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It might be cold, but spring semester racing forward

While the weather in our state has been decidedly wintry the past few weeks, the spring semester at Mississippi State has been racing forward. Like most of you, we have been remarkably busy in the Office of Research and Economic Development, and I would like to take a few minutes to give you an update.


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

Research-related policy updates
After a comprehensive review and careful consideration by all stakeholders, Mississippi State University Operating Policy 56.06 has been updated. This policy brings a common approach to all faculty promotion efforts, and better recognizes the unique roles that our differing faculty appointments have. Drs. Gilbert, Bohach and I have worked with deans, directors and Faculty Senate to ensure we have created a suitable and comparable process for all of the various research, extension and clinical appointments that do not have teaching responsibilities. Many thanks to everyone involved for the efforts to create a much more aligned and workable policy. You may find the policy in its entirety at http://www.policies.msstate.edu/policypdfs/5606.pdf

The university's Cost Share Policy 80.13 has been updated, as well. This update will bring the university into complete alignment with all relevant federal policies, and also articulates the ins and outs of when cost share should and should not be requested. The policy is posted online at http://www.policies.msstate.edu/policypdfs/8013.pdf

Reminder: Research award nominations wanted
As I mentioned last month, our office and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine recognize outstanding faculty, staff and students during an annual research awards banquet every spring. The 2014 nomination period for research awards and the Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award is now open, and I encourage you to submit your nominations by the March 3 deadline. Additional details and nomination forms are posted on the Maroon Research blog at http://blogs.msstate.edu/ored

MSU hosting Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Day
Next Monday [Feb. 10], I hope that you will be able to participate in Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Day. Officials from this top tier federal research laboratory will be on campus for sessions with MSU faculty, staff, administrators and students, as well as local industry and government representatives. Participants will explore collaborative research opportunities and funding possibilities, among other topics. We had a great turnout for Argonne National Lab Days last fall, and I anticipate that this one will be as productive for everyone. Please register at http://www.tfaforms.com/314074

Jeanson to lead Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer
I am pleased to announce that Josh Jeanson is the new director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at Mississippi State, effective Feb. 1. He will be filling the leadership post held previously by Gerald Nelson, who is retiring later this spring. As you may recall, in 2011 MSU's Entrepreneurship Center and Office of Technology Commercialization were merged, and Gerald has done a fabulous job of bringing the university's technology transfer efforts and entrepreneurship focus together in OETT. We are glad he will be here during this important transition, and excited about Josh taking the helm. A news release about the change is online at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=3160

Street named interim director of Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute
In other leadership news, Wayne Wilkerson is stepping down as director of the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, and Joe Street, associate director of the MSU Extension Service, has been named interim director of MWRRI. Wayne announced his retirement recently, and we appreciate his important contributions to the institute and our state, and wish him the best. Dr. Street will lead MWRRI until a permanent director is named. We expect that search to begin later this year. Read more about this transition at http://www.research.msstate.edu/rresources/news.php?id=3161

EHS launches 'Safety University' for Campus Services supervisors
The Environmental Health and Safety Office and Campus Services are partnering to provide a year-long safety training program called "Safety University." This series of sessions provides Campus Services supervisors with training to enhance workplace safety in their departments while balancing safety, productivity and quality. Each month, the groups will meet for a one-hour workshop where relevant topics, such as risk assessment, job hazard analysis and accident investigation, will be discussed. Workshops will also include presentations from MSU’s General Counsel and off-campus safety professionals. For additional information, please contact Michael Parsons at mparsons@ehs.msstate.edu

Research and community engagement opportunities for students
As many of you know, providing research and community engagement opportunities for all of our students are top priorities at Mississippi State. In early April, 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

Kudos and congratulations
I enjoy hearing about our faculty and staff successes, and sharing them with you every month. Here are several that have come across my desk recently:

* Congratulations to Robert Crossler, assistant professor of information systems in the College of Business, who was named a co-winner of the 2013 Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences Information Systems Society's Design Science Award. Dr. Crossler and a colleague at Virginia Tech were recognized for collaborative research that targeted the improvement of information privacy practices for individuals.

* Kudos to Kathleen Alley, assistant professor of elementary education in the College of Education, who received the J. Michael Parker Award at the annual meeting of the Literacy Research Association in December. The award is given to the most distinguished research on adult literacy. Her award-winning study, called "Playing in Trellis Weyr: Collaborative Authorships in a Dragons of Pern Role Play Game Forum," was presented at the conference.

* Congratulations to Pedro Mago, Tennessee Valley Authority professor in energy systems and the environment in the Bagley College of Engineering, who has been named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for significant contributions to the field of energy, especially in the combined heat and power and waste heat recovery technologies.

Final words
Thank you for reading this month's letter. If you have any questions or comments about research or economic development at Mississippi State, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu

Go Dawgs!

— David


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