MSU celebrates outstanding graduate students, mentors

Mississippi State’s Graduate School and Graduate Student Association are recognizing outstanding students and faculty mentors.

The newest MSU Graduate Student Hall of Fame Scholars are:

—Christian P. Barney, a business administration/marketing doctoral student from Onalaska, Wisconsin, representing the College of Business.

—Poram Choi, a kinesiology/exercise science doctoral student from South Korea, representing the College of Education.

—Alexandra G. Firth, a forest resources doctoral student from Peoria, Arizona, representing the College of Forest Resources.

—Jack B. Francis, an industrial systems and engineering doctoral student from Decatur, Alabama, representing the Bagley College of Engineering.

—James “Jim” Nichols, an environmental toxicology doctoral student of Starkville, representing the College of Veterinary Medicine.

—Gene D. “Dave” Spencer, an agronomy doctoral student from Collierville, Tennessee, also representing the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as the Graduate Research Assistant of the Year Award recipient.

—Erica M. Szkody, an applied psychology/clinical doctoral student from Starkville, representing the College of Arts and Sciences.

Nominated by department heads and selected by the dean of their respective colleges, the scholars all have made significant contributions to the growth of MSU through their exemplary leadership abilities and research or teaching skills in their chosen fields of study.

Additional honorees include:

—Sachini K. Arachchige, a kinesiology/exercise science doctoral student from Sri Lanka, Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year.

—Beth Baker, assistant extension professor in the College of Forest Resources’ Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Graduate Student Association Advisor of the Year.

—Donna Gordon, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School Mentor of the Year.

—Chiquita S. Long Holmes, a student counseling and guidance doctoral student from Louisville, Graduate Service Assistant of the Year.

For more on MSU’s graduate programs and activities, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at


Written by Mississippi State

At Mississippi State University, we believe in getting personal. Our university provides the academic, leadership, and social opportunities to help each person excel. Your success—in whatever field of study or career goal—is our success.


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