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Famous Maroon Band begins 113th year, announces drum majors

MSU News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 12:39pm
MSU's Famous Maroon Band (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Paige Watson

MSU's Famous Maroon Band (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—With annual band camp concluded, Mississippi State’s 330-member Famous Maroon Band is turning its attention to fine-tuning routines for the 2015-16 school year.

Veteran director Elva Kaye Lance said this year’s contingent represents 14 states in addition to Mississippi, from which 68 percent hail. While the organization is part of the university’s College of Education, membership, as always, includes a wide range of academic majors, she added.

“We are very excited to be entering our 113th year,” said Lance, who shares Famous Maroon Band duties with co-directors Craig Aarhus and Clifton Taylor.

“During camp, it was incredible to see our incoming freshmen, many of whom held leadership positions in high school, raise the standard and influence our returning members to become better and better each year,” the MSU and Famous Maroon Band alumna said.

Lance said this year’s four drum majors will include:

—Twin sisters Ashley S. and Brittany C. Carey from Olive Branch. Ashley is a junior mechanical engineering major; Brittany, a senior double-major in educational psychology and foreign language/Spanish.

—Junior Cooper A. Haywood of Madison, an instrumental music education and vocal music education double-major.

—Junior Jesse D. Newton of Eupora, a human sciences/fashion design and merchandising major.  

According to Haywood, this year’s camp was “one of the best” he has experienced while at MSU.

Junior Ellen S. Moore of Brandon, also a music education major, joined Haywood in praising the training program. “During band camp, I made a ton of friends and everything was so organized,” she said. “The week moved quickly, but we managed to accomplish a lot.”

Lance said the MSU marching unit could not be successful without the “hard work and tireless dedication” of Aarhus and Taylor.

“In addition to the band directors, another vital member of our leadership team is Jason Baker,” Lance continued, explaining that the music department associate professor “arranges and instructs our percussionists.”

At her promotion to director in 2002, Lance became only the eighth leader of the marching unit over its long history. During her time at the helm, “We’ve received tremendous support from both former band members and faculty in the College of Education, which is a great fit for us,” she said.

Lance said 2015 fall football halftime performances will include a variety of popular pieces, including a “Funkytown” theme and a play on Disney classic “The Happiest Show on Earth.”

In addition, the band also coordinates two pep bands for men’s and women’s basketball, as well as numerous choral ensembles and concert bands throughout the spring semester. To learn more, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at

Don't Miss a Beat: Tips for Enjoying a Live Concert

Lifestyles - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 8:48am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - A concert is more than an evening excursion. This is your chance to go out in the town, mingle with friends, and discover the hottest new up-and-coming artists to add to your everyday playlist.

For some, this all seems like added pressure. Too much pressure, maybe. Is it possible to just sit back and enjoy a concert without fudging the details? We think so. Here are a few tips to guarantee the best of the best concert nights:

Know the Band

It's every music-lovers dream: showing up to concerts on a whim, anywhere, anytime. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for social blunders. You know, the mistakes that your friends won't stop reminding you about for weeks. Before you go, Google the artist, especially if they're new in town. Is this a head-banging rock concert or a sophisticated evening of light jazz? Let the genre help you pick your attire and your attitude.

Plus-Ones Preferred

Spread the word, and make an event of it. Use this can't-miss concert as a way to catch up with your pals, get to know the other folks in the office or surprise a special someone.

Keep It Classy

We know that you love your favorite drink. But keep it classy. No one wants to carry you home, and even fewer people still paid money to hear you singing along with the band.

Go Prepared

Make sure you have what you need for the evening. In addition to the basics, like your keys, your cell phone and a pair of shoes, you can actually walk in, take along the accessory you use to do what you do.

If you dip, consider packing a FLASR, the portable spittoon. This Atlanta-based product fits in your pocket and has a secure-locking mechanism, so you don't need to worry about embarrassing spills.

For more information, please visit

Tips to Enjoy Pest-Free Camping This Summer

Lifestyles - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 8:45am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Camping is a favorite activity for outdoor enthusiasts across the country. There are few better ways to take in the fresh air and relax than by spending some time out in the elements without all the distractions of everyday life. However, it's important to keep in mind that the great outdoors is also home to some serious health threats -- and you may be surprised at the "biggest" culprits!

While small in size, mosquitoes and ticks are out in abundance this time of year. Just one bite from an infected mosquito or tick can have chronic, and possibly fatal, consequences.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), late summer is peak time for West Nile virus infections (WNV), and transmission of the disease frequently continues into the fall as well. According to the National Pest Management Association's medical advisor, Dr. Jorge Parada, the elderly, children and those with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable to West Nile virus infections, which can be fatal in severe cases.

Ticks are capable of transmitting a variety of illnesses to humans, the most common being Lyme disease. Spread by the blacklegged deer tick, Lyme disease has historically been a problem in the northeast U.S. However, an August 2015 report from the CDC found blacklegged deer ticks are expanding their territory farther in to the West and South, bringing the threat of Lyme disease with them.

The National Pest Management Association offers the following tips for campers to protect themselves from mosquito and tick bites:

* Always apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or IR3535 when outdoors and use as directed on the product label.

* Reduce the amount of skin exposed during dusk and dawn, when certain types of mosquitoes are most active.

* Avoid areas where ticks are most abundant, including high grasses and low-growing vegetation along the edge of the woods or a trail.

* Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors. While hiking, tuck long pants into your socks to keep ticks out.

* Consider investing in permethrin-treated clothing and gear for an extra level of protection and choose light-colored clothing that will make spotting ticks easier.

* Inspect yourself and your companions carefully for ticks after being outdoors; finding and removing ticks in a timely manner is critical to preventing disease.

For more information on mosquitoes and ticks, please visit

Livestream for Wednesday's General Faculty meeting

MSU News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 1:00am

The fall General Faculty meeting at Mississippi State on Wednesday [Aug. 26] will be available for viewing online beginning at 4 p.m. at

MSU Surpasses 50,000 in Football Season Ticket Sales

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 6:32pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the first time in program history, Mississippi State football has eclipsed the 50,000-mark in season ticket sales, the MSU Athletic Ticket Office announced on Tuesday.

Planned water outage for Hill Poultry Science Building early Wednesday

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 5:27pm

Due to a water line repair, there will be a planned water outage at Mississippi State's Hill Poultry Science Building on Wednesday [Aug. 26] beginning at 6 a.m. The interruption is expected to last approximately two hours.

Thank you for your patience during this temporary outage.

Four Bulldogs Selected 2015 Coaches Preseason All-SEC

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 3:00pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Four Mississippi State football players were voted to the 2015 Southeastern Conference Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team, the league announced Tuesday.

Fox Joins Staff As Graduate Assistant

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 1:45pm
Finalizing the 2015-16 staff, Mississippi State softball head coach Vann Stuedeman has announced the addition of Rachel Fox as a graduate assistant.

Sign up today for faculty/staff meal plans with MSU Dining

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 1:09pm
The Fresh Food Company

Patrons make lunch selections at MSU’s newest residential dining facility, The Fresh Food Company.

MSU Dining invites faculty and staff at Mississippi State to sign up for a new meal plan to save money and enjoy rewards. There are several options available.
Block meals are redeemable at the brand new Fresh Food Company, The Marketplace at Perry, Templeton, Pegasus Dining at the Wise Center, and McArthur Cafe Express. One block equals one swipe at the front register.

The door rate at all-you-care-to-eat dining halls is $11.02 per meal, including tax. With a faculty/staff meal plan, you will pay $6.65 per meal with the Bulldog Elite and $6.95 per meal with the Bulldog Pass.

After 4 p.m., you may use block meals at Chick-Fil-A, Burger King, Burrito Bowl, Panda Express, Panda Sushi and Pizza Hut at a $6 value.
Pick one of the below faculty/staff meal plans and pick up your rewards at the MSU Dining office:
Bulldog Elite: 40 Block Meals & 100 Flex Dollars for $366, and choose five free burritos from Moe’s or five free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.
Bulldog Pass: 40 Block Meals for $278, and choose three free burritos from Moe’s or three free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.
Faculty/staff meal plans never expire, and you may choose payroll deduction to pay over time. Questions? Please call the MSU Dining office at 662-325-7120 or visit

Click here to access a PDF with additional information.

Christine Jackson Named MSU Assistant Athletic Director of Academics

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 1:05pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Christine Jackson, the director of student services at the University of Louisville since 2012, has been named Mississippi State's new assistant athletic director of academics, Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin announced on Tuesday.

Christine Jackson named MSU assistant athletic director of academics

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:18pm
Christine Jackson

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Christine Jackson, the director of student services at the University of Louisville since 2012, has been named Mississippi State’s new assistant athletic director of academics, Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin announced on Tuesday.  

Christine Jackson
Jackson replaces Ray Berryhill, who retired earlier this summer. She will oversee MSU’s Templeton Athletic Academic Center and report to the Office of the Provost as well as MSU Athletics.  

“We are proud to welcome Christine to our Bulldog athletic family,” said Stricklin. “She brings a wealth of experience to our program with over 15 years dedicated to athletic academics. She will set a vision for our academic center that continues our top mission of graduating our student-athletes and equipping them for their futures beyond Mississippi State.”  

“I am delighted that we have attracted Ms. Jackson to head our athletic academics,” said Provost Jerry Gilbert. “She will bring outstanding leadership and vision to ensure that we achieve optimal success with our student-athletes in their academic pursuits.” 

Jackson has served over 13 years at the University of Louisville, including in her most recent role since July 2012. As director of student services, Jackson coordinated the admissions process for football student-athletes. She was responsible for the academic needs of all freshmen and incoming transfer football student-athletes. She organized all aspects of the Kick Off Summer Bridge Program, which promoted academic success. She also supported the assistant athletic director with day-to-day operations of the Woodruff Academic Center and its staff.

“My family and I are excited for this wonderful opportunity at Mississippi State University as well as being a part of the Bulldog family,” said Jackson. “I am truly eager to lead a team that will strive to be an academic frontrunner in the Southeastern Conference as well as nationally. My goal for all Mississippi State student-athletes is to pursue athletic and academic excellence as well as develop a foundation for life after sports. I want to thank Dr. Jerry Gilbert and Scott Stricklin for entrusting me with the wellbeing of all MSU student-athletes.  This is an exciting time for Bulldog Athletics and I am grateful to be a part of it.” 

Prior to her promotion in the summer of 2012, Jackson served as the director of football student-athlete development (2010-12), coordinating life-skills programming for all football student-athletes at Louisville.

Jackson was the associate director for academic services at Louisville from 2006-09 and responsible for the academic affairs of women's basketball, baseball, volleyball, field hockey, men's and women's golf as well as the spirit groups. Jackson also oversaw all financial and business matters of the Olga S. Peers Academic Center.

Jackson got her start in athletics at the University of Kentucky in 1999. During her three years in Lexington, she served in a variety of roles. She was the academic counselor for track and field, volleyball, rifle and men's tennis. She also served as the director of tutoring while also being an advisor to the student-athlete advisory committee.

Jackson has served several national leadership roles during her career. She was the 2004 recipient of the Matt Schmauch Professional Promise Award giving by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A). In 2005, she participated in the first N4A Professional Development Institute and then graduated from the inaugural class of the NCAA Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Females in June 2006.

From June 2009-June 2010, Jackson fulfilled the role of N4A President, coordinating the association’s strategic plan, managing the 17 members of the Board of Directors and presiding over the 2010 national convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. Currently, she is serving on the N4A's Past President Council.

Jackson earned her bachelor's degree in kinesiology in 1997 and her master's degree in sport management in 1999 -- both from the University of Kentucky.

Jackson and her husband Richard have three sons –Trey (13), Reese (11) and Rashawn (4).

MSU researcher Varco named new Triplett Chair holder

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:15pm
Jac Varco

Contact: Vanessa Beeson

Jac Varco

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An award-winning Mississippi State researcher is receiving another campus recognition.

Professor Jac Varco has been selected for the Dr. Glover B. and Imogene C. Triplett Endowed Chair in Agronomy. He is a faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ plant and soil sciences department, as well as the university-based Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station.

Earlier this year, Varco received the college’s Excellence in Teaching, Upper Division Undergraduate Award. In 2014, he was named Conservation Systems Cotton Researcher of the Year at the 17th National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference.

“Dr. Varco is an outstanding teacher, researcher and mentor who has remained on the cutting edge in the precise placement of nitrogen fertilizer in his research program,” said department head Mike Phillips.

Phillips also praised Varco as “as a highly-recognized authority in soil fertility teaching and research.”

In 2007, Triplett, an MSU alumnus and retired distinguished faculty member, and wife Imogene established what then was the college’s first fully funded faculty position now bearing their names. Imogene Triplett died in 2013.

Speaking for college and departmental colleagues, Phillips said, “We are especially grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Triplett for their commitment and support of this chair as well as many other contributions,” adding their generosity “has made a huge impact in making Mississippi State University a very special place to live and work.”

Varco, an MSU faculty member for nearly 30 years, is a University of Kentucky doctoral graduate in agronomy, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees completed at the University of Florida.

In expressing his appreciation for the honor, Varco said the academic designation will help to encourage further research in conservation tillage systems and contribute to graduate recruitment.

“As the Dr. Glover B. and Imogene C. Triplett Chair in Agronomy, I look to further develop conservation tillage systems with improved sustainability,” he said. “This recognition will also allow for recruitment of highly-qualified graduate students motivated by the potential for developing row crop production systems which not only improve profitability, but also enhance soil and environmental quality.”

Varco said he considers Triplett as a mentor, noting that the MSU alumnus’ ground-breaking research was cited in his UK doctoral dissertation.

After completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MSU, Glover Triplett went on to earn a doctorate at Michigan State University. While an Ohio State University agronomist in 1960, he and soil physicist Dave Van Doren began research on growing crops in unplowed ground. Termed no-tillage farming—or “no-till”—the now-standard method went against what most farmers at the time considered the only proper way to grow crops.

In 1982, Triplett retired from OSU. He and Imogene, both Noxubee County natives, returned to Mississippi State, where he continued his no-till research at the experiment station.

Varco is the second Triplett Endowed Chair holder. Earlier this year, colleague Dan Reynolds, who previously held the position, was selected for the newly established Edgar E. and Winifred B. Hartwig Endowed Chair in Soybean Agronomy.

For more about the department, visit

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

Barbour hopes new Hurricane Katrina book makes Mississippians proud

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:39am
MSU President Mark E. Keenum, right, looks on as former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour shares stories of sacrifice and courage exhibited by Mississippians and others from around the country in response to Hurricane Katrina. The Yazoo City native’s well-attended presentation was held Monday [Aug. 24] in Mitchell Memorial Library’s John Grisham Room. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, right, looks on as former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour shares stories of sacrifice and courage exhibited by Mississippians and others from around the country in response to Hurricane Katrina. The Yazoo City native’s well-attended presentation was held Monday [Aug. 24] in Mitchell Memorial Library’s John Grisham Room.   (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—“I hope this book makes you proud to be a Mississippian,” former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday [Aug. 24] during his visit to Mississippi State University.

Titled “America’s Great Storm: Leading through Hurricane Katrina,” the 276-page memoir “is a story about the sacrifice, courage, unselfishness and generosity of the people of Mississippi who got knocked down flat…who lost everything they had in the storm…but got right back up, hitched up their britches and went to work to help their neighbors,” Barbour said. The Yazoo City native had been the state’s chief executive for only 20 months when the costliest and third-deadliest natural disaster in American history hit the Magnolia State.  

From firemen, policemen, highway patrolmen and emergency medical technicians to those serving in the U.S. National Guard and Coast Guard, Barbour expressed gratitude for “so many people who made a difference” during this challenging time.

“Our state employees were magnificent,” he said. “The hours they worked…the commitment to the people they served, particularly the people who had the least to be able to take care of themselves.”

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and former White House political affairs director, also shared various memories regarding the out-of-state support Mississippi received following Katrina’s landfall. They include:

--A Mobile, Alabama-based Coast Guard station flew helicopters into Mississippi and Louisiana, and, in the course of a week, rescued 1,900 people by air.

--46 states sent resources to Mississippi, and sister states sent more than 10,000 National Guardsmen.

--More than 25,000 employees of local and state governments came to Mississippi to help.

--954,000 volunteers came to Mississippi and registered with either a church or a charity. Most of them were tasked with cleaning up more than 47 million cubic yards of debris, a process that took 11 months to complete.

“My momma raised my two older brothers and me, and she used to say crisis and catastrophe bring out the best in most people, and I saw that time and time and time again down on the Coast,” Barbour said. “She also used to follow that up by saying, ‘Remember, catastrophe doesn’t create character; it reveals it.’ These were strong, courageous people before Katrina ever hit, but it brought it out of them.”

Barbour said he believes the people of Mississippi’s response to Katrina “has done more to improve the image of our state than anything else that has happened in my lifetime, and that’s why I wanted to write this book for Mississippians.”

Also making remarks during Monday’s program in Mitchell Memorial Library’s third-floor John Grisham Room were MSU President Mark E. Keenum, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert; Amy Tuck, vice president for campus services who previously served eight years as Mississippi’s lieutenant governor; and Frances Coleman, dean of MSU Libraries.

“For us to have had a disaster of that magnitude in our state, if it was meant to be, we could not have been more blessed as a state to have Haley as our governor and Marsha as our first lady to be where they were at that time of need to help lead us, to lead this state to rebuild and recover, to reassure and comfort all of those who had been so terribly affected by this devastating storm,” Keenum said.

Barbour was assisted by contributing author Jere Nash. The book’s foreword is by Ricky Mathews. Copies of the book may be purchased via Amazon at

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at

Harvey to lead Title IX seminar Tuesday afternoon for faculty, administrators

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:38am

The Center for Teaching and Learning at Mississippi State is hosting a seminar on "A Brief History of Gender Equality: Title IX" on Tuesday [Aug. 25] at 2 p.m. in the 1405 Presentation Room located on the first floor of Mitchell Memorial Library.

The seminar will provide an introduction to Title IX for faculty and administrators, and help them to understand their related responsibilities to it. The session will be led by Brett Harvey, the university's director of Title IX and EEO programs.

Please register for the seminar at For additional information, please contact Linda Morse at 662-325-2083.

Empowerment Dinner at MSU to honor six leaders

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:19am
Linda Cornelious, Marilyn Crouther, Sebetha Jenkins, Albert J. Williams, Wanda Williams and Camille Scales Young are being honored for their vision, leadership, innovation and achievement, public service and contributions to society.

Contact: Zack Plair

Linda Cornelious, Marilyn Crouther, Sebetha Jenkins, Albert J. Williams, Wanda Williams and Camille Scales Young are being honored for their vision, leadership, innovation and achievement, public service and contributions to society.

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University will recognize six distinguished professionals Thursday [Aug. 27] during an Empowerment Dinner at the new Mill at MSU Conference Center.

Linda Cornelious, Marilyn Crouther, Sebetha Jenkins, Albert J. Williams, Wanda Williams and Camille Scales Young are being honored for their vision, leadership, innovation and achievement, public service and contributions to society.

The 6 p.m. dinner is part of a two-day Men and Women of Color Summit organized by MSU’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

Cornelius is a veteran professor in MSU’s department of instructional systems and workforce development. Named in 2003 as Outstanding Faculty Woman of the Year by the MSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the Florida State University doctoral graduate is a published author who regularly serves as presenter and leader at national, regional and state professional conferences.

Crouther is senior vice president and general manager for Herndon, Virginia-based Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services in the U.S. Public Sector. She provides information and technology services to clients in the defense, homeland security, health care, intelligence, civilian, state and local government markets throughout the nation. In addition to an MSU degree in professional accountancy, she is a licensed certified public accountant in Texas.

Jenkins was president of Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, for 18 years before retiring in 2008. A former MSU presidential assistant for minority affairs, she holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Jackson State and Delta State universities, respectively, and a 1978 MSU doctorate in education administration.

The president of the Houston, Texas-based Chevron Pipeline Co., Albert J. Williams manages an extensive network of North American crude oil, natural gas and refined product pipelines and storage facilities. In addition to a 1990 MSU electrical engineering degree, he holds a 1998 MBA from Tulane University. He is a member of MSU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Board and Bagley College of Engineering Diversity Advisory Board.

Wanda Williams is deputy freedom of information officer with the Office of General Counsel of the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland. NARA is an independent federal agency that preserves and makes accessible vast amounts of government records dating back to the Revolutionary War. A 1987 MSU communication graduate, she was a broadcast journalist for 15 years before to joining NARA. She also holds a master’s in U.S. history, with an emphasis on U.S. foreign policy in the Caribbean.

Young is a state and government relations specialist of nearly two decades now associated with the Jackson office of Cornerstone Government Affairs. Past national president of the MSU Alumni Association, she is a 1994 communication management graduate who went on to complete a master’s degree in agriculture and extension education two years later. The Mississippi Business Journal included her in its Top 40 Under 40 and Top 50 Business Women honors in 2005 and 2006, respectively. She also was named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scout Council of Middle Mississippi.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at

Moe's Southwest Grill official ribbon-cutting today at 9:30 a.m.

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 9:22am

Moe's Southwest Grill at Mississippi State will hold the official grand opening of MSU Dining's newest retail location on Tuesday [Aug. 25].

MSU President Mark E. Keenum will officially cut the ribbon at 9:30 a.m. with doors opening for service at 10:30 a.m.

The first 100 customers will receive Starkville-customized Moe’s t-shirts. Small, medium, large, and extra-large shirts will be available while supplies last.
Moe’s sunglasses will also be distributed to MSU Dining's new and current social media followers during the event. Free chips and salsa samples will be provided to those waiting in line for their meals.

Call the MSU Dining office at 662-325-7120 with questions.

Los Hispanos Predominan En El Mercado De Regreso a Clases Este Año

Lifestyles - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 9:13am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - NewsusaInfographic - ¿Sabía que el 57 por ciento de las familias hispanas con un ingreso de 40K o más gastaran más de $300 en compras de regreso a clase? Considerando esto, no es nada extraño qué los padres hispanos le ganan a la población en general cuando se trata de hacer las compras de regreso a clases. Los hispanos quieren que sus niños y adolescentes definan su estilo personal, por lo que JCPenney se ha convertido en un popular destino de compras de regreso a la escuela. JCPenney tiene todo lo último en tendencias para ayudar a los niños y adolescentes a crear su propio estilo único y que se sienten cómodos y seguros en su propia piel.

Ver imagen en tamaño completo aquí.

Startups look to ‘next level’ at MaroonXpo

MSU News - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 6:05pm
Associate professor John Edwards, Social Drizzle cofounder and CEO, presented his social media product Thursday during MaroonXpo, a MSU entrepreneurship program taking place at the Mill at MSU Conference Center. (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: Zack Plair

Associate professor John Edwards, Social Drizzle cofounder and CEO, presented his social media product Thursday during MaroonXpo, a MSU entrepreneurship program taking place at the Mill at MSU Conference Center. (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Five technology startups are seeking $750,000 in combined seed money being made available through a Mississippi State-sponsored entrepreneurship program.

Organized by the College of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the recently concluded 10-week MaroonX Accelerator pilot program involved the startup teams—each with at least one Mississippi State student—that had researched and developed product concepts to a point they could be pitched to investors.

During the 2015 MaroonXpo held Thursday [Aug. 20] at the Mill at MSU Conference Center, representatives of ArcFolio, CollegeFit, MState Tech, Social Drizzle and Vibe were looking for either an investment or professional feedback to help take their businesses to the next level.

The international Blackstone Charitable Foundation awarded a joint $200,000 grant to MSU and Texas A&M University to fund the accelerator. The two universities evenly split the grant funds.

Eric Hill said the five teams logged a combined 1,457 work hours and made 166 customer contacts. “We put some really aggressive goals on them all summer long,” the MSU Entrepreneurship Center director added.

Hill said the nearly 20 investors took part either in person or by webcast in the Xpo. He described the group as individuals with annual salaries of more than $200,000 or holders of at least $1 million in worth beyond a primary residence.

ArcFolio was presented by cofounders Jarred Creel of Starkville and Curtis Reed of St. Charles, Mo., both third-year MSU architecture majors. Their online portal for students and entry-level interns in the design field enables the display and management of vast portfolios. The site went live July 31 and prospective employers now may sign up free. Creel and Reed are seeking a $200,000 investment.

CollegeFit was founded by MSU senior computer science major Kelcy Gooch of Ridgeland and Greg Riley of Jackson. They sought feedback for their web-based social platform designed to promote healthy lifestyles, social experiences and academic achievement in one venue. Launched in March, CollegeFit seeks partnerships with student-heavy apartment complexes with fitness facilities. Gooch and Riley will also offer tutoring services on- and off-campus.

MState Tech founder Shane Clark, a physics graduate student from Starkville, made a presentation for Dog Sense, which is designed to protect hunting dogs from being hit with the hunter’s gunfire. The product involves a dog-collar mounted RF beacon that can communicate with a sensor on the gun at a range of up to 500 yards. Clark said his team is planning a soft launch in October and seeks $100,000 to have a hard launch early next year.

Social Drizzle was cofounded by associate research professor John Edwards with MSU’s nationally recognized Social Science Research Center, who presented a hardware-software product now in use at MSU that flows fan tweets—including visual images—onto stadium video boards during sporting events. Also the company’s CEO, Edwards said his business, already in partnership with Twitter, seeks a $350,000 investment.

Vibe was founded by electrical engineering major Hagan Walker of Columbus and art/graphic design major Kaylie Mitchell of Pascagoula, both seniors. Named lumi, their patent-pending product is a water-activated product that adds light and flavor to drinks. Walker and Mitchell are seeking $100,000 to move their product to full-scale manufacturing.

Parker Stewart of St. Augustine, Florida, is a 2013 MSU management and entrepreneurship graduate serving as entrepreneurship program coordinator. He owns the Mississippi-based Del Viejo Gourmet Food Co.

“This event was incredible,” he said. “I’m very proud of the five teams; they’ve come a long way testing their hypotheses and finding out what their customers want.”

Stewart said he also was “excited to be a part of showcasing what Mississippi entrepreneurs can do.”

For more on the MSU Entrepreneur Center, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at

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