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.

Gina Bell
October 2019

College of Forest Resources
MSU campus

Years in position: 6 months
Years at MSU: 8 years

Gina Bell wears a variety of hats as an office associate in the dean’s office of the College of Forest Resources.

Her responsibilities include preparing and selling hunter permits for the John W. Starr Memorial Forest, reconciling leave for the department, coordinating and scheduling departmental vehicles, and requesting and booking travel as a delegate for the department.

“It is exciting to meet and interact with the faculty, staff, students and guests who come into the main office. I love assisting with whatever needs people have and seeing what new challenges and problems arise,” Bell said. “It makes every day more interesting.”

Bell said her favorite part of the job is the opportunity to participate in departmental and university-wide events and celebrations such as Staff Appreciation Week.

“MSU is a special place to work, and it is a natural fit for me to be in this position where I can use my organizational, problem-solving and interpersonal skills,” she said. “Since I had worked at MSU before, I knew coming back on campus would be a great choice.”

She said her career is most rewarding because she gets to serve other people.

“I also like that I am a part of something greater by contributing to the vision and goals of the College of Forest Resources and of MSU,” Bell said.

Bell emphasized that flexibility is highly important in her position because she must be ready for whatever tasks need to be done. She never knows what issue will arise or what someone in going to need when they come in the door.
“Being friendly and outgoing is also vital because of the great number of people coming into the office,” she said. “It is also necessary in my position to be detail-oriented when organizing, planning and scheduling so everyone has what they need and in a timely manner.”

In her spare time, Bell loves listening to music and said she feels blessed to serve as music minister in her church. At home, she enjoys reading and cooking. Gina said her greatest joy comes from spending time with her family, especially her husband and two daughters.


Allison Mooney
October 2019

Department of Clinical Sciences
Mississippi State University
College of Veterinary Medicine

Years in Position: 2 months
Years at MSU: 2 months

After Allison Mooney received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee in May 2018, she started her residency in neurology and neurosurgery at MSU in July 2019.  

“This residency is a three-year-long advanced training program,” Mooney said. “My ultimate goal is to become a board-certified veterinary neurologist and neurosurgeon.”

A regular day for her consists of examining patients; evaluating blood work, MRIs and CT scans; formulating treatment plans; and learning how to perform neurosurgeries with faculty members.

“I also get to be involved in training current MSU juniors and seniors studying veterinary medicine,” she said. “I really love teaching and preparing the students to go out into the practice.”

Mooney’s said her favorite part of the job is creating success stories, such as helping dogs walk again or relieving pain for a client.

Her interest in neurology began before she started vet school. Mooney lost her father to a glioblastoma, which is an extremely aggressive type of brain tumor.

“I think it was therapeutic for me to talk to his doctors about his signs, look at his MRIs, his treatment and the surgery; it was a coping mechanism,” she said. “During school, neurology was my favorite subject. I learned I could help animals and potentially people like my dad.”

Mooney’s advice to students interested in this career is to study a lot, make good grades, get involved in research early and develop good self-care habits.

“Understanding how to cope with stress in a healthy manner and taking care of yourself is crucial and so much more important than anything else,” she said.

Mooney said being able to admit when you don’t know something and knowing how to find the answer is immensely important.

“Accept the fact that you won’t know everything and that at some point in time you will make a mistake -- and then learn from it,” Mooney said.

  • 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.