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Points of Pride

Our chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society is one of only five in the country to receive the national Chapter of Excellence award, recognizing the organization's outstanding abilities in promoting academics and service.

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College News

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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Phi Beta Lambda Chapter Wins State Awards and Winners Advance to National Competition- April 7, 2014 - Members of the Nu Phi Chapter of Phi Beta Lambda at Mississippi State University participated in the 2014 Mississippi Phi Beta Lambda Leadership Conference on March 26-28, 2014, held at the Mississippi University for Women. Congratulations to the following students who placed in the state competition.

1st place, Amanda Fouasnon and Casey Butler, Business Presentation
1st place, Amanda Fouasnon and Casey Butler, Management Analysis and Decision Making
1st place, Emily Kirkland and Grant Carter, Accounting Principles
2nd place, Travis Uselton, Help Desk
2nd place, Jarmel Lewis, Sports Management

These students will advance to the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 24-27, 2014. They will represent Mississippi and Mississippi State University as they compete at the national level in their respective competitive events.

Phi Beta Lambda is sponsored by the Department of Instructional System and Workforce Development and is advised by Ms. Vicki Keel. For more information, email Ms. Keel at or visit the chapter website.

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In teaching local youth about stock market, MSU students also learn - February 27, 2014 -

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Even before they graduate, many Mississippi State University technology teacher education students have an opportunity to provide special instruction in a complex subject.

Cole Bostick of Horn Lake, son of Jackie and Brenda Bostick, recently helped teach local middle and high school students about making money by buying, selling and trading virtual stocks. He helped sixth- through 12th-grade members of Starkville's Boys & Girls Club of the Golden Triangle successfully navigate the ups and downs of The Stock Market Game.

The trademarked game is an education program for participants at the secondary, collegiate and continuing education levels. It is offered by the New York-based SIFMA Foundation, whose mission is to help U.S. students become financially literate.

Pamela Scott-Bracey, TTE assistant professor, and Becky Smith, agricultural economics assistant extension professor, taught the fall semester of MSU's methods of teaching economics and business pathways. As part of the curriculum, they and their students attended a workshop about how the game can help students learn more about economics.

Lucas Davenport, director of the Starkville Boys & Girls Club, attended the workshop, sponsored by the MSU Extension Service in conjunction with the Mississippi Council for Economic Education.

Smith credited Joyce Ellenwood, the club's executive director, for first proposing that MSU students work with Davenport to bring the game to local club members.

"The stock market is like a hook that gets students interested in economics and thinking about decision-making in investing," Smith said. "The research that exists shows students have improved economic literacy after they play the stock market."

In addition to helping younger students, playing the game also gave the MSU students a deeper understanding of how the real stock market operates, Bostick said.

"Working with the stock market was difficult at first," he said. "I really didn't think I knew how to explain, but I guess I knew more about it than I thought I did because the kids seemed to catch on."

"Then, I began to see that it was possible to teach and make it understandable to kids of all ages."

One group of sixth-grade girls was especially dedicated, he explained. Their interest and participation helped Bostick realize and appreciate his own capabilities for teaching financial literacy and economics.

He said he appreciated the service-learning opportunity, connecting with community youth and helping them see the relevance of the stock market in their own lives.

"Because I got to teach before the internship semester, I had a preview of what student teaching looks like," Bostick said. "Whatever business classes I teach, they will have at least one unit on economics. I now begin to realize how valuable teaching The Stock Market Game will be in trying to land a student-teaching position."

As part of its organizational mission, the game-sponsoring Mississippi Council for Economic Education awards endorsements for university and college students such as Bostick who will be entering the teaching ranks after receiving their degrees.

The economics endorsement is one of 10 that all TTE majors must receive to graduate, Scott-Bracey said. By being qualified to teach many different subject areas, TTE majors are attractive employment candidates.

"They are very marketable in what they're qualified to teach," she said. "It is so impressive: how these teachers get so much professional development and more training as they go through the career and technology arm of instruction.

"I'm very happy about the quality of students in this program. They have a lot of work, but they do it, and they do it well," she said."

Visit and click "Technology Teacher Education" to learn more about the MSU's TTE program.

For more about MSU, see

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Mississippi Excellence in Teaching program now recruiting for 2014 - January 22, 2014 - STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State University currently is seeking "the best and brightest" for its fall 2014 class of Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program Fellows.

MSU first announced the program in 2012 that offers cross-campus visits, weeklong summer residencies, professional conferences, and a study-abroad opportunity at no cost to the participants. Both institutions may recruit up to 20 students annually from throughout the United States.

With funding by the Jackson-based Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation, the joint effort with the University of Mississippi includes full tuition, including room, board, and books, and a $1,000 technology stipend. Over four years, the program's value totals more than $80,000.

In return, participants must commit to teaching mathematics or English in Mississippi for five years after graduation, though the obligation may be deferred if students decide to pursue graduate-degree programs.

Applicants also must possess at least a 28 ACT--or 1250 SAT--score. A required interview will be used to help determine each applicant's drive and dedication to the field.

MSU's priority deadline is Feb. 1, but applications will continue to be accepted through March. "I would hate for someone to miss out on such an opportunity that would benefit them and the future of our state, when Mississippi State University is giving them the tools to be successful and debt free when they start their career," said Melanie Boyle, campus METP manager.

During the first five years of funding, MSU officials have a goal of placing more than 80 graduates of the program into Mississippi classrooms.

Each 20-person METP cohort will be attending seminar-style classes once a week that focus on introductory teaching skills, how best to be a leader in education, and events and challenges that affect education today. Hands-on experiences in secondary education also will be provided.

"METP wants the best and brightest, and we want to give those selected the tools to not only be successful in their schools, but we want them to have tools to shape education in Mississippi," she emphasized.

Boyle said effective teaching involves more than knowing subject matter; it is a combination of student understanding, application and communication.

Richard Blackbourn, MSU College of Education dean, said METP Fellows will graduate with a knowledge base of resources and a support network of students and faculty for future endeavors. He said faculty in College of Education have been working hard to design and implement specific coursework for this new education training initiative.

Persons interested in applying may visit, or contact MSU at telephone 662-325-5543 or email

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Upcoming Events

Please join us in celebrating the arrival of five new Steinway pianos

April 24, 2014 - 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
at Thad Cochran Research Park, Industry Partners Building, 100 Research Blvd.

Thursday, April 24, 2014
6:00 - 8:30 PM
Thad Cochran Research Park
Industry Partners Building
100 Research Blvd.

The purchase of this group of pianos was made possible
through a generous gift by Scarvia Bateman Anderson.

Click here to view more College of Education events.

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Mailing Address:
Mail Stop 9710
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Phone: 662-325-3717
Fax: 662-325-8784

Our People

Gary Packwood

Gary Packwood

His early experiences are why Packwood today focuses on people in his teaching, not just on the subject.

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