Category Archives: Education

MSU Breaks Ground on College View Project

MSU Breaks Ground on College View Project

Starkville – Courtesy of The Dispatch

From left, Vice President of Real Estate Development at EdR Mark Grambergs, EdR President Tom Trubiana, Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill, EdR CEO Randy Churchey, Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning board member Walter Starr and Executive Vice President and COO of EdR Chris Richards break ground on the new student housing site, College View, Monday. The housing complex and day care is expected to open in the summer of 2019. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

Work has officially begun at Mississippi State University for a mixed-space residential project that will be the first of its kind in the state. The university held a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for the College View project, which is to be located at the location of the old Aiken Village apartments before they were torn down.

MSU President Mark Keenum said College View will have 656 beds, 46,000 square feet for retail and a new 7,000 square-foot day care center; if all goes according to plan, it will be complete by summer of next year.  He stated that the facility will provide much-needed housing for Seniors, as well as a convenient retail space: “This project is a bridge, a connector if you will, from the city onto our campus,” Keenum said. “It’s going to benefit this university, no doubt, but it’s definitely going to benefit Starkville. I always say what’s good for Mississippi State is good for the city, and what’s good for the city is good for Mississippi State.”

EdR CEO Randy Churchey said during Monday’s ceremony that he’s excited for the project, and that future planned expansions should bring the total  total housing capacity to around 1,800 beds: “I can really see this area being the area where alumni come back on game days, (or) come for graduations, and really be a gathering spot for alumni and students and faculty for all those special occasions that happen on college campuses,” Churchey said. “Other institutions are looking at this endeavor with, I hope, envy and jealousy. And they’re probably going to try to copy it one day,” he said. “But you guys were the first to get this accomplished, and we’re going to uphold our end of the bargain and get this building built. It’s going to be fantastic for the students, alumni, the city and the university.”

 

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Dept of Commerce Invests $1.8 Million in Golden Triangle’s Future

Dept of Commerce Invests $1.8 Million in Golden Triangle’s Future

WASHINGTON, D.C. – From a Press Release Courtesy of the US Economic Development Association

Thad Cochran Research Park in Starkville – courtesy photo

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced yesterday that the Department’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $1.8 million grant to the MSU Research & Technology Corporation of Starkville to help build the new Analytical Center for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis will be located at the Thad Cochran Research, Technology, and Economic Development Park.

“This project is the product of local leaders’ efforts to generate greater economic opportunities in Mississippi,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new Analytical Center for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis will boost the state’s competitiveness by providing regional businesses with the support they need to grow while simultaneously delivering the critical workforce training necessary to help them thrive.”

The new facility will serve as an industrial resource by providing the instruments, equipment, and expertise businesses need to verify product integrity, support manufacturing, ensure quality control, and contribute to product development.

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MSU, Partnership to Help Oktibbeha Students Get a Taste of Running Businesses

MSU, Partnership to Help Oktibbeha Students Get a Taste of Running Businesses

 

Oktibbeha County – Courtesy of The Dispatch

The Partnership, in conjunction with the MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach are working together to give local middle- and high-school students a taste of what it’s like to start a business. With help from International Paper, they will be hosting an Oktibbeha County Innovation Challenge for the students. An interest meeting for the challenge is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Glo office at 419 E. Lampkin St.

Partnership CEO Scott Maynard said that the challenge is open to all Oktibbeha MS/HS students: “The program is designed to really introduce students to entrepreneurship and business,” he said. “The goal is the students, individually or in teams, will come up with a project that they would like to see brought to market. Then they would participate in some training and seminars to show them how to develop a business plan. . .They will develop either a real prototype or a mocked-up prototype, and they will present in a shark tank environment to a group of people to sell their idea or their product.”

MSU College of Business Director of Outreach Jeffrey Rupp – Courtesy Photo

A $500 prize is at stake for the winners, along with scholarships for an entrepreneurship summer camp at MSU.

MSU College of Business Director of Outreach Jeffrey Rupp said, “Part of the mission of a land grant university like Mississippi State is to reach out and leverage our resources to boost communities. . . We are fortunate to have a fantastic relationship with the schools and the Partnership in Starkville.” If the first challenge bears fruit, he said, it may be replicated in other cities in the Golden Triangle.

Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Superintendent Eddie Peasant expressed his own excitement: “It is important for our students to experience real-world learning,” he said. “The Innovation Challenge combined project-based learning, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity with the resources of the E-Center at MSU for a unique hands-on opportunity for our students. It also provides a unique opportunity to work with (The Partnership) to develop future business leaders for our community.”

 

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Manufacturing Business Has Blossomed in Golden Triangle in Last Decade

Manufacturing Business Has Blossomed in Golden Triangle in Last Decade

 

 

Golden Triangle – Courtesy of Harvard Business School

Over a dozen Harvard Business School faculty, led by Dean Nitin Nohria and Senior Associate Dean for Research Jan Rivkin, came to the Golden Triangle last fall to take an in-depth look into just why our area’s manufacturing business has blossomed to impressively over the past decade. Our area has a labor pool of approximately 500,000 people within a 60-mile radius, a bustling regional airport, several sizeable colleges and universities nearby, and plenty of usable land. The GTR region has brought in nearly six billion dollars in investments and industry in that time, and outsiders have been paying more and more attention: “There are so many good things happening in this area of the country,” said Rivkin. “It’s a story of leadership, cross-sector collaboration, and local competitiveness. This corner of Mississippi is competing for global firms, and often it’s winning.”

Prof Mitch Weiss, Dean Nitin Nohria, Joe Max Higgins, and Prof Jan Rivkin – courtesy photo

Rivkin’s attention was first brought to the region due to a 2016 article in the Atlantic, which prompted him to write to the fine folks at our own GTR LINK. He and others had been studying similar successes abroad, and were excited for the opportunity to learn more about something more home-grown: “We realized that we had a much better understanding of other parts of the world than we had of certain parts of America,” Rivkin recalled. “HBS faculty members used to spend a lot of time visiting those parts of the country, but we had lost touch. There was a stark need for us to reconnect with these areas and learn about them, and from them, in a changing social and political context.”

They found the people of GTR area welcoming and eager to share their knowledge: “Not only were they enormously gracious and hospitable,” Rivkin said. “They were eager for us to come and learn more.” They worked closely with the LINK to arrange times for their sixteen members to visit on October 30 and 31 of last year.

“Many of the faculty, including Dean Nohria and Professor Rivkin, intentionally selected the Golden Triangle because of the significant economic development there in the last few years,” said Alain Bonacossa, Senior Director for Research Administration and Behavioral Research Services at HBS. “They wanted to understand how that came about so they could bring those lessons to bear in the classroom and for other communities in their research.”

They began by attending a series of meetings in Columbus hosted by LINK’s charismatic CEO, Joe Max Higgins: “In the economic development business,” he explained, “coming in second equals coming in last.” They then proceeded to visit EMCC and MSU to learn about their own advancements in student training and close work with manufacturers; they also went to visit some local plants to see their work up close and personal.

Rivkin summed up his takeaways from his time well-spent in the GTR as such: “Leaders in the Golden Triangle have developed trust and hope, and it shows in the novel ways they work together . . . The Golden Triangle folks helped me see that if you’re going to be in a game like this, you’d better be very well organized and very talented. And they are .”

The HBS contingent – courtesy photo

He also said that, having read and heard many good things about our area and its focus on attracting business, these things were proven true: “You always wonder when you go to a place that’s received such glowing reviews if it will live up to its billing. The Golden Triangle did and then some.”

Joe Max Higgins has even returned the favor, going up to Harvard to spread a little of his wisdom around: “Students were deeply impressed by the collaboration shown in GTR’s revitalization, and they learned a lot about leadership from their time with Joe Max and Macaulay,” Professor Kerr said. “Their southern charm and humor also made for a riotously fun day.”

Rivkin finished by saying that “Many of the ideas from trips like these percolate in the backs of our minds and, eventually, find their way into research or teaching,” he said. “There are short-term and long-term benefits, and it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Getting out into the world is vitally important for our work here on campus.”

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MSU Obtains $7 Million Grant for Roadway Improvements

MSU Obtains $7 Million Grant for Roadway Improvements

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi,recentlyannounced a $7 million federal transportation grant for Mississippi State University. The grant is intended to pay for development of a roughly two-mile multimodal corridor on Hightower Road, a portion of which is to be named “Bulldog Way.” The corridor will connect Blackjack Road to East Lee Boulevard.

“Mississippi State proposed this multimodal project to help alleviate gridlock and improve safety for students, faculty, visitors, and Starkville residents,” Cochran said.  “I’m pleased that the Department of Transportation will invest in this project, which will improve the overall quality of life for the Starkville and Oktibbeha County community.”

MSU spokesman Sid Salter stated that “[Recent] growth has put a tremendous strain on the existing transportation infra­structure, both on campus and in the community . . .The Hightower Road Corridor Project in concert with other planned improvements seeks to alleviate this potential transportation ‘gridlock’ by providing a needed north/south multimodal corridor on the eastern border of the campus to connect Blackjack Road with the northern portion of campus.”

Congress annually appropriates funding for these TIGER grants, which are awarded on a competitive and matching fund basis, and are directed toward projects that are expected to have a significant economic impact.  Since 2009, Mississippi has received nearly $100 million in TIGER funds.

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GTR LINK Speaking with Several Companies about New Starkville Development

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of the Dispatch

GTRD LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins talks with a Starkville Rotary Club member Monday at Starkville Country Club. He discussed Starkville’s planned industrial park at the club’s weekly meeting. Photo by Luisa Porter – The Dispatch

Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins said the LINK is ready and waiting to help make Starkville’s and Oktibbeha County’s new industrial park a reality. Higgins passed on the news while attending a meeting of the Starkville Rotary Club. He stated that the LINK is working with three companies with regards to an 80-acre parcel on the east side of the industrial park.

“We’ve got two, possibly three projects that we’re working that’ll fit [there],” Higgins said. “See, we can’t put somebody out there [in the rest of the site] until this zoning thing is closed because it puts the company and us in potentially having a bad problem. However, these companies could plug and play to go in there right now. A distribution facility could go in there right now.” He anticipates that the projects could create 175 to 300 jobs.

Higgins also spoke of a recent visit he paid to Boston and the Harvard School of Business, which is itself utilizing the information they gathered from a trip they took last fall, when they came to the Golden Triangle region in order to create two case studies for its students. He went on to say that these studies, along with the national media attention garnered by The Atlantic and by his appearance on “60 Minutes” has helped to raise the GTR’s profile and attracted the attention of groups such as Dartmouth  and the Harvard faculty:  “The world is watching what we do,” he said.

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LCSD and EMCC’s Learning Centers Poised to Bring Great Benefits to Local Students, Businesses

LCSD and EMCC’s Learning Centers Poised to Bring Great Benefits to Local Students, Businesses

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

The Lowndes County School District’s $11 million career tech center is on schedule to hold its first classes beginning this Fall, whole EMCC’s Communiversity is planned to open its door next year. Local small-business leaders and representatives from the LCSD and EMCC came together to discuss what these facilities will be able to to for students and their communities in the future. Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann was on hand to help bring everyone together: “An educated workforce is the answer to just about every problem we have,” Hosemann said after the two-hour meeting, which featured a round-table discussion with himself, educators and small business owners. “Right now, we have low unemployment and that’s great, but what we need is a high participation rate. We have about 1.1 million people working now. If we can get that number to 1.3 million, everything works. Health care works. The (state) budget works. Infrastructure, repairing our roads and bridges, works. Everything.

“All of that depends on building an educated workforce,” he added. “There isn’t a tractor in the Delta that doesn’t have a real complicated platform on it. If you can’t run a computer, you can’t run a tractor. It’s the same with everything.”

Katie McCrary speaks at the LCSD Career Tech Center in east Columbus Thursday afternoon – Photo by Deanna Robinson – Dispatch Staff

Katie McCrary of McCrary Construction Services, which employs about 35 workers, has organized a group of 17 area businesses to work with the LCSD; she spoke with the assembly: “Our group employs close to 2,000 people,” she said. “We appreciate the large industries in our area, because a lot of us work with them. But we need employees, too.”

“We’ve got to make school trade classes cool again,” she went on to say. “I’m passionate about that. A lot of kids don’t know what they want to do. In working with some schools, I saw kids who were academically challenged and pegged as trouble-makers because they were never going to be able to sit down and perform in math and reading and English like the kids sitting next to them.

“But when you put that kid on a motor, he finds out he has the ability to make $50,000, $75,000 a year, just like that, when (he comes) out of these programs,” she added. “It changes his whole life.”

“Come out and see us, talk to us,” EMCC President ThomasHuebner said. “Let us show you how we can use resources available for everyone. We need to be changing perceptions and working harder to integrate with businesses and the community. What are you needs? How can we help?”

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MSU Will Soon Break Ground on New Student Housing Complex

MSU Will Soon Break Ground on New Student Housing Complex

STARKVILLE—Courtesy of MSU

MSU proposed College View Residential area. Photo courtesy of MSU

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning approved an joint agreement between MSU and collegiate housing specialists Memphis Education Realty Trust (EdR). They recently completed a feasibility study, and with that in hand, soaughtand obtained approval for development of a $67-million, 34-acre mixed-use university village. The location of the College View complex will be where the old Aiken Village apartments used to be, on the NW edge of campus. Groundbreaking may happen as soon as this Spring; if so, Phase I (residential housing for college seniors) should be complete by Fall of next year.

“I appreciate the support of the Board of Trustees as we have worked steadily over the past three years to bring this first-of-its kind project to a Mississippi university campus,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “We believe that our partnership with EdR will help us meet the needs of our students and their families, and College View will also become a destination for members of the community, alumni and other visitors to Starkville and Mississippi State,” he went on to say.

For details about EdR, please visit the company’s Web site at www.EdRtrust.com.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

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MUW Speech Pathology Grad Program Ranked Best in State by SLP Group

MUW Grad Program Ranked Best in State by SLP Group

Excerpt from a Press Release provided courtesy of muw.edu

COLUMBUS, Miss. –

The website, speechpathologygraduateprograms.org, recognized The W and awarded their SLP program their highest honors for its 14:1 student-teacher ratio and affordable tuition for in-state students.

“What is especially rewarding about this speech pathology graduate programs ranking is that it puts heavy emphasis on student outcomes and recognizes the success of students,” said Joy Townsend, interim department chair and instructor of speech-language pathology. “The primary purpose of The W’s SLP graduate program is to prepare young professionals for the workplace and this ranking is an indicator and recognition of success.”

The ranking also noted that the university has been ranked as a top Southern public master’s university by U.S. News & World Report.

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Toyota Picks EMCC as Regional Training College

Toyota Picks EMCC as Regional Training College

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of eastms.edu

The Toyota Motor Company has selected East Mississippi Community College as one of only twelve schools from across the nation to take part in a new pilot program: Students in the  Automotive Technology will be able to earn certification through the University of Toyota’s Toyota Technician Education Program. These certifications were previously available only to Toyota employees, and are mandatory for anyone who wishes to work for them as a mechanic. Five students have already been chosen to be the first at EMCC to take part in this program; there will be no additional cost to earn these certifications via the program, and it is intended to help the participants get good jobs with Toyota straight out of college.

“The certifications they earn through the University of Toyota will stay with them for life,” EMCC Automotive Technology instructor Dale Henry said. “Let’s say a student graduates and goes to work at an independent repair shop and five years from now a job opportunity comes up at Toyota. A record of the Toyota certifications the student has earned will pull up in their system . . . The certifications are good for employment at any Toyota dealer in the nation.”

“The continuing success of our Automotive Technology program is a testament to the quality of our instructors and their dedication to providing students the best education possible,” EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner said. “We are grateful to Gulf States Toyota for allowing us to participate in this pilot program and to our faculty who have made this possible through their efforts. The real winners are our students who will benefit from this partnership.”

 

 

 

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