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Full speed ahead through a very busy spring semester

I hope you saw the news last month about the recognition our International Institute garnered from the Institute of International Education for the university's innovative dual-degree program with the Universite International de Rabat in Morocco. The organization awarded Mississippi State the 2017 IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for International Partnerships, and I'm very proud of the work done by so many of you on this initiative. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor. Read more about the Heiskell Award at http://international.msstate.edu/news/indexmock.php?recid=5222&type=news.

As many of you know, going more global is an important priority for us. Last week, I visited Spain and France where we had very productive meetings and signed two memorandums of understanding with the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia -- the Polytechnic University of Valencia -- and with FAAR Industry, an international engineering company with expertise in autonomous vehicles. These partnerships will provide numerous research possibilities across a range of disciplines, as well as faculty exchanges and student study-abroad opportunities.

Like many of you, we are full speed ahead through a very busy spring semester in the Office of Research and Economic Development, and I'd like to take a few minutes to give you a quick update.


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

Plan now: Advancing Mississippi Conference this summer
The University Research Center in Jackson will be hosting its 2nd-annual Advancing Mississippi Conference on June 8, and it's a great opportunity for Mississippi State's researchers to contribute to a brighter future for our fellow Mississippians. Here are a few more details from the URC: Researchers from across the state will present papers addressing long-term economic challenges facing the state. These challenges include any topic that could inhibit and/or enhance economic growth in the state including but not limited to education, health, criminal justice, family dynamics, and public policy. Ideally, policy makers, business leaders, and community activists should be able to use the research presented at this conference to uncover productive ways to overcome challenges and foster growth in Mississippi. I encourage you to consider participating in this year's conference. You can find additional information at www.mississippi.edu/urc or send questions to Sondra Collins at sonda.collins@mississippi.edu.

NSPARC releases Starkville retail survey results
It's no secret Mississippi State and the surrounding community have experienced significant growth over the past decade, and now we have a much better understanding of that economic impact thanks to the results of a survey by MSU's National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center. Working with the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, NSPARC found that students, faculty and staff, alumni, local residents and visitors spend $554 million annually at Starkville retailers. That's a tremendous amount of buying power, and one that could pay dividends in the future as other businesses consider our community to open or expand their operations. You can learn more about the survey results at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2017/01/msu-report-half-billion-starkville-retail-spending-alone

Insitu executives visit Research Park
We were pleased to visit with executives from Institu last month when they were here for the MSU Career Fair and to build other connections with the campus and local community, including our UAS researchers. Since May, Insitu has been developing plans that will allow the company to capitalize on its office in the Industrial Partners Building in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, and we believe the company will be able to utilize our aerospace leadership and expertise, including the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory and the MSU-led FAA Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Let me also mention that the Research Park is nearing full occupancy, and we're currently evaluating a number of options to expand and create new opportunities for public and private investment in this economic development asset that truly has a statewide impact.

'Research Ethics and the Graduate Student' RCR session this month
The next Responsible Conduct of Research training session of the spring semester will take place Feb. 27 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in 1405 IMC Presentation Room at Mitchell Memorial Library. Deborah Lee, the coordinator of Graduate Student Services for MSU Libraries and the co-director of the Maroon & Write MSU Quality Enhancement Plan, will lead the "Research Ethics and the Graduate Student" seminar, and registration is available at www.orc.msstate.edu/training.

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 the past few days:

* Congratulations to Michael Galaty, who has been named director of the Cobb Institute of Archaeology. Read more at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2017/02/galaty-named-director-msu%e2%80%99s-cobb-institute-archaeology

* Kudos to the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi Development Authority for their recent memorandum of understanding formalizing their partnership to leverage higher education assets to recruit business and industry to our state. My office and our university work closely with both IHL and MDA on major economic development efforts, and I believe this collaborative effort is key to the long-term growth and prosperity of Mississippi. Read more at http://memo.msstate.edu/story.php?id=3883.

* Congratulations to Lurleen Walters, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, who was recently honored by the Food Distribution Research Society with the Patrick J. Byrne Emerging Leadership Award. Read more at www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2017/02/food-marketing-distribution-group-honors-msu-faculty-member.

Final words
Many of you have questions and concerns about the recent presidential executive order on immigration and its impact on our international students, faculty, visitors, and research engagement. On Thursday [Feb. 9], the university will host Elaine Kimbrell, the managing partner of the Ware Immigration law firm, for an information session beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Colvard Student Union's Foster Ballroom, and I encourage you to attend. The International Institute team is also available to provide information and answer questions. Learn more at www.international.msstate.edu.

And if you haven't already done so, please don't forget to register for the 2017 SEC Academic Conference -- "The Future of Water" -- that we're hosting at The Mill at MSU next month -- www.secconference.msstate.edu.

Please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns about our research and economic development activities.


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