Dedicated to State: Newest Zacharias Distinguished Staff Award recipients celebrated at MSU

Contact: Sasha SteinbergTommie Zacharias, widow of former MSU President Donald Zacharias (back, far left), and MSU President Mark E. Keenum (back, far right) congratulate the university’s newest Zacharias Distinguished Staff Award winners. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The strengths of a great university are in its people. Twelve Mississippi State employees who make that statement ring true each and every day are being recognized with 2018 Donald W. Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards.

Presented Friday [May 11] during the university’s Staff Appreciation Day, the honors are a memorial to the university’s 15th president. The annual event is organized by MSU’s Staff Council.

To be eligible, award nominees must be classified as a professional or support staff employee working at least half-time and with a minimum of three years of campus service, among other criteria.

At the event, MSU President Mark E. Keenum presented each honoree with a plaque and $1,000 check. Tommie Zacharias, widow of former MSU President Donald Zacharias, also personally congratulated each recipient.

This year’s Zacharias Distinguished Staff Award honorees include (alphabetically):

—Joni Branning, academic records supervisor for the MSU-Meridian Division of Education.

—Deborah Brewington, administrative assistant II for the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems.

—Dana Cooper, coordinator of academic affairs in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Clinical Sciences.

—Katie Corban, marketing and communications manager for the Division of Student Affairs.

—Karrie Files, academic graduate records supervisor for the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations.

—Beth Hathcock, business manager for the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

—Elizabeth Miller, business manager I for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

—Ardra Morgan, administrative assistant to the executive associate vice president and associate vice president for academic affairs in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

—Suzanne Parker, administrative assistant I for the MSU-Meridian Division of Business.

—Teresa Stewart, business manager in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

—John Michael VanHorn, associate director of fraternity and sorority life for the Center for Student Activities.

—Tiffney Williams, administrative assistant II for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Office.

For more about MSU Staff Council, visit and follow on Facebook @MSUStaffCouncil.

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