2017 DAFVM Spotlight Employees

Donald Carmicael
Donald Carmichael
January 2017

CVM Ancillary Services
CVM Facilities Engineering
Starkville Campus

Years in Position: 16
Years at MSU: 16

Donald Carmichael keeps the College of Veterinary Medicine ticking.

As coordinator of the college’s ancillary services, he manages the maintenance of buildings and grounds.

“This job found me. I just kind of fell into it,” Carmichael said. “I’ve been in construction my whole life, so this job is a natural fit.”

Each day is a surprise, which is what he loves most about the job. His duties include everything from making sure light bulbs get replaced to organizing interior construction projects.

“It’s always something new,” he said. “You never really know what you’ll be doing when you come in to work every day.”

When he’s not working, Carmichael enjoys hunting and fishing.

Phyllis Parker
Phyllis Parker
January 2017

Office Associate
MSU Extension Service
Forrest County

Years in Position: 25
Years at MSU: 27

Forrest County Extension Office Associate Phyllis Parker enjoys working for an organization where she knows there is genuine care for others.

“It’s good to know that you’re employed by an organization that isn’t just concerned with their own success but with the education of the people they serve,” Phyllis said.

After transferring from East Mississippi Community College and graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi, Phyllis began working for MSU Extension in 1990. When she took her first position as an office associate in her native Noxubee County, Phyllis was unaware of the opportunities that Extension offers people.

“In Noxubee County, I was blessed to see firsthand the impact Extension can have on others,” Phyllis said. “I worked with the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, and it was such a joy to be so tied to the community.”

In 1994, she moved to Hattiesburg with her husband, Virie, who works as a manager for the USM Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Phyllis then began working for Forrest County Extension and is currently in her 25th year there.

Phyllis’s job requires a great deal of human interaction. Her daily duties include answering phones and helping clients find the information to fit their needs. Some online facets of the job include managing inventory, updating the mailroom database, downloading updates for the postage machine, and ordering supplies and publications. Phyllis also proctors the TummySafe certification exam and assists with scheduling conferences and events.

Phyllis enjoys meeting clients and volunteers.

“Whether it’s fulfilling requests for Extension information, signing for packages, dealing with service technicians and county maintenance workers, or directing someone lost to the correct place, with Extension, no two days are the same, so that makes the job unique,” Phyllis said.

Outside of the office, Phyllis’s home is her church, Rock of Ages Christian Fellowship Center. She serves as VBS director, welcomes new members, and organizes the first Sunday bulletin.
Phyllis has two children: Phenique, a senior MSU biomedical engineering major, and Jamarquez, a sophomore USM music education major.

Thomas McPArland
Thomas McParland
February 2017

Equine Intern
College of Veterinary Medicine
Starkville Campus

Years in Position: 1.5
Years at MSU: 1.5

For CVM equine surgical intern Dr. Thomas McParland, being more than 4,000 miles from home offers both challenges and opportunities.

A graduate of the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London, Thomas was chosen to intern at MSU through the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program.

“I really wanted to try something new,” Thomas said. “I saw this opportunity as a way to experience a different culture, while continuing to learn my trade.”

As an equine surgical intern, Thomas performs lameness exams and responds to on-call medical emergencies. He also assists with a variety of surgeries from colic to fracture repairs.

“I went from simply knowing the basics to being able to apply that knowledge in a surgical setting,” Thomas said. “In my 18 months here, I’ve gained quality experience.”

In July, Thomas will move into a new phase of life. “After my internship, I’ll have to enter the next stage of my career- where to go, what to do next,” Thomas said. “I plan to enter a private practice and then pursue my residency either here in the states or back home with my family.”

Thomas has a twin brother who is a lawyer, an older brother who is a financial consultant and a younger sister studying to become a teacher.

Moving from London to Starkville was a big change. “The most striking difference is Mississippi has a friendlier culture,” Thomas said. “Everyone is so welcoming and interested in conversation. The Southern hospitality everyone talks about is definitely real.”

Being the huge sports fan that he is, Thomas loves being a part of American athletic events.  “It’s interesting to see how education and sports go hand-in-hand here,” Thomas said. “A college game day here is so fascinating because everyone is so supportive of the athletes. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of.”

Ann Twiner
Ann Twiner
February 2017

Extension Agent III
MSU Extension Service
Sunflower County

Years in Position: 19
Years at MSU: 19

Sunflower County Coordinator Ann Twiner oversees a variety of programs for the MSU Extension Service.

Her main responsibilities are with 4-H, community resource development, and family and consumer sciences. However, she monitors other programs and events when needed. Some of her involvement includes helping with canning workshops, aiding educational meetings for a diabetic support group, and teaching sewing and ServSafe classes.

Ann’s contributions to 4-H include hosting the FARMtastic exhibit for area schools, facilitating the Junior Chef program in the summer, and assisting with livestock shows and MyPI.

“I’m really trying to learn more about robotics,” Ann said. “I really think it will be a great project for 4-H’ers to be involved in.”

Ann has been a part of the Extension family off and on since she graduated from MSU in 1979. After receiving her degree in home economics and Extension education, she interned at the Extension office in Humphreys County and worked as program assistant for several months. She took a job in Jackson, working for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce promoting the state’s agricultural products.

After marrying her husband, Ricky, Ann worked as a school teacher for two years in Yazoo City. She says her classroom experience helped her in all aspects of her current job.

“I started in Sunflower County in 1998 as a home economist,” Ann said. “I think that has made me very well-rounded and able to offer experience to our office.”

Ann said she enjoys the fact that her job is constantly changing. She also enjoys helping people learn new trades and skills.

“I like that Extension offers great resources on a variety of topics,” Ann said. “Especially areas like canning and clothing construction, which are making a comeback in today’s DIY society.”

When opportunities arise, Ann likes to travel with her husband and spend time with her three children and three grandchildren. She also enjoys getting involved with her church, working in her yard and on sewing projects.