Contact: Jim Laird
STARKVILLE, Miss.--Sixty Mississippi State students, faculty and staff are 2016 selections for exceptional research and leadership honors.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum welcomed honorees, their guests and senior administrators to a campus awards luncheon Thursday [April 28] in the Hunter Henry Center’s Hal and Linda Parker Ballroom.
Keenum praised the researchers and scientists for their work and contributions to the university.
Wes Burger was recognized with the afternoon’s top honor: the 2016 Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award.
Burger is associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, associate director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Dale Arner Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, and Grisham Master Teacher in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture at Mississippi State.
He has secured more than $19 million in research grants, and authored 229 publications including 89 peer-reviewed journal articles, 47 peer-reviewed proceedings articles, 14 book chapters, and 79 semi-technical bulletins and articles. He has been a leader in the precision conservation movement emphasizing strategic delivery of targeted conservation practices in working landscapes.
During his 23 years at Mississippi State, he has held appointments in the College of Forest Resources, the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the Geosystems Research Institute.
In his current role as associate director, Burger works to define, develop and administer a broadly-based research program of national significance in agriculture and natural resources.
Burger holds B.S. degrees in biology and mathematics from Murray State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in wildlife biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a 2013 graduate of the Food Systems Leadership Institute.
The Powe Award is a memorial to the MSU alumnus and longtime research vice president who died in 1996. It is selected at the university level from nominations received from the MSU community.
The annual research awards program honors individuals who contribute significantly to MSU’s mission of research. In addition to faculty, it recognizes and rewards students and staff for accomplishments and creative endeavors, as well as for increasing awareness of the university’s many research programs and capabilities.
The program and banquet are co-sponsored by the offices of the vice presidents for Research and Economic Development and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
“The annual awards banquet brings together researchers from every college and from a wide range of disciplines to showcase the breadth of Mississippi State’s research enterprise,” said Greg Bohach, vice president for agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine.
David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development, echoed Bohach’s assessment.
“The diversity and collaborative research culture we have at MSU are two of the key components in our success. And I can’t say enough about the hard work and dedication of the faculty, staff and students who are engaged in world-class research here,” he said.
Other 2016 research award winners include (alphabetically, by academic unit):
—Bagley College of Engineering: Sherif Abdelwahed, faculty; Dawn Reynolds, research support; Aref Yadollahi, graduate student; and AnneMarie Kovach, undergraduate student.
—College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station: Jason Krutz, faculty; Sonya Baird, research support; Sandra Schachat, graduate student; and Steven Wilhelms, undergraduate student.
—College of Architecture, Art and Design: Emily McGlohn, faculty; Emily Roush-Elliott, research support; and Ria Bennett, undergraduate student.
—College of Arts and Sciences: Brian Counterman, faculty; LeeAnn Funderburg, research support; Alexander Tice, graduate student; and Meredith Pearson, undergraduate student.
—College of Business: Robert Crossler, faculty; Mariquita Boone, research support; Stacie Waites, graduate student; and Justin Bailey, undergraduate student.
—College of Education: Ryan Walker, faculty; Wanda Brett, research support; Christopher Hill, graduate student; and Katie Wood, undergraduate student.
—College of Forest Resources: Peter Allen, faculty; Sasith Karunarathna, research support; Frederico Franca, graduate student; and Josh Bankston, undergraduate student.
—College of Veterinary Medicine: Attila Karsi, faculty; Joo Youn Park, research support; Yifei Xu, graduate student; and Lucas Ferguson, undergraduate student.
—MSU-Meridian: Kimberly Hall, faculty; and Selah Weems, graduate student.
—Office of Research and Economic Development: Devin McCalla, graduate student; and Megan Hodges, undergraduate student.
—University Centers and Institutes: Maggie Dannreuther, research support; Courtney Walker, graduate student; and Spencer Callicott, undergraduate student.
Also honored were new graduates of the university’s 2015-2016 Fred Tom Mitchell Faculty Leadership Program:
—Janet R. Donaldson, associate professor, biological sciences.
—Kimberly R. Hall, associate professor, Meridian Division of Education.
—Dean Jousan, associate Extension professor, animal and dairy science.
— Deborah Lee, professor, general library, and co-director, Maroon & Write Quality Enhancement Plan.
—Shien Lu, associate professor, biochemistry, molecular biology, entomology and plant pathology.
—Bonnie Carr O’Neill, associate professor, English.
—Amanda Clay Powers, associate professor, general library.
—Kathy Sherman-Morris, associate professor, geosciences.
—Jack Smith, acting associate dean and associate professor, pathobiology and population medicine.
—Lisa Wallace, associate professor, biological sciences.
—Lakiesha N. Williams, associate professor, agricultural and biological engineering.
—Joe D. Wilmoth, associate professor, School of Human Sciences.
Mississippi State’s success with developing intellectual property and licensing new technology also was part of the day’s celebration as nine inventors were recognized for obtaining patents in Fiscal Year 2015:
—Patricia Knight, research professor and director, South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station.
—Wayne McLaurin, visiting professor, South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station.
—David Wise, research professor and coordinator, Delta Research and Extension Center.
—Terrence Greenway, assistant research professor, Delta Research and Extension Center.
—Todd Byars, senior research associate, Delta Research and Extension Center.
—Philip Steele, research professor, Forest and Wildlife Research Center.
—Fei Yu, associate professor, agricultural and biological engineering.
—Brian Mitchell, research associate III, Forest and Wildlife Research Center.
—Mark White, professor emeritus, Swalm School of Chemical Engineering.
“I am pleased to report that invention disclosures are up for Fiscal Year 2016,” Shaw said.
He noted that eight of the nine patents issued in FY2015 are either licensed or under evaluation by companies.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.