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If the corporate world and immigration law share one commonality, it’s that Ashlee Drake Berry is a force to be reckoned with. Born and raised in Iowa, she is an established, licensed immigration attorney who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mississippi State in 2009 and 2010, respectively. She later earned a second master’s from the University of Washington and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi. During her time at Mississippi State, Berry was a starter on the women’s varsity soccer team while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She is an attorney at Vialto Law PLLC, a U.S.-based law firm associated with Vialto Partners, the world’s leading global mobility company. She also has prior in-house experience with a Fortune 500 company. Berry uses her expertise and talent to strategically advise business clients and streamline legal processes. She was selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows Program to serve as a representative in the country of Georgia where she developed sustainable partnerships and led a series of co-created legal training programs. She deployed as a Department of the Army Civilian in the expeditionary corps to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Berry is also committed to community service by representing survivors of crimes, advocating for human rights and providing legal expertise for immigration reform.

Rayquotez Butler honed his skills and purpose during his time at Mississippi State, overcoming difficulties and achieved success he never imagined as an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and the youngest senior HR leader of a global company—all before the age of 30. The two-time MSU graduate earned a 2017 bachelor’s degree in communication and a 2019 master’s degree in public policy and administration. The Shelby native also holds certifications in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University and the University of South Florida. As a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant for global business consulting firm Deloitte, Butler facilitates allyship and training programs to ensure equitable opportunities for some 12,000 professionals from diverse backgrounds. Now residing in Dallas, Texas, he also founded Relentlessly Better Co. to expand his leadership service through motivational speaking engagements, which include being a featured TEDx speaker in 2022.

Mantachie native Tyler Camp is a proven leader in public relations and community advancement. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from MSU in 2014 and serves as chief of staff and special assistant to the president of Itawamba Community College in Fulton. He assists and supports the president with a wide range of responsibilities, including overseeing and leading community relations, recruitment, marketing and press. He also maintains a working relationship with members of the legislature to tackle complex budget issues and funding for the community college system and workforce development. His community involvement includes selection as a Top 10 Finalist for the North Mississippi Top 40 Under 40 Awards in 2017 and 2018, Itawamba County’s Friendliest Person in 2017 and Itawamba County Ambassador of the Year in 2019. Camp also is a graduate of the Community Development Foundation Jim Ingram Leadership Institute and was named the 2019 Grand Champion of the Dance Like the Stars nonprofit fundraiser for raising more than $47,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi. In 2021, the Mississippi Business Journal recognized Camp as a Top 50 Under 40 recipient for the state of Mississippi.

John Clemmer, a native of Madison, is at the forefront of converging mathematics with human physiology to help solve some of today’s most pressing problems in health and medicine. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological engineering from MSU in 2008 and 2010, respectively, he completed a doctoral degree in physiology and biophysics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He now serves as an assistant professor at UMMC, where his research involves using mathematical modeling to understand various aspects of integrative physiology and potential treatments, particularly concerning cardiovascular diseases. One of his significant contributions is using virtual populations for simulating clinical trials. Clemmer earned numerous accolades for his work, including the Arthur C. Guyton Award for Excellence in Integrative Physiology and Medicine.

Rashad Cockrell’s professional journey has exemplified his dedication to lifelong learning and advocacy for students from diverse backgrounds. The Pontotoc native is a 2017 business graduate of MSU who also holds a master’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas and is pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. He serves as director of the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. There, he is responsible for overseeing and enhancing educational programs, events and services that promote a diverse intellectual and social environment, as well as cross-cultural understanding among students and the community. Outside his work on campus, he invests in his community through volunteer support and has been recognized for his leadership service.

Ameka Coleman strives to teach others the importance of self-love, faith and community. A 2009 biological sciences graduate of MSU, she later earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of West Georgia and a master’s degree in clinical research from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. In 2017, she founded Strands of Faith, a beauty and lifestyle company specializing in clean and empowering hair products for individuals with textured hair. The Brandon native has since grown the humble startup into a thriving seven-figure business that serves over 40,000 women worldwide. Coleman invests in aspiring entrepreneurs and advocates for STEM fields by providing free business consultations to help steer entrepreneurs along their journeys. Her dedication and hard work have garnered recognition from high-profile organizations such as SBA Thrive Emerging Leaders and the Beyonce Bey Good Foundation, among others. Coleman’s success as a beauty industry entrepreneur and community leader has earned her distinctions including being named the Top CEO of Mississippi in 2021 and the 2023 Best of Mississippi SOAR award.

Megan N. Costilow’s life and career have been shaped by her passion for community outreach and commitment to law enforcement. The 2017 MSU graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in political science followed by a Juris Doctor from the Mississippi College School of Law. She serves as director of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Information Center, where she leads the oversight of the state’s Sex Offender Registry. A certified law enforcement instructor by the Mississippi Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training, Costilow is a regular instructor for the Certified Investigator Program of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Academy. She routinely travels the state to provide personal public safety measures and community awareness trainings for all ages on topics like cyberbullying, sextortion, stranger danger and child exploitation. Costilow is a strong advocate for professional development and community service and was a finalist for the 2023 National Criminal Justice Training Center Administrative Professional of the Year. The Grenada native is District XVI Justice within Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, presiding over all law school and alumni chapters in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Stephanie Cummins is a successful broker associate and owner of Front Gate Realty LLC, based in Brandon. She graduated from Mississippi State in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in real estate. As one of the top producing agencies in the state with 35 active Realtors, Cummins’ business has sold over $1 billion in real estate since opening in 2010. A top-producing Realtor in Rankin County, she has also served on numerous Realtor committees and assumed leadership roles in professional organizations. She serves as treasurer for the Mississippi Association of Realtors, was the previous central Mississippi Realtor liaison to the Mississippi Mortgage Bankers Association and has served multiple terms on the boards of the Home Builders Associations of Jackson and Mississippi. She has received several awards for her contributions, including being named to Realtor Magazine’s 2013 30 Under 30, MAR’s 40 Under 40 in 2014 and Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 50 Leading Business Women in 2016. She also has served as a governor-appointed member of the personnel board for the state of Mississippi since 2017.

New Albany native Roderick Erby is a 2016 business information systems graduate of MSU’s College of Business. He also earned an MBA with an emphasis in project management from Louisiana State University-Shreveport and is a Certified Information Systems Auditor. After working for several years in various positions within International Paper in Memphis, Tennessee, he relocated to Chicago, Illinois, where, after a short time working in a nonprofit, he now serves as an information technology audit advisor for IP. Erby also works as an adjunct professor at DePaul University’s Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media, where he teaches a graduate course in IT auditing. Through his profession and a commitment to civic service and mental health advocacy, he regularly mentors students and peers and has been influential in recruiting fellow Bulldogs for employment opportunities in information technology at IP. He has received IP’s CEO and Global Excellence: Pillar awards and was recognized as a Memphis Flyer Top 20 Under 30 in 2020.

Brandon native Dr. Blake Forte is a 2014 biological engineering graduate of MSU. He later earned a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, followed by both a master’s degree in health sciences and a Doctor of Medicine from Meharry Medical College. He is a third-year emergency medicine resident physician at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, where he is exposed to a variety of patients through rotations in the adult and children’s emergency departments, labor and delivery unit, operating room, and intensive care. He was selected to become one of the chief residents for his last year of residency and works shifts in the emergency departments of two community hospitals in the Greater St. Louis area. Forte is extensively involved in several volunteer organizations. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians and has volunteered at local community resource programs and local elementary and high schools.

Dr. Seth Ladd, a Laurel native, is a 2009 kinesiology graduate of Mississippi State completed his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University. He then completed a general surgery residency at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Queens, New York. He also obtained a fellowship in burn and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has earned many accolades for his research and presentations during his education. Ladd practices as a general surgeon at South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel, where he specializes in minimally invasive, robotic and acute care surgery. He is also an adjunct clinical professor at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he mentors medical students and delivers lectures. He actively participates in community service and served as doctor for Camp Ridgecrest for Boys during summers. He also stays involved at MSU as a clinical adviser and preceptor for MSU’s pre-med students and part of the Bulldog Mentoring program. He also serves Jones County as part of the advisory board and speaker for the Jones County Vocational School Allied Health Program. Ladd’s dedication and achievements have earned numerous accolades, including being selected as a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons.

Trey Leonard is a three-time MSU graduate who earned double bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics in 2018, and a 2021 doctoral degree in mechanical engineering. He founded Standard Mechanics, a nationally acclaimed mechanical testing research lab in Starkville that specializes in data that influences the development of cutting-edge products across the automotive, electronics and power tools industries. The company was recently celebrated as the Best Metal Testing Service Company by Metals and Mining Review. Leonard has developed patented technology and contributed to special projects at prestigious institutes like the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, National Science Foundation, Army Research Lab and others. He also volunteers with a group based at Johns Hopkins working to develop the first dynamic mechanical testing standards for ASTM. The Huntsville, Alabama, native remains involved at MSU where he has mentored mechanical engineering senior design teams and capstone projects in both engineering and business.

Pontotoc native Anne Hollis Lipscomb earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the MSU College of Education in 2015, 2017 and 2020, respectively. She pursued pre- and postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Kennedy Krieger Institute. As a licensed behavior analyst and psychology fellow, Lipscomb recently returned to campus to work at MSU’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability and the future Mississippi Institute on Disabilities. She provides a variety of assessment and treatment services to individuals with developmental disabilities to meet their educational, social and behavioral needs. She also provides training and consultative services to schools and community stakeholders so they can better serve students with disabilities. Her research on increasing patient access to therapies in service deserts, mainly through parent training programs and waitlist workshops, demonstrates her commitment to improving the lives of others. Lipscomb also has been involved in community service projects such as the rEcess program, a monthly respite night for families of children with disabilities.

Just three days before graduating from MSU’s Fashion Design and Merchandising program in 2018, Audrey Jarvis McCarty purchased The Bridal Path, a well-established bridal business in Jackson. Using the knowledge and skills she gained as a student, as well as her previous experience in retail, McCarty works to procure the best inventory in the South and create unforgettable experiences for her clients. Under her direction, The Bridal Path’s sales have tripled, and McCarty recently completed construction on a second, larger facility to expand the business into her hometown of Madison. She volunteers with organizations like the American Cancer Society, Mississippi Children’s Museum and Distinguished Young Women Program. She also leads mission trips and serves people experiencing homelessness.

Ian T. McKay of Columbus, Ohio, earned master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from MSU in 2019 and 2021, respectively. He serves as a pediatric acute treatment psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and as a clinical assistant professor at Ohio State University’s College of Medicine. He serves as the attending psychologist on the adolescent inpatient unit and recently co-founded and co-developed an outpatient clinic, where his team provides specialized services for individuals ages 10 to 17 experiencing symptoms of psychosis or mood disorders. He has made significant research contributions, with multiple peer-reviewed publications and ongoing projects, and has been recognized with numerous honors for his excellence in teaching, research and community service. After his mother’s passing in 2011, he founded Have a Big Heart, a nonprofit that supports the American Heart Association and scholarships for students.

Mary Chase Breedlove Mize is a 2013 communication graduate of MSU. She then studied clinical mental health counseling at Georgia State University, where she earned two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree. The Somerville, Tennessee, native is now an assistant professor of clinical mental health counseling for graduate and post-baccalaureate studies at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She also is director of counseling and supervision at Seek and Find Counseling and Consulting, LLC, a small private practice that specializes in grief counseling, coping with aging-related challenges, suicide intervention and prevention training, and clinical supervision. She has contributed to many articles, manuscripts and other publications, and co-authored the book “Keep Watch: Suicide, Christ and Community,” which was published in 2022. A member of many professional organizations, advisory boards and task force committees, Mize also has been a frequently invited speaker and training lead, sharing her expertise and experience with others in her field.

Brandon native Chelsea Ladner Morea is a manager in strategic marketing at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/ALSAC in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She leads a team that creates and manages audience and campaign strategies to raise funds and awareness for the hospital, which was ranked the Most Trusted Nonprofit in 2023 by Morning Consult. With nearly eight years dedicated to the mission, her team works cross-divisionally with stakeholders who, together, support nearly 75% of organizational revenue. She discovered her passion for fundraising and development as a student worker with MSU’s Foundation. Morea is a 2015 business administration graduate who also earned an MBA in 2016. She is actively involved in her community, serving in several capacities at her church and supporting the military community. Upon marrying a commanding officer in the U.S. Navy and relocating to Virginia Beach in 2020, she took on the role of president of the Officers Spouse Group to provide a support system and fellowship for spouses of active-duty service members who are away for training or deployed. Morea directly assisted families during loss, hardships and medical crises. Other responsibilities included community outreach and fundraising to provide over 150 sailors with household supplies and essentials upon their return from deployment. Morea has received several awards including the Highest Award for Achievement in Emerging Leaders by Dale Carnegie. However, she is most proud of the role she is able to play in supporting military families.

After earning a degree in architecture in 2011, Victoria Parker began working for ESa design firm of Nashville, Tennessee, where she serves as senior project manager. She oversees a team of architects, interior designers and engineers on the creation of project design and construction documents. Parker is also responsible for schematic design studies, building systems’ coordination and construction administration. Her portfolio of completed and current projects represents over $700 million of construction. Notable projects for the Madison native include 17th and Grand, a high-rise commercial office building in Nashville, and Baptist Memorial Hospital of North Mississippi, both of which earned Awards of Excellence from the Associated General Contractors of Tennessee. She is involved in her community as a member of the Warhol Society, a nonprofit organization focused on the arts. In 2020, she founded the Nashville Art Company that sells art to benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission for the homeless population. She maintains her involvement at MSU through the Bulldog Mentor Program, mentoring students furthering their study of architecture.

Shemeka Phipps, a Mound Bayou native, earned a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology at MSU in 2013. She later earned a master’s degree in human development and family studies from the University of Alabama and a doctoral degree in professional leadership from the University of Houston. Phipps is a Certified Family Life Educator and faculty member at Lee College in Baytown, Texas. She is deeply involved in community service, serving as a speaker for the Delta Educational Opportunity Center, Avance-Houston and the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Houston. She has served as an at-large council member of the National Learning Communities Association. Phipps has received many awards, such as the Heart of a Cougar Award, Coordinator of the Year, Outstanding Student in Family Studies Award and the Crimson Legacy Award. Her work with first-generation college students, student success, community building and leadership has been presented at conferences of all levels. Phipps’ dedication to advocacy and education led her to establish the Center for First-Generation Excellence, a nonprofit that provides support services to first-generation college students and their families. With the community’s support and notable corporations such as Ross Dress for Less, Tiff Treats, Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree and TDECU Credit Union, the nonprofit has supported over 150 students and their families.

For the last decade, Starkville native Missie Smith has applied her expertise in human factors to the safe design and development of novel augmented and mixed reality technologies across industry and academic positions. The two-time MSU graduate holds 2010 bachelor’s and 2012 master’s degrees in industrial engineering. She later earned a doctoral degree from Virginia Tech and currently serves as a senior research scientist on the user experience research health and safety team for Reality Labs (Meta) in Redmond, Washington. She leads multidisciplinary teams in identifying and solving critical problems through research and informed communication efforts that further technological development. Her research spans foundational to applied research, enabling both knowledge generation and product development, and has been internationally recognized through 24 awards, 14 invited speaking engagements and 24 publications that have been collectively cited over 480 times. A dedicated community servant, she also is involved with multiple professional and volunteer organizations and has mentored over 100 early career professionals and students since 2013.

Bianca Thomas Stamps, a Gautier native, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from MSU in 2018. She later earned an MBA from Loyola University and serves as a process simulation and control engineer at Chevron in Houston, Texas. She has successfully led product trials and campaigns, improved product quality, discovered lab testing opportunities, and reduced plant downtime while enhancing plant start-ups. Stamps is also passionate about diversity and inclusion. She has held numerous local and global leadership roles in Chevron’s Black Employee Network. She is also invested in student success and has several university partnership roles that allow her to facilitate recruitment, mentoring and career workshops with several universities, including MSU. She has earned several awards including Human Energy Measurable Value Awards, which are presented to those whose performance adds unquantifiable value.

Southaven native Mark Talley earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Mississippi State in 2010. He is a principal architect of Tall Architects in Ocean Springs, which he co-founded with his wife in 2014. They lead an all-Bulldog team of architects and designers to bring a forward-thinking and inclusive voice to architectural design, particularly in the South. Tall Architects has received numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects for its innovative and impactful architectural designs. Talley volunteers time and expertise to organizations including the MSU School of Architecture’s advisory board and Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, the Bethesda Free Clinic, the American Institute of Architects-Mississippi Chapter, the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, and more. Talley has also actively engaged with local schools and organizations through free talks, workshops and educational sessions. Tall Architects’ professional achievements were also highlighted with Architect Magazine’s 2023 Next Progressives award, which honors firms that have made significant contributions to the industry in a short time.

Jacob Tschume earned mathematics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 2010 and 2012, respectively, and is pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education leadership. In 2012, he joined the Department of Mathematics and Statistics faculty at MSU, where he serves as an instructor and academic adviser for undergraduate math majors. In addition to having taught over 12,000 students across a variety of majors and disciplines, Tschume also serves on the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, is a faculty fellow for the university’s Luckyday Scholars Program and chairs the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee. He has been involved in mentoring programs, workshops for standardized tests and community service, and is an active member of the Mississippi Collegiate Mathematical Association. He has received several teaching awards including the 2020 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher in STEM award and the 2022 Grisham Master Teacher award.

Mandy Wallace, a Jackson native, is a two-time MSU graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences in 2006 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. She also earned a master’s degree in veterinary medical sciences from the University of Florida and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. She serves as an associate professor in small animal surgery at the University of Georgia, where she uses her vast expertise in soft tissue surgery to research wound healing, congenital liver disease and septic peritonitis. Her primary role is to educate veterinary students, interns and residents by teaching them the latest surgical techniques. Wallace has contributed her surgical skills to animal shelters and rescues in Mississippi, Florida and Georgia. Her achievements have earned her numerous awards, including the A.M. Mills Distinguished Professor Award, American Bouvier Rescue League’s 2014 Veterinarian of the Year and being selected as a Graduation Hooder by UGA’s veterinary classes of 2021 and 2023, among others.

Kimberly Renee Watson obtained bachelor’s degrees in history and Spanish with a minor in political science in 2011, followed by a master’s degree in secondary education in 2013. She is part of the Rankin County School District, where she teaches Spanish and other languages, sponsors the Pelahatchie High School World Language Club, is the lead teacher for Poetry Out Loud and supports fellow educators early in their career as a R.I.S.E. mentor. She also is a member of the Teacher Advisory Council at both the district and state levels and an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Leadership Initiative for Language Learning Cohort 4 advocate. She has presented at local, state and regional workshops and conferences regarding rural, world language education and practices in the secondary world language classroom. Watson actively participates in community service through her involvement in the Junior League of Jackson and the Mississippi Children’s Museum. She has been honored with such distinctions as the 2022-23 Rankin County School District Secondary Teacher of the Year, 2022 Pelahatchie High School Teacher of the Year, 2023 Mississippi Foreign Language Association Teacher of the Year and 2023 Star Teacher.