Skilled and supportive: Zacharias staff award recipients honored by MSU

MSU President Mark E. Keenum (middle row, center) congratulates the university’s newest Zacharias Distinguished Staff Award winners. Recognized Friday [May 17] during the university’s annual Staff Appreciation Day, honorees include (front, l-r) Cathy Evans, Margaret Dotson, Judy Hammett, Julie Capella and Debra Price; (middle, l-r) Marc Measells, Ken Stewart, Keenum, Debbie Wade and Colby Pennington; (back, l-r) Wayne Philley, Amelia Rogers and Vemitra White. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—From helping students throughout their academic careers to conducting research with far-reaching impact, Mississippi State employees use their knowledge and passion to advance the university and state in many ways.

Twelve members of the Bulldog family were recognized for their efforts Friday [May 17] with 2019 Donald W. Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards.

Serving as a memorial to the university’s 15th president, the honors were presented during Staff Appreciation Day, an annual event organized by the MSU Staff Council.

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 event, MSU President Mark E. Keenum congratulated each honoree.

“We’re all working together as one big family to support this great university and to help make our state a better place, and I greatly appreciate all that you do,” Keenum told the award winners and staff members in attendance.

This year’s Zacharias Distinguished Staff Award honorees include (alphabetically):

—Julie Capella, assistant dean of students and director of Student Support Services.

—Margaret Dotson, custodian for the Department of Housing and Residence Life.

—Cathy Evans, office associate in the Department of Music.

—Judy Hammett, senior library associate for MSU Libraries.

—Marc Measells, extension associate for the College of Forest Resources’ Department of Forestry.

—Colby Pennington, journeyman lineman for Facilities Management.

—H. Wayne Philley, senior research associate in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

—Debra Price, administrative assistant in the Department of Agricultural Economics.

—Amelia Rogers, associate director in the Center for Student Activities.

—Ken Stewart, executive director of Reporting, Planning and Analysis.

—Debbie Wade, scheduling assistant for the Office of the Registrar.

—Vemitra White, director of educational outreach and support programs for K-12 outreach in the Bagley College of Engineering.

For more about MSU Staff Council, visit

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Friday, May 17, 2019 - 2:48 pm