- Special Sections
- Time Out
- Local Guide
Contact: Zack Plair
STARKVILLE, Miss.âA new partnership between Mississippi State University and Argonne National Laboratory has made the university home to a major regional joint research initiative.
On Thursday [Aug. 13], MSU President Mark E. Keenum and Peter Littlewood, director of the Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratories, signed a memorandum of understanding which will create a research partnership between the two institutions.
The ceremony also was part of a daylong Joint Center for Energy Research (JCESR) symposium in the Mill at MSU Conference Center that brought researchers, energy business leaders and MSU faculty and staff together to discuss the future of energy storage. MSU was the host for the Southeast regional hub for JCESR.
David Shaw, MSU vice president for research and economic development, said the MOU would essentially combine Argonneâs lab resources, computing and analytics with the scientific expertise of MSUâs faculty and students to âaccomplish things neither MSU nor Argonne could do alone.â
Specifically, he said the two entities would work together on developing longer lasting, more cost-effective batteries for utility use, as well as explore ways to develop alternative energy sources like solar and wind.
Further, he hopes MSUâs Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and its meteorology department, respectively, can work with Argonneâs automotive center and weather modeling division on research initiatives.
âThis is not as much about a financial commitment as it is about building a scientific partnership,â Shaw said. âThis is a broad, wholesome agreement ranging way beyond energy storage.â
Littlewood said the MOU fits well with Argonneâs legacy of working with businesses, universities and other research labs toward promoting âsafe, reliable and sustainable energy resources.â He said Argonne chose to bring its regional JCESR center to MSU because of the universityâs science, engineering and technical capabilities.
âI look forward to this partnership,â Littlewood said. âTogether, we have the potential to transform the utility and transportation markets.â
The MOU ceremony on Thursday also paid homage to, and brought full circle, efforts by the late U.S. Representative Alan Nunnelee to strengthen research opportunities in the state.
A member of both the Energy and Appropriations committees, Mississippiâs 1st district congressman brought national laboratories from all over the country to Mississippi in 2012 in an effort to inspire the stateâs higher education institutions to partner with them, Shaw said.
Nunnelee, who passed away in February, wasnât able to see the fruits of his labor, but his wife, Tori, and daughter, Emily, were on hand for the luncheon and MOU signing. Newly-elected 1st District Congressman Trent Kelly delivered the keynote address, in which he called Nunnelee a âsolution-drivenâ leader with a passion for research and collaboration.
âWeâre doing things now we never even dreamed were possible when our nation was founded,â Kelly said. âThatâs because people came together, not worried about who got the credit, but worried about making our nation a better place to live.â
MSU is Mississippiâs flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
Contact: Georgia Clarke
STARKVILLE, Miss.âNearly 300 new graduate teaching assistants at Mississippi State are participating in a workshop to enhance class preparation skills while introducing them to the many university policies and procedures.
GTAs closely assist faculty and staff members with grading, attendance monitoring and other course responsibilities, but also are called on to handle lectures and related duties as necessary.
Concluding Friday [Aug. 14], the weeklong program of lectures and other learning activities leads to their formal certification.
President Mark E. Keenum headed a list of speakers during the week that included, among others, Lori Bruce and Thomas Bourgeois, respective deans of the graduate school and students. Participants also heard from various faculty and staff members, as well as experts in a variety of education-related specialties.
In his presentation, Keenum stressed the importance of the GTAsâ role in learning experiences of undergraduate students.
âWe are a very research-oriented university, but we also are a very student-oriented university, and that is where you come in,â Keenum said, adding that the land-grant institution is âvery proud you have chosen to continue your education at Mississippi State.â
Sessions on classroom material, communication and culture were supplemented with a panel discussion led by current GTAs who shared their experiences and advice with the new campus family members.
The entire Friday session will be devoted to individual evaluations of this yearâs group conducted by 70 volunteer faculty members.
To learn more about MSUâs graduate programs, visit www.grad.msstate.edu.
MSU, Mississippi's flagship research university, is online at www.msstate.edu.