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7/15/11 - University researchers honored for achievements

Nearly 50 Mississippi State faculty, students and staff are 2011 selections for university research honors.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum and other senior administrators were in attendance at a recent campus awards banquet to extend the land grant institution's congratulations for the accomplishments.

"Mississippi State research is a wonderful success story," Keenum told the large audience of faculty, staff, students, friends, and family gathered in the Colvard Student Union's Bill Foster Ballroom.

"Our research programs help fuel the economy of our state and directly or indirectly benefit all of our citizens," he said. "I greatly appreciate your hard work and dedication. Thank you for what you do."

James C. Newman Jr. received the night's top honor, the 2011 Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award. Newman, who joined the aerospace engineering department faculty in 2001, was recognized for accomplishments in the scientific analysis of structure fatigue, fracture and safety.

Newman is among MSU's William L. Giles Distinguished Professors, the highest academic ranking. He also is holder of the Richard H. Johnson Endowed Chair in Aerospace Engineering. Among many achievements, he is author of more than 130 peer-reviewed, widely cited publications, many considered influential in his field.

The research awards program honors individuals who contribute significantly to MSU's mission of research. In addition to faculty, it recognizes and rewards students and support staff for accomplishments and creative endeavors, as well as for increasing awareness of the many research programs and capabilities.

The Powe Award is a memorial to the MSU alumnus and longtime research vice president who died in 1996. The annual awards program and banquet are co-sponsored by offices of the vice presidents for Research and Economic Development and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

"As its name states, the Powe Award recognizes excellence," said David Shaw, current vice president for research and economic development. "It is recognition of the very best that we have at this university."

"Mississippi State research is growing and flourishing in many areas because of the collaboration between our two divisions," Shaw said. "Our close working relationship is paying significant dividends."

Greg Bohach, vice president for agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine, shared Shaw's sentiment.

"We have a great relationship between DAFVM and ORED," Bohach said. "I believe that cooperation is responsible for our consistently high research ranking by the National Science Foundation."

Other 2011 MSU research award winners include (alphabetically, by academic unit):

--Bagley College of Engineering: Keith Walters, faculty; Matthew Doude, research support staff; Rajkumar Prabhu, graduate student; and David Lavallee, undergraduate student.

--College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station: Erdogan Memili, faculty, and Kenneth Graves, research support staff.

--College of Architecture, Art and Design: Islam El-Adaway, faculty; Sarah Pittman, research support staff; and Scott Penman, undergraduate student.

--College of Arts and Sciences: Chuji Wang, faculty; Connie Vaughn, research support staff; Jerome Goddard II, graduate student; and Gregory Wheeler, undergraduate student.

--College of Business: Zhenguo Lin, faculty, and Allyn White, graduate student;

--College of Education: Michele McDonnall, faculty; Dolly Tompkins, research support staff; Kelly Moser, graduate student; and Kelly Harkins, undergraduate student;

--College of Forest Resources: Jerry Belant, faculty; David Butler and Jonathan Fleming, research support staff; Kristine Evans, graduate student; and Evan O'Donnell, undergraduate student.

--College of Veterinary Medicine: Fiona McCarthy, faculty; Michelle Banes, research support staff; John Thomason, graduate student; and Graham Rosser, undergraduate student.

--MSU Meridian: Division of Arts and Sciences, Toby Bates, faculty; Division of Business, Kevin Ennis, faculty; and Division of Education, Joshua Watson, faculty.

--Office of Research and Economic Development: Dean Bateman, research support staff; Bailey Lipscomb, graduate student; and Brandon Wigginton, undergraduate student.

--University Centers and Institutes: Lynn Eiland, research support staff, and Tonya Neaves, graduate student.

--University Libraries: Michael Ballard, faculty.

Also honored were new graduates of the Faculty Leadership program. They include Gary Bachman, Barry Barnett, Devon Brenner, Anastasia Elder, Gary Ervin, Randy Little, Kelly Marsh, Fred Musser, Daniel Petrolia, Julia Porter, John Poros, Bethany Stich, Edward Swan, and Joshua Watson.

JIM LAIRD | University Relations and the Office of Research and Economic Development

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