Dear Parents,

I hope you have decided to join us for our Bulldog Family Weekend in 2016. If you have not registered yet, please do so at http://www.parents.msstate.edu/familyweekend/. Registration will be open until at least Friday, February 12, 2016. I urge you to go ahead and sign-up now so we can plan accordingly.

Campus is relatively quiet with finals gearing up. Students just completed two "reading days" to allow for some last minute studying; I hope they are prepared and will do well!

Did your student not do as well as expected? Here are some things you may want to discuss over the holidays.

If your student is struggling and in need of resources, please call me. Our office is available to assist your student in utilizing the many different resources available on campus.

Over the next week or so you may be welcoming your student home for a holiday visit. Are you prepared for a few pieces of dirty laundry? You may want to stock up on some detergent. Home cooked meals, family activities, and a little exercise should all be on the list of things your student would enjoy. Be flexible with any changes; it quite possibly will be a transition period for all involved. Think of some positive ways to handle the stress that tend to sneak up on some of us (myself included!) this time of year.

As always, call or email me 662.325.3611/parents@saffairs.msstate.edu) with any questions or concerns. I would also appreciate hearing any ideas/suggestions on how our office can better serve you. We are committed to serve you and your feedback is always welcome.

MSU will be closed for the winter break beginning December 22 and offices will re-open on January 4, so if you need to reach me over the holidays it may be best to try my cell (662.418.2441). Classes start back on January 11, and January 19 is the last day to elect for undergrad academic forgiveness/course retakes via myState.

Please have a safe and happy holiday with your student!

Cat Walker, Office of Parent Services


A Note from the Office of Student Success

As we finish up the fall semester with our final exams, it's hard to believe how fast the 15 weeks since August 17 have gone. It seems like it was just last week!

Most college freshmen have never lived on their own before. The past 15 weeks have been a time of tremendous personal change and growth, and quite likely some mistakes and perhaps even some bad decisions have been made. It's part of growing up.

Some students may find themselves with a disappointing GPA at the end of this semester. The good news is that the majority of those students turn things around during their spring semester, and get back onto the road to academic success. One of our newest efforts in helping students make that turnaround is a spring Freshman Success Strategies class, especially designed for freshmen who made below 2.00 in the fall. This class is not some form of punishment; it's a class that we believe can help students re-route their academic efforts onto a road that leads to success. We will be sending information about that class to those students shortly after final fall grades are available.

Of course, many of our freshmen had very good fall semesters, which is great news because a strong first semester usually leads to timely graduation. Obviously, it's a long road from a good first semester to graduation, but starting down that road from Day One is, well, a great start.


Parent Portal

Has your student granted you access to the Parent Portal yet? If not, here are easy steps for your student to add you over the holidays.

Students should sign into myState and click on the Banner Tab

Once a login is established, parents can access the parent portal here: http://parentportal.mybanner.msstate.edu

*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.

An email will be sent to the approved parent in order to establish a password.


A Note from Barnes and Noble

Rental Textbooks

Make sure to double check your books before heading home for the winter break. All Textbook Rentals are due on December 10th by 7pm. Avoid replacement fees by returning your rental books by the deadline.

Avoid the lines and Shop Online

Placing orders online before the first day of school gives you the best opportunity to get used and rentals books prior to the start of classes. Orders placed before January 1st will be available for pick-up as soon as student housing opens up on 1/7/16.

Don't wait in lines on the first day of school. Order early so you can pick-up your books beat the crowd.


A Note from the Longest Student Health Center

Pharmacy

Students are reminded to get any prescriptions filled before leaving for the winter holiday. This will help prevent any inconvenience in having to get orders changed and / or prescriptions transferred. The Pharmacy at The Student Health Center will be open through December 21st and are scheduled to return to work on January 4th, 2016. Phone 662-325-8205. The link for on line refills is: https://ssl3.msstate.edu/health/refills/ TIP for Parents: Lots of students find having a supply of OTC medicines on hand to treat minor symptoms can be helpful. Suggested items are:

Students will want to be aware of how to take these items and what symptoms they are used for. Also, a personal thermometer will let them monitor fever. Information regarding fever is important for providers to discern the nature of an illness.

Physical Therapy

The Student Health Center has a fully staffed Physical Therapy department. If PT services are required, please call for 662-325-7543. The Physical Therapists can work with post-surgery rehabilitation and other post-injury restorative needs. See great results with MSU student physical therapy. Website is: http://www.health.msstate.edu/healthcenter/


A Note from MSU Student Financial Aid

The Fall 2015 semester is drawing to a close. Did your student struggle financially? We are excited to announce a new resource available to students.

MSU Student Financial Aid welcomes John Daniels, the new Financial Literacy Coordinator. If your student would like to get individual help with budgeting their money, please contact John at 662-325-2450 or email john.daniels@msstate.edu. Having a financial plan can increase everyone's peace of mind.

If your student has not applied for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the Spring 2016 term, it is not too late. Please go to https://fafsa.ed.gov/ to apply for federal aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study jobs.

We would be happy to assist your student!


A Note from Housing and Residence Life

The Fall Semester at MSU has been a great one! We hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful holiday season. We encourage your student to view all check out procedures on our website. Students are required to do several things prior to leaving for the Winter Break or checking out permanently.

Winter Break Check Out Information

Residence halls will re-open on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 2 pm.


Commencement

Is your student graduating in December? CONGRATULATIONS!

December 11 - Starkville Campus Commencement 7:00 PM - All Colleges

The Office of the Registrar handles graduation logistics. http://www.registrar.msstate.edu/Students/commen2015.pdf

For additional information about graduation, contact:

Office of the University Registrar
P.O. Box 5268
Mississippi State, MS 39762-5268
662.325.4123 or 662.325.1906
Office Hours: M-F 8:00-5:00
Email: graduation@registrar.msstate.edu


A Note from the Center for Student Activities

Panhellenic Sorority Life Interest Meeting

The Panhellenic Council will host an interest meeting for Spring Sorority Recruitment on January 21, 2016 at 5pm in the Colvard Student Union Bill R. Foster Ballroom, Section U. Learn about what chapters will be participating in spring recruitment and further information on how to join a Greek organization. For questions, please contact the Director of Recruitment, Jordan Brower, at msupanrecruitment@gmail.com.

Lyceum Series: National Circus and Acrobats of China

Direct from Beijing, The National Circus and Acrobats of the People's Republic of China performing "Peking Dreams" was founded in 1953, making it one of the longest running and most distinguished circus troupes in China.

Many of the artists in the troupe have won international awards and the Company has won over twenty Gold and Silver medals and various other awards at international circus festivals. The National Circus were the influence of a new style of circus, "Cirque du Soleil!"

This series event will be held Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall's Bettersworth Auditorium. Tickets are free for MSU students and may be picked up at the door. They also are available in advance from the Center for Student Activities, in suite 314, Colvard Student Union. More information can be found at www.lyceum.msstate.edu.



Q & A...