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.

Ben Berry
Jessica Redd
July 2016

Program Assistant
Unit: MSU Extension Service Early Years Network
Location: Southwest Community College, Pike County

Years in Position: 7
Years of Service to MSU: 7

Jesica Redd has a passion for educating and working with children. The Mississippi State University Extension Service helps her turn her passion into a profession.

Jesica serves as the program assistant for the Early Years Network at Southwest Community College in Pike County. She does many different tasks that allow her to help others.

“My responsibilities allow me to provide excellent customer service and program assistance to people in the community who need great resources, training classes and high quality child care,” Jesica said.

She also prepares reports and plans logistics for implementing workshops.
Jesica says that one of the best parts of her job is that she help others, primarily early care and education providers.

“I like assisting in providing professional development to individuals whose main goal is to provide quality care for the children of Mississippi,” she said.
Her favorite memory on the job was when she visited in-home child care providers affected by Hurricane Katrina.

“The visit allowed me to witness their dedication to their career,” Jesica said. “It showed me their level of determination to rebuild after the tragedy.”
In her free time, she enjoys helping others and spending time with her husband, Kelvin, and their two children, Kelsi and Ky.

Walter Solomon
Patty Swearingen
July 2016

Extension Agent -- Lauderdale County Coordinator
Unit: MSU Extension Service
Location: Meridian

Years in Position: 14
Years of Service to MSU: 25 years

Extension is a family thing for Patty Swearingen. Like her mother who served as an Extension agent, Patty pursued a career with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Patty is an Extension agent and the county coordinator in Lauderdale County. She provides educational programs in family and consumer education, 4-H youth development, and enterprise and community resource development.

People are Patty’s favorite aspect of working in Extension.

“I love getting to know so many different people throughout the county, and making a difference in their lives,” Patty said. “Also, working with high school juniors through Leadership Lauderdale Youth is very rewarding.”

Following in her mother’s footsteps, she spent 11 years working as a 4-H Youth Development agent and Family and Consumer Sciences agent in Monroe County before moving to Lauderdale County.

“I grew up in Extension. My mother, Dot Shaw, is a retired Home Economist,” Patty said. “I saw how she loved her job and the people loved her. Every day was a new experience, and some days were a challenge, but she always enjoyed it to the fullest.”

Her favorite memory was when Roy Doss, Monroe County agent, took her to work during a snow storm.

“I could not believe we had to go to work. No one was on the streets and no one had electricity,” Patty said. “By the time they got us to work, it was time to start taking us back home. That’s why we called Mr. Doss the Ole Country Agent.”

When she is not serving the people of Lauderdale County, she enjoys working in the yard and spending time with her family.

Patty has been married to her husband, Harvey, for 29 years. They have two children, Patrick and Ashley.


  • 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.