Zacharias Awards honor dozen MSU staff members for campus service

MSU President Mark E. Keenum (back, center) congratulates the university’s newest Zacharias Staff Award winners. They include (front, l-r), Ra’Sheda Forbes, Kim Kavalsky, Madeline Golden, Carol Young, Diane Alexander and Meggan Franks (back, l-r) Trudy Jones, John Vowell, Adam Rohnke, Jesse Morrison, Frank Fulton and Terri Snead. (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Twelve Mississippi State employees are 2016 selections for Donald W. Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards.

The honors are a memorial to the university’s 15th president in whose 1985-97 administration the annual Staff Appreciation Day and the accompanying awards program were established.

The recognition program is organized by the MSU Staff Council and is a part of the university’s Staff Appreciation Day activities held Friday [May 13].

To be eligible, award nominees must be classified as a professional or support staff employee working at least half-time and with a minimum of three years of campus service, among other criteria.

At the end-of-school-year event, MSU President Mark E. Keenum presented each honoree with a plaque and $1,000 check. The group included (alphabetically, by category):


—Diane Alexander, director of academic fiscal affairs in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

—Ra’Sheda Forbes, associate director of the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center.

—Meggan Franks, assistant director of the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement.

—Kim Kavalsky, mental health outreach coordinator for the health promotion and wellness department.

—Jesse Morrison, research associate in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ plant and soil sciences department.

—Adam Rohnke, senior extension associate for the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center.

Support Staff

—Frank Fulton, campus landscape crew member for the Campus Services division.

—Madeline Golden, accounting assistant for the Office of Agricultural Communications.

—Trudy Jones, administrative assistant for facilities management administration.

—Terri Snead, population medicine technician for the College of Veterinary Medicine’s clinical sciences department.

—John Vowell, journey lineman for physical plant administration.

—Carol Young, office associate for the College of Business’ finance and economics department.

For more about MSU Staff Council, its awards program and other activities, visit

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