‘Sharing Experience’ helps promote diversity, inclusion at MSU

May 5th, 2017 Comments Off on ‘Sharing Experience’ helps promote diversity, inclusion at MSU

Marion Sansing of Starkville, an authority on international culinary traditions, prepared all rice, maize and wheat dishes served during the “Shared Experience: Heritage, Home and History” spring workshop at Mississippi State. (Photos by Megan Bean)

Assistant history professor Muey Saeteurn discusses the global history of rice during “Sharing Experience: Heritage, Home and History,” a recent workshop for students at Mississippi State.

Renée Matich serves a rice dish to students during a “Sharing Experience: Heritage, Home and History” workshop recently held at Mississippi State University. She was an organizer of the multi-cultural, interdisciplinary project that included meals featuring rice, maize and wheat dishes.

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Organizers of a special spring-semester workshop at Mississippi State are deeming successful the multi-part cultural experience that brought together a diverse group of university students.

“Sharing Experience: Heritage, Home and History” was the title of the research project made possible by an interdisciplinary grant from MSU’s Office of Research and Economic Development. Co-principal investigators were School of Architecture assistant professors Emily McGlohn and Andreea Mihalache. Mihalache now teaches at Clemson University.

Other co-principal investigators included two faculty members in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ food science, nutrition and health promotion department—Renée Matich, who coordinates the expanded food and nutrition education program, and assistant professor Terezie Mosby, who directs dietetic internships. Also participating was assistant professor Muey Saeteurn of the College of Arts and Sciences’ history department.

To launch examinations of culture and diversity, the nearly two dozen students brought along personal recipes from their respective homes. With them, each began researching the origins and foodways—the cultural, social and economic practices of production and consumption—of their recipes’ various ingredients.

Each of the workshop’s three sessions involved a “focus food”; in this case, rice, maize and wheat. At each session, an informational lecture by a workshop’s organizer was followed by a multi-course meal of cultural dishes featuring the “focus food” of the day.

All meals were organized and prepared by Marion Sansing of Starkville, a recognized authority on international culinary traditions.

Bringing together students from diverse backgrounds to share personal memories, recipes and a meal in the context of their unique cultural backgrounds proved a fun and enriching way to build empathy and promote cultural and global awareness, McGlohn said.

“Sharing a meal is a sensitive, respectful way to understand, learn and start a conversation about our heritage, home and history,” she explained. “We gained a better understanding of each other’s heritage through our culinary traditions, and we also learned about each other’s history and background through stories shared around the table.”

Using the “wheat” session as an example, McGlohn said the main dish was lamb tagine with couscous. For dessert, students enjoyed topfenpalatschinken, a sweet, filled pancake of Austrian heritage that is similar to a French crèpe. Workshop participants also were served mote con huesillo, the national drink of Chile made from a blending of wheat berries and dried peaches in water flavored with cinnamon and lemon rind.

The nationally accredited School of Architecture in MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design offers the only curriculum in the state leading to a professional degree in architecture.

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

Grants help ‘Audit Squad’ get started

April 10th, 2015 Comments Off on Grants help ‘Audit Squad’ get started

Students testing air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, MS. (Photo: Emily McGlohn)

Students testing air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, MS. (Photo: Emily McGlohn)

Students testing air infiltration rates of a 20K House at Auburn University's Rural Studio. They also demonstrated how to use the equipment.(Photo: Emily McGlohn)

Students testing air infiltration rates of a 20K House at Auburn University’s Rural Studio. They also demonstrated how to use the equipment.(Photo: Emily McGlohn)

Students testing air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, MS.(Photo: Emily McGlohn)

Students testing air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, MS.(Photo: Emily McGlohn)

Students testing air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, MS. (Photo: Emily McGlohn)

Students testing air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, MS. (Photo: Emily McGlohn)

Emily McGlohn has been experimenting with ways to introduce one of her research interests, the relationship between energy efficiency and the quality of construction, into the MSU’s School of Architecture curriculum while helping out the state at the same time.

“Building performance is easily tested with building diagnostic tools such as a blower door and thermal imaging camera,” said McGlohn.

So, the assistant professor used funds from her 2014 Schillig Grant, which she received for teaching excellence, to purchase the necessary testing equipment, and she secured a $500 Center for the Advancement of Service Learning Excellence (CASLE) mini grant to support travel.

McGlohn started an independent study course and recruited students interested in the topic. “The Audit Squad,” as she has dubbed the group, has been working this year to collect and analyze data.

In the fall, the Audit Squad – which includes Ria Bennet, third-year architecture major; Cody Smith, fourth-year architecture major; and Bill Plot, fourth-year building construction science major – traveled to Greenwood to test air infiltration rates of the new Katrina cottages in the Baptist Town neighborhood.

“The best way to understand how a building performs is to actually test it with tools,” said McGlohn, who explained that the lower the air infiltration rate, the better the envelope. “A high air infiltration rate signifies a leaky building.”

The group also paid a visit to the Auburn University’s Rural Studio to perform tests on some of their projects. While at the Rural Studio, McGlohn presented a lecture on air infiltration, and her Audit Squad shared what they had learned.

“The students loved it,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”

After analyzing their results, the squad began working on their own independent research project, which they have submitted to the upcoming MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium. They used the newly purchased tools to test the air infiltration rates of a variety of student rental properties built in Starkville over the last 40 years to see if age has anything to do with the rates.

This summer, the research will continue in Greenwood.

Teaming up with the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Enterprise Rose Fellow, Emily Roush Elliott, the Audit Squad will test the air infiltration rates of a variety of low-income housing in the Greenwood area to compare the typical rental property with more modern low-incoming housing.

The data will be analyzed next fall to try to quantify the monetary and health burdens that can come from leaky, low-income housing. The findings and suggestions for improvement will be shared in a brochure for distribution to nonprofit organizations that could benefit from the data.

“The overall main goal,” said McGlohn, “is to create a baseline metric of energy efficiency rates for low-income housing in the Mississippi Delta.”

MSU architecture professor to serve as site coordinator for 2015 Society for Building Science Educators’ retreat

April 7th, 2015 Comments Off on MSU architecture professor to serve as site coordinator for 2015 Society for Building Science Educators’ retreat

McGlohn

McGlohn

Emily McGlohn’s proposal to serve as site coordinator for the 2015 Society for Building Science Educators’ retreat was recently accepted.

McGlohn, assistant professor at the Mississippi State University School of Architecture, will partner with committee chair Professor Alison Kwok, Ph.D. from the University of Oregon, to coordinate this summer’s Society for Building Science Educators’ retreat.

The retreat, with a “Regions and Localities” theme, will be held June 16-19 in Highlands, N.C.

Building science educators gather for the conference each summer to discuss teaching methods and have conversations about class projects.

Herman

Herman

At the conference, McGlohn will also present on “The Audit Squad,” her year-long independent study course where students are analyzing building performance and the relationship to energy efficiency and quality of construction.

Erik Herman, visiting assistant professor, will also represent MSU as a program committee member.

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