October 13, 2014

Memorable fall underway at Mississippi State

Fall is my favorite time of the year, and it is turning out to be a memorable season for all of us at Mississippi State this year. Having a highly ranked football team generates significant interest in so many other aspects of the university, including our economic development and research initiatives like our faculty and students who are developing a safer football helmet. WREG-TV featured their work a few weeks ago, and you can find the report online at http://wreg.com/2014/09/25/mississippi-state-university-tackles-football-concussions-builds-safer-helmets

Please let me take a moment to update you about a few of our recent activities.


DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.


Experts to lead research funding resources overview
As most of you know, the funding environment for research has never been more competitive. My office is committed to providing faculty and staff the resources needed to successfully meet this challenge. Later this month, we will host a two-day visit by program advisors from the Grants Resource Center, a unit of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Sessions will cover a range of funding issues, and experts will also be available for private consultations to provide guidance on best-fit grant opportunities for your projects. To sign up for a one-on-one, 15-minutes slot to discuss your project on Oct. 29 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. or Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., please contact Lynn Taylor at ltaylor@research.msstate.edu or 662-325-3168. Additional information about this visit is online at www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=3691

'Safety Stand-Down' planned for Biosafety Level 2 labs
Many of you have received an email from Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Greg Bohach and myself about the U.S. government’s “Safety Stand-Down.” In light of recent biosafety and biosecurity incidents at federal laboratories, the White House has directed all federal departments and agencies -- including the USDA, NIH, CDC, FDA, EPA and others — that operate facilities that possess, use or transfer human, animal or plant infectious agents and toxins and/or recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids to perform a “Safety Stand-Down.” In a continuing effort to meet best practices at Mississippi State, Dr. Bohach and I are supporting this endeavor via a phased approach in order to ensure that everyone has sufficient time to respond. MSU is requiring all principal investigators who conduct research at Biosafety Level 2 to participate in a phased plan to accomplish the tasks at hand. The deadline for phase one is March 13, 2015, and I ask that you review the information we have posted at http://blogs.msstate.edu/ored/2014/10/safety_standdown_plan_in_place.html

Excellent export compliance presentation now online
In September, Will Mackie, a senior attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice's National Security Division, visited Mississippi State and delivered a very important presentation about the absolute necessity of export control compliance. Mr. Mackie gained notoriety for the successful prosecution of a Tennessee professor and a high-technology defense contractor for violating terms of the Arms Export Control Act, and his insight into this issue is second to none. If you weren’t able to attend his presentation, I invite you to visit www.research.msstate.edu/rresources and click on the link titled “Will Mackie Presentation: Export Control Laws, Technical Data and Academic Research Projects.” If you need additional information, please contact MSU’s Office of Research Security at www.ors.msstate.edu

NIH emphasizing individual development plans
In an effort to better prepare students and postdocs to participate successfully in a broad-based and evolving research-related economy, the National Institutes of Health strongly encourages institutions to develop and use individual development plans, or IDPs, for grad students and postdoctoral research supported by NIH awards regardless of their position or title. IDPs provide a structure for the identification and achievement of career goals. NIH progress reports submitted on or after Oct. 17 must include a report on the use of IDPs. For more information, please visit the Office of Research Compliance website at www.orc.msstate.edu or contact Kacey Strickland at 662-325-7474 or kstrickland@research.msstate.edu

Deadline nears for cross-college grant program
As I’ve mentioned, we are again soliciting proposals from faculty who desire to create interdisciplinary, cross-college research groups on campus. This program has been a very popular research facilitation tool, and one that has demonstrated a strong return on our investment. The deadline to submit a funding proposal through the appropriate associate dean for research is Oct. 17, and you may find additional details and submission information at www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=3623

Kudos and congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have come to my attention recently:

* Congratulations to Heather Jordan, a new assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, who has been awarded funding from the National Institute of Justice for $843,376. Her three-year proposal is studying the utilization of microbial structure and function in investigations of criminal justice.

* Kudos to Center for Safety and Health Program Manager Davern Jones and Industrial Hygienist Steven Holman for earning Certified Safety Professional designations. CSP qualifications are based on professional safety practice in the U.S., and requirements for the credential include education, professional safety experience, demonstrating knowledge of professional safety practice, and passing a comprehensive exam.

* Congratulations to Kevin Hunt, professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture and director of the Human Dimensions and Conservation Law Enforcement Laboratory, who has been reappointed to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s board of directors. It is another example of our faculty’s outstanding national reputation.

* Kudos to David Thompson, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and associate director of the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, who has received a prestigious Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering. The program’s goal is to help universities in the United Kingdom build capacity and promote collaborations by facilitating visits by distinguished international experts.

* Congratulations to Sead “Sejo” Sabanadzovic, professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, who has been elected to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses’ executive committee. Dr. Sabanadzovic is the only plant virologist from the U.S. serving on the committee, and his election speaks highly of Mississippi State’s reputation in the international plant virology community.

* Kudos to principal investigator Tommy Morris, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and associate director of the Distributed Analytics and Security Institute, and his team for their work to develop a Relay Settings Automation program for Entergy Corp. With this software, a process that takes four to six hours to complete manually can be performed electronically in less than a minute. Team members include students Travis Green, Srilalita Neti, Jeff Hsu, Quinton Grice, Joseph Johnson, Stefan Lewis; research associates Angie Card and Greg Henley; and Mike Mazzola, professor and endowed chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Read more about this innovative project at www.bagley.msstate.edu/news/bcoe-partners-with-entergy-to-develop-new-software

* Welcome home to Stephen Brain and Stephen Cottrell. An associate professor in the Department of History, Dr. Brain has returned from a yearlong Fulbright Fellowship in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. He and his family lived and worked just 30 miles from the Ukraine border while he conducted research and taught at Southern Federal University. As a consequence of his experience, Dr. Brain will be co-writing a book focused on Soviet leaderships' commitment to "green" and leading a study abroad program to Russia this summer. Dr. Cottrell, director of MSU's Office of International Engagement, and his family recently returned from Nha Trang, Vietnam, after a yearlong Fulbright teaching scholarship. While there, they had the opportunity to travel throughout the nation and visit Cambodia. As a result of his trip, a functioning MOU with Nha Trang University is in development and several academically gifted students have applied to Mississippi State.

Final words
If you’ve spent any time in the Research Park recently, you couldn’t have missed all of the construction. C Spire’s data center is now open, and the new sidewalk around the one-mile Research Boulevard loop is finished. The sidewalk was a top request from many of our tenants in the park, and we are pleased that this additional amenity is available to them, as well as to the local community. We are also looking forward to the installation of three shuttle stop shelters on the boulevard in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State’s research and economic development activities, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu

Go Dawgs!

— David

October 6, 2014

'Safety Stand-Down' plan in place for labs

Many of you have received an email from Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Greg Bohach and myself about the U.S. government's "Safety Stand-Down."

In light of three recent biosafety and biosecurity incidents at federal laboratories, the White House has directed all federal departments and agencies — including the USDA, NIH, CDC, FDA, EPA and others — that operate facilities that possess, use or transfer human, animal or plant infectious agents and toxins and/or recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids to perform a “Safety Stand-Down.”

In a continuing effort to meet best practices at Mississippi State, Dr. Bohach and I are supporting this endeavor via a phased approach in order to ensure that everyone has sufficient time to respond. MSU is requiring all principal investigators who conduct research at Biosafety Level 2 to participate in a phased plan to accomplish the tasks at hand.

The complete plan including documentation forms and guidance will be released by mid-October so that PIs can begin the tasks at hand. A brief overview of the planned activities in phase one include:

— A sweep of all areas used to store human, animal or plant infectious agents and toxins and/or recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids including cabinets, drawers, shelves, refrigerators, freezers, etc. This sweep would also include any carcasses/tissues containing potentially infectious agents. All of the above described biohazardous material should be identified, inventoried and destroyed if no longer needed or is unidentifiable.

— A review of all biosafety and biosecurity procedures including work practices and inventory management programs.

— A review of training with all study personnel.

— Brainstorm activities on how to enhance the facility biosafety culture.

The deadline for this phase is March 13, 2015.

The second phase will be the release of a comprehensive on-line biosafety training course by early fall in 2015. The online course will allow efficiency in that researchers and students can complete the training at a time that is convenient for the individual. The biosafety officer is always available to provide customized live training for a particular group upon request.

Department heads are encouraged to ask all Biosafety Level 1 labs to also participate.

This will be an excellent opportunity to clean out and clean up your labs, and with plans to open a BSL-3 lab at the College of Veterinary Medicine, this will demonstrate MSU’s effort in promoting safe and secure practices in laboratory facilities while protecting workers and the public, and preventing potential damage to plant and animal health. As always, the biosafety office and Institutional Biosafety Committee are available to help and answer any questions.

Dr. Bohach and I appreciate your efforts in helping to make MSU a safe and healthy environment in which to work.

David Shaw
Vice President for Research and Economic Development

September 8, 2014

Don't miss special speakers visiting campus this month

With the fall semester well underway, there is no shortage of activity on the calendar. While all of us are very busy, I hope that you will take the time to join us for a special guest speaker on Sept. 15. Will Mackie, a senior attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice's National Security Division, is scheduled to lead two program sessions during a visit to campus. Mr. Mackie gained notoriety for the successful prosecution of a Tennessee professor and a high-technology defense contractor for violating terms of the Arms Export Control Act, and we are looking forward to hearing from him because effective research compliance is a very significant priority for the Office of Research and Economic Development and our university. For additional information, please see www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6787


DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.


Big Data presentation coming up Sept. 26
Richard Ball, an associate professor of economics at Haverford College, will be on campus Sept. 26 to deliver a presentation about Big Data titled “Teaching Integrity in Empirical Research: A Soup-to-Nuts Protocol for Documenting Data Management and Analysis.” This topic is of great interest to very high research activity institutions like Mississippi State, and I hope you can attend his seminar from 3-5 p.m. in Colvard Student Union’s Fowlkes Auditorium. Please pre-register for this free session at www.tfaforms.com/336417

In addition, Dr. Ball’s presentation will count as a responsible conduct of research credit, and if you would like RCR credit for attending, please register at https://ssl2.msstate.edu/orc/workshops/loginorc.php

APLU's Innovation and Economic Prosperity University program
Since joining us as the new associate vice president for corporate engagement and economic development last month, Kathy Gelston has hit the ground running. She has been engaged with stakeholders on and off campus, and we are excited about expanding Mississippi State’s role in our state’s economy, creating opportunity, and working with industry and local communities. We believe that an important step in this process is attaining designation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University, which “acknowledges universities working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.” Look for more news about this effort in the coming months.

Cross-college mini-grant program returns
We are again soliciting proposals from Mississippi State faculty who desire to create interdisciplinary, cross-college research groups on campus. This program has been a very popular research facilitation tool, and one that has demonstrated a strong return on our investment. The deadline to submit a funding proposal through the appropriate associate dean for research is Oct. 17, and you may find additional details and submission information at www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=3623

SEC travel grants available again
The Southeastern Conference Visiting Faculty Travel Grant Program is intended to enhance faculty collaboration that stimulates scholarly initiatives between SEC universities. It gives faculty from one SEC university the opportunity to travel to another SEC campus to exchange ideas, develop grant proposals, conduct research, consult with faculty and/or students, offer lectures or symposia, or engage in whatever activities are agreeable to the visitor and host unit. Mississippi State can select a maximum of four faculty members to receive 2015 travel grants of $2,500 each for transportation, room, board, etc., to use for travel to another SEC campus. Completed applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Sept. 12, and an application form and additional details about the program are online at www.msstate.edu/web/memo/story.php?id=2379

Responsible conduct of research training this month
As I have mentioned, the responsible conduct of research program is a critical component of Mississippi State’s research compliance portfolio. The second RCR live session of the fall semester is scheduled for Sept. 30 from 3-4 p.m. in Thompson Hall’s Tully Auditorium. Dr. Lucy Senter, our university laboratory animal veterinarian, will discuss the “Welfare of Laboratory Animals.” Her presentation can be broadcast to any Research and Extension Center. Please register for this session at https://ssl2.msstate.edu/orc/workshops/loginorc.php

SPA names newest DAWG class
Congratulations to Sponsored Programs Administration’s newest Departmental Administrators Working Group (DAWG) class: Amanda Blaine, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems; Shonda Cumberland, Computer Science and Engineering; Kimberly Dickey, Sponsored Programs Accounting; Lynn Eiland, Research and Curriculum Unit; Heriberto Gonzalez Lozano, International Institute; Merri Kilpatrick, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Kathryn McTaggart, Human Sciences; Nicole Medeiros, Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture; Dianne Phillips, Mechanical Engineering; Mashala Pulliam, High Performance Computing Collaboratory; Erin Ray, Human Sciences; and Katie Sisk, MAFES/FWRC Administration. The primary goal of DAWG is the development and application of knowledge and skills in the area of sponsored project administration.

Kudos and congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have crossed my desk in the last few weeks:

* Congratulations to principal investigator Attila Karsi and his College of Veterinary Medicine colleagues, including Dr. Mark Lawrence, MSU-CVM associate dean for research, and Dr. Lesya Pinchuk, MSU-CVM associate professor and immunologist, for receiving USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funding for a project expected to benefit our state’s catfish aquaculture industry. The MSU-CVM research team was one out of only four groups chosen from more than 50 submitted proposals.

* Kudos to the Ulysses S. Grant Association and executive director John F. Marszalek, Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, for the recent funding award from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to continue work on Vols. I and II of the Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. The Mississippi State-based association is working to produce an annotated scholarly edition of Grant's memoirs in print and a complete digital edition.

* Congratulations to principal investigator Judy Schneider and the Advanced Materials and Processing Research Group in the Bagley College of Engineering for securing two grants through the NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center Cooperative Agreement program, which provides funding opportunities for outside organizations to become partners with the center in developing dual-use technologies that benefit both the proposing organization and the space agency.

* Kudos to the Bagley College of Engineering’s Lakiesha Williams and the College of Education’s Linda Coats for recently receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation for a project to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in engineering who enter graduate schools and pursue careers in academia. They will be working with colleagues at the University of Akron and the University of Houston on this important issue.

* We were very pleased to learn last month that a proposal developed in conjunction with Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi -- “Indo-U.S. Initiatives on Cleaner Energy and Water Research” -- has been awarded funding as part of the U.S. State Department’s Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, an educational partnership that aims to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education. Special thanks to our MSU team led by Charles Pittman, emeritus professor of organic chemistry; Todd Mlsna, associate professor of analytical chemistry; and Jon Rezek, interim associate vice president for international programs. This collaboration is another milestone in the development of our international efforts.

Final words
As many of you know, a search is underway for a new director of the Office of Technology Management (formerly the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer). We have been very pleased by the exceptional candidates who have applied, and the committee is looking forward to the next phase in the process. I will have more news to share with you in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State’s research and economic development activities, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu

Go Dawgs!

— David

August 11, 2014

Learn more about research resources on Aug. 28

Like you, we are anticipating the start of a new academic year at Mississippi State. Fall is a busy time on our campus, but I hope that you will be able to join the Office of Research and Economic Development team on Aug. 28 for a special presentation about the resources available to MSU researchers.

We are committed to helping you achieve success in your research endeavors, and have scheduled a brief overview in the Bost Extension Center theater from 2-3:30 p.m. about funding assistance, grant administration, training, the current regulatory environment, intellectual property and other related topics. You will also have the opportunity to meet our directors and their staffs and to visit with them at the conclusion of the program.

You may pre-register for this seminar at http://www.tfaforms.com/336417


DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.


Corporate engagement and economic development
At the beginning of the month, we welcomed Kathy Gelston to our office as the new associate vice president for corporate engagement and economic development. As the state’s economy grows and diversifies, our researchers, resources and leadership are playing vital roles. Working to meet the needs of business and industry by connecting them with our research enterprise is a clearly-defined priority at Mississippi State, and I am pleased that Kathy will be leading this effort.

Responsible conduct of research sessions kick off Aug. 21
The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) program is a critical component of Mississippi State’s research compliance portfolio. Three federal funding agencies — the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture — have RCR training requirements as a condition of funding. These agencies expect substantial face-to-face discussions as part of RCR training, and we have scheduled monthly sessions on a variety of topics to help our researchers meet their RCR requirements. The first session of the fall semester — “Research Misconduct” — takes place on Aug. 21 from 3-4 pm. in the MSU Energy Institute auditorium in the Cochran Research Park. I encourage you to attend this very important seminar by registering at https://ssl2.msstate.edu/orc/workshops/loginorc.php.

Kudos and congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have come to my attention recently:

* Congratulations to John E. Forde, head of the Department of Communication on selection of a research article for the top faculty paper award in an international conference. He is the lead author with five colleagues from four other universities on "Public Relations Alumni in the Profession: Why They Stay, Why They Go, and What Educators and Practitioners Need to Know." The article will be presented during the Educators Academy research sessions as part of the Public Relations Society of America 2014 International Conference in Washington in October.

* Kudos to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety’s Alicia Musselwhite, our university safety officer, who has achieved the Certified Safety Professional credential. The general CSP requirements include education, professional safety experience, demonstrating knowledge of professional safety practice and passing a comprehensive examination.

* Congratulations to Ratneshwar “Ratan” Jha, the director of the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, who has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In the aerospace division of the ASME, Dr. Jha has worked as chair, co-chair or technical chair for several conferences. He currently serves on the nondestructive structural diagnosis technical committee.

* The Social Science Research Center received several new extramural funded projects during June with a total of just over $1.8 million. These awards included Angela Robertson's Mississippi TRIALS Research Center, National Institutes of Health, $485,404, and Robert McMillen's Tobacco Control Surveillance and Evaluation, Mississippi Department of Health, $887,143. Additional grants were received by Linda Southward, KIDS COUNT, Annie E. Casey Foundation; Anne Buffington, Education and Health Policy, Annie E. Casey Foundation; and Nell Valentine, Mississippi Youth Tobacco Survey, Mississippi Department of Health. Well done!

Final words
As you know, our office works closely with the MSU Foundation because private contributions are an important research funding source. It was very good to see recently that Mississippi State had its most successful fundraising year ever for the just-ended fiscal year with $106 million in gifts and pledges. Read more about the foundation’s record year and the Infinite Impact capital campaign at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6714

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State’s research and economic development activities, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu.

Go Dawgs!

— David

July 2, 2014

Research, economic development on the move at MSU

The students on campus for orientation sessions have been impressive this summer, and like you, I look forward to seeing them back in August when a new academic year begins. As you know, providing research opportunities for all of our undergraduates is a priority at Mississippi State, and that is one very important aspect of the overall student experience that sets us apart from our peers. There are a number of new initiatives in the works to enhance research opportunities for our students, and I am excited about them coming to fruition in the coming months. Please let me share a few other items of interest with you.

DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

International opportunities growing
As I mentioned in my last letter, I traveled to Italy in early June with Jim West, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. We had very productive discussions there with colleagues at the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the University of Arkansas Rome Center, and I expect that we will have a number of new partnership opportunities for students, faculty and staff in Rome in the near future. It is an exciting time for global outreach at MSU, and you can find more details about our visit at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6699

Sidewalk expansion underway in Research Park
I hope you saw the news about the sidewalk expansion project that is underway in the Cochran Research Park. This additional amenity will further enhance the quality of work-life for folks in the park, as well as local residents who walk, run and ride their bikes there. Adding a sidewalk around the Research Blvd. loop has been a top request for many, and we are pleased to see its construction underway. Read more about it at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6705

Traveling this summer? 'Game of Pawns' video a must-see
The Office of Research Security’s ongoing outreach and education efforts include “Game of Pawns: The Glenn Duffie Shriver Story.” Produced by the FBI, the movie presents a chilling depiction of how easily a foreign intelligence service can recruit people — especially college students. It is a must-see for anyone traveling overseas. For additional information or to schedule a screening and discussion session for your unit, please contact Neil Lewis at 662-325-8682 or Debra Hicks at 662-325-0400. The video is also available for viewing on the FBI website at http://1.usa.gov/1miGVng

Kudos and congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have come to my attention:

* Congratulations to Mimmo Parisi and the nSPARC team, who learned recently that a joint project with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security has been awarded a $1-million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor after a very competitive review process. They are developing innovative ways to create methods for data use in workforce and economic development.

* Kudos to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Jenny Du and her co-authors — Nam Ly, Jim Fowler and Nick Younan — for receiving the 2014 Best Paper Award at the Workshop on Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing, which took place in Switzerland late last month. The paper, “Dimensionality Reduction of Hyperspectral Imagery with Sparse and Collaborative Graphs,” was one of three honored out of approximately 200 submissions.

* Congratulations to principal investigator Tommy Morris and co-PI Yong Fu, also in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who are leading research in a strategic partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric as part of a U.S. Department of Energy program to improve the efficiency of the nation’s electrical grids. Mississippi State’s grant for the work to provide intrusion detection software and training is for $464,000 over two years.

* Best wishes to Josh Jeanson, who is leaving the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer for a position at the University of Virginia. Marc McGee will serve as OETT interim director for the next few months as we begin the search process.

Final words
In two weeks, our office will be moving from Allen Hall into the newly-renovated Lee Hall. We expect minimal interruptions to normal operations July 16-17, but please note our new physical location on campus: 3001 Lee Hall. The street address is 262 Lee Hall, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Our telephone numbers will not change.

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State’s research and economic development activities, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu.

Go Dawgs!

— David

June 5, 2014

No summer slowdown for research, economic development

Summer activities are underway at Mississippi State, and like many of you, we have not seen a slowdown in the Office of Research and Economic Development since the spring semester ended. At the moment, I am traveling with other MSU officials to Italy, where we will meet with counterparts at several institutions and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to discuss research and outreach opportunities, faculty and student exchanges, and other partnerships to enhance further our university’s global presence and international reputation. Please let me share a few other items of interest with you.

DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Gelston to lead corporate engagement effort
By now, many of you have seen the news that MSU alumna and Mississippi Development Authority CFO Kathy Gelston will be joining us as associate vice president for corporate engagement and economic development in August. Special thanks to Associate Vice President for Research Drew Hamilton and his search committee for identifying three outstanding finalists. As I have said, our researchers, resources and leadership are playing vital roles as our economy grows and diversifies, and working to meet the needs of business and industry by connecting them with our research enterprise is a priority at Mississippi State. I am very pleased that Kathy will be leading these efforts. Read more about her at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6654.

Critical changes made to RCR training requirements
I urge you to pay special attention to changes in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirements for principal investigators, co-PIs, and other project personnel on research funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Of particular importance to PIs and co-PIs on projects funded by one of these three agencies is a new requirement to have completed a short training module in myCourses and the online RCR modules via CITI before an award will be made by Sponsored Programs Administration. These changes are being implemented to ensure MSU's good standing with these federal funding agencies and to demonstrate our commitment to excellence by promoting and supporting ethical and responsible conduct of research across all disciplines. Please contact Kacey Strickland at 662-325-7474 for additional information or visit the Office of Research Compliance's website at http://orc.msstate.edu/conduct.

SPA concludes DAWG program's second year
Congratulations to the 18 MSU staff members who completed the professional development program offered by Sponsored Programs Administration: Criss Bell, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems; Christy Bischoff, Sponsored Programs Administration; Hannah Burnett, Sponsored Programs Administration; Mary Dikes, Coastal Research and Extension Center; Nicole Ivancic, Computer Science and Engineering; Davern Jones, Center for Safety and Health; Paula Jones, Sociology; Karin Lee, International Institute; Jo McKenzie, Raspet Flight Research Lab; Roslyn Miller, Research and Curriculum Unit; Shlynn Morris, Graduate School; Toni Roberson, College of Veterinary Medicine Basic Science; Teresa Stewart, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Janie Taylor, Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station; Tan Tsai, International Institute; Heather Wainwright, Plant and Soil Sciences; Casey Watts, Human Sciences; and Lorie White, Dean of Education. Year two of the Departmental Administrator Working Group — DAWG, for short — provided participants a nine-month curriculum designed to develop sponsored-project administration skills and foster networking opportunities with their campus peers.

Kudos and Congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have come across my desk recently:

* Congratulations to Jun Liao, associate professor of biomedical engineering, who has been elected a Fellow of the American Heart Association.

* Kudos for the team effort that secured the university’s recertification as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research, including Dave Dampier, Wesley McGrew and Ram Ramkumar from computer science and engineering; Tommy Morris from electrical and computer engineering; and Robert Crossler and Merrill Warkentin from management and information systems. Read more about it at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6658

* Congratulations to Michael Galaty, head of the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, whose work — "Light and Shadow: Isolation and Interaction in the Shala Valley of Northern Albania" — recently won the Society for American Archaeology’s Book Award in the Scholarly Category. Read more about this notable achievement at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6672.

Final words
Thank you for taking time to read this month’s letter. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State’s research and economic development activities, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu.

Go Dawgs!

David

May 9, 2014

Outstanding academic year drawing to a close

Another academic year is drawing to a close at Mississippi State University, and what an outstanding year it has been for our research and economic development initiatives thanks to the exceptional work of so many of you. Last week, we celebrated many of these achievements during the annual research awards banquet. Congratulations to Nicholas Herrmann, associate professor of anthropology, for winning this year’s Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award — the university’s top research honor. A number of other outstanding faculty, staff and students were recognized, as well. For more about this year’s award recipients, please see http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6620

DavidShawHeadshotBlog.jpg

David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Revision to research, Extension and clinical faculty promotion
This past year, Drs. Gilbert, Bohach and I worked closely with faculty, center directors, department heads and deans to revise the process for promotion of non-tenure-track faculty to bring it into alignment with academic faculty. There was a very healthy dialog about this, and a number of iterations and revisions resulted in a very strong and fair policy. It will be in effect for the next promotion cycle. For details, please see the policy at http://www.policies.msstate.edu/policypdfs/5606.pdf

High ranks for research from National Science Foundation
Once again, Mississippi State is ranked among the nation’s leading research universities, according to the latest NSF survey. The recently released NSF Higher Education Research and Development Survey for Fiscal Year 2012 places us at 92nd overall among public and private institutions, based on $233.2 million in total research and development expenditures. For me, it is gratifying to see the hard work of our faculty, students and staff compare very well with, if not surpass, our peers. Additional information about our rankings may be found online at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6588

Deadline near for Faculty Leadership Program nominations
As I have mentioned, my office and the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President will again be conducting an Academic Leadership Orientation Program for selected faculty. This program has been very successful in the past, and many of its graduates serve in key leadership positions on our campus. To apply, interested faculty should send a one-page summary addressing their future career plans, a current, abbreviated CV and a one-page nomination letter from their center director, department head or dean. These materials should be emailed to Lynn Taylor at ltaylor@research.msstate.edu no later than May 30.

Student start-up success growing
Over the past few years, we have fostered an entrepreneurial culture on our campus, and the return on this investment has been growing. The recent Entrepreneurship Week and Investing In Innovation Day are examples of how Mississippi State students are gaining real-world experience with guidance from faculty, staff and successful entrepreneurs. Twenty-one start-ups comprised of 36 students were awarded funding during this year’s competition with a total investment from private donations of $47,500. For more information, please see http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6623

Traveling this summer? FBI's 'Game of Pawns' video a must-see
As part of the Office of Research Security’s ongoing outreach and education efforts, MSU faculty and staff are invited to schedule a screening and discussion of “Game of Pawns: The Glenn Duffie Shriver Story.” Produced by the FBI, the movie presents a chilling depiction of how easily a foreign intelligence service can recruit people — especially college students. It is a must-see for anyone traveling overseas. For additional information, please contact Neil Lewis at 662-325-8682 or Debra Hicks at 662-325-0400. The video is also available for viewing on the FBI website at http://1.usa.gov/1miGVng

Kudos and congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have come to my attention recently:

* Congratulations to Ratan Jha, director of the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, and his team for receiving an NSF planning grant for an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for Advanced Composites in Transportation Vehicles. This summer, MSU will host I/UCRC stakeholders so that researchers can meet with industry leaders to understand their R&D needs, match them with capabilities and propose relevant projects. That information will be used to craft a final proposal, which is due in September.

* Kudos to Jason Keith, interim dean of the Bagley College of Engineering, for achieving the status of Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education, and to Thomas B. Nusz Endowed Professor Hossein Toghiani for being honored with a 2014 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award.

* Congratulations to the participants and winners of the 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium. Providing research opportunities for all of our students is a priority at Mississippi State, and I am pleased that my office is one of several sponsors of the symposium. Read more about it at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6573

Final words
Many of our neighbors and members of the MSU family have been affected by the severe weather that hit our state last week. There are a number of ways we can help, and I encourage you to visit the Maroon Volunteer Center’s website at http://www.mvc.msstate.edu to learn more about the recovery effort. Let me add that I appreciated everyone’s understanding when we postponed the research awards banquet out of an abundance of caution last Tuesday. We have had very positive reviews of the Wednesday luncheon, and are already looking forward to next year’s program. A special word of thanks to Jessica Northcutt, Lynn Taylor and Kelsey Stewart for their work on this special event.

As always, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu with your questions or suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to read this month’s letter.

Go Dawgs!

— David

April 2, 2014

Busy spring semester for research, economic development

Like many of you, we have had a busy spring semester in the Office of Research and Economic Development. In mid-March, we celebrated the official groundbreaking of The Mill at Mississippi State University, a $40-million mixed-used development that will transform the historic Cooley Building property into an economic development asset for our campus and community. I am very excited about this project’s potential, and believe it will serve as a catalyst for additional opportunities in the near future. For more about it, please see the Office of Public Affairs news release at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6546

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David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

Starkville-Oktibbeha school consolidation moving forward
As I write this, the Legislature just passed HB 2818, which codified the recommendations from the recent Consolidation Commission on which I had the opportunity to represent MSU. This legislation and the follow-on activities that are now sure to come will have some of the most far-reaching impacts on our city, county and university of anything in the past half-century. It is exciting to see the role that Mississippi State can play in impacting the education of our children, the economic development that can occur, and the enhanced quality of life that will result. This is yet one more example of the role MSU can play in moving our state forward.

Faculty leadership program nominations wanted
In the upcoming 2014-2015 academic year, my office and the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President will again be conducting an Academic Leadership Orientation Program for selected faculty. Participation will be limited to approximately 12 individuals who will be selected from those that apply. Any faculty member is eligible, but must be nominated. This program has been very successful in the past, and many of its graduates serve in key leadership positions on our campus. To apply, interested faculty should send a one-page summary addressing their future career plans, a current, abbreviated CV and a one-page nomination letter from their center director, department head or dean. These materials should be emailed to Lynn Taylor at ltaylor@research.msstate.edu no later than May 30.

NSF auditing Responsible Conduct of Research program
The National Science Foundation’s Office of the Inspector General is in the process of auditing the university’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training program. The responsible and ethical conduct of research is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering and is essential in the preparation of our students. The NSF now mandates that at the time of a proposal submission the project investigator must complete a certification stating that Mississippi State has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF funding to conduct research. This procedure applies to everyone carrying out research under the auspices of MSU, whether their current place of work is within or outside university premises. This includes, but is not limited to, all staff, visiting researchers, those with honorary posts and registered students. It is the responsibility of the principal investigator on a project to ensure that all students involved in the project are aware of and comply with the federal funding agency’s mandate and participate in the university’s RCR training. Please review MSU’s training plan and make sure that you are in compliance should we receive a site visit from the NSF OIG. Please contact Teresa Gammill at tgammill@research.msstate.edu or 662-325-3570 if you have questions pertaining to RCR training and implementation. Our plan for the NSF, the NIH, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Federal Demonstration Partnership is available at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rconduct

Cayuse 424: proposal development system update
Thanks to everyone who has assisted with Sponsored Programs Administration’s testing of a new proposal development system -- Cayuse 424. During the trial, we have had more than 20 proposals submitted totaling more than $35 million in requested funds and involving faculty from five colleges and a number of centers. We have received important feedback from you regarding the system, and invite you to continue sending your thoughts to Jennifer Easley at jeasley@spa.msstate.edu. We are excited about a formal rollout of Cayuse 424 this summer. Please be on the lookout for training opportunities and other resources in support of this exciting new proposal development system.

Kudos and congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have crossed my desk recently:

* Congratulations to Jerry Emison, a professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, for being elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. The distinction is among the highest for the nation's professional planners with about one percent achieving this status.

* Kudos to Nicholas Herrmann, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, and his team for their excavation and research of graves discovered on the grounds of the former Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, now home to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. This effort has garnered national attention, and serves as an excellent example of the incredible real-world difference our university makes in the state. Read more about it from CNN at http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/08/us/mississippi-unmarked-graves/index.html

* Congratulations to the Research and Curriculum Unit, where Kristen Dechert, Alexis Nordin and Lois Kappler had their paper, titled “Developing and Implementing a Principal- and Teacher-Evaluation System in Mississippi,” accepted for the International Conference on Education. And Kristen’s submission, titled “Using a Needs Assessment to Affect Public Perception of CTE in Mississippi,” was accepted for an ICE poster session. Additionally, Sean Owen and Alexis had a paper picked up at the annual meeting of the National Association for CTE Information in Kentucky, titled “A multi-cohort analysis of graduation rates and contributing factors in secondary CTE students.” Kristen’s paper, “CTE Educators' Roles in Implementing Statewide Administrator and Teacher Evaluation Systems in Mississippi,” co-authored with Alexis, was also accepted for NACTEI.

Final words
As I have mentioned, funding from grants and contracts is critical to the continued success of our research enterprise, and I applaud all of you who are writing proposals and developing contacts with funding agencies during this very busy time of year. If my office can be of any assistance, please let us know. As always, thank you for taking the time to read this month’s letter. Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu with your questions or suggestions.

Go Dawgs!

— David

March 25, 2014

Food security, water resources in focus for consultant's visit

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Leonard Gianessi delivered a lecture to students, faculty and staff in Colvard Student Union's Fowlkes Auditorium on March 20. PHOTO: Beth Wynn | Public Affairs


Leonard Gianessi was at Mississippi State University for presentations and tours last week. The CropLife Foundation consultant discussed the important role of pesticides in food production. He offered case studies from around the world that illustrated challenges in food production over the past 50 years.

Click here to watch a video of Mr. Gianessi's lecture at MSU. The accompanying PowerPoint slides are available by clicking here.

Gianessi also heard from MSU experts who spoke about irrigation, herbicide use and resistance, and issues related to pollinators and pesticides, including a presentation from Dr. Jason Krutz, associate Extension research professor at the Delta Research and Extension Center.

Click here to watch a video of Dr. Krutz's presentation. The accompanying PowerPoint slides are available by clicking here.

Greg Bohach is vice president of the MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, which joined the MSU Office of Research and Economic Development in hosting Gianessi’s visit.

“Mr. Gianessi is a well-spoken advocate for the use of pesticides as part of the world’s efforts to feed the expanding population,” Dr. Bohach said.

March 4, 2014

REUs provide additional student opportunities, funding

We were pleased to see late last month that Mississippi State is among the top 60 public universities in the country in the latest edition of “The Top American Research Universities.” The annual report released by the Center for Measuring University Performance, a project of Arizona State and the University of Massachusetts, uses National Science Foundation data to measure and rank the nation’s leading research universities, and our placement at No. 56 in the survey is additional confirmation that MSU is our state’s flagship research institution thanks to the outstanding work of our faculty, staff and students. Thank you for your contributions to the success of MSU’s research enterprise.

It is hard to believe that spring break is a week away. This semester is moving quickly, and my office has been working on a number of important research and economic development initiatives that I would like to share with you.


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David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.


INTEREST SESSION ON RESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR UNDERGRADUATES (REUs)
In conjunction with President Keenum's effort on enhancing undergraduate research opportunities at MSU, as well as the work of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President and the Committee on Undergraduate Research and Creative Discovery, our office will host an interest session for the university community on writing proposals for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) on Tuesday [March 4] from 4-5 p.m. in Colvard Student Union, Room 329. The REU program is supported by federal agencies, and facilitates active research participation by undergraduate students in many disciplines. It is also a means of providing indirect funding for undergraduate students to participate in research while leveraging the current university effort to receive extramural funding to support additional undergraduate students. This is only one of many ways to help position MSU as the leading institution for undergraduate research while recruiting students not only to our university, but also onto a research-related career path. I encourage you to attend this session and learn more about the benefits and process of securing extramural funding through this program.

HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING CAPACITY ENHANCED
The university’s newest supercomputer, Shadow, is now installed and available for researchers here at Mississippi State. We are awaiting word from the next Top 500 benchmarking to determine where it will land in the rankings, but we know it will be one of the top machines at academic institutions worldwide. The member centers and institutes within the High Performance Computing Collaboratory are willing to work with faculty in accessing these phenomenal computational resources. The HPC2 system administrator, Trey Breckenridge, can assist you in providing information as you write grant proposals that can use these resources. Please contact him at trey@hpc.msstate.edu

RESEARCH AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
As I have mentioned, providing research and community engagement opportunities for all of our students are top priorities at Mississippi State. On April 3, my office is co-sponsoring the Spring 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium and Community Engagement Presentations. This program is open to all of our undergraduate students who are participating in faculty-guided research this academic year. Please encourage your students to participate in this special event, which features four categories: arts and humanities, biological sciences and engineering, physical sciences and engineering, and social sciences. For additional information, please visit http://www.honors.msstate.edu/research/symposium or contact Seth Oppenheimer at seth@math.msstate.edu

REGULATED ANIMAL CARE AND USE PROGRAMS CONTINUE WITH FULL ACCREDITATION
Dr. Lucy Senter, university veterinarian and director of Laboratory Animal Resources, reports that after an extensive review and site visit by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory and Animal Care International, the regulated animal care and use programs at the College of Veterinary Medicine and in the College of Arts and Sciences have been re-accredited fully. AAALAC accreditation is an example of Mississippi State’s commitment to responsible animal care and use. In addition to complying with local, state and federal laws regulating animal research, our institution participates in AAALAC’s program voluntarily. This process requires significant effort, and I thank everyone involved who have made it a success.

KUDOS AND CONGRATULATIONS
Sharing faculty and staff achievements with you every month is a highlight of the “Dear Colleagues” letter for me, and here are a few that have crossed my desk recently:

* Congratulations to K.C. Morrison, professor and head of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, who is now serving on the board of the American Society for Public Administration.

* Kudos to Damir Novosel, a 1991 Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and to Giles Distinguised Professor Roger King, who was his major advisor and dissertation director at MSU. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest professional distinctions for engineers, and this honor speaks very well of Dr. Novosel, as well as Dr. King and our university.

* Congratulations to Antaoli Afanasjev, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, who has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society — one of only 13 from the APS Division of Nuclear Physics. Dr. Afanasjev was honored for “his pioneering work on covariant nuclear density functional theory, and his contributions to the understanding of collective phenomena in atomic nuclei.”

* Kudos to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and to everyone involved in the university’s outstanding cybersecurity education and research programs. A recent third-party survey of IT professionals for Hewlett-Packard ranks Mississippi State’s cyber program among the best — coming in at No. 3 in the nation. Read more about this honor in the Office of Public Affairs’ news release at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6502

* Congratulations to Robbie Kroger, whose REACH (Research and Education to Advance Conservation and Habitat) program was recently accepted as a case study in the World Bank Shades of Green Series. Dr. Kroger is also serving as the science advisor for the RESTORE Council overseeing funds from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

FINAL WORDS
We had a terrific turnout for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Day last month with dozens of our researchers meeting with lab officials. We anticipate a number of productive collaborations to come from this meeting. Thanks to everyone who supported this effort, and thank you for reading this month’s letter. If you have any questions or comments about research or economic development at MSU, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu

Go Dawgs!

— David

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