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A $4.25 million federal grant will allow the Rehabilitation, Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision to conduct research on systems change, education, training, and outreach activities for people who are visually impaired.

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College News

Two College of Education Faculty Cornelious, Morse Named SEC Fellows- October 2, 2015 - STARKVILLE, Miss.—Four Mississippi State administrators and faculty members are among 50 selected as 2015-16 Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows.

Since its inception in 2008, the professional development program has worked to identify, prepare and professionally advance academic leaders for key roles at each of the 14 SEC-member universities.

The MSU honorees include:

—Linda Cornelious, professor in the instructional systems and workforce development department.

—Greg G. Hall, professor and associate dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design.

—Ron McLaughlin, professor and associate dean for administration in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

—Linda W. Morse, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and professor in the counseling and educational psychology department.

Linda Morse (Photo by Megan Bean)
Linda Morse (Photo by Megan Bean)
Ron McLaughlin (Photo by Tom Thompson)
Ron McLaughlin (Photo by Tom Thompson)

Through this academic initiative, the athletic conference works to sponsor, support and promote collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students. Providing an online platform to showcase achievements of these individuals on regional, national and international levels is among its primary missions.

Designated by provosts at the respective institutions, ALDP liaisons serve as the conference’s primary point of academic contact.

“The individuals selected by their SEC universities to participate in the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program represent the future of higher education administration,” said SECU Executive Director Torie Johnson. “The leadership skills they already possess are sure to be enhanced by the SEC ALDP experience.”

Cornelious is a Florida State University doctoral graduate who was named in 2003 as Outstanding Faculty Woman of the Year by the MSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women. A published author, she regularly serves as presenter and leader at national, regional and state professional conferences. Her primary areas of research include, among others, instructional technology, educational leadership, multicultural education and community service learning.

Hall is an award-winning architect, educator and administrator with extensive local, regional and international experience. He holds a doctoral degree from University of Hong Kong and bachelor’s degree from University of Texas at Austin, both in architecture. Along with receiving a certificate in Japanese language from Osaka, Japan-based Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Hall completed liberal arts studies at Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. In addition to cross-departmental undergraduate and graduate courses in such areas as design and construction technology, he has developed and taught courses on architecture design management and global architecture practice.

McLaughlin, a board-certified veterinary surgeon who specializes in small animal surgery, started at MSU-CVM in 2000 as an associate professor and chief of surgery. He became head of the department of clinical sciences in 2006. A University of Missouri-Columbia veterinary medicine doctoral graduate, he provided leadership in establishing the college’s Veterinary Medical Technology program, one of only three 4-year veterinary technology programs in the country.

Morse is a Florida State University doctoral graduate with extensive experience in instructional design, development and evaluation. Along with being a John Grisham Master Teacher, she is a research fellow for the university’s Social Science Research Center, where her efforts focus on cognition issues and development.

For more about the SEC Academic Leadership Development program, visit

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Dr. Linda Cornelious Receives Prestigious Award- September 30, 2015 - Dr. Linda Cornelious, professor in the Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development, was the recipient of the 2015 Woman of Color Empowerment Award presented by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at Mississippi State University.

Dr. Cornelious was honored along with five other alumni and faculty for their achievements during an empowerment dinner held on Thursday, August 27, at the Mill at MSU Conference Center.

The recognition dinner was a part of the Men and Women of Color Summit held annually at MSU. Six recipients shared powerful remarks concerning their career journey.

Students, administrators, and community leaders in attendance were inspired by their meaningful remarks.

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Robert Damm to Present Percussion Recital- September 24, 2015 - The Department of Music at Mississippi State University, will present Dr. Robert J. Damm in a faculty artist recital on Tuesday, September 29th in McComas Theater at 7:30 PM. The concert is free and open to the public. Dr. Damm will feature keyboard percussion instruments including marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, and crotales.

Highlights of the program will include “The 1908 Rag” for xylophone, “A Vision in a Dream” for vibraphone, and “Atrium Dance” for marimba. Joining Dr. Damm for “A Little Prayer,” a hymn-like marimba composition, will be a string quartet made up of Daniel Jones of Starkville and the Smith Sisters (Mahogani, Destini, and Eboni), MSU students from Hoover, Alabama.

Daniel Jones (violin) is a high school senior in Starkville. Hailing from Hoover, Alabama, Mahogani Smith (cello), Destini Smith (viola), and Eboni Smith (violin) are students at MSU.

Two compositions on the program will represent non-Western musical traditions. “A Taste of Brazil” in the style of the baião from northeastern Brazil, is characterized by vibrant rhythm and melancholic melody. “Bana Kaaba,” from the repertoire of Ghana, will be played on a traditional West African xylophone.

Dr. Damm will play the 1970s rock classic “Moonlight Feels Right” and the Jimi Hendrix standard “Little Wing” with a band consisting of Bill Cooke (guitar), Jim Beaty (bass guitar), John Staggers (drums), and J. C. Long (percussion). Bill Cooke (guitar) is head of the Department of Geosciences at MSU. He has played throughout Mississippi as a solo artist and with numerous bands. Jim Beaty (bass guitar and vocals) is founding partner in Backstage Music in Starkville.

As a freelance musician he performs with many area bands including Thirty Fingers, The Dips, and the Hep Cats jazz quartet.John Staggers (percussion) is music teacher at Armstrong Middle School in Starkville. He plays regularly with local bands including Flathead Ford, Soul Gravy, and the Hardluck Chuck Trio. J. C. Long (percussion) served in the US Army as a musician from 2003-2010. He is currently pursuing a degree in electrical engineering at MSU.

Terrell Jackson, minister of music at Calvary Baptist Church in Starkville and adjunct instructor of piano in the Music Department at MSU, will serve as collaborative pianist for this concert. The concert will conclude with Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumble Bee.”

MSU on the Move recognizes Health Heroes- September 17, 2015 - STARKVILLE, Miss.—Two current and one former Mississippi State staff members are being recognized for achievements at the university to encourage healthy lifestyles through regular exercise and healthy eating habits.

Michelle Gerhart, Janice McReynolds and Annette Woods recently received 2014-15 Health Hero awards from the MSU on the Move program for their hard work and dedication to overall health improvement on campus.

Gerhart is business manager in the athletic department, while Woods is a senior extension associate in the agricultural communications department. McReyolds retired in June as an administrative assistant in the forestry department. All are MSU alumna.

Supported by the Jackson-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, MSU on the Move involves a series of yearlong activities designed to give participants the skills to modify lifestyle habits and improve overall health.

In 2014, a second-year foundation grant supported a free comprehensive health and fitness program for the MSU community and beyond. In addition to measuring and monitoring participants’ progress as part of a pre- and post-program assessment, the $250,000 award enabled the College of Education’s kinesiology department to establish the Health Fitness and Wellness campaign, an extension of the existing MSU on the Move program.

“These standout participants are exemplary of the meaningful impact we hope to achieve with MSU on the Move,” said Megan Holmes, assistant professor of kinesiology.

For more information about program, visit or contact Holmes at

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