Interim Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies DR. RICK TRAVIS - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Student Services KARYN BROWN - Director of Communication ALEX MCINTOSH - Director of Development SHERYL KINARD - Business Manager DR. CARLY CUMMINGS - Assistant Dean for Research DR. TOMMY STEVENSON - Special Coordinator for Diversity ALEX HAMMOND - Admissions Coordinator TRACY BRITT - Academic Coordinator BARBARA STEWART - Academic Coordinator NIKKI ROBINSON - Advancement Coordinator ALISA SEMMES - Administrative Assistant to the Dean WHITNEY PETERSON - Academic Programs Assistant KIMBERLY RAYBORN - Administrative Assistant JOY SMITH - Administrative Assistant

Student Workers:

DAMARIUS HARRIS - Student Worker RICHARD HILL - Student Worker ADAM SIMONTON - Student Worker

Editors:

KARYN BROWN AUDRA GINES

Editorial Assistant:

16 Alternate Fall Break program with Heifer Global Village Experience

18 Celebrating 10 Years: The Institute for the Humanities

12

20

Writers:

Teaching and Research Awards

Direct comments or questions to: KARYN BROWN | 662.325.7952 kbrown@deanas.msstate.edu P.O. Box AS | Mississippi State, MS 39762 IS PUBLISHED BY THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

CLAIRE WINESETT

KRISHEENA CARTER AUDRA GINES ALLISON MATTHEWS HANNAH RINEHART LISA SOLLIE

Designers: ERIC ABBOTT KAYLIE MITCHELL (cover)


GEOSPATIAL SCIENCES CENTER OF ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE: A Collaboration of Disciplines

M

ississippi State now holds federal

more faculty and instructors who teach or incorporate geospatial

designation as a leading institution

science into their research activities,” he added.

for geospatial sciences instruction

and research.

Cooke said achieving the center of excellence designation for MSU would not have been possible without a committed group

In June, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and U.S.

of campus professionals. Specifically, he cited the efforts of Dr.

Geological Survey formally recognized the university as one

Robert Moorhead, director for the campus-based Northern

of the first 44 Centers of Academic Excellence in Geospatial

Gulf Institute and Geosystems Research Institute; Dr. Wes

Sciences. The announcement was made at the GEOINT 2015

Burger, associate director of the Forestry and Wildlife Research

Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Center; Dr. David L. Evans, College of Forestry Resources’

The new pilot program is designed to “keep America on the

Sharp Professor of Forestry; Dr. Arthur G. “Art” Cosby, director

leading edge in the application and use of geospatial sciences

and research fellow at the Social Science Research Center; and

for national security, military planning and operations, homeland

Dr. Domenico “Mimmo” Parisi, director of NSPARC, an

security and disaster management, earth sciences, and global

interdisciplinary research center.

security issues in energy, health and the environment,” U.S. officials said in making the announcement. The honor is a well-deserved recognition of the faculty, staff

4

By Audra Gines

The center’s mission is to build, strengthen and cultivate present and future geospatial sciences workforces available to U.S. government agencies, explained Cooke.

and students, who are teaching and pursuing geospatial sciences-

College Dean R. Gregory Dunaway said he and other leaders

related study, and research, said Bill Cooke, an MSU doctoral

in MSU’s largest academic unit “are proud Mississippi State

graduate and the MSU Geosciences Department head. “We have

University has been designated as a Center of Academic

a dozen full-time geospatial faculty at MSU and many

Excellence in Geospatial Sciences, and particularly are proud

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of Professor Cooke’s leadership in geospatial sciences and his assistance in securing this very prestigious designation. “We look forward to many of our faculty and students benefiting from being a center of excellence,” Dunaway said. Several months after MSU received the center-of-excellence

While his department serves as a geospatial science education “hub,” Cooke said training also is offered in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Bagley College of Engineering. An online geospatial and remote-sensing certificate program also is available.

designation, Cooke traveled to Washington for a series of

He said collective campus resources include:

workshops designed to explain in greater detail how officials

—Two geographic information system and remote-sensing

envision future classes and research projects.

software laboratories;

Encouraging student research is a key component of the program

—Two additional servers housing “thin-client” versions of GIS

and Cooke noted how numerous geospatial-related master’s degree

and RS software used for distance-learning geospatial coursework;

theses and dissertations already have been completed at MSU.

—The Geosystems Research Institute that provides capabilities

Since 2012, he said faculty and student collaborations have resulted

in remote-sensing computational technologies, visualization

in peer-reviewed journal publications on glacial retreat and climate

techniques, agriculture and natural resource management, and their

change, forest management, fuzzy logic spatial models, wildfire risk

transitions into operational agency research, planning and decision-

prediction, and hurricane damage predictions, among others.

support programs; and

Other MSU-centered investigations have involved visualization

—Two GIS laboratories in the forestry department.

techniques for inland flooding, deployment of unmanned aerial

Summing up the present and future for geospatial sciences

systems for hydrologic modeling of coastal watersheds, and

instruction and research, Cooke said, “It’s a really great time, in my

precision agriculture applications for efficacy of herbicide and

opinion, to be at Mississippi State University.”

fertilizer use.

For additional information, visit www.geosciences.msstate.edu.

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Pushing The

oundaries

OF

GENDER

STUDIES By Krisheena Carter

T

departments throughout campus. Even though most participants are women, a substantial number of male students are enrolled. At present, the Gender Studies Program involves 29 classes—19 for an undergraduate academic minor and 10 for a graduate certificate. Associate professor Kimberly Kelly of the Department of Sociology is the director. She said most faculty in the program have full teaching and service loads in their respected departments, so their contributions clearly are above and beyond primary teaching commitments.

hrough dedicated, collaborative efforts of university

“Everything they do for the Gender Studies Program is a labor

faculty and students, the Gender Studies Program at

of love and they are the heart of the program,” Kelly said of her

Mississippi State continues to grow and evolve.

colleagues.

Established as Women Studies in 1981, the interdisciplinary program

“Just as important, however, are the students,” she added. She

now focuses on social traits assigned to both males and females. In

credited students’ positive responses to the courses, along with film

examining variations across different cultures and historical periods,

panels, nationally prominent guest speakers and other supporting

the curriculum gives special attention to aspects of power, inequality

events, with helping keep faculty members motivated.

and visibility in an attempt to answer one question: “Who has more power?” Though mainly concentrated within the social sciences and

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humanities, the program draws faculty and students from different

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“I continually am impressed with the consistency students at MSU show in attending gender studies events, taking our courses, and particularly, how positively they respond to new ideas about gender


and sexuality,” Kelly said. She also cited assistance provided by several campus organizations whose stated missions dovetail. They include Spectrum, an organization for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer students, and Delta Omega Lambda, a gender-inclusive service sorority. There also is a partnership with the Safe Zone initiative of the Richard Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, and Iota Iota Iota, a national gender studies honor fraternity. “Gender studies offers an important corrective to traditional disciplines whose canonical texts may have marginalized or even erased the contributions of women throughout history and to the arts, social movements, politics, literature and societies in general,” Kelly said. “Gender studies re-center the narrative to include all of the relevant people and events. In many ways, gender studies are a blend of academia and advocacy.” Spectrum, Safe Zone, Delta Omega Lambda and TriIota are among several campus programs organized by the Gender Studies Program. The Feminist Film Festival and Vagina Monologues are among recurring campus events. Prominent guest speakers have included actress Laverne Cox from the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” who shared her experiences as a transgender in today’s society. While they might once have been considered controversial, such topics now are encouraged to help bring about a greater understanding for related issues like the gender-pay gap, domestic violence and sexual assault, Kelly emphasized. “If the speakers happen to be controversial for some folks, so be it,” she said. “That usually is a sign that more dialogue is needed on that particular topic anyway. “To whatever extent gender studies actually is controversial, that usually is tied to making people uncomfortable by challenging the status quo,” Kelly continued. “Some people are used to thinking about men and women in very specific, mutually exclusive, ways. When you demonstrate evidence that this is not actually the case, that can be pretty uncomfortable for some. For others, however, it can be liberating.” Agreeing with her was Susan Hall, an associate professor in the College of Architecture, Art and Design and chair of the campus President’s Commission on the Status of Women. Hall said all sessions she attended “were excellent and many were ground breaking discussions for MSU. I have been to numerous conference sessions over decades, and none were more important than this one to me and to my understanding of our history and place,” Hall said.

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TAKING EDUCATION BEYOND ITS CAPABILITIES THROUGH COLLABORATION 8

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L

ast spring, four of six faculty members from the College of Arts & Sciences were honored as part of the 2014-2015 Faculty Awards and

Recognition Program. Among the awards given was the John Grisham Master Teacher, named after the MSU alumnus and internationally recognized author. This honor is given to those who inspire excellence in the classroom and provide outstanding instruction, and was awarded to communication instructor Karyn L. Brown. Brown, along with the other outstanding colleagues selected, serve as role models and mentors for their campus colleagues. Other award winners included: Jared W. Keeley, assistant professor of psychology, the alumni association’s Early Career Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award; Frances O. McDavid, also a communication instructor, the Irvin Atly Jefcoat Excellence in Advising Faculty Award; and Lindsey P. Peterson, an assistant professor of sociology, the alumni association Graduate Teaching Excellence Award. The annual spring-semester program is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President and the MSU Alumni Association. “The strengths of a great university are always in its people,” said Provost Jerry Gilbert, who served as master of ceremonies. “We are in a great time at Mississippi State, and it’s because of these honorees, our outstanding students and tremendous faculty and staff,” he emphasized, in congratulating and thanking the winners for their considerable service and achievements.

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The Study of Agriculture: Rural and Environmental History of the United States By Krisheena Carter

H

ow do human interactions affect agriculture and the world environment?

According to associate professor James C.

“Jim” Giesen of Mississippi State’s Department of History, the ways in which we react to agriculture and the environment are critical and are leaving a lasting impact on the planet. Scientists have even coined a new term to describe the impact. “Look around the world today and you’ll see that agricultural and environmental problems vex everyone,” he said. “Scientists have determined that we’ve actually entered a new epoch they’ve dubbed the Anthropocene, a new geological age characterized by humans changing the environment.”

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A university faculty member since 2006, Giesen is a specialist in agricultural, rural and environment history, and the history of African Americans and the U.S. South. He is a University of Georgia doctoral graduate, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees completed, respectively, at Indiana’s DePauw University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Outside of MSU faculty duties, Giesen serves as the secretary for the Agricultural History Society and the editor of a University of Georgia Press reader titled Environmental History and The American South. While his professional interest initially was the 1960s civil rights movement, his focus

Southerners, rich and poor, black and white.”

and North Carolina colleagues “are working

began evolving during his time at DePauw. As

In many ways, he observed, “the boll weevil

with the hypothesis that, although today the

he began graduate research at Georgia, that

was the single most important factor in the rise

washed out, gullied cotton fields look great

evolution moved from a specific concentration

of Mississippi State University itself. Farmers,

covered in a canopy of green forest, the health

on cities to small towns and farms.

politicians and business owners needed

of streams, rivers and soil in the area actually is

answers to the boll weevil problem and they

not recovering.”

“Along the way, I became convinced that much of the African American experience in

built a university to find them.”

He termed the NSF collaboration “a rare

the South was the product of farm life and the

Giesen said he has greatly appreciated

partnership,” but one he feels should become

economics of agriculture, so that is where I

MSU’s support for his research over the years.

more common as scientists seek out historical

have concentrated my research,” he explained.

“There are only a few land grant universities

knowledge and join with historians to better understand environmental changes.

The research led to his first published work

across the country that take humanities

in 2011, Boll Weevil Blues: Cotton, Myth, and

research as seriously as MSU does, and I have

“So much of the environmental research

Power in the American South (University of

found this to be an ideal place to research and

being done across the globe today is engaged

Chicago Press). The following year, his book

teach.”

in human understandings of things and the

was honored with the Deep South Book Prize

As for the history department itself, “We

human experience in general,” Giesen said.

and, in 2013, the Francis Butler Simkins Award.

specialize in agricultural history, the history

“It makes sense to have historians working

The first tribute was given by the University

of science and technology, and diplomatic and

together to help ask the right scientific

of Alabama’s Frances S. Summersell Center

military history, and we get to offer specialized

questions and find answers to problems.”

for the Study of the South; the second, the

classes in these areas for undergraduates all the

Southern Historical Association.

way to Ph.D. students,” he noted.

Giesen said mentorship experiences with graduate students and other students in

“[The book] argues that while the insect

Regarding research, Giesen said he currently

courses he teaches are among the many side

pest destroyed millions of acres of cotton

is assisting on National Science Foundation-

benefits of research. “I get great joy out of

from 1890 through the Great Depression,

supported projects “centered on trying to

watching them take an idea, or in some cases

this impressive crop damage did not actually

understand what happened when Southern

only half of an idea, that comes to them in a

change the South as much as we used to

farm fields reverted to forests in the 1930s and

class and grow it over the course of year into a

believe,” Giesen said. “The weevil did not

after.”

dissertation.

cause the South’s abandonment of the crop.

The work takes place in a North Carolina

“There is no better feeling as a professor than

However, [it] did radically transform political,

national forest, and it involves scientists from

watching a student labor for years on a research

educational and economic institutions, not

Duke University and University of Georgia

project and then have success,” he added,

through the many stands of cotton that it

specializing in environmental science, soil,

mentioning with obvious pride that two of his

destroyed, but rather through the economic

geology and hydrology.

graduate students recently received fellowships

and environmental anxiety it caused among

According of Giesen, he and his Georgia

in a national dissertation competition.

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NEW OFFICE WORKS TO HELP PRE-MEDICINE MAJORS ACHIEVE SUCCESS By Audra Gines

F

or prospective university students looking toward medical school after graduation, the pathway may seem daunting, even near

impossible. Medical schools are known for weeding out processes that seek to identify only those highly motivated individuals with demonstrated high levels academic and personal achievements—traits necessary to survive the rigorous training required to become a doctor.

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In order to help Mississippi State students be as prepared as possible for these challenges, MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences established the Dr. A. Randle and Marilyn W. White Pre-Medical Advising Office last year. Named for a Greenwood nephrologist and his wife whose support helped make it possible, the office is located in 116 Harned Hall, home of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biological Sciences.


A native of the Oktoc community in Oktibbeha County, White is a 1966 MSU chemistry/premedicine alumnus who went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1969. Dr. White was the College of Arts and Sciences 2011 Alumni Fellow, and is a member of the college Dean’s Executive Advisory Board. “Medical schools want pre-med students to start from day one with community service,” White said recently. “They want them to start from day one shadowing physicians, they want them to start with their extra-curricular activities that document their desire to be a physician.” As an MSU student, White said he felt blessed to have advisers like Leslie Ellis, head of the-then biology department, and Don Downer, who later would lead what now is biological sciences. White said Downer also provided the same level of guidance to his daughter Rachael while she was on campus in the early 2000s as a pre-med major on her way to becoming a current UMMC physician. White said he especially appreciated how Ellis “believed in me and saw something that led him to believe that I would be successful in medical school, in life and in medicine.” While attending MSU, White worked parttime as a night “duty boy” in the Student Health Center, which was then located in George Hall. He also gives credit to Dr. John Longest, the center’s longtime director and namesake of the current campus health center, for proving a recommendation that enabled him to enter UMMC. “I wanted to give back in a way that would be meaningful, and help the pre-med students, and I wanted to emphasize the pre-med advising,” White said. “I think I was lucky to have some people in my corner who put in a good word for me and used their influence to help me get into medical school. I want those who wish to become a physician to have guidance so they may be as lucky to become a physician and practice medicine as I have been.”

Mary Celeste Reese is the biological sciences department’s current undergraduate advising director and serves as co-director for the center with Deb Mlsna, assistant profressor of chemistry with a specialization in chemical education. Students from almost any academic major may enter medical school or dental school if they pass the MCAT. Reese said this reality often poses a challenge since “students outside a typical science major typically may not have a pre-medical/predental adviser.” She said the primary goal of the White Pre-Medical Advising Office “is to provide standardized information to all students, regardless of major.” Reese said students “need that personal attention and to know someone cares about their goals and that someone is going to be there to guide them through to those goals.” “I personally would like to see the office grow beyond pre-medical students,” she continued. “We want to provide assistance in the future to pre-dental, pre-nursing, and all pre-health professional students. We will also continue to grow our resources to provide students with the best possible opportunities.” Reese said another critical element of the preparatory process involves an existing relationship with OCH Regional Medical Center, in Starkville. “A relationship with OCH is a major benefit to our students,” she said. We currently have a program set-up to allow our pre-medical students to shadow different types of physicians.” Reese said the continued expansion of “opportunities to our students will be a vital part of the growth for our pre-medical office,” adding, “We are excited to see what the future holds for our collaborations.” For more information on the office, visit www. premed.msstate.edu/enroll.

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LTP

Spatial Learning Hippocampal Spatial Representations

AMPAR

CaMKII NMDAR

NEUROPHILOSOPHY: MSU RESEARCHER MELDS PHILOSOPHY, NEUROSCIENCE By Hannah Rinehart

T

o those that see science and philosophy as two diverse

works and ‘bigger’ questions about it,” Bickle explained. “Little was

fields whose paths rarely cross, professor John Bickle

I to realize back then how lucky I was because ‘neurophilosophy’ was

responds: Nothing could be further from the truth.

about to take off as a new interdisciplinary field just down the road

Bickle is head of the Department of Philosophy and Religion in Mississippi State’s College of Arts and Sciences. Simultaneously, he holds a research appointment in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. “I studied both psychobiology and philosophy as an undergraduate at UCLA, mainly due to an interest in the brain, how it

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from me at UC San Diego. “I just happened to be at the right place at the right time,” added the 1989 University of California, Irvine, doctoral graduate. Bickle said his graduate work at Irvine in both philosophy of science and the neurobiology of learning and memory at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory “afforded the opportunity to work in both fields all my career.” He noted that the center long has


been regarded as “one of the world’s leading research centers.” Bickle said the oft-perceived disconnect between philosophy and science typically stems from a misconception about the nature of philosophy itself.

stay implicit in scientific practice but which philosophers insist on making explicit and examining.” As Bickle sees it, proper academic study in the two fields requires in-depth knowledge of both. “This isn’t ‘abstract’ philosophizing

“To many, philosophy is more akin to either intellectual history

that’s needed. The philosophers who want to engage with

or theology,” he said. “The kind of philosophy I was trained in is

neuroscientists have to know the science in detail and not just by

neither; rather, it is the uncompromising search for truth, using

reading textbooks.”

every rational method or approach at our human disposal. “That includes, but isn’t limited to, the empirical methods of contemporary science,” he emphasized. Because science plays such an important role in current intellectual endeavors, Bickle said philosophers have no choice but

Colleagues and others that consider themselves well-versed in only one field is a recurring irritant for Bickle and other neurophilosophers. “It is frustrating to be misunderstood and that’s always a risk when you’re exploring new and deeply interdisciplinary territory,” he said.

to “engage with science or else risk irrelevance.” Hence, the birth of neurophilosophy. “Understanding the mind and its place in nature has been central to the philosophical quest for more than 2,000 years,” he continued. “Now, neurobiology brings us new tools to that investigation, not only for measuring events in the brain, but for manipulating them directly and tracking their behavioral effects; for testing hypotheses about the causes of mental events.” Before coming to Mississippi State in in 2009, Bickle helped advance the study of neurophilosophy and make it available as an academic path at several other universities. “I was one of the founders of the graduate program in neuroscience, a joint program by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Brody College of Medicine at East Carolina University,” he said. “At the University of Cincinnati, I was head of philosophy and professor in the neuroscience graduate program. I was also the first director of the undergraduate program in neuroscience there, which quickly grew close to 100 majors in its first year.” “Especially exciting” is the phrase Bickle used to describe his simultaneous faculty appointments at two state institutions of higher learning 120 miles apart. At UMMC, he is “learning optogenetics, an exciting new experimental tool that affords experimenters unprecedented control over the activity of selected neurons in the brains of living, behaving animals.” Bickle said collaborations such as this are important because philosophy and neuroscience need each other to reach their full potential. “Philosophy needs neuroscience because neuroscience is making progress on understanding the mind in ways that no field of inquiry ever has before,” he said. “Neuroscience needs some philosophy,

Quickly, he added: “But, the rewards of success are huge. It’s nice for those of us with certain intellectual temperaments to work in a field that affords so much room for innovation and new ideas. It makes for a very unrestricted intellectual life.” He expressed appreciation that College of Arts and Sciences administrators are not among those who have problems with the interweaving of philosophy and neuroscience. “The Dean’s Office has been very supportive of

my

too; it needs hard, reflective, critical thinking about its goals,

interdisciplinary research and has really made the effort to

methods, the nature of the explanations it seeks, the rationality of

understand what I do as both a neurophilosopher and neuroscientist,”

certain research programs, et cetera; all those things that usually

Bickle said.

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THE GLOBAL

VILLAGE:

A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE By Krisheena Carter and Audra Gines

T

o help Mississippi State students their

broaden

their

move

beyond

miles from Oktibbeha County to the

comfort

zones,

nationally recognized Heifer Project

and

Ranch in Perry County, Arkansas,

view the world beyond their front

students and accompanying faculty

doors, the university offers a special

throw themselves into a world where

weeklong program each fall semester.

all material possessions and comforts

Beginning

in

participatory experience

perspectives,

2011, Global

is

free Village

Assistant

professor

Lindsey

Peterson of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Sociology

poverty and depravations experienced

has been involved in the experience

by millions of individuals in Third

since joining the faculty in 2011.

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to

of home are left behind.

to

an

designed

the

give

participants

World countries.

16

After traveling more than 350

introduction


students, nearly all of whom they will have

global consumption. In contrast, other parts

never met before, in a very, very short

of the world like Asia contain far more of

amount of time.”

the world’s population but consume far less,

Senior sociology major Bailey Bullock of

“Every year, I consider the fact that it

in both absolute and relative terms.”

Crystal Springs said “the Global Village trip

The Arkansas experience “allowed me

was suggested to me in several of my classes

to think about myself in the larger context

and it seemed like a great opportunity to

of humanity and how other people in the

spend my fall break stepping outside of my

world live. Addressing issues of hunger and

everyday experiences to engage with issues

injustice in the world requires us as people

of larger consequence to humanity in a

to understand ourselves and the connections

personal way.”

we have with others in the world through

An MSU President’s List Scholar, Bullock

our common humanity,” Bullock said.

would be nice to have a true, time-off fall

credited

team-building

Peterson noted that most Global Village

break, but I am never sorry that I go on the

activities for enabling her to reach beyond

participants “don’t know each other ahead

trip,” Peterson said. “I learn so much from

preconceived opinions and develop new

of time; they are just people who are

the students who go; they are always so

ideas regarding other people, how they live

interested and need a new experience.”

special to work with, in a way that you don’t

and how that pertains to her.

really get from the traditional classroom.”

the

program’s

Participating

faculty

members

“really

“The most difficult part of the program

want students to be aware of how special

doctoral

was realizing how excessive my own lifestyle

a time in their life this is,” she added.

graduate, Peterson said she has observed

is,” Bullock said. “There was one activity

“There really won’t be another time when

that students taking part in the Arkansas

where we distributed our group across a map

someone says ‘Hey, come on a free camping

experience tend to gain invaluable self-

of the world to represent the distribution of

trip to Arkansas! Learn more about global

improvement skills while developing new

global population and then we distributed

inequality while you have fun!’”

perspectives that might not have been

little tokens amongst us to represent the

gained otherwise.

distribution of consumption in the world.

An

Ohio

State

University

For more about the Global Village program, visit www.heifer.org/what-you-

“Students are challenged to think of

“At the end of the activity,” she continued,

can-do/experience-heifer/heifer-ranch/

themselves as a tiny part of a complex

“we learned that although North America

index.html. Peterson may be reached at

world,” Peterson explained. “They are also

has only 5 percent of the world’s population,

lpeterson@soc.msstate.edu.

forced to form a group with the other

we are responsible for more than half of

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES | VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016

17


A 10-YEAR

ANNIVERSARY SYMPOSIUM: THE INSTITUTE FOR THE HUMANITIES CELEBRATION By Audra Gines

18

VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016 | COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES


I

n mid-October, MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences’

historian. His presentation drew, in part, from “The History of

Institute for the Humanities took time to mark its 10th year

American Higher Education: Learning and Culture from the

on campus.

Founding to World War II,” his newest work and winner of a 2015

The institute serves humanities departments in the university’s largest academic unit, including communication, English, history, music, philosophy and religion, and modern languages and literatures, as well as the Cobb Institute of Archaeology.

Outstanding Publication Award of the American Educational Research Association. —Dr. Gary Myers, a retired MSU English professor who had risen to become Institute for the Humanities’ first director and, later, the

While MSU is a 137-year-old land-grant institution that began

dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.. He now is vice president

with an initial emphasis solely on agriculture and engineering,

for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Young Harris College

studies in the humanities came along early in its development and

in Georgia.

have played an important campus role ever since, said Dr. William Hay, institute director.

A panel discussion on humanities education and its prospects for the future was also a part of the celebration program. Panelists included

Humanities “challenge students to appreciate worlds different

Stuart Rockoff, executive director of the Mississippi Humanities

from their own and understand perspectives they may not share,”

Council; Joseph Ward, University of Mississippi’s Arch Dalrymple

Hay observed. “Besides teaching critical thinking and sharing a

III Professor of History; and Christopher Snyder, dean of MSU’s

cultural inheritance, humanistic study cultivates empathy.”

Shackouls Honors College.

“Prospects for the Humanities” was the theme for the decade

R. Gregory Dunaway, MSU arts and sciences dean, said land-grant

celebration that involved a series of public programs. Featured

institutions often are not known for humanities programs, but MSU is

speakers included:

“incredibly fortunate to have outstanding humanities programs staffed

—Dr. John Churchill, secretary of Phi Beta Kappa, the country’s oldest society for the liberal arts and sciences. “Reasons, Values and Imagination: A Case for Education in the Liberal Arts and Sciences” was his topic. —Dr. Roger L. Geiger, who holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University and widely is regarded as American higher education’s leading

with nationally renowned faculty scholars who are providing amazing educational opportunities for our students.” Dunaway gave special credit to Myers, his predecessor as head of the college: “His vision is responsible for the great work that the institute has been able to accomplish and certainly shares in its successes.” For more on the Institute for the Humanities, visit www. ih.msstate.edu..

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES | VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016

19


DR. THOMAS P. ANDERSON – ENGLISH PHIL AND KARI OLDHAM MENTOR AWARD

DR. ALEXANDRA E. HUI – HISTORY BEVERLY B. AND GORDON W. GULMON EMINENT SCHOLAR

COLLEGE FACULTY AWARDS

DR. NICOLE E. RADER – SOCIOLOGY CLINTON E. WALLACE EMINENT SCHOLAR AWARD

20

VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016 | COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

DR. DONGMAO ZHANG – CHEMISTRY HUNTER HENRY FAMILY EMINENT SCHOLAR AWARD


DEAN’S STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL

Steven Adams Madelyn Barr Mary Frances Broadhead Drew Camron Jayme Castillo Pierson Crowder Kylie Dennis

Jordan Dressman Jon Gutman Haley Hardman Damarius Harris Becca Hawkins Ariel Johnson Sarah Ashley Jolly

Natalie Jones Kristen Kennedy Jenna Kilgore Leslie Leslie Lisa Lusby Randy Niffenegger Meredith Pearson

Scot Pilie Mary Linda Remley James Riggins Alivia Roberts Bobbie Jo Smith Olivia Todd Lacy Trelles

Melissa Weizel Jessie Welch Sally White Shay Zoll

SOCIETY OF

SCHOLARS Hannibal Brooks Malcolm Brooks Andrew Collins Sydney Duran Taylor Graham Rebecca Griffith Caitlin Henley Nicolas Lee Madison Milhoan Kellie Mitchell Maxwell Moseley Meredith Pearson Mary Linda Remley Sydney Rodkey

Ashley Shook Patricia Sloan Destini Smith Tyler Smith Alex Ward Chandler Wavro Claire Winesett Emily Williams Ryan Williams

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES | VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016

21


DEAN’S EXECUTIVE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS William “Bill” Gillon (Chair)

Hank Johnston

Dr. Ralph Alewine

Malcolm B. Lightsey

Linda Leigh Brock

Adrienne Pakis-Gillon

Dr. Fred Corley

Dr. M. Diane Roberts

Mary Catherine Di Nunzio

Llana Smith

Dr. Donald Hall

Dr. Randy White

Hunter “Ticket” Henry

Dr. David Wigley

Kitty Henry

Dr. Thomas L. Wiley Jr.

Dr. Karen Hulett

Jennifer Wray

Dr. William B. Hulett

Laurie Williams

Dear Alumni and Friends, One of the exciting things about a comprehensive university like MSU is the fact that there are so many opportunities for collaboration. These collaborations are happening constantly here on campus. Students from different majors pull together to work on a group project that may spur an idea to start a new business venture. Faculty from different programs realize that their research areas are complementary and make a breakthrough. We are striving to enhance our culture of collaboration here at MSU. As a Top 50 research institution for the humanities, the College of Arts & Sciences’ Institute for the Humanities serves as a nexus for cross-disciplinary work by our students and faculty. Many times these collaboration opportunities are with external constituents. Whether it is Matt Gentry, a petroleum geology graduate who has just raised $100M to start his own oil and gas company, telling geology students what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in the energy industry, or Congressman Bennie Thompson speaking as apart of our Lamar Conerly Governance Forum, we regularly bring in alumni and friends to engage with students. We also have partnerships here in our local community. You’ve read about Dr. Randy and Marilyn White helping us launch the new Dr. A. Randle and Marilyn W. White Pre-Medical Advising Office. This has allowed us to partner with Oktibbeha County Hospital to provide need-based financial support to our students to reduce the cost of preparing for and applying to medical school. Not only will the students receive financial support, but there are also opportunities to engage with local physicians. We are always looking for new opportunities to collaborate with you, our alumni and friends, to create new opportunities for our students and our university. I would love to discuss this with you. You can reach me at amcintosh@foundation.msstate.edu or 662-324-3240. Thank to for all that you do for the College of Arts & Sciences and MSU!

22

VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016 | COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

Hail state, Alex McIntosh

Director of Development (Class of ’07, ’12) College of Arts & Sciences


DONOR LIST SOCIETY NAMES 4 County Electric Power Association

Tim and Libby Barber

Dr. and Mrs. Robert B. Brahan Sr.

Ms. Delia E. Caldwell

Mr. and Mrs. James W. Abernethy Jr.

Ms. Amanda Batey and Mr. Bernard A. Margolis

Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Brann

Mr. Michael P. Caldwell

J. Harry Adams

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas L. Baumann

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley K. Breaux

Mr. and Mrs. Michael F. Callaham

Mr. and Mrs. William A. Adams, Jr.

Chris and Bette Behr

Broadhead Building Supplies

Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Camp

Air Products & Chemicals

Randy and Pat Bell

Linda Leigh and Andrew Brock

Dr. Kermit L. Carraway and Dr. Coralie C. Carraway

Ms. J. Chantele Aldridge

Dr. Mitchell E. Berman

Ms. Dawn M. Browing

Dr. and Mrs. Richard C. Carter Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Alewine III

Mr. and Mrs. Jim Berscheidt

Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Brown Jr.

Mr. Newton W. Carver, IV

Mr. and Mrs. William M. Allmand

Mr. and Mrs. Anil P. Bhansali

Mr. Gary E. Bryant

Center for Mississippi Health Policy

Alpha Kappa Delta

Ms.DorothyS.BillingsleyandMr.RobertA.Stephenson

Dr. and Mrs. James R. Bryson

Center for Open Science

American Chemical Society

Blake Balzli Family Dentistry

Bully Force

Dr. Angela and Mr. Derrick Chandler

Ms. Patricia A. Anderson

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Bograd

Mr. and Mrs. Brad Burns-Howard

Drs. Liza M. and Lung H. Chen

Mr. Donor Anonymous

Mr. and Mrs. Morgan F. Bondurant

Mr. and Mrs. Eugene B. Butler

Mr. Benson B. Chow

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation

Dr. Scott A. Boone

Dr. and Mrs. Joel A. Butler

Clark Beverage Group, Inc.

Dr. and Mrs. William R. Arnett

Ms. Paula W. Booth

Miss Michael A. Butts

Mr. Charles B. Cliett, Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. James D. Ashmore

Dr. Charles D. Borum

Mr. John R. Cade, Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. Edward J. Clynch

Ms. Sonya M. Aycock

Drs. Grace and Dean Boswell

Cadence Bank - Starkville

Mr. and Mrs. John A. Cohen

Mr. and Mrs. George M. Banzhaf

Robert B. and Jeanne R. Boykin

Alice Carol Caldwell

Mr. and Mrs. Gus W. Colvin Jr.

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES | VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016

23


SOCIETY NAMES Dr. and Mrs. Leon L. Combs

Frank Chiles State Farm Insurance

Drs. Karen and William Hulett

Mr. Ryan O. MacKie

Ms. Kelli R. Conrad

Mr. and Mrs. William A. Friday

Dr. and Mrs. Calvin T. Hull

Mr. and Mrs. David P. Madison, Jr.

Mrs. Mildred R. Conrad

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin J. Frischhertz

Mr. Jason K. Humphrey

Dr. Charles V. Magee

Dr. Fred G. Corley Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel L. Gardner

Dr. and Mrs. Donald R. Hunt

Mr. and Mrs. Jamie L. Mahne

Dr. and Mrs. Arthur G. Cosby

Dr. and Mrs. Howell Garner

Mr. and Mrs. James L. Hunt

Mr. and Mrs. George E. Marion

Dr. Jeralynn S. Cossman

General Electric Foundation

Ms. Nellwyne B. Hurowitz

Mr. and Mrs. Harmon O. Massey Jr.

Costume Party

Mr. and Mrs. Alan C. Geolot

IBMMatchingGrantsProgramInternationalFoundation

Mrs. Genevieve L. Maxon-Stark

Dr. Justin C. Courcelle

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Gibson

Ihs Group

Dr. and Mrs. Byron C. May

Create Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. Jason S. Gilbert

Insurance Associates of Starkville, LLC

Mr. and Mrs. Cinclair May

Creek Run L.L.C. Environmental Engineering

Dr. and Mrs. Jerome A. Gilbert

Ireland Family Partnership

Dr. and Mrs. David C. May

Mr. and Mrs. Curt J. Crissey

Mr.WilliamA.GillonandMs.AdrienneM.Pakis-Gillon

J and J Fitness, Inc.

Dr. and Mrs. Robert T. McAdory, Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. W. Lawrence Croft

Mr. and Mrs. Stacey W. Goff

Mr. and Mrs. Francis P. Jerome

Drs. Nancy G. McCarley and Charles L. Spirrison

Mr. Stephen H. Cunetto

Mrs. Marjorie M. Goldner

Dr. and Mrs. Warren T. Johnson, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Julius F. McIlwain

Ms. Elisabeth A. D’Amore

Mr. and Mrs. Aaron S. Goldsby

Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Johnston

Mr. and Mrs. David A. McIntosh, Jr.

Mr. Michael M. Dai

Ms. Julie L. Goodin

Ms. Courtney A. Jones

Dr. Keith T. Mead

Dr. and Mrs. Jerry W. Dallas

Mrs. Marla C. Elmore and Mr. Roger Elmore

Dr. and Mrs. Gordon E. Jones

Ms. Deatrice D. Middlebrook

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Davis

Dr. Thomas A. Graves

Mr. and Mrs. Hunter Jones

Dr. Jon Rezek and Dr. Meghan Millea

Dr. and Mrs. Armando A. de la Cruz

Mr. and Mrs. Dodd Griffith

Mrs. Rebecca Harbor Jones

Mississippi Association of Grantmakers (MAG)

Mr. and Mrs. Harold P. Dean

Ms. Anna Minor Grizzle

Ms. Janice L. Jordan

Mississippi Association of Realtors

Mr. and Mrs. Hugh B. Devery

Mr. Carlton K. Guillot, Jr.

Mr. and Dr. David P. Taylor

Mr. and Mrs. Dennis F. Mobley

Mrs. Page Dantzler Dickerson

Dr. Willie H. Gunn

Mr. and Mrs. Russell B. Kegley

Dr. and Mrs. Harsha N. Mookherjee

Dr. Natalie J. Dollar

Mr. and Mrs. James A. Gunter

Mr. and Mrs. John P. Keisman

Mrs. Debra A. Moore

Jeff Donald

Dr. and Mrs. Charles L. Guyton

Mr. and Mrs. Paul H. Kennedy

Mr. P. J. Moore, III

Dr. Tracy L. Skipper and Mr. Randall Dong

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel P. Guyton

Mr. Andrew E. Kirk

Ms. Sara Morris

Dr. and Mrs. Philip D. Doolittle

Mr. Stephen L. Guyton

Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Pourciau

Ms. Patricia G. Moseley

Dr. and Mrs. Donald N. Downer

Dr. and Mrs. Steven R. Gwaltney

Mr. Thomas E. Knott

Mr. R. David Murrell

Mr. and Mrs. Michael W. Doyle

Dr. Donald L. Hall

Mr. and Mrs. James A. Koerber

Mr. Matthew Mussett

Dr. Ernest C. Adams, Jr. Estate

Mr. George C. Hamilton, III

Mr. Robert W. Krueger

Mr. and Mrs. Troy J. Myers, Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. Stephen R. Drake

Mr. Richard A. Hammer

Ms. Marsha LaBeaume

Mr. and Mrs. Steven R. Nash

Ms. Amanda L. Drewry

Mr. Jeffrey W. Hardy

Dr. and Mrs. James A. Lauderdale III

National Christian Foundation Alabama

Mr. and Mrs. Larry C. Driskell

Drs. Guy and Nancy Hargrove

Dr. Sue C. Lauderdale

Dr. Tonya T. Neaves and Mr. David E. Neaves

Dr. and Mrs. R. Gregory Dunaway

Ms. Peggy L. Harper

Mr. and Mrs. Don Lee

Mr. John W. Nelson

Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Duncan

Mr. Joseph W. Harvey

Mr. and Mrs. K. B. Lee

Dr. and Mrs. Ryan R. Nerland

Mr. and Mrs. George K. Dunn

Ms. Leesa R. Hopkins

Ms. Carol J. Levy

North American Coal Corporation

Edwin C. Roshore Family Trust

Mrs. Suzanne H. Hawkins

Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Levy

Congressman and Mrs. Patrick A. Nunnelee

Dr. Matthew Egbe

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Heard

Dr. and Mrs. Edwin A. Lewis

Dr. and Mrs. Kelly R. O’Neal Jr.

Mr. Nathan H. Elmore

Mrs. Kitty E. Henry

Drs. Harvey and Di Ann Lewis

Mr. William G. Ogg

Dr. and Mrs. Gerald A. Emison

Dr. and Mrs. Barry W. Herring

Mr. and Mrs. James H. Linley, II

Dr. James D. Owen and Dr. Laura Rudolph-Owen

Entergy Corporation

Mr. and Mrs. David E. Herring

Mr. and Mrs. Michael S. Little

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley S. Owen

Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Erby

Dr. and Mrs. Mark L. Hickson, III

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Owens

Mr. and Mrs. C D. Evans

Ms. Christina M. Hilliard

Mr. Francisco O. Logrono

Mr. and Mrs. Forrest W. Pace, Jr.

Exxon Education Foundation

Dr. and Mrs. Jeremiah H. Holleman, Jr.

Ms. Rebecca J. Long

Mr. and Mrs. Forrest W. Pace, Sr.

Ms. Nancy P. Farmer

Mr. and Mrs. Thedford K. Hollis

Lonza America, Inc.

Mr. James N. Paisley

Doug and Bonnie Feig

Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth R. Holloway

Dr. Chester C. Lott Jr.

Ms. Susan Palmer

Dr. Joe L. Ferguson and Mrs. Jean W. Ferguson

Dr. Erin Jaye Holmes

Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Love

Ms. Sheri A. Pape

Ms. Julie S. Fleming

Drs. Richard and Judy Holmes

Ms. Nell J. Ludwig

Mr. and Mrs. Earl B. Parker, Jr.

Flight Attendant Medical Research Center

Dr. Yi Qiu, Ph.D. and Dr. Suming Huang

Ms. Sherrie A. Lynn

Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi

Ms. Angela Flook

Dr. and Mrs. Henry C. Hudson

Delete

Mr. and Dr. Greg S. Patterson

Dr. and Mrs. Jerry W. Fly

Mr. John E. Hughes, III

MSU Donor-Advised Fund Program

Mr. Ercolani D. Pauline

24

VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016 | COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES


SOCIETY NAMES Pelican River Watershed District

Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey B. Rupp

Dr. and Mrs. Randolph Stone

Mr. and Mrs. Johnny G. Walton

Ms. Julia V. Pendley

Mr. and Mrs. Laroy M. Rushing

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Suttle, III

Ms. Melissa S. Warren

Dr. Gary L. Permenter

Mr. and Mrs. Chess Rybolt

Dr. Martha H. Swain

Rev. and Mrs. Granville H. Watson, Jr.

Mr. Melvin R. Peterson, Jr.

Dr. Harrylyn Sallis and Dr. Charles Sallis

Mr. Chester A. Tapscott, III

Mr. and Mrs. Truett N. Watson

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Philip

Dr. and Mrs. Johnny Sandhu

Mr. Charles H. Tardy

Mr. and Mrs. John D. Wax

Dr. and Mrs. Robert L. Phillips Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. David L. Schroeder

Dr. and Mrs. Stephen W. Tartt

Drs. Richard and Patricia Weddle

Dr. Melinda W. Pilkinton

Col. and Mrs. Steve C. Schrum

Dr. and Mrs. Douglas H. Taylor

Wells Fargo & Company

Pioneer Marketing Associates, Inc.

Mr. and Mrs. Wallace H. Scoggins

Texas Ecolab

Miss Julie L. West

Mrs. Dawn N. Plaisance

Mr. and Mrs. Denton O. Scott Jr.

Mr. Eddie Thames, Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. A. Randle White

Mr. Jay B. Pond

Dr. Joe D. Seger

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. White

Dr. and Mrs. Malcolm Portera

Sessions Trust

The Benevity Community Impact Fund

Dr. and Mrs. Frank J. Whittington

Mr. Junrui H. Qian

Dr. Stephen D. Shaffer

The Bower Foundation

Drs. David E. Wigley and Dana L. Fox

Dr. Claude E. Peacock and Dr. Janet E. Rafferty

Mr. Matt Shanklin

The Earhart Foundation

William P. Guyton Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Rand Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. James W. Shannon, II

The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation

Dr. and Mrs. Clyde V. Williams

Shirley A. Randle

Shep’s Cleaners, Inc.

The Schwab Charitable Fund

Mrs. Laurie R. Williams

Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund

Dr.KathleenM.Sherman-MorrisandMr.JohnA.Morris

Col. and Mrs. Jerry A. Thomas

Mr. and Mrs. Lee B. Williams

Dr. and Mrs. Richard C. Raymond

Dr. Howard E. Shook, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Perry K. Thomas, IV

Dr. James Williamson and Mrs. Linda Williamson

Dr. Dale G. Read, Sr.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Shurlds, III

Dr. Katie H. Thomas and Dr. Timothy N. Thomas

Mr. Homer F. Wilson, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Ridley

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Mr. Nicholas K. Thompson

Ms. April M. Windham

Dr. and Mrs. Edward E. Rigdon

Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Sisk

Mr. Jeremy M. Thornton

Dr. David O. Wipf

Mr. W. G. Rivers

Mr. Arville O. Slaughter

Mr. John Thornton

Dr. and Mrs. Perisco Wofford

Ms. Glenna L. Roberson

Mrs. Ann Ardahl Smith

Dr. Walt Towery

Dr. and Mrs. Richard B. Wolf

Hon. and Mrs. James L. Roberts, Jr.

Mr. C. Douglas Smith

Ms. Amy Tuck

Women’s Foundation of Mississippi

Ms. Lydia S. Roberts

Ms. Jonnie A. Smith

Mr. Boyd N. Tucker

Mr. and Mrs. Earl G. Woods Jr.

Mr. Robert R. Roberts, Jr.

Dr. Laura T. Smith

Mr. J. R. Tucker

Mr. and Mrs. Mark A. Worthey

Ms. Tamaal A. Rodgers

Mr. and Mrs. Steve M. Soltis

Ms. Sharon D. Turner-Davis

Dr. and Mrs. Lee T. Wyatt, III

Dr. Kevin Rogers

Paul and Mimi Speyerer

Vicksburg Hospital Medical Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. James A. Yarborough

Mr. and Mrs. Steven M. Rogers

Starkville Area Arts Council Inc.

Dr. Ben M. Waggoner

Mr. Brian S. Young

Mr. and Mrs. James D. Rowe

Statewide Federal Credit Union

Mr. and Mrs. Harold D. Walker III

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen E. Young

Mr. James S. Rowles

Ms. Cynthia Stevens and Mr. Linwood Cotman

Pete Walker

Dr. Dongmao Zhang and Ms. Dongping Jiang

Mr. Scott D. Royce

Mr. Thomas H. Stipe

Dr. Diane E. Wall

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Rule

Dr. Sean L. Stokes

Mr. and Mrs. Scott Waller

THANK YOU COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES | VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016

25


W

hen Dr. LouAnn Heath Woodward was named vice

chancellor for health affairs at the University of Mississippi

A PASSION FOR

HEALTH CARE IN HER HOME STATE DRIVES MSU ALUMNA By Allison Matthews

Medical Center this spring, the story made national

headlines. Her status as the first woman to serve as the top administrator of the state’s only academic medical center is big news, but her colleagues weren’t surprised when she emerged as the preferred candidate after a robust national search. Woodward truly worked her way up the ranks at UMMC, starting as a medical student, later doing her residency in emergency medicine and then joining the faculty. Woodward recently commented that she had been at the med center “forever,” but in fact she had a previous life as a Mississippi State Bulldog. Woodward prepared for medical school by earning a microbiology degree at MSU in 1985. She pointed out that not only is she the first woman in her new role, but she also is the first MSU alum to lead the medical center. Recalling her undergraduate days, Woodward said Mississippi State prepared her for the academic rigors of medical school. For the Carroll County native and Kirk Academy graduate, Woodward said MSU seemed like the most logical place for her to attend college. “It was in some of the difficult courses that I took at Mississippi State that I learned how to study,” Woodward said. She fondly remembers Don Downer, her academic advisor and a longtime university department head. “And I had several other faculty members who were very important to me and were unofficially my advisors as well. I had a great experience at Mississippi State,” she said. At UMMC, Woodward thrived in medical school and as she specialized in emergency medicine. She said experiences of seeing a large variety of patients and medical conditions presented in the ER have served her well in her administrative roles. “Even though it seems like a career in emergency medicine couldn’t be more different than an administrative role, some of the skills actually translate very well,” Woodward said. “You gain a comfort level having to make decisions that may be stressful or ‘high stakes’ or important when you know that you don’t have all of the information. I think that is one thing that has been very useful to me––not that I would want to make decisions willy nilly, but if you wait to get to the point that you know everything there is to know about a situation, then you become paralyzed and unable to make decisions and move on,” she explained. The great variety at the medical center is one of the joys of her work. As vice chancellor for health affairs, dean of the school of medicine and professor of emergency medicine, Woodward’s responsibilities may seem daunting. She oversees nearly 10,000 employees and roughly 3,000 students. The campus includes four hospitals for adults, children, women and infants, and critical care patients. UMMC also operates two community hospitals in Lexington and Grenada. Millions of dollars in construction projects are under way to further expand the capabilities and capacity of the center, but Woodward said it’s her confidence in UMMC’s team that helps her approach daily challenges. “Whether it’s the students, researchers, staff or the faculty, there is a dedication to

26

VISION WINTER/SPRING 2016 | COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES


making Mississippi better here that just oozes out of the walls,” she said. “Of course, I don’t personally supervise 10,000 people, so I’ve got a very strong team around me of people who are absolutely dedicated,” she said. “My job is to keep people focused on the end point, and I really try to communicate clearly and as much as possible.” Woodward said she’s never the smartest person in the room, but keys to her success have been a willingness to take on challenges, work hard and stay positive and focused. “I’m persistent and I understand that there’s more than one way to get things done. When plan A doesn’t work out, what’s plan B? Let’s keep trying and being positive,” she said, adding that a thick skin helps as well.

“I’ve also been back up there several times talking to the pre-med students,” she noted, and she’s visited with MSU President Mark E. Keenum and first lady Rhonda Keenum in their home. As she now focuses on leading the medical center toward future successes, Woodward said she has a vision to tackle the major health issues in a state that often ranks at the bottom for health-related outcomes. “Whether it’s childhood asthma or high rates of diabetes in some selected counties in Mississippi, we have to work collaboratively with focused efforts to really make a difference,” she said, emphasizing that there’s not just one solution that will address Mississippi’s health problems. “We are last in physicians per capita, so one of the things that we are doing to

In addition to her career, Woodward has raised four children with her husband

address that is growing our medical school class size. Adding physicians to the

Jon. The couple has one 19-year-old daughter, twin 17-year-old daughters and a

workforce in Mississippi is not the only answer, but when you’re last, you know it’s

15-year-old son.

part of the answer,” she said.

“I’ve got great kids and an unusually tolerant husband. It really does take a team,” she said. “Everywhere I go, I’ve got wonderful people who support me.”

Another major health care issue is access. “I grew up knowing people who didn’t have a ride to where they needed to go, so

Woodward said that since her appointment as vice chancellor was approved by

just the basic access to health care was a major obstacle. We are really growing and

Institutions of Higher Learning earlier this year, she’s been intrigued by the interest

expanding our telehealth program so people won’t have to drive two or three hours

garnered by the fact that she’s the first woman to take on this position. She said

to see the doctors they need to see. With technology, we can get the provider and

UMMC has a number of other women in leadership positions and she doesn’t feel

the support to the patients,” she explained.

gender has been a limiting factor during her career. “I’ve never felt that there was something that I wanted to do that I couldn’t do because I was a woman,” she said. “For my age, there are still more men than women practicing medicine, but in the younger medical school classes, it’s split 5050 basically across the country,” she said.

Woodward said many health challenges present great need and great responsibility for the medical center, and she feels passionately that Mississippians are the right people to drive solutions. “We’ve got people who are thinking about education, people who are enmeshed in their research and people working day and night taking care of patients,” she

Woodward maintains her ties to MSU, usually making a football game and tailgate

said. “But the wonderful thing is that at the end, even though people might be

at least once a year. She also visits Starkville for weekend getaways with a few

doing completely different jobs, everybody’s pulling in that same direction of trying

girlfriends who have remained close since school days.

to make Mississippi a healthier and better place.” n

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RETIRED MARINE LOOKS TO HISTORY FOR THE FUTURE By Lisa Sollie

A

month following high school graduation, Cody Perkins of Collinsville enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and headed to boot camp. A 2003 West Lauderdale High School graduate, he went on serve his country both at home and abroad, including two tours in Iraq. As he was making the transition from infantryman to instructor because of war injuries, Perkins was recruited into the corps’ Criminal Investigative Division at Camp Pendleton. He spent more than a decade with MCID at the well-known Southern California training base and, later, at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina. Following a medical retirement connected to his combat injuries,

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Perkins decided to return to Lauderdale County and Meridian, put down civilian roots and begin a second career. He briefly considered the idea of continuing in law enforcement because of a genuine enjoyment of past MCID service. Physically, however, “I knew I was unable to do that [kind of work] anymore,” he said. Considering other skills he possessed, Perkins began to focus on classroom teaching. “As an instructor for the Marine Corps, I thoroughly enjoyed the teaching aspect of the job,” he said. “I also have had a lifelong love for history, so I thought maybe I could combine both disciplines and earn a teaching degree.”


The first step involved completion of an associate’s degree at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba. He then enrolled at Mississippi State University-Meridian because of its convenience. Another key reason was the “small, tight-knit community” atmosphere he came to appreciate while dealing with MSU-Meridian faculty and administrators. A feeling that, he said, continues to this day. “If I have a question or concern, I don’t have to run around a big campus trying to track someone down, wondering if I even will have the opportunity to talk to them once I do find them,” he said recently. “The professors here are readily accessible, and Dr. (Toby) Bates and Dr. (Dennis) Mitchell in the history department are top-notch.” During Friday [Dec. 11] commencement ceremonies, Perkins

formally receives his bachelor of arts degree. Next month, he will begin a master of arts degree program in community college education. As he works part-time at Meridian Community College’s E-Learning Center, he acknowledged the challenges of a new civilian career. “I know it will be a lot different than teaching Marines,” Perkins said with a smile. “My wife, who teaches literature at MCC, is constantly reminding me. I think she’s afraid I’ll forget I can’t make the students drop and do push-ups or something if they forget an assignment.” For more about MSU-Meridian, visit www.meridian.msstate.edu. MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www. msstate.edu. n

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PROMOTIONS & TENURE Todd Mlsna...................... Tenure..................................................... Chemistry John Forde....................... Promotion.................................. Communication Wendy Roussin................ Promotion & Tenure................ Communication Peter DeGabriele............ Promotion & Tenure................................ English Andrew Mercer............... Promotion & Tenure........................ Geosciences John Rodgers................... Promotion......................................... Geosciences Matthew Lavine.............. Promotion & Tenure................................ History Shantia Yarahmadian..... Promotion & Tenure...... Mathematics & Statistics Brian Shoup..................... Promotion & Tenure................................... PSPA Jonathan Edelmann....... Promotion & Tenure..... Philosophy & Religion Jared Keeley..................... Promotion & Tenure......................... Psychology Cliff McKinney............... Promotion & Tenure......................... Psychology Stacy Haynes.................... Promotion & Tenure............................ Sociology Kimberly Kelly................ Promotion & Tenure............................ Sociology David May........................ Promotion.............................................. Sociology

WE WANT YOUR

RETIREES

news!

John Mylroie.....................Geosciences.................................December 2014 Debbie Beard................... Chemistry............................................ Spring 2015 Svein Seabo ......................Chemistry ........................................... Spring 2015 Bruce Ebanks................... Mathematics & Statistics.................. Spring 2015 Lorraine Hughes.............. Mathematics & Statistics...............Summer 2015 Catherine Harris.............. Communication.................................. Spring 2015 Jack Jordan........................ CMLL........................................................ Fall 2015

Send an e-mail or letter to: Karyn Brown

Director of Communication Mississippi State University College of Arts & Sciences P.O. Box AS Mississippi State, MS 39762 kbrown@deanas.msstate.edu

As the largest College on campus, it is our privilege to showcase all that it has to offer. In order to do that, we need your assistance. Past issues have featured outstanding accomplishments of faculty, students, alumni, and organizations—their accomplishments, awards, and how each is making a difference on campus and in the community. If you have something that should be included, please send it to us!

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SUCCESS

DISCOVERY

OUTREACH

GLOBALIZATION

EXPERIENCE

Reporting Success Each day, Mississippi State University’s faculty and students are finding success through opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Thanks to the financial support from our many alumni and friends, students like Kaitlyn can gain valuable real-world experience while at MSU.

FRANCES MCDAVID MSU ALUMNA REFLECTOR ADVISER, JOURNALISM INSTRUCTOR

KAITLYN BYRNE CLASS OF 2014 REFLECTOR EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT, FOUNDATION AMBASSADOR

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Post Office Box AS Mississippi State, MS 39762

Mailing Address: Post Office Box AS Mississippi State, MS 39762

Physical Address: 175 Presidents Circle Mississippi State, MS 39762

Mississippi State University complies with all applicable laws regarding affirmative action and equal opportunity in all its activities and programs and does not discriminate against anyone protected by law because of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, handicap, or status as a veteran or disabled veteran.

Vision  

College of Arts & Sciences winter/spring 2016 edition