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The President's Commission on the Status of Minorities recognized several individuals and one organization for demonstrating a significant commitment to enhancing diversity at Mississippi State during a public ceremony Feb. 17. Pictured (l-r) are Lonnell Andrews Jr., president of the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center's Peer Counselor and Peer Ambassadors Program, which received the team award; Karin Lee and Cedric Gathings, who both received staff awards; Ademola Oladunjoye, who received the student award; and P. Edward French, who received the faculty award. PHOTO: Russ Houston | University Relations

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Walker named 'Rice Researcher of the Year'
A Mississippi State University associate research professor was recently named the 2012 Rice Researcher of the Year. Tim Walker, an agronomist at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville, received the honor at the 15th Annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference in Tunica.
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Bourg becomes Extension beef specialist
A Louisiana native has joined Mississippi State University's Extension Service as a beef specialist. Brandi Bourg will focus on farm-to-feedlot programs, stocker cattle, feeder calf board sales, heifer development programs and the Deep South Stocker Conference, according to interim head of MSU animal and dairy sciences Mark Crenshaw.
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Fanning-Otis to retire, join Bulldog Club
Mississippi State head women's basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis announced last week her intent to retire from her current position at the close of the 2011-12 season. Following the current campaign, she will move into an athletic development position in the Bulldog Club.
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Lincoln and Grant series launches Monday
A lecture and reception Monday at Mississippi State will kick off a series of statewide events examining "Lincoln and Grant in Mississippi." Renowned historian and author Gerald J. Prokopowicz will be the featured speaker at the 2:30 p.m. event in the Grisham Room at Mitchell Memorial Library. MSU President Mark Keenum and Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman also will make remarks.
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134th MSU birthday party in the Junction on Tuesday
Mississippi State University celebrates the 134th anniversary of its founding with a Tuesday birthday party. Free and open to all, the MSU Alumni Association-sponsored campus celebration will take place 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Junction. Hamburgers, chips, cookies, soft drinks, and MSU ice cream will be provided, while supplies last. MSU Dining Services also is preparing a giant cake to be served during the event.
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PERS workshop on campus Wednesday
Human Resources Management at Mississippi State is sponsoring a Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) workshop this Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bost Extension Center on the Starkville campus. The workshop is free for university employees, but pre-registration is required.
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Spirit of State nominations, applications due Friday
With the seventh annual Spirit of State Awards, Mississippi State will recognize outstanding contributions made by our students toward improving student life. The deadline for applications and nominations is this Friday.
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Recycling change: No more glass in bins, please
Mississippi State's single-stream recycling program has now been in place for more than a year. The program has fundamentally changed the way the university collects recyclables and trash on campus. However, due to a contractor change, MSU can no longer collect glass as part of the recycling stream.
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This Week in Mississippi State Sports, 02/27/12
Baseball hosts Memphis at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, and then plays Connecticut at 6:30 p.m. Friday; Lipscomb at 11 a.m. and Connecticut at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday; and Lipscomb at 2:30 p.m. Sunday... Softball is on the road Wednesday for a 4 p.m. game against Jackson State, and then returns home to host the Bulldog Classic playing Columbia at 3:30 p.m. Friday; Columbia at 11 a.m. and Eastern Illinois at 1 p.m. on Saturday; and Samford at 3 p.m. Sunday... Basketball travels to Columbia for a 7 p.m. tipoff against South Carolina on Wednesday (SEC-TV), and plays Arkansas in the Hump on Saturday at 4 p.m. (FSN-TV)... Track & Field competes in the Last Chance Qualifier in Birmingham on Friday and Saturday...Men's Tennis hosts Alabama at 2 p.m. Friday and Auburn on Sunday at 1 p.m.... Women's Tennis takes on Alabama in Tuscaloosa at 3 p.m. Friday and continues its roadtrip with a noon match against Auburn on Sunday.
Hrabowski keynoting diversity conference
"Enhancing Diversity in Higher Education: Undergraduate Retention and Recruitment of Graduate Students, Faculty and Staff" will be the theme Thursday and Friday for Mississippi State's second Diversity Conference. The keynote address will be delivered by Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Jones to lead Center for Battlefield Innovation
A leading technology industry executive will oversee a new Mississippi State research center dedicated to developing cutting-edge solutions for the nation's armed forces. Henry L. Jones II has been named director of the recently launched Center for Battlefield Innovation. Headquartered in Vicksburg, the new center is a collaboration with the defense contractor Mav6.
Li earns top NSF early career award
A member of Mississippi State University's engineering faculty will receive research funding from one of the National Science Foundation's most prestigious programs. Pan Li, an assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, earned a 2012 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. Beginning in August, the five-year, $450,000 grant will help fund his research in improving the efficiency of mobile cloud computing.
Research Awards, Powe Award nominations wanted
The nomination period has opened for Mississippi State's 2012 Research Awards and the Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award. Employees and students are encouraged to submit nominations for this year's program. Recipients will be honored at a banquet April 3 in the Hunter Henry Center Ballroom. Complete nomination packets for all awards are due on or before March 2
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