School of Architecture holds annual 2015 Recognition Day

May 22nd, 2015 Comments Off

Class of 2015

(Front row, left to right): Robert Ledet, Landon Kennedy, Trey Symington, Melinda Ingram, KeAirra Williams, Ashlyn Temple, Anna Lyle, Samantha King, J. Brooke Dorman, Sanjay Rajput, Nick Purvis, Will Commarato, Anthony Penny, Will Tonos; (back row, left to right): Katherine Ernst, Kyle Stover, John Taylor Schaffhauser, Michael Davis, David Lewis, Cory May, Rusty McInnis, Emily Lysek, Byron Belle, Nick Dodd, Jared Barnett, Rachel McKinley, Mark Riley, Colton Stephens, McKenzie Moran, Alex Reeves, Larry Travis, Clay Cottingham and John Thomas (photo: Justin Taylor)

Dean West introduces Dr. Peter Ryan.

Dean West introduces Dr. Peter Ryan.

Recognition Day for the School of Architecture was held on May 8, 2015 in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium.

Recognition Day 05082015_3

Dr. Peter Ryan

Dr. Peter Ryan, associate provost for Academic Affairs, welcomed everyone to campus.

Recognition Day 05082015_6

F.L. Crane Professor and Director welcomes his former student Anne Marie Decker.

Anne Marie Decker

Anne Marie Decker

Alumna Anne Marie Decker gave the 25th Annual Dr. William L. and Jean P. Giles Memorial Lecture.

Recognition Day 05082015_10Faculty was recognized before announcing the awards.

2014-2015 School of Architecture Awards:

Recognition Day 05082015_11Allen & Hoshall Faculty Award
Recipient: Associate Professor Jassen Callender
The architectural firm of Allen & Hoshall of Jackson, Mississippi, has established a $500 annual award to a faculty member “who has demonstrated excellence in teaching.” The award winners are selected by the fifth-year graduating class.        ______________________________________________________

Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society (TSD)
Chapter President: Mary Sanders
Faculty Advisors: Hans Herrmann, Associate Professor
Jacob Gines, Assistant Professor
Tau Sigma Delta is the architectural (and allied programs) honor society open to top academic students in design disciplines. Induction does not occur until the student consistently demonstrates high academic standards and is in the third-year.

Recognition Day 05082015_20TSD Initiates:
Ashton Aime, Ria Bennett, Caleb Fearing, Ryan Fiero,
Brad Travino

Recognition Day 05082015_13 Recognition Day 05082015_14TSD Fifth-Year Graduates:
Richard Cottingham, J. Brooke Dorman, Landon Kennedy,
David Lewis, Rusty McInnis, Alex Reeves,
John Taylor Schaffhauser, Larry Travis

Recognition Day 05082015_15TSD First-Year Design Award
Recipient: Matthew Lewis
The Tau Sigma Delta First-Year Design Award is presented to the first-year design         student who has exhibited excellence in design. This is a book award.

Recognition Day 05082015_16TSD Bronze Award
Recipient: Jared Barnett
The Tau Sigma Delta Bronze Medal is presented by the third- and fourth-year         student membership of the society to a fifth-year student who, in his/her thesis
project, has expanded the students’ insight and awareness of architecture.

Recognition Day 05082015_17TSD Faculty Book Award
Recipient: Erik Herman
The Tau Sigma Delta Faculty Book Award is presented by the third- and             fourth-year student members to the faculty member who has inspired them
to excellence.

Recognition Day 05082015_18TSD Charles Calvo Digital Media Award                    
Recipient: Ryan Mura
In fall 2000, Tau Sigma Delta established this book award in memory of a School         of Architecture faculty member, Charles Calvo, and his contribution to the field         of digital media in architecture. This award goes to a fourth-year student who,         like Charles, has exemplified an incredible knowledge and skill in digital media         and has continually educated other students in this field.  A copy of the book         given to the award winner is also given to the library in memory of Charles.

National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS)
Chapter President: Aryn Phillips
Faculty Advisors: Emily McGlohn, Assistant Professor
Erik Herman, Visiting Assistant Professor
National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) is the student arm of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). Students participating seek to enhance the educational experience of its members by fostering diversity within the School of Architecture and the community at-large.

Recognition Day 05082015_22The 2015 NOMAS Diversity Award
Recipient: Kapish Cheema
Chosen by the NOMAS membership, the NOMAS Diversity Award is given to a
student who has shown outstanding initiative and leadership in promoting             diversity within the School and the larger community.

Alpha Rho Chi (APX)
Chapter President: Megan Vansant
Faculty Advisor: Justin Taylor, Assistant Clinical Professor
Alpha Rho Chi is the only national co-ed professional/social fraternity for architecture and the allied arts. MSU’s Hippodamus chapter includes members representing architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and engineering. Their mission is academic excellence, and the group focuses on leadership, mentoring and professionalism.

Recognition Day 05082015_24Alpha Rho Chi Student Book Award
Recipient: Melinda Ingram
The Alpha Rho Chi student book award is given to a graduating fifth-year
architecture student who is an active member of Alpha Rho Chi who has
furthered the mission of the fraternity through service.
American Institute of Architecture Students
Chapter President (2015-2016): Emily Turner
Faculty Advisor: Alexis Gregory, Assistant Professor
American Institute of Architecture Students is the student counterpart of the American Institute of Architects. The chapter works closely with professional architects in the state through the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Recognition Day 05082015_25

(Anna Barr not pictured)

AIAS Member of the Year Award
Recipient: Anna Barr
The recipient of the AIAS Award is chosen by the AIAS membership. The             qualifications for this award are:  “…that the student goes above and beyond what
has been asked of him/her; has shown initiative and leadership qualities; has been
an AIAS leader within his/her year level; and does well academically.”

Recognition Day 05082015_26Mississippi Chapter AIA Book Award
Presented by: Michael Berk, Director
Recipient: Alex Reeves
This inaugural award is funded by the Mississippi Chapter of the American
Institute of Architects. It recognizes a high-achieving student who holds a
leadership position within the MSU chapter of the American Institute of
Architecture Students.

Recognition Day 05082015_27

(Rayce Belton and Tahir Khan not pictured)

First-Year Faculty Book Award
Studio Coordinator: Andrew R. Tripp, Assistant Professor
Recipient: Rayce Belton, Tahir Khan
This award is a book selected by the first-year faculty and is presented to a first-year student selected on the basis of ‘design excellence’.

Recognition Day 05082015_128Second-Year Faculty Book Award
Studio Coordinator: Justin Taylor, Assistant Clinical Professor
Recipient: Lara Lynn Waddell
This award is a book selected by the second-year faculty and is presented to a second-year student selected on the basis of ‘design excellence’.

Recognition Day 05082015_31Third-Year Faculty Book Award
Studio Coordinator: Alexis Gregory, Assistant Professor
Recipients: Ashton Aime, Ria Bennett
This award is a book selected by the third-year faculty and is presented to a third-year student/s selected on the basis of ‘design excellence’.

Fourth-Year Capstone Awards:

Recognition Day 05082015_34Fourth-Year Faculty Book Award
Studio Coordinator: Hans Herrmann, Associate Professor
Recipients: Cody Smith, Haley Whiteman
This award is a book selected by the fourth-year faculty and is presented to a fourth-
year student/s selected on the basis of ‘design excellence’.

Haley Whiteman

Haley Whiteman

Hannah Waycaster

Hannah Waycaster

Fourth-Year Jurists’ Award
Recipients: Hannah Waycaster, Haley Whiteman
The Jurists’ Award, a book award, is conferred by visiting jurors and critics upon the
student(s) who has achieved the greatest personal growth as a designer, and whose
work has contributed to the overall success of the fourth-year Design Studio.

Recognition Day 05082015_39ARCC King Award
Presented by: John Poros, CSTC Director
Recipient: Anthony Penny
Selection for this award is made by the entire faculty.  Named in honor of the late Jonathan King, co-founder and first president of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC), this award is presented to one student per ARCC-member school. Selection of the recipient is based upon criteria that acknowledge innovation, integrity, and scholarship in architectural and/or environmental design research.

Jared Barnett

Jared Barnett

Will Commarato

Will Commarato

Fifth-Year Jurists’ Award
Presented by: Jassen Callender, Jackson Center Director
Recipients: Jared Barnett, Will Commarato
The Jurists’ Award, a book award, is conferred by the fifth-year design faculty upon the student(s) who has achieved the greatest personal growth as a designer and whose work has contributed to the overall success of the fifth-year Design Studio.

Recognition Day 05082015_43Academic Achievement Award
Recipient: John Taylor Schaffhauser
The Academic Achievement Award is a book award presented to the graduating fifth-year student who has the highest cumulative MSU grade point average.

Recognition Day 05082015_44Creative Windows & Doors/Marvin Windows Traveling Fellowship
($2,500)    Recipient: J. Brooke Dorman
In September 2004, Dave Young and Eddie Rives, owners of Creative Windows & Doors; and David Morris, Marvin Windows representative, established this traveling fellowship for a student completing the fifth-year.

Recognition Day 05082015_45Alpha Rho Chi Medal
Presented by: Dean Jim West
Recipient: David Lewis
The Alpha Rho Chi Medal is awarded to the graduating fifth-year student who has shown an ability for leadership, performed willing service for the school, and gives promise of professional merit through attitude and personality. The medal is offered each year to every NAAB-fully accredited school of architecture. The recipient is chosen by the entire faculty of the school.

Recognition Day 05082015_46

Clay Cottingham

John Taylor Schaffhauser

John Taylor Schaffhauser

AIA Henry Adams Certificate and Medal
Presented by: Professor Michael Berk
Certificate Recipient: Clay Cottingham
Medal Recipient: John Taylor Schaffhauser
Sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, the AIA Henry Adams Certificate and Medal are considered to be the most important awards given to graduating students. They are awarded for “general excellence in architecture” throughout the course of study. The medal is awarded to the most qualified student, and the certificate is awarded to the runner-up. Selection is made by the entire faculty.

Other Notable Student Awards, 2014-2015

Second Place, Gensler Diversity Award
Aryn Phillips
Gensler, a global architecture, design, and planning firm, has awarded nearly $200,000 in academic scholarship over the last 15 years. The Gensler Diversity Scholarship is a juried program recognizing emerging talent among African-American college students enrolled in an accredited architecture program. As a second place winner, Aryn will receive $5,000 and has accepted a paid internship this summer with Gensler in Washington, D.C.

Best Undergraduate Paper, Building Technology Educators Society
Ria Bennett, Cody Smith, Bill Plott
The student group, dubbed the “Audit Squad,” received a $1,000 award for their paper, “The Leaky American Dream: A Study of Air Infiltration Rates of Residential Construction Over Forty Years,” which was completed under the guidance of Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn. Ria and Cody have each been awarded the Jason Labutka Travel Scholarship ($1,500 each), which will fund their trip to the 2015 BTES Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, this summer to accept the award.

Alpha Rho Chi National Fraternal Service Award
Melinda Ingram, Sang Nguyen
Melinda and Sang were recognized by the Alpha Rho Chi Grand Council for their efforts developing and supporting national fraternity projects and mentoring other student members at universities across the country. Faculty Advisor: Assistant Clinical Professor Justin Taylor

Mississippi Modern Exhibit at Charnley-Norwood House, Ocean Springs
Mary Sanders, Landon Kennedy, David Lewis
These Tau Sigma Delta students curated this photography exhibition, which was part of the Mississippi Heritage Trust’s MOD educational program.

Association for Retired Faculty (ARF) William L. Giles Award
for Excellence in Architecture
Patrick Brown
This $500 award was established in 1997 in honor and memory of William Lincoln Giles, a charter member of ARF. It is given each year to a student selected by the School of Architecture on the basis of academic excellence and overall leadership within the school. Funding for the award comes from a contribution by Ms. Hazel Presson, aunt of Ginger Giles Jones, Dr. Giles’ daughter.

First Place, MSU S3 Innovation Challenge
Emily Turner
Emily received a $500 cash prize and prototyping stipend for her project titled, “Emergency Homeless Shelter.” Faculty Advisor: Visiting Assistant Professor Erik Herman

First Place, 2014 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium
J. Brooke Dorman
Brooke’s project, titled “Technical Publications Detailing,” was completed under the guidance of Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory.

First Place (tie), Arts and Humanities Category, 2014 MSU Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium
J. Brooke Dorman
Brooke’s project, titled “Exposing Gaps in Student Literature for Building Construction Technology,” was completed under the guidance of Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory.

Honors College Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Ryan Fierro
Ryan received $1,900 for his proposal, “Regional Material sand Sustainability.” He conducted his research under faculty mentor Assistant Professor Jacob Gines.

Honors Undergraduate Research Program Travel Award
Ryan Fierro
Ryan received $750 in funding to present two accepted posters, “Material Stewardship and Sustainable Practices” and “Mapping the Regional Landscape of Building Materials” at the 6th North American Materials Education Symposium hosted at Ohio State University. Faculty Mentor: Assistant Professor Jacob Gines

Second Place, Arts and Humanities Category, Spring 2015 MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium
Team: Anna Barr, Patrick Brown, Lucas Posey
“Improving on Outreach Design” was completed under the guidance of Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory.

Second Place, Service Learning Category, Spring 2015 MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium
Team: Anna Barr, Patrick Brown, Lucas Posey
“Improving on Outreach Design” was completed under the guidance of Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory.

2015 Office of Research and Economic Development Undergraduate Research Assistant Award
J. Brooke Dorman
Brooke was honored for her work with Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory on her book, Comprehensive Tectonics: Technical Building Assemblies from the Ground to the Sky


2015-2016 Scholarships

Paul Grootkerk Travel Award
($4,000)    Yerix Morel
The Paul Grootkerk Travel Award (funded by Ted T. Porter) is available to full-time students who will have completed their second year of study. Candidates must have a minimum MSU 2.5 GPA, be hard working, and can demonstrate financial need.

Rowan Taylor Endowed Scholarship
($2,500)    Cody Smith
Applicants must be entering the fifth year of architectural study within the school; have maintained a minimum MSU 3.0 GPA; have demonstrated exceptional design work and ability to achieve exceptional design; and have demonstrated financial need.

Acme Brick Company Scholarship
($2,000)    Aryn Phillips
Applicants must be: entering the fifth-year design studio in the School of Architecture; have a minimum grade point average of 3.0; be of good moral character; and have demonstrated leadership ability and strong overall academic performance.

Duvall Decker Minority Travel Scholarship
($2,000)    Danielle Griffin
Applicants must be currently enrolled as a full-time student and be a member of an under-represented minority group in the practice of architecture and also meet the following criteria: 1)self motivated learner; 2)high GPA; 3)demonstrate financial need.

Eley Guild Hardy Architecture Annual Scholarship
($2,000)    Devin Carr, Megan Vansant
In May 2007, Taylor Guild III and David Hardy established this scholarship to assist talented students in their fifth-year of study in the architecture program.

Lyndall Gail Wood Memorial Scholarship
($2,000)    Sara Peppers
This scholarship was established by the Wood family to honor Lyndall Gail’s passion as an MSU architecture student. Applicants must be full-time students entering the fourth-year design studio in the School of Architecture, be in excellent academic standing with the university, and be a student with exceptional design ability.

Fred Carl, Sr. Memorial Scholarship
($1,500)    Mary Holland
Applicants must be entering the first-year design studio; residents of Mississippi; have achieved a minimum composite ACT score of 28, and can demonstrate financial need.

Charles H. Dean, Jr. Annual Memorial Scholarship
($1,000)    Edward Holmes
Any full-time MSU students in their third- through fifth-year of design studio may apply. Applicants must be Mississippi residents and can demonstrate financial need.

Creig B. Hoskins Architects Scholarship
($1,000)    Tony D. Coleman, Sierra Gillion
Applicants must be entering the first-year design studio in the School of Architecture; be a resident of one of the following Mississippi counties: Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Coahoma, Grenada, Humphreys, Leflore, Montgomery, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Washington, Yalobusha; and can demonstrate financial need.

Interior Elements Annual Scholarship
($1,000)    Edward Holmes
Applicants must be full-time students entering the fourth-year design studio, be in excellent academic standing, and be a student with exceptional design ability.

Matt L. Virden III and M.L. Virden IV Memorial Scholarship
($1,000)    Aryn Phillips
Students must be entering their third-year; have a 2.80+ GPA; be of good moral character; have demonstrated leadership; can show financial need; and a resident of: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, Desoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington, or Yazoo Counties.

Stephanie Mihojevich Pizzetta Annual Scholarship
($1,000)    Maria Degtyareva,
Caleb Fearing, Zachary Henry, Yerix Morel, Lara Lynn Waddell
Candidates must be full-time students at Mississippi State University; have completed their second-year of design studio in the School of Architecture; have a minimum 3.0 GPA; and can demonstrate financial need.

Boral Bricks, Inc. Loyalty Scholarship
($500)    Danielle Mason
Applicants must be majoring in Building Construction Science or Architecture, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be an entering freshman.

Pryor & Morrow Annual Scholarship
($500)    Diondria Bingham,
Kapish Cheema, Savannah Ingram, Haley Whiteman
Any full-time MSU students in their second- through fifth-year of design studio may apply. Students must be Mississippi residents and can demonstrate financial need.

Angelo “Pops” Primos Computer Scholarship
(CAAD software)    Richard Bryant, Shelby Christian,
Jake Gartman, Patrick Greene, Alan Pittman
Applicants must be full-time MSU students entering the second-year design studio in the School of Architecture; and can demonstrate financial need.

Johnson-McAdams Design Discovery Scholarships
($600)    4 Awards, To Be Determined
Applicants must be from Leflore County, or be an under-represented minority group in architecture; and be interested in a career in architecture and related disciplines.

Joseph L. Echols D2 Scholarships (Design Discovery)
($600)    3 Awards, To Be Determined
Candidates must: be a high school student who shows an interest in majoring in architecture by taking college preparatory math and science courses and demonstrating ability; show strong work ethic and satisfactory performance; be a minority student from the Marshall County area; demonstrate financial need.

class of 2015 recognitionsView all the photos below:

2015 Recognition Day Program

Duvall Decker firm featured on World-Architects

May 22nd, 2015 Comments Off

Photo: Timothy Hursley (via

Photo: Timothy Hursley (via, the premium network of outstanding architects, landscape architects, engineers, interior designers, lighting consultants and architectural photographers, recently featured Duvall Decker Architects Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services Cooperative Data Center.

“Two buildings with disparate functions and programing create an ensemble, in which an expanded field of potential experience is promoted. A monolithic, poured-in-place hardened concrete data center and a flexible, open steel frame office building, are positioned and shaped as sisters.”

Duvall Decker Architects specializes in public buildings, state institutions, school and university buildings, affordable housing and planning. The firm is a recognized leader and has received state, regional and national awards for design excellence. Most recently, the building featured by (above) was awarded the 2014 Design with Brick President’s Award. The design for the Jobie L. Martin Classroom Building at Hinds Community College was honored with a 2013 AIA Committee on Architecture for Education Excellence Award. The Oak Ridge House received a 2013 AIA Gulf State Region Honor Award. The Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center earned a 2013 AIA Gulf State Region Honor Citation and a 2011 Design with Brick President’s Award. The firm’s work has frequently been published and highlighted in publications such as the Journal of Architectural Education, Houses for All Regions, a book published by AIA’s Custom Residential Architects Network, Design Bureau Magazine, the Oxford American and in exhibits such as AIA’s “Design for the Decades.”

Anne Marie Decker (MSU S|ARC Class of 1994) is principal with and her partner Roy Decker. Anne Marie was the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Alumni Fellow in 2009; most recently, she served as the Eminent Architect of Practice at the Jackson Center and was the 2015 Jean P. Giles Memorial Lecturer for the school’s annual Recognition Day.

Click here to see the feature.

School of Architecture alumni’s firm, MS-ICAA instrumental in Welty Biennial

May 21st, 2015 Comments Off

Tracy and Kimberly Ward’s firm (MSU S|ARC Class of 1987), Benchmark Design PC, has been working tirelessly for almost three years on the architectural reproduction aspects of the Welty Biennial – namely the sonar scanning of the “new” Capitol pediment (tympanum) in Jackson and the columns of Windsor near Port Gibson.

This first edition of the Welty Biennial is titled “Classical Mississippi” and, therefore, appropriately reached out for the aid of the Southeast Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. Tracy Ward is chairman of the Mississippi Committee. Three full-scale replicas of Windsor’s 45-foot-tall columns stand outside the museum, and a 6-foot-tall Corinthian capital sits on the exhibit floor inside the museum.

The first Welty Biennial includes 12 weeks of exhibits on display at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson through July 3. Exhibits include ninety double-exposure photographs by American surrealist Clarence John Laughlin, nine modernist constellation sculptures by James Seawright, and an up-to-date interpretation of the sculptural figures on the 1903 Capitol pediment. Other related events, installations, performances and contests will also take place throughout the city during the biennial. All exhibits and events are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Welty Biennial, visit

Alumni, ICAA to host event in Natchez

May 20th, 2015 Comments Off


Architecture student presents at international education symposium

May 20th, 2015 Comments Off

MSU architecture major Ryan Fierro recently presented his research at the 2015 North American Materials Education Symposium. (Photo by Assistant Professor Jacob Gines)

MSU architecture major Ryan Fierro recently presented his research at the 2015 North American Materials Education Symposium. (Photo by Assistant Professor Jacob Gines)


A Mississippi State architecture major from Madison, Alabama, is adding a major international-level achievement to his resume.

Ryan M. Fierro, a third-year student in the university’s School of Architecture, recently presented two research reports at the 2015 North American Materials Education Symposium. He is a graduate of Pope John Paul II Catholic High School and an MSU President’s List Scholar.

Held this year at Ohio State University, NAMES’s sixth international meeting brought together educators, researchers, students and practitioners from a range of fields to discuss the teaching of materials.

“Building Materials Stewardship and Sustainable Practices” and “Mapping the Regional Landscape of Building Materials” were the titles of Fierro’s visual presentations.

When beginning research last summer, Fierro said he initially focused on building-product manufacturing processes for wood, glass, steel and concrete and their effects on the atmosphere and buildings in which they exist. The focus shifted, however, as he began to understand more about how certain byproducts may be used as substitutes for portland cement, the chief binding agent in concrete, he explained.

His findings were so impressive that assistant professor Jacob Gines, Fierro’s architecture faculty mentor, encouraged him to consider submitting his work at the NAMES gathering.

“The environmental impacts of producing portland cement are well documented,” Gines said. “Ryan’s research is eye-opening and informative regarding various alternatives to portland cement as a key ingredient in concrete.”

Fierro, who serves as Gines’ teaching assistant, said he built on early research findings to conclude the project with outlines of ways various substances similar to cement could be substituted and, in the process, how each could have more positive impacts on the environment.

“By its very nature, the production of portland cement is catastrophically bad for the environment,” Fierro explained. “For every pound of cement produced, an equal pound of carbon-dioxide is released into the atmosphere.”

Gines said he is very proud of the professionalism demonstrated both in Fierro’s research achievement and symposium address. “Presenting to a room full of material scientists and engineers can be daunting for an undergraduate architecture student, but Ryan did an amazing job and won the respect of many in the process,” he said.

For his part, Fierro expressed hope that the research can provide useful referential guides for designers and builders who may be considering materials covered in his reports.

Architecture professor receives service-learning grant

May 19th, 2015 Comments Off

Alexis Gregory

Alexis Gregory

Alexis Gregory, assistant professor in the School of Architecture, received a $500 Center for Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence (CASLE) Mini-Grant for 2015-2016.

Gregory will use the grant funds for her fall 2015 fourth-year studio’s Educational Garden project working with the Boys and Girls Club.

Gregory is working with a graphic design student, Lorianna Livingston, who also received the Dawn Brancheau Service-Learning Scholarship and $500 of funding to complete educational graphics and signage for the project.

CAAD well represented at Undergraduate Research Symposium

May 19th, 2015 Comments Off

By Sasha Steinberg | MSU

Nearly two dozen students are being recognized at Mississippi State for successful faculty-guided research efforts during the concluding school year.

During the Undergraduate Research Symposium held Thursday [April 23] at the university’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, 23 undergraduates received awards for work conducted in the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.

Projects submitted for the competition were assigned to one of four categories, including arts and humanities, biological sciences and engineering, physical sciences and engineering, and social sciences. In recognition of the university’s Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, a community engagement and service learning track also was included for the third year.

A team of 55 campus faculty members representing a cross-section of academic areas served as judges for the competition.

Featured speaker for the symposium was Lori M. Bruce, dean of the MSU Graduate School and associate vice president for academic affairs. A William L. Giles Distinguished Professor, she has served as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than 20 funded research grants and contracts, totaling approximately $20 million from federal agencies.

In addition to the honors college, the symposium is sponsored by the offices of the Provost and Executive President and Research and Economic Development, along with the Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence and MSU Extension Service.

Teams representing the College of Architecture, Art and Design included:
“Improving on Outreach Design”
Anna Barr (ARC)
Patrick Brown (ARC)
Lucas Posey (ARC)
(Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory)
Second Place, Arts and Humanities
Third Place, Community Engagement and Service Learning

“Comprehensive Tectonics: Technical Building Assemblies from the Ground to the Sky”
Ashton Aime (ARC)
Edward Holmes (ARC)
Cody Smith (ARC)
(Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory)

“A Study of Air Infiltration Rates of Residential Construction Over Forty Years”
Ria Bennett (ARC)
Bill Plott (BCS)
Cody Smith (ARC)
(Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Emily McGlohn)

“Building Material Stewardship and Sustainable Practices | Mapping the Regional Landscape of Building Materials”
Ryan Fierro (ARC)
(Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Jacob Gines)
(Click here to read more about Fierro’s research.)

“LEED Green Associate Online Training Course”
Frankie Jackson (BCS)
Thomas Vinton (BCS)
Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Tom Leathem

CAAD holds alumni reunion in Atlanta

May 18th, 2015 Comments Off

The Mississippi State University College of Architecture, Art, and Design hosted an alumni reunion and reception on May 14, 2015, in Atlanta, Ga.

Held at the Atlanta Marriot Marquis hotel and coinciding with the 2015 AIA Convention, the informal gathering was a time for CAAD alumni, friends and family to re-connect, visit and network as well as get updates on what is currently happening within the college.

 The event was made possible by a generous gift from Stevens & Wilkinson.

MSU architecture major takes second in national scholarship competition

May 4th, 2015 Comments Off

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.

School of Architecture faculty, student receive university research honor

May 1st, 2015 Comments Off

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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