Augustus Joseph ‘Gus’ Staub III passes away at 77

January 31st, 2014 Comments Off on Augustus Joseph ‘Gus’ Staub III passes away at 77

TUPELO – Augustus Joseph “”Gus”” Staub III, 77, died Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, at Northeast Mississippi Medical Center.
Gus Staub, known to family as “”Jimmy,”” lived a life of integrity. His work reflected his personal standards and values. As an architect, Gus worked diligently to ensure his designs were functional and of the highest quality. As an artist, Gus knew attention to detail and lifelike color would result in art that spoke to the heart.
Gus was a fixture in Tupelo and did much to make his home a vibrant place for culture and learning. He served as co-chair of the Lee County Library building committee and was on the board of directors for Tupelo Artist Guild. He was particularly proud of his role as a co-founder of the Gum Tree Festival.
Gus also gave of his time and talent to All Saints’ Episcopal Church. He was an active member and EFM graduate. He designed a new addition to the church to serve the needs of the congregation.
In his professional life, Gus was well known for his work with Staub, Robison and Williams. He served as past president of the Mississippi Architectural Foundation and was a member of the School of Architecture Advisory Council at Mississippi State University. Gus was also a longtime member of the American Institute of Architecture.
In retirement, Gus was “”Diddy”” and enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. His was a house where family and friends were always welcome. He found new artistic inspiration in the medium of colored pencil. His work was rendered with care and with an eye for authenticity and realism. Gus served as past president of the Memphis Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America.
His daughter, Daney Baker Staub Guyear, precedes Gus in death. He is survived by his wife, Martha Ann Staub; his brother, Travis Staub; his son, Amery Staub; his stepdaughter, Angie Surface; his son-in-law, Homer Bartlett; his daughter-in-law, Courtney Staub; his grandchildren, Caleb, Matthew, Mattie, Grady and Noel; and nieces and nephew Susan Staub Sharp, Nancy Staub Jakaitis, Laura Staub Young and Steven Staub. He is also survived by many great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, at All Saints’ Episcopal Church with a service to follow at 2 p.m.
The family requests no flowers and asks that memorials be made to Saints Brew or to the Building Fund at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 608 W. Jefferson St., Tupelo, MS 38804. Expressions of sympathy may be left at
Published in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal on Jan. 28, 2014.

Reception held for ‘Preserve Nation’ exhibit

January 30th, 2014 Comments Off on Reception held for ‘Preserve Nation’ exhibit

TSD student curator Jake Johnson introduces Bellinda Stewart.

TSD student curator Jake Johnson introduces Bellinda Stewart.

A reception was held on Wed., Jan. 29, for the Belinda Stewart Architects P.A. exhibition, “Preserve Nation: An Exhibit on Historical Preservation and Vernacular Design,” in the Giles Gallery.

Many of the firm’s architects came to the reception, including owner Belinda Stewart, FAIA.

Stewart gave a brief history about her career and the firm and left the students with the message to “Do what you love where you love.”

The work will be on display through Fri., Jan. 31.

CAAD to hold career fair February 19-20

January 29th, 2014 Comments Off on CAAD to hold career fair February 19-20

The Mississippi State University College of Architecture, Art, and Design will hold a career fair on Feb. 19 and 2 in Giles Hall.

The fair is open to all companies interested in speaking to students in the college’s four disciplines: architecture, art, interior design and building construction science. This event will be a great opportunity for firms to get exposure to students and have a presence on MSU’s campus for future recruiting needs.

To register, visit the MSU Career Center website, and click “Employer Registration” under “Architecture, Art & Design Fair” listed at the bottom of the “events” page. A username and password will be emailed to you after you fill out the information form.

If you have any questions about registration, contact Angie Chrestman at or 662-325-3823 or Jan Fitzgerald at

Wednesday, February 19
3:30 – 5:00: Panel Discussion (optional)
5:00 – 6:30: Career Fair Giles (refreshments provided)

Thursday, February 20
We have rooms available if you want to stay over and interview candidates that you met at the fair.  Listed below are the times available for interviewing:
8:30 – 11:30: Interviews (Montgomery Hall – Career Center)
12:00 – 1:00: Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 4:30 : Interviews Resume

Architecture alumna Debra Brown featured in The Reflector

January 27th, 2014 Comments Off on Architecture alumna Debra Brown featured in The Reflector

True renaissance woman: Architecture alumna named first African- American female U.S. District Judge in Miss.

by David Lewis | The Reflector

With a unanimous vote of 90-0, the U.S. Senate appointed Mississippi State University alumna Debra Brown as the new U.S. District Judge presiding over north Mississippi. Brown is the first African-American female U.S. District Judge in Mississippi. Brown fills the position previously held by U.S. District Judge W. Allen Pepper Jr. who passed away in 2012.

brown_debraThe importance of her appointment lies not only in the racial boundaries that are torn down but also in her incredible work ethic. In an article by the Associated Press on, a “thrilled” and “honored” Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker said Brown has worked hard in all areas of her career so far.

“Ms. Brown is a proven trailblazer,” he said.
Wicker said Brown’s record proves her hard-working nature and paints her as a politician who cares about the public.

“(She has a) record of professional excellence, integrity and public service,” he said.

Wicker also said he is excited to have an architect as a judge.

“(Greenville is) in desperate need of a new state-of-the-art courthouse,” he said.

MSU President Mark Keenum told Leah Barbour in an MSU news release that many MSU alumni have had successful judicial careers. MSU alumnus Bill Waller Jr. currently resides as Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court. Three of the nine justices who reside on the Mississippi Supreme Court are MSU graduates.

Though Brown works in politics, she did not study political science, pre-law or any subject typically associated with politics at MSU. Brown actually received her bachelor degree in architecture in 1987, and she made an impact in the department of architecture during her time at MSU.

She still serves on the School of Architecture Advisory Council. Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture, said Brown focuses on students and keeping them first on the council.

“Debra Brown’s impact on the School of Architecture Advisory Council mostly centered on issues related to student scholarships and support,” he said. “She was, and still is, a strong advocate for students.”

Berk said though architecture is not a subject directly linked to politics, Brown’s success working with law and politics builds on the foundation of her architecture education.

“The pedagogy of architectural design education emphasizes and teaches organizational principles and hierarchical skills, enabling a student to rationally and logically analyze and solve complex problems — both socially and technically. It also balances this rationalism with intuition and compassion,” he said. “This type of renaissance knowledge (and unique balance of science and art) is of paramount importance in most fields and disciplines.”

Berk said with an education in architecture, the possibilities are endless. There are MSU architecture graduates in filmmaking, computer design with Apple, teaching, set design, graphic design, working with PBS and working with national major league baseball teams, just to name a few.

After Brown graduated from MSU, she began to work in the field of architecture and, ultimately, landed a job in Washington, D.C. There she worked on a myriad of projects involving commercial, residential and historical renovation work.

Brown then came back to Mississippi to pursue a law degree at the University of Mississippi and finished the degree in 1997. After graduation, much of her work included civil litigation and construction-related issues that tied back to her architectural education. Brown worked at several firms in Jackson as a partner at Phelps Dunbar and as a shareholder at Wise Carter Child & Caraway.

If Brown’s future in the Supreme Court follows the same trajectory as her professional life thus far, she will take Mississippi nowhere but up.

School of architecture alumnus, professors author poster accepted to ASC Conference

January 23rd, 2014 Comments Off on School of architecture alumnus, professors author poster accepted to ASC Conference

School of Architecture Assistant Professors Alexis Gregory, AIA, and Emily McGlohn, along with architecture alumnus and former Building Construction Science faculty member Chris Cosper, had a poster accepted to the 50th International Conference of the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC).

The poster is titled “Teaching Today’s Master Builder:  A Collaborative Studio in Architecture and Construction Management.”

The poster explores the spring 2013 combined architecture-construction management studio at Mississippi State University.  Surveys were given to both groups of students, and the results and recommendations are explored in the poster.

From the abstract’s ‘research impact:’ “Assuming the Architecture-CM studios develop as planned, the integrated studios at MSU may be of interest to other universities who have architecture and construction management programs and wish to address the critical issues surrounding fragmented design and construction practice.”

The 2014 ASC conference will be held from March 26 – 28 in Washington, D.C.


TSD’s ‘Preserve Nation’ exhibit on display through January

January 23rd, 2014 Comments Off on TSD’s ‘Preserve Nation’ exhibit on display through January


The School of Architecture and Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society (TSD) are excited to feature the work of Belinda Stewart Architects.

“Preserve Nation: An Exhibit on Historical Preservation and Vernacular Design,” will be on display in the Giles Hall Gallery through Jan. 31. A reception will be held on Jan. 29 at 5 p.m.

Student curator for the event was Jake Johnson, and the faculty curator for the TSD exhibits is Professor Jacob Gines.

The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m.

Click here to see the full 2013-2014 TSD Exhibit Schedule.

Architecture, landscape architecture students build bridges for Crosby Aboretum

January 21st, 2014 Comments Off on Architecture, landscape architecture students build bridges for Crosby Aboretum

MSU architecture and landscape architecture students stand on the bridges they designed and built for the Crosby Aboretum. (Photo by Pat Dracket via

MSU architecture and landscape architecture students stand on the bridges they designed and built for the Crosby Aboretum. (Photo by Pat Dracket via

Hans Herrmann, assistant professor in the School of Architecture, taught two special topics classes (one in the spring of 2013 and another last fall) along with Department of Landscape Professor Bob Brzuszek.

In the spring, architecture and landscape architecture students worked on designs of bridges for the Crosby Aboretum and presented their designs to the board of the aboretum.

The fall semester class took the previous class’s designs and transformed them into constructable designs that were eventually built and installed. The group ended the semester by constructing two pedestrian bridges at the south edge of the Gum Pond at the Crosby Aboretum.

An article about the project was recently featured in the Picayune Item.

The Crosby Arboretum is a living memorial dedicated to the late L.O. Crosby Jr. Crosby was a prominent forestry figure, civic leader and philanthropist who held a deep compassion for nature. After his death, his family decided to transform the strawberry farm on Ridge Road in Picayune into an interpretive center for native plants of the Pearl River Drainage Basin. The Crosby Arboretum Foundation was established to implement this concept. A series of exhibits were designated to display plant communities typical of Southern Mississippi ecosystems. Construction began in the early 1980s, and the arboretum was dedicated to public use in 1986. In 1997, the Foundation teamed with Mississippi State University so that the Arboretum could expand their resources.

Herrmann has also been invited to help complete the final phase of the exhibit design and installation – a large bride that will form the architectural centerpiece for the exhibit. The work is ongoing and is tentatively planned to be installed in spring 2015, should funding be provided.

Click here to see the design from the spring 2013 class.
Devin Carr, second-year architecture
Michael Davis, fourth-year architecture
Kevin Flores, second-year architecture
Jerry Hill, fourth-year landscape architecture
West Pierce, second-year architecture
Nick Purvis, fourth-year architecture
Cody Smith, second-year architecture

Click here to see the design from the fall 2013 class.
Conner Ansley, second-year architecture
Byron Belle, fourth-year architecture
Devin Carr, third-year architecture
Audrey Duchemin, second-year architecture
Kevin Gehrke, fourth-year landscape architecture
Jerry Hill, fourth-year landscape architecture
Donald Lockett, undeclared major
West Pierce, third-year architecture
Nick Purvis, fifth-year architecture

Architecture studio returns from semester-long exchange program in Virginia

January 17th, 2014 Comments Off on Architecture studio returns from semester-long exchange program in Virginia


(photo submitted by Haley Whiteman)

Twelve students, one of three fourth-year studios from the Mississippi State School of Architecture, spent the past semester at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria, Va.

The exchange program has been in effect since 1985 and is part of a worldwide consortium of architecture programs with Virginia Tech’s Washington exchange.

“For the past 20 years, we’ve sent three to four students,” said Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture. “It’s competitive,” he said, adding that students have to apply and be accepted for the program.

The courses the students take at the program count toward their architecture degree at MSU, allowing them to stay on track with the five-year studio program.

MSU student Haley Whiteman said the studios at the WAAC were run similarly to the studios at MSU. She said they differed, however, in the fact that three different projects with a similar theme were offered for the three different studio sections available to her.  One project involved the design of a subterranean metro stop, another was an above ground metro stop, and the third was a water taxi on the Potomac River.

“What I liked most about this,” said Whiteman, “was that I could see the similarities and differences between how each student chose to solve each site’s individual problem – mediating both the water, the ground and below ground.”

“The city became a generator of design as we lived daily within the fabric of an urban setting,” said fellow MSU student John Taylor Schaffhauser. “I was able to take an Urbanism Seminar course in which our classroom was literally the city of D.C. We spent much time in the city discussing why D.C. is the way it is today and analyzing all aspects of influence throughout history.”

Students in the program are housed in an historic building in downtown Alexandria close to a train stop.

“Living in Alexandria, just a couple of Metro stops away from Washington, D.C., was one of the best highlights of being at WAAC and opened many doors,” said Whiteman, who added that she and her classmates were able to attend the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, visit the grave of John F. Kennedy on the anniversary of his assassination, and they even caught a glimpse of a sketchbook that belonged to Leonardo Da Vinci.

“My experiences of exploring and living in our nation’s capital will continue to impact both my studies and future,” said Schaffhauser, who added that he hopes to return one day to practice architecture.

Last semester, the MSU students were joined at the WAAC with undergraduate and graduate students from the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech, along with fourth-year students from California Polytechnic State University, Louisiana State University, the Bauhaus in Germany and the Universidad de Desarrollo in Chile.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students to get to experience an urban environment with outstanding resources such as galleries, museums and great buildings,” said Berk. “And it’s a rich urban fabric where they can meet faculty and students form other schools and around the world.”

“Engaging with other architecture students and faculty from around the world,” said Schaffhauser, “along with living in an incredibly rich urban setting, has brought my understanding of architecture and culture to a level that is extremely personal and only learned through engaging experience.”

“I made friends that I hope to keep in contact with for years to come,” added Whiteman. “And I would definitely recommend everyone apply for the program at WAAC.”

Fourth-year architecture students at the WAAC, fall semester 2013:
ALABASTER, Ala. – Anna Lyle, daughter of Craig and Amy Lyle

BILOXI – Haley Whiteman, daughter of Glen and Diana Whiteman

CANTON – John Taylor Schaffhauser, son of John and Jennifer Schaffhauser

CLINTON – Landon Kennedy, son of Kevin and Melinda Kennedy

HATTIESBURG – Andrew McMahan, son of Larry and Mary McMahan

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Rachel McKinley, daughter of David and Anne McKinley

OXFORD – Jacqueline Brooke Dorman, daughter of Machelle Dorman and Gary Listug

PONTOTOC – Ethan Warren, son of Kevin and Donna Warren

ROSWELL, Ga. – Jacob Johnson, son of Michael and Emily Johnson

SHAWNEE, Kan. – Jared Barnett, son of Paul and Lori Barnett

TOUGALOO – Larry Travis, son of Larry and Edna Travis

TUPELO – William Tonos, son of Michael and Jane Tonos

See the story on MSU’s website.


Jackson Center director has article published in World Health Design

January 14th, 2014 Comments Off on Jackson Center director has article published in World Health Design

Jassen Callender, associate professor and director of the MSU School of Architecture Jackson Center, had an article he co-authored published in the April 2013 issue of World Health Design.

Callender wrote “From Shopping Mall to Village: Retrofitting the Built Environment for the 21st Century” with fellow Jackson State University colleagues Anthony R. Mawson, MA, DrPH, and Thomas M. Kersen, PhD.

Click here to see the full article.

According to the website, World Health Design is a subscription-based journal with an interdisciplinary readership that includes architects, designers, developers, health scientists, clinicians, health managers, psychologists, economists working within government, academia and business. World Health Design’s mission is to be the leading international authority online and in print, promoting, celebrating and disseminating new knowledge, information and excellence in the field of design and health.

Good year for Baptist Town project leader

January 13th, 2014 Comments Off on Good year for Baptist Town project leader


The architecture fellow heading the Baptist Town Project said she’s had a productive first year on the job in 2013 despite some major setbacks.

Emily Roush Elliott said she hopes to continue making tangible progress in 2014 while also broadening the scope of her work. She’ll be co-teaching a course at Mississippi State University this coming semester.

Elliott, an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, is co-hosted for her three-year stint in Greenwood by the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation and the Carl Small Town Center of the School of Architecture at Mississippi State.

Elliott said her first year of the fellowship, awarded by Enterprise Community Partners Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit design company, focused almost exclusively on executing work in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood.

Starting this week, Elliott will be commuting to Starkville as well, where she’ll co-teach a course on community design with Leah Kemp, the assistant director of the Carl Small Town Center. Elliott said the course will focus on giving students real-world experience in using design to improve the quality of life in one Mississippi small town.

The Carl Small Town Center, which focuses on rural design and planning, is named for Fred Carl Jr., the founder and former CEO of Viking Range Corp. Carl endowed the center with a $2.5 million gift in 2003.

Elliott said the CREATE Foundation, a Tupelo-based nonprofit dedicated to regional development in Northeast Mississippi, provides a grant to the Carl Small Town Center to teach the class. This year, CREATE asked Elliott and Kemp to choose a community along the new Tanglefoot Trail, a 43-mile rails-to-trails project.

“We biked the trail, which was super fun, and ended up choosing a town called New Houlka,” Elliott said. “It’s a really small community. I don’t know much about it yet, but they’ve been really receptive to us.”

Over the course of the semester, the students in Elliott’s course will focus on getting to know the residents of New Houlka and creating designs to address their needs. Elliott said that in years past, the end result was usually a book of plans, sketches and blueprints for the town to implement on its own.

Although Elliott said compiling designs will play a role this year, she’s hoping the students get their hands dirty and actually carry out one of their recommendations.

“What we’re doing differently this year is that we’re saying, especially in these really small towns, (a book of plans) is often not enough to get people going,” Elliott said. “What we’re going to try to do is see if we can get a little energy going and hopefully give students a little more hands-on experience. As we’re getting these big ideas, we’re also getting small ideas, and we’re going to pick one and implement it.”

The project the students tackle, Elliott said, might not even fall into what most people consider architectural. It may be something as small as repainting New Houlka’s fire hydrants with a vibrant new design that brings a little life to the town.

Elliott calls that “doing something real,” a mantra she’s also brought to her work on the Baptist Town Project. Elliott said the Economic Development Foundation has had a master plan, produced by the Carl Small Town Center, on file since 2010 but hadn’t made many steps toward turning those lofty ideas into tangible results.

When she came on board at the beginning of the year, Elliott soon learned that the grant funding for the project, provided by the Foundation for the Mid-South, was set to expire in July 2013.

“I started Jan. 1 thinking I was going to do new housing, rehab housing, build a community center, parks, entryways and infrastructure over my three years,” Elliott said. “It turned out all the funding I’d gotten for that was over the first six months.”

Elliott said she realized she’d have to focus all her energies on completing one aspect of the project and quickly zeroed in on using donated Katrina cottages as affordable housing units in the historic but largely impoverished neighborhood in Greenwood.

Elliott said it was extremely difficult when a number of setbacks, including the failure of a bill in the Legislature to allow the city of Greenwood to donate the cottages, resulted in the Economic Development Foundation losing the grant and the project being delayed.

Elliott didn’t give up on the cottages project and continues to work toward getting it back on track. She said, however, the last thing she wanted to do was sit around and do nothing after that idea hit roadblocks.

So she set to work and has been busy building new sidewalks and putting up new street signs and neighborhood entrance markers in Baptist Town. Five MSU architecture students came to Greenwood in May.

Working with Brantley Snipes, a landscape architect and the executive director of Main Street Greenwood, they designed and built a small “pocket park” at the corner of McCain Street and Stevens Avenue. In October, volunteers from GE Capital built a new playground in a park on Avenue A that Elliott planned with extensive input from neighborhood children.

“We got a lot accomplished,” Elliott said. “There are some very visible signs of progress that continue to happen in Baptist Town.”

As her fellowship continues, Elliott said she hopes to effect further improvements in Baptist Town but also broaden the focus of her work. Working with the Carl Small Town Center, Elliott would like to look at projects in other areas of South Greenwood, to work with other towns in the state facing similar issues and possibly even partner with state agencies to improve the design of low-income housing developments.

“A lot of people think being a good-looking place is just about aesthetics, but, especially at a neighborhood or city scale, it’s a lot more than that,” Elliott said. “It’s about inspiring people to spend their money there, buy houses there or live there at all.”

You are currently viewing the archives for January, 2014 in the School Of Architecture News.