Recognized Service: Zacharias Awards Honor MSU Personnel

Contact person: Carl Smith

Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum (center, second row) congratulates the 2022 Donald Zacharias Distinguished Personnel Award recipients, including (front row, left to right) Lynn Taylor, Sonya Baird, Kathy Breland , Kara Herman, Emily Owen and Katelyn Wright; (second row, left to right) and Latoya Brown, Jack McCarty, Lisa McReynolds, Heather Rowe, Chris Cliett and Darlene Perkins. (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Mississippi—Twelve dedicated Mississippi State employees are being honored for their exemplary service to the university with this year’s Donald W. Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards.

The awards, given in honor of the university’s 15th rector, were presented today [May 20] Staff Appreciation Day by MSU President Mark E. Keenum. The annual event is organized by the MSU Staff Council.

“Great people are at the heart of everything we do at Mississippi State University, and I applaud this year’s recipients of the Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards for their exemplary work. They deserve this recognition the most,” Keenum said. “I thank them and their colleagues for their many contributions to our campus and our community and especially for all they do for our students. It is an honor to work with them on a daily basis. »

To be eligible, nominees for the award 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.

The winners of this year’s Zacharias Distinguished Staff Award are:

—Sonya Baird, Facilities and Research Manager, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology

—Kathy Breland, Administrative Assistant I, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology

—Latoya Brown, Extension Officer II, Perry County Extension Service

—Chris Cliett, Master Electrician, Physical Plant Administration

—Kara Herman, Business Manager I, National Research Center for Strategic Planning and Analysis

—Jack McCarty, Executive Director, Development, MSU Foundation

—Lisa McReynolds, Administrative Assistant I, English Department

—Emily Owen, Program and Programming Coordinator, Office of the Registrar

—Darlene Perkins, Janitor II, Child Care Services

—Heather Rowe, Publications and Digital Design Editor, Office of Public Affairs

—Lynn Taylor, Administrative Assistant, Office of Research and Economic Development

—Katelyn Wright, Administrative Assistant II, Shackouls Honors College

To learn more about the MSU Staff Council, visit

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