July 19, 2010 Rotogram


Neddie Winters, president of Mission Mississippi, explains the organization’s goal of “Christian reconciliation and racial healing for Mississippi and the world.”


Bubba Weir, Mississippi Technology Alliance vice president, will discuss the non-profit organization’s mission. Established in 2001 it drives innovation and technology-based economic development.


Invocation and Pledge:     Warren Housley
Attendance ………………………………… 52.8%
Present — 100 (32 exempt, 2 honorary)
Absent — 87 (18 exempt, 10 honorary)
Guests and visitors: Visiting Rotarian was Bill Overstreet of West Point. Member’s guests were Bill Harned of Horace Harned; Patti, Amy and Brook Molen of Marshall Molen; Elizabeth Gwin and May Gwin Waggoner of Prentiss Gordon; and, Patricia Faver and Richard Hilton of Sonny Kelly. Guests of the Club were Hans Bjormyr, Silje Ustevud and Paul Sims, Starkville Daily News.
Resignations: John Crecink, Sean Owen, Paul Milsaps, Gerry Orgler and Matt Cox.


Introducing himself, John Forde, head of Mississippi State University’s Department of Communications, said, “In my high school senior year, Rotary presented me with a Four-Way Test plaque that has been in my room at home, dorm room, or office for 31 years.”
Born in Laurel, he grew up in his dad’s home state of Washington.
As he was having a “pretty good” senior year of basketball, his mom was sending newspaper clippings home to a friend who talked to the Jones Junior College basketball coach. The result was a scholarship.
After earning an associate of arts degree he came to State where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications-public relations. That was followed by a master’s in public relations and marketing and a PhD in communication and education administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Before joining the MSU faculty in 1987, he worked in continuing education at Southern and as public relations director at William Carey College.
For six years he has been head of the Communications Department where there are about 500 majors and 27 faculty in broadcasting, communication studies, journalism, public relations and theater.
His wife Connie is on the College of Education faculty, and sons J. D. and Daniel are MSU students.
His sponsor is Ned Browning.


Silje Ustevud, our 2000-2001 Rotary Youth Exchange student came all the way from Oslo, Norway, for a visit. Rotarians Charlotte Coker and Carey Hardin were host parents that year.


Mark your calendar for October 11 when the second annual Rotary Classic Golf Tournament will tee off. Once again, the beneficiary will be the East Mississippi Community College tuition guarantee for eligible Oktibbeha County students.


May Gwin Waggoner teaches French at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and has done a lot of work on Cajun culture.
The daughter of Starkville’s 101-year-old Elizabeth Gwin sang for us the beautiful, but sad Acadian ballad, “I Passed by Your Front Door.”
She explained that the English, “kicked Acadians out of the Canadian maritime provinces in the first example of ethnic cleansing in the New World.”
Noting that Lafayette is “just 30 miles north of British Petroleum’s latest contribution to technology,” she put in a plug for Gulf seafood as the cleanest in the country due to all the inspections.


“The engineering equivalent of an NCAA championship” was the way Joe Thompson introduced the report of MSU’s second straight win in the EcoCar Challenge.

“I don’t know why we’re fooling around with the Volt—we should just build this thing!”   – Anonymous GM Test Driver

Rotarian Marshall Molen, team adviser, and mechanical engineering graduate student Matt Doude, detailed the effort that left 16 other schools in the dust. Dynamic road-test events were in Yuma, Ariz., and static presentations and demonstrations were in San Diego, Calif.
Of the seven teams that had operable vehicles, only three completed all events. On a 1,000-point scale, MSU’s 844 were more than 150 points ahead of its nearest competitor, Virginia Tech.
Since 1987, the U.S. Department of Energy has sponsored more than 45 advanced vehicle technology competitions typically lasting three years.
General Motors and Natural Resources Canada are the other two major sponsors. National sponsors provide $75 million, and local businesses and industries provide cash and in-kind support.
Competition objectives are to improve fuel efficiency, reduce vehicle emissions, retain vehicle performance, increase consumer appeal, and educate students and the public about transportation energy issues.
An extended-range electric vehicle, the re-tooled GM sport utility vehicle is powered initially by a battery. Plugged in at night, it takes about ten hours to charge at any standard 110 volt outlet at a cost of $1.50.
After the battery is depleted, the diesel engine/generator set turns on to maintain batteries and continue driving. The car drives the first 60 miles only on electricity. In comparison, 60 miles in a conventional vehicle costs five to ten dollars.
The plug-in hybrid attains 118 mpg equivalent performance. Zero to 60 mph acceleration takes 12 seconds; and, top speed hits 100 mph.
Battery integration is an electric vehicle’s biggest challenge. The MSU car is the only model to successfully contain the battery within the original SUV space configuration. The power unit is concealed beneath the vehicle’s back deck.
Doude showed pictures of several competitors’ vehicles with rear seats removed to accommodate batteries. One car even had significant space allocated to a fire suppression system.
In all electric vehicles, the major cost is the battery. For example, the Chevy Volt is priced at $40,000.
Student team members benefit by becoming more proficient with engineering tools, gaining practical experience, honing teamwork and communication skills, and being mentored by and exposed to practicing engineers. Molen said the biggest reward comes when an auto manufacturer says to one of the students, “How’d you like to come to work for us?”

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