MSU architecture major takes second in national scholarship competition

May 4th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU architecture major takes second in national scholarship competition

2015 Gensler Diversity Award from CAADatMSU on Vimeo. (Video by David Garraway | MSU TV Center)

Photo by Keats Haupt

Photo by Keats Haupt

Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design offers a unique collaborative experience for students, and these efforts are helping students get national recognition.

Aryn Phillips, a fourth-year architecture major from Olive Branch, recently took second place in the seventh annual Gensler Diversity Scholarship Competition. Phillips credited the college’s many collaborative efforts for her success.

“We do a collaborative studio with building construction science and projects with both BCS and interior design students, and that’s what Gensler is really big on,” she said. “It’s a global design firm; we do a little of that here, and that’s unique from other schools.”

As a second place winner, Phillips, the daughter of William and Luretha Phillips and a 2011 graduate of Desoto Central High School in Southaven, will receive $5,000 from Gensler to put toward her academic studies. Because of the scholarship, she was also awarded a paid summer internship at Gensler’s New York offices, which she will start on June 2.

For the competition, Phillips submitted a project designed in the fall 2014 Ivywild Studio, taught by Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory. Phillips’ project, which also won honorable mention in her studio, was the design of a symbiotic district. The project included a brewery, bakery, restaurant and ice cream shop that utilized the recycle-reuse process called “functional symbiosis.” (See more on the IvyWild Studio.)

Phillips said she was encouraged by her professors to enter Gensler’s competition and received a recommendation from the director of the school, F.L. Crane Professor Michael Berk.

She also was encouraged by the fact that one of her fellow classmates, Larry Travis, won first place in last year’s competition.

“MSU winning twice is pretty significant; I don’t realize that while I’m in school,” she said, adding “And just seeing that makes me understand how well prepared we are through this program.”

Phillips is currently applying for a cooperative education program for next year. After her fifth-year of study in Jackson, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in urban design.

“Winning the 2015 Gensler Diversity Scholarship and having the opportunity to intern with such a prestigious firm is a great honor,” said Phillips. “This scholarship and Gensler’s investment in my architectural education gives me the confidence and motivation to continue to pursue my interests and further my career in architecture.”

Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm, has awarded nearly $200,000 in academic scholarship to students and graduates over the last 15 years.

The Gensler Diversity Scholarship is open to African-American students enrolled in a U.S. not-for-profit educational institution who will begin their final year of a NAAB-accredited architecture program in the fall. For more information about the Gensler Diversity Scholarship, visit

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Read the story featured on WCBI.

Fifth-year architecture students present capstone projects

May 2nd, 2015 Comments Off on Fifth-year architecture students present capstone projects

Fifth-year architecture students presented their independent thesis projects on Thurs., April 30 and Fri., May 1, in Giles Hall in Starkville.

Coordinator: Jackson Center Director Jassen Callender

School of Architecture faculty, student receive university research honor

May 1st, 2015 Comments Off on School of Architecture faculty, student receive university research honor

Brooke Dorman, Leah Kemp and Alexis Gregory (center, left to right) were honored with 2015 research awards. (Photo by Beth Wynn | Mississippi State University)

Brooke Dorman, Leah Kemp, and Alexis Gregory (left to right) stand with MSU President Mark Keenum and CAAD Dean Jim West. (Photo by Beth Wynn | Mississippi State University)

Forty-nine Mississippi State students, faculty and staff are 2015 selections for exceptional research and leadership honors.

Honorees, their guests and senior administrators gathered for a campus awards luncheon Thursday [April 30].

As a major student-oriented research university, Mississippi State is improving the quality of life “for millions of people here at home and around the world,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said.

“Your research is helping make our public schools better, our communities stronger, our food safer, our vehicles more efficient, our critical infrastructure more secure, and our farms and factories both more profitable and more environmentally friendly,” he said.

Before an audience of friends and colleagues in the Hunter Henry Center’s Hal and Linda Parker Ballroom, professor of art Brent Funderburk received the afternoon’s top honor: the 2015 Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award.

A Charlotte, North Carolina native, Funderburk has exhibited his mixed-media paintings and drawing in 32 one-person exhibitions in museums, universities and galleries, and has presented his artwork, often with awards, in over 70 invited or juried (peer-reviewed) regional, national, and international exhibitions. He has given more than 100 invited or juried illustrated lecture-performances to galleries, museums, conferences, and professional organizations. His artwork is represented in museum, university and private collections across the country, in 26 states, and in Canada.

Funderburk studied with artist-author Edward A. Reep in the School of Art at East Carolina University, where he received BFA and MFA degrees in painting/drawing. His research in watercolor and water media has been shared in lectures and workshops and in his book “Flying World” (2011).

His research has also focused on the life, art and influence of 20th Century American artist/naturalist Walter Inglis Anderson and his contemporaries through research, publications, curating exhibits, presenting lectures, developing courses, and in the ongoing development of a multidisciplinary research center at MSU. These efforts have enlivened a critical national discussion on the work of Anderson. His curated exhibit, “Ecstasy — The Mystical Landscapes of Walter Anderson,” has toured U.S. museums, with Funderburk’s lectures, since 2006.

Named the official artist of the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition, Funderburk has had artwork featured in international publications such as Creative Quarterly, Graphis, and Studio Visit Magazine.

The Powe Award is a memorial to the MSU alumnus and longtime research vice president who died in 1996. It is selected at the university level from nominations received from the MSU community.

The annual research awards program honors individuals who contribute significantly to MSU’s mission of research. In addition to faculty, it recognizes and rewards students and staff for accomplishments and creative endeavors, as well as for increasing awareness of the university’s many research programs and capabilities.

The program and banquet are co-sponsored by the offices of the vice presidents for Research and Economic Development and the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

“Our research enterprise is strong and growing thanks to our world-class faculty, students and staff, and I always look forward to recognizing them here,” said David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development.

Greg Bohach, vice president for agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine, echoed Shaw’s assessment.

“The awards banquet is one of my favorite events because it’s an opportunity to recognize the commitment to excellence of our university’s scientists, staff and students, and their collaborative efforts,” he said.

Other 2015 research award winners include (alphabetically, by academic unit):

–Bagley College of Engineering: Yong Fu, faculty; Teresa Stewart, research support; Trenton Ricks, graduate student; and Dexter Duckworth, undergraduate student.

–College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station: Jason Bond, faculty; Josh White, research support; Caitlin Hart, graduate student; and Amber Kay, undergraduate student.

–College of Architecture, Art and Design: Alexis Gregory, faculty; Leah Kemp, research support; and J. Brooke Dorman, undergraduate student.

–College of Arts and Sciences: John Bickle, faculty; Rita Christopher, research support; Sara Shields-Menard, graduate student; and Sally White, undergraduate student.

–College of Business: James Vardaman, faculty; and Nathan Hammond, graduate student.

–College of Education: April Heiselt, faculty; Anne Steverson, research support; Sonum Sanjanwala, graduate student; and Scott Pope, undergraduate student.

–College of Forest Resources: Donald L. Grebner, faculty; Ray Iglay, research support; Zach Loman, graduate student; and Lisa Garrigues, undergraduate student.

–College of Veterinary Medicine: Lesya Pinchuk, faculty; Hossam Abdelhamed, research support; Graham Rosser, graduate student; and Ethan Woodyard, undergraduate student.

–Office of Research and Economic Development: Ronald Gatewood, research support.

–University Centers and Institutes: Patrick Fitzpatrick, faculty; Rooban Thirumalai, research support; Kala Marapereddy, graduate student; and Evan McBroom, undergraduate student.

Also honored were new graduates of the university’s 2014-2015 George Duke Humphrey Faculty Leadership Program:

–Craig Aarhus, associate professor of music and associate director of bands;

–Ashli Brown, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory director;

–Angus Catchot, Extension professor of entomology;

–Renee Clary, associate professor of geosciences and Dunn-Seiler Geology Museum director;

–Diana Eubanks, College of Veterinary Medicine associate clinical professor;

–Donald L. Grebner, professor of forestry;

–William Anthony Hay, associate professor of history and Institute of the Humanities director;

–Brien Henry, associate professor of plant and soil sciences;

–Rocky Lemus, associate Extension/research professor of plant and soil sciences;

–Robert McMillen, associate professor and Social Science Research Center associate director;

–Stephen Middleton, professor and director of African American studies;

–Jane Parish, Extension/research professor of animal and dairy sciences.

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