JSU Center for Innovation, Science Night at the Museums and Bower Academic Center | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

JSU Center for Innovation, Science Night at the Museums and Bower Academic Center

JSU alum Marcus Jones tests out software from HP. Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU

JSU alum Marcus Jones tests out software from HP. Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU

Jackson State University held a grand opening for its new Center for Innovation, located on the second floor of the H.T. Sampson Library, on Thursday, Jan. 30.

The new facility includes Oculus virtual reality technology, 3D printing facilities, a soundproof room with green screens for podcasting and filming and more. The center will also offer advice to students on technology transfer for moving products and ideas to the market, a release from JSU sasy.

Almesha Campbell, director of JSU's technology transfer, commercialization and research communications in the Office of Research and Economic Development, launched an Innovation Fellows Program made up of students to support the center.

Before the grand opening, Campbell helped train 10 fellows as ambassadors and facilitators for the event, who demonstrated VR games, mobile apps, 3D designs, gadgets and tech models at the opening. Before the fellows graduate, they must train at least two other fellows to potentially become part of the program.

The fellows are Amanuel Gebre, Naysa Lynch, Ahmed Mohammadali, Nwanne Onumah, Audrey Robinson, Dipannita Saha, Vince Sheffey, Kayla Singleton, Dinaol Tadese and Simon Williams.

During the ceremony, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Lynda Brown-Wright announced the launch of the Young Innovators Program, a partnership between the center, the JSU Academic Affairs department and Blackburn Middle School in the Jackson Public School District. The program will use project-based learning to introduce students to virtual reality and 3D modeling.

MSU Hosting Science Night at the Museums

Mississippi State University's Museums and Galleries Committee will host MSU's fourth annual Science Night at the Museums on Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hilbun Hall, Harned Hall and the Cobb Institute of Archaeology. The event is free and open to the public.

The Dunn-Seiler Museum in Hilbun Hall and the Lois Dowdle Cobb Museum of Archaeology in the Cobb Institute of Archaeology will both be open for tours. Featured specimens include portions of the Dunn-Seiler Museum's mosasaur skeleton, a 65-billion-year-old marine reptile discovered in the Starkville area in 2019, a release from MSU says.

Harned Hall will house exhibits covering ornithology, botany, microscopy, microbiology and evolutionary biology. Hilbun Hall's exhibits will showcase chemistry, entomology, forest products, geology, paleontology, history, meteorology, physics and astronomy.

Bob Swanson, an instructor in MSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy known as the "Singing Weatherman," will perform a science-themed song set for the event.

Other activities will include a science-themed photo booth and the Science Hall of Fame. A local Girl Scout troop will provide science-themed activities for children ages 2 to 5.

For more information on the event or MSU's museums and galleries, visit museums.msstate.edu or find the galleries on Facebook @msstatemuseumsgalleries.

USM Constructing New Bower Academic Center

The University of Southern Mississippi recently announced that it will begin construction on a new facility for the university's Bower Academic Center in March 2020. The center is named for Jeff Bower, who served as both an assistant and head football coach at USM for 29 years.

USM is relocating the Bower Academic Center from underneath the west side of the university's M.M. Roberts Stadium to an 18,000 square foot space on the second floor of the Cook Library. The new facility will include office space for all USM athletics academic staff, private study and tutoring rooms, a computer lab, an open quiet study space, a multipurpose classroom and a conference room for meetings, job interviews and recruiting visits.

The construction is part of a larger $1.7 million renovation of the Cook Library. A release from USM states that construction should be finished by summer 2020.

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