Mississippi State celebrates research success with annual banquet

April 28th, 2017 Comments Off on Mississippi State celebrates research success with annual banquet

Photo via Instagram (Alexis Gregory)

By Jim Laird | Mississippi State University

More than 50 Mississippi State students, faculty and staff are 2017 selections for exceptional research and leadership honors.

The honorees, their guests and senior administrators celebrated the university’s research achievements during a campus awards luncheon today [April 27] in the Hunter Henry Center’s Hal and Linda Parker Ballroom.

Dr. Henry Wan was recognized with the afternoon’s top honor: the 2017 Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award.

Wan is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Basic Sciences. Currently, he has seven active grants totaling more than $4.5 million. Most of these funding awards are highly competitive, including a National Institutes of Health R01 grant for which funding rates are generally less than 10 percent.

“Dr. Wan is internationally recognized by leading scientists for his innovative laboratory and computational approaches to understanding and developing more effective and efficient approaches that prevent and treat influenza,” said Greg Bohach, vice president for MSU’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

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.

Wan has published 105 peer-reviewed papers, and he has developed 14 software programs, including widely used antigenic cartography software. He has presented more than 100 posters and almost 150 oral presentations at prestigious venues all over the world. He has mentored 69 trainees ranging from high school students to visiting faculty members.

He also serves on editorial boards of three journals, including Nature’s Scientific Reports. He has been invited to serve on several grant review panels for agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, CDC and Food and Drug Administration. He has organized several major scientific meetings and symposia, including the First Animal-Human Interface Symposium in Shanghai, China.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine from Jiangxi Agricultural University in Nanchang, China. He earned a master’s degree in avian medicine from the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, China. He earned a master’s degree in computer science at Mississippi State, and a Ph.D. in veterinary medical sciences at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

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.

“This annual awards banquet brings together researchers from across campus and from a wide range of programs to showcase the depth and reach of our overall research enterprise,” Bohach said.

David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development, echoed that assessment.

“The collaborative culture we have at MSU and the wide-ranging interests of our researchers are two of the key components in our success, and we look forward to celebrating our research achievements and the outstanding work of our faculty, staff and students every spring,” he said.

Other 2017 research award winners include (alphabetically, by academic unit):

–Bagley College of Engineering: Tom Lacy, faculty; Sheri Johnson, research support; Mohammad Mathtabi, graduate student; and Alex Calhoun, undergraduate student.

–College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station: Jeff Gore, faculty; Jesse Morrison, research support; Zhenghong Bao, graduate student; and Lucas Ferguson, undergraduate student.

–College of Architecture, Art and Design: Jacob Gines, faculty; Lori Neuenfeldt, research support; and Cody Smith, undergraduate student.

–College of Arts and Sciences: Sam Winer, faculty; Kimberly Rayborn, research support; Fadi Sun, graduate student; and Taylor Prislovsky, undergraduate student.

–College of Business: Brandon Cline, faculty; Andrew Dhaenens, graduate student; and Josh Bedi, undergraduate student.

–College of Education: Kun Huang, faculty; Tiffany Middleton, research support; Jeffrey Simpson, graduate student; and Alana Joy Turner, undergraduate student.

–College of Forest Resources: Jilei Zhang, faculty; Florent Bled, research support; Austin Omer, graduate student; an Jacob Jones, undergraduate student.

–College of Veterinary Medicine: Chinling Wang, faculty; Shirley Guo-Ross, research support; and Stephen R. Reichley, graduate student.

–MSU-Meridian: Lyle Wallace, graduate student.

–Office of Research and Economic Development: Jennifer Sappington, undergraduate student.

–University Centers and Institutes: Renee Brannon, research support.

Also honored were new graduates of the university’s 2016-2017 Benjamin F. Hilbun Faculty Leadership Program:

–Amy Crumpton, associate professor, interior design.

–Darrin Dodds, associate extension/research professor, plant and soil sciences.

–Deborah Eakin, associate professor, psychology.

–Jeffrey Eells, associate professor, CVM Basic Science Department.

–Yong Fu, associate professor, electrical and computer engineering.

–Jeffrey Haupt, professor, art.

–Alexandra Hui, associate professor, history.

–Melissa Moore, professor and department head, marketing, quantitative analysis and business law.

–Andy Perkins, associate professor, computer science and engineering.

–Edwin Webster, professor, chemistry.

Mississippi State’s success with developing intellectual property and licensing new technology also was part of the day’s celebration as nine inventors were recognized for obtaining patents in Fiscal Year 2016:

–Janice Chambers, Giles Distinguished Professor of Veterinary Medicine and director, Center for Environmental Health Sciences.

–Howard Chambers, a professor in MSU’s Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology until his death last December.

–Attila Karsi, associate professor, CVM Basic Science Department.

–Leland Lanford, farm manager, Delta Research and Extension Center.

–Mark Lawrence, associate dean and professor, CVM Basic Science Department.

–Edward Meek, laboratory manager, CVM Basic Science Department.

–Philip Steele, Warren S. Thompson Professor Emeritus of Wood Science and Technology, College of Forest Resources.

–Qiangu Yan, assistant research professor, Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

–Fei Yu, associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

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

Senior MSU architecture student receives $20,000 travel award

April 24th, 2017 Comments Off on Senior MSU architecture student receives $20,000 travel award

Daniel Smith (Photo by Megan Bean)

A senior architecture student is the second at Mississippi State University to receive a $20,000 award for travel and research.

Daniel P. Smith, a graduate of Canton Academy and son of Clark and Rai Smith, will use the endowed Aydelott Travel Award to visit and research four late modern buildings this summer. They include: the São Paulo Museum of Art designed by Lina Bo Bardi located in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Neue Nationalgalerie designed by Mies Van der Rohe located in Berlin, Germany; Church of Saint-Pierre designed by Le Corbusier located in Firminy-Vert, France; and the National Assembly Building designed by Louis Kahn located in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

“The quality and rigor of this year’s Aydelott applications made by our undergraduate students conceivably rivals the submissions made at the graduate school level,” said F.L. Crane Professor Michael Berk, director of Mississippi State’s School of Architecture. “Daniel’s focus on ‘urban space’ and its contextual fit to the four selected buildings truly impressed the jury.”

Junior Emily Turner, a graduate of Starkville High School and daughter of Steve and Jenny Turner, was runner-up and received $4,000 to support her research and international travel on modern architecture. The 2017 Paul Grootkerk Travel Award is funded by alumnus Ted T. Porter.

“The Aydelott Travel Award offers a student an opportunity that can and should change the trajectory of their architectural career,” said MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design Dean Jim West.

Smith, who plans to pursue a career as a professor, agreed.

“This award is a great opportunity to kickstart my research career,” he said, adding that he has always been fascinated with how modern architecture came about and how it began to relate to humans and cultures.

“My research will focus on trying to understand how buildings relate on two scales – macro and micro,” he said. “How people move through and use the spaces and how the buildings relate to the city itself.”

The architecture student will return to MSU in the fall to work with his faculty adviser, Assistant Professor Fred Esenwein, to compile his research and observations into a report to be judged against his fellow Aydelott Travel Award recipients.

One student will receive the Aydelott Prize and an additional $5,000.

“This award enables students to research, visit, study and comprehend four visionary pieces of architecture in a way never available to them before. I look forward to observing a true transformation in the recipients of this award,” West said.

The $2.4 million endowment – established by the late Alfred Lewis Aydelott and his wife, Hope Galloway Aydelott – provides an award each year to four architecture students currently enrolled in the professional architecture degree programs at Mississippi State and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Auburn University; and the University of Tennessee.

For more information about the Aydelott Travel Award and other fellowships in the School of Architecture at Mississippi State, visit www.caad.msstate.edu/sarc/fellowshipsandawards.

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

See the story at msstate.edu.

CAAD faculty honored by Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

April 20th, 2017 Comments Off on CAAD faculty honored by Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Four faculty members in Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design recently received national awards for their exemplary work in architectural education.

School of Architecture associate professors Hans Herrmann and Alexis Gregory and assistant professor Emily McGlohn, along with Building Construction Science assistant professor Michele Herrmann, were formally recognized with two Architectural Education Awards by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture during the organization’s 105th annual meeting in Detroit, Michigan.

The ACSA Architectural Education Awards honor architectural educators who excel in building design, community collaborations, scholarship and service. In addition to inspiring and challenging students, these individuals contribute to the profession’s knowledge base and extend their work beyond the borders of academy into practice and the public sector. For more, visit www.acsa-arch.org.

Alexis Gregory accepts her ACSA Diversity Achievement Award.

Gregory received a Diversity Achievement Award for her project “Learn & Grow: An Educational Garden for the Boys & Girls Club.” Students in MSU’s School of Architecture; Department of Art; Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion; Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education; MSU Horticulture Club; and Department of Philosophy and Religion joined forces with the Boys and Girls Club of the Golden Triangle-Starkville. The group designed and constructed an educational garden at the nonprofit organization’s facility. Local and national companies and community members provided support for the project.“It is truly a remarkable feat and a testament to the quality of our faculty in the School of Architecture to receive two of these prestigious faculty awards from ACSA, let alone one award,” said Michael Berk, director of MSU’s School of Architecture and F.L. Crane Endowed Professor. “In the past few years, very few of the 120 accredited architecture programs in North America have been as successful as our faculty.” (Watch the Alexis’s interview at the 105th Annual Meeting: short video, long video). 

The Herrmanns and McGlohn were recognized with a shared Practice and Leadership Award for their collaborative effort “Integrated Project Delivery Theater.”

Seeking to improve the teaching of collaborative skills as a foreground for collaborative practice, the MSU team led a two-day interactive symposium for nearly 80 third- and fourth-year architecture and building construction science students. The students actively engaged in exercises exploring six topics—process, team formation, communication, compensation, risk and agreements—deemed by the American Institute of Architecture as central to integrated project delivery.Sponsored by the Architecture and Construction Alliance, the project was a joint venture between MSU’s School of Architecture and Building Construction Science program.

For a detailed overview of both projects, visit http://www.acsa-arch.org/programs-events/awards/archives/2017-architectural-education-award-winners.

The nationally accredited School of Architecture in MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design offers the only curriculum in the state leading to a professional degree in architecture. For more, visit www.caad.msstate.edu.

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

School of Architecture mourns loss of founding fifth-year faculty member

April 12th, 2017 Comments Off on School of Architecture mourns loss of founding fifth-year faculty member

Chris Risher Jr. (right) accepts an award from Associate Dean Chris Saccopoulos at the 1991 School of Architecture Recognition Day ceremony.

The School of Architecture is deeply saddened by the recent passing of Chris Risher Jr.

Risher was the intellectual leader of the school’s fifth-year program for its first quarter century.

“Chris was a ‘bigger-than-life’ figure, packing a highly-evolved philosophy of phenomena as it relates to architectural experience,” said F.L. Crane Professor Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture. “This pioneering position clearly placed him at the forefront of our academic discipline . . . he will be missed.”

Risher continued his father’s pioneering work of creating exceptional modernism in Mississippi.

He served as invited critic, lecturer and visiting professor at numerous institutions, including Berkeley, the Cooper Union and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he was the Eliot Noyes Distinguished Chair.

Through these activities, Risher gained recognition as an inspiring educator, painter and non-professional philosopher in divergent places across the country.

“His was a singular and irreplaceable voice,” said Associate Professor Jassen Callender, the current director of the Jackson Center. “His loss will be felt by many for years to come.”

Vaughan Risher, Christopher’s son, has assembled some of his father’s art and invites friends to gather and view the pieces at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, on Sat., May 27, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Christopher left explicit directions that he wanted no memorial service. His son wants to show what his father was up to as an artist in the last ten years since leaving the practice of architecture.

Mississippi State University AIA National Convention alumni reception update

April 12th, 2017 Comments Off on Mississippi State University AIA National Convention alumni reception update

Due to a conflict with academic schedules, the Mississippi State University College of Architecture, Art and Design will not be hosting an alumni reception at the 2017 AIA National Convention, which will be held in Orlando, Fla., from April 27-29.

The college has enjoyed hosting numerous alumni receptions across the country in recent years, including events this year in Jackson and Dallas, Texas.

We have identified several cities for future receptions and welcome interest from alumni in hosting receptions in their cities.

If you’d like to get involved with coordinating an alumni event in your area, please contact Associate Dean Greg Hall, Ph.D., AIA, NCARB, at 662-325-2202 or ghall@caad.msstate.edu.

AIA College of Fellows Class of 2017 includes two MSU S|ARC alumnae

April 7th, 2017 Comments Off on AIA College of Fellows Class of 2017 includes two MSU S|ARC alumnae

Two Mississippi State University School of Architecture alumnae were elected to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows for 2017.

Election is awarded by a jury of peers and recognizes achievements of national significance in advancing the architectural profession.

The 2017 AIA Jury of Fellows elevated 178 members out of a total membership of more than 90,000. Fewer than 3% of members have been distinguished with elevation to fellowship nationally.

The newly elected Fellows will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the 2017 National AIA Convention in Orlando, Fla., on April 21.

Anne Marie Decker, FAIA, principal of Duvall Decker Architects, P.A., a Jackson architectural firm, was granted Fellowship in the category of Design, which is granted to architects who have produced distinguished bodies of work through design. Her elevation represents the third elevation of a female architect from Mississippi and the only member elevated from the state this year. Decker founded Duvall Decker in 1998 with her partner, Roy Decker. Her architectural experience ranges from community planning, K-12 schools, state institutions, university buildings and affordable housing. She is recognized as a contributor to the advancement of the profession and is often invited to share her expertise as a lecturer, teacher, design jury chair and published author. She has been an adjunct instructor in the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University. She is a 1994 summa cum laude graduate of Mississippi State University where she earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree. In 2004 she was honored by the Mississippi State University School of Architecture with the Alumni Fellow Award for her achievements in practice. In 2015, she was selected to serve as Eminent Architect of Practice for Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture and Design. She is currently serving as a member of the AIA Trust Board of Trustees.

Daria F. Pizzetta, FAIA, was born and raised in Biloxi, Mississippi. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Mississippi State University. After receiving her degree, Pizzetta worked in Gulfport for Shaw Walker Architects. She relocated to New York City in 1984, working first for Ferrenz Taylor Clark Architects and then at Soo Kim Associates, Inc., where she was a partner from 1988 to 1992. In 1992, Pizzetta joined Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates and was named to the position of Senior Associate in 2000. When HHPA dissolved in August of 2004, Hugh Hardy asked Pizzetta to join a select group of staff to form H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture. She is now a principal at H3, where her projects have included the Botanical Research Institute of Texas’ facility in Fort Worth and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Fisher Building. Her project for the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi received a MS/AIA Honor Award in 2015. She chaired the American Institute of Architects/New York Chapter Interiors Committee from 1998 until 2002 and was on the Board of Directors for the AIA/NYC. Pizzetta is a member of the American Library Association and the Library Administration and Management Association. She was named the 1998‐1999 Alumni Fellow for Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, and she continues to support the School of Architecture with a merit scholarship and by sponsoring co‐op students for yearlong tenures in H3’s New York office. She is also a member of the MSU School of Architecture’s Advisory Board, advising the school on student curriculum and funding opportunities. Pizzetta and her husband, Charlie Brown, live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with their daughters, Stephanie and Charlotte.

Mississippi State architecture project featured in Architecture Boston magazine

April 6th, 2017 Comments Off on Mississippi State architecture project featured in Architecture Boston magazine

More than 100 Mississippi State students contributed to the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum’s SuperUse Pavilion, a part of the museum’s rain garden program that was on exhibition at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City in late September 2016. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Architecture Boston looks at the SuperUse Pavilion and rain gardens at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, a design-build collaboration between Mississippi State University’s architecture and landscape architecture programs.

Check out the article: https://www.architects.org/architectureboston/articles/tonics-and-provocations

Mississippi State architecture alumni join CDFL leadership

April 5th, 2017 Comments Off on Mississippi State architecture alumni join CDFL leadership

Architects Chris Myers and Newell Watkins (standing, from left); Matthew Buchanan and Katie Lightsey Browning (sitting, from left) Image Credit: CDFL


CDFL is proud to share some exciting news about additions to our firm’s leadership team! Architects Chris Myers, AIA; Matthew Buchanan, AIA; and Newell Watkins, AIA, have recently been named Principals of the firm. Additionally, architect Katie Lightsey Browning, AIA, has been elevated to the position of firm Associate.

“We are thrilled to add these incredibly talented architects to our leadership team,” said CDFL President Rob Farr. “As we look to the future of the firm, we know that Chris, Matthew, Newell, and Katie’s experience and fresh perspective will be invaluable tools for both our team and our clients.”

Upon graduating from Mississippi State University in 2001, Chris Myers joined the CDFL team where he has accrued a wide variety of experience in military, institutional, and corporate projects. His primary expertise is in project management, and his passion lies in community involvement. Chris served as an Associate of the firm for three years prior to being named Principal.

Matthew Buchanan, a member of the CDFL team since 2001, is experienced in civic, institutional, and educational project types. These days, however, Matthew’s primary focus is athletic facility design. Matthew is a graduate of Mississippi State University and served as an Associate of the firm for three years prior to being named Principal.

A graduate of Mississippi State University, Newell Watkins focuses on integrating BIM technologies with the firm’s design strategies. Newell has a broad range of experience, having worked with educational, institutional, and civic clients and is licensed in Mississippi and Georgia. Newell has been a part of the CDFL team for four years.

Katie Lightsey Browning has over 9 years of experience providing architectural and planning services for a wide range of project types. She has gained valuable experience providing design services for the University of Mississippi, the State of Mississippi, and private entities. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University.

Congratulations to this outstanding group! We are grateful for their continued commitment to CDFL and look forward to watching them grow in their respective new roles.

Gregory, Poros lead sessions at ACSA annual meeting

April 5th, 2017 Comments Off on Gregory, Poros lead sessions at ACSA annual meeting

Associate Professors Alexis Gregory and John Poros moderated two sessions at the 105th ACSA Annual Meeting in Detroit, Mich., from March 23-25.

The session, titled “The Movement to Service: Reflecting on the Evolution of Service in Architecture Education and Practice,” received such a large amount of submissions that Gregory and Poros were able to chair two separate sessions – one focused on theory and one focused on practice.

The two sessions consisted of four papers and presentations each that discussed the past, present and future of service on architecture education and practice.

2017 Final Jury Review Schedule announced

April 3rd, 2017 Comments Off on 2017 Final Jury Review Schedule announced

The School of Architecture has set its final Jury Reviews schedule. All events will take place on the Starkville campus. Most reviews will start in the morning and last to the evening.

Starkville campus Final JURY Schedule [Spring 2017]:                                                         

  • 1st YR:  Friday, 21 April  (Foundational ‘sacred space’ project)
  • 2nd YR: Monday, 24 April  (Natchez Trace Residential project)
  • 3rd YR:  Tuesday, 25 April  (Collaborative Studio w/ building construction science; Starkville Armory renovation)
  • 4th YR:  Wednesday, 26 April  (Birmingham Library project)
  • 5th YR:  Thursday-Friday, 27-28 April  (Downtown Jackson Individual Comprehensive projects)

PLEASE call the main offices to confirm attendance at 662-325-2202.

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