MSU Office of Public Affairs announces promotions and new staff


Contact person: Sid Salter

STARKVILLE, Mississippi—The Office of Public Affairs at Mississippi State University announces the promotion of two senior executives and the addition of three other communications professionals to fill vacant positions.

Harriet Laird (Photo by Megan Bean)

MSU communications director and OPA director Sid Salter said Harriet V. Laird, the OPA’s longtime associate director, will be the department’s new senior associate director while the center’s director of MSU Academic Television David Garraway joins the department’s leadership as the OPA’s Associate Director for Broadcast and Digital Media.

“Harriet is a respected administrator on our campus who has a wealth of institutional knowledge and is trusted by the campus community,” Salter said. “David has taken the University Television Center to the next level during his tenure and has much to offer the OPA’s overall mission in this expanded role.”

In the role of Senior Partner, Laird works with Salter to lead and coordinate projects across the many units of the OPA. She provides advice on news writing and editing, photography, brand development, adhering to visual identity standards and more in a team approach to carrying out the university’s mission. . She served the university for 14 years.

Prior to joining MSU, Laird was communications coordinator for Nissan North America in Canton and served for 17 years as director of public relations for Hinds Community College and Copiah-Lincoln Community College. The Decatur native holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Master of Science in Public Relations from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Studio portrait of David Garraway
David Garraway (Photo by Megan Bean)

As the OPA’s Associate Director for Broadcast and Digital Media, Garraway will oversee the day-to-day operations of the University Television Center, as well as MSU’s campus radio station, WMSV-FM, working with the Director of station, Anthony Craven. In addition to serving as a technical and creative resource for the office, Garraway works with the university’s television and radio staff to produce high-quality, meaningful programming designed to educate and inform. He provides leadership by using creative communications that highlight MSU’s achievements, contributions and importance to a global audience. He has led UTC since 2014.

Garraway earned his Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film Production and a Master of Science in Mass Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi. He graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from MSU in 2015 and currently holds a Ph.D. Candidate in Instructional Media and Workforce Development.

Studio portrait of Chris Bryant
Chris Bryant (Photo by Megan Bean)

Salter also announced the affiliation of veteran higher education broadcaster Chris Bryant and graphic designers Sarah Gilliland and Haley Rountree to the department.

Bryant, who previously served MSU at the university’s Raspet Flight Laboratory, is a former research communications professional at the University of Alabama. Gilliland and Rountree begin their careers at MSU.

“Chris will work closely with me and our OPA leadership team to develop and implement MSU’s new brand initiative. Sarah and Haley are both brilliant young graphic designers, and we’re lucky to have them with us,” Salter said.

Bryant brings more than 30 years of journalism and public relations experience in higher education to the position. A former reporter for The Dothan (Ala.) Eagle, Bryant joined UA in 1999 as a senior communications specialist and later served as deputy director of media relations, director of research communications, and acting director of community relations. media.

Bryant joined MSU as Technical Writer for Raspet in 2020. A product of the Mississippi community college system, Bryant attended Itawamba Community College before transferring to UA-Birmingham where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

OPA’s award-winning staff provide strategic and crisis communications leadership; marketing and branding; news and media relations; university-wide publications, including MSU Graduate Magazine; and the development of digital and social media content, including the university’s website. OPA writers, editors, photographers and graphic designers support these areas and implement and oversee the university’s brand image, including the visual identity standards.

In addition, the OPA provides administrative leadership to MSUs University Television Center and campus radio WMSV-FM 91.1.

MSU is the main university in Mississippi, available online at


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