Nearly two dozen students recently were recognized at Mississippi State for successful faculty-guided research efforts during the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the university’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College.
Projects submitted for the annual 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 fourth year.
A team of 42 campus faculty members representing a cross-section of academic areas served as judges for the competition.
Residents of Mississippi, Cameroon, Canada, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, this year’s winners include (by project type and category):
ARTS AND HUMANITIES:
FIRST—Emily E. Turner of Starkville, a junior architecture major advised by Alexis Gregory, assistant professor of architecture.
SECOND—Olivier Peloquin of Canada, a freshman history major advised by Anne Marshall, associate professor of history.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING, SESSION I:
FIRST—Ruth E. Fowler of Madison, a senior physics major advised by Todd Mlsna, associate professor of chemistry.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING, SESSION II:
FIRST—Malcolm E. Brooks of Pensacola, Florida, a senior food science, nutrition and health promotion major advised by Tae Jo Kim, assistant research professor in the food science, nutrition and health promotion department.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING, SESSION III:
FIRST—Kellie A. Mitchell of Chelsea, Alabama, a senior biochemistry/pre-medicine major advised by Yuhua Farnell, assistant professor in the biochemistry, molecular biology, entomology and plant pathology department.
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING:
FIRST—Eric W. Stallcup of Huntsville, Alabama, a senior aerospace engineering/astronautics major advised by Keith Koenig, professor of aerospace engineering.
ARTS AND HUMANITIES:
FIRST—Fleshia D. Gillon of Amory, a junior human sciences/fashion design and merchandising major advised by Charles Freeman, assistant professor of human sciences; Todd French, associate professor of chemical engineering; Jason Ward, assistant extension professor in the agricultural and biological engineering department; and Stephen Meyers, assistant extension professor at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center.
SECOND—Michael G. Reinert of Raleigh, North Carolina, a senior human sciences/fashion design and merchandising major advised by Charles Freeman, assistant professor of human sciences.
THIRD—Lauren L. Peterson of Terrell, Texas, a sophomore biochemistry major advised by Lori Neuenfeldt, art instructor and coordinator of the art department’s gallery and outreach programs.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING:
FIRST—Jackson B. Coole of Picayune, a sophomore biological engineering major advised by James A. Stewart Jr., assistant professor of biological sciences.
SECOND—Daniel M. McClung of Brandon, a biological engineering major advised by Janet Donaldson, associate professor of biological sciences.
THIRD—Jaslyn B. Langford of Calhoun City, a senior biological sciences/pre-medicine and microbiology double-major advised by James A. Stewart Jr., assistant professor of biological sciences.
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING:
FIRST—Igor Kevin Mkam Tsengam of Cameroon, a senior chemical engineering major advised by Santanu Kundu, assistant professor of chemical engineering.
SECOND—Tu “Tom” Zhang of Starkville, a junior mechanical engineering major advised by Nima Shamsaei, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
THIRD—Nicholas A. Ezzell of Laurel, a junior physics major advised by Nick Fitzkee, assistant professor of chemistry.
FIRST—Meredith D. Pearson of Starkville, a senior psychology major advised by Michael Nadorff, assistant professor of psychology.
SECOND—Seth A. Thomas of Brentwood, Tennessee, a sophomore psychology major advised by Jarrod Moss, associate professor of psychology.
THIRD—Audrey B. Sanderson of Birmingham, Alabama, a senior elementary education major advised by Kathleen Alley, assistant professor in the curriculum, instruction and special education department.
HONORABLE MENTION—Anna C. Wooten of Florence, a junior human sciences/fashion design and merchandising major advised by JuYoung Lee, assistant professor of human sciences.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND SERVICE LEARNING:
FIRST—Audrey B. Sanderson of Birmingham, Alabama, a senior elementary education major advised by Kathleen Alley, assistant professor in the curriculum, instruction and special education department.
SECOND—Anna K. Barr of Madison, Alabama, a senior architecture major advised by Alexis Gregory, assistant professor of architecture.
THIRD—Christine M. Dunn of Niceville, Florida, a senior secondary education/English education major advised by Judith Ridner, associate professor of history.
Featured speaker for the symposium was Erdogan Memili, associate professor in the animal and dairy sciences department, specializing in reproduction and development and functional genomics.
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, MSU Extension Service, National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum was founded in 1976 in Starkville, just a half-mile from both the historic downtown area and Mississippi State University and works to preserve, publicize and educate the public about the rich history of the region. The building itself is housed in a renovated railroad depot first built in 1874, but renovations initiated in 2009, by the Departments of Landscape Architecture and School of Architecture at Mississippi State University, sought to make the museum a demonstration case to the alternative water management and habitat creation practices being implemented around the country to incorporate green infrastructure into the urban setting.
When the “Rain Garden” project was finished in spring 2013, a green roof pavilion, cistern, and infiltration areas had been installed on the 0.5-acre site to retain and clean rainwater. The purpose of this report is to document the ways in which the Rain Garden project has benefited the Oktibbeha Heritage Museum and the surrounding areas, a measurement termed Landscape Performance. Four distinct benefits have been explored: environmental, social, economic and educational. These benefits were compared before and after the Rain Garden installation.
The Oktibbeha Heritage Museum is centrally located around apartment housing, shopping centers and the largest open green space in town, the city cemetery. One block over lies the western edge of the internationally-recognized, new-urbanist, mixed-use Cotton District. The museum building itself is a 5,000 square-foot structure, whereas the exterior, prior to the design installation, was primarily used as a concrete parking lot with minimal foundation plantings and no exterior amenities for public use.
The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum pavilion, rain gardens and the faculty involved have received a combined total of eight national and regional awards for teaching, collaborative practice and design. Most recently, the SuperUse Pavilion was recognized by the American Institute of Architects, Mississippi Chapter, with one of only two chapter Honor Awards granted in 2015.
The School of Architecture at Mississippi State University and the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA)hosted the Dan and Gemma Camp Lecture in Classical Architectural Design on April 1 in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall.
F.L. Crane Professor and Director of the School of Architecture Michael Berk welcomed guests – including students, alumni, S|ARC Advisory Board members, as well as the lecture sponsors – Dan and Gemma Camp.
Tracy Ward, a 1987 graduate of the School of Architecture, introduced the lecture. A registered architect and architectural historian as well as chairman of the Mississippi Committee of the ICAA, Ward discussed the national nonprofit group that focuses on promoting the classical arts.
Emeritus Professor of Architecture Michael W. Fazio, Ph.D., then presented the main lecture on “The Works of Benjamin Latrobe.”
Fazio is an architect and architectural historian. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Auburn University, a Master of Architecture degree from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in the history of architecture and urban development from Cornell University. He practices architecture in the southeast region, most often as a preservation and restoration consultant preparing historic structure reports. He is also an actively publishing scholar whose articles have appeared in the Society of Architectural Historians Journal, Arris (the journal of the Southeast Society of Architectural Historians), and the Journal of Architectural Education. An accomplished author, his books include Buildings Across Time: An Introduction to World Architecture, The Domestic Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, and Landscape of Transformations: Architecture and Birmingham, Alabama. Fazio was a professor at Mississippi State University from 1974 until 2005.
The Dan and Gemma Camp Lecture in Classical Architectural Design is sponsored by Dan and Gemma Camp (founder and developer of the Cotton District in Starkville) along with a generous gift by Briar (S|ARC Class of 1994) and Michelle Jones.
March 7th, 2016 Comments Off on School of Architecture awards second Method Studio Undergraduate Research Fellowship
A Mississippi State architecture major is among the second to receive the newly established Method Studio Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
Fourth-year student Edward Holmes V is receiving $1,500 as he spends the spring semester conducting research with Method Studio, a full-service architectural and design firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Upon successful completion of research project/s, Holmes will receive an additional $1,500 in May.
This summer, Holmes – a graduate of Newton County Academy and son of Bill and Jami Herrington – will serve as the student director for the school’s annual Design Discovery Workshop, a week-long camp for high school students and incoming freshmen that is intended to answer many of the questions about architecture and interior design as a field of study and as a profession.
“It is a great honor to be able to be able to research for Method Studo,” said Holmes. “I know that I have a lot to learn from them, and I’m sure this will be an exciting experience.”
As part of the fellowship, Holmes will working under the guidance of Jacob Gines, a School of Architecture assistant professor who also is Method’s vice president of research and design.
Gines, now in his fourth year on the Starkville campus, said he and other professionals at the Utah firm are working to make it a “thought leader” in the architectural community, both to generate and disseminate knowledge. “There is a lot of support for connecting academia to the profession of architecture,” he added.
Gines said the new fellowship should provide “a unique opportunity” to strengthen that connection between the architecture school and Method.
School director Michael Berk said he and his colleagues “are honored to be working with Method Studio and value the confidence the firm has placed in the School of Architecture.”
“This research collaboration is an important endorsement of our faculty expertise and will provide our faculty with research assistants, enabling us to continue to push the boundaries of cutting-edge tectonic research,” said Berk, who also holds the school’s F.L. Crane Professorship.
While Method is not local, Gines said fellows will be researching a variety of issues that are transportable across geographic regions. “There is strength and value in connecting not just locally, but at a distance as well,” he said.
Helping the residents of the historic Baptist Town neighborhood been a passion for Emily Roush-Elliott since she arrived in Greenwood on an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship in 2013 after receiving her master’s of architecture from the University of Cincinnati.
Helping families in need have simple, decent homes has been a passion for the Greenwood/Leflore Fuller Center for Housing since 1985, when it began partnering with homeowner families as a Habitat for Humanity affiliate. (They joined The Fuller Center in 2008.)
Their common interests are why Roush-Elliott — who is hosted by the Greenwood-LeFlore Economic Development Foundation and Carl Small Town Center — and The Fuller Center have been frequent collaborators in the past few years. And they continue to lead efforts to improve the Baptist Town neighborhood, made famous as the home of blues legend Robert Johnson and the site of filming for the film “The Help,” which brought home the Best Picture Oscar in 2012.
One initiative that has had tremendous impact was the installation of 11 unused MEMA (Mississippi Emergency Management Agency) cottages that were designed for families impacted by Hurricane Katrina. With strong support from the city of Greenwood and approval by the Mississippi legislature, the cottages were turned over to The Greenwood/Leflore Fuller Center, which installed the cottages with a few tweaks and turned them into beautiful, cozy homes for families in need.
“All 11 cottages are fully occupied, and I don’t think we’ve had a single person miss a single payment since we had people move in over a year ago,” Roush-Elliott said. “We’re just looking to have it grow and do more.”
Doing more included using grant money from Enterprise Community Partners to institute such projects in the neighborhood as a storm water management garden, which they also have used to provide on-the-job training for some unemployed women in the community.
Another area of focus in helping residents is energy efficiency. With the help of Emily McGlohn, assistant professor of architecture at Mississippi State University, and her “Audit Squad” of students, they have identified ways in which residents of the Baptist Town neighborhood can save significant amounts of energy — and money — by taking seemingly small steps to make a tremendous difference.
The energy-efficiency study
The Baptist Town community became a significant focal point of McGlohn’s wide-ranging concern for energy-efficiency issues throughout the Mississippi Delta region. This historic neighborhood of Greenwood provided the perfect testing ground with its mix of old homes, newer Fuller Center construction and the Katrina cottages.
“You can always assume new housing is better than old housing, but until you put numbers to it, it’s not as powerful,” McGlohn said. “That’s what we wanted — to be able to quantify the difference and put it into dollars to help people understand how important energy efficiency is in affordable housing.”
Using an array of tools — most notably powerful blower doors and thermal imaging cameras — they studied the 11 cottages’ performance compared to 10 older homes and six Fuller Center homes.
“We had our hypothesis that the cottages would be the most airtight, The Fuller Center homes would be in the middle and the neighborhood homes would be the least,” Roush-Elliott said. “Our hypothesis was certainly proved true, but it was so much more extreme than expected. We were blown away by the unequal distribution of energy costs. It’s a real inequity that we can address.”
“Some of them, we couldn’t even get a read on,” McGlohn said of the older homes in the neighborhood. “They were so leaky that the machine couldn’t even pressurize them.”
They used the test results to determine the personal financial impact of air infiltration alone in trying to maintain a modest home temperature of 65 degrees in December — on top of other factors in heating or cooling a home. They found that air filtration alone cost an average of:
$176 a month for the 10 older homes tested, or 14% of a minimum wage earner’s monthly income
$88 a month for the 6 Fuller Center homes, or 7% of a minimum wage earner’s monthly income
$35 a month for the 11 Katrina cottages, or 3% of a minimum wage earner’s monthly income
“That’s money in your pocket,” McGlohn said. “Housing should be efficient for everyone but especially for those in low-income housing. But it’s not just housing in this sector — we can all do little things to save energy.”
The study’s results, though, are just a starting point.
“It’s great to just swoop in with this information and say, ‘Yeah, your house is leaky,’ but what do you do with that information?” McGlohn asked rhetorically. “The little things that you do really add up in these situations. The solution isn’t always to knock down your house and build a better one. You can fill air gaps and weatherize the house. So we provided weatherization kits for all the homeowners.”
“Emily was able to come back and make recommendations to The Fuller Center about really simple things that they can do throughout the construction process that will save their homeowners more money on the back end on their energy bills,” Roush-Elliott said. “We had a little bit of grant money left so that we could buy a small energy upgrade kit, a little retrofit kit, for everybody who participated. It’s very simple things like caulk and weatherstripping.”
The biggest culprit for the older homes in the neighborhood was window air-conditioning units, something McGlohn said is not unusual for any home with window units.
“We assume that even though homeowners are supposed to take them out in the wintertime, they don’t,” she said. “Those units become like a big hole in the wall, and I’m not sure everybody understands what the effect of that is.”
Roush-Elliott said that her agency is working with The Fuller Center and others to distribute and install covers for the window units in the older homes. She also said that the weatherization study has caught the eye of state officials, who will come to Baptist Town in the near future to discuss major weatherization grants with local residents.
“I’m amazed how many people at the state level have taken note even though this is really small, so I’m hoping that this might grow into something a lot more,” she said, adding that there are plans to follow-up on the weatherization efforts to determine how much they might be saving residents on their energy bills.
Greenwood/Leflore Fuller Center President Rocky Powers praised the work of both Roush-Elliott and McGlohn and said that their research will help as they partner with both existing and future Fuller Center homeowners, in addition to helping facilitate ongoing weatherization efforts for the older homes in the neighborhood.
January 15th, 2016 Comments Off on Architecture professor, students continue collaborative project for Boys & Girls Club
Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory is continuing her work this semester on a collaborative project to design and construct an educational garden for the Boys & Girls Club of the Golden Triangle – Starkville.
Gregory began the project with her fourth-year architecture studio in the fall. (Read more here.)
This semester, the project will continue through a design/build elective where students in the School of Architecture are constructing another piece of the educational garden – one of the shade structures.
Students in the course are also working on new designs for compost bins, as well as documentation for the new construction and work this spring.
How architecture looks is only a small part of its purpose, Mississippi State associate professor John Poros said. How it impacts people’s lives is of much greater consequence.
As director for the Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State, Poros leads a team that includes an assistant director and roughly a dozen undergraduate students in the College of Architecture, Art and Design in developing design service projects in rural communities across Mississippi. Not only do the projects improve aesthetics in those communities, Poros said, they are meant to improve functionality, quality of life and spur economic and cultural development.
“Architecture is changing,” Poros said. “You can’t just sit back in your office and expect commissions to come in. You have to go out and find problems, work with communities to identify priorities and funding, then use your design skills to address the issues. The center, as a whole, introduces students to that ideal.”
A graduate of Columbia and Harvard universities and an MSU faculty member since 1997, Poros assisted with Carl Small Town Center projects for more than a decade before becoming director in 2008.
The center’s work, which began more than 30 years ago, has gained a national reputation. Teams work on several design projects each year across the state, ranging from parks, plazas and public buildings to improvements to historic structures and even entire downtown districts.
Now, he said he wants to widen the center’s reach, building a legacy as a leader in tackling issues of rural sustainability, transportation and regionalism. By improving public infrastructure, transportation and partnering with surrounding communities to draw economic development opportunities, he said Mississippi’s rural communities could greatly increase quality of life for their residents.
This mission is exactly what Poros had in mind when he chose architecture as a career.
“Before I ever went into architecture, I believed it was something meant to work for the public good,” he said. “I found an enormous culture here at Mississippi State for work that does just that.”
A project through Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture is helping make homes in the Mississippi Delta healthier and more energy efficient.
Using funds from the Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation and Enterprise Community Partners, a team from Mississippi State studied air infiltration levels in 27 low-income homes in the Greenwood area during the summer. Starting Monday [Dec. 7], the team will begin the process of weatherizing homes from the study to enable better climate control and reduce homeowners’ utility bills.
Emily McGlohn, an assistant professor of architecture at MSU who is the faculty leader for the study, said the team looked at houses in three categories: 10 older homes built in the 1950s and 60s, six built in the 1980s and 90s, and 11 “Katrina cottages” placed in the Baptist Town area in Greenwood for low-income families within the last 10 years.
Preliminary study results, McGlohn said, showed the most air infiltration in the older homes. That poses a financial and health burden on the residents, she added.
“A home is supposed to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer,” she said. “But in a leaky home, it makes it harder and more costly to maintain those temperatures during those seasons.”
Now that the study is complete, McGlohn’s team – which includes mostly student workers – has secured the labor and materials for basic weatherization at the 27 homes. With the homeowners’ consent, McGlohn said the team could install door sweeps, weather stripping around windows and better insulate areas around air conditioning units in windows that tend to let air into the home. Even those small fixes, she said, could make a big impact.
Further, she is presenting the study results to stakeholders in the Delta in hopes of inspiring a more comprehensive weatherization program and ensuring that low-income homes built in the future are more energy efficient.
Greenwood architect Emily Roush-Elliot, an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow cohosted by the Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation and MSU’s Carl Small Town Center, partnered with McGlohn’s team on the project. She said it has already accomplished much, considering its $12,000 budget, and has the potential to accomplish even more.
“Financially, it will help a substantial number of low-income families,” she said. “It’s easy to scale up, too. I hope this is a small first step to so much more.”
Senior architecture major Zachary White, of Valparaiso, Indiana, works on a raised garden bed for the Starkville Boys and Girls Club community garden. A team of 14 Mississippi State architecture students, working under assistant professor Alexis Gregory, are installing a garden at the club with six raised beds, two shaded pavilions and space for tool storage. The team also is partnering with MSU’s Horticulture Club, the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, and the College of Education to make the garden a sustainable source for education and healthy foods.
December 3rd, 2015 Comments Off on Herrmann accepts Design Excellence Award from AIA Mississippi Chapter
Mississippi State University recently was recognized by the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its role in implementing the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum’s green technology demonstration pavilion. Pictured at AIAMS 2015 Mississippi Celebrates Architecture program are (l-r) lead juror Aaron Gentry, principal at tvsdesign in Atlanta, Georgia; Jim West, dean of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design and chair of the AIAMS Design Awards; Hans C. Herrmann, MSU associate professor of architecture; and AIAMS President Brett Couples. (Photo courtesy of barrettphotography.com)
Mississippi State is yet again being recognized for its role in implementing the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum’s green infrastructure and sustainable building technologies.
A Design Excellence Award from the American Institute of Architects’ Mississippi Chapter is one of only two being presented this year. It recognizes the five-year-long efforts of more than 200 university undergraduate and graduate students who designed and built the repository’s green technology demonstration pavilion, among other features.
Participating students were majors in landscape architecture, landscape contracting, architecture, art, art/graphic design and building construction science.
Including prominent architects and educators, the AIAMS judging panel was led by Aaron Gentry, principal at tvsdesign of Atlanta, Georgia, and an MSU architecture graduate.
Hans C. Herrmann, associate professor of architecture, accepted for the university at the recent annual Mississippi Celebrates Architecture program in Jackson.
Earlier this year, the Starkville project was recognized with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4’s Rain Catcher Award at the neighborhood/community level. In 2013, it was chosen for the American Society of Landscape Architecture’s Award of Excellence in Student Collaboration, the highest honor bestowed by the national professional association for landscape architects. Other honors have included the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s 2015 Collaborative Practice Award, as well as the American Society of Landscape Architects/Mississippi Chapter’s 2013 Merit Award, 2012 community service honor, and 2011 and 2012 merit awards for community service.
Located near campus at the intersection of Fellowship and Russell streets, the museum features an American Disabilities Act-compliant entrance way, as well as a circular stair providing public access to the 600-square-foot green-roof pavilion. A 700-square-foot rain garden, 200-square-foot sand filter and more than 1,000 square-feet of new plantings also are part of the project.
Additionally, an adjacent 1,000-gallon rainwater cistern was built from recycled and repurposed materials.
The AIAMS Design Awards program seeks to elevate the quality of architecture by recognizing and honoring works of distinction by its members, as well as raise public awareness of architecture and design. For more, visit www.aiamississippi.org.
The heritage museum is open to the public 1-4 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, as well as by appointment. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. For more, visit www.oktibbehaheritagemuseum.com.