DAFVM Spotlight Employees

The administration for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine (DAFVM) plans to spotlight 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.

Leo Jenkins
Leo Jenkins
May 2016

Research Technician
Delta Research and Extension Center
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
Delta Research and Extension Center, Stoneville

Years in Position: 1.5 years
Years of Service to MSU: 1.5 years

Jenkins is involved in data collection, maintaining fields, assisting co-workers and other researchers whenever possible. He oversees hourly employees, and works primarily on the Delta Research and Extension Center’s Stoneville campus.

Jenkins likes being a team player and helping complete a variety of tasks whether in the field or in research laboratories. Jenkins comes from a farming family.

“I lived and worked on a farm for more then 15 years,” Jenkins said. “This experience helps me appreciate the hard word that it takes to be effective in the industry. I also like being able to help researchers and producers be successful and profitable.”

Jenkins chose this career because he loves farming and was already familiar with farming practices and responsibilities but also likes the security of a promising career working for MSU.

In his free time, Jenkins enjoys spending time with his fiancée and watching his two stepchildren play basketball and baseball. He also likes hunting and fishing the Washington County area.

Tiffany Valentine
Tiffany Valentine
May 2016

Field Technical Assessment Worker
MSU Extension Service
Early Years Network

Time in Position: 3 Months
Service to MSU: 3 Months

Helping people has been a natural instinct for Tiffany Valentine since she was a little girl.

Valentine is the oldest of eight children, which prepared her for her career.

“Growing up, I always helped take care of my siblings,” she said. “My nurturing personality helped me with my siblings growing up and is continuing to help me in my career.”

Valentine is a program specialist for the Early Years Network, a program of the Mississippi State University Extension Service and part of the School of Human Sciences. She provides infant and toddler assessments for new moms.

Valentine said her favorite part of the job is helping the families enrolled in the parenting program.

“I love assisting a family with their new baby,” she said. “I enjoy seeing how much they learn from the lessons we teach them.”

Seeing the gratitude on the faces of new moms and dads brings Valentine a special appreciation for her job.

“The resources and the lessons we implement to families help them out immensely,” she said. “We receive a lot of feedback from the new families telling us how successful our programs are and how much they helped them with their newborns. They are so thankful to have received the help that we provided them, which makes my job all the more worthwhile.”

Before coming to MSU, she worked as a preschool teacher for Head Start in Flora, Mississippi, and as a parent educator for Healthy Homes Mississippi.

In her spare time, Valentine enjoys spending time with her husband, Curly, and her daughter, Almia, 12. She also enjoys shopping. Valentine loves helping people in her community as much as she does at her job. She is PTA president and athletic director of a little league football team. She is also a member of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority.


  • 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.