Tech Transfer Archives

February 5, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 or contact Seth Oppenheimer at

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

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.


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

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

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

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

Go Dawgs!

— David

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Go Dawgs!

— David

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