One of the highlights of the year for me is the Annual Research Awards Banquet, which the Office of Research and Economic Development co-hosts with the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine every April.
This year, we honored Wes Burger -- associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, associate director of the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Dale Arner Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, and Grisham Master Teacher in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture -- with the Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award for his many contributions to Mississippi State's research enterprise.
We were pleased that President Mark Keenum, members of the Powe family, and more than 200 guests -- one of our largest crowds ever -- could join us to celebrate the university's research success stories and their significant impact on our state. Thanks very much to Carmen Kelly, Jessica Northcutt and Lynn Taylor for putting together an outstanding event. Read more about Dr. Burger and all of our award winners at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/04/mississippi-state-celebrates-research-success-annual-banquet or view our banquet book designed by the Office of Public Affairs' Heather Rowe at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/pdf/2016ResearchAwardsProgram.pdf.
As I write this month's letter, we are wrapping up interviews of the candidates for provost and executive vice president. I have been reminded yet again how great this institution is, as seen through the eyes of the candidates and those who have participated in the interviews. If you have not done so, please view the videos of the candidates open sessions at http://www.provostsearch.msstate.edu.
And of course, please provide your feedback of each candidate's strengths, weaknesses, and overall fit for MSU by May 9.
David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.
Working with UMMC? Please let us know
Many of you were able to join us last month when we officially launched a new initiative between Mississippi State, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities. We discussed several existing projects underway between our institutions during the celebration, but we would like to gather additional information about other collaborations. If you have ever worked with UMMC, are currently working with UMMC, or have plans to work with UMMC on joint research or outreach in the future, please take a few minutes before May 14 to complete our brief survey at https://msudafvm.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3P2tAPjQd14muKF.
Insitu opens office in Research Park
Please join me in welcoming Insitu to the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park this month. A subsidiary of Boeing, Insitu develops unmanned systems and software technology. MSU Associate Vice President for Corporate Engagement and Economic Development Kathy Gelston joined the Mississippi Development Authority and company officials for the announcement during the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's XPONENTIAL 2016 industry show in New Orleans this week. We are looking forward to working with a new corporate partner in the park. Read more at http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/insitu-to-open-new-facility-at-mississippi-state-university-in-support-of-commercial-uas-industry-300262619.html.
Site visit for HRPP accreditation this month
The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) site visit for re-accreditation takes place May 16-17, and administrators, researchers, staff, and key personnel from around campus have been asked to meet with the AAHRPP site visit team to answer questions about MSU's HRPP. If you have any questions about the site visit, please feel free to contact the HRPP team at email@example.com.
Kudos and congratulations
I always look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you, and here are a few that have crossed my desk in the past few weeks:
* Kudos to Trey Breckenridge, the director of high performance computing at the High Performance Computing Collaboratory, for his appointment as Honorary Commander of the 14th Communications Squadron at Columbus Air Force Base.
* Congratulations to Adam Skarke, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences and research fellow with the Geosystems Research Institute, who has been selected as an Early-Career Research Fellow with the Gulf Research Program.
* Kudos to Alicia Musselwhite, the university's fire and life safety officer, who has earned the Certified Fire Protection Specialist designation. The CFPS credential is offered jointly by the CFPS Board and the National Fire Protection Association. She is one of only 11 in the state to achieve this distinction.
* Congratulations to Bettina Beech, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and executive director of the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, who has been named an American Council on Education Fellow.
As many of you know, our office works closely with the MSU Foundation on a number of projects, and I was very pleased to see that the university's Infinite Impact capital campaign has surpassed its initial goal of $600 million ahead of schedule and has been reset at $1 billion -- a historic fundraising amount and a first for any institution in the state. Read more about the campaign's new target at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/04/support-%E2%80%98infinite-impact%E2%80%99-soars-mississippi-state-extends-fundraising.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns about any of our research and economic development activities.