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MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES DEVELOP NEXT GENERATION OF STATE'S LEADERS

11/18/2022 - Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi Public Universities awarded 19,861 degrees in Academic Year 2022. These graduates have received the preparation needed to become leaders in their chosen careers and communities. In addition to the foundation provided through their classroom experiences, students are exposed to programs and opportunities that enhance their leadership skills and abilities. The lessons in leadership learned through these experiences will serve them well as they graduate and take on leadership roles in their jobs, professional development or community service organizations, or as elected officials on a local, state, or national level.

Mississippi University for Women offers opportunities for all students to hone their natural leadership qualities. The university prides itself on developing strong leaders, ready for the career of their choosing. The W Leadership Program is a rich and challenging leadership program that teaches students the commitment, knowledge and values that will enable them to blaze new trails in their chosen paths.

Through ongoing support, The W students receive leadership preparation through professional development, ongoing monitoring of professional dispositions, opportunities for student leadership roles, repeated mentorship residencies and rigorous coursework, which prepares them for the pace of a 21st century, global economy.

Mississippi Valley State University is helping to develop leaders for Mississippi through its Office of Student Leadership and Engagement (SLE). SLE enhances the academic program of studies and facilitates the overall educational experience of students through the development of and participation in social, cultural, and recreational activities. It serves as the major programming agency for student life, and as a resource outlet for student organizations. SLE offers one of the best opportunities for students to assist with the planning and presentation of activities that will contribute to their intellectual, social, and cultural development through campus activities and advocacy.

Students at the University of Mississippi continue competing at the statewide and national level for elite scholarships. In the past year alone, the university celebrated two Truman scholars, three Goldwater scholars, six Fulbright recipients, one Boren Scholar, one Rangel Scholar, one Library of Congress Junior Fellow and three student recipients of the prestigious National Science Foundation fellowships through the foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health awarded a UM doctoral pharmacology student the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, one of the highest honors a doctoral student can receive.

Through support from the Luckyday Foundation, the University of Mississippi annually awards Luckyday scholarships to 80 first-time freshmen and 25 transfer students. In addition to financial support, Luckday scholars are provided support, mentoring and programming across the core values of scholarship, community, service and leadership.

The Stamps Scholars Program at the University of Mississippi offers one of the most competitive scholarship awards in Mississippi and the country. The program is an internationally prestigious scholarship program and community that helps exceptional students become meaningful leaders throughout society. Stamps Scholars are chosen based on academic excellence, leadership experience and exceptional character. Ole Miss is the only university in the state of Mississippi and only one of six schools in the SEC that participates in the Stamps Program.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Health Administration program at the School of Health Related Professions offers a doctorate degree that's the only one of its kind in Mississippi. The program prepares leaders who will shape the direction of health care in education, research and clinical areas while navigating changes in the health care environment and strategically planning for the future. The Doctor of Health Administration degree program is an opportunity for those who hold a master's degree to expand their education and expertise and enter executive-level positions within the ever-expanding and ever-changing health care and related industry.

The Luckyday Scholars Program was established at The University of Southern Mississippi more than two decades ago and provides students opportunities for continued scholarship, engaging in community, experiencing service, and growing as servant leaders through a variety of programming options. To date, the Luckyday Foundation of Ridgeland, Miss., has provided significant financial and programmatic support, impacting more than 2,200 students and future leaders.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Leadership, based at the University’s Gulf Park Campus, prepares students to succeed in the business world by offering innovative coursework and research in partnership with thriving organizations. These affiliations allow students to foster independence of mind, a spirit of entrepreneurship and discovery, an awareness of a common responsibility to work collaboratively across disciplines toward solutions to complex workplace issues while capitalizing on emerging opportunities.

In addition, USM’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development offers a Leadership Experience certificate that provides students with a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience that focuses on leadership theory, practice, and development. Participants have opportunities to learn about leadership foundational theories and day-to-day application, explore social responsibility and citizenship, and develop a personal leadership philosophy and vision for continued development as a leader.

The University’s Office of Leadership and Student Involvement also provides valuable co-curricular experiences that exist to foster student growth and development.

Inspired by Alcorn State University’s mission to "prepare well-rounded future leaders of high character," the Hiram Rhodes Revels Institute for Ethical Leadership is dedicated to developing ethical leadership for every sphere of influence. Based on the university’s first President Hiram Revels's religious, political, and educational leadership, the Institute provides reflection, research, and recommendations for bringing spirituality, ethics, and leadership together to address critical issues confronting rural and urban communities throughout our state and region.

Delta State University’s Delta Proud Fellows is a leadership organization that aims to foster unity, strength, and brotherhood amongst minority male students. The 10-year grant-funded program has served more than 200 male students, providing them with leadership development, academic support and mentorship.

Delta State University and Teach For America (TFA) have joined forces to reimagine what is possible for Mississippi by cultivating the next generation of changemakers and leaders through the DSU TFA Graduate Fellows Program. With support from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation, the program offers TFA alumni support as they work to launch and run a social entrepreneurship project in the Mississippi communities they serve while completing a DSU graduate degree. Fellows’ projects vary based on the scholar’s passion and future goals, and current fellows are tackling societal challenges like education inequity, literacy gaps and inequitable effects of the pandemic. For more information, visit www.tfafellows.com.

Jackson State University’s Center for Student Engagement and Leadership (CSEL) is dedicated to cultivating diverse student leaders by providing programs and services that support holistic student development. CSEL is dedicated to leadership development, organizational advising, and programming. The center is committed to uplifting and developing all students through signature events such as Welcome Week, Student Leadership Elections, the “Thee I Love Bash,” and more. CSEL strives to create meaningful and memorable experiences that nurture students' personal, scholastic, and ethical development through innovative programming and co-curricular involvement.

Jackson State University’s College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) welcomed 15 graduate students into their first Mississippi Teacher Residency (MTR) program this fall. The MTR program aims to prepare educators for teaching and leadership in geographical critical shortage areas. JSU is in partnership with JPS, with a goal of ensuring all Mississippi students have access to licensed, diverse, and effective educators.

Three Jackson State University professors received 2022-23 Fulbright Scholar awards with one being only the second history professor from JSU to be awarded this opportunity. The professors will conduct and share their research abroad through the U.S. Fulbright program. Recipients are selected as a result of their demonstrated leadership, academic and professional accomplishments, and record of service in their respective fields.

Mississippi State University leads the state’s public universities in attracting top first-time freshman scholars from across the nation. Just this fall, MSU enrolled 145 valedictorians, 79 salutatorians, 78 student body presidents, 76 STAR Students, 92 Eagle Scouts and 36 National Merit Finalists. MSU is the No. 1 college choice for high school students in Mississippi.

Many of these scholars are choosing Mississippi State for the hands-on undergraduate research experiences available to them as MSU is the state’s leading research university, a National Science Foundation top 90 research university and is 59th among public research institutions. Also leading research to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges are 20 current MSU faculty who have received National Science Foundation CAREER Awards, one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions for accomplished young scientists. Three graduate students hold NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.

In addition, MSU is shaping the young innovators, leaders and community builders of the future through student participation in over 300 organizations, many of which have been recognized nationally as models for others across the United States. For 21 of the last 22 years, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers has named MSU’s student chapter “outstanding,” and for more than 25 years the campus chapter of the American Society of Foresters has consistently placed in the ASF’s top 3 student groups. The university’s Phi Kappa Phi organization--the nation’s oldest and most selective multidisciplinary honor society—has been a Circle of Excellence recipient for five consecutive years.

In the past year, MSU has produced an international Rhodes Scholarship finalist and two Fulbright Scholars, two national Astronaut Scholarship recipients, two Goldwater Scholarship winners, a Boren Scholar and a Truman finalist. College of Veterinary Medicine faculty member Janice Chambers this year received one of the most distinct honors within the international scientific community when she was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society.

MSU’s Student Leadership and Community Engagement program gives students the servant-leadership opportunities necessary for driving the economic, educational and societal progress of tomorrow. More than 5,540 students and staff in the past year have participated in such experiences as Service DAWGS Day, Alternative Spring Break, Habitat for Humanity builds and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The Montgomery and Day One leadership programs each year engage more than 150 first-time freshmen and upperclassmen in gaining skills to take real action to improve the world.

Leadership development at Mississippi State also guides the university’s graduates as they enter the workforce or continue their education. In a recent survey administered by the MSU Career Center, a total of 97% of 2020-21 university graduates reported being employed or working on advanced degrees within the first six months after graduation.

The Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University is training tomorrow’s agriculture leaders through experiential learning today. The USDA reports an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields in the U.S. MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers an Agricultural Leadership concentration that prepares students for roles in a variety of agricultural industry careers, including senior management positions. Agricultural economists in MSU’s DAFVM are leading the efforts to ensure agriculture, our state’s largest industry, is positioned for success each year. MSU ag economists develop budgets and decision tools for producers, lenders, and policymakers for baseline planning, keeping clients informed about commodity price fluctuations and offering insight into navigating the complexities of the federal Farm Bill.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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