Excelling undergraduates recognized by MSU retired faculty group

Contact: Leah Barbour

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Five upper-level students at Mississippi State are 2014 honorees of the university's Association of Retired Faculty.

Juniors Patrick D. Brown of Hernando, Kylie A. Dennis of Memphis, Tennessee, and Peyton Williams of Pontotoc, along with seniors Joanna L. King of Bentonia and Ryan J. Weitzel of Gulfport, recently were recognized at the organization's annual undergraduate award ceremony.

Brown is an architecture major; Dennis, an English major; King, agribusiness with a concentration in management; Williams, a biochemistry major with a concentration in pre-veterinary biochemistry; and Weitzel, industrial and systems engineering.

Dennis, Williams and Weitzel are MSU President's List Scholars, while Brown is a Dean's List Scholar. Dennis and Weitzel also are Shackouls Honors College members.

Founded in 1986, MSU's Association of Retired Faculty presents awards that serve as tributes or memorials to campus colleagues and association members who made major contributions to student development over their careers at the 136-year-old land-grant institution.

Of this year's group of honorees:

--Brown, the son of Barry Brown of Byhalia and Earline Wallace of Hernando, received the William L. Giles Award for Excellence in Architecture. He serves as design chair for the campus chapter of Alpha Rho Chi fraternity for majors in architecture and related fields, and holds the designation of Beta Class Member. A winner of several design awards, Brown currently works with MSU's Joe Frank Sanderson Center to develop custom furnishings for the recreation facility.

--Dennis, the daughter of Barbara Dennis of Sarasota, Florida, and Charles Louis Dennis of Lake Charles, Louisiana, received the Peyton Ward Williams Jr. Distinguished Writing Award. Her research paper exploring Shakespeare's portrayal and usage of language in "Hamlet" added new perspective to the extensive body of literature on the subject. Her work demonstrated the main character's evolved understanding of the dynamic nature of language and its relationship with power.

--King, the daughter of Josh L. King and Tamra King, was selected for the Exemplary Service Award honoring Wallace Killcreas, professor emeritus of agricultural economics. In addition to serving two internships with Farm Credit Mid-America in Shelbyville, Tennessee, and another internship with U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in Washington, D.C., she was part of the winning team in student competition at the 2013 Southern Agricultural Economics Association conference. Next month, she begins graduate school at Texas Tech University.

--Weitzel, the son of Randall and Robin Weitzel, was honored with the Harry Charles F. Simrall Award for Engineering Excellence. He is president of campus chapters of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and Alpha Pi Mu industrial engineering honor society. Following a summer internship at the Argonne National Laboratory's Science Undergraduate Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, he presently is working with FedEx representatives in the development of new GPS capabilities.

--Williams, the daughter of James and Janet Williams of Houlka, received the Charles E. Lindley Leadership Award. Accepted in 2012 into the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine's Early Entry Program, she is a member of Lambda Sigma national honor society. In addition to the Collegiate Cattlemen's Association, she is a member--and current president--of the MSU College of Agriculture and Life Science Ambassadors.

The RFA awards are memorials for Giles, MSU's 13th president; Lindley, dean of the then-College of Agriculture and Home Economics; Simrall, dean of the then-College of Engineering; and Williams, an English professor and editor the campus-based Mississippi Quarterly.

Killcreas, a Starkville resident, began teaching agricultural economics at MSU in 1978 and became a professor emeritus in 2003.

MSU is Mississippi's flagship research institution, available online at www.msstate.edu, facebook.com/msstate, instagram.com/msstate and twitter.com/msstate.

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:00