Dear Parents,

BULLDOG FAMILY WEEKEND

Have you decided to join us for our Bulldog Family Weekend in 2017? 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 10, 2017, but I urge you to go ahead and sign-up now so we can plan accordingly.

SEE YOU LATER 2016!

This is our final communication for the 2016 year. Phew! Where did it go? We spent quite a bit a time waiting for the cold weather to hit and brrrrr, it finally did! While campus is relatively quiet as the semester comes to a close, students are definitely bundled up as they scurry across campus to their finals.

Grades should be posted Friday. 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 21 and offices will re-open on January 2, 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 9, and January 17 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

The Center for Student Success manages several programs that are designed to help freshmen in pursuit of the goals of academic success.

23 Freshman Year Navigators worked with MSU’s 3,624 freshmen toward success this fall, calling, texting, emailing, and meeting students face-to-face to motivate and inform. Navigators are upper-class undergraduate students (sophomore, junior, or senior) who are assigned a group of freshman students to assist. Throughout the semester, Navigators send their students information about upcoming opportunities and deadlines, provide tips and suggestions, answer questions, and do everything they can to help their freshmen succeed.

Supplemental Instruction (SI) was available in 21 classes this fall. 2,558 freshmen had SI available in at least one class; of this freshmen attended at least one SI session. 1,060 of those freshmen attended SI this fall. SI leaders are undergraduate students who have done well in an SI class in the past, attend the class again, and hold supplemental sessions for students two or three nights per week. SI is like group tutoring, but with a tutor who knows what is going on in your class. It is probably the best tutoring a student will ever get. (Sadly, 273 freshmen are failing an SI-enabled class, and have never attended SI.) SI is a joint effort between the Center for Student Success and The Learning Center.

The Center is wrapping up the fall semester, and preparing for spring. Freshmen who make below 2.00 this fall will have an opportunity to right their ships in a one-hour Freshman Success Strategies class in the spring. This class is an opportunity for those students to get information that will help them get onto a road to graduation. Students will be enrolled in the class automatically.

Please visit studentsuccess.msstate.edu for any information, including contact information.


A Note from the Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion

The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will host our 23rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast and Day of Service on Monday, January 16, 2017 at the Mill Conference Center. Breakfast will begin at 8:00 a.m. and the program will begin at 9:00 am.

This annual event is held to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At the conclusion of the program, students are encouraged to engage in an optional day of service in the community that will be hosted by the Maroon Volunteer Center and Volunteer Starkville. For more information concerning the event please contact the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at 662.325.2493.


A Note from Account Services

STUDENT ACCOUNT PAYMENT CHANGES

Effective January 1, 2017, all credit/debit card payments must be processed online. Credit/debit card payments will no longer be accepted in person or over the telephone. This applies to payments made at Account Services in Garner Hall on the Starkville campus as well as payments made at the Business Office on the Meridian campus. This change is necessary in order to adhere to evolving industry regulations concerning the handling of cardholder data and to ensure your cardholder data continues to be processed in a safe, secure manner.

Student Online Payments

Students who wish to make a credit/debit card payment may follow the instructions found at http://www.controller.msstate.edu/accountservices/paymentinfo/.

Parent Online Payments

Parents may process online payments using the QuikPAY® system.In order to access the QuikPAY® system, parents must be set up as an Authorized Payer. Steps for becoming an Authorized Payer may be found at http://www.controller.msstate.edu/accountservices/paymentinfo/setup/.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this change in procedure, please do not hesitate to contact us by email, studentaccounts@msstate.edu, or by phone, 662.325.2071.

STUDENT REFUNDS

Did you know that students could receive their account refund FASTER and more SECURELY?

DIRECT DEPOSIT is fast, simple and goes to the bank account they prefer!

Setting up Direct Deposit is easy.

Students

Once bank information is securely updated and the student’s account has a credit balance, then Direct Deposit is only a short step away:

Students who are Federal Title IV aid recipients have two options:

Students who are NOT Federal Title IV aid recipients:

FAST……..SECURE…….EASY……DIRECT DEPOSIT is THE way to go!!!

Sincerely,
Account Services
Mississippi State University


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 20th and is scheduled to re-open January 2, 2017.

Phone for Pharmacy: 662-325-8205

The link for on line refills is: https://www.health.msstate.edu/SHC/Refills/

TIPS for Parents: Lots of students find having a supply of OTC medicines on hand to treat minor symptoms can be helpful. Suggested items include:

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. The PT staff has great results with MSU student physical therapy.

Website: http://www.health.msstate.edu/healthcenter/


A Note from MSU Dining

It’s hard to believe that the fall semester has come to a close!

If your student missed out on a Meal Plan for the Fall semester, they still have the opportunity to sign up for a Meal Plan for the Spring! Remember, Meal Plans provide convenience, flexibility, quality, value, and healthy & sustainable options. Any student who wishes to sign-up, or upgrade, their Meal Plan for the Spring Semester will receive a Discount Punch Card for 30% OFF to 5 different locations across campus! Promotional offer ends January 23, 2017.

There is a Meal Plan that fits every schedule and every lifestyle. To sign-up, upgrade, or to view your Meal Plan options, visit us at www.msstatedining.com. Also, don’t forget you can view your student’s remaining Block Meals and Flex Dollar balance on Banner. The last day to use a Meal Plan for the Fall 2016 Semester is December 9.

MSU Dining wishes you happy holidays and we’ll see you in the New Year!


A Note from Housing & 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 5, 2017 at 2 pm.


Commencement

Congratulations to our December graduates and their families!

The ceremony for all colleges will be Friday, December 9, with students marching in at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are not required to attend. Graduates should plan to be in their respective line up areas no later than 6 p.m.

The name of each graduate will be called during the ceremony. The university asks that guests and graduates help us maintain the decorum and dignity of the ceremony. Please keep noise and movement to a minimum so that all families may hear the name of their student.

Lastly, graduates and guests should remain seated for the entirety of the ceremony. Diploma covers will be handed out at the conclusion of the ceremony, rather than on stage.

Additional information can be found at the link below.

http://www.registrar.msstate.edu/sites/www.registrar.msstate.edu/files/Dec2016.pdf

Diplomas will be mailed to graduates in late January, after all degree audits are complete. If degree candidates are moving away from Starkville in the coming weeks, they should make sure the Registrar’s Office has the correct address on record.


A Note from the Center for Student Activities (CSA)

Panhellenic Sorority Life Interest Meeting

The Office of Sorority Life will host an interest meeting for Spring Sorority Recruitment on January 11, 2017 at 5pm in the Fowlkes Auditorium of the Colvard Student. 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, Madison Rhodes, at msupanrecruitment@gmail.com.

Miss Maroon and White Interest Meeting

The Center for Student Activities will host an interest meeting for the 2017 Miss Maroon and White Beauty Pageant on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 5:30pm in the Fowlkes Auditorium. The Miss Maroon and White pageant is the annual beauty review hosted each spring. Contestants compete in a short interview process and on stage evening wear. For more information on the Miss Maroon and White Pageant, please call the Center for Student Activities at 662-325-2930.

Spring Involvement Fair

The CSA Involvement Ambassadors will be sponsoring the Spring Involvement Fair on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 from 11am – 1pm in the Bill R. Foster Ballroom of the Colvard Student Union. Many of MSU’s registered student organization will be in attendance to speak to students interested in joining their organizations. For more information about the Spring Involvement Fair please contact the Center for Student Activities at 662-325-2930 or one@saffairs.msstate.edu


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 Student Counseling Services

What is Stress?

Stress is a general term to describe physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension that comes from the body’s heightened adaptive state in response to external or internal demand. It is when we remain in this heightened state for too long that our bodies become off balance, resulting in adverse physical, mental, and, emotional effects. Possible effects of stress can include: feeling overwhelmed, sudden attacks of panic or excessive worry, forgetfulness, difficulty making decisions, headaches, frequent colds, irritability, and/or mood swings.

Ways to Manage Stress Effectively

The STOPP Method

Adapted from College Response’s handout, Managing Stress in College, and http://getselfhelp.co.uk/stopp.htm.


A Note from the Maroon Volunteer Center

Season’s Greetings from all of us at the Maroon Volunteer Center!

We hope that the holiday season finds you well. As you and family begin thinking about the Spring 2017 semester, consider volunteering for Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 16th. There will be various service sites around the Golden Triangle community for students to take part in. For more information contact Delilah Schmidt at dschmidt@saffairs.msstate.edu

Another great event coming up in January is the 2017 Frostbite Half Marathon benefiting the Starkville Police Department. Volunteers are needed starting at 7:30am (90 minutes prior to race time) and to work until about 1:00pm. This volunteer project is GROUP FRIENDLY! Please contact: Wes Gordon, Director of Planned Giving, 662.325.3707 Office, 662.418.7783 Cell or by email at wgordon@foundation.msstate.edu


A Note from Barnes and Noble

Rental Textbooks

Did your student rent textbooks from Barnes & Noble? The last day to return rental textbooks is Friday, December 9. Encourage your student to avoid replacement fees by returning rental textbooks by 7pm on this day. If your student is unsure as to whether or not a book is a rental, tell him/her to come by the bookstore and check before selling back any rental textbooks.

Bookstore Tip - Avoid the Line and Shop Online

Remember to check out the book list for Spring 2017 classes. Your student can place an order for books as soon as they register for classes. Remember that used and rentals are hot commodities - pre-order to save the most money. All book orders submitted by January 4 will be available for pick-up by January 7. Also, don't forget we not only price match all of our local competitors,but also Amazon.com and bn.com on items shipped and sold by them. Please contact the bookstore at sm204@bncollege.com or (662) 325-8361 for more details.


A Note from Student Financial Aid

Your Student’s 2017 Budget

Visit www.bulldogbudgets.msstate.edu to find simple and free budget tools to help your student reach their goals. If you need more individual help, you can contact our Financial Literacy Coordinator at 662-325-2450 or email john.daniels@msstate.edu.



Q & A...