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.
Ontenncia Boclear

Ontenncia Boclear
October 2016

Extension Agent I
MSU Extension Service
Carroll County

Years in Position: 2.5
Years at MSU: 2.5

As someone passionate about making a difference, Ontenncia Boclear said working as an Extension agent in Carroll County is a perfect fit for her.

Ontenncia oversees the Family and Consumer Science program and helps with 4-H Youth Development in the county.

“I really enjoy working with the 4-H’ers,” Ontenncia said. “Just seeing the look on their faces when they learn something new is so rewarding.”

Before working for Extension, Ontenncia obtained her master’s degree in early childhood development and taught preschool for eight years. Based on these experiences, she thought her current job would be exciting.

“Since I had been in a teaching environment for quite some time, working with both 4-H and the general public sounded attractive,” Ontenncia said.

Ontenncia loves to make connections with people in Carroll County and across the state.

“My ultimate goal is to reach as many people as possible,” Ontenncia said. “I want to give people the opportunity to learn about new things and develop new skills, and to provide them with all the information they need.”

Before joining the Extension family, Ontenncia knew very little about the 4-H program, other than what she had read. This led to her two children (18-year-old AJ and 12-year-old Ashlyn) getting involved in their county club.

“As far as the future of Extension goes, I see growth,” Ontenncia said. “I see programs developing and growing bigger and better. As industries and society evolve, I foresee programs evolving with it.”

After hours, Ontenncia enjoys spending time with her family and doing arts and crafts. She enjoys this hobby so much that she tries to incorporate it into her job. For example, she has taught wreath-making and sewing classes.

“I really love this job,” Ontenncia said. “I have wonderful coworkers that welcomed me with open arms. I know that I am here to stay because MSU Extension is my home.”

Sayonara Jones

Sayonara Jones
October 2016

Copy Center Operator
Office of Ag Communications
MSU Extension Service
Starkville Campus

Years in Position: 1.25
Years at MSU: 1.25

The MSU Extension Office of Agricultural Communications relies on Sayonara Jones for her hard work in the Copy Center.

Sayonara spends her workday operating two industrial-sized printers, one color and one black and white. She also uses a highly specialized software to lay out all types of print jobs for MSU Extension. Jobs can range from holiday or post cards to informational brochures or manuals. Sayonara said she likes that her job is always changing and she is constantly working on something different.

“I just love seeing the look on a client’s face when they see the finished product,” Sayonara said. “The gratification of knowing the client is satisfied has to be my favorite part about this job. I also love that I get to take someone’s artistic vision and bring it to life. It’s like putting their dream on paper.”

Previously, Sayonara lived in Georgia and worked as a hair stylist for 15 years. A Mississippi native, she decided to move home to be closer to her family and obtain her degree.

“While working in University Relations at the Mississippi University for Women, I decided to get my degree in communications,” Sayonara said. “I had the opportunity to learn a lot about publications and doing layouts, so when I saw the posting for this job, I knew I had to apply.”

When Sayonara is not at work, she loves to travel and spend time with her three children. She recently adopted a 4-month-old girl.

“Life is truly a dream right now,” Sayonara said. “I’m a new mom all over again, I love my job, and I get to raise my children in a quiet, secure community. I’m really enjoying life.”

  • 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.