Support Staff Conference gets back to basics

The 2011 Support Staff Conference had Mississippi State staff members getting "Back to the Basics" May 17 during the day-long annual event in Colvard Student Union.

"The enthusiasm and interaction during our third Support Staff Conference was wonderful to see," said Meg Arnold, learning and development manager for Human Resources Management. "Our presenters and participants left feeling energized and recharged."

Previous themes were "Staying Positive in a Changing World," in 2009, and "Doing More with Less," in 2010.

Janie Walters of Madison-based Champion Communications delivered the luncheon keynote address. Her optimistic message of "The Little Engine Did, and So Can You" engaged the audience and sparked positive feedback from attendees, Arnold said.

Brenda Grebner, Bagley College of Engineering; Mary Beth Langston, Bagley College of Engineering; Donna Maykowski, Student Affairs; Trish Mohan, University Police Department; Ardra Morgan, MSU Foundation; Adrienne Morris, Human Resources Management; Jessica Northcutt, Office of Research and Economic Development; Stacy Parkes, MSU Meridian; Carlene Pylate, Student Affairs; Lyle Tate, University Libraries and Arnold served on the conference planning committee.

The committee turned to faculty and staff to provide the solid training, education and information sessions the conference offered. The lineup included:

--Official welcome from Sharon Fanning-Otis, head women's basketball coach;

--"Professional Attire and Your Image" by Lydia Allison, Bagley College of Engineering;

--"Stress, Stress EVERYWHERE" by JuLeigh Baker, Student Health Center;

--"Student Behavior, Campus Crisis Response and Student Records" by Thomas Bourgeois, Dean of Students;

--"Basic Wellness Benefits" by Robert Cadenhead, Student Health Center;

--"Fueling Your Metabolism" by Mandy Conrad, Student Health Center;

--"Protecting Yourself and the University" by Dave Dampier, Department of Computer Science and Engineering;

--"Event Planning 101" by Debby Golson, Office of the President;

--"Balancing Privacy and Community on Social Networks" by Amanda Clay Powers, University Libraries;

--"Basic Self Defense" Virginia Rich, University Police Department;

--"Learning to Lead" by Lynne Richardson, College of Business;

--"Office and Desk Exercises" by Jason Townsend, Sanderson Center;

--"Grammar and Proofreading Basics" by Robert West, Department of English and Shackouls Honors College;

--"Myers-Briggs Type Indicator" by Ronnie White, School of Human Sciences.

Support from Academic Outreach and Continuing Education, Aramark, Alumni Association, Bagley College of Engineering, Bulldog Club, College of Education, Debbie Huffman, MSU Foundation, MAFES, Meridian Campus, MSU Extension Service, Police Department, President's Office, Provost and Executive Vice President, Starkville Community Theatre, Student Association, Sullivan's Business and Office Supply, Vice President for Budget and Planning, Vice President for Development and Alumni, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness and Electrical and Computer Engineering made this year's conference possible.

For additional information about the Support Staff Conference or other employee learning and development programs, contact Arnold at 662-325-3713 or e-mail

Jim Laird | University Relations

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