Scholarship encourages student success in Plant and Soil Sciences

Author: Addie Mayfield

faculty member studio portrait

Richard Harkess (Photo by Submitted)

Professor Richard Harkess of the Mississippi State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is establishing the Plant and Soil Sciences Success Scholarship to aid in student recruitment, retention and success in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

"With all the news concerning student debt upon graduation and working with students as undergraduate program coordinator, I see many students struggling to pay for their education," said Harkess. "As a land-grant institution, Mississippi State is charged with providing access to education to all students, and this scholarship will help achieve that mission."

The inaugural Plant and Soil Sciences Success Scholarship will be awarded for the 2018-2019 academic year to a full-time student enrolled in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences with a minimum 2.5 grade-point average. The award will provide recipients with a minimum of $1,000 per academic year for up to four years for entering freshmen, and up to three years for new transfer students, given they maintain the minimum qualifications.

The continued financial support and expectations of academic performance from the scholarship, Harkess explained, will help increase student retention and reduce the number of first-year students on academic probation.

"Ideally this scholarship will help students with financial need who may or may not qualify for other academic scholarships," Harkess said. "It is my hope other faculty, alumni and friends of the department will contribute to the scholarship to enable the department to assist a greater number of students for years to come."

For more information about contributing to the Plant and Soil Sciences Success Scholarship, contact Jud Skelton, director of development for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, at 662-325-0643 or

Date: 2018-01-12

Plant and Soil Sciences