Pair with Pine Belt ties earn MAMA 2023 scholarships

Jones College grad Brodie Rials (left) and Taylorsville's Kennedy Keyes (right) received...
Jones College grad Brodie Rials (left) and Taylorsville's Kennedy Keyes (right) received scholarship money from the Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association.(Jones College Sports Information Department; Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association)
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:36 PM CDT
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From Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association Public Relations

TUPELO, Miss. (WDAM) - Two Mississippi State University students with Pine Belt ties have been awarded $2,500 each in scholarship money from the Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association.

Taylorsville senior Kennedy Keyes, who majors in software engineering, not only work as a research assistant for the MSU Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems but also is the online editor for MSU’s newspaper, “The Reflector.”

Keyes, who worked as a research intern with UCLA and Amazon this past summer, has been active with the National Society of Black Engineers, MSU National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, W.E.C.E., F.L.A.R.E., Cyber Security Club, Association for Computer Machinery, Maroon Volunteers, Japanese Club and the MSU Student and Alumni Association events.

Jones College graduate Brodie Rials transferred to MSU this fall as a mechanical engineering candidate. At Jones College, he was a member of the honors society Phi Theta Kappa and on the President’s List with a 4.0 grade-point average.

Rials, who started 32 games as a member of the Bobcats’ men’s soccer team, recently was announced as a 2022-2023 National Junior College Academic All-American, becoming the first to earn such recognition in Jones’ men’s soccer history.

Keyes and Rials were among 13 awarded scholarships for 2023-24 at the junior and senior college levels for the 2023-24. Community college students were awarded $1,000 scholarships, while those pursuing bachelor degrees were given $2,500 awards.

Since 2006, MAMA has supported 205 students pursuing careers in the automotive industry with scholarship support totaling $407,500.

This year’s scholarships were awarded to technical- and engineering-related majors, as well as non-traditional majors that can be applied within the automotive industry.

Safety and environmental issues, along with the potential to make cars safer and more accessible for everyone, particularly individuals with disabilities, were recurring interests expressed in essays submitted by this year’s recipients.

“Mississippi has an environment conducive to advanced manufacturing,” MAMA President Kevin Burgess said, “We are proud that Mississippi’s higher education system has invested heavily in educational opportunities and facilities which ensures the state will be able to produce

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