Thursday, December 26, 2019
Nine students from Blackburn Middle School recently partnered with their parents, grandparents and friends from the community to cook pots of greens for Jackson State University's second annual cook-off competition. The participants used collard and mustard greens from JSU's learning garden for the contest.
A panel of judges from Blackburn JSU and the community sampled each contestant's pot of greens. Nick Wallace, owner and executive chef of Nick Wallace Culinary in Jackson and a BMS alumnus, announced the winners.
Nia and Moe Selassie took first place in the contest with their green and kale smoothie. Kevin Trunnell and Ms. Davis won second place for their pot of spicy greens, and Jackie and Corday Kitchens took third place for their pot of greens and cornbread.
State Awards Community Projects for Outreach
Mississippi State University recently recognized four student-led community outreach projects during the university's second annual Community Engagement Awards. The awards consisted of four categories with a winner and honorable mention for each one. The categories were community-engaged service; community-engaged teaching and learning; community-engaged research; and scholarship of engagement.
Winners received $3,000 and honorable mentions received $750 to further their community-engagement activities. MSU's Center for Community-Engaged Learning, the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, the Office of Research and Economic Development and the Division of Student Affairs chose the award recipients.
"Water Distribution in Ecuador" won the community-engaged service category, and "MSU Community Garden" received honorable mention.
MSU's Engineers Without Borders chapter, along with two faculty members and one staff member, have been working with government officials and residents in Santa Teresita, Ecuador, to design a sustainable water system for the country's agricultural community.
The MSU Community Garden is a sustainable space for teaching, research and outreach that supports local food systems. Students designed and built the garden with help from architecture, landscape architecture, and graphic-design majors in MSU's College of Architecture, Art and Design.
"IT Internships" won the community-engaged teaching and learning category, and "Ripley Visioning and Master Plan" received honorable mention.
Undergraduates in MSU's fall Senior Seminar in Information Technology Services course participated in nine-week service projects to assist local small businesses and nonprofit groups in meeting their technological needs, including websites, social media, brochures and logos.
The Ripley Visioning and Master Plan project established goals and objectives for land use, housing, transportation and other infrastructure as part of a 20-year master plan for the town of Ripley, Miss., including developing a site plan and designs for Ripley's First Monday Trade Days market.
"Meridian Leadership Council" won the community-engaged research category, and "Oktibbeha Food Policy Council" received honorable mention.
The Meridian Leadership Council partnered with MSU researchers to implement evidence-based crime-fighting solutions in the city of Meridian. The project led to the creation of a program for Meridian Police Department officer's training in the Gang Resistance Education and Training curriculum, the re-opening of a police substation and the implementation of the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi Career Launch and summer internship program.
MSU faculty, staff and community stakeholders have worked since 2016 to study and address food insecurity, local access to healthy foods and food systems development in Oktibbeha County. OFPC entered partnerships with Starkville Parks and Recreation to develop a farmers' market at J.L. King Senior Memorial Park, and with the City of Maben and the Mayor's Health Council to create a community garden for residents.
"Community Drum Circles" won the scholarship of engagement category, and "Home, Place and Mississippi: A Cultural Diversity Literacy Project" received honorable mention. The Community Drum Circles project brings MSU faculty, staff and students together with special needs students in Mississippi through drum circle programs and other rhythm-based activities. Since 2014, the group has organized 64 drum circles for an estimated 3,010 people.
"Home, Place and Mississippi" is a literacy enhancement program for high school and university students of various racial identities who major in English or English/Language Arts Secondary Education. Students in the program read texts from black Mississippians, participated in film viewings and spoken word performances and held a reception with Mississippi author Kiese Laymon.
For more information on the Community Engagement Awards, visit ccel.msstate.edu.
USM Wins Society of Physics Award
The national office of the Society of Physics Students, a professional association for students interested in physics and related fields, recently awarded the University of Southern Mississippi its Outstanding Chapter Award for 2019. USM has received the honor seven times since 2012.
SPS is part of the American Institute of Physics, an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies.
The Outstanding Chapter Award honors university chapters with a high level of interaction with their campus communities, the professional physics community and SPS national programs, a release from USM says. Less than 15% of SPS chapters at colleges and universities nationally and internationally receive the award.
The USM chapter received the award for its community-outreach initiatives, including participating in a semester-long project at Hattiesburg High School and hosting demonstrations at Oak Grove Middle School, the HUBFEST arts and music festival and the Hattiesburg Maker Faire.
USM also hosted a regional SPS meeting in April 2019, for which it earned funding from the organization's national office and SPS' Marsh White Award and Future Faces of Physics Award.
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