Dear Parents,

Greetings, Alumni and Friends, from the College of Arts & Sciences!

February has arrived, bringing with it an air of romance and for those that are superstitious – a little fear for next Friday, the 13th.

While many people think of February as a wonderful time to spend with loved ones, it can also be lonely. I often hear students complain that it seems like everyone on campus has a boyfriend or girlfriend but them. Even for the students with a significant other, Valentine’s Day can be hard. Expectations often exceed reality regarding gifts and affection.

Try to make certain that your student knows how much they are loved at home. Ask each family member to send a Valentine’s Day card, note, e-mail, or text message. If your student wants to come home for the weekend, try to plan fun events like a family movie night, special dinner, or a board game challenge.

If you have any questions about MSU or any concerns about your student, please contact our office anytime by telephone 662-325-3611 or e-mail


Lady Cox

Dean Gary Myers
Dean Gary Myers

 As you know the Dean’s Office now posts an online Arts & Sciences Newsletter in order to keep you informed of events, announcements, and new initiatives going on in the college. This is our second Newsletter, and I want to inform you of several new opportunities for taking an active role in supporting your alma mater. As we announced in our first Newsletter, the Gift Opportunities page that you can access at the top of this page provides a convenient way for making area-specific contributions to the college or to its departments. The new page provides several options for targeting donations to special areas of need. You make the choice of where you want your support to go! I invite you to take a look at the Gift Opportunities page to see whether there are areas of interest for you. 

In addition, we are expanding the Board by offering an entry-level membership to those who make an annual contribution of at least $1,000 to the Dean’s Advancement Fund. The fund supports such areas as Academic Excellence, Leadership Development, and teaching and research infrastructure. Being a new Board Participant has advantages including regular notification of college news, reports from the Executive Advisory Board meetings, and invitations to special events. If you are interested in becoming a Board Participant, please contact Trish Hughes at 325-2646 or The college strongly believes that your participation is important to the future of the College of Arts & Sciences, the fastest growing and largest college at MSU.

Gary Myers

Updates from Barnes and Noble

Biological Sciences Welcomes a New Class of Pre-Med Majors

Many students wait until mid-terms to buy textbooks. However, when students wait until late in the semester to purchase books, they might be unable to find the book they need. This is especially important for English and History classes that may not use all of their books until later in the semester.

Barnes & Noble at Mississippi State will be returning textbooks to the publishers during the next few weeks. By returning new books now, Barnes & Noble is able to buy more used books from students during finals week. This gives MSU students more cash back and cheaper used books for the next semester.

Also, parents can now sign up to receive e-mail updates directly from Barnes and Noble. Parents will learn about buyback bookstore events, buyback dates, and information about reserving textbooks for future semesters.

Read more at:

A New Student Registers for Classes
A New Student Registers for Classes

The season of orientation for new students at Mississippi State University is upon us, and one of the most popular programs is Pre-Medicine, usually abbreviated simply as Pre-Med. Many students in this program major in Biological Sciences or Microbiology.   Ms. Mary Celeste Reese, the pre-med advisor for the Department of Biological Sciences, is responsible for seeing that these students start off on the right track. She anticipates that about 60 new first year and transfer students will declare an interest in pre-medicine, the preferred program of about 30% of the new and returning students in the department, which has over 1000 undergraduate students overall. Advising so many pre-med students will be particularly challenging this year as Harned Hall, the 90 year old home of the Department of Biological Sciences, undergoes a much needed renovation. When completed, Harned Hall will boast a new Pre-Medicine and Allied Health Advising Center. 

In the meantime, Biological Sciences’ pre-med students will be advised by departmental faculty who have been temporarily re-located to Etheredge Hall. Dr. Nancy Reichert, Head of the Department of Biological Sciences, points out that it’s business as usual during this time, and faculty will continue to help students make the most of their undergraduate experience. Pre-med students are encouraged to join the local chapter of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), which sponsors community service projects, conducts blood drives for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and raises money for various local charities. AMSA also hosts meetings with visiting physicians and with Dr. Steven Case, Associate Dean for Admissions at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, who presents a series of workshops on entry into medical school to students on the MSU campus. Furthermore qualified students are invited to join the Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) Honor Society for pre-professional students. Led by senior pre-med student Jim Carmical, AED serves to stimulate interest in medicine and other health-related fields among a very talented group of undergraduate students. 

Throughout it all, the guiding light is the pre-med advisor. In appreciation of the contribution that his advisor made to his undergraduate career and entry into medical school, Dr. Randy White, a 1966 alumnus of MSU, and his wife Marilyn have established a fund to support pre-med advising in the College of Arts & Sciences at MSU. Thanks to the White family’s generosity, pre-med students can count on an excellent undergraduate education and stimulating experience at MSU for years to come.

Valentine Parent Pack Update

Unlocking the Vault of Mississippi State Treasures

If you ordered a Valentine’s Day Parent Pack for your student, the package will be delivered to your student’s residence hall on Wednesday, February 11. Once the packages have been delivered to the front desk of the residence hall, your student will be contacted to come and pick up the package.

If you have not ordered a Valentine’s Day Parent Pack, but would like to, please hurry. There are only twelve packs still available for purchase.

Fossil (Dunn-Seiler Geology Museum)
Fossil (Dunn-Seiler Geology Museum)

The Galleries and Museums Committee of Mississippi State University is hosting an exhibition entitled Treasures from the Vault: Collections of MSU Museums and Galleries. The show opened at the Cullis Wade Depot in April and runs through November, 2009. A reception is planned for Sept. 26 in concert with the LSU football game. The exhibit is a sample of treasures offered by MSU's various galleries and museums, including some located in the College of Arts & Sciences. It features a unique combination of antique tools, entomology displays, historic costumes, local & historic art, rocks and minerals, and artifacts from around the world borrowed from the Dunn-Seiler Geology Museum, the Department of Art, the Cully A. Cobb and Priester Antique Tool Collection, the Mississippi Entomological Museum, the Lois Dowdle Cobb Museum of Archaeology, the Colvard Student Union Art Gallery, the Historic Costume and Textiles Collection, the Templeton Music Museum, and the Cullis & Gladys Wade Clock Museum. 

Dr. Lynn Prewitt, Chair of the Galleries and Museums Committee, is hopeful that those who come to the exhibit will also be enticed to visit the individual galleries and museums to see more. "The purpose of the exhibition is to bring together under one roof, representative items from each of the nine galleries, museums, and collections.” Ms. Samantha Musil, Assistant Director of the Colvard Student Union and Curator of the Union Gallery added that “some of the items in the Treasures from the Vault exhibit are not kept on display but are part of archives or permanent collections and are being brought out especially for this exhibit.”  Treasures from the Vault is funded by the Vice President for Finance and Administration. The Cullis Wade Depot, located on the campus of Mississippi State University, houses the Barnes & Noble book store, the Cullis & Gladys Wade Clock Museum, and the MSU Welcome Center. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm. For more information please contact Jenny Boone at 662-325-2320. This story was contributed by Ms. Samantha Musil.

Campus Judicial Process


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As parents, we never want our children to get in trouble, but occasionally college students put themselves in situations where they will face the campus judicial process. Here are some things to know about the difference in the campus judicial process at MSU versus the criminal justice process.

The campus judicial process is much less formal than criminal proceedings. The Dean of Students Office strives to provide an atmosphere that is both supportive and welcoming. The campus judicial process is intended to be educational, not punitive. However, students will find that more serious charges tend to be accompanied by more formal processes in an effort to protect the students’ rights.

Charges occur for alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct, which may or may not be violations of local, state or federal law. The campus judicial and criminal justice processes are NOT mutually exclusive. In other words, a student may be charged in the criminal justice system and the campus judicial system.

Campus judicial cases are confidential, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law. Criminal records become public records, and information may be shared with the community at large.

The standard of evidence in determining a student in violation is not as high as that of the criminal process. Also, legal rules of evidence, i.e. whether something is “admissible”, do not apply in campus judicial cases. The hearing officers will gather and utilize any information that is relevant, including hearsay or third party testimony.

Students do not have the right to attend Mississippi State University, rather it is a privilege. As such, removal of a student from campus through a sanction of suspension or dismissal is a possibility in certain circumstances.

While students are entitled to an advisor (friend, parent, attorney, etc.), that advisor may not represent the student. Students are expected to speak for themselves at all times during the process, and any advisors disregarding these rules will be asked to leave any meeting or hearing.

Some students will face the MSU judicial board. This board is comprised entirely of students who make recommendations to the Dean of Students regarding sanctions for committed violations.

At Mississippi State, most students who face charges in the Dean of Students office have violated the university’s policy regarding alcohol. All parents of students that are under 21 years old and are found guilty to have violated the MSU alcohol or drug policy will receive a notification letter stating the violation.

Parts adapted from the ASJA publication, THE STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS, copyright 2006.

Did You Know...
  • Research engineers at MSU's
    Computational Simulation and Design Center are working with NASA to provide computer codes that can help in the design of safer, more efficient rocket-propelled vehicles.