Starkville Archives

October 19, 2010

'Presidential Update' from the Research Park

Mississippi State University's Dr. Mark Keenum shares the latest success story and a little bit of history from the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park during the Oct. 15 installment of "Presidential Update."

October 22, 2010

Busy, successful days: Cotton Mills, SemiSouth, homecoming


Third District Congressman Gregg Harper (left to right); Gov. Haley Barbour; former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, who is now executive director of Campus Operations at Mississippi State; Power Integrations CEO Balu Balakrishnan (at podium); SemiSouth CEO Kenney Roberts; and MSU President Mark Keenum. Photo: Russ Houston | University Relations

It’s been a busy — and successful — week for Mississippi State on the economic development and research fronts.

On Thursday, the Board of Trustees of the state Institutions of Higher Learning approved the university’s proposal to advance development of the Cotton Mills Marketplace project in Starkville. The Cotton Mills Development Group is working on the final stages of the financing package for the convention center development on a high-profile piece of property across Highway 12 from campus. Plans also include a 150-room hotel, restaurant and office space. You can read more about it from the University Relations news release at

And today — on a postcard-perfect Friday — a California-based “clean tech” company announced a $30-million investment in SemiSouth Laboratories Inc., a spin-off company built on technology developed by Mississippi State researchers. MSU President Mark Keenum, Gov. Haley Barbour and Congressman Gregg Harper were among the VIPs in attendance for the announcement at SemiSouth’s facility in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park.

From our perspective, that’s a pretty good start to the university’s homecoming celebration. Whether you’re on campus or celebrating being a Bulldog from afar, make sure to wrap the weekend in maroon and white.

October 27, 2010

Initial work for new megasite underway, WCBI reports

Mississippi is home to a number of economic development supersites that have been key components in the state’s efforts to land new manufacturers, including Nissan’s auto assembly plant in Madison County and Toyota’s facility under construction on the Wellspring site at Blue Springs in northeast Mississippi.

The megasite factor has also been in play as a diverse array of manufacturers have opened in the Golden Triangle over the last decade, and WCBI-TV reports that work is now underway on developing a new site in Oktibbeha County:

"More than 1,100 acres known as the Pilkington Property along Hickory Grove Road and Highway 82 in eastern Oktibbeha County could become the next big industrial site in the Golden Triangle," Greater Starkville Development Partnership CEO Jon Maynard recently told the TV station.

It’s always good to see economic development coverage in the news, and this story is another reminder that Mississippi is a great place to do business.

December 9, 2010

CottonMill Marketplace developers taking next steps


Artist rendering from

The CottonMill Marketplace project in Starkville is moving forward, according to articles in two local newspapers.

You will recall that in October the Board of Trustees of Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning gave approval to a Mississippi State proposal to advance the multi-phase project, which includes a convention center, hotel, restaurant, and office and retail space on a parcel of land between Russell and Spring streets across Highway 12 from the university.

The Cotton Mill Development Group will “purchase land adjacent MSU's Cooley Building for $2.8 million and enter into a lease agreement with MSU for the Cooley Building for $300,000 per year. The facility will be renovated and converted into a conference center and 37,000 square feet of office space. The Cooley lease agreement is for 41 years with the property then reverting back to MSU. The Group will also pay Mississippi State up to $850,000 in relocation costs related to operations currently run out of the Cooley Building. Research centers at MSU are expected to lease space in the facility,” a University Relations news release stated.

Read more about the next steps developers are taking in today's online editions of the Starkville Daily News and The Commercial Dispatch.

UPDATE, 12/16/10 — The Starkville Daily News has another Cotton Mill story in today's edition. It details the design changes developers have made to Mississippi State's historic Cooley Building, as well as how the project's financing is coming together.

December 16, 2010

Federal funding for Starkville road project


Good roads have been a fundamental part of economic development since the first farmers took their products to market. Today, transportation infrastructure remains one of the key selling points communities use when marketing themselves to new businesses and residents, and in the case of college towns, students and faculty.

Funding for a new road project in Starkville came into focus this week during a roundtable discussion of city, county and university leaders, according to The Commercial Dispatch. Staff writer Tim Pratt tells readers:

The U.S. Senate's pending vote on the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal 2011 will have a direct impact on transportation in the city of Starkville.

Included in the $1.1 trillion bill is a request for $850,000 to repave Airport Road and build a new access road from Highway 25 to George M. Bryan Field. The access road would begin across from the entrance to Cornerstone Industrial Park on Highway 25 and end on the west side of George Bryan Field, more than 200 yards away.

“We're hoping this will pass," Mississippi State President Dr. Mark Keenum said…

Starkville’s airport, roadways and location are important economic development assets, and it’s good to read the news about the possibility of enhancing all three.

UPDATE, 12/17/10 — The omnibus spending bill was abandoned Thursday night after Democratic leaders in the Senate conceded that they could not overcome Republican opposition and a filibuster. The Washington Post reports that a slimmed-down resolution that would fund the federal government mostly at current levels will come before the Senate, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said it would pass by Saturday.

The future of local funding requests contained in the omnibus bill is unclear.

Additional details are available in today's edition of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

December 17, 2010

Looking back: 2010 a phenomenal year


By DAVID SHAW | Vice President for Research and Economic Development

As we wrap up another calendar year at Mississippi State, I've looked back on my past year in this position and have seen progress on so many fronts.

The Cotton Mill conference center is moving toward reality, and I am convinced it will have a tremendous impact on MSU and Starkville. The university commissioned an independent feasibility study of the project, which came back with a very positive assessment, and even a recommendation that the hotel should be enlarged. We hope to see completion in 18-24 months.

Following the Select Committee on Efficiencies and Innovation, several follow-up committees have provided me with recommendations specific to the research program. I have already implemented a number of these recommendations, and am working toward others. Our office is working to provide better and more efficient support to your research efforts, identify new opportunities, and build the infrastructure necessary to continue moving our institution forward.


Engine for growth and progress
As many of you know, our university has been a key asset in creating economic development opportunities in Mississippi. We truly are serving as an engine for growth and progress in the state, and the Mississippi Development Authority and Legislature have come to fully realize the strategic benefit that a top-tier research university can be in industry recruitment, as well as business development and support.

The Research Park is an important component of our overall research and economic development strategy, and we are excited about the new business incubator building that was completed in the park this month. Tenant feedback has been very positive. We have also brought together the Research and Technology Corporation, the Office of Technology Commercialization, and the Cochran Entrepreneurship Center, physically co-locating them in that building so that they can work together closely and provide better service to MSU faculty and our industry partners.

In addition, the MSU Science and Technology Center building under construction at Stennis Space Center is moving along ahead of schedule, and should open mid-year. This facility will house the Northern Gulf Institute, and establish a strong presence onsite at SSC and expand the university’s presence throughout the Gulf South region.

Earlier this fall, the Electron Microscopy Center and the Institute for Neurocognitive Science and Technology were brought together into the Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technologies. I2AT is poised to have the infrastructure and expertise to accomplish more than the sum of its parts. It is also developing a partnership with the College of Veterinary Medicine for clinical imaging capabilities for animals that will be unique in the Southeast.


Committed team
Turning specifically to the Office of Research and Economic Development, our staffing is in place and I could not be more pleased with the team we have. Each person in ORED has a tremendous can-do attitude and is wholly committed to Mississippi State and the growth of our research enterprise.

There are so many other things that come to mind, but this is a great sampling of the phenomenal year we have had. As I reflect, I am so appreciative of the spirit of cooperation that exists on our campus, and I am honored to be in a position such as this that allows me to see first-hand the tremendous resourcefulness and intellectual capability of our faculty, staff, and students.

I wish you all the very best for the holidays, and look forward to a great 2011. And go Dawgs! Beat Michigan!

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


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 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 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

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 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

* 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 with your questions or suggestions.

Go Dawgs!

— David

About Starkville

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Maroon Research Blog in the Starkville category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Social Science Research Center is the previous category.

STEM is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.