Roses and thorns: 12-16-18




A rose to a little bull and the veterinarians and staff at Mississippi State's College of Veterinary Medicine in charge of helping keep him alive. In early November, Lil' Bill came to MSU for care just four days after his birth. Weighing just 7 pounds, 14 ounces (about an eighth of what a normal calf weighs at birth), Lil' Bill may be the smallest bull in the world. Born prematurely and possibly with dwarfism, the MSU veterinary staff has tended to Lil' Bill round-the-clock, guiding him through one potentially life-threatening complication after another. Now up to 12 pounds, Lil' Bill is walking and bucking and behaving like a normal calf, although his prognosis remains uncertain. For MSU it's a chance to learn about and better understand the early-life development of livestock from the most extreme case imagina-bull (sorry!). We are all rooting for the vets and Lil' Bill, the tiny little bull who has become the Big Moo on Campus. 




A rose to Starkville High School Physics instructor Dane Peagler and his students for Thursday's Rube Goldberg competition, which brought classroom concepts into practical applications in a whimsical way. Rube Goldberg machines - named after a mid-20th Century cartoonist, sculptor and engineer - are complex contraptions which use a chain reaction to perform a simple task - the more elaborate the better. Forty of Peagler's students, competing in 12 teams, participated in this year's event, the fourth year of the competition. The lesson in applied mechanics encouraged teamwork, problem-solving and conceptual thinking in a way that students find throughly entertaining - an idea that should be modeled in every classroom subject. 




A rose to International Paper for its generous support of educational and nonprofit organizations in 2018. This year, IP provided $95,000 in small grants to 19 groups in the Golden Triangle that provide aid to the community in the areas of education, hunger, health/wellbeing and other community initiatives. The grants may be small by some standards, but they provide vital assistance for the groups as they serve the community in a variety of ways. We applaud International Paper for being a good corporate neighbor by assisting these efforts. 




A rose to Phillip Stockton and Chuck Yarborough, who were selected as MUW's Town and Tower community service award-winners. Stockton, an assistant professor of music education and choral director at MUW, won the Campus Service Award, while Yarborough, a history instructor at MSMS, was honored with the Community Service Award. Since arriving at The W in 2013, Stockton has worked to build relationships with students, campus and the Columbus community. Stockton has traveled with The W's choir to Edinburgh, Scotland, to produce a CD while also accompanying the choir across the Southeast. Yarborough has been a member of the MSMS faculty since August 1995, teaching U.S. History, African American History, U.S. Government and Mississippi Crossroads. He has been named Mississippi's First Congressional District Teacher of the Year 2017, National Public Radio's "50 Great Teachers" and selected as STAR Teacher at MSMS three times.



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