Gregory to present at CASLE Mini-Grants Workshop

January 20th, 2015 Comments Off

Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory, AIA, will present at the CASLE Mini-Grants Workshop on Thurs., Feb. 5, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. in 1405 Presentation Room at the Mitchell Memorial Library.

The workshop will provide an overview of the service-learning mini-grant program offered by the Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence (CASLE) including the mini-grant application process and examples of funded service-learning projects.

Gregory received a service-learning grant in the past and will share about her project.

Service-Learning Advisory Committee members will also discuss the best ways to write proposals that will be funded.

For more information, visit

Architecture, building construction science students establish a national model for academic collaboration

November 18th, 2014 Comments Off

Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Broyles visit the Collaborative Studio in Giles Hall to view models and full-scale mock-ups of the golf course facilities being designed and built by architecture and building construction science students. Photo by Megan Bean | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Broyles visit the Collaborative Studio in Giles Hall to view models and full-scale mock-ups of the golf course facilities being designed and built by architecture and building construction science students. Photo by Megan Bean | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design is paving the way nationally when it comes to collaboration between the fields of construction and architecture.

In the fall, CAAD’s second-year architecture and building construction science studios come together to form a joint Collaborative Studio, where students are challenged to bring knowledge from their two disciplines together.

Assistant Professor of architecture Emily McGlohn, coordinator for the studio, explained that buildings are becoming more and more complex and require construction and architecture professionals to work together – what is referred to in the industry as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

“The students are learning the earlier the constructors and architects come together in the design process, the better the building will be and the less headaches they will encounter along the way.”

Each year, students in this studio are challenged to work together to design and construct a full-scale product from start to finish for a real client. Last year’s fall Collaborative Studio constructed two bus shelters for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. This year, students are working on two lighting shelters for the MSU Golf Course.

“Every class gets a chance to do a project like this,” said Associate Professor of architecture Hans Herrmann. “That’s rare,” he said, going on to explain how important hands-on learning is for students. “The reality of making is different from drawing. Gravity becomes a reality for them,” he laughed.

And the students have, in fact, dealt with their fair share of challenges, both with learning how to work together and actually building something they have designed.

“This is a pretty intense, hands-on learning experience for them,” said building construction science instructor Lee Carson, who said that students are learning “the idea of drawing with materials.”

This year’s project includes two separate shelters with restrooms for the golf course – one with cypress wall panels as an exterior skin and the other with a concrete skin. Both facilities will have cisterns to capture rainwater that will be used to flush the toilets.

After working on individual, small-scale designs, the 49 students split into four teams to tackle designing and building the two facilities in pieces – a wood wall panel team, a concrete wall panel team, a roof truss team and a concrete wall cistern team. This teamwork has allowed for a peer-review atmosphere, which has resulted in improved quality of design and construction.

“The students’ work has continued to impress us,” said Bill Broyles, interim vice for student affairs, who has been consulting with the group from the start.

Construction began on site with the pouring of the foundation in late September. Students are currently working on the formwork for the cistern wall while the other teams are fabricating their components off site. Construction on both buildings is set to be finished by the end of the month.

The project will wrap up with a final review on Dec. 1, where students will explain the design and construction process. A ribbon cutting ceremony and reception – open to the MSU community – will be held on the golf course in the spring.

“The students are really excited to have an investment on campus,” said Herrmann. “And we are grateful to have a project to work on,” added Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture.

According to Jim West, the college’s dean, CAAD is the only college in the country where the entire group of construction and architecture students from one year-level come together in a joint studio.

“MSU is truly reframing innovative architecture and construction education,” said the new director of the Building Construction Science Program Craig Capano, Ph.D., and Roy Anderson Professor.

“For our students, the idea of IPD and project collaboration is going to be a familiar concept,” added Berk.

“And we are setting a standard we feel will be modeled in the years to come across the country,” finished West.

CAAD welcomes new associate dean

November 12th, 2014 Comments Off

Hall_Gregory_M4B9788~ggh43Greg G. Hall, Ph.D., AIA, NCARB, has joined Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Design as the associate dean.

Hall comes to MSU from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he has served as chair of the architecture department since 2012 and was a professor from 2004-2007.  He was also the director of education for the National Council for Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) in Washington, D.C., from 2007-2012.

“We are always very excited to have someone of Greg Hall’s caliber join the college, said Dean Jim West. “His global perspective and broad design and construction experience will play an important role in advancing all of the programs in the college.”

In his new role, Hall will focus on scholarship and research efforts – supporting faculty, departments and the college’s two research centers – in addition to other administrative roles.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the faculty, staff and students and finding out what their interests are and how I can support their efforts and work,” said Hall.

The college’s many unique disciplines – architecture, art, interior design and building construction science – and collaborative work are part of what brought Hall to MSU.

“It’s such a rich – and appropriate – mix of disciplines that you don’t find in many other colleges,” he said.

There are numerous cross-college collaborative projects happening each semester within CAAD. Most recently, all four units came together for the annual Brasfield & Gorrie Student Design Competition, in which students were tasked to work together on various aspects of designing a hypothetical building.

CAAD also boasts a unique, one-of-a-kind collaborative studio that brings together architecture and building construction science students and professors for an entire year of study.

“What’s happening here at MSU is so exciting and valuable to students’ preparation for careers,” he said. “Employers are seeking out graduates who have had the kind of exposure and collaborative experience across disciplines that we are providing early in students’ education.”

“We have an unrelenting mission to be an innovative force in providing opportunities and advanced preparation of students assuming leadership roles in companies and organizations that are positively impacting the built and visual environments,” said West. “Professor Hall will play a vital part in CAAD fulfilling this critical mission.”

Hall also knows the importance of exposing students to other cultures, and he brings extensive international experience to the college. In addition to the U.S., he has lived in and worked on architecture and building construction projects in Africa, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. He has also worked with two Pritzker Prize architects, Jean Nouvel and Renzo Piano; one of the six largest Japanese contractors, Takenaka Corporation; and the U.S. Department of State.

“The experience of living and working in these environments really made a difference for me in my career, and it’s even more important for students today,” he said. “Regardless of a student’s geographic location, future opportunities are global, and they will be working with people from different cultures and from around the world.”

Hall also has an interest in the role the university plays in the culture of Mississippi’s rich resource of towns and rural centers.

“I’ve always heard Mississippi State and Starkville have a very special academic environment – close, tight-knit, supportive, collaborative and cross-disciplinary, – and I have found that to be true,” he said, adding that he looks forward to further exploring this environment as well as the role played by research centers, such as the college’s Carl Small Town Center, in supporting the growth and sustainability of Mississippi’s unique urban environment.

Hall holds a bachelor of architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctor of philosophy in architecture from the University of Hong Kong, where he was also a Fulbright Fellow.  He is registered as an architect in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina and holds an NCARB certificate, which facilitates reciprocal registration.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

MSU School of Architecture curates coast exhibit

November 3rd, 2014 Comments Off

photo by David Lewis

photo by David Lewis

(Via David Lewis)

A continuation and expansion of the “Modern Mississippi” exhibit will be on display through the end of December at the Charnley-Norwood House in Ocean Springs.

The exhibit was curated and photographed by MSU School of Architecture students Landon Kennedy and David Lewis with the help of Assistant Professor Jacob Gines, faculty coordinator and photographer; student Mary Sanders, photographer; and student Casey Walker photographer.

“The Charnley-Norwood House was designed by Louis Sullivan,” said Lewis. “At the time, Frank Llyod Wright worked for Sullivan and is believed to have worked on the house. It was recently restored after being extremely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.”

The renovation/restoration project by Albert & Associates Architects P.A. recently received an Honor Award from the Mississippi AIA.

SARC Faculty Show on display in Giles Gallery through Nov. 3

October 27th, 2014 Comments Off

Faculty Exhibit Oct. 2014_1

Picture 1 of 16

The “SARC Faculty Show,” featuring work by faculty in the School of Architecture, will remain on display through November 3 in the Gallery in Giles Hall.

To see the full list of TSD-sponsored exhibits this year, visit

School of Architecture professor takes on new role as Architect Licensing Advisor

October 15th, 2014 Comments Off

Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory

Alexis Gregory

Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory has taken over as the architect licensing advisor for the School of Architecture from John Poros, associate professor and director of the Carl Small Town Center.

Gregory will be working with students to advise them on how to reach their career goals and how to complete the Internship Development Program (IPD) and the Architectural Registration Exam (ARE) conducted by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) so that students can become licensed architects after graduation.

More information about NCARB can be found at

School of Architecture director presents at University of Florida lecture series

October 14th, 2014 Comments Off


Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture and F.L. Crane Professor, was invited to speak as part of the University of Florida’s fall 2014 School of Architecture Visiting Lecture series.

Berk was recently honored by the university at a ceremony on March 31, where he was presented the 2014 Distinguished Architecture Alumni Award.  During that visit, he also participated in the school’s Masters Research Projects (MRP) final presentations jury review with fellow critics Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

Berk returned to the university on September 29 to present “Ecological Design and the Art of Pre-Fabrication” as part of the school’s lecture series, which includes four other distinguished speakers this semester.

Michael A. Berk, AIA, is the Director of the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University where he holds the F.L. Crane Endowed Professorship. He is a registered architect with an extensive practice as a design partner in the West Palm Beach firm (AOA) prior to his return to the academy. Berk teaches and researches in the areas of: Information Design and Factory-built Housing (GreenMobile®). He is considered by many to be an expert in the area of ecological design; recent lecture invitations include: Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Hearst Lecture Series Cal Poly; Rural Studio; and the National Building Museum. Berk has been responsible for more than $7 million in funded research. He was also a pioneer in design studio pedagogies; his Digital Nomads (1992) program created the first student-owned laptop requirement by ‘breaking the machine out of the traditional computer lab’ and placing it along-side power saws and drawing boards in the design studio, complementing traditional analog processes.

School of Architecture, TSD to hold Faculty Exhibit reception

October 13th, 2014 Comments Off

TSD Gallery Poster 1

Tau Sigma Delta and the School of Architecture will host a reception on October 22 at 5:15 p.m. for the Faculty Exhibition, which will be on display in the Giles Gallery from October 15-November 3.

Work by the following faculty is featured in the exhibit:
Jassen Callender
John Poros
Jeff Roberson
Jacob Gines
Justin Taylor
Hans Herrmann
Michael Berk
Erik Herman

TSD member Taylor Yates is the student curator for the exhibit.

Architecture professor completes new writing excellence course

June 30th, 2014 Comments Off

New Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence graduates include (seated from left) Kim Walters, Stephanie Bennett, Amy Crumpton and Renee Clary, (standing from left) Becky Smith, Robert Damm, Elizabeth Payne, Melanie Loehing, Juyoung Lee, institute facilitator Rich Raymond, Jeff Roberson, Peter Allen and Mehrzad Netadj. Photo by: Megan Bean

New Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence graduates include (seated from left) Kim Walters, Stephanie Bennett, Amy Crumpton and Renee Clary, (standing from left) Becky Smith, Robert Damm, Elizabeth Payne, Melanie Loehing, Juyoung Lee, institute facilitator Rich Raymond, Jeff Roberson, Peter Allen and Mehrzad Netadj. Photo by: Megan Bean

By Leah Barbour | MSU Public Affairs

After becoming students once again at Mississippi State’s recent Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence, the new faculty-member graduates are ready to incorporate what they’ve learned in courses not traditionally associated with writing.

Now in its second year, the annual summer institute trains teachers to modify course syllabi to incorporate more writing-to-learn strategies in class assignments. Known as “Maroon & Write,” the overall initiative is the university’s quality enhancement plan to improve undergraduate learning at all class levels.

The QEP is required to maintain accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

During Thursday [June 26] ceremonies, the 11 participants representing architecture, language arts, mathematics, music and various sciences formally concluded the three-week intensive institute. By free writing and journaling, conversing and debating, they have developed methods to amend syllabi to include writing assignments, many of which qualify as participation grades.

Creating a “culture change” to make MSU a more writing-centric institution is the underlying purpose of Maroon & Write, said Rich Raymond. Head of the English department and the institute’s facilitator, Raymond has for some time applied the writing-to-learn techniques in all his courses.

“We are very excited about the QEP and Maroon & Write,” said Jerry Gilbert, provost and executive vice president, at the graduation celebration. “We’re introducing writing-across-the-curriculum, and I tell students at each orientation, it’s important for their future careers. We’re preparing them for life and to be leaders.

“Our students are going to graduate from Mississippi State better prepared to be better members of the community,” Gilbert added.

The summer 2014 institute graduates and the writing-to-learn courses they’ll be teaching this fall include, by department:

–Agricultural economics assistant extension professor Becky Smith, three Honors Forum sections in the Shackouls Honors College.

–Architecture visiting assistant professor Jeffery Roberson, architectural theory.

–Communication assistant professor Melanie Loehwing, rhetorical theory.

–Curriculum, instruction and special education assistant professor Stephanie Bennett, integrated language arts instruction.

–Geosciences associate professor Renee Clary, principles of paleobiology.

–Human sciences assistant professor Juyoung Lee, sociological and psychological aspects of clothing.

–Interior design associate professor Amy Crumpton, principles, processes and practices for interior design.

–Landscape architecture assistant professor Elizabeth Payne, fundamentals of planning design.

–Mathematics and statistics instructor Kim Walters, problem-solving with real numbers for education majors.

–Music professor Robert Damm, African-American music.

–Sociology instructor Mehrzad Netadj, marriage and family.

–Wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture assistant professor Peter Allen, fish physiology.

This group joins the institute’s inaugural class from 2013, many of whom plan to continue teaching Maroon & Write courses. They include, by department:

–Animal and dairy science assistant professor Jamie Larson, physiology of reproduction.

–Associate professor Matthew Little, American literature survey, and instructor LaToya Bogard, introduction to literature. Both are English department faculty members.

–Forestry professor Stephen Grado, forest resources survey.

–Human sciences instructor Rick Noffsinger, introduction to technical writing in agricultural communication.

–Marketing, quantitative analysis, and business law professor Robert S. Moore, Internet marketing.

–Music professor Michael Brown, history and appreciation of music and honors history and appreciation of music.

Learn more about Maroon & Write at

School of Architecture professors to retire after 26 years of service

June 10th, 2014 Comments Off

Two longtime professors in the School of Architecture will retire this summer after twenty-six years of service.

David C. Lewis, Ph.D., and Rachel McCann, Ph.D., will both retire at the end of June.

Lewis joined the School of Architecture faculty as a visiting assistant professor in 1988. He served as an associate professor from 1994-2007, was interim director of the School of Architecture from 2006-2007 and was promoted to full professor in 2007. He represented the College of Architecture, Art and Design from 2008-2013 as associate dean and most recently was the interim director of the Building Construction Science Program.

Lewis was the recipient of the National Educator Honor Award AIAS for the 1988-1989 academic year. In 2005, he received the College of Architecture, Art and Design Faculty Research Award, and he was also the recipient of the prestigious ACSA Faculty Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the association’s top teaching honor.

McCann joined the School of Architecture in 1988 as assistant professor. She served as an associate professor from 1994-2007, and she was promoted to full professor in 2007.

For the past 10 years, she has been the coordinator of the history/theory curriculum in the school, giving rise to numerous invitations to present workshops, critiques and lectures around North America on the subject. McCann was appointed to the international Board of Directors of the Merleau-Ponty Circle, one of the top philosophical societies in the world. In 2010, she was the recipient of the prestigious Grisham Master Teacher award, Mississippi State University’s top teaching honor. Also in 2010, she was named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities. Currently, McCann has three books in the works with top-tier publishers.

“David and Rachel’s significance started when they became key players in furthering the development of the phenomenological curriculum at MSU, making it one of the earliest curriculums to embrace experiential design-theory in the architectural academy,” said Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture. “Many programs subsequently have been modeled after it. “As senior members of the faculty, their leadership and knowledge will be greatly missed.”

“When a school hires new assistant professors, the ultimate goal is for them to develop, over time, their own thoughts and expertise and then be able to use those to influence, in a most positive way, the pedagogy and direction of the school,” said Jim West, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. “This is an elite goal, but in fact both David and Rachel have accomplished this in the School of Architecture. Their individual contributions to the foundational structure of the architecture curriculum are indelible. While their continued input will be missed, the school will continue to benefit from the rich heritage of their design thinking.”

A lunch celebration was held for McCann on June 25. See the photos:

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