Recent News

Alumni Spotlight - Alice Milton

August 08, 2017 (Tuesday)

Our newest Alumni Spotlight is featuring Dr. Alice Tyler Milton. Dr. Milton earned her Doctorate of Education Degree with a minor in Educational Technology from our department. We asked her to answer a few questions about her time at MSU and her current position.

Why did you choose the Ed.D. Program?

My first full-time teaching job was at the Career Development Center in Jackson, Mississippi where I eventually became the chair of the Business Technology Department. The Center employs certified instructors to train students from the feeder high schools (Eight [8] at the time) in a trade area. It was then (almost instantly) I developed a passion for Business and Technology and realized that I wanted to always work with students in this area to impact their lives.
When I decided to pursue my terminal degree, Mississippi State University was my first choice; therefore, I got a College Catalog and saw the Technology and Education Program was offered. This was perfect because I wanted to stay close to my present vocation - the rest is history.

What is one piece of advice you would pass on to the new Ph.D. students about the program?

My advice to students is to absorb all of the challenging requirements for any program at MSU - use the "Sponge effect". Honing research skills will be vital for career growth in education.

Also, join at least one major professional organization to network (growth from trained experts) and learn the wealth of information that will beneficial toward:

1. Completing a degree
2. Finding a great job
3. Learning the new technologies in the chosen field
4. Fueling the dissertation

I know that time management is essential while working on a terminal degree; but, joining a student organization is another avenue of learning skills and networking to make connections. Being active will give one the advantage of possibly landing a great job, and you do not have to be involved in every activity.

Finally, I recommend to continue attaining professional development throughout your career. As a matter of fact, every instructor in my Division is a member of at least one professional organization and also is involved in a student organization or partnership that is beneficial to student growth. Knowledge is power and networking cultivates relationships. Never be afraid to learn new technologies and strategies.

What advice would you give students who are getting ready to defend their dissertation?

I would tell the students to relax and show the committee their expertise in the subject matter. Practice with several groups and friends - this process will lead to a better understanding on how others view their dissertation before the final defense. Moreover, it is wise to visit other defenses which will give them an insight of what will be expected and the visits will assist them in their preparations.

What is your current job title?

Presently, I am the Associate Dean for the Business and Information Technologies Division on the Birmingham and Bessemer Campuses at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama. I work within the Division, serve on the Administrative Cabinet for the College, assist with BlackBoard, serve on committees, serve on the Board of Directors for Kappa Beta Delta (A Division of ACBSP), is a member of the Instructional Officer Association (IOA) for Alabama, secure funds for students to stay in College or further their education, etc. Beginning fall 2017, I will be the Alabama Phi Beta Lambda Adviser.

How did your degree prepare you for the job you have now?

I have utilized my degree to the fullest. The outline of the Technology and Education Program at Mississippi State opened my mind to constantly "think outside of the box" to get the job done and challenge others to follow. I feel that from day one, I was an absorber with a sponge mindset. My studies at MSU challenged me to the point that I grew extensively in my researching and critical-thinking skills.

My capstone adviser, Dr. Connie Forde, was so supportive and gave me the encouragement needed to complete my studies and went beyond the call of duty - I will always be grateful. It is a privilege to have had her as a mentor at Mississippi State. I am proud to say that I was her first doctoral student.

What does a typical day look like for you at work?

Each morning begins with checking with the proctors in our authorized Testing Center to make sure every station is up and running smoothly.I walk the building checking and opening labs for our adjunct instructors on the first and second floors; read overnight emails and monitor instructor courses in BlackBoard; and if it is registration time, check class numbers, loads, overloads, new hires, current availability of adjuncts instructors, etc.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is that I get to meet some wonderful students that are eager to learn and new people. I truly feel fulfilled when I see the pre and post student realizing how they have grown personally, mentally, and professionally. It is a great feeling and does my heart good when students come back to let you know how they appreciate the faculty and staff in the Business and Information Technologies Division, when they give back to help future students, continue their education in another program because they enjoy learning and appear like a "sponge" for education, become a professional Lawson State Phi Beta Lambda member, further their education after the bachelor's degree, etc. I know then that we are accomplishing our goals for the Division.

What are some of your personal hobbies or interests?
Some of my hobbies include reading, creating [501(c)(3)] and working with nonprofit organizations, writing grants, researching Black history (blackhistorysalute.com), and my all-time favorite, spending time with my son (Quintin) and new daughter-in-law (Raven) as of February 25, 2017. Once I am a grandmother, I will have another interest!



Dr. Joanne Beriswill Recently Honored as Graduate of Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence

June 19, 2017 (Monday)

Dr. Joanne Beriswill is among the most recent graduates of the university's Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence (MIWE) program. Initiated five years ago in conjunction with the MSU Quality Enhancement Plan Maroon & Write, MIWE's primary goal is to provide extensive three-week training for teachers who commit to modify course syllabi to incorporate writing-to-learning strategies into class assignments. Research data are compiled by the QEP staff to determine the impact of writing-to-learn strategies on the writing proficiency of all MSU students.

Dr. Beriswill will be implementing the writing-to-learn strategies in TKB 4583/6583 Graphics and Web Design in the second summer term. As many of her students will confirm, Dr. Beriswill is an excellent teacher of writing. It will be exciting to see the new strategies that are in store for her students this summer.

To learn more about the program, check out the article here: http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2017/05/maroon-institute-writing-excellence-honors-faculty-graduates-msu/

Dr. Huang Receives University Research Award for the College of Education

June 01, 2017 (Thursday)

Dr. Kun Huang, assistant professor in the Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development, was recognized at the annual research program and recognition luncheon on April 27 at the Hunter Henry Center's Hal and Linda Parker Ballroom. This research recognition program is co-sponsored by the offices of the vice presidents of Research and Economic Development and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

Each college recognizes outstanding faculty, research support, graduate and undergraduate students. Dr. Teresa Jayroe presented the following awards to the College of Education:

Faculty - Dr. Kun Huang
Research Support - Ms. Tiffany Middleton
Graduate Student - Jeffrey Simpson
Undergraduate Student - Alana Joy Turner

Congratulations to our own, Dr. Kun Huang, for being the recipient of this prestigious research award.

Read the MSU news release at http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2017/04/mississippi-state-celebrates-research-success-annual-banquet/

Dr. Beriswill Awarded John Grisham Master Teacher Award!

May 02, 2017 (Tuesday)

Dr. Joanne E. Beriswill was presented the 2017 John Grisham Master Teacher Award on Thursday, April 27, at the annual Faculty Awards and Recognition Reception. Dr. Judy Bonner, Provost and Executive Vice President, presented this award and shared that the Grisham Master Teacher Award is awarded by the University Instructional Improvement Committee who evaluates and selects applicants from qualified individuals who apply for this award based on criteria such as engagement of students in learning, assessment of teaching and learning, clarity and organization of teaching, variety of teaching methods, enthusiasm, and scholarship of teaching.

Dr. Connie M. Forde, Department Head of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development, states, "Dr. Beriswill models the best in teaching and student engagement and is most deserving of this prestigious award."

When asked about receiving this honor, she said, "In the ISWD department, we have a diverse student body. Every student enters the classroom with different technology expertise and educational experiences. Each one has diverse motivations for taking the course, distinct goals for what they want to learn, and a unique learning style. Through my teaching, I strive to seek out the uniqueness of each student, polish their skills, and watch them shine."

For the full story, go to http://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2017/04/faculty-staff-recognized-during-annual-msu-awards-program/

We are so happy that the University has allowed her talents to shine through by awarding her this great honor! Congratulations!

Blind College Senior Defies Expectation While Pursuing A Degree In Information Technology Services!

April 12, 2017 (Wednesday)

Imagine not being able to properly see the world around you. Now imagine yourself working in an industry that is primarily computer-based. Wouldn't you want to know how that works? Austin Nix, 22, is currently a senior in college, and he has been living this scenario since the beginning of his freshman year.

Austin spent most of his life in Brandon, Mississippi, where He attended Mississippi School for the Blind from kindergarten until twelfth grade. For about half of that time, he knew he wanted to go to Mississippi State University and get a degree in Information Technology Services. The reasons for this degree choice were that his dad was an IT man himself, and he had had an interest in computers since a young age.

The first few years were rather uneventful in regards to his instruction. He mostly dealt with accessible technology that he could use without needing extra assistance from people who could see. However, the last two years saw the use of more inaccessible technologies. Some of these were so unusable to him that he would have to ask instructors for alternative assignments. Nevertheless, he always kept a positive attitude, and never once did he think of giving up.

His current semester has seen him do some interesting things. One of the classes he is enrolled in has him in an internship with the National Center for the Blind and Low Vision on the MSU campus. He helps review some of the content they have written for their upcoming app that will be used to help blind youth transition from childhood to adulthood. He also examines various websites for accessibility barriers. He has also done a project in another class where he discussed the evolution of Braille technology. Through this activity, several of his fellow students were able to learn a few things about Braille, including how to write various words in it.

After four years, his undergraduate journey is coming to an end on May 5 of this year. He plans to become a teacher of the visually impaired with a focus in computer instruction. We cannot wait to hear what adventures he takes on next.