May 17th, 2013 Comments Off
(The Associated Press)
JACKSON – President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown to be a U.S. District judge for northern Mississippi.
If confirmed, Brown would be the first African-American woman to serve as a federal district judge in the state, said a spokesman for Mississippi’s senior U.S. senator, Republican Thad Cochran.
“I congratulate Debra Brown on her historic nomination and am hopeful the Senate will conduct a timely and thorough consideration of her qualifications to join the federal bench,” Cochran said in a news release.
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., also issued a statement praising the nominee.
“Debra Brown has a distinguished background in the practice of law,” Wicker said. “She is well-regarded among a number of people across the legal and political spectrum, and I am impressed by what they say about her qualifications and character. I will ask the Senate Judiciary Committee to schedule her hearing in the very near future.”
Brown is a shareholder in a Jackson law firm, Wise Carter Child & Caraway, where she has worked since January 2012. The firm’s website says her main areas of practice have been in commercial, construction and general liability litigation.
She worked at another Jackson firm, Phelps Dunbar, more than 14 years.
Brown graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Mississippi State University in 1987 and a law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1997.
“On behalf of the MSU School of Architecture family, we are delighted and honored to hear about Debra Brown’s recent nomination by President Obama for a North Mississippi Federal Judgeship,” said School of Architecture Director Michael Berk. “Ms. Brown, an esteemed alumnus of our program, is currently working as an active and vital member of the School of Architecture Advisory Council. We are confident in her future successes and the role model she continues to demonstrate to our students.”
Read the full article from the Daily Journal.
April 30th, 2013 Comments Off
Architect working on plans for Pinecote Pavilion
A preservation project on one of Mississippi’s iconic structures is underway, and is already drawing interest, particularly among architects.
The Pinecote Pavilion at The Crosby Arboretum in Picayune is currently the focus of a study led by the architectural firm Howorth & Associates, and the nearly 30-year-old structure is earmarked for work to ensure it is still wowing viewers decades from now.
“I want to stress that this is a preservation project, not restoration,” said Pat Drackett, director of The Crosby Arboretum, which is owned and operated by Mississippi State University. “The Pinecote Pavilion is lovely. We are just wanting to make sure it stays that way.
“We have a lot of people all the time who stop in here just to see the pavilion. It’s on their bucket list of things to do.”
Why all the to-do over a pavilion?
Pinecote was designed by famed architect E. Fay Jones. A former mentee and close friend of Frank Lloyd Wright, Jones (1921-2004) was a modest Arkansan who preferred rural living. This was reflected in his designs that were generally smaller projects — chapels, pavilions, private homes, etc. — and that were noted for incorporating native materials and blending aesthetically with their surroundings.
Among his most enduring and endearing designs is the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, Ark., Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Ark., and the Pinecote Pavilion.
Jones’ awards were numerous, and included the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1990, that organization’s highest honor. That same year, Pinecote won the AIA’s Honor Award for Design Excellence, becoming the first Mississippi structure to earn that designation.
Tom Howorth, FAIA, principal architect and president of Howorth & Associates, says Jones’ award-winning concepts — use of native building materials, natural aesthetics, repetitive themes — are all incorporated in the Pinecote Pavilion.
Howorth (BARC from MSU – May 1983) said Jones won the AIA 25 Year Award largely on the strength of three designs, “and one of those is Pinecote.”
The pavilion is an all-wood construction, built of the area’s yellow pine, and connected with dowels and nails. Among its most unique features is that all of the construction elements are visible and exposed.
This, however, also means the elements are exposed to the weather, making preservation a key concern.
Begun in 1985 and completed the following year, Pinecote has seen its share of storms, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm heavily impacted the structure, leaving a two-foot hole in the roof.
The roof and other visible damage was repaired, but it was found that the structure has warped slightly. Howorth said part of his team’s report would address whether to fix that issue, which is not readily apparent, or to leave it as is.
Beyond that, Howorth said the work would focus on preserving the structure — both short and long term. Thus, part of Howorth & Associates’ challenge is to draw up a maintenance plan.
“The pavilion is at Crosby, which has a staff, a maintenance team on the grounds, that is skilled in such areas as carpentry,” Howorth said. “Our state chronically struggles with maintenance of facilities.”
His team is drawing up a plan under which the Arboretum’s personnel could see to ongoing preservation and maintenance, he added.
The Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, through its Bureau of Building is funding the project.
Project leaders are hoping to let bids for Pinecote in November, with a scheduled completion date of June 2014.
Perhaps no one anticipates the opening of the “new” Pinecote Pavilion more than Drackett. The Crosby Arboretum sees between 8,000-14,000 visitors per year, many of whom visit just to see the pavilion.
It is also an important revenue stream. It is a popular, in-demand site for weddings, meetings/retreats, parties, etc.
“We do a lot of weddings — I mean a lot, too,” Drackett said. “I just want to stress again that this is a preservation project. There is nothing shabby about Pinecote Pavilion, I assure you.”
Howorth, who never got a chance to meet Jones but did meet his wife once, recommends visiting at noon (11 a.m. during daylight savings time). As with many of his structures, Jones oriented the pavilion facing polar north (not magnetic north). When the sun reaches its highest, the skylight of the structure casts a shadow on the trees, just as Jones had planned it.
“It is absolutely stunning,” Howorth said.
For more information about the Pinecote Pavilion, including rental rates, visit the Crosby Arboretum’s website at crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu/.
April 25th, 2013 Comments Off
(By Sammy McDavid | University Relations)
STARKVILLE – Janet Marie Smith, a Mississippi State alumna and architect internationally recognized for her innovative baseball stadium designs, will be commencement speaker next month for both of the university’s spring graduations.
Also during the May 10 and 11 public programs in Humphrey Coliseum, MSU will bestow honorary doctoral degrees on, respectively, former governor William F. Winter and Madison architect Robert V.M. Harrison. Winter’s degree will be in public service; Harrison’s, in science.
More than 2,400 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students are candidates for 2013 spring semester diplomas.
Smith, a Jackson native who last year was named senior vice president of planning and development for the Los Angeles Dodgers, speaks first at the 7 p.m. ceremony on the 10th for graduates of the Bagley College of Engineering and its Swalm School of Chemical Engineering; College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and its School of Human Sciences; and colleges of Education, Forest Resources and Veterinary Medicine.
Her second address will be at 10 a.m. on the 11th to graduates of the colleges of Architecture, Art and Design and its School of Architecture; Arts and Sciences; and Business and its Adkerson School of Accountancy.
Smith is a 1981 MSU architecture graduate who also holds a master’s degree in urban planning from City College of New York. In 1994, she was named the architecture school’s alumna of the year; in 2011, the inaugural class of the Sports Business Journal’s “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.”
Before being hired last summer by the Dodgers organization, Smith was vice president of planning and development for the Baltimore Orioles, a position she had held previously in the early 1990s. Prior to returning to Baltimore, she was in similar leaderships positions with the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves. With the Braves, she also was president of Turner Sports and Entertainment Development, a division of the Turner Broadcasting System.
During her first stint in Baltimore, Smith oversaw the design and construction of Camden Yards and, in the process, created a model for other downtown ball parks around the country. In Atlanta, she led in transforming Olympic Stadium into Turner Field; in Boston, she was responsible for transforming venerable Fenway Park and leading the program that placed the ballpark on the National Historic Register.
Winter, Mississippi’s chief executive 1980-84, is nationally recognized for leadership in helping bring about the state’s education reform act that created the Magnolia State’s first public kindergartens, among other school improvements. A former state legislator who later was elected state tax collector, treasurer and lieutenant governor, he has been honored with a Profile in Courage Award by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the 2009 Mississippi Medal of Service by his home state.
A graduate of the University of Mississippi and its law school, the Grenada native also holds a Mississippi Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award and is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. He currently is special counsel for the Jones Walker firm’s Government Relations Practice Group in Jackson.
Winter is a World War II veteran who continually has been praised for a lifetime of work involving efforts to expand opportunities for others. He is the namesake of Ole Miss’ racial reconciliation institute and the state’s teacher scholar loan program.
Harrison is a former two-term president of the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects and former member of the national AIA board. A partner for more than three decades in the Jackson architectural firm of JH&H, he was instrumental in helping establish MSU’s architecture academic program. Additionally, he served on the architecture school faculty for 13 years, and continues two decades of service on the school’s advisory council.
An intern development program for architecture graduates that Harrison proposed in his University of Florida master’s degree thesis was adopted, after being pilot tested, by Mississippi as the model in 1978. It now is mandatory for architectural registration in all 50 states.
He helped found the state chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute and served as its president. He remains among only a few professionals to hold the distinguished rank as a Fellow of both the AIA and CSI.
Harrison’s continuing support of the MSU architecture program includes endowment of a lecture series, gifts for scholarships and facilities in both architecture and landscape architecture and fundraising assistance. The popular campus auditorium in Giles Hall, home of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, is named for him and his wife Freda.
Read more on WCBI.
April 5th, 2013 Comments Off
A fifth-year student presents his project during fall 2012 Final Reviews.
Please call the main office at 662-325-2202 to confirm exact times and dates prior to attending.
All the following reviews will be in Giles Hall – Starkville:
Monday, April 22
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later with an evening session)
Boathouse: Riverwalk – Columbus
Wednesday, April 24
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later with an evening session)
Community Arts Center – Birmingham, Ala.
Tuesday, April 23
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later with an evening session)
Howlin’ Wolf Blues Museum – West Point
Thursday, April 25
8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Students were tasked with designing a museum for the Howlin’ Wolf and Mississippi Black Prairie Blues to be located in/on/around the former McClure Furniture Store in downtown West Point. Included in the program are spaces for the West Point Arts Council, Incubators for economic community development and more.
The two sections of Design IV-B will run concurrent final review sessions taking place in the Jury Room (Professor Jane Greenwood’s studio) and the S|ARC Gallery (Professor Hans Herrmann’s studio).
Detailed schedule breakdown:
Session 1 (students 1-4), 8 a.m.
10-10:15 a.m., coffee break and work swap
Session 2 (students 5-9), 10:15 a.m.
12:30-1:30 p.m., break for lunch
Session 3 (students 8-12), 1:30 p.m.
3:30-3:45 p.m., coffee break
Session 4 (students 13-15), 3:45 p.m.
5:30 p.m., close of reviews
Friday, April 26
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and probably later with an evening session)
Saturday, April 27
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (and maybe later)
March 27th, 2013 Comments Off
On Friday, March 22, David J. Lewis, architect and professor, delivered a lecture as part of the Harrison Lecture Series in Jackson. Students and alumni turned out for the event, and a reception and open house was held afterward at the MSU School of Architecture’s fifth-year building.
Click below to watch video from the lecture:
The final Harrison Lecture for the year will be Lisa Iwamoto on April 5 at 4 p.m. in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall. Iwamoto is principal at Iwamoto Scott Architecture and an associate professor at the University of Califorinia, Berkeley. The lecture will be in conjunction with the NOMAS symposium.
March 22nd, 2013 Comments Off
Tracy Ward, a 1987 graduate of the School of Architecture, recently published the first volume in a series of books that will trace the history of county courthouses. Historic Courthouse Architecture of Mississippi will be available by the end of March 2013.
Ward, a registered architect and architectural historian, will sign copies of his book at the 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Mississippi Petrified Forest in Flora on April 6.
Volume two in the series, which will feature Alabama’s historic courthouses, is expected to be completed in the fall.
Ward is also the chairman of the Mississippi Committee of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA). Currently part the Southeast Chapter based in Atlanta, Ward is working hard to form an independent chapter in the state in the near future.
ICAA is a national organization based in New York City. The ICAA is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts. ICAA fulfills its mission through four program areas: education, publications, awards and advocacy. Membership includes professionals such as architects, landscape architects, interior designers, as well as builders, craftsmen and general members of the community.
For more information about Ward’s activities to form an ICAA chapter in Mississippi, visit https://www.facebook.com/ICAA.MS
March 19th, 2013 Comments Off
Each year, the Mississippi State University School of Architecture and the Mississippi chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) host a CEU energy-related lecture/workshop open to students, professors, regional practitioners and other interested members of the community. This annual event, sponsored by Atmos Energy, consists of a structured workshop with two industry speakers.
This year’s workshop will be held on Thurs., April 11 from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the School of Architecture’s fifth-year program facilities in Jackson – the Stuart C. Irby Jr. Studios (509 East Capitol Street). The cost is $55 for AIA members and $95 for nonmembers; architecture students get in for free, and lunch will be provided.
The program will begin with a welcome and presentation on “The Golden Age of Gas” by Bob Kerley, vice president of Atmos Energy, Mississippi Division.
Next, the featured speaker, Alison G. Kwok, Ph.D, LEED® AP, will discuss the conceptual and practical aspects of Solar PV and how an office can immediately start promoting and specifying this technology in order to affect immediate environmental change. She will demonstrate how to get started and what resources to use when designing with this technology in mind.
Kwok, a registered architect, is a professor at the University of Oregon. She received her Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkley in 1990 and earned her Ph.D in 1997. Kwok is co-author of The Green Studio Handbook, a book of practical guidelines for applying environmental strategies during the schematic design of green buildings. She is also the recipient of the American Institute of Architects Upjohn Research Initiative and is currently collaborating with architectural firms to document the design and delivery process of new buildings that meet the 2030 Challenge.
The final speaker, Michael Smith, PE, LEED® AP, will discuss “Multi-Zone Gas Heat Pump Technology.”
Smith is president and founder of MD Engineering, a design engineering firm based out of Plano, Texas. He graduated from MSU in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and is a registered professional engineer in Mississippi, Texas and eight other states. MD Engineering has a history of providing innovative and energy efficient projects, including designing the city of Starkville’s first LEED-certified project. MD Engineering projects have also included active and passive chilled beams, photovoltaic systems, LED lighting systems and natural gas heat pumps.
To register for the event or for more information, contact Joe Blake, executive director of AIA Mississippi, at 601-360-0082 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, click here to register now! (Online registration ends Tues., April 9 at 12 p.m.)
More information about Continuing Education through AIA.
View the Paperless Post Invitation
Read the announcement on MSU’s website.
March 19th, 2013 Comments Off
William P. Tompkins, AIA, passed away Sept. 26, 2012. Tompkins was a 1979 graduate of the MSU School of Architecture.
He was the owner of Tompkins Design Group and served on the National Board of Architecture for 10 years.
Click here to read the full obituary.
March 14th, 2013 Comments Off
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, left, stands with MSU School of Architecture alumna Amy Stankus and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black. (Image credit: Merritt Melancon)
- MSU School of Architecture alumna Amy Stankus serves chocolates to the public during the Flavor of Georgia 2013 legislative reception on Monday, March 11 at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta. Stankus’ company Chocolate South won the first prize in the 2013 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest. Image credit: Merritt Melancon.
By J. Merritt Melancon | Public Relations Coordinator | College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences | University of Georgia
Athens, Ga. – Atlanta architect Amy Stankus (MSU BARC May 1985) has spent years creating beautiful buildings, but lately she’s turned her sights to some smaller—albeit more delicious—creations.
Her Atlanta-based chocolate shop won the grand prize March 12 in the 2013 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest, a competition conducted annually by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, part of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Chocolate South’s Peach Tea Bonbons were one of 24 products sampled and judged by a panel of food brokers, buyers and other food industry experts. In addition to winning the overall grand prize, Chocolate South took home first place in the competition’s confections category.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black were on hand to announce the winners as part of Georgia Agriculture Awareness Day at the Georgia Freight Depot in downtown Atlanta.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the state of Georgia,” Black said at the awards ceremony. “If you don’t believe that, then you should see what these outstanding business people are bringing to the table.”
The annual contest is a chance for food businesses to showcase their new products.
“We had so many great contestants this year,” said Sharon P. Kane, Flavor of Georgia contest coordinator and UGA food business development specialist. “It really highlighted the high caliber of the food products created by Georgians.”
A licensed architect specializing in medical buildings and an avid “I Love Lucy” fan, Stankus started making her hand-crafted chocolates in her home kitchen for friends before launching an online shop and, in June 2012, opening her Chocolate South shop on Marietta Street in downtown Atlanta.
“I love talking to people about chocolate,” Stankus said. “I love sharing good chocolate with people… I hope (being in the Flavor of Georgia Contest) showcases some interesting flavor combinations with chocolate. We have great products here in Georgia to pair with chocolate.”
Her Peach Tea Bonbon features a ganache infused with the flavor of Georgia Peaches Tea, created by Atlanta-based small-batch tea maven Brandi Shelton. Shelton’s Georgia Peaches Tea was also a finalist in this year’s Flavor of Georgia.
Food industry experts—including chefs, grocery buyers, food service personnel and agricultural marketing executives—rated Stankus’s chocolates and the other products based on qualities like innovation, use of Georgia theme, market potential and flavor, said James Daniels, a UGA CAED food business development specialist.
Showcase events like the 2013 Flavor of Georgia competition help entrepreneurs get the word out about their products. After the contest, many have landed spots in regional and national grocery chains, like Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Harvey’s and Piggly Wiggly.
Other category winners are listed below by product, company, entrant’s name and location.
People’s choice: Georgia Buffalo N.Y. Strip Steak by Georgia Buffalo Inc., Troy Biven, Townsend
Jams and jellies: MiDi Spiced Blueberry Peach Jam by MiDi Blueberry Farm, Mike and Diane Stafford, Byron
Sauces: My Sweet Hottie Homestyle Sweet & Sour Sauce by Chinese Southern Belle LLC, Natalie and Margaret Keng, Smyrna
Barbecue and hot sauces: Hotlanta Honey: Honey With a Sting by Atlanta Bee Company, Grant Giddens, Atlanta
Dairy: Georgia Red cheese by Flat Creek Farm and Dairy, Ryan and Spice Burger, Swainsboro
Snack foods: Burke Bar by Byne Blueberry Farms, Richard Byne, Waynesboro
Meat: Hunter Pork Company Pork Sausage by Hunter Cattle Company, Del and Debra Ferguson, Brooklet
Miscellaneous products: Gayla’s Grits by Gayla’s Grits, Gayla and Kevin Shaw, Lakeland
For more information about these products and Flavor of Georgia, see www.flavorofgeorgia.caes.uga.edu.
Winners and finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the 2013 Flavor of Georgia logo.
The contest is sponsored by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in partnership with the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, Office of Governor Nathan Deal, Walton EMC, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Agribusiness Council and the UGA department of food science and technology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
March 8th, 2013 Comments Off
(images by Prakash Patel)
- (images by Prakash Patel)
David J. Lewis, AIA
David J. Lewis, AIA, will present a lecture at the War Memorial in Jackson as part of the Harrison Lecture Series on March 22 at 4 p.m.
Attendance to the lecture will provide 1 hour of HSW continuing education credit from the AIA. Please be sure to bring your AIA number to register at the lecture.
A reception and open house will be held immediately following the lecture at the Mississippi State University School of Architecture’s fifth-year building, the Stuart C. Irby Jr. Studios just around the corner on Capitol Street.
All are invited! Contact Janine Davis at 601-354-6480 or email@example.com for more information.
Lewis is a principal at LTL Architects in New York. He holds a Master of Architecture from Princeton University, a Master of Arts in the History of Architecture and Urbanism from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College.
He is an Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design and currently serves as the Interim Dean of the School of Constructed Environments. At Parsons, he directed the Design Workshop program from 2007 to 2010 and was on the faculty for the Solar Decathlon project in 2011.
He has also taught at Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Limerick and Ohio State University.
Lewis is a founding member of the Advisory Board of the School of Architecture at the University of Limerick, Ireland.
The next lecture in The Culture of Craft Harrison Lecture Series will be by Lisa Iwamoto on April 5.
Click here to view the Harrison Lecture Series Poster.