BCS holds annual awards banquet

May 20th, 2015 Comments Off

BCS Banquet 05082015_42

Class of 2015: (front, left to right): Ross Ware, Kurt Reynolds, Kyle Smith, Lake Jackson, Donald Drummond, (second row, left to right): Garrett Little, Allie Salas, Savannah Harvey, Trey Brunson, Evan Willis (back, left to right): Phillip Vance, Bryan Marks, Gage Adkins, Taylor Johnson, Dalton McMillan, Kenan Hamilton; not pictured: Thomas Vinton, Frankie Jackson, Bill Plott

The annual 2015 Awards and Recognition Banquet for Building Construction Science was held on May 8 at the Ritz Theater & Conference Center in West Point.

A special thanks to all the alumni who attended the event as well as our Advisory Council members, Tony Carroll, Brice Marks and Mike Upchurch.

The following students were recognized at the event:

Students of the Year:
One student from each studio level is selected as the Student of the Year based on academic performance. The student with the highest Grade Point Average at the conclusion of the fall semester receives this award.
BCS Banquet 05082015_45First Year – Cora Howell and Jon Luke Cave
BCS Banquet 05082015_47Second Year – Owen Mcvitty (second-time recipient)

(not pictured)
Third Year – Tim Sullivan (third-time recipient)
BCS Banquet 05082015_48Fourth Year – Allie Salas (fourth-time recipient)

Director’s Medallion:
Selection criteria include academic effort, participation, leadership abilities, strong moral character and a concern with the sustainability of the program. The recipient must work diligently in the classroom, participate in BCS extracurricular activities and be a role model to students.
BCS Banquet 05082015_492015 Recipient: Allie Salas

BCS Banquet 05082015_212015-2016 Scholarship Recipients:
Kline Mechanical Systems Annual Scholarship: $2,000
Collin Smith

MS Associated Builders & Contractors Scholarship: $1,000
Owen McVitty

Brislin, Inc. Annual Scholarship: $1,500
Robby Keifer
Benjamin Chubb

Chip & Jennifer Crane Endowed Scholarship: $1,000
Tanner Wallace

Thanks to Laura Mitchell for organizing this special event!

(See all the photos from the event below:)

BCS students participate in 2015 Undergraduate Research Symposium

May 19th, 2015 Comments Off

By Sasha Steinberg | MSU

Nearly two dozen students are being recognized at Mississippi State for successful faculty-guided research efforts during the concluding school year.

During the Undergraduate Research Symposium held Thursday [April 23] at the university’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, 23 undergraduates received awards for work conducted in the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.

Projects submitted for the competition were assigned to one of four categories, including arts and humanities, biological sciences and engineering, physical sciences and engineering, and social sciences. In recognition of the university’s Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, a community engagement and service learning track also was included for the third year.

A team of 55 campus faculty members representing a cross-section of academic areas served as judges for the competition.

Teams representing the College of Architecture, Art and Design included:

“Improving on Outreach Design”
Anna Barr (ARC)
Patrick Brown (ARC)
Lucas Posey (ARC)
(Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory)

“Comprehensive Tectonics: Technical Building Assemblies from the Ground to the Sky”
Ashton Aime (ARC)
Edward Holmes (ARC)
Cody Smith (ARC)
(Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory)

“A Study of Air Infiltration Rates of Residential Construction Over Forty Years”
Ria Bennett (ARC)
Bill Plott (BCS)
Cody Smith (ARC)
(Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn)

“Building Material Stewardship and Sustainable Practices | Mapping the Regional Landscape of Building Materials”
Ryan Fierro (ARC)
(Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Jacob Gines)

“LEED Green Associate Online Training Course”
Frankie Jackson (BCS)
Thomas Vinton (BCS)
Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Tom Leathem

BCS alumnus named Flintco Rookie of the Year

May 18th, 2015 Comments Off

MEM - Joseph Witherspoon 2(Via Katie Williams, Flintco LLC)

Flintco LLC, one of the nation’s largest commercial contractors, recently named Mississippi State University Building Construction Science graduate Joe Witherspoon (Class of 2014) as its Rookie of the Year during their annual C.W. Flint Jr. awards. All winners were nominated by their peers and then selected by Flintco’s executive management team.

These internal company awards were created to recognize employees who stood out over the past year in areas such as management and leadership, safety, training and upholding the Flintco Ethos. The Rookie of Year award recognizes an individual who is committed to making Flintco a better a place through training, teamwork, work ethic and who is passionate about gaining a growing knowledge of our business.

Those who nominated Witherspoon said he “immediately picked up on all of the process that we have to do. He has shown excellent leadership qualities, went above and beyond whenever asked and a lot of the time when not asked. He has excellent potential for the field and has the Flintco-Made quality of a seasoned employee.”

Another fellow Flintco employee wrote, “Joe has shown that he means business, always wanting to learn and do more. He is an overachiever with ambitious aspirations to move up the ladder. He takes on any challenge with a positive attitude. Joe has very good verbal communication skills and technological skills.”

Mississippi State University should be proud of Witherspoon and his representation of its quality building construction science program.

Flintco was founded in 1908 in Tulsa, Okla. The company has since grown into one of the largest commercial contractors in the nation. Alberici Corporation acquired Flintco in 2013.  Flintco’s operating divisions provide a full range of services, including preconstruction, construction management, design-build, project and program management, as well as general contracting from six offices in: Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Tex.; Memphis, Tenn.; Oklahoma City; Springdale, Ark.; and Tulsa, Okla.  For more information, visit www.flintco.com or on Twitter @Flintco.

Architecture, BCS students create tensile membrane structures

April 17th, 2015 Comments Off

Building construction science and architecture students designed and constructed tensile membrane structures (tailgating tents) as part of Associate Professor John Poros’s combined Structures II studio course.
The students tested their designs in The Junction and invited faculty and others to join them for an informal review.

Kenyan delegates visit Mississippi State

April 15th, 2015 Comments Off

Kenya construction visit 04142015_4

A delegation from the Kenyan government came Mississippi to learn about construction practices and regulation.

Stephanie Sills Lee, executive director of the Mississippi State Board of Contractors, and Charles Sharman, division director, brought the group to tour Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design to learn how the Mississippi State Board of Contractors partners with construction education for the betterment of the industry.

The delegation had lunch with administration and faculty before touring the college’s Collaborative Studio, which combines architecture and building construction science students and faculty.

They also visited the Building Construction Science studios to see how the program is educating the leaders of the construction industry of tomorrow.

BCS seniors take San Francisco

April 13th, 2015 Comments Off

From March 24-28, senior BCS students in Assistant Professor Michele Herrmann’s BCS 4126 travelled to San Francisco, Calif., for a field trip. While there, the students toured several sites:

  • 350 Mission Street is a LEED Platinum, 27-story high-rise being constructed by Webcor Builders. The design includes an interactive 50-foot public lobby and column-free floors. The sole tenant for the 450,000 square-foot building will be Salesforce, a global cloud computing company.
  • Transbay Transit Center: This $4.5 billion, 1 million square-foot transportation center will link multiple transportation networks and ease traffic congestion in the city. Students were able to observe temporary shoring and the beginning of steel erection for what will eventually be a total of 22,000 tons of steel to be used in the building.
  • Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop and Autodesk Gallery: The Pier 9 Workshop houses an artist in residence program with state of the art technology and equipment that allows for the creation of new materials and products. The Autodesk Gallery is a showcase for the wide range of applications of Autodesk software, from construction to the automotive and television/film industries.
  • 222 2nd Street: The $120 million, 523,000 square-foot building will be occupied in its entirety by LinkedIn when the building is completed by Turner Construction Company. Tour highlights included a discussion about the earthquake bracing and challenges faced with the exterior glass panels. The 2,220 glass panels that cover the building were manufactured in Germany, assembled in Thailand, and then shipped to San Francisco, where they were temporarily held up in the port due to a strike in the shipyard.

In their free time, students enjoyed Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf, a boat tour under the Golden Gate Bridge, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge and a tour of Alcatraz.

Faculty member in building construction science gets national honor

April 10th, 2015 Comments Off



A Mississippi State faculty member is a new ExCEEd Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Masoud Gheisari is an assistant professor in the building construction science program of the university’s College of Architecture, Art and Design. Later this year, he joins others in the select group for a six-day teaching practicum focused on improving and enhancing classroom leadership skills.

ASCE has organized the program each summer for the past 16 years and selects only 48 people worldwide to participate. Sessions deal with effective teaching and learning techniques, learning styles and objectives, communication skills, class organization, and teaching with technology, among other topic areas. For more, see www.asce.org/exceed.

This year’s workshop takes place July 19-24 at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

A doctoral graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Gheisari also will present three classes during the workshop. Upon returning, he will share what he has learned with other MSU faculty members.

“This is a very prestigious invitation, and the selection process is quite rigorous,” said Craig D. Capano, who directs the building construction science program and holds its Roy Anderson Endowed Professorship.

Gheisari said, “It’s not only an honor to be named an ExCEEd Fellow, but, more importantly, it’s a commitment to achieve excellence in teaching.” The experience, he added, “will provide me with an opportunity to better nurture the next generation of construction managers and contribute toward my continued long-term professional development.”

Capano agreed, adding, “It will serve him and our college well.”

See the story on MSU’s site.

Read the story in The Dispatch.

See the story in The Clarion Ledger.

Student-designed, built shelters now open at MSU Golf Course

March 27th, 2015 Comments Off

Photo by Megan Bean | Mississippi State

Photo by Megan Bean | Mississippi State


Photo by Megan Bean | Mississippi State

By Leah Barbour | Mississippi State University

Local golf enthusiasts joined Mississippi State University administrators, faculty, staff and students this week for the unveiling of two on-course shelters at the MSU Golf Course.

The new structures at the fourth and 10th holes, complete with men’s and women’s accommodations and cart parking spaces on each side, were designed by second-year architecture majors and built by second-year building construction science students.

Both the School of Architecture and the building construction science academic program are part of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design.

The work was completed during the fall semester collaborative studio, coordinated by associate professor Hans Herrmann and assistant professor Emily McGlohn of the architecture school, along with assistant professor Tom Leathem and lecturer Lee Carson of building construction science.

“Thank you for your active involvement, for the collective leadership from all our faculty and for everyone involved in this,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This is an opportunity to really showcase what Mississippi State talent is about. What a great new addition this is, not only to this golf course, but to our professional golf management program.”

The PGM program, housed in the College of Business, is the second oldest sanctioned by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. Students completing the four-and-a-half-year curriculum receive a bachelor’s degree in marketing and 16 months of practical work experience.

Michael Berk, architecture school director, said MSU is the only institution of higher learning in the country to require all second-year architecture and building construction science students to complete a full year of collaborative studio.

“There’s no other school in the nation to require two full semesters of working together,” agreed Jim West, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. “Our students have the opportunity to do truly collaborative work, and we’re always interested in having these types of projects for the community and our students and faculty.”

Though building construction science and architecture students have completed their portion of the project, MSU Department of Landscape Architecture students will continue by improving the landscaping around the buildings, said Craig Capano, director of the building construction science program.

“This is only the first of many projects that I hope we can all do together,” he said. “We’ve already started discussions about next fall, and the faculty have some great ideas. And that’s what Mississippi State is all about–it’s about learning; it’s about changing; it’s about improving.”

Sharon Oswald, College of Business dean, emphasized the on-course shelters also benefit PGM students.

“I want to thank the faculty, and particularly the students, on behalf of the PGM program and the MSU Golf Course,” Oswald said. “We love collaborative projects, and anything we can ever do to help, we will.”

The 6,390-yard, par-72 course, located three miles east of campus at 1520 Old Highway 82, opened to the public in 1986. Along with the two on-course shelters, cart path and driving range, the course features a 5,000-square-foot clubhouse with men’s and women’s locker rooms, a snack bar, and a fully stocked golf shop and classroom.

ABC students host Career and Construction Classic

March 24th, 2015 Comments Off


The Building Construction Science Program and the student arm of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) recently hosted a three-day event in Starkville for contractors, friends, and alumni of the program.

The Career and Construction Classic included a student competition and presentations on March 18. On March 19, the program’s Advisory Council met, a career fair was held for students, and the day wrapped up with an awards banquet and crawfish boil. The final day included a golf tournament, which concluded with an awards lunch.

BCS would like to thank the sponsors and golfers for supporting the career fair and golf tournament.
Special thanks to the following companies:
FL Crane
The Lemoine Company
Probity Contracting Group
The Ross Group
BL Harbert
Brasfield & Gorrie
R.C. Construction

BCS also extends its gratitude to Kiewit for organizing the BCS Student Competition on Wednesday.

Student Competition:

Advisory Council Meeting:

Career Fair:

Crawfish Boil and Competition Awards Banquet:

Golf Tournament:

CAAD holds Academic Insight 2015

March 2nd, 2015 Comments Off

On Saturday, Feb. 28, the College of Architecture, Art and Design held Academic Insight, an event for admitted MSU students and their guests. This is the third time the college has held the event, which was attended by 136 guests.

The event, held at the Leo W. Seal M-Club, was meant to help students get a better understanding of the programs within the college and was a chance for students to meet other incoming students, current students and professors.

After a department fair, students and their guests had a chance to mingle with current students and faculty over breakfast before Dean Jim West presented an overview of the college.

After the presentation, the group split up into the four college units – architecture, art, interior design and building construction science – and went to those facilities for a “breakout session.”

During the sessions, parents had a chance to meet with the program directors and faculty while students worked on an activity meant to give them a glimpse into their program.

Building construction science students worked with current student volunteers on a project.