Academic exploration: MSU undergraduate research featured at interdisciplinary symposium

April 26th, 2018 Comments Off on Academic exploration: MSU undergraduate research featured at interdisciplinary symposium

(left to right) Back Row: Baron Necaise, Felipe Olvera, Duncan Thomas, Blake Farrar, Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory, Will Jordan, Emily Turner, Bailey McDaniel; Front Row: Olivia Baker, Madison Holbrook, McKenzie Johnson (photos by Alexis Gregory)

 

Hosted by the university’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, the annual Mississippi State University Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium received 165 submissions from students conducting faculty-guided research. Projects were assigned to one of four categories—arts and humanities, biological sciences and engineering, physical sciences and engineering, and social sciences. Certain categories had multiple award winners due to the large number of submissions.In recognition of the university’s Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, a community engagement track also was included.

A team of 46 campus faculty and graduate students representing a cross-section of academic areas served as competition judges. Featured speaker for the symposium was John Bickle, professor and head of MSU’s Department of Philosophy and Religion.

David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development, said undergraduate students are an integral part of the multi-faceted research underway at MSU.

“Pursuing research opportunities is a critical part of academic life on our campus, and our students are recognized for their commitment to discovery, creation and exploration in our labs, studios, library, research farms and beyond,” Shaw said. “We are pleased that members of our faculty are committed to providing undergraduates with meaningful roles in the overall research enterprise and promoting interdisciplinary research as an important component of scholarly activity.”

Taking first place in the oral presentation, arts and humanities category was Emily E. Turner of Starkville, a senior architecture major mentored by Alexis Gregory, associate professor of architecture.

Also selected for inclusion:

  • William Jordan’s project, “Working in Hand,” was co-authored by Baron Necaise, Olivia Baker, and Felipe Olivera and was completed under the guidance of Associate Professor Alexis Gregory.
  • Duncan Thomas’s poster, “Post-Occupancy Analysis – Learning From the Existing and Fixing for the Future,” was co-authored by McKenzie Johnson, Madison Holbrook, and Blake Farrar and was completed under the guidance of Associate Professor Alexis Gregory.

For more on MSU’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, visit www.honors.msstate.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ShackoulsHonors.

 

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.”

Architecture, BCS students take third place at MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium

March 28th, 2013 Comments Off on Architecture, BCS students take third place at MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium

left to right: Adam Trautman, Alex Reeves, Melinda Ingram, Jacob Johnson and Mark Riley

Students in Assistant Professor Alexis Gregory’s Habitat Prototype House class won third place in the Community Engagement Track of the MSU Undergraduate Research Symposium held on March 22.

The students received a $50 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble for their project, titled “Elevating Habitat: Service-Learning in Design and Construction.”

Adam Trautman, a senior in the Building Construction Science Program, presented the project. Third-year architecture students Melinda Ingram, Jacob Johnson, Alex Reeves and Mark Riley also worked on the project.

Symposium Board

Read more on MSU’s website.

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