Ashley Kosturock

Ashley Kosturock portrait

Hometown: Gulfport, MS

Major: Aerospace Engineering

"I wanted to learn what makes an airplace fly - what keeps it in the sky."

Ashley is the first in her family to go to college. She's also the first to fly planes. One day, she wants to join the Air Force Reserve and fly with the Hurricane Hunters - daring pilots who fly into storms to send data to weather reporters. 

After attending Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Ashley transferred to MSU to study Aerospace Engineering. Through an MSU connection, Ashley landed a summer job flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. She's also involved in a program to get more girls to follow her footsteps into engineering. 


Ben Pace

Ben Pace Portrait

Hometown: Philadelphia, MS

Major: Biological Science, Pre-Dental

Ben Pace has been an MSU fan all his life. Naturally, when it came time to transfer from East Central Community College, Mississippi State ranked high on his consideration list.

“I narrowed it down to MSU and Mississippi College. I weighed my options and chose Mississippi State,”

His scholarship played a major role in his decision. Ben, who was highly active in Phi Kappa Theta at ECCC, was the recipient of MSU’s Presidential Transfer Scholarship.

A Biological Science (pre-dental) major, Ben is a member of the Pre-Dental Society and has been elected to serve as the society’s vice president. He is also active in Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-professional organization.

Ben’s ultimate goal is to work in rural dentistry.

“I’m from a small town. I want to serve the people who served me.”

Ben advises incoming students to develop strong relationships with professors and get involved on campus.

“When you’re involved, you’ll meet people who can help you along the way. You’ll also get the opportunity to help others who are struggling.”


Hannah Harlan

Hannah Harlan

Hometown: Quitman, Mississippi

Major: Criminology

Before transferring from Jones County Community College, Hannah took a tour of MSU-Meridian and says she "immediately fell in love with campus and everything about it."

"My transition here was much easier than I could've expected. Being a student at the Meridian campus, I do have an advantage because my entire college experience is so much more personal. People are always available and ready to help with anything I may need." 

Hannah is a Criminology major, and hopes to one day work in federal law enforcement. She credits her professors with helping her prepare for her career.

"My professors are always available to help, no matter the circumstance. They are enthusiastic about every topic they teach, which makes it easier to learn and definitely more fun!"


Joel Bellipanni

Joel Bellipanni portrait

Hometown: Belzoni, Mississippi

Major: Civil Engineering

“My plan has never waivered. I want to save an entire ecosystem. While I was at Holmes Community College I visited State, and Civil Engineering caught my eye."

"Before I transferred, I was worried I might be a little behind, but you don’t need to feel intimidated here. People want you to succeed.”

Joel’s next goal is to get a co-op experience or internship. “I really want to help restore water quality in the Delta, hopefully with the Corps of Engineers. It’s a crucial issue for our state.”


Karleigh Kimbrell

Karleigh Kimbrell

Hometown: Pontotoc, Mississippi 

Major: English

Once Karleigh arrived on campus, she immediately knew she belonged. 

"It just felt like I was meant to be here!"

Karleigh credits on-campus involvement as being an important aspect of the Mississippi State experience. 

"I would tell transfer students to research all of the clubs and organizations on campus, just to get an idea of what's out there and where you'll fit in. There's something for everyone!"


Keyonna Wilder

Keyonna WIlder

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

Major: Social Work

"Mississippi State made me feel like a part of the Maroon and White Family from the beginning."

During her decision process, Keyonna considered everything colleges had to offer, and found exactly what she was looking for at Mississippi State. 

Although she was already majoring in Social Work, she says that MSU reinforced her decision. Students are required to complete service learning hours by shadowing a licensed social worker for certain classes, and she believes that kind of experience is beneficial. 

"Because I'm heavily involved in student organizations, my leadership skills are steadily improving."

Keyonna loves her sorority and credits student involvement in playing a major part in her smooth transition from Faulkner State Community College. 



Taylor Avera

Taylor Avera Portrait

Hometown: Stringer, MS

Major: Business Administration

When Taylor Avera visited Mississippi State’s Meridian campus, she knew immediately that she had found a home.

“I looked at all my options. I felt that this was a place where I could really connect.”

A transfer student from Jones County Junior College, Taylor changed her major from accounting to business administration, a move that she felt would better serve her long-term goals. After graduation, Taylor plans to take over her parents’ business, a successful processing plant that has been in operation for more than 30 years.

With the support of her advisors, she was able to conduct an internship at her own family’s business, developing new ways to market the company and its products. With this experience, combined with her solid business education, Taylor feels confident that she can take her family’s company to a new level of success.


Tiffany Means

Tiffany Means Portrait

Hometown: Ocean Springs, MS

Major: Secondary Education

Tiffany has a heart for teaching and wants to be a college professor. She enrolled at Meridian Community College, but she felt she needed to be at a university to fully accomplish her goals.

Although MSU-Meridian was right across the street, it felt far away.

“I thought it would be too expensive.”

But she talked to an advisor who helped her get a grant. Soon after, Tiffany was dual-enrolled at MCC and MSU-Meridian and well on her way to a seamless transfer.

MSU-Meridian has Partnership Pathways with local community colleges, including MCC. It takes the guesswork out of transferring.

“So students don’t waste time or money on the wrong classes.”

Tiffany looks forward to completing her degree at MSU-Meridian,

“Which is known for strong education programs.” 

With MSU-Meridian’s smaller classes, she already feels at home here.

“You get more one-on-one attention.” 


Tyus Harden

Tyus Harden

Hometown: Bailey, Mississippi 

Major: Secondary Education

Tyus transferred from Meridian Community College, where he was a member of Phi Theta Kappa. Upon transferring to MSU-Meridian, he received the Maroon & White scholarship and the PTK Scholarship. 

When asked about his career goals, Tyus replies that he wants to become a teacher and successful basketball coach. His advice to potential transfer students:

"Be prepared and stay focus!"


William Dean

William Dean Portrait

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Major: Biological Engineering

Will was born to be involved, and at Holmes Community College, he was. But he worried he might be lost in the crowd at a big university like MSU — especially since he didn’t start here as a freshman.

As Will soon found out, he had nothing to fear. In his first year alone, Will tutored young minorities with Men of Excellence, became a counselor at MSU’s New Maroon Camp for incoming freshmen, and gave campus tours as an MSU Roadrunner.

Meanwhile, in the lab, he’s researching paddlefish to see what clues this tough creature might hold for the future of structural engineering.

“To be so involved, plus get a research opportunity, all in my first year at MSU, was a big deal to me!”

This active Phi Theta Kappa scholar calls MSU a place of “endless possibilities,” where students become adult versions of themselves.


Raychal Reed

Raychal Reed ringing her cowbell in the Drill Field

Hometown: Louisville, MS

Major: Kinesiology

"I’ve always been involved. MSU takes it to a whole new level."

After transferring from East Central Community College, Raychal wanted to introduce others to the “sense of unity at MSU.” As a College of Education Ambassador and Transfer Student Association member, she does just that.

“Bulldog Family says it all.”

Raychal also helped raise money for research on a Multiple Sclerosis Walk in Starkville. “To honor our therapy patient, we wore sweatshirts with a Bulldog paw print and called our team Paws for Paul. It was a great day.”


Andee Schuurman

Andee Schuurman drawing campus architecture at the Chapel courtyard

Hometown: Lauderdale, MS

Major: Art

"I wanted to meet people in other majors. My friends here are in many fields."

Two years at Meridian Community College helped Andee focus on a concentration in Graphic Design, which she now pursues in MSU's close-knit and intensely active Department of Art. 

“MSU offers a different atmosphere than private art schools,” she says. “My friends include talented artists and students in education, engineering and animal science.”

Andee’s enjoyed guest lectures, gallery exhibits and volunteering for MSU’s Photography Conference. Now she’s assembling her best work for a portfolio review. “I’d like to join an advertising agency or multimedia firm, and the review will ready me for professional interviews.”


Chance Barfoot

Chance Barfoot posing with backpack over shoulder

Hometown: Philadelphia, MS

Major: Healthcare Administration

"I have enjoyed every professor I have had while attending school here," Chance says. "I can tell they are knowledgeable about their profession, and that makes me more excited and better prepared for my next job."

Chance started at East Central Community College, then transferred to MSU-Meridian. The campus was close to home, and his flexible schedule meant he could work, too. 

As a business administration major with a focus on healthcare, Chance hopes to get a job with a local hospital or a health insurance company. With a degree from Mississippi State, he is confident a future career in his chosen field is on the horizon. 


Derrick Mitchell

Derrick Mitchell posing in a stair way

Hometown: Benoit, Mississippi

Major: Criminology

"I know where I’m headed. I want to carry the ball for justice."

When Derrick was at Mississippi Delta Community College, he would come to MSU football games and imagine himself on the field. When the time came to transfer, he knew this was the place to play ball and pursue a degree in criminology. 

Starting out as a linebacker, Derrick’s switching over to play fullback – a move as seamless as his transition to MSU. “The admissions process went smoothly,” says Derrick, “and within a few months I’ve made a few friends on and off the team. It’s the best decision I could have made.”


Feifei Zeng

Feifei Zeng ringing her cowbell with College of Business logo on wall behind

Hometown: Treviso, Italy

Major: Marketing & Foreign Language (International Business & Spanish)

"Really get to know your transfer counselors. They can help you apply for scholarships, understand transfer credits, and make your transition smooth and easy!"

To complete her degree in International Business, Feifei transferred to MSU from Carl Albert Community College in Oklahoma. Now, she's a Bulldog through and through!

"MSU is a very transfer-friendly university with great transfer scholarships," says Feifei. "They make my success their priority."

Feifei grew up in China, Italy, and the U.S. She hopes to work for a global corporation so she can travel, use her languages, and learn new cultures. 


KeAirra Williams

KeAirra Williams posing at the steps outside the Union

Hometown: Florence, Mississippi


Major: Architecture

"My direction has always been clear. Now I’m proving my skills to the world."

KeAirra calls her initial collegiate career at Hinds Community College “a decision of the heart, being close to home, but a bachelor’s degree has always been my goal.” Her passion for design has brought her to MSU’s Architecture program.

This self-described “striver” is working on team projects and taking field trips to Washington, D.C., Dallas, and Atlanta. “I’m sure of what I want to do,” she says. Her program is teaching her to “show what I can do and prove my skills to the world.”


Sophia Daniels

Sophia Daniels studying at the Business school

Hometown: Meridian, MS

Major: Business Administration (Healthcare Administration)

"The tuition is very reasonable. During the application process, I was awarded scholarships that I didn't even have to apply for."

As Sophia prepared to transfer from Meridian Community College to a university, she knew she wanted to attend a school that was both affordable and close to home. Lucky for her, Mississippi State University has a campus right in her hometown.

Now, as a full-time MSU student, Sophia commends her advisors for keeping her on track for graduation. In fact, she expects to graduate a semester early. 


Will Graves

Will Graves posing with giant Hail State on the wall behind him.

Hometown: Laurel, MS

Major: History

"I know I am in the right place – and it’s only 90 minutes from home."

As a commuter at Jones County Junior College, Will yearned for the full college experience. He found it at MSU: “Being in the SEC, every sport is top-notch, you have bigger crowds at the games, and it’s more fun at a higher level.”

“I’ve made a ton of friends, and they like to explore places and have new experiences around Starkville.”

Will also appreciates the support of fellow students, who help him get around and make him feel at home. His advice? “Come to campus, hang out on the weekends, get the college feel, and you’ll know you can find a place here.”