Reese takes helm of Computer Science

A veteran administrator has taken the helm of the Bagley College of Engineering's computer science and engineering department.

Following approval from the state Institutions of Higher Learning board of trustees, Donna S. Reese officially become department head on July 1. She has served as the interim leader since Rayford Vaughn, now associate vice president for research, stepped down in May 2010.

"I am thrilled to have Dr. Donna Reese as our new head of the department of computer science and engineering," dean Sarah Rajala said. "She brings great enthusiasm to her new position and a wealth of experience as a faculty member, associate dean and leader in several professional organizations."

Reese was first introduced to Mississippi State as a visiting assistant professor in 1989. She served for several years as the system software thrust leader for MSU's National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Research Center. Since that time she has held several positions including being named a professor in 2003 and serving as undergraduate coordinator for her department. Most recently she spent six years serving as the associate dean for academics and administration.

"I am excited about assuming this new role," Reese said. "The department has excellent faculty and students, and I look forward to helping the department continue to grow its research and provide excellent educational opportunities to our graduate and undergraduate students."

Her teaching and research interests in recent years have focused on broadening participation in computing and retention of students in science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines. She has been recognized nationally for her dedication to students earning the Tau Beta Pi McDonald Mentoring Award and the National Academic Advising Association Outstanding Faculty Adviser award. At Mississippi State she has earned the John Grisham Master Teacher award and been recognized numerous times for outstanding achievements in teaching and advising.

Reese earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from Louisiana Tech University, and master's and doctoral degrees in the same field from Texas A&M University.

Housed in Butler Hall, the computer science and engineering department has approximately 380 students in its three undergraduate degree programs, computer science, computer engineering and software engineering, and its master's and doctoral degree programs in computer science. Research within the department focuses on artificial intelligence including bioinformatics, computer security and forensics, high performance computing, software engineering, and visualization and computer graphics.

Composed of eight academic departments, the Bagley College of Engineering is Mississippi State's third largest college. It currently ranks 34th among all engineering colleges nationally in research and development expenditures according to the National Science Foundation.

For more information about the computer science and engineering department, visit More information about the BCoE can be found at

Susan Lassetter | Bagley College of Engineering

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