May 6, 2013 Rotogram: 40

Nationally Ranked MSU Tennis

Coach Per Nilsson will discuss MSU’s tennis team which is ranked number 12 nationally and will host NCAA tournament first and second rounds. Nancy Hargrove will introduce him.

Next Week: Social Security

Katherine Little, a new Rotarian and a Certified Senior Advisor with T. E. Lott & Co., will talk on Social Security issues. Jeff Read will introduce her.

For the Record—April 29

Invocation and Pledge:       Grant Arinder

Attendance:                                     56.91%

Present — 99 (30 exempt)

Absent — 79 (14 exempt, 11 honorary)

Makeup Reported:        Corey Ravenhorst.

Guests: Member guests were Jessie Carver of Hal Rowland and Tracy McClure of Don Lasell.  Guests of the Club were Steven Nalley of the Starkville Daily News and Giulia Martinoli, Youth Exchange student.

Meet A New Member

Columbus native Carey Edwards is a commercial lender with Cadence Bank.

“I look forward to rolling my sleeves up and pitching in and helping,” said the MSU alumnus about his Rotary involvement.

After completing his BS in 2000 and his MBA in 2001, Edwards joined Cambio Health Solutions in Nashville. He provided financial consulting services to large urban hospitals. In his nine year tenure, he traveled nationwide and was based out of Starkville in 2010.

In Nashville, he met wife-to-be Mary Martha from Clarksdale. He said that convincing his Ole Miss grad spouse to move to Starkville was “the only argument I’ve ever won.”

They have two daughters and are expecting child number three in October.

Strategic Planning Committee Meets

The Strategic Planning Committee begins work tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. at the offices of T. E. Lott.  President-elect Brent has named Vice President-elect Michelle Amos, chair, Carey Hardin, Larry Mullins, Carrie Beth Randall, Clay Richardson, Ned Browning and Marcus Grant to the committee.

Designing, Building and Improving Communities

April 29 — Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design operates under the principal that “any artifact–a house, a painting–has a public aspect and should be shaped by cultural and natural forces to become a well-used and well-loved part of the community.”

Jim West has been dean of the college since its inception in 2004. He came to MSU from the University of Florida in 1999. He was named dean of the 29-year-old School of Architecture in 2002.

He joked that he had proposed to name the new unit the College of MAKING, but it didn’t fly with the provost.

The college’s quality programs attract a student body that draws 40 percent of its pupils from out of state. It has Mississippi’s only accredited architecture program, largest interior design program and largest fine arts program. Its newest program is building construction science started in 2007.

Deeply involved in the American Institute of Architects, West is proud that “for the second time, MSU has set the curve for the nation.” The first instance was in 1991 when the school became the first out of 120 accredited institutions to require all students to have laptops.

The building construction program is only the second studio based curriculum in the nation. This fall it will be the first to have architecture and construction students together in studio for a year.

“It’s like moving a construction trailer into the academic environment,” he said. “It’s going to be a mess. I’m assuming we’re going to need a couple of attorneys, but we’re going to have a great time setting this as a way architects and contractors need to work together in the real world.”

West is proud that the college has leveraged private funds over public funds in more than a five to one ratio. In the past five years there have been more than 100 funded grants and contracts exceeding four million dollars. Most of the work is with Mississippi communities. Projects have affected 730 jobs in 45 communities and 119 organizations.

At the heart of the work is the Carl Small Town Center endowed by Fred Carl former CEO of Viking Range Company. The center works with towns which have to commit equity. It helps communities recognize what they have and capitalize on it.

“Small towns are the core of this state, but they are growing and changing. We want to help that growth in a productive way,” said West. “Students are inspired by the people, landscape and architecture. We don’t want a single graduate to put a building out there casually.”

The prime example is Greenwood which asked for assistance more than a decade ago. Five blocks of Howard Street are being improved through standards for facades, streetscapes, sidewalks, parking and lighting. Fourteen buildings have been renovated so far. Team members actually found the original street lights in a local barn.

Another point of pride is in the low income neighborhood of Baptist Town. After ten years of looking at problems and planning, the movie The Help made the difference when its production company wanted to leave something of benefit behind. A $100,000 fund along with a variety of matches started a community center. It recently was named the Small Town Rural Planning Project of the Year.

The state has donated 23 Katrina cottages with the hope to completely revitalize the neighborhood in the next year-and-a-half.

The college’s other major point of pride is the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, started in east Biloxi where 95 percent of residences were under water, gone or severely damaged after Hurricane Katrina. Faculty member David Perks has lived and worked in this moderate to low income neighborhood since about a month after the storm.

Accomplishments include: 1) more than 300 replacement houses built to code and to withstand hurricanes; 2) an interpretive exhibit and public community events about the history of  the Shaw Homestead in Barth funded by the NEA; 3) restoration of eight acres of tidal marsh in Bayou Auguste involving six community partners, three funding agencies and 200 school children and volunteers; 4) zoning, planning, lighting and streetscape improvement in Soria City; 5) a sustainable communities regional plan; and, 6) flood-proof construction and disaster housing research.

Previous post:

Next post: