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College News

College of Engineering and College of Education Faculty Awarded a Grant from the National Science Foundation- September 2, 2014 - Two Mississippi State University faculty members, Dr. Lakiesha Williams and Dr. Linda T. Coats have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in engineering who enter graduate school and pursue careers in academia. Dr. Lakiesha Williams (Project Investigator), an associate professor in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department and Dr. Linda T. Coats (Co-Project Investigator), a professor in the Leadership and Foundations Department will collaborate with researchers from the University of Akron and the University of Houston to address issues faced by underrepresented minorities that impede them for persisting in academia.

The Career Development: From Senior Undergraduates to Navigating Assistant Professorship project will convene two-day workshops at each of the three institutions, the University of Akron, University of Houston, and Mississippi State University, designed to enhanced participants’ knowledge, awareness, and interest about strategies and techniques that might be used to aid retention and success in academia. Workshops will held in October at the University of Akron, in January at Mississippi State University, and in May at the University of Houston. Workshops will include sessions about future faculty roles and responsibilities; time management; college teaching; culturally responsive teaching; mentoring/career coaching; and the ins and outs of graduate school. Workshops are designed to attract and accommodate up to 200 participants will be open to engineering college students from colleges and universities that surround each of the three institution.

MSU education dean Blackbourn elected president of MACTE - August 4, 2014 -

STARKVILLE, Miss.--A senior Mississippi State administrator is beginning a two-year term as president of the Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Richard L. Blackbourn, who has led the university's College of Education since 2005, previously served seven years on MACTE's executive board and two years as its president-elect.

Affiliated with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, MACTE seeks to stimulate improvement in programs of teacher education at public and private institutions of higher education throughout the Magnolia State. Additionally, its members work to impact public policies relating to the preparation of state education professionals at all levels of service.

A Mississippi State alumnus, Blackbourn has more than 30 years in the profession. In addition to Lowndes County, Natchez and Pascagoula, he held earlier teaching and administrative posts at Northeast Louisiana and Clemson universities.

His three degrees from Mississippi State include bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education in 1974 and 1976, respectively, and a doctorate in educational leadership in 1983.

In addition to MSU, MACTE includes education deans at Alcorn State and Belhaven universities, Blue Mountain College, Delta State and Jackson State universities, Millsaps and Mississippi colleges, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University, Rust and Tougaloo colleges, universities of Mississippi and Southern Mississippi, and William Carey University.

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Paid summer intern opportunities for STEM majors- May 9, 2014 - May 8, 2014

The Noyce STEM Teachers Scholars Program announces paid summer internship opportunities for freshman and sophomore STEM majors enrolled at Mississippi State University. The internship will begin June 1, and end June 30.

Application materials may be obtained by visiting

Interested applicants should submit their application packet by May 23 to Linda T. Coats via email at or delivered in person to the Department of Leadership and Foundations in 245 Allen Hall.

MSU public event to launch All-Steinway Initiative- April 17, 2014 -

Mississippi State's College of Education formally announces its All-Steinway Initiative with a Thursday [April 24] public display of the first class of pianos acquired toward the effort.

The celebration marks the formal beginning of the college's commitment to make the music education department an All-Steinway School.

In addition to joining more than 160 institutions of higher learning and conservatories throughout the world with this distinction, the university seeks to become the only Mississippi school holding the prestigious honor.

The announcement and celebration will take place 6-8:30 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Research Park's Industry Partners Building, located at 100 Research Park Blvd. During the event, MSU music majors and faculty will showcase their talents, both with a newly acquired Steinway grand and four verticals, and other featured instruments.

Based in Queens, N.Y., Steinway & Sons is the internationally renowned manufacturer of pianos. Founded in 1853, the company has been honored with numerous awards and granted more than 100 patents over its long history. For more, visit

"In the world of piano, Steinway is the name that eclipses all other names," said department head Michael Brown. "Indeed, most piano brands hope to be compared to Steinway, but all come up short and we are fortunate to bring these prime instruments to Mississippi State.

"With an All-Steinway school goal, we can begin to give our students and faculty the best piano tool and equip our rehearsal halls and studios with only Steinway pianos," Brown added.

Earlier this month, veteran department professors Jackie Edwards-Henry and Rosangela Sebba traveled to the Steinway factory to select a seven-foot grand piano that will reside permanently in Edwards-Henry's practice studio.

Purchase of the Steinway Grand and the four office verticals was made possible through an estate gift from the late Scarvia Bateman Anderson of Melbourne Beach, Fla., a 1945 MSU education alumna.

This group of five is the first of 30 new Steinways to be purchased over time with private gifts. By becoming an All-Steinway School, MSU can take a large step in improving the campus music program, Brown said.

The department offers undergraduate degrees in music and music education. Since 2012, it has made inroads to purchase new pianos after an inventory of existing pianos in use reflected an average age of nearly 40 years. Many are in poor condition.

"The impact of an All-Steinway School will enhance the department's ability to recruit high quality students from across the United States and internationally who are pursuing a career in music. The distinction also will help our department attract and retain elite faculty," Brown said.

Trish Cunetto, the education college's development director, praised Anderson's gift as "a wonderful way to help others have access to these magnificent Steinway instruments to nurture their talent."

She said it is excellent example of how "individuals may honor or memorialize a loved one, former professor or classmate with gifts for the purchase of these prestigious instruments."

Others desiring to support the All-Steinway Initiative may contact Cunetto at 662-325-6762 or

For information about music education at Mississippi State, visit

Complete details on MSU are available at

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Phone: 662-325-3717
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