MSU’s Granger receives national PKP service award

Contact: Erin Buckley

Portrait of Joshua Granger
Joshua Granger (Photo by Dominique Belcher)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State faculty member is being recognized by the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society for his exceptional dedication to service.

Joshua Granger, assistant professor in the College of Forest Resources, is the national selection for the Phi Kappa Phi Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award for 2024-2026. The honor is given to a member who represents the society’s principles through achievements and activities. Honorees are renowned professionals in their field.

Granger, who specializes in quantitative silviculture in the MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center, was chosen because of his generous service contributions, specifically within the College of Forest Resources.

“I love being an active member of our MSU Phi Kappa Phi chapter, and being nominated and recognized for the work that I truly love doing is just a real honor and privilege,” Granger said.

Josh Granger with students planting a cedar tree for MSU’s Arbor Day celebration.
Josh Granger with students planting a cedar tree for MSU’s Arbor Day celebration. (Photo by Dominique Belcher)

Granger has organized collaboration between MSU and the surrounding community, especially through his leadership as the director of the Department of Forestry’s Summer Field Program. The nine-week hands-on, field experience is a required course for undergraduate forestry students. Granger also is chair of MSU’s Tree Campus Higher Education Advisory Committee, where he has overseen the university’s annual Arbor Day celebration for several years. Just in the last three years, the event has added more than 200 trees to the landscape of the MSU campus and Starkville communities.

Donald Grebner, George L. Switzer Professor of Forestry and Department of Forestry head, said Granger has developed a reputation for his reliable and valuable contributions.

“Dr. Granger has demonstrated outstanding service to the university and local community by integrating annual Arbor Day activities within the MSU Phi Kappa Phi Chapter to promote positive change across the greater Starkville area.”

Steve Bullard, CFR associate dean and FWRC associate director, observed that “since coming to Mississippi in 2018, Dr. Granger has served on more than 15 university committees. This level of university service is more typical of tenured professors and is almost unprecedented in newly hired assistant professors. He belongs to 22 professional societies and has active leadership roles in many.”

MSU PKP Chapter President Peter Ryan, the university’s executive vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, agreed that Granger’s activities “go well beyond what is typically expected of a tenure-track assistant professor.”

Ryan added, “Beyond this, it must be noted that Dr. Granger is performing at a superior level in his other academic responsibilities. This includes 19 peer-reviewed journal publications, over $5 million in research expenditures and significant interaction with his master’s and Ph.D. students.”

For more on PKP and Granger, visit Visit MSU’s Department of Forestry in the College of Forest Resources online at

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