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VBOC holds grand opening at research park

MSU News - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 5:24pm
The Veterans Business Outreach Center in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park held a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday [Aug. 28]. The center helps veterans and their spouses either start a business or grow an existing business. From left are Bob Seitz, VBOC counselor; Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business; Mark Scott, VBOC director; Janita Stewart, director of the Small Business Administration’s Mississippi office; Trent Kelly, congressman for Mississippi’s

Contact: Zack Plair

The Veterans Business Outreach Center in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park held a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday [Aug. 28]. The center helps veterans and their spouses either start a business or grow an existing business. From left are Bob Seitz, VBOC counselor; Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business; Mark Scott, VBOC director; Janita Stewart, director of the Small Business Administration’s Mississippi office; Trent Kelly, congressman for Mississippi’s 1st district; MSU President Mark E. Keenum; Rodney Pearson, MSU business professor and VBOC board member; and Mike Pornovets, head of the VBOC’s satellite office at The Innovation Center in Biloxi. (Photo by Mitch Phillips)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A ribbon-cutting and open house formally welcomed to the Mississippi State University campus a new resource for military veteran entrepreneurs.

The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) hosted distinguished guests and members of the public for a grand opening ceremony Friday morning [Aug. 28] at its location in Suite 105D, 60 Technology Blvd., in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Park. In partnership with the College of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans, the VBOC is providing guidance for veterans, and their spouses, who either want to start a small business or grow their existing business.

 “Entrepreneurship and support for startups are among our strengths,” said Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business. “The VBOC is a natural extension of what we are already good at. We’ve assembled a great team, and they are already working hard to help veterans.”

MSU received an $825,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to start its VBOC, which will serve veterans and their spouses in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee. MSU’s VBOC is one of 15 nationwide.

Trent Kelly, 1st district congressman for Mississippi and a colonel in the Mississippi National Guard, commended MSU for its commitment to veterans during Friday’s ceremony. He said veterans typically have a servant’s heart, a high level of intelligence and an innate ability to “not accept failure.” These traits, he added, often translate into business success.

“Our veterans are so important to this nation,” said Kelly, who serves on the House Small Business Committee. “This is a wonderful opportunity for them to become entrepreneurs and small business owners because they have what it takes.”

The VBOC officially became operational in May and has already served dozens of clients. Center Director Mark Scott said he and his staff field calls daily requesting consultations. Its free services range from developing ideas into businesses, identifying a business’ customer base and helping veterans form a business plan.

Further, Scott noted the VBOC has set up a satellite office in The Innovation Center in Biloxi to help better serve the four-state region.

A land-grant institution established in 1878 with the U.S. Military Academy as a model, Mississippi State has a long history of service and commitment to veterans. In 2013, U.S. News and World Report ranked the university 29th on its elite list of the 52 best national higher education organizations for veterans, service members, dependents and survivors.

On Friday, MSU President Mark E. Keenum said more than 450 veterans are enrolled at MSU, and more than 2,100 students are directly connected to veterans as dependents or spouses.

“We have a long history of engagement and involvement with veterans,” he said.

Since October 2012, VBOCs have helped more than 136,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs nationwide, said Mississippi SBA Director Janita Stewart. For more information on MSU’s VBOC, visit www.vboc.msstate.edu/~vboc/index.php. The telephone number is 662-325-4990; the email address, vboc@business.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

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CNN - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 5:23pm
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Categories: National News

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CNN - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 3:11pm
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Categories: National News

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McComas exhibit featuring ‘outsider art’ from Jackson collection

MSU News - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 1:10pm
 Loy Allen “Rhinestone Cowboy” Bowlin (1909-1995), no title, 1986. Glitter and glue on paper. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of Warren and Sylvia Lowe. 1994.049.

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

 Loy Allen “Rhinestone Cowboy” Bowlin (1909-1995), no title, 1994.049.

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Artworks by the co-author of Mississippi State’s 2015 Maroon Edition book selection—as well as others by self-taught artists—are on display at the university.

Free and open to all through Oct. 2 in the McComas Hall Art Gallery, the exhibit titled “Here and Beyond: Outsider Art from the Mississippi Museum of Art” features 16 varied pieces. They range from visions of space ships to rural landscape memory paintings to observations of New Orleans street life.

Among them is a print made from an original painting by Denver Moore (1937-2012). Titled “We Are All Homeless Just Working Our Way Home,” it shares its name with the last line of this year’s Maroon Edition selection, “Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together.”

Moore is co-author of the 245-page novel released in 2006 by Thomas Nelson, a HarperCollins Publishers subsidiary. His art piece was donated to the MMA exhibit by Cerulean Gallery in Amarillo, Texas.

Among other self-taught artists being featured are Eula Crabtree (20th century), Roy Ferdinand (1959-2004), M.C. “Five Cent” Jones (1917-2003), Prophet Royal Robertson (1936-97), Juanita Rogers (1934-85) and Luster Willis (1913-94).

In addition to the Jackson museum and its Traveling Exhibition Endowment, the campus exhibit is supported by MSU’s Maroon Edition freshman common reading program and College of Architecture, Art and Design’s art department.

A 5 p.m. exhibition reception will take place Oct. 1 in the ground-floor gallery whose main entrance is located off the parking lot on McComas’ east side. The reception also is free and open to all.

In addition to Moore’s creation, the exhibit includes three works by self-taught artist Loy Allen Bowlin (1909-95), a Franklin County native who resided in McComb until his death.

Bowlin experienced a spiritual awakening of sorts in 1975 after hearing Glen Campbell’s hit song “Rhinestone Cowboy,” which he said inspired his passion to create colorful, glittery art works. Bowlin also favored embellished satin suits that, along with his distinctive artworks, earned him the nickname “The Original Rhinestone Cowboy.”

“The art on view was created sometimes for spiritual reasons and sometimes from the sheer pleasure of creating,” said Beth Batton, MMA’s curator of the collection. “Art by outsider artists was shaped less by an ambition to ‘make it’ in the art world and more by the ups and downs of life.”

Ron Hall, the other co-author of “Same Kind of Different as Me,” was keynote speaker for the university’s second Freshman Convocation held earlier this month.

MMA’s Traveling Exhibition Endowment is supported by significant private contributions that are matched by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit www.msmuseumart.org.

Now in its seventh year, Maroon Edition is a university-wide program that encourages incoming freshmen to read the same book prior to fall-semester arrival. Throughout the school year, they discuss the selected work with other students, administration, faculty and staff members. For more, visit www.maroonedition.msstate.edu.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s art department is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. It offers a bachelor of fine arts degree, with concentrations in graphic design, photography and fine art (ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture).

The McComas Art Gallery is one of the several departmental venues that regularly features traveling exhibits, student shows, and group and solo exhibitions by professional artists. Exhibit hours for the gallery are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, as well as by appointment. For more, visit bit.ly/MSUArtGalleriesFB.

Additional gallery information is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art department’s coordinator for gallery and outreach programs, at 662-325-2973 or LNeuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.

Complete information about the college and department is found at caad.msstate.edu, facebook.com/CAADatMSU and twitter.com/CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

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