IHL recognizes two Mississippi State faculty with Diversity and Inclusion Awards

Studio portrait of Qiana Cutts
Qiana Cutts (Photo by Logan Kirkland)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Two Mississippi State faculty members were honored Thursday [Feb. 18] during the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning’s annual Diversity and Inclusion Awards ceremony.

Qiana M. Cutts, assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations, as well as Derris Devost-Burnett, assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, were recognized for their efforts in advancing diversity and encouraging understanding and respect.

A member of the Bulldog family since 2016, Cutts earned a bachelor’s in English and master’s in teaching from the University of West Alabama. The West Blocton, Alabama, native also holds a master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Argosy University and a doctorate in educational policy studies from Georgia State University. A self-described “qualitative researcher by training and poet by nature,” Cutts focuses her research primarily on diversity, social justice and intercultural competency, which examines teachers’ relationships and communication with students of various backgrounds.

Studio portrait of Derris Devost-Burnett
Derris Devost-Burnett (Photo by Tom Thompson)

Burnett, the faculty coordinator of MSU’s Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal and poultry science from Tuskegee University. From there, he went on to complete a doctorate studying metabolic efficiency in beef cattle at Auburn University. Burnett, who grew up in downtown Denver, Colorado, conducted postdoctoral work at Kansas State University before joining MSU in 2015.

For more on IHL’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards, visit http://www.mississippi.edu/pr/newsstory.asp?ID=1684.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.