Melissa Baneck (Student)

Melissa Baneck

Since first enrolling at Mississippi State in 2012, Melissa L. Baneck has made her mark at the university.

After graduating summa cum laude last spring in elementary education, the Olive Branch native now is pursuing a master’s degree in the major. She also is developing a teacher practitioner journal.

She credits what she considers Mississippi State’s strong teaching program as the main reason she enrolled at the university. “I felt warmth from the teachers and felt that they’ve really cared about their students,” she said.

During the 2015-16 school year, she has led in coordinating a number of activities to assist current education majors and elementary students in local schools.

One project that developed from a conversation with a teacher involved the study of fifth graders’ perceptions of what makes a hero. Baneck said she utilized teaching skills developed on campus to help students understand and appreciate how a hero may have human flaws but can overcome them and serve as a role model for others.

She also helped spearhead another local partnership that included the schools of Architecture and Human Sciences, along with her own department in the College of Education and plant and soil sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The collaboration led to the development of lesson and teaching plans for a community garden teaching program at the Starkville Boys and Girls Club.

Of her time on campus, Baneck said, “I feel very taken care of and that I’ve been given a lot of opportunities here at MSU.”