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133rd YEAR ISSUE 43


Nothing but Mayah, new SA president driven to serve


By her own admission, Mayah Emerson did not come to Mississippi State University looking for a place in the Student Association, much less to be its president. However, she knew she wanted to be here. “Mississippi State is the only university that I finished my application to,” Emerson said. Close enough to her home in Meridian, Mississippi, for comfort, yet far enough away enough for independence, Starkville was a perfect fit. Being the first in her family to go to college, the experience was going to be new, no matter the place. “I had visited campus [MSU’s] a couple times for a theater competition I came to and for different things like that, and I just fell in love, absolutely loved it, and decided where I wanted to go. It was close enough to home, far away enough from home. Neither of my parents or anything went to university, so it has been an experience for all of us.” As for how she was during those times before MSU, Emerson’s family friend

Courtesy Photo | Mayah Emerson

Mayah Emerson is the first female African American SA president. She is a junior from Meridian majoring in educational psychology.

Daniel Towner describes her succinctly: she’s was the same as she is now, driven. “I just think she always wants to do a good job, which caused her to be a leader,” Towner said. “She went with it. She’s got it, but it was more

so about the people and being fair, and just those qualities of a leader. I don’t think she was ever looking to be a leader. I think she’s just a hard worker, and now, she is a leader.” Both Towner and current SA President Tyler McMurray

attest to Emerson’s ability to bring people together, and McMurray claimed the amount of times Emerson’s level head has put out fires is innumerable. McMurray has worked with Emerson since she

of both Emerson’s work with SA and her humble nature is her achievement of winning the 2017 SEC Leader of the Year Award, while completely unaware of her nomination. The SEC holds a conference to award the student leadership among its 14 schools, and the topic is always a hushed one in Executive Council. Seeing as someone must be nominated to win the award, the Executive Council must nominate one of its own, which McMurray said is always an awkward process. After reading on the requirements for the Student Leader of the Year Award, McMurray decided to submit Emerson as a candidate, unbeknownst to Emerson. “I started compiling the application, but it started asking for letters of recommendation. I sent out a mass e-mail just asking people if they’d be willing to write a letter of recommendation to Mayah, and I put like a disclaimer that this is on the down low,” McMurray said. “I sent out this e-mail thinking that one or two people would respond for a letter of recommendation for her, and I had 11 to 13 people send letters on Mayah’s behalf.”

joined the SA Senate as a second-semester freshman, and Emerson has only worked up from there. With positions as a senator, the Deputy Chief of Staff and the Director of Programming, Emerson has run the gamut of SA positions, and in every one, McMurray praises Emerson’s ability to combine perspectives and achieve the best possible outcome. Working as Deputy Chief of Staff, Emerson proved to McMurray she could handle the balance of ideas between Executive Council and Senate. “For me, it was ‘Okay, well, this is what we want. This is what we’re gonna go for, and we’re gonna sacrifice this.’ I think Mayah is so good at understanding a whole bunch of different sides that she’s gonna find a way to get both and make both work for whoever,” McMurray said. McMurray also drew attention to Emerson’s capability to give meaningful, honest advice, but not at the expense of her kind manner. “If you talk to anybody that works with her, she’s just someone who encourages, helps you, enables you to be able to do your job better, all while being a friend,” McMurray said. The perfect representation


Equestrian rider saddles up for national competition KATIE POE


When Mary Claire Cornett competes for the Mississippi State University Equestrian Team in dirt-filled arenas, she is in her element— the nerves of being judged on horsemanship heighten her focus, and she strives for perfection. Cornett, who grew up riding horses, is now the captain of MSU’s horsemanship team. At 3 years old, she was placed on top of a saddle, which sparked her interest. Now, 18 years later, Cornett is the first person from the MSU equestrian team to make it to nationals. “(Equestrianism) is a sport and hobby, but more so it’s a lifestyle,” Cornett said. “When I think of the equestrian team, I think of camaraderie, I think of unity, I think of physical activity and it’s an all-out mental thing, too. It is hard work, it is physically challenging, but it’s all worth it.” Cornett is a senior international business major with a combined major in Spanish and marketing with a concentration in risk management. Her university involvement, however, does not stop there. She is also a member of the Phi Mu sorority. In addition, she is involved in the American Quarter Horse Association and MSU’s


Rosalind Hutton

Sprint for Super Gabe: more than a 5k JORDAN DARENSBOURG

is Gabe’s brother, said Gabe was a strong and selfless child. “No matter how tough a time he was going through, he always managed to have a smile and bring joy to those around him,” Griffin Valentine said. “He always saved the last of a treat for one of his friends or family to help them feel better.” Gabe’s father Michael, who is an instructor in MSU’s Department of Psychology, said Gabe had the incredible ability of ending his life with grace. “The most inspiring thing about Gabe was his clarity of mind,” Michael Valentine said. “His concern was not for himself, it was about other people, and that was the most inspiring thing for me.”


Courtesy Photo | Mary Claire Cornett

International Business major, Mary Claire Cornett, serves as Mississippi State University’s horsemanship captain on the Equestrian team.

horse judging team. Cornett’s friend and fellow team member Hart Daniels, a sophomore chemical engineering major, said she has known Cornett since she was 6 years old. They met while taking lessons with the same horse trainer. Daniels said Cornett has a friendly and thoughtful



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personality. “I would describe Mary Claire (Cornett) as a very outgoing and caring person who always goes out of her way to make everyone feel welcomed and at home,” Daniels said. “She is also a very talented rider.” Equestrian Team head coach Ashley Shiffler said Cornett’s talent adds much

to the team. “Mary Claire (Cornett) is extremely valuable to the program,” Shiffler said. “Her achievements have helped to make a name for our program along with many other riders on the team.” Cornett has been on the current equestrian team since it began at MSU.

FORECAST: Friday will be cloudy and cooler, with occasional rain sprinkled throughout the day. Saturday, you can expect cooler weather with showers all day. The sun will start to peak through on Sunday morning, but will soon be covered by more rain clouds. Courtesy of Accuweather


Mississippi State University’s Montgomery Leadership Program will hold its annual 5K, “Sprint For Super Gabe,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Junction. The event is to raise money for the family of Gabe Valentine, a Starkville boy who passed away at 8 years old after a battle with a rare illness called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). According to the event’s link on racesonline. com, EB is a group of rare skin diseases which cause blisters to form on the skin. These blisters appear in response to a minor injury, heat, scratching or rubbing. Griffin Valentine, a sophomore psychology major from Starkville, who


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BAD DAWGS Best of the worst from this semester Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 3:36 p.m. Employee reported a cowbell stolen from Cullis Wade Depot Clock Museum by an unknown male. Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 12:24 p.m. Student slipped on a patch of ice at the intersection of George Perry Street and Bailey Howell. Subject refused medical attention. Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 2:37 p.m. Employee reported his computer in Hand Chemical Lab was hacked. Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 8:59 a.m. Employee reported a missing printer from Roberts Building. Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 Student was arrested in Starkville for first DUI and improper equipment. Student was arrested in Starkville for public drunkenness. Student was arrested in Starkville for first DUI. Student was arrested in Starkville for first DUI. Tuesday, March 20, 2018 3:18 p.m. Student was arrested on Blackjack Road for obstructing traffic and disorderly conduct, failure to comply. Referral issued. Wednesday, March 21, 2018 11:52 a.m. Employee reported a student left the Old Main parking garage without paying on two different dates March 8 and 20. Sunday, March 25, 2018 12:55 p.m. Student reported his tag stolen off his vehicle while parked in Hull Hall parking lot. By our count, since the beginning of the semester there have been 119 MSU citations issued for speeding. By our count, since the beginning of the semester there have been 9 Justice Court citations issued for speeding. 14 marijuana-related, one methamphetamine and two controlled substance incidents have been reported. These incidents’ resulted in various citations, arrests or referrals. Two Yetis have been stolen out of the beds of trucks in parking lots.

Jump forward to the conference, and the MSU SA Executive Council was sitting in the conference listening to the winner’s exploits being read aloud before the award was presented. Even then, as her own accomplishments were being listed, Emerson assumed it was some other incredible leader. As for Emerson herself, she said she has never tried to be anything more than she already is. “I think throughout this campaign, since I’ve been here, hopefully I’ve been nothing but Mayah, nothing but myself,” Emerson said. “I simply marketed what I stand for, what I believe in, who I am, and gave the student body a choice,


and they chose me. I’m so thankful for that, so I think that’s just it. People just want to see you, and that’s what I gave them.” Looking forward to the future, Emerson wants to make the presidential office an approachable one, and more than that, she wants her victory to inspire those who feel they are restricted by inhibitions. “I’m most excited about the student who sees Mayah Emerson as SA President and says, ‘Oh wow, she did that. I can do this.’ It may not be run for president,” Emerson said. “Whatever it is, I’m most excited about students being able to see me and saying, ‘If she can do it, I can too.’ Those are the things that really matter.”

Courtesy Photo| Mayah Emerson

Emerson holds the 2017 SEC Leader of the Year Award after being nominated by her peers.



Shiffler said the university had a team in the past, but two years ago it was re-structured into what it is now. Cornett mainly competes in horsemanship, which is a contest where competitors show a horse they have never ridden before. Cornett said it is possible to watch the horse beforehand to see its cues, but competitors must head into the arena without any warm up. Showing the horse consists of riding it around the rail of the arena while walking, trotting and loping. At the end, there is a lineup where competitors do a predetermined pattern with the horse. Cornett said before every competition, she practices her pattern on the ground by herself. “It’s just a tick for me,” Cornett said. Shiffler said Cornett’s figure, as well as her accuracy, help her to be a top competitor in the sport, where body position and control are judged heavily. “Mary Claire (Cornett) has an amazing ability to draw the judge’s eye to her,” Shiffler said. “She has a small, petite figure but has a very bold presence. She has one of the most correct positions on a horse.”

Courtesy Photo| Mary Claire Cornett

Senior from Hattiesburg, Mary Claire Cornett focuses on her position and control of the horse during a horsemanship competition.

Recently, Cornett qualified for the horsemanship national championship of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. To get to nationals, she earned a spot in the regional division competition held in Alabama, where she won first place. This qualified her for the

advanced horsemanship semi-finals. Cornett traveled upstate with Shiffler and Daniels, who also qualified. After practicing for a day in Pennsylvania, Cornett competed in Hamburg, New York, where she won second place. Thus, her road to nationals was paved. The competition is the first week of May in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “I am beyond proud of her (Cornett) for qualifying for nationals,” Shiffler said. “She has an overwhelming schedule, and manages to push herself to limits that most can’t handle. She knows what it takes to be a true competitor.” Cornett said she feels fortunate to be the first person from the university to qualify for the championship. “I think it’s really cool because fortunately, I have been with the team since the beginning when it officially started,” Cornett said. “Just to see how the team has grown and they have looked up to me to be a leader to a certain point. It does feel good to be able to lead and show them that it is completely doable, it’s possible, but you just have to work hard. With faith and a little good luck, you can do anything.”

SUPER GABE Alexis Sessions, a senior psychology major from Memphis is organizing the event. Sessions said Gabe was a strong little boy. “He taught me how to persevere and keep moving forward,” Sessions said. “A common nickname for kids with EB is ‘butterfly children’ because they’re thought to be fragile, but in reality, Gabe was tougher and more resilient than anyone.” Sessions also said she is excited for the event. “What I’m most looking forward to with this 5K is definitely seeing how it will positively impact the Valentine family, friends of Gabe and his family and the community as a whole,” Sessions said. “It’s really easy to get caught up in the stress of planning and


logistics that are associated with big events, but it will be really cool to take a step back on race day and see all the hard work and months

I enjoy the spirit of people coming together to make positive changes.” -Michael Valentine, psychology instructor of planning culminate in an event that brings joy and hopefully fun to those participating.” Additionally, Sessions said this has not been her typical 5K run. “Mr. Valentine has been

my psychology professor for several classes, and Gabe was an honorary cadet through ROTC program, which I’m a part of, so I got to spend time with him throughout the past few years,” Sessions said. “Being able to direct such a successful race to commemorate such an awesome, strong kid like Gabe and his family has been so humbling and an honor.” Michael Valentine said he is also excited for the event. “I enjoy the spirit of people coming together to make positive changes,” Michael Valentine said. “It feels good to know my son is remembered.” To register for the race, visit events/sprint-for-supergabe.

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An In-Class Distraction



... in 1895 Oscar Wilde, a well-known author during his time, was arrested after losing a libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry. Though Wilde was married with two children, he had engaged in an affair with the marquess’ son in 1891. Overtime, the marquess denounced his son as a homosexual, and Wilde sued the man for libel. During the trial, strong evidence was presented which supported the marquess’ observations. At the time in England, homosexuality was classified as a crime. Because of this, Wilde was arrested, found guilty and sentenced to two years of hard labor. After he was released from prison in 1897, he fled to Paris where his loyal friends visited him. He began writing again, and produced “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” based on his experiences in prison. Wilde died in 1900 from acute meningitis. ... in 1830, the Mormon Church was established. During a meeting with a small group of believers in Fayette Township, New York, Joseph Smith founded and organized what would later be known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. The story is that Smith, in 1823, was visited by a Christian angel named Moroni who spoke to him about an ancient Hebrew text which was lost for 1,500 years. The holy text is engraved on gold plates. During the next six years, Smith dictated an English translation of this text to his wife and other scribes until in 1830, “The Book of Mormon” was published. The religion rapidly grew in converts, setting up communities in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. However, it was also heavily criticized. On June 27, 1844, Smith and his brother were murdered in a jail cell by an anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois. Smith was succeeded by Brigham Young to lead the Mormons, who led an exodus to Utah.

Cumulus On-Air Job Fair

Need a job? Need an employee? Check out the Cumulus On-Air Job Fair where you can post a help wanted ad for free to be advertised on air or look through our help wanted ads and apply for a job!


April 3 puzzle solutions

Publicize your club! CLASSIFIEDS 4 BEDROOMS AVAILABLE FOR RENT IN A LARGE HOUSE. sunroom, dining room and a laundry room. 2 Full baths, large living area with fireplace. hardwood and ceramic tile flooring, garage, fenced in yard, Pet friendly environment for a fee. Only seven minutes from campus. Affordable room prices range from $325.00 per month to $400.00 per month. If interested call 662-312-5630. For MSU students only. HELP WANTED: Baby sitter for 2 yrs. 10$/hr. 12 minutes to MSU, next to South Montgomery Street. Call (571)643-4945 YARD SALE: HUGE Yard Sale – This Weekend!

Email 4/8 11am-4pm. 28 & 30 Lindberg Blvd in Starkville. Vinyl, CDs, music gear, clothes (men/women), cassettes, household items, books, Elvis memorabilia, and much, much more!! Parking on the street. Starkvegas FLEA MARKET. Join us Saturday April 7 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. @ the CoCo Center, 13608 MS Hwy 182 E, Starkville. Clothes, shoes, jewelry and more. Get warm, gooey cinnamon rolls and hotdogs at concessions. To be a vendor, email starkvegasfleamarket@ or call Julie at 662.769.6180 CLUB INFO #youbelong at INSIGHT Bible Study & Worship Tuesday Nights @ 8 p.m.

Worship Center. Visit for more information. The deadline for Tuesday’s paper is 3 p.m. Thursday. The deadline for Friday’s paper is 3 p.m. Tuesday. MSU student organizations may place free announcements in Club Info. Information may be submitted by email to club_info@reflector. with the subject heading “CLUB INFO,” or a form may be completed at The Reflector office in the Student Media Center. A contact name, phone number and requested run dates must be included for club info to appear in The Reflector. All submissions are subject to exemption according to space availability.




Good Friday is not entirely ‘good’ as the title suggests JOHN HAYNES STAFF WRITER

On Good Friday, Chuck Todd, the political director and host of “Meet the Press” at NBC News, tweeted, “I’m a bit hokey when it comes to ‘Good Friday.’ I don’t mean disrespect to the religious aspect of the day, but I love the idea of reminding folks that any day can become ‘good,’ all it takes is a little selflessness on our own part. Works EVERY time.” What Todd f u n d a m e n t a l l y misunderstands is Good Friday is a commemoration of an event which involved more than “a little selflessness.” According to the Apostles’ Creed (a widely used statement of Christian belief), on the first Good Friday, Jesus Christ “suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried” and “descended into Hell.” In doing so, 1 Peter 3:18 (ESV) tells readers

Christ “suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.” In other words, Christians believe Jesus “took away the sins of the world” through his death on the cross, John 1:29. From a Christian perspective, this atonement should matter to everyone because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. Since “the wages of sin is death,” Christ’s crucifixion ensures that we shall “be saved by him from the wrath of God,” Romans 5:9. Yet the work of Good Friday is not complete without Easter. Without Easter, “(Christians’) faith is futile” and they “are of all people most to be pitied,” 1 Corinthians 15:17, 19. Vanessa Romo with NPR misstated in a recent article Easter is “the day celebrating the idea that Jesus did not die and go to hell or purgatory or

Canʼt believe Jesus died just to give us a three day weekend. What a great guy.

Rosalind Hutton anywhere at all, but rather arose into heaven.” Now ascension into heaven is pretty impressive, but it is hardly exclusive to Jesus (who, according to the book of Acts, ascended 40 days after Easter). Both Enoch and Elijah in the Old Testament went

straight to paradise. The key difference is neither of them died first. Easter is the day celebrating how Jesus on the third day after his execution, was resurrected and came back to life. In doing so, “death no longer has dominion over

Trivia Time!

(Christ),” Romans 6:9. God gives Christians “victory” over sin and death “through (their) Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Corinthians 15:57. Paul writes “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we (Christians) too… shall certainly be united

with him in a resurrection like his,” Romans 6:4-5. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1. For Christians, Christ’s death and resurrection entail the most crucial part of their belief. It is troubling the host of the world’s longestrunning TV show feels “any day” can be just as good as Good Friday with “a little selflessness.” Just as concerning is NPR’s erroneous description of Easter. Elizabeth Jensen at NPR released an article arguing the mistaken claim was published because of a lack of “editing oversight,” not a fundamental misunderstanding of what Christians believe to be the single most important event in the history of the universe. News organizations should strive to be more informed on religious practices, especially those of the world’s largest religion.


1. What is the national sport of Japan? 2. Who was the vice president of the United States when Lincoln was assasinated? 3. What is the only bird known to fly backwards?

Martin Luther King Jr.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”


Answer:1. Sumo 2.Andrew Johnson 3.Hummingbird

Fox news anchor bit off more than she could chew



It seems as if every time a mass shooting occurs, the topic of gun control comes up and people protest for a few weeks, but nothing is done on the topic.This is partly because they really cannot, the Bill of Rights is pretty much untouchable, but that is another topic for another time. The reality of the situation is, yes, the gun laws are a little too lax in this country, but the laws people are suggesting, like outright gun bans in England or Australia, will not work here in the U.S. On a college campus, most of the people you run into are for gun control, and because groupthink is one of the worst things to happen in any area, here are some things to think about the next time you discuss gun control with your friends. First off, the statistics reported are not relevant to the argument because they are so heavily skewed. The first stat is gun deaths. Per 100 people in the U.S., there are 10.5 gun-related deaths per year, according to the Pew Research Center. This number is down from 15.2 in 1993 as gun homicides were 7.0 that year. In 2010, gun homicides were at 3.4. However, the bigger note is that 6.5 of those 10.3 deaths are suicides. The trend is gun homicides are going down and gun suicides are going up. This is not a gun issue; it is a mental health issue, which our country does an awful job at addressing.

Yeah keep ‘em coming. I’m trying to forget I mocked a teenager on twitter...

Jennifer McFadden, The Reflector The second stat is the mass school shooting statistic. After the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, the statistic of 18 school shootings between the start of the year and the shooting was thrown around a good bit. Now let me be clear, any death is too much, but after Snopes broke down the statistic, it showed only two were what most people would consider a “school shooting.” By this, I mean a shooting which was during school hours and with the intent of killing students. The Parkland shooting and the Benton, Kentucky, shooting where two died, are the only shootings with casualties in 2018.

According to the United States Department of Education, there are 26,407 public high schools and 10,693 private high schools in the U.S. With this many schools, the shootings are much rarer than people would have you believe. Once again, any shooting is bad and a problem in need of addressing, but this idea that people are scared to send their kids to school in fear of a possible shooting is ludicrous. The other argument people like to throw into the gun control argument is the success of gun laws in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. Which it

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U.S., our massive land borders would make it impossible to keep illegal guns out like on islands. These are just some things to consider when talking about gun control. There are many other arguments showing how gun laws in other countries will not work here. Examples are pointing out how gun laws have failed in Washington D.C. and Chicago in reducing crime. This is not to say laws like the HB 1083 are good by any means. HB 1083 was passed by Mississippi through the Senate to allow enhanced concealed carry, which will let owners sue public places

not allowing them to carry. Basically letting people carry guns on campus and into football stadiums. The reality is, by removing guns from those who can lawfully own them, you take the guns out of lawful citizens’ hands, but people who want to kill others will still be able to have access to them. School shootings are horrible, but if someone wants to kill a large concentration of people, the evil of humanity will find a way. The solution is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes presented, and Congress has to get to this common ground.


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is important to note that the homicide rate in England spiked after the gun ban, before returning to normal levels according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. They also saw a massive increase in the country’s police force. These countries succeed ed in limiting guns in those countries because these countries are islands. You can successfully ban things on islands because of the ability to limit what comes through your ports. However, the U.S. shares a massive land border with Mexico and Canada. Mainly Mexico is the concern. Even if guns were banned in the

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Education comes to life in the MSU Community Garden WILL WELLS


Outside the western wall of the Mississippi State University Landscape Architecture Building, the MSU Community Garden brings agricultural education to life. As garden coordinator, graduate student Eloisa De Leon organizes weekly community service days at the garden, where students and community members get hands-on gardening experience and conduct research into small-scale water collection and distribution. “Since we are still in construction, we do a little bit of gardening, a little bit of construction,” De Leon said. “It all depends what we need.” The community garden consists of 13 raised beds. Two more beds are currently being built, and after their completion, 15 additional beds will be built on the other side of the gravel path, mirroring the existing beds. The garden was created as a collaborative effort between the College of Architecture, Art and Design; the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and the MSU Student Association. Once the decision to start the garden was made, three faculty members – Tongyin Li, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Soil; Cory Gallo, an associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture; and Brent Fountain, an associate professor in the Department of Food

Lindsay Pace |The Reflector

Strawberries are beginning to sprout in the MSU Community Garden which is located outside the Landscape Architecture building, and provides students with hands-on agricultural education.

Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion—were appointed to a committee to plan the garden. Li said the professors decided the key uses for the community garden would be to facilitate research, education and community interaction. Although the garden was originally planted less than a year ago in April 2017, those running the garden believe many members in the MSU community are already reaping its benefits. Several classes were taught in the community garden last semester. De Leon said by helping with one of the classes, a firstyear experience course, she was able to see first-

hand how beneficial handson experience can be for students who may not have been exposed to a lot of gardening growing up, if any at all. “We had a lot of people who didn’t even know how broccoli grows, or how beans grow,” De Leon said. There are not any agricultural classes being taught in the garden this semester, but a design and build class is working to complete the garden. Mackenzie Nelson, an undergraduate student, is currently building hoop houses in the garden. Nelson said she and Gallo began researching hoop houses to increase the total number of crops that

I Am Girl introduces girls to career paths in STEM EMMA DRAY BRASWELL STAFF WRITER

I Am Girl is an annual program designed to give middle school girls the opportunity to be introduced to STEM fields, encouraging them to explore the possibilities of science and math. “We want to encourage the girls that the science and technical field can be fun, and they should not to be afraid to be interested in it,” said Amber Jackson, who oversees the program alongside I Am Girl creator Angela Verdell. Verdell created the program eight years ago because she said she believes more women needed to make girls consider careers in STEM fields early on. “I designed the program to be able to reach out to middle school girls, to invite them to the university and expose them to engineering in a really fun way,” Verdell said. Because the goal of the program is to introduce more STEM-oriented fields, such as engineering, to girls early on, I Am Girl’s mission focuses on middle school girls. “We have students from all over the Golden Triangle regional area, plus some from further locations such as Quitman, Mississippi,” Jackson said. “The application goes live late fall each year and is sent to schools to invite their students.” Volunteers, most of whom are female engineering students on campus, bring I Am Girl’s mission to life. Every team involved has two or three members put together, and these teams devote their time to make plans for a specific project which

Jenn McFadden, The Reflector

changes annually. “Each session there’s a different topic, a different project or program the students are involved in,” Verdell said. This year, participants are working on creating and presenting plans for a food pantry. I Am Girl gives these participants the opportunity to create their own version of an ideal pantry, showing them an engineering example used in everyday life. Shanika Musser, a civil engineering major, volunteered at I Am Girl and oversaw three girls as they designed their project. “All the designs include a place for food to be

stored, but the girls were creative and added other details to their structures,” Musser said. “For example, my group kept a space between two shelves for a homeless person to find shelter. Other groups put solar panels or gardens on the roofs of their shelters.” Due to a combination of corporate sponsorship and sponsorship given through the Bagley College of Engineering, I Am Girl is free to all participants. “Through generous donations from the Bagley College of Engineering, we all hope this program will familiarize the girls with STEM and its various fields at a young age for free,” Jackson said.

can be grown in a relatively small space. Nelson said while she and Gallo looked to other community gardens for inspiration, they put their own spin on the ideas they saw. “We had seen some example of people having a trellis at the entry to the garden to welcome people in,” Nelson said. “What happens if we put that trellis over the beds and made a walkway through, and the plants could grow over and that could be the way we harvest?” While only one of the eight planned hoops has been built, Nelson said the remaining hoops will be built fairly quickly, since they

now have a finalized design. De Leon said once the garden is completed, which she said might be as soon as next semester, undergraduate students will more directly run the garden. “Eventually, we want to have the garden be run by students, and have it available to be rented,” De Leon said. De Leon said beds will be rented out to student organizations and community groups whose goals line up with those of the community garden. Last semester, Li and a group from the plants and soils department researched water filtration in soil in the garden. Li

said they used a capillary irrigation system to water one group of crops, while another group was watered by hand. “We were trying to see which one would give you better crops, or at least reduce the effort so you don’t have to go out and water all of the time,” Li said. The group studied lettuce, cabbage, kale and broccoli. Unfortunately, the cabbage, kale and broccoli did not produce sizable enough harvests from either method for conclusions to be drawn. Li said she believes this is because they were planted too late in the year. However, lettuce grew well and to roughly the same level regardless of the watering method. Li believes gardeners can utilize this research to save time by installing systems instead of watering all their plants by hand. “For some crops, during the time when they are small, they may still require some hand watering, but having the sub irrigation system could help people reduce the number of times they have to water plants in their own backyards,” Li said. The lettuce grown in the garden was donated to a local food pantry to benefit the community beyond education. Community service days, where volunteers can learn more about gardening while helping with the garden, take place 3 to 5 p.m. every Tuesday this semester. De Leon believes the first-year experience course and other classes will return to the MSU Community Garden in the fall.




A thank you to MSU Women’s Basketball JESSICA LINDSEY

is a senior majoring in communication contact her at sports@reflector.

There is no denying our women’s basketball team is electric and will be a legend at Mississippi State University for a long time. I have not been this excited for MSU sports since my freshman year when we beat Auburn University in a home football game, sealing the program’s first number one ranking in history. Even then, that excitement was short lived. I do not remember a time when I was not excited for MSU women’s basketball. I am from Tennessee, so while growing up, the state highly revered Pat Summitt and the University of Tennessee’s

Lady Vols. My high school was also great at women’s basketball. Next to football, women’s basketball was one of the most anticipated and loved sporting events around. It is nice to keep this streak going in college. I have not been disappointed when it comes to MSU. The past two years have been incredible and while MSU has not yet won a championship, the impact these women have made will be felt here, in Starkville, in Mississippi and all across the country for quite a while. We are known as the school to dethrone UConn and to snap their 111-game winning streak. No one else can say this. Notre Dame beat them, but we did it first. While I was not there at last year’s Final Four in Dallas, and I am definitely not on the basketball team, coach Vic Schaefer and the team have created such a wonderful atmosphere of unity, it almost feels wrong

not saying “we” when referring to the team. I have watched students and fans from all over follow this team more closely than virtually any other team. People’s happiness rode on this team more than I have seen, and there has been such a personal aspect with this team that it truly has felt like a family, much like it is marketed. As I am not with the team, I cannot speak on team dynamics and what the fans mean to the players, but you could look up any interview with the team and find their thoughts on this and how much the fans mean to them. What other team happily goes into the stands after games to mingle with fans? To me, it is obvious they have to like us at least a little bit. As a student who is about to graduate after four wonderful years here and as an MSU fan, I want to thank the MSU women’s basketball team and everyone involved

with the team. Thank you for such a memorable junior and senior year. Thank you for putting MSU back on the map. My northern relatives no longer ask how my year at Ole Miss has been because they know the difference now. Thank you for embracing the fans and students. You truly make us feel like family, not just fans. Thank you for the experiences I got to have following the team as a photographer and writer during all six rounds of the postseason. I will not forget the dominance at home and in Kansas City, and the thrilling nail-biters in Columbus. While capturing the National Championship would have been amazing, I am not disappointed in the women in the least. They played their hearts out, and they make me proud to sing the alma mater at the end of the games – yes, even after



the loss in Columbus. Thank you for inspiring others. One of my favorite images I have taken is a picture from the Kansas City tournament from the Elite Eight game versus UCLA. There was a group of young girls in the corner beside UCLA’s band directly across from me. They were adorned in purple shirts with the biggest smiles on their faces, and they held up pink signs reading, “Future NCAA

Baller,” “Future stars” and “Future WNBA team.” Thank you for teaching these girls to go after their dreams and to reach for the stars no matter what. Your impact is much greater than many know. I started my freshman year with a bang, and now I will graduate MSU with a bang. Thank you for everything. As head coach Vic Schaefer says, “Praise the Lord and go dogs.”

Baseball snags midweek win

Alayna Stevens| The Reflector

Right handed starting pitcher Denver McQuary, a sophomore, winds up on Wednesday night.


Mississippi State University (15-15, 2-7 SEC) shutout Southern University (7-19, 5-7 SWAC) 5-0 on a chilly spring Wednesday night at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs used eight pitchers to defeat the visiting Jaguars, while only giving up five hits. Sophomore Denver McQuary, a right-handed pitcher, started on the mound and struck out a pair, but only lasted two innings. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Kale Breaux then threw against a few batters but walked three which lead to his replacement. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Riley Self then saw action and earned the win. After 3 strikeouts against the 4 batters he faced, Self was replaced. Freshman lefthanded pitcher Josh Hatcher came in, but he too did not last very long. A strikeout and a hit later, Hatcher gave way to junior right-handed pitcher Jared Liebelt. Liebelt sat down two batters in 1.2 innings and gave way to sophomore right-handed pitcher Keegan James, who then made way for senior left-handed pitcher Zach Neff. Both James and Neff notched a strikeout. Senior right-handed pitcher Blake Smith then came in and closed out the

game, ensuring Southern University did not get a run on the board. Smith struck out a pair during a perfect ninth inning to nail down the Bulldogs’ second shutout of the season. Smith has yet to allow a run through eight appearances thus far. Postgame, MSU head coach Gary Henderson spoke about the win. “This was a good win for us,” Henderson said. “We did not make an error, and also made a couple of great defensive plays. We kept our poise at the plate and then had a big eighth inning. The pitching went like we wanted. Five of them were really sharp and everybody competed.” MSU struck first in the fourth inning. Sophomore center fielder Jake Mangum doubled and then took third base on a SAC fly to right field from junior shortstop Luke Alexander. A ground ball out by freshman first baseman Tanner Allen got the job done to bring Mangum home, giving MSU the 1-0 lead. Mangum extended his reached-base streak to seven games, tying a season high. This one run lead remained until the Bulldogs finally broke open the game in the eighth inning. Freshman third baseman Justin Foscue started things with a leadoff walk. After

a groundball out, freshman designated hitter Marshall Gilbert sent Foscue to third base with a single. Jordan Anderson followed with an RBI-single. Mangum was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch scored the inning’s second run before Alexander walked to again load the bases. Allen followed with a two-RBI single. A wild pitch scored the game’s final run to make it a 5-0 lead for the Diamond Dawgs. The single through the left side in the eighth inning gave Allen his third multi-RBI performance of the season. Southern University stranded 10 baserunners. The Jaguars’ best scoring threat came in the third and seventh innings when the bases were left loaded. MSU will return to Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a three-game series against in-state rival No. 3 Ole Miss (25-4, 6-3 SEC). The series will open with the first pitch at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Dudy Noble Field. Mangum, from Pearl, talked about carrying the win Wednesday night as momentum for going into the weekend. “Absolutely, mid-week games are tough to get up for because we had an emotional weekend at LSU where we could have easily won the series just like Missouri and Vanderbilt,” Mangum said. “These SEC weekends take a toll on your body, but everybody knows what this weekend is, that’s all that matters.”

Taylor Rayburn| The Reflector

Mississippi State University defensive linemen prepare for spring game and upcoming season in individual drills during spring practices.

Simmons, Sweat to anchor talented MSU defensive line TAYLOR RAYBURN SPORTS EDITOR

It is a rarity a team has two first-team all-SEC defensive lineman, but it is even rarer for both those defensive lineman to return the next season. The 2018 Mississippi State University football team gets this honor as they return junior Jeffrey Simmons and senior Montez Sweat, who led the SEC in sacks last season. Many thought Sweat, from Stone Mountain, Georgia, would go into the NFL draft, but he decided to return to MSU for his senior year. “It was a decision I made with my family to come back and get my degree in December and have a great season,” Sweat said. “I had a couple relationships I built on the team that I did not want to let go, too.” MSU’s defensive line will be the strength of the defense heading into the season. Not only do they return their two stars, they return every defensive lineman who played last season. They also add four-star defensive end Chauncey Rivers, who many know from the second season of Last Chance U from Netflix. He redshirted last season.

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Between Rivers, Simmons, Sweat and other standouts like Gerri Green, Braxton Hoyett, Marquiss Spencer, Cory Thomas, Kobe Jones and Fletcher Adams, MSU has the talent and depth to dominate the trenches on the defensive side of the ball.

“We have a bunch of talent. Th ey stop the run, and rush the passer, they play with great intensity.” -Head coach Joe Moorhead The defensive line boasts five four-star and one fivestar player. They also have the experience in seven juniors and six seniors on the defensive line, something head coach Joe Moorhead has noticed. “We have a bunch of talent,” Moorhead said. “They stop the run, and rush the passer, they play with great intensity.” MSU is also changing defensive formations this

year. Last season under Todd Grantham, they ran a 3-4 base set defense with three down lineman. This season under Bob Shoop, they are running a 4-2-5 base set with four down lineman. Simmons, from Macon, said the defense takes advantage of all the talent they have up front. “I think it fits the defensive line, especially the type of guys we got,” Simmons said. “It’s just get after the ball and just go.” The success of the defensive line will go a long way toward the success of the defense as a whole. If the line is able to get pressure on the quarterback, it will cause more bad throws. Something safety Johnathan Abram, from Columbia, hopes to take advantage of. “You haven’t even seen it all yet,” Abram said of the defensive line. “Come game time, quarterbacks are going to be throwing us cakes out there. It is going to be fun. Catch them like punts and if they don’t throw, the defensive line will knock them upside the head.” Fans can get a look at MSU’s defensive line at the Maroon-White game on Super Bulldog Weekend. The game will kickoff at 3 p.m. April 21.

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