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Christine Jackson named MSU assistant athletic director of academics

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:18
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).

Ukrainian filmmaker gets 20-year sentence

CNN World - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:17
A military court in Russia sentenced a Ukrainian film director Tuesday to 20 years in prison for what the court said was terrorism.

Categories: International News

MSU researcher Varco named new Triplett Chair holder

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

ISIS shows proof of Palmyra ruins blast

CNN World - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:14
Following the destruction of a nearly 2,000-year-old historic ruin in Syria -- an act the United Nations cultural organization called a war crime -- ISIS followed up with images of how it blasted the site.

Categories: International News

These stocks are getting crushed. Is it time to buy now?

Business News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:10
Global stock markets are getting rocked.

Barbour hopes new Hurricane Katrina book makes Mississippians proud

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:39
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 - 11:38

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.

Children demand new law on automatic weapons

CNN - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:35
One year ago today, Charles Vacca's children received the horrific news: Their father, a shooting instructor, was accidentally killed by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi submachine gun.

Categories: National News

Sewage spill shuts down popular Hawaiian beach

CNN - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:20
Desiree Smith would've loved to dip into the water off Honolulu's famous white-sand Waikiki beaches.

Categories: National News

Empowerment Dinner at MSU to honor six leaders

MSU News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:19
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

NRA sues Seattle over $25 gun tax

Business News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:42
The NRA and two other advocacy groups have sued Seattle over its new gun tax.

How market chaos hurts millennials

CNN - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:24

Categories: National News

Photos: Train terror unfolds

CNN World - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:22
As a gunman was about to launch an attack on a high-speed train in Europe, three Americans helped other passengers overpower him, officials said.

Categories: International News

France honors 4 for stopping train attack; names new train savior

CNN World - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:21
They grew up together, fought off an attacker together and accepted a nation's honor together.

Categories: International News

U.N. watchdog: We need money to monitor Iran nuclear deal

CNN World - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:12
A new nuclear deal may have been hammered out between six world powers and Iran, but the funds to make sure it's implemented are not in place, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog has warned.

Categories: International News

China needs to open up about its economy

Business News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:07
Read full story for latest details.


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