College of Veterinary Medicine
Years in Position: 1.5
Years at MSU: 1.5
For CVM equine surgical intern Dr. Thomas McParland, being more than 4,000 miles from home offers both challenges and opportunities.
A graduate of the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London, Thomas was chosen to intern at MSU through the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program.
“I really wanted to try something new,” Thomas said. “I saw this opportunity as a way to experience a different culture, while continuing to learn my trade.”
As an equine surgical intern, Thomas performs lameness exams and responds to on-call medical emergencies. He also assists with a variety of surgeries from colic to fracture repairs.
“I went from simply knowing the basics to being able to apply that knowledge in a surgical setting,” Thomas said. “In my 18 months here, I’ve gained quality experience.”
In July, Thomas will move into a new phase of life. “After my internship, I’ll have to enter the next stage of my career- where to go, what to do next,” Thomas said. “I plan to enter a private practice and then pursue my residency either here in the states or back home with my family.”
Thomas has a twin brother who is a lawyer, an older brother who is a financial consultant and a younger sister studying to become a teacher.
Moving from London to Starkville was a big change. “The most striking difference is Mississippi has a friendlier culture,” Thomas said. “Everyone is so welcoming and interested in conversation. The Southern hospitality everyone talks about is definitely real.”
Being the huge sports fan that he is, Thomas loves being a part of American athletic events. “It’s interesting to see how education and sports go hand-in-hand here,” Thomas said. “A college game day here is so fascinating because everyone is so supportive of the athletes. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of.”
Extension Agent III
MSU Extension Service
Years in Position: 19
Years at MSU: 19
Sunflower County Coordinator Ann Twiner oversees a variety of programs for the MSU Extension Service.
Her main responsibilities are with 4-H, community resource development, and family and consumer sciences. However, she monitors other programs and events when needed. Some of her involvement includes helping with canning workshops, aiding educational meetings for a diabetic support group, and teaching sewing and ServSafe classes.
Ann’s contributions to 4-H include hosting the FARMtastic exhibit for area schools, facilitating the Junior Chef program in the summer, and assisting with livestock shows and MyPI.
“I’m really trying to learn more about robotics,” Ann said. “I really think it will be a great project for 4-H’ers to be involved in.”
Ann has been a part of the Extension family off and on since she graduated from MSU in 1979. After receiving her degree in home economics and Extension education, she interned at the Extension office in Humphreys County and worked as program assistant for several months. She took a job in Jackson, working for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce promoting the state’s agricultural products.
After marrying her husband, Ricky, Ann worked as a school teacher for two years in Yazoo City. She says her classroom experience helped her in all aspects of her current job.
“I started in Sunflower County in 1998 as a home economist,” Ann said. “I think that has made me very well-rounded and able to offer experience to our office.”
Ann said she enjoys the fact that her job is constantly changing. She also enjoys helping people learn new trades and skills.
“I like that Extension offers great resources on a variety of topics,” Ann said. “Especially areas like canning and clothing construction, which are making a comeback in today’s DIY society.”
When opportunities arise, Ann likes to travel with her husband and spend time with her three children and three grandchildren. She also enjoys getting involved with her church, working in her yard and on sewing projects.
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.