DAFVM Spotlight Employees

The administration for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine (DAFVM) spotlights two employees each month. All benefits-eligible professional and support staff employees within the Division qualify as part of the pool from which employees will be chosen. Highlighted employees will be randomly selected and given his or her choice of a $50 prize from DAFVM to be claimed from specific vendors at MSU. See Guidelines.
Gail Gillis

Gail Gillis
June 2017

Extension Associate
Dept. of Agricultural Economics
MSU Starkville Campus

Years in Position: 34
Years at MSU: 34

From the time Gail Gills was a graduate student in the MSU Department of Agricultural economics, she has been interested in figuring out how everything works from a financial standpoint.

Gail earned her Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics in 1983 from Mississippi State University. Her work with the department began in 1982 as a research technician. She now manages data for farm management and appraisal projects. 

“We publish cost and return estimates for row crops grown in Mississippi,” Gail explained.  “Producers use them as planning tools.  Bankers use them in their lending decisions.”

Gail has worked with the Mississippi Chapter of the American Society of Farm Mangers and Rural Appraisers, the Ag Econ Club, the Mississippi Agricultural Economics Association, and State FFA contests.

Her favorite part of working in the department is the people. 

“The staff and faculty are the best and I love the interaction with the students. Over the years I have had many students work in my office. It is great to check in with them from time to time to see what they are doing.”

Gail grew up in Sturgis and is a lifelong Bulldog.  For fun, she enjoys Irish and Scottish Ceili dancing.

Miranda Tucci

Miranda Tucci
June 2017

Grants & Contracts Specialist
Southern Rural Development Center
MSU Starkville Campus

Years in Position: 3 months
Years at MSU: 3 years

A chance conversation in her Sunday School class led West Virginia native Miranda Tucci to a job she loves.

Miranda, now a grants and contracts specialist with the Southern Rural Development Center, had been a stay-at-home mom while her husband of 10 years, Shelby, was in the Navy. But when he decided to pursue a degree in professional golf management at MSU, they switched roles.

“We moved around for 8 years, and when we came to Starkville I needed a job,” Miranda explained. “Rachael Welborn heard me mention it at church, and said they had an opening for an intermittent worker at SRDC. I’ve been here ever since.”

Miranda moved from intermittent worker to office associate to grants and contracts specialist in just over two years.

“I have my hands on everything behind the scenes,” she said. “I keep things running in the office: budgeting, payroll, ProCard, you name it. We are grant funded, so I deal with USDA a lot. It’s a lot of detail-oriented work.”

SRDC is part of a network of 29 universities in 13 Southern states, and Miranda enjoys talking to people in different places.

“I’ve met a lot of really cool people since I started working here, and in my new position I’m meeting new people at MSU too. Interaction with others is what I enjoy the most,” she said.

Miranda and Shelby have an 8-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, so they spend a lot of their free time involved in their kids’ activities. They all love to travel.

  • The drawing for the DAFVM Staff Spotlight recognition will take place the last week of each month and be announced the first working day of the upcoming month.  Names are pulled randomly from a pre-populated Banner list.
  • To be the highlighted staff for any given month, the employee must have acceptable recent performance evaluations on file. Those evaluations will be reviewed prior to acknowledgement of the employee and awarding a prize. The evaluation itself will not be viewed but rather HRM will provide a general recommendation based on the employee’s past reviews.
  • The selected employees will be notified by letter from Dr. Greg Bohach, Vice President, DAFVM.
  • A required photo and a brief  interview of the recipients will be posted on the DAFVM Staff Council Web page www.dafvm.msstate.edu/advisory/spotlight/. This information will also be displayed on the monitors of the first floor of the Bost Building, as well as in other MSU locations and publications.
  • Each recipient can choose one of the following prizes:
    • $50 gift certificate to the University Florist
    • $50 gift certificate to the MAFES Sales Store
    • MSU apparel item ($50 value)

At each annual DAFVM Summer Celebration, the Staff Spotlight recipients from the previous year will be acknowledged. The DAFVM website will have an archive of all winners listed by month/date.

An employee cannot be chosen more than once during a two (2) year period.