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Staff, Professors, Students Receive MSU Research Honors

STARKVILLE, Miss.–Fifty Mississippi State students, faculty and staff are 2014 selections for exceptional research and leadership honors.

Honorees, their guests and senior administrators were in attendance at a campus awards luncheon April 30.

“I personally appreciate your contributions to our university, our state and the nation,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum.

As a major student-oriented research university, Mississippi State helps “move our state forward,” he emphasized.

Before an audience of friends and colleagues gathered at the Hunter Henry Center, associate professor of anthropology Nicholas Herrmann received the afternoon’s top honor: the 2014 Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award.

Herrmann’s recent archaeological work in the southeastern U.S. has focused on spatial and temporal distribution of cave and rock art in Tennessee, Alabama and Missouri. His research in forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology focuses on stature estimation, stable isotopes and trace elements, GIS applications, burned bone trauma and commingled human remains.

Additionally, the skeletal biologist and archaeologist consults on forensic casework for the Mississippi State Medical Examiner, lectures to county coroners, and provides graduate and undergraduate students experience by having them assist with the analysis of these cases.

Recently, Herrmann was honored with a Fulbright Core Scholar Award for research in Cyprus. The project is titled, “The Ayioi Omoloyites Bioarchaeological Project: Confronting challenges of commingled human remains from Hellenistic to Roman period tombs in Nicosia, Cyprus.”

The Powe Award is a memorial to the MSU alumnus and longtime research vice president who died in 1996. It is selected at the university level from nominations received from the MSU community.

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

The program and banquet are co-sponsored by the offices of the vice presidents for Research and Economic Development and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

“Our research enterprise is robust thanks to the world-class caliber of people who are part of the Mississippi State family,” said David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development.

Greg Bohach, vice president for agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine, echoed Shaw’s assessment.

“Research at MSU is making a difference thanks to the excellence of our university’s scientists, staff and students, and their collaborative efforts,” he said.

Other 2014 research award winners include (alphabetically, by academic unit):

–Bagley College of Engineering: James Fowler, faculty; Nicole Ivancic, research support; Christopher Barrett, graduate student; and Sean Offenberger, undergraduate student.

–College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station: Fei Yu, faculty; Brett Rushing, research support; Jesse Morrison, graduate student; and Hillary Clements, undergraduate student.

–College of Architecture, Art and Design: Hans Herrmann, faculty; Sarah Grider, research support; and Chelsea Pierce, undergraduate student.

–College of Arts and Sciences: Anatoli Afanasjev, faculty; Paula Jones, research support; Nathan Owen, graduate student; and Jessica Martin, undergraduate student.

–College of Business: Jacqueline Garner, faculty; and Hanqing Fang, graduate student.

–College of Education: Jianzhong Xu, faculty; Douglas Bedsaul, research support; Manya Chappell, graduate student; and Whitney Ray, undergraduate student.

–College of Forest Resources: Jerrold Belant, faculty; Joby Czarnecki, research support; Beth Poganski, graduate student; and Zachary Senneff, undergraduate student.

–College of Veterinary Medicine: Matthew Griffin, faculty, Stephanie Huffman, research support; Amanda Cain, graduate student; and Julie Lowell, undergraduate student.

–Office of Research and Economic Development: Julie Jordan, research executive; Erin Kiess, research support.

–University Centers and Institutes: John Cartwright, research support.

Also honored were new graduates of the university’s Faculty Leadership Program:

–Tom Allen, Extension/research professor, Delta Research and Extension Center;

–Kari Babski-Reeves, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering;

–Ron Cossman, research professor, Social Science Research Center;

–Michael Cox, professor of plant and soil sciences;

–Jeremiah Davis, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering;

–Dipangkar Dutta, associate professor of physics and astronomy;

–Hans Herrmann, assistant professor of architecture;

–Mark Hersey, associate professor of history;

–Brenda Kirkland, associate professor of geosciences;

–Yaroslav Koshka, professor of electrical and computer engineering;

–Rebecca Long, associate professor of management;

–Michele McDonnall, research professor, National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision;

–Tommy Morris, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering;

–Zhaohua Peng; professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, entomology and plant pathology;

–Rani Sullivan, associate professor of aerospace engineering;

–Kenneth Willeford, professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, entomology and plant pathology; and,

–Kevin Williams, associate professor of communication.