Graduate Student Association Officers

Christina Hillesheim

Christina Hillesheim

President
College of Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Born in Germany, Christina moved to Louisiana at an early age. During her childhood, she grew a passion for chemistry and education. Christina is currently a Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry from Louisiana State University in 2009 and a M.S. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Florida in 2011. Christina spent two years teaching Chemistry at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, TN before moving to Mississippi. Christina is currently a graduate research assistant with the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center (nSPARC), where she is working on several grants focused on education and career training pathways into the middle-skill workforce.

Christina is an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Grads, a Christian bible study for graduate students and is also very active in her church. In her spare time, Christina enjoys spending time with her husband and dog (Moose), working-out, enjoying the outdoors, and playing video games.

Ashley McQuirk

Ashley McQuirk

Vice President
College of Education, Secondary Education

Ashley grew up in Ridgeland, Mississippi where she was very active with sports including soccer, softball, and volleyball. She received her Bachelor's degree in English Education from Mississippi State in May 2012 after which she began teaching in her hometown. She taught 8th grade English Language Arts for two years in the Madison County School District. Ashley returned to Mississippi State to earn her Master's degree in English Education with an endorsement to teach English as a Second Language as well. She works as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education. During summer 2015 she had the opportunity to work as an intern with the Burlington School of English in London, England.

In her spare time Ashley enjoys reading from her endless stack of books, taking road trips with friends, dreaming about the future, searching out new music, and improving her Spanish.

Austin Jacobs

Austin Jacobs

Treasurer
College of Ag. & Life Sciences

Austin is a native of Winchester, Kentucky. He currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences with an emphasis in Agriculture Business and a Master of Science in Career and Technical Education in Agriculture from Morehead State University. Presently he is working on his Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in Agriculture and Extension Education with research on Volunteer Motivation and Retention dealing with the Mississippi State University Extension Service's Master Gardener Program. Austin is currently a Graduate Service Assistant with the Center for Technology Outreach (CTO) in the Mississippi State University Extension Service, where he is working on research projects and educational presentations for CTO.

In his spare time, Austin enjoys spending time with his family, enjoying the outdoors, hunting, gardening, playing golf, farming, playing video games, and watching movies.

Shelby McGrew

Shelby McGrew

Secretary
College of Education, Edu. Psychology

Shelby is a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She currently holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi and is pursuing a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Her research interests include professional issues in the school psychology, bullying prevention, and child stress, among many others. As a graduate student, Shelby has received great recognition for her research endeavors. In the future, she aspires to operate her own clinic working with children who have developmental disabilities, academic deficits, or behavioral issues, as well as consult with local school districts.

Shelby is an active member of multiple organizations on campus including Student Affiliates of School Psychology and the Council for Exceptional Children as well as several national and local professional organizations, such as the National Association for School Psychologists (NASP) and the Mississippi Association of Psychology in the Schools (MAPS). She enjoys spending time with family and friends, spoiling her pets, and relaxing at the beach.

Heather Blackwell

Heather Blackwell

Social Chair
College of Ag. & Life Sciences, Entomology

Heather grew up in Union, Mississippi before making Starkville her home. She started with her first job working as a locksmith during college. Heather is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Entomology. She is a Graduate Research Assistant working with honey bees. Heather's research focuses on how the pesticides used in the Mississippi Delta on soybean crops impacts health of queen bees. She holds undergraduate degrees from East Central Community College (Associate of Science; 2006) and Mississippi State University (Bachelor of Science; Biology Education; 2008). Heather worked for six years teaching Junior High and High School Sciences before returning to MSU to pursue a graduate degree. For the past seven years she has also been on staff at several camps at MSU, including Bug and Plant camp, Beekeeping camp, MSU Intergenerational Conservation camps for upland and wetland ecology, and Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge Rangers day camp. Heather is a member of the Entomology and Plant Pathology Club at MSU.