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Sylacauga native, Mississippi State meteorology unit recognized by American Meteorological Society


STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State’s student meteorological organization is a 2018 recipient of the American Meteorological Society’s Local Student Chapter of the Year Award.

MSU’s East Mississippi Chapter of the National Weather Association and AMS promotes excellence in operational meteorology through research, forecasting, broadcasting and education. Student officers work to build relationships between those who work in and study meteorology in East Mississippi and the surrounding area.

“Our goal as an organization is to provide our students with opportunities that will make a lasting impact on their budding careers,” said MSU senior and 2018-19 chapter president Lauren Pounds, who also served as 2017-18 secretary. “It is an honor to have our efforts nationally recognized.”

The award stems from the group’s efforts in creating numerous member opportunities for broadening professional networks and knowledge, as well as strengthening the chapter’s role within the national AMS community.

MSU student representatives will travel to Phoenix, Arizona, in January 2019 to accept the award at the AMS annual meeting.

MSU Professor of Meteorology Mike Brown said the student organization has worked hard over the past few years, raising money for tornado and hurricane victims and organizing the second largest regional meteorological conference in the country.

“This group provides peer mentoring and tutoring for underclassmen and helps keep our students engaged in meteorology outside of the classroom,” Brown said. “Our students are why our program is successful.”

Brown said the students attend various conferences, maintain and improve the “esprit de corps” and find ways to challenge themselves.  As a result of the students’ tenacity, attention from faculty, and rigorous curriculum, Brown said the program “produces a student product that is ready for any operational meteorological employment or graduate education.”

One in three of today’s on-air broadcast meteorologists are graduates of this nationally recognized program in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Geosciences.

Sophomore Alex Forbes, the chapter’s 2017-18 co-symposium chair, said it is an “honor to have the AMS recognize us on a national stage,” and credits the chapter members, previous officers and meteorology faculty mentors for helping the group clinch the award.

AMS is the nation’s premier scientific and professional organization promoting and disseminating information about the atmospheric, oceanic and hydrologic sciences. With more than 13,000 members, AMS includes researchers, educators, students, enthusiasts, broadcasters and other professionals in weather, water and climate. For more, visit

MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,200 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 25 academic majors offered in 14 departments. Complete details about the college and its geosciences department can be found at or

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

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