Dear Parents,

Welcome, my friends, to a brand new year!

This past Saturday we had more than 500 volunteers assist in MVNU2MSU, moving over 3000 new students into their residence halls. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of new families, both on move-in day Saturday and at the Parent Blues Breakfast Sunday. If you were able to join us, thank you. If you dropped off a loved one new to MSU, I look forward to working with you during your student's time here. We have some great resources available on our parent website, particularly some ways you can help your student through the different "seasons" of university life. Check out our calendar of advice at

I will always try to include a little "advice" in every communication. Whether it is your student's first year or last year, please encourage them to GET INVOLVED! Students who connect with campus are just plain happier. A friend told me many years ago to "bloom where you are planted" and she sure was right! There are so many opportunities to connect around campus and in our community, but your student needs to make the decision to bloom where he/she is planted. Make the most of this time. The more your student gives, the more he/she will get. I wish I had been told this over and over again during my own time in college. Students should be encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and make Starkville their home away from home. If your student is new to State, encourage him/her to really become a BULLDOG! I hope your students have already been partaking in all the campus activities this week, but there are still plenty scheduled over the next week. Check out for our Dawg Daze schedule.

College life is about those experiences that shape and define us, leaving a lasting impression for years to come. The key is to not just "be" here, but to be a part of our Bulldog Family. There is a niche for everyone. (If your student says there is nothing to do, please send him/her to see me in 608 Allen Hall.) This newsletter is full of important information on how to help get your student off to the right start, so take a few minutes to read through it.

Some days, you will be MSU's greatest link to our students.

Please do not hesitate to call or email me (662.325.3611 or - If you try to reach me and can't seem to, call my cell at 662.418.2441) with any questions or concerns. And I always welcome suggestions on how we can better support our parents. Have an idea? Share it, please!

*Information regarding Family Bulldog Weekend will be coming soon, but it it is tentatively scheduled for February 27-29.

A few important dates to note:

Have a fantastic year everyone and Hail State! Cat Walker, Office of Parent Services

A Note from the Provost & Executive Vice President

Academics are the most important part, but not the only part, of the college experience. As chief academic officer, I want every student at MSU to excel both inside and outside the classroom. We need your help to ensure that your student achieves his or her maximum potential. Achieving that potential will not be possible if the student does not attend class.

With the new Parent Portal, you as a parent can monitor the progress of your son or daughter and then remind him or her to go to class, concentrate on their studies, and overall be a conscientious student. In order to access the Portal, your son or daughter must sign a FERPA release that gives you permission to view the student record. A link to the Parent Portal can be found on the website of the Office of Parent Services:

We want to partner with you in the pursuit of academic excellence. Please encourage your son or daughter to fully engage academically and also consider utilizing the Parent Portal.

Thank you for your support of MSU by sending your child to our university.


Jerry Gilbert
Provost and Executive Vice President

A Note from our new Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Bulldog Parents,

It is an exciting time here at Mississippi State as our new students are arriving to campus and our returning students are getting prepared to head back to class. You and your student have made a great choice in selecting Mississippi State! We know this is a time of transition for you and your student so we want you to feel as prepared as possible for the days and weeks that lie ahead. Excitement, nervousness, and worry are all emotions students and their families experience during this time. We hope to help you and your student through these feelings by providing information and resources all along the way.

The resources outlined here in our August newsletter will be important to your student's success on campus. We will do everything we can to inform your student through various ways - social media, email messages, posters in the residence halls, word of mouth through our residence assistants, flying planes over campus (not really on this last one). We can use your help in talking with your student about the importance of making connections and reaching out for assistance early on. We like to encourage our students to be proactive and always know we'll be here to assist whenever our students need it!

We invite you to ask questions as they arise and encourage your student to do the same. I look forward to getting to know your student through our Dawg Daze events and will hope to see you back on campus for a game day or at our Family Weekend in the spring semester. Please let us know how we can be helpful to you.

Hail State!

Dr. Regina Hyatt
Vice President for Student Affairs

Dawg Daze

Dawg Daze is an exciting collection of activities and events held to welcome new freshmen & transfer students to Mississippi State. Encourage your student to come out and join us daily, continuing until August 23, and enjoy all the food, music, movies, southern hospitality and fun that Mississippi State has to offer! You can find all of the upcoming events at

Freshman Convocation

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

5:30 pm

Humphrey Coliseum All freshmen are required to attend and should arrive by 5 p.m. to receive their Freshman Convocation coin as a memento of the occasion. Family members are also cordially invited to attend.

Students will hear from: The President, Dr. Mark E. Keenum
The Provost and Executive Vice President, Dr. Jerome Gilbert
The Student Association President, Mr. JoJo Dodd

The keynote speaker will be Ron Hall, author of the 2015-2016 Maroon Edition Common Reading book, Same Kind of Different as Me.

Parent Portal v. QuikPay

The Parent Portal and the QuikPay systems are two entirely separate systems. Each system requires its own userid/password.

Parent Portal

MSU's Parent Portal allows authorized family members to view class schedules, course progress, class attendance, account information, and campus resources.

Students must grant you access to the parent portal. Your student may grant you access by following these steps:

An email will be sent to the approved parent in order to establish a password. Once a login is established, parents can access the parent portal here:

*If a parent already has a FERPA waiver on file, the student will follow these same steps, but click Update on the existing parent under Actions and add an email address for the parent.


Students may authorize other users (usually a parent) to access their account information and make payments to their account through the QuikPay system.

Instructions for your student to add you as an authorized payer can be found at

Once you have been authorized by your student to be an authorized payer, you may access the QuikPay system login at

A Note from the Department of Housing & Residence Life

We hope your family had a great time at MVNU2MSU 2015! It was such a pleasure meeting your student and we hope their experience at MSU will be a terrific one.

If your student needs to contact our facilities department regarding something in their room that needs to be fixed (toilet, towel bar, air conditioning, etc.) you can remind them to do this through their account.

Also, if they need any other type of assistance in their room or hall they are encouraged to contact their Resident Adviser (RA) and/or their Residence Director (RD).

Again, if there is anything that we can do to enhance your student's experience, have them come see us!

A Note from the Center for Student Activities

The Center for Student Activities is alive with numerous events happening! Whether you're just looking for something fun to do or trying to find your niche at MSU, this is your hub for your student to get involved. The CSA is home to the Difference of One (which is all of our student organizations), Music Maker Productions, the Student Association, Lyceum Series, pageants, and so much more!

The best way to view these student organizations is by visiting the Difference of One website at This website allows you to log into OrgSync and create a profile, search organizations, and get involved. You can also meet with the staff of the Center for Student Activities who can directly connect you to groups and students who you have shown an interest in. Stop by and visit the office in Suite 314 of the Colvard Student Union or give them a call at 662-325-2930 to see what is available to make your time at MSU worthwhile.

Music Maker Productions is a student-run organization at specializing in campus concerts. For decades, the Music Makers have brought a variety of famous acts to Mississippi State, including Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, and Bon Jovi. In recent years, artists have included the Zac Brown Band, NEEDTOBREATH, FUN., 2Chainz, and Jack White. For more information on MMP and upcoming shows visit or stop by the Center for Student Activities, in the Colvard Student Union, Suite 314.

Does your student want to be involved in student government or programming on campus? Encourage them to become a member of the Student Association Senate or a Committee Member. Freshman Senate elections will be held on September 3rd, and Committee applications will be posted on

This year's Lyceum Series boasts several national artists in a variety of performance areas, ranging from music to drama to dance. They kick off the season on Thursday, September 3 with singer-songwriter ZZ Ward. Tickets to ZZ Ward are discounted for students and the remaining events are free with a valid student ID. There is also a chance to win Meet and Greet passes for ZZ Ward by following @MSULyceum. For more information, visit

A Note from The Learning Center

The Learning Center (TLC) is a resource to help Mississippi State University students improve their academic performance. The Learning Center offers services to both to graduate and undergraduate students which include university courses, support programs, workshops, seminars, tutoring services, and state of the art technology labs. Open to all students, these services are particularly designed to promote academic enrichment.

The Learning Center is located in 267 Allen Hall. You can find us at or call 662.325.2957.

We now have tutoring by appointments! In addition, tutoring is now available for a select number of distance courses. And it is free to all MSU students! The Learning Center is now offering private tutoring on a limited basis. These are one-on-one tutoring appointments that are paid for by the student. These appointments should be agreed-upon and paid for in advance. The hourly rate for private tutoring is based on the qualifications of the tutor. A comprehensive list of courses can be found at:

The Learning Center encourages MSU students to come by and use these services at their convenience or by scheduling an appointment ahead of time.

Also, if a student needs a tutor in a particular course or subject area other than those The Learning Center has currently scheduled, the student can fill out the online Request for Tutor form and efforts will be made to secure a tutor.

If a student is interested in becoming a tutor, they can fill out the online Tutor Application form. Applications by phone or in person will not be evaluated -- only those submitted online will be evaluated.

We hope your son or daughter has a very successful fall semester! Let us know if we can help!

A Note from the Career Center

Does your son or daughter need help finding a job while at school? In addition to helping students find internships and full-time jobs, the MSU Career Center can point students in the right direction for earning that part-time pay check. Here are some discussion points for the next conversation you have with your student:


Many jobs are found by connecting with contacts through word of mouth. Encourage your student to talk with friends, family, professors, and advisers about potential job openings. As more people know that your son or daughter is looking for a job, the chances of getting a job increase dramatically.

Look Good on Paper

An organized and well-written resume is essential to landing an interview. Have your student come by the Career Center in 300 Montgomery Hall to have their resume critiqued for optimal success.


The Career Center website ( hosts an online job posting board called "Connections", which is accessible to all MSU students and alumni using their MSU netID/netpassword. Many on and off campus part-time jobs are posted there each semester.

Get Involved

As students get out and meet new people, they increase the chance of finding a job through their networking base. Remember, as more people know that your student is seeking employment, the chances of finding a job increase sharply.

There are a limited number of part-time positions on and off campus for students; however, those students who truly want to work will be able to find a job. It's only a matter of time and effort!

A Note from the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life

Dear Bulldog Parents,

It is time for the start of a new school year and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has a plethora of events planned to kick start the year! The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) will host three large events during the month of August: Meet the Greeks [August 18th at 6:00p.m.], NPHC Stroll Off [August 20th at 7:00p.m.], and Committed Perspective Meeting [August 24th at 6:00p.m.]. Joining a Greek Letter Organization is an excellent way for your student to meet other exceptional students and become better acclimated to the university community. We hope that you will encourage your student to attend these events.& They are sure to be not-to-miss experiences!

IMPORTANT: If your student wishes to become a member of a NPHC organization during the fall 2015 semester, he or she must attend the Committed Perspective Meeting on August 24th.

All three Greek Councils are excited for the start of the year and hope to be of as much assistance as possible in connecting your student with the Mississippi State University community. If you or your student(s) have questions regarding events, recruitment, and/or membership intake, please do not hesitate to contact us.

NPHC Contact Information:

NPC Contact Information:

IFC Contact Information:

Office Phone Number: (662) 325-3917

Hail State!

Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life

Barnes & Noble Refund Policy


A Note from the Longest Student Health Center

The Student Health Center is open Monday through Friday until 5:00 to serve the MSU community. If your student is sick have them call for an appointment at 662-325-7539.

There is no charge to see the physician. If medical necessity requires lab or x-ray there will be a charge that can be filed to insurance or placed on the student account. Students are reminded to bring a copy of their health insurance information.

Students needing to see a doctor for ADHD management will want to set up an appointment and have their medical records requested. Recent testing and diagnosis is a clinical requirement.

Students needing allergy shot injections will want to make an appointment to set up appropriate arrangements. Call the appointment line.

There is a full service Pharmacy inside the Student Health Center that can handle pharmacy needs. Call 325-8205 for pharmacy


Free Parking available for patients in gate lot.

A Note from Account Services

Money does matter! And MSU has lots of terms to talk about money on campus.

MoneyMate - Prepaid spending account attached to a student's MSU ID card. Used to pay for books, copies, meals, etc. on or off campus (at participating vendors).

Flex Dollars - A method of payment that is included in most meal plans, and can be used at any dining services operation on campus.

Bull-E-Buck$ - This is simply a service to provide a "refund" of any $ due to a student. Students can electronically transfer any credit balance from their student account to a bank account or MoneyMate account. Another option is to leave the balance alone and have it applied to future charges.

How can I check my student's account?

QuikPAY allows students to authorize a payer to access account information and make payments on the student's behalf.

Students must initiate this process by logging into the MSU myState portal at Click on the Banner tab and then on to the Personal Information listing. Finally, they should choose "Make an Online Payment" and this will take them to the QuikPAY site. The student will simply select "Authorize Payers" and proceed with the set-up of parents' names and a password. Once the student establishes authorization, the payer is sent a confirmation e-mail.

For more details, please visit

A Note from the Department of Health Education & Wellness, University Health Services

The MSU Collegiate Recovery Community Helps Students Succeed: Started in the fall semester of 2013, the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) offers comprehensive support services for students who are in long term recovery from drugs, alcohol, and/or all process addictions and have established a minimum of six months of recovery. The CRC provides academic scholarships, weekly seminars, a computer lab, anonymous meeting space and special event programming for scholarship members. The Collegiate Recovery Community promotes courage, hope, citizenship, and love of humanity believing that recovery is the way to a better and more fulfilling life academically, professionally, and spiritually.

If you believe that your student would be interested in what the CRC is or does, the CRC has some resources that could be helpful: a Sober Tailgate on campus every home game at 140 Magruder Street and a Recovery Night meeting every Thursday at 7 PM in McCool 128. It is an open all-recovery speaker meeting, so all are welcome to attend, whether interests are educational, personal, or just informational.

One in twenty college students struggle with alcohol, drugs, or process addictions. Students should not be afraid to ask for help. The Collegiate Recovery Community strives to provide the all-inclusive college experience to students in recovery, to reduce stigma regarding addiction through increased social awareness, and to help students achieve success academically, professionally, and spiritually. If either you or your student wants to know more about the CRC or need help please reach out to the Program Coordinator, Blake Schneider: either in person at 140 Magruder Street, by phone (662) 325-3192, or e-mail at

A Note from Campus Dining

There is a LOT happening around MSU Dining this year and we cannot wait to welcome all students back to campus to join in on all the excitement! Meal plans were activated on Move-In Day, August 8. Brand new to campus this fall is The Fresh Food Company, Moe's Southwest Grill, and P.O.D Express in Allen Hall. The Marketplace at Perry, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, and Einstein Bros Bagels all were renovated this summer as well. In addition to these changes, an outdoor seating area has been constructed near Moe's that includes outlets for charging electrical devices and both fans and heaters to accommodate an all-year eating/studying area.

Be sure to stop by State Fountain Bakery at its new location in Colvard Student Union to pick up your Dog Bone cookies and Mississippi State ice cream! Students can use their Flex Dollars to treat you at any campus dining location. Flex Dollars are also now redeemable at Davis-Wade Stadium, Humphrey Coliseum, and Dudy-Noble Field student concession stands! If your student has any special dietary needs, please reach out to our location manager Greg McGee at to discuss meal options at the Marketplace at Perry, Templeton, and the Fresh Food Company. Meal Plan descriptions are available on our website

A Note from the Office of Study Abroad

Dear Parents,

One of the best things a student can do at MSU to enhance his/her academic career and prepare themselves for the future is to study abroad. Studying abroad gives students an invaluable opportunity to develop skills and experiences outside the traditional classroom. Students are able to increase their cultural insight, broaden their horizons, and better understand the world while also earning class credit. Not only do students grow personally and intellectually, they also grow professionally. The ability to market a study abroad experiences will impress potential employers and set your son or daughter apart from other candidates. For these reasons, and many more, we have focused on 4 things you should know about study abroad at Mississippi State, so your student can start planning his/her study abroad experience! Please encourage your son or daughter to visit our website at and stop by our office in 116 Allen Hall for more information.

There are study abroad options for everyone.

Study abroad is available to everyone on campus.Program options range from 2-8 weeks in the summer, to a full semester or academic year.Students can take courses in English or a foreign language in their major, minor, or an elective.

Scholarship Opportunities

There are scholarships reaching far and wide for students interested in studying abroad. The Office of Study Abroad has scholarships available as well as many departments and colleges on campus. National scholarships (merit and needs-based) are also available.

Plan early & save early!

Planning early is the best tip we can give students.This allows them time to carefully choose and apply for a program, apply for a passport/visa, apply for scholarships, and save enough money to finance their experience. Attending an Interest Session is the best way to find out more information. Fall 2015 Interest Sessions are held every Monday at 3:30 p.m. and every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. in Allen Hall Room 611.

Leveraging Your Study Abroad Workshop

When employers were surveyed, claimed to when recruiting. Attending a "Leveraging Your Study Abroad Workshop" will teach students how to best present their study abroad experience to potential employers.

Hail State!
The Office of Study Abroad

A Note from Residence Directors

Name: Stephane Tchang
Master's Program: Counselor Education with a Focus in Student Affairs
Residence Hall: Student Leadership
Hometown: Stillwater, Oklahoma

I oversee the following student organizations: the Resident Adviser Association, the Residence Hall Association, and the National Residence Hall Honorary. With that being said, if your student is looking to get involved, definitely encourage them to talk to their Resident Adviser (RA) on their floor and attend the plethora of events hosted on campus. I hope your student has a great year and hope to see them at future events!

Name: Nazim Chaker
Master's Program: Counselor Education with a Focus in Student Affairs
Residence Hall: McKee
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Tip: Tell your students to always keep their student ID and room key on them. Also encourage your student to check email daily so they do not miss out on anything.

Name: Raychel Payne
Master's Program: Completed Counselor Education with a Focus in Student Affairs
Residence Hall: Ruby
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

Since coming to Mississippi State is incredibly obvious that our student body is proud of our traditions and Bulldog spirit. Of all the institutions I have visited in my time in Student Affairs, nothing compares to the spirit of Mississippi State Students. There are countless ways for students to get involved and develop their leadership skills. The residence halls are a great place to start getting involved whether it be with our Council of Residential Experiences or joining a hall wide intramural team. This year we have the largest incoming freshman class in history and we are excited to meet all our students!

Name: Jasmine Jennings
Master's Program: Counselor Education with a Focus in Student Affairs
Residence Hall: Rice
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

My experience here at State has been challenging yet rewarding. Graduate school has tested me and my abilities, but I'm glad that I am gaining life experiences that I can carry with me into my professional career. I think what's even more rewarding about my experience here is that my family loves it! My mom says that she never would've imagined the kind of culture that State has. There's definitely a culture here that makes staying here worthwhile.

Name: Dominique Simmons
Master's Program: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Residence Hall: Sessums
Hometown: Jackson, MS

My experience has been fantastic! I have really gained a home away from home at Mississippi State University!

Name: Amanda Alberti
Master's Program: Counselor Education with a Focus in Student Affairs
Residence Hall: Magnolia
Hometown: Burlington, North Carolina

The best way for your student to enjoy his or her experience at state is for them to get involved. Campus and residence hall involvement increases students' retention rates and GPAs. Encourage your student to get out of their room and take advantage of all of the fun activities going on around them. Whether it's checking out the new dining hall or taking part in a fun event planned by the Resident Advisor, your student should look for as many opportunities as possible to leave his/her room and have some fun!!

Name: Taylor Steinmetz
Master's Program: Business Administration
Residence Hall: Hathorn
Hometown: Kennesaw, Georgia

I have absolutely loved my experience here so far and now I am back for my Masters!

Name: Jessi Dillingham
Master's Program: Counselor Education with a Focus in Student Affairs
Residence Hall: North
Hometown: Juliet, Tennessee

Explore Starkville. It might not be a super exciting city at first glance, but if you try, you can make great memories here!

Name: Kaitlin Coffman
Master's Program: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Residence Hall: Hurst
Hometown: Auburn, Illinois

The best advice that I can give a university student is to get involved and invest yourself! During your time at Mississippi State University, you reap what you sow, or you get back what you give. By this statement, I mean that the experience you have while you are here is largely up to you. A significant amount of learning occurs outside of the classroom, and Mississippi State has so many excellent opportunities. I guarantee that you can find an organization or student club that sparks your interest, or, if you don't, you can always work with the Center for Student Activities to create your own. Get connected with your community; you never know where you will meet your new best friend or future boss. Take advantage of the many opportunities to gain real life experience and develop your professional skills. Attend conferences, both on and off campus, to gain more information about your interests and network with professionals inside your future career path. Getting involved is a great way to be successful both during your time at MSU and in the future.

Name: Nicole Blackmon
Master's Program: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Residence Hall: Moseley Hall
Hometown: Spanish Fort, Alabama

When I graduated from high school, half of my classmates left for the University of Alabama & half of them left for Auburn University. I was the only one that left for Mississippi State. I was fortunate enough to work as a Resident Adviser for three years as I completed my undergraduate degree in psychology, and I'm even more blessed with the opportunity to return for my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Here at Mississippi State, we require all freshmen to live on campus, so over the past three years, I have learned a lot about freshmen! And I love freshmen. Freshmen are my favorite. As an RA, I always had the chance to show my new little baby Bulldogs around campus & teach them about college. I would get all sorts of questions from them, ranging from "Where's my English class? Do I have to go to every class?" to "My roommate smells weird...What do I do?"

Now you're kid is not leaving your family, but they're joining our family. I don't know about your child, but I am a middle child. I don't get offended when I get called the wrong name, I am the peacekeeper, I am the master negotiator, & when I don't know how to do something, I sit down & figure it out. (I tend to think middle children are the best children, but as you can see, I might be biased.) But middle children might feel left out of things. If they don't instantly click with someone when they're trying to make new friends at college, they might feel like they don't belong. Oldest siblings might be a little insecure at first; they're used to going first & being the guinea pig on things, but college is a big deal! They too are looking for guidance! And don't even get me started on youngest children. My baby sister called my older sister from three states away & asked, "Hey, who's that guy at that church who is normally greeting people at the door & most of the time he's wearing a brown jacket?" when the logical thing would be to have just asked the man what his name was. Only children are a whole different story; many an only child has been talked down from the ledge of an anxiety attack over community bathrooms.

My point is each student is coming from somewhere different and will need something different when they come to college! We recognize that; my RAs are prepared for that. My job is to make sure that my RAs are prepared & have everything they need to serve students. Their job is to make sure that their residents are prepared & have everything they need to be successful members of the Mississippi State community. This includes knowing what resources to refer what residents to. It includes knowing when to ask a certain resident certain questions, how to answer questions, & how to teach residents to do things for themselves instead of always having it done for them. I say all this to say that you don't have to worry about your little Bulldog while they're with us! Of course, I know you will because you're a parent. But you don't have to. We are here to make sure that your child is safe, figuring things out for themselves, getting the answers they need when they can't figure it out for themselves, & to encourage them when adjusting to college is hard.

I hope this has helped put you at ease about sending your child to college! We can't replace you for your child, & we don't want to. But we'll be there for them while they're here. We want to give your child a safe, happy place to live, & we'll even go you one better: we want to help your child grow.

Q & A...