2018 Interior Design Highlights

September 17th, 2018 Comments Off on 2018 Interior Design Highlights

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Abby Richardson, class of 2018, joins team at Dean & Dean/Associates Architects

July 16th, 2018 Comments Off on Abby Richardson, class of 2018, joins team at Dean & Dean/Associates Architects

Abby Richardson, photo submitted

Abby Richardson, a 2018 Mississippi State University interior design graduate, recently joined the team at Dean and Dean/Associates Architects in Jackson as an interior designer. 

“Richardson will provide innovative design solutions that efficiently address the needs of the client,” said Angie Brewer, director of marketing and business development at the firm. “She has a keen ability to integrate interior ambiance with exterior aesthetics and offers her clients unique ways to use finish materials and color to inspire creativity.”

Richardson believes “Design is not only about making things look pretty, but also it’s a way of thinking, of determining people’s true underlying needs and making them more functional.”

She said she looks forward to delivering products and services that enhances the user experience as an interior designer at Dean and Dean.

Winning design of spring furniture competition to be on display in NYC

June 18th, 2018 Comments Off on Winning design of spring furniture competition to be on display in NYC

This spring, Mississippi State University interior design students in Anna Chaney’s furniture design class competed in a design competition.

For the project, students had to research and develop a complete understanding of the design, development and manufacturing process of a piece of furniture.

Students began with the conceptual development and working drawings, which were then put into Rhino to produce 3D models of the work. They also developed project boards, which they presented with their models to jurors from Flexsteel, who selected the winning design and finalists.

Funding for the awards was provided by Mississippi State University Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner.

Winners included:

First Place, Sam Graham

Second Place, AK Russell

Third Place, Kaitlynn Harness

Fourth Place, Bailey Cummins

Fifth Place, Mary Campbell Gray

A full-scale model of Graham’s winning chair design will be on display in Flexsteel’s booth at Boutique Design New York (BDNY) in the fall.

The Mississippi State University Interior Design Program and Flexsteel plan to continue this partnership.

Read about the fall 2017 furniture design winner, Elizabeth Shapley.

2018 Barefield Workplace Solutions Steelcase Project winners announced

May 5th, 2018 Comments Off on 2018 Barefield Workplace Solutions Steelcase Project winners announced

Interior design students recently presented their Barefield Workplace Solutions Steelcase Projects.

This year’s competition project was a customer service center for a product or service company.  Students were asked to develop a company and product, taking into account the goals of the organization and the company culture and brand.  The project was a two-floor, 36,000 square foot office building that included offices, workstations, product displays, training rooms, work café and organizational departments for 125 employees. 

The goal of the project, sponsored by Barefield Workplace Solutions in Jackson, is to increase proficiency in planning and designing large-scale commercial interiors. This project focused on the specific issues of general office and customer service space types and on understanding systems furniture selection and specification. Students were guided through the project in Associate Professor Amy Crumpton’s third-year studio course.

Student competition and scholarship winners were selected by Ginger Huffman, RID, IIDA, interior designer for Office Interiors in Huntsville, Ala. She is an alumnus of the Mississippi State Interior Design Program. 

Samantha Graham, Sydney White, Professor Amy Crumpton, Sara Gann, Anna Kathryn Russell

Left to right: Samantha Graham, Sara Gann, Professor Amy Crumpton, Sydney White, Anna Kathryn Russell

Four winners were chosen this year to receive cash scholarships this year:


Gold Award, $500
Samantha Graham – QUEUE

Bronze Award, $200 
Concept –  Anna Katherine Russell – VITE

Bronze Award, $200
Space Planning – Sara Gann – ACTIVESOLE

Bronze Award, $200
Graphic Presentation – Sydney White – ATALANTA

Interior Design Advisory Board holds spring meeting

April 25th, 2018 Comments Off on Interior Design Advisory Board holds spring meeting

The Advisory Board for the Interior Design Program at Mississippi State gathered in Etheredge on Fri., April 20.

After the meeting, the board was able to mingle with students over lunch before viewing the work at the Senior Show.

2018 Interior Design Senior Show to be held at Franklin Furniture Institute Showroom

April 16th, 2018 Comments Off on 2018 Interior Design Senior Show to be held at Franklin Furniture Institute Showroom

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Twenty-five graduating Mississippi State interior design majors from Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are presenting their work in a special exhibition during the university’s upcoming Super Bulldog Weekend.

Free to all, the exhibition is available for viewing 4-6 p.m. Friday [April 20] and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday [April 21] in the first-floor showroom at the university’s Franklin Furniture Institute. The institute is located inside the Franklin Center at 201 Locksley Way in Starkville.

Works on display showcase the practical knowledge and range of skills that the rising professional designers have acquired throughout their participation in the state’s largest interior design program, which is housed in MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design.

In addition to general education coursework, the soon-to-be MSU alumni have gained studio experience in a variety of areas, including design theory, lighting design and interior construction and furniture design, among others.

Beth Miller, professor and director of MSU’s interior design program, said this year’s exhibition features works by students in the program’s furniture design class. Flexsteel sponsored a competition in the furniture design class, and the five finalists’ 3D printed prototypes and a full-scale prototype of the competition’s first place design winner will be on display.

“This senior class is one of the largest classes that we have graduated in many years. As a class, they have won numerous national and regional awards during their time in the program,” Miller said. “The majority of the seniors have already acquired internships in prestigious firms across the United States, and many students have been offered multiple internship opportunities. They are a great class, and we look forward to their success in the interior design profession.”

MSU’s senior interior design exhibitors include (by hometown):

BRANDON—Kathryn E. “Katie” Coit and Emily A. Gabell.

BREMEN, Alabama—Shelby E. Newton.

BURNSVILLE—Hannah E. Stricklen.

CLINTON—Cody Moore.

CORDOVA, Tennessee—Regan Sanders.

DIAMONDHEAD—Jessica H. Moore.

GERMANTOWN, Tennessee—Christine M. Smith.

GULFPORT—Annalee C. “Annie” Kesler.

HATTIESBURG—Abby K. Richardson.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama—Ansley M. Zimmerman.

INDIANOLA—Alison F. Cowart.

JACKSON, Tennessee—Sydney E. Sharp.

LELAND—Katherine F. “Katie” Fratesi.

MADISON—Elizabeth Sosebee.

MEADVILLE—Hannah E. Monroe.

NETTLETON—Hannah R. Gentry.

OLIVE BRANCH—Natalie E. Watson.

PICAYUNE—Austin R. DeLoach.

REDWOOD—Tanner M. Jeffers.

RIDGELAND—Caroline R. Brantley and Elizabeth Shapley.

STARKVILLE—Brooke R. Pogue.

TUPELO—Lauren E. Bean.

WIGGINS—Felicia E. Martin.

Accredited by The Council for Interior Design Accreditation and National Association of Schools of Art and Design, MSU’s interior design program provides students with a broad background in interior elements, materials, sources and practical experience in the business of interior design.

For more information about the interior design program, contact Miller at 662-325-7689 or BMiller@caad.msstate.edu.

Learn more about MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design and its interior design program at www.caad.msstate.edu, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Interior Design alumna Cristi C. Moore named 2018 CAAD Alumni of the Year

February 5th, 2018 Comments Off on Interior Design alumna Cristi C. Moore named 2018 CAAD Alumni of the Year

By Amy Cagle | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State will recognize retired Baldor Electric Company president and CEO and agricultural economics graduate Dr. R.L. Qualls of Little Rock, Arkansas, as the university’s national alumnus of the year during the Friday [Feb. 2] MSU Alumni Association 2018 awards banquet.

“We are proud to salute Dr. R.L. Qualls on behalf of Mississippi State University for his loyal lifelong connection to his alma mater and for his success as a banker, business executive, educator and author,” said Jeff Davis, executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. “Of some 140,000 living alumni, Dr. Qualls is a distinguished selection for alumnus of the year.”

A Mississippi native of Burnsville, Qualls earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MSU in agricultural economics in 1954 and 1958, respectively, and completed doctoral work at Louisiana State University. He was awarded the Doctor of Laws Degree from Whitworth College and received a Doctor of Business Administration degree (honorarius causa) from the University of the Ozarks. 

During his tenure as president and CEO of Baldor Electric, an NYSE company and member of ABB Ltd. of Zurich, Switzerland, the company reported 27 straight quarters of both increased earnings and sales growth. Baldor also twice was selected as one of the 100 Best Companies to work for by Fortune Magazine. Qualls joined Baldor in 1986 as executive vice president of finance and planning, was elected president in 1990, served as CEO from 1992-1997, and was vice chairman until year-end 2000. Before Baldor, Qualls held senior-level positions with Bank of America, including chairman and CEO of one of its banks. 

Qualls currently serves as co-chairman of Taylor Companies, an investment banking mergers and acquisition firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Paris and Stockholm. He is a former presiding independent director of the Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ), 1997-2016. From January 1979 to July 1980, Qualls was director of the Department of Finance and Administration in the administration of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, as well as cabinet secretary.

Qualls also enjoyed a distinguished career in education. He served for five years as president of the University of the Ozarks and recently completed a term as chairman of the board of trustees. Early in his career, Qualls was an assistant professor of finance at MSU with a joint appointment as economist and director of research at First Federal Savings and Loan Association in Jackson. His resume includes appointments at Louisiana State, Rutgers, Southern Methodist, St. Gregory’s and Vanderbilt universities and University of South Alabama. Qualls has published a number of books and articles, including “Entrepreneurial Wit and Wisdom” (UCA Press, 1986) and “Strategic Planning for Colleges and Universities:  A Systems Approach to Planning and Resource Allocation” (Trinity University Press, 1979).

At MSU, Qualls serves on the College of Business advisory board and the MSU Foundation board or directors. He supports MSU philanthropically with his wife, Nancy. Their generosity advances the academic curriculum of the College of Business by providing for faculty support, student-led business start-ups, and administrative operations of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach.

Along with the national alumnus recognition, each of MSU’s eight academic colleges will honor one graduate Friday for outstanding professional, community and personal success. 

The new MSU alumni-of-the-year group for 2018 includes (by college):

Dr. Alfred “Al” Rankins Jr. of Madison, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Rankins received his master’s and doctorate, both in weed science, from MSU in 1996 and 1999, respectively. The Greenville native currently serves as the 19th president of Alcorn State University, where he completed his undergraduate degree. Rankins began his career at MSU as a tenure-track assistant professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a specialist with the Extension Service. He then served as deputy commissioner for the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, where he was chief academic and student affairs officer. Rankins also has been acting president of Mississippi Valley State University.

—Cristi C. Moore of Atlanta, Georgia, College of Architecture, Art and Design. Moore earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing in 1990 and a second bachelor’s degree in human sciences with an interior design focus in 1998, both from MSU. She is design director, hospitality design leader and senior associate for Gensler, the world’s largest architecture design firm. At Gensler, the Starkville native has partnered with studio leadership to develop the firm’s Atlanta Hospitality Practice area as a standard of excellence for the Southeast region. Building on her MSU education, Moore also earned a Master of Arts in design management and strategy from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Dr. Howard E. Shook Jr. of Douglasville, Georgia, College of Arts and Sciences.  Shook graduated from MSU in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He enjoyed a long career with DuPont as a research chemist, amassing patents still in use today and earning two DuPont Special Compensation Awards. Shook received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Duke University. The Belmont native concluded his career with Westinghouse, retiring in 1996.

Paul J. Karre of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, College of Business. Karre earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in management from MSU in 1974. In an over 40-year career with International Paper, he held a variety of business, human resources and corporate roles, including a stint as director of human resources of IP Europe until his return to U.S. roles. In 2000, the Natchez native was appointed IP’s vice president of human resources, and in 2009 elected senior vice president for human resources and communications, a role he held until his retirement in 2015.

Dr. Janice I. Nicholson of Florence, Alabama, College of Education.  Nicholson received her master’s and doctoratal degrees in elementary education from MSU in 1967 and 1977, respectively. Over a 50-year career, she was with the University of North Alabama for 37 years in teaching and administration. She retired from Blue Mountain College, where she earned an undergraduate degree, as executive vice president for Student Affairs and Graduate and Special Programs in 2012. From 2015-2017, the Booneville native was interim head of the MSU Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education.

Gerald W. “Jerry” Thames of Duluth, Georgia, James Worth Bagley College of Engineering.  Thames earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1970 and an MBA from MSU in 1971. Additionally, he holds a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After beginning his career with AT&T, Thames built major companies in the U.S. and Europe. He spearheaded British Telecom’s global initiative; built Global TeleSystems from concept to a $7 billion public company; built a private entity for Lehman Brothers; and assisted Booz Allen Hamilton in opening its Mideast markets. Furthermore, Thames rebuilt the Iraq communications systems and post office after the Iraq War for the U.S. government and served in the standup of the new National Counterterrorism Center. The Starkville native is chairman of Christian Heritage International and Georgia Center for Opportunity.

Tony L. Tooke of Bristow, Virginia, College of Forest Resources.  A 1983 MSU forestry graduate, Tooke is chief of the U.S. Forest Service and is responsible for the management and protection of 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands that makeup the 193 million-acre National Forest System. He also oversees the agency’s state and private forestry, research and development, and business operations divisions. Prior to his appointment, Tooke was the regional forester for the Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service based in Atlanta, Georgia, and earlier was Forest Service chief of staff and associate deputy chief for the National Forest System. His resume also includes work throughout the Forest Service Southern Region comprised of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi. He grew up in Detroit, Alabama, and began work with the USDA forestry service at age 18.  

Dr. Todd R. Henderson of Charlotte, North Carolina, College of Veterinary Medicine. Henderson earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from MSU in 1992. He is the president and CEO of Nutramax Laboratories Inc. Before joining Nutramax in 1994, Henderson was the owner of TLC House Call Practice in his native Maryland. He earlier was a veterinarian with Animal Clinic of Harford County before joining Kissimmee Animal Hospital in Florida. Henderson has further served his profession as an adjunct assistant professor for the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. 

See the story in the Starkville Daily News.

Interior design alumna Anna England Hughes wins award at Boutique Design Trade Fair New York

December 14th, 2017 Comments Off on Interior design alumna Anna England Hughes wins award at Boutique Design Trade Fair New York

A booth designed by Anna England Chaney at Boutique Design Trade Fair New York (BDNY) recently won Best Exhibit Competition. 

Chaney is a 2011 graduate of the Mississippi State University Interior Design Program and a furniture designer at Flexsteel.  

Check out the furniture from the booth here.


Interior design alumna Molly Mullet Diffee featured in Southern Living

December 14th, 2017 Comments Off on Interior design alumna Molly Mullet Diffee featured in Southern Living

Molly Mullett Diffee, a 2014 graduate of the Mississippi State University Interior Design Program and interior designer at Wier Boerner Allin Architecture was recently featured in Southern Living for her work on the Alpha Phi sorority house at the University of Mississippi.

Check out the article here.

MSU Interior design alumna Cindy Simpson elected to Gensler Board

October 12th, 2017 Comments Off on MSU Interior design alumna Cindy Simpson elected to Gensler Board

Cindy Simpson IIDA, LEED AP ID+C

Via Natalie Esfandiary | Gensler

Gensler, the world’s largest design firm, is proud to announce Cindy Simpson’s election to Gensler’s Board of Directors beginning January 2018.

Over Simpson’s 15+ year career with Gensler, she has been an impactful practice area leader, client relationship leader and office leader. As a prominent part of Gensler’s Professional Service Firms practice, she helped build relationships with key clients and strengthened Gensler’s reputation in the industry. In addition, she has been a vital part of the client relationships global team focused on elevating strategies across the firm.

Simpson, a 1996 Mississippi State University interior design graduate, extends her passion for interior design and leadership through the Mississippi State University Cindy W. Simpson Loyalty Scholarship and the Cindy W. Simpson Endowed Scholarship in the Interior Design program of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. In January 2015, she became a member of the MSU Foundation Board of Directors.

Recently, Simpson was recognized as one of the 2017 Dallas 500 Most Powerful Business Leaders in Dallas and Fort Worth by DCEO Magazine. She currently serves as Principal and Co-Managing Director of Gensler’s Dallas office. Simpson was nominated for Gensler’s Board based on her exemplary success and high degree of firm commitment, as shown by her strong leadership and performance across the firm.


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