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Points of Pride

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College News

Richard Blackbourn named to national dean's list- July 22, 2015 - STARKVILLE, Miss.--The leader of Mississippi State's College of Education is ranked among the 30 most influential deans of education in the United States.

Richard L. Blackbourn was selected for the honor by Mometrix Test Preparation, a Beaumont, Texas-based company that created the honor to recognize administrators who "have had an invaluable impact not only on the field of education as a whole, but also on the lives of the future teachers of America whom they have shepherded."

Dean since 2005 and a three-degree alumnus of the land-grant university, Blackbourn is the only Mississippi higher education administrator on the 2015 list.

As current president of the Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, he long has worked to enhance public policies that help prepare education professionals at all service levels.

Blackbourn also has led in development of the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program, a joint project with the University of Mississippi designed to provide enrichment and scholarship opportunities to the top teacher candidates in the Magnolia State.

After earning bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education in 1974 and 1976, respectively, he went on to complete a doctorate in educational leadership in 1983. His father, the late Joe M. Blackbourn, was a longtime member of the MSU education faculty.

Established in the early 1900s as the School of Education, the college has a proud history of preparing many of the state's leading educators and, as a result, having a major positive impact in every area of the state.

For more about the Mometrix recognition, visit

Other information about the College of Education is available at; about Dean Blackbourn, by contacting Paige Watson at 662-325-2252 or

MSU, Mississippi's flagship research university, is online at,, and

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Multiple CMA award-winning Mississippian to perform at MSU- July 20, 2015 - STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mac McAnally, seven-time Country Music Association musician of the year, will perform Sept. 10 at Mississippi State.

The former Tishomingo County resident's 7:30 p.m. concert in Lee Hall's Bettersworth Auditorium is being sponsored by the university's College of Education and its music department. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

McAnally currently holds the record for longest winning streak in CMA award history, topping all other recording artists and musicians in the genre. Also known for his exceptional guitar and songwriting skills, he is a regular collaborating performer with other major artists, including Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown. For more, visit

Though born in Red Bay, Alabama, McAnally was reared in nearby Belmont, Mississippi, where he began performing as a child at the Belmont First Baptist Church.

"The College of Education is proud to be able to bring a performer of Mr. McAnally's magnitude to the MSU campus," said Dean Richard Blackbourn. "In addition to being a gifted and accomplished musician, he is the type of individual that will relate well to our faculty, staff and students."

Trish Cunetto, COE development director and coordinator for the event, said McAnally also will tour the academic unit and visit with music majors and other students while on campus. The college hopes to bring other renowned performing artists to campus in the future, she added.

General admission tickets now are on sale for $40, $30 and $20 each. Online purchases may be completed at

To learn more about the concert or College of Education, contact Paige Watson at or 662-325-2252.

MSU, Mississippi's flagship research university, is online at,, and

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Public school teachers complete MSU training institute- June 29, 2015 - Representing Louisville and West Point school districts, 20 teachers are at Mississippi State this month to learn the latest methods for engaging students.

The university's Global Academic Essentials Teaching Institute is organized by the College of Education's instructional systems and workforce development department. Participants this year include public school teachers of history, social studies and foreign languages.

While on campus, they are hearing from a variety of guest speakers that range from MSU faculty and staff members to Mississippi Highway Patrol public safety instructors.

Additionally, they are reviewing state education standards, becoming familiar with new technologies and developing lesson plans. As the institute concludes, they will be encouraged to reflect on their experiences and share the knowledge they received with colleagues in their respective school districts.

As part of the learning experience, the teachers are keeping personal blogs and developing website portfolios that include lesson plans, technology-application strategies and presentation-download links. All are accessible at

"The ultimate goal of GAETI is to spark the desire for innovation while simultaneously motivating teachers to integrate standards, 21st century skills and technology in classrooms across the state of Mississippi," said assistant professor Pamela Scott-Bracey, institute facilitator.

For more information on the department of instructional systems and workforce development, visit

MSU is Mississippi's flagship research university, available online at,, and

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MSU recognizes newest Preparing Future Faculty graduates- June 18, 2015 - STARKVILLE, Miss.--Fifteen Mississippi State doctoral students are recent graduates of the university's Preparing Future Faculty program.

A collaboration among the Office of the Graduate School, College of Business, Center for Teaching and Learning, and Mitchell Memorial Library, PFF equips graduate students with resources and skills needed for successful higher education careers.

During both the fall and spring semesters, participants must attend 20 hours of group meetings and complete a capstone course during Maymester (intensive semester held in May).

The 2015 Future Faculty summer graduates and their respective majors include (by hometown):

CLEVELAND--Erika D. Womack, molecular biology.

COLUMBUS--Nava R. Subedi, engineering/applied physics.

STARKVILLE--Marta Amirsadeghi, chemical engineering; Daniel Chesser, agricultural science/engineering technology; Vivek Dixit, engineering/applied physics; Puskar N. Khanal, forest resources/forestry; Bahareh Kokabian, civil engineering; Yan Luo, forest resources/forest products; Roslyn B. Miller, curriculum and instruction; Raju Pokharel, forest resources/forestry; Eghbal Rashidi, industrial and systems engineering; Shahriar Shahrokhabadi, civil engineering; Hasan C. Tekedar, veterinary medicine science with concentrations in infectious diseases and computational biology; and Demarcus M. Thomas, computer science.

WATKINSVILLE, GEORGIA--Katie Collins, agricultural science/poultry science.

Program instructors include Lori M. Bruce, William L. Giles Distinguished Professor, Graduate School dean and associate vice president for academic affairs; Linda Morse, professor and director of the counseling and educational psychology department; Deborah Lee, professor and coordinator of graduate student services and co-director of the university's Maroon and Write Quality Enhancement Plan; and Rebecca Long, Graduate School associate dean.

For more about PFF, visit or contact program associate Margaret McMullen at 662-325-1622 or

MSU, the Magnolia State's flagship research institution, is online at,,, and, using hashtag #WeRingTrue.

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