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.
Chris Forrester

Chris Forrester
December 2016

Building Maintenance Tech I
Forest Operations/
Forest and Wildlife Research Center
Starkville Campus

Years in Position: 5
Years at MSU: 5

The MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center’s Forest Operations team relies on Chris Forrester to keep the buildings and equipment running smoothly.

Forrester completes daily work orders from his superintendent or supervisor that primarily consist of electrical or HVAC work.

“One day I might be repairing incubators on South Farm and another I may be doing electrical work in the Sustainable Bioproducts building,” Forrester said. “I do a variety of assignments such as installing new equipment, wiring up motors, fixing faulty plumbing and troubleshooting with HVAC systems.”

Forrester said his favorite part about his job is working with such great people who work together and make the job worthwhile. He also likes that his job is constantly changing, and he knows he has a purpose.

Forrester first became interested in electrical work during his previous job as an ATV/motorcycle technician. He then decided to pursue his associate’s degree in Electrical Technology at EMCC. He finds digital electronics to be most interesting.

When Forrester is not working, he enjoys attending Meadowview Baptist Church and spending time with his family. He has been married to Jennifer for 14 years.  She also works at MSU as the business coordinator at the Custer Dairy Processing Plant.  They have two children: Allie, 9 and Jacob, 6. 

“I’m looking forward to some time off with my kids at Christmas,” Forrester said. “Another perk of the job.”

Darian Young

Darian Young
December 2016

Research Associate I
Mississippi Veterinary Research
and Diagnostic Laboratory

Years in Position: 1
Years at MSU: 1

With Darian Young’s experience in completing research and lab experiments, the Mississippi Veterinary Research and Diagnostic Laboratory in Pearl runs like a well-oiled machine.

As Research Associate under Dr. Trey Howell, Young runs various experiments along with his daily responsibilities, which include maintaining cell cultures, extracting cells from tissue samples, and analyzing data.

“My job really depends on the major project at hand,” Young said. “Towards the end of a project, we will run multiple experiments to test our results. It gets particularly busy in the spring when the lab receives animal tissue samples that need to be tested.”

Young has been interested in science since childhood. His curiosity about biology led to him to pursue his degree in the field. Young graduated with a degree in biology from the University of West Alabama in 2012 and a master’s in biology from Mississippi College in 2014.

“I’m gaining valuable research experience before I pursue my doctorate,” Young said. “My plan is to continue in research after furthering my education.”

Young said his favorite thing about his job is getting unexpected results from an experiment.

“It’s so interesting to see results come in and be counter to what we believed they would be,” Young said. “We always conduct a follow-up experiment and of course continue to find out why the results were the way they were.”

When he’s out of the lab, Young enjoys reading and visiting his family in Meridian. He said this year he is looking forward to a break for the holidays.

“I remember waking up Christmas morning at my grandparents’ home and rushing to open presents,” Young said. “Now that I’m older, I realize it isn’t about what’s under the tree but who’s around the tree, instead.”

  • 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.