MSU Students Honored for ‘Day One’ Work

Nearly 20 students and two university employees are among honorees recognized at Mississippi State for outstanding service during the 2013 fall semester.

They were announced formally at a recent campus showcase organized by Day One, the campus service-learning leadership program for newly enrolled freshmen.

“The showcase is a time for students to display what they have worked so hard on all semester,” said Day One program coordinator Chelsey Vincent. “Our students poured hours of hard work into these projects.

“It was incredible to see how students used their interests and talents to help our community,” he added.

Jalyn R. Conner of Macon and Becca L. Hawkins of Louin were recognized, respectively, as the Outstanding Male and Female of MSU’s Day One community.

Conner, a mechanical engineering major and the son of Reggie and Wanda Conner, worked with the Youth Environment Sciences (YES) program at Starkville’s Henderson Elementary School. Hawkins, a communication major and the daughter of Bobby Hawkins and Theresa Gladden, provided assistance at the Rolling Hills Development Center, also in Starkville.

“I had a lot of fun working with the kids, and my participation in Day One overall has been a great experience,” Conner said. “It’s been very enriching and has helped me learn more about my own leadership and teamwork skills.”

Hawkins said her time at Rolling Hills “was a humbling experience in which I learned a lot.” Calling Day One among “the most influential and rewarding aspects of my college career, thus far,” she praised the program for being “dedicated to the betterment of students.”

“I am proud to have been allowed to be one of those students,” she added.

Also honored was Victor R. Hunt of Louisville, who received the Outstanding Student Contributions to a Community Partner Award. A biological engineering major and the son of Darren Hunt and Sherry Estes, he was worked during the semester with the Palmer Home for Children’s Hope Reigns Therapeutic Riding Program.

Additionally, senior John O. Ganes of Stockbridge, Ga., and junior Shelby A. Holm of Muscle Shoals, Ala., were presented with Outstanding G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Leadership Fellow Awards.

Ganes, a marketing major and the son of Britt and Lisa Ganes., worked with Starkville Habitat for Humanity; Holm, a human sciences major and the daughter of Randall and Elisa Holm, with MSU’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability.

Cade Smith, MSU assistant dean of students, said all the award winners “truly are exceptional.”

The Division of Student Affairs’ director of student leadership and community engagement, Smith said this group of Day One participants “not only have they distinguished themselves by their commitment to serving others during their first semester of college, but their can-do attitude, positive influence on others and persistent hard work has exceeded everyone’s expectations.”

Other special winners included:

–Renata Prater and Ryan Colvin, Outstanding Action Team Mentors. Prater is an academic coordinator for the College of Business; Colvin, academic coordinator in MSU’s Academic Advising Center.

–Lori Latham of Starkville, Outstanding Community Partner Award, for her work with Discovery House, a residential pre-treatment and stabilization environment for men with substance addictions.

–The Day One community’s Humane Society Team, receiving the Outstanding Team Contributions to a Community Partner Award.

Other fall-semester Day One participants recognized for service included (by hometown):

ACWORTH, Ga.–Bryan M. Robinson, an aerospace engineering major and son of Kurt and Elizabeth Robinson.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–Robyn N. Jolly, an animal and dairy science major and daughter of Joseph Jolly and Jennifer Franklin of Alabaster.

CONCORD, N.C.–Matthew H. Meyer, a business administration major and son of Paul and Clare Meyer.

CRYSTAL SPRINGS–Bailey M. Bullock, a sociology major and daughter of Joseph and Kellye Bullock.

CULLMAN, Ala.–Melody G. Haynes, an animal and dairy science major and daughter of Mike and Sheila Haynes.

CUNNINGHAM, Tenn.–Kayla M. Franks, a biological sciences major and daughter of Michael and Susan Franks.

FLORENCE–Adeleigh N. McGee, an undeclared major and daughter of George and Emily McGee.

FOREST–Keshawn C. Thomas, a computer engineering major and son of Eric and Tamike Thomas.

JACKSON–Jaylin C. Russell, a communication major and daughter of Willie Russell and Sharon Briggs, both of Florence.

MADISON–Britanie N. Kimble, an accounting major and daughter of Bernida Kimble.

MERIDIAN–Airelle S. Peters, a business administration major and daughter of Bettye Martin.

OLIVE BRANCH–Danielle M. Newcomb, a physics major and daughter of Dan and Maria Newcomb.

RIPLEY, Tenn.–Caroline D. Baynes, an educational psychology major and daughter of Michael and Andrea Baynes.

VANCLEAVE–David T. Williams, a computer science major and son of David and Theresa Williams.

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