What’s On My Desk: Featuring Ashley M. Madison of MSU

MSU_WhatsOnMyDesk_Image_Image1Ashley M. Madison currently serves as Mississippi State University’s (MSU) EcoCAR 3 Communications Manager (CM). Ashley is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts in communications with a concentration in public relations and minors in marketing and broadcasting. Ashley believes that one of the greatest things about serving on the MSU EcoCAR 3 team is having access to the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) located in the Thad Cochran Research and Development Park on MSU’s campus. Each team lead position has a designated cube at CAVS that is passed down to new leads as the roles change. Let’s take a look at what’s on Ashley’s desk!


  1. MSU has been fortunate to participate in four consecutive Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC). On the back wall of Ashley’s cube is memorabilia from Challenge X, EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future, and now EcoCAR 3. Fun Fact: The far left item is a DVD from Challenge X that was created in 2008 at Winter Workshop in Los Angeles, CA.


  1. Throughout the years, MSU CMs have collected various swag items from sponsor socials at workshops. This General Motors rubber duck now holds a permanent place on Ashley’s desk.


  1. One thing every MSU EcoCAR 3 team member knows is that sometimes you are working at your desk at CAVS until three or four in the morning. In order to de-stress, Ashley keeps a globe stress ball within arm’s reach at her desk.


  1. Coffee doesn’t always do the trick. Sometimes you get a craving at midnight that only a soft drink can suppress. Ashley keeps a couple of soft drinks on hand for herself and the rest of the team members when they are at CAVS past closing time.


  1. Ashley and the team still aren’t sure where the Hulk hands came from… all they know is that they are thankful they were left in the CM’s cube. Every now and again you will hear a “crunch” or the sound of Hulk shouting, “HULK SMASH” as Jared, the team’s Engineering Manager, stops by for a little entertainment. #HulkSmash


  1. The technical team members aren’t the only ones that get to work with a dyno (short for dynamometer). Another item of entertainment at Ashley’s desk is this toy dinosaur. EcoDINO, as Ashley prefers to call him, was left behind by a previous CM and now oversees all work done at the desk while sporting the MSU EcoCAR 3 swag gear year round.




  1. While Hulk hands and EcoDINO make Ashley’s desk a little more fun, she can’t forget about the fundamentals. Featured on the far wall of her cube is the EcoCAR 3 swim lane diagram. Ashley keeps the swim lane diagram on hand to make sure she stays on track throughout the course of the competition.


  1. The MSU EcoCAR 3 team was so eager to receive their all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro that they had to have a personalized toy version created prior to its arrival. This item floats between Ashley’s desk and the team’s project manager, Stephen Hayes’ desk. If you visit the EcoCAR 3 cube farm at CAVS, keep an eye out for the toy Camaro as you’re walking.


  1. After meeting a deliverable or achieving a goal, Ashley likes to hit her Staples “easy” button. It gives everyone in the cube farm a good laugh and helps relieve stress amongst team members. An important part of the CM’s role is helping boost morale among team members. “That was easy.”