S|ARC senior receives Association of Retired Faculty honor

December 11th, 2015 Comments Off on S|ARC senior receives Association of Retired Faculty honor

F.L. Crane Professor Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture, attended the reception honoring fourth-year architecture student Ria Bennett

F.L. Crane Professor Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture, attended the reception honoring fourth-year architecture student Ria Bennett

By Zack Plair | Mississippi State University

Five seniors at Mississippi State are 2015 honorees of the university’s Association of Retired Faculty.

Honored at the organization’s annual undergraduate banquet were Aaron “Ria” Bennett, an architecture major from Birmingham, Alabama; Kylie A. Dennis, an English major from Memphis, Tennessee; Regan D. McNerny, a biochemistry major from Hebron; Harrison R. Warren, a mechanical engineering major from Starkville; and Laura E. Wilson, a civil engineering major from Diamondhead.

Founded in 1986, MSU’s Association of Retired Faculty presents awards that serve as tributes or memorials to campus colleagues and association members who made major contributions to student development over their careers at the 137-year-old land-grant institution.

Of this year’s honorees:

Bennett received the William L. Giles Award for Excellence in Architecture. She is a member of the Tau Sigma Delta Architecture Honor Society and the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students. She also has served as Giles Architecture Gallery coordinator on campus and was a member of the team that won the Design/Build Studio Choctaw Bus Shelter Competition in 2013. Bennett has interned for two summers with Christopher Architects and Interiors in Birmingham.

Dennis received the Peyton Ward Williams Jr. Distinguished Writing Award for the second straight year. She is a member of three honor societies at MSU, including the Society of Scholars, and holder of three English department scholarships. She was one of only seven students nationwide accepted to participate in the prestigious Institute for Transforming Social Justice this past summer, and she now is student director of the newly formed College of Arts and Sciences Social Justice Initiative. Dennis is in her second year as editor of MSU’s creative arts journal, “The Streetcar.”  She has presented her research at both student and professional conferences, and her work has been published two consecutive years in the Proceedings of the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

McNerny received the Charles L. Lindley Leadership Award. She is a member of the Lambda Sigma Honor Society and a Mississippi Rural Dentistry Scholarship Program recipient. She has served as president of MSU’s Pre-Dental Society, president and recruitment chair for College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Ambassadors and Residence Hall Association treasurer. She’s held two positions with the Student Association, including chair for the Senate Rules and Legislation Committee, and History and Traditions Committee member. Dennis has logged more than 200 shadowing/community service hours with eight different practices related to dentistry and oral-maxillofacial surgery.

Warren was selected for the Exemplary Service Award honoring Joseph Brown, a retired professor of mechanical engineering. A member of the Tau Beta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, he began researching combined heat and power systems this summer. As an undergraduate, he has already been published in an academic journal. Also, he works for the MSU men’s tennis team.

Wilson received the Harry Charles F. Simrall Award for Engineering Excellence. She serves as project manager and past president of MSU’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders and president of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Women’s Advisory Committee for Civil and Environmental Engineers, and the Terpsichore Dance Theatre Company on campus.

The RFA awards are memorials to Giles, MSU’s 13th president; Lindley, dean of the then-College of Agriculture and Home Economics; Simrall, dean of the then-College of Engineering; and Williams, an English professor and editor of the campus-based Mississippi Quarterly.

Brown, a Starkville resident, began teaching at MSU in 1970 and was a faculty member for more than 20 years.

MSU architecture school ranks among best nationally

December 10th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU architecture school ranks among best nationally

Senior architecture major Larry Travis of Tougaloo utilizes work space in Giles Hall, home of MSU’s School of Architecture and the College of Architecture, Art and Design. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Senior architecture major Larry Travis of Tougaloo utilizes work space in Giles Hall, home of MSU’s School of Architecture and the College of Architecture, Art and Design. (Photo by Megan Bean)

By Zack Plair | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture is ranked among the top programs in the country for preparing students for the workforce.

Produced by the Design Futures Council, the publication DesignIntelligence ranks MSU’s School of Architecture at No. 25 among “America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools” for 2016.

DesignIntelligence annually ranks the top 35 of the 120 accredited programs nationwide by surveying supervisors and others in hiring positions at leading architecture and design firms on which schools best prepare students for those fields. This year, more than 1,400 professional practice organizations participated in the survey, according to the DesignIntelligence website.

“This national ranking speaks volumes of the high quality professional education that our students receive at MSU,” said Michael Berk, director for the School of Architecture and F.L. Crane Endowed Professor. “Our outstanding faculty are leading the nation in innovative Collaborative Practice studio-teaching with Building Construction Science, as well as focusing on design/build tectonics, fundamental design, and our commitment in providing guaranteed travel experiences to see architecture and urbanism with our rigorous field-trip and study-abroad programs.”

MSU architecture team leads weatherization efforts in Delta

December 4th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU architecture team leads weatherization efforts in Delta

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Edward Holmes and Ben Marshall, fourth-year architecture students and members of the Audit Squad, work in Greenwood. (photo via Emily McGlohn)

By Zack Plair | Mississippi State University

A project through Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture is helping make homes in the Mississippi Delta healthier and more energy efficient.

Using funds from the Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation and Enterprise Community Partners, a team from Mississippi State studied air infiltration levels in 27 low-income homes in the Greenwood area during the summer. Starting Monday [Dec. 7], the team will begin the process of weatherizing homes from the study to enable better climate control and reduce homeowners’ utility bills.

Emily McGlohn, an assistant professor of architecture at MSU who is the faculty leader for the study, said the team looked at houses in three categories: 10 older homes built in the 1950s and 60s, six built in the 1980s and 90s, and 11 “Katrina cottages” placed in the Baptist Town area in Greenwood for low-income families within the last 10 years.

Preliminary study results, McGlohn said, showed the most air infiltration in the older homes. That poses a financial and health burden on the residents, she added.

“A home is supposed to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer,” she said. “But in a leaky home, it makes it harder and more costly to maintain those temperatures during those seasons.”

Now that the study is complete, McGlohn’s team – which includes mostly student workers – has secured the labor and materials for basic weatherization at the 27 homes. With the homeowners’ consent, McGlohn said the team could install door sweeps, weather stripping around windows and better insulate areas around air conditioning units in windows that tend to let air into the home. Even those small fixes, she said, could make a big impact.

Further, she is presenting the study results to stakeholders in the Delta in hopes of inspiring a more comprehensive weatherization program and ensuring that low-income homes built in the future are more energy efficient.

Greenwood architect Emily Roush-Elliot, an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow cohosted by the Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation and MSU’s Carl Small Town Center, partnered with McGlohn’s team on the project. She said it has already accomplished much, considering its $12,000 budget, and has the potential to accomplish even more.

“Financially, it will help a substantial number of low-income families,” she said. “It’s easy to scale up, too. I hope this is a small first step to so much more.”

Read more about the work.

Fourth-year architecture student featured as ‘State Spotlight’

December 4th, 2015 Comments Off on Fourth-year architecture student featured as ‘State Spotlight’

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Room for Growth

Senior architecture major Zachary White, of Valparaiso, Indiana, works on a raised garden bed for the Starkville Boys and Girls Club community garden. A team of 14 Mississippi State architecture students, working under assistant professor Alexis Gregory, are installing a garden at the club with six raised beds, two shaded pavilions and space for tool storage. The team also is partnering with MSU’s Horticulture Club, the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, and the College of Education to make the garden a sustainable source for education and healthy foods.

Photo by: Megan Bean

Herrmann accepts Design Excellence Award from AIA Mississippi Chapter

December 3rd, 2015 Comments Off on Herrmann accepts Design Excellence Award from AIA Mississippi Chapter

Mississippi State University recently was recognized by the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its role in implementing the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum’s green technology demonstration pavilion. Pictured at AIAMS 2015 Mississippi Celebrates Architecture program are (l-r) lead juror Aaron Gentry, principal at tvsdesign in Atlanta, Georgia; Jim West, dean of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design and chair of the AIAMS Design Awards; Hans C. Herrmann, MSU associate professor of architecture; and AIAMS President Brett Couples. (Photo courtesy of barrettphotography.com)

Mississippi State University recently was recognized by the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its role in implementing the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum’s green technology demonstration pavilion. Pictured at AIAMS 2015 Mississippi Celebrates Architecture program are (l-r) lead juror Aaron Gentry, principal at tvsdesign in Atlanta, Georgia; Jim West, dean of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design and chair of the AIAMS Design Awards; Hans C. Herrmann, MSU associate professor of architecture; and AIAMS President Brett Couples. (Photo courtesy of barrettphotography.com)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State is yet again being recognized for its role in implementing the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum’s green infrastructure and sustainable building technologies.

A Design Excellence Award from the American Institute of Architects’ Mississippi Chapter is one of only two being presented this year. It recognizes the five-year-long efforts of more than 200 university undergraduate and graduate students who designed and built the repository’s green technology demonstration pavilion, among other features.

Participating students were majors in landscape architecture, landscape contracting, architecture, art, art/graphic design and building construction science.

Including prominent architects and educators, the AIAMS judging panel was led by Aaron Gentry, principal at tvsdesign of Atlanta, Georgia, and an MSU architecture graduate.

Hans C. Herrmann, associate professor of architecture, accepted for the university at the recent annual Mississippi Celebrates Architecture program in Jackson.

Earlier this year, the Starkville project was recognized with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4’s Rain Catcher Award at the neighborhood/community level. In 2013, it was chosen for the American Society of Landscape Architecture’s Award of Excellence in Student Collaboration, the highest honor bestowed by the national professional association for landscape architects. Other honors have included the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s 2015 Collaborative Practice Award, as well as the American Society of Landscape Architects/Mississippi Chapter’s 2013 Merit Award, 2012 community service honor, and 2011 and 2012 merit awards for community service.

The green technology demonstration pavilion at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum was recognized with an AIAMS Design Excellence Award. (Photo by Megan Bean)

The green technology demonstration pavilion at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum was recognized with an AIAMS Design Excellence Award. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Located near campus at the intersection of Fellowship and Russell streets, the museum features an American Disabilities Act-compliant entrance way, as well as a circular stair providing public access to the 600-square-foot green-roof pavilion. A 700-square-foot rain garden, 200-square-foot sand filter and more than 1,000 square-feet of new plantings also are part of the project.

Additionally, an adjacent 1,000-gallon rainwater cistern was built from recycled and repurposed materials.

The AIAMS Design Awards program seeks to elevate the quality of architecture by recognizing and honoring works of distinction by its members, as well as raise public awareness of architecture and design. For more, visit www.aiamississippi.org.

The heritage museum is open to the public 1-4 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, as well as by appointment. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. For more, visit www.oktibbehaheritagemuseum.com.

Dean Jim West recognized for design education leadership

December 2nd, 2015 Comments Off on Dean Jim West recognized for design education leadership

Jim West

Jim West

By Sammy McDavid | Mississippi State University

A 17-year faculty veteran leading Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design is among a select group being recognized by a national design think tank.

Dean James L. West is included in the DesignIntelligence 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016.

“The 2016 class of education role models was selected by DesignIntelligence staff with extensive input from thousands of design professionals, academic department heads and students,” the publication’s editors said in announcing this year’s group.

“With an emphasis on hands-on learning, Jim West is known for his compassionate and innovative approach to design education,” they added in a summation of his continuing impact on the profession.

DesignIntelligence is a bi-monthly journal of the Georgia-based Design Futures Council that was founded in 1994 by American Institute of Architects’ James P. Cramer, and Dr. Jonas Salk, who discovered the polio vaccine. From offices near Atlanta, the interdisciplinary network of design, product and construction leaders today explores global trends, challenges and opportunities to advance innovation and shape the future of the design industries and the environment.

Of the 2016 DesignIntelligence honorees, West is one of four from Southeastern Conference institutions of higher learning. Others are at the universities of Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee.

College dean since 2002, he came to MSU in 1998 as associate dean of the School of Architecture. Prior to that, he taught for a number of years at the University of Florida.

A nationally recognized authority in the design of barrier-free environments for handicapped children, West holds three UF degrees, including bachelors in interior design and—with high honors—architecture, as well as a master’s in architecture.

He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Institute of Architects’ Mississippi Chapter Executive Board and Board of Visitors for the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

The major MSU academic unit West leads includes the School of Architecture and its Carl Small Town Center, Gulf Coast Community Design Studio and Design Research Informatics Laboratory, along with the department of art and academic programs in building construction science and interior design.

The architecture program is the only one accredited in Mississippi that leads to professional licensure. The studio-based building construction science program is one of only two in the U.S. For more, seewww.caad.msstate.edu/caad/home.

For additional information on the Design Futures Council and its annual honors program, visitwww.designfuturescouncil.com.

McGlohn presents study results to housing board of directors

December 1st, 2015 Comments Off on McGlohn presents study results to housing board of directors

Emily McGlohn, assistant professor in the School of Architecture at Mississippi State, recently presented to the Board of Directors of the Greenwood/Leflore Fuller Center for Housing in Greenwood.

McGlohn presented the results of her study, “Energy Efficiency Rates of Low-Income Housing in the Mississippi Delta.”

The study was funded by Enterprise Community Partners and the Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation.

She worked on the project with Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow Emily Roush-Elliot.

McGlohn will also present the study to the Greenwood Rotary Club at an upcoming meeting.

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