Mississippi State celebrates research success with annual banquet

Mississippi State celebrates research success with annual banquet

More than 50 Mississippi State students, faculty and staff are 2018 selections for exceptional research and leadership honors. (Photo By: Beth Wynn)

By: Jim Laird

MSU President Mark E. Keenum welcomed honorees, their guests and senior administrators to a celebration of the university's research achievements during a campus awards luncheon today [April 16] in the Hunter Henry Center's Hal and Linda Parker Ballroom.

Keenum praised them for their work and far-reaching impact in the state, the nation and globally —noting that each one is a "truly outstanding contributor."

Wes Schilling, a professor in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, was recognized with the afternoon's top honor—the 2018 Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award.

"We congratulate Dr. Schilling on this very well-deserved honor," said Greg Bohach, vice president for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine at MSU.

The program and banquet are co-sponsored by the offices of the vice presidents for Research and Economic Development and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

Since joining the MSU faculty in 2003, Schilling has developed five courses that focus on hands-on experiences and real world examples that greatly benefit his students. He also has completed a sabbatical at Johnsonville Sausage, which helped him learn to better design research projects to impact business decisions. He has served as the graduate student advisor for 34 students, with 28 graduate degrees conferred to these students to date.

His research focuses on sensory science, meat processing (poultry, beef, pork and catfish), meat quality, flavor chemistry, proteomics and statistical methods. His specific research program on sensory research, broiler meat quality, and relationships between sensory quality, flavor chemistry, and consumer science studies have earned him numerous university and national awards.

Schilling has secured more than $2.8 million in funding for his laboratory, while working in conjunction with administrators and scientists in securing over $6 million. He has published more than 125 peer reviewed journal papers since 2003, and more than 60 since 2012. Since 2008, he also has published 15 chapters in textbooks, including eight in the 6th edition of "Principles of Food Sanitation," which was published this spring. He has presented more than 120 papers at professional meetings. He has written more than 50 invited articles for trade magazines.

In addition to the Powe recognition, the Virginia Tech doctoral graduate has been awarded the MSU Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Award, the Achievement Award by the American Meat Science Association, the MAFES Outstanding Research Award, the Rosalind and Rodney Foil Teamwork Award, the Gamma Sigma Delta Excellence in Research Award, the Recent Alumnus Award for CALS at Virginia Tech, and the MSU CALS/MAFES Outstanding Research Award.

The Powe Award is a memorial to the MSU alumnus and longtime research vice president who died in 1996. It is selected at the university level from nominations received from the MSU community.

The annual research awards program honors individuals who contribute significantly to MSU's mission of research. In addition to faculty, it recognizes and rewards students and staff for accomplishments and creative endeavors, as well as for increasing awareness of the university's many research programs and capabilities.

"The Annual Research Awards Banquet is a highlight of the academic year at Mississippi State, and it showcases the extraordinary diversity of our research portfolio," said David Shaw, the university's vice president for research and economic development.

Other 2018 research award winners include:College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station: Raja Reddy, faculty; Thomas Horgan, research support; Cathurika Wijewardana, graduate student; and Hunt Walne, undergraduate student.

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