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Student working on art watercolor project

Holly Travis

Holly Travis

Hometown: Starkville, Mississippi

Major: Political Science and Criminology 

"Students need to choose a college that presents them with goals and possibilities that they didn't even know were possible. That's what Mississippi State has done for me!"

Holly originially double majored in Political Science and Spanish, but took a Criminology class her freshman year and was hooked. Law school is definitely on the horizon, but she says she might take a year off to do research or teach English in South America. 

Her home base, the College of Arts and Sciences, has made an especially positive impact on her college career. 

"I'm not just a number here. The faculty builds relationships with their students, and I think that's very important."


Imani Henry

Imani Henry

Hometown: Amory, Mississippi

Major: Agricultural Engineering Technology & Business

"I wanted somewhere that would put me on the next level, and I found that at Mississippi State."

During Imani's time at CALS, she served as president of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANNRS), and participated in an intenrship with the USDA Cochran Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. As far as her future plans are concerned, medical school is on the horizon.

"I'm really interested in mixing agriculture and medicine." 

The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, she says, has played a major part in her career goals by surrounding her with supportive faculty who truly believe in their students.


Isabella Durham

Isabella Durham

Hometown: Prattville, Alabama

Major: Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture

"There was just something about Mississippi State that I fell in love with."

The green spaces on campus, the friendly people and the wealth of undergraduate opportunities made Isabella's decision to become a Bulldog that much easier. 

Currently majoring in Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture within the College of Forest Resources, she says it has “amazing undergraduate programs” and “the faculty is very approachable.” Isabella plans to go to vet school at Mississippi State after graduation.

"I've always wanted to be a veterinarian, and the College of Forest Resources is helping me make that happen." 


Javaris Purnell

Javaris Purnell

Hometown: Winona, Mississippi 

Major: Kinesiology

"Get involved in at least one student organization as soon as you get on campus. Find one that's the right fit and then thrive in it." 

Javaris is particularly active in the Montgomery Leadership Program, where he did volunteer work and community outreach throughout Starkville, as well as being heavily involved with Mississippi State's ROTC program.

Javaris says that the diversity as MSU is what really sets it apart from other colleges. 

"It's a great melting pot that really expands your horizons."


Laura Herring

Laura Herring

Hometown: Panama City Beach, Florida 

Major: International Business: Spanish & Economics 

"Not only were people welcoming to me, but they geuinely cared." 

Laura Herring was "looking for more than an education." She comes from a Navy family, and "wanted a college that could truly become a home away from home."

Always interested in international affairs, Laura is involved with MSU's International Business Program, which allowed her to spend a semester as an intern at the U.S. Consulate General in Milan, Italy. Through this five-year program, students earn a Bachelor of Business Administration, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages, and go on to influence global affairs.

"This program is unique, competitive and exactly what I was looking for."


Laurel Marsh

Laurel Marsh portrait holding rocket

Hometown: Starkville, MS

Major: Aerospace Engineering

Scores of aerospace engineers want to someday work for NASA. Laurel already has. 

"MSU is really good at helping students find and compete for opportunities like these," she says.

An accomplished student, Laurel applied to Ivy League schools, but when it came to hands-on experience in her chosen field, Mississippi State had the most to offer. Through Space Cowboys, MSU's award-winning rocketry design team, Laurel has helped build rockets for NASA's annual launch competition. 

"Mississippi State has definitely given me an advantage when I go to find a job," she says. "The atmosphere here is very pro-student. They go beyond just making sure you understand the coursework. They put a really big focus on what you want to do career-wise."




Matthew Blair

Matthew Blair measuring liquids in the lab

Hometown: Clear Spring, MD

Major: Civil and Environmental Engineering

"Mississippi State won't hold you back. They will push you forward."

How so? In Matthew's sophomore year, he got the chance to do his own research project. Not only that, but his work got published while he was still an undergrad. "That's almost unheard of," he says. 

"If you are looking to change the world, Mississippi State will gladly show you the way."

Beyond the lab, Mississippi State has helped Matthew take his studies far and wide, from a prestigious fellowship at UC Berkeley to an eye-opening summer in Zambia with Engineers Without Borders, helping tribal communities get clean water. "Civil engineering may not be glamorous, but it offers me the ability to make people's lives better on a macro scale," he says. 


Rashidat Momoh

Rashidat Momoh

Hometown: Cordova, Tennessee 

Major: Architecture

Rashidat Momoh always knew she wanted to be an architect. 

"The architecture program at Mississippi State blew me away, and I immediately felt the sense of community on campus."

This Bulldog is particularly fond of MSU's studio-based approach to the study of architecture, which exposes students to real-world applications and the ability to be as creative as possible. Those ideas and creativity played a part in Rashidat being named a recipient of the prestigous Gensler Diversity Scholarship, becoming the third finalist from MSU in three years.

For students interested in architecture, Rashidat has this to say:

"Get out and experience as much architecture and life as you can." 


Roderick Erby

Roderick Erby portrait

Hometown: New Albany, MS

Major: Business Information Systems & Information Technology Services

"I always tell my high school friends, when you come to college, don't be afraid to get involved."

In high school, Roderick was always looking for ways to get involved and make a difference. He wanted a college that emphasized learning and offered lots of ways to get connected. "Mississippi State had everything I needed," he says. For one thing, MSU has more than 300 student organizations. 

"Everybody has a place." 

Roderick earned the Day One Outstanding Leadership Award in his freshman year. He enthusiastically recruits new students as a Roadrunner, and he's even planning his own volunteer project - a career preparation seminar for his fellow students - as part of the rigorous Montgomery Leadership Program. In the friendly and diverse community he found here, Roderick found his place quickly. 


Sam Andrews

Sam Andrews

Hometown: Vicksburg, Mississippi

Major: Marketing (previously Undeclared)

Sam was interested in more than one major when he arrived on campus, so he chose to remain undeclared while weighing his options and interests. He was drawn to the University Academic Advising Center because of their accessibility.

"My advisors were always available to answer questions and recommend core courses that complimented a wide range of majors. I was blown away by how much they care." 

Thanks to his advisors, Sam was able to land on a major - marketing. For students unsure about what to major in, Sam encourages them not to worry.

"Keep an open mind, because the university has a lot to offer." 


Spencer Callicott

Spencer Callicott

Hometown: Bryant, Arkansas 

Major: Computer Engineering

A campus tour was all it took for this future engineer to realize he was exactly where he needed to be. 

"I was so impressed by the modern campus and the breadth of research opportunities available to undergraduates."

According to Spencer, the opportunities available to students are what make the Bagley College of Engineering the place to be. 

"I'm currently an undergraduate researcher, and that's usually unheard of at other colleges. The faculty is always available, and they truly want students to succeed."


Vanessa Velasquez

Vanessa Velasquez portrait

Hometown: Vero Beach, FL

Major: International Business & Marketing with Chinese & Spanish

"You have to deal with things more independently. I'm learning to be a quick problem solver."

While studying abroad in Granada, Spain, Vanessa stays active. When she's not in class, she might be learning salsa, hiking snowy mountains, touring Paris, or making new friends - with new perspectives. 

"At home, when we study economics, we tend to focus on U.S. issues. Now, I have a better understanding of international economies." 

Though she's been abroad two months, she's still adjusting to a long-term stay in a new place. But culture shock has been a good teacher. "It's really broadened my mind."