Leonard Taylor (Faculty)

Leonard Taylor, pictured in MSU's Allen Hall.

A Wisconsin native, Leonard D. Taylor Jr. came to Starkville prior to the fall 2016 semester after receiving a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in organizational leadership and policy development.

Most recently honored by the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education with its 2017 Dissertation of the Year Award, Taylor also holds two degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Having never lived in the South, Taylor admitted he was, at first, apprehensive about Starkville.

“One of the things I appreciate the most so far about Mississippi State is just how much people want to talk to you, and how they truly mean it,” he said.

He also believes Starkville is a very charming town that “isn’t lacking anything.” 

An assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, housed within the university’s College of Education, Taylor’s primary research focus is on how higher education administrators, faculty and staff members utilize data and promising practices to enhance student success and improve quality, quantity and diversity of U.S. graduates.

“MSU has so many offices and different resources available to students for success on our campus,” Taylor said.

He said that because of these abundant resources, he has definitely noticed the familial relationships between faculty, staff, alumni and students on campus.

Teaching a variety of classes within the student affairs and higher education realms, Taylor interacts with many students on a daily basis.

“I’ve never felt this at home in a job or an institution in my entire career,” said Taylor. “There’s something about Mississippi State—it’s definitely family in a way.”