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.
Chiquita Johnson

Chiquita Johnson
March 2019

Office Associate
MSU Extension
Jefferson County

Years in position: 8
Years at MSU: 9

Each day is different for The Jefferson County office may have just two people staffing it, but office associate Chiquita Johnson can wear many hats.

“I do whatever it takes to fulfill our clients’ needs,” she said. “Over the years I’ve learned that my main role is to be a support system for the office, but I’ve also had to learn everyone else’s role.”

Chiquita works to get clients the resources they need, and if those resources aren’t available in Jefferson County, she finds out who offers those resources.

“I want our clients to get full service, whether it’s taking a soil sample or talking to a specialist,” she said.

Chiquita is a 4-H volunteer and an NRCS commissioner, and both of those organizations benefit from her dedication.

“My 4-H volunteering takes up more time than my job!” she said. “We do a lot of outreach with NRCS, we send clients to them and they send clients to us. We are a small town, so we don’t want to duplicate efforts.”

With her older two children grown and gone, Chiquita loves working with children.

“I want to provide opportunities that children in our region wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise, and I love mentoring children,” she said.

The day she got hired full time sticks out as her favorite memory working for Extension.

“I came as a call-in secretary and wasn’t expecting to be offered a permanent position,” she explained.

A close second for most memorable moment was when a client called about a buzzard with a broken wing in his backyard.

“Let’s call someone in wildlife,” she told him.

Chiquita said she loves the variety in her job.

“I love what Extension offers. It’s never boring. It’s always fun and you get to experience so much. I learn in every situation that we’re teaching or providing information. I have the opportunity to learn something new every day.”

When not working or volunteering, she enjoys reading and spending time with her three children and 3-year-old grandson.

“I find my peace when I’m dealing with the kids who are our future,” she said.

Jennifer Ashworth

Jennifer Ashworth
March 2019

Clinical Admissions Assistant
Clinical Sciences Department
College of Veterinary Medicine

Years in Position: 1.6
Years at MSU: 1.6

In her role in the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Jennifer Ashworth is the liaison between clients and doctors. She wants to make sure that the clients are well informed while they are waiting for their pets.

Many patients are referred to the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine by other veterinarians in private practices. Jennifer works to maintain a healthy relationship with referral veterinarians and the MSU Vet School.

 “I want to ensure our clients leave satisfied with our care and with the understanding that we can assist if they ever should need us again,” she said.

Jennifer enjoys learning new information about veterinary medicine every day. She finds joy in being able to help clients as much as possible. The more she knows about the subject, the more knowledge she has to help and calm an upset client. She always has to be ready to inform anyone about nearly anything they need to know.
“It is not just about answering phones. There is never a dull moment, and I am always talking to others. It is also important to have a positive mindset and an ability to work effectively with a team,” she said.

She and her husband are parents to two young boys as well as caretakers of four animals. In the warmer seasons, they enjoy trips to the park and eating snow cones. Everyone in the family loves the outdoors. In her spare time, she makes jewelry and works with vinyl items.

 “My boys love to help me make their t-shirts. I love to live life to the fullest and try to each day,” Jennifer 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.