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.
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.
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.