Background Image Alternative Text: class of 2024 MSU architecture students gather on stage in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall for a group photo - slide of MSU School of Architecture logo on screen behind
Background Image Alternative Text: class of 2024 MSU architecture students gather on stage in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall for a group photo - slide of MSU School of Architecture logo on screen behind

School of Architecture Recognition Day 2024

Celebrating the class of 2024 along with scholarship and award recipients.

Recognition Day was held on May 9, 2024 at 1:30 p.m. in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall.

Welcoming students, friends and family were School of Architecture Director and F.L. Crane Professor Karen Cordes Spence; Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design Angi Elsea Bourgeois; and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School at Mississippi State Peter Ryan.

Shannon Gathings stands at lectern with MSU School of Architecture class of 2024 sitting on stage

Alumna Shannon Gathings presented the 33rd Annual Dr. William L. and Jean P. Giles Memorial Lecture.

2023-2024 Awards

Annual Allen & Hoshall Faculty Award

Recipient: Professor Hans Herrmann
Presented by: Director Karen Spence
The architectural firm of Allen & Hoshall of Jackson, Mississippi, has established a $500 annual award to a faculty member “who has demonstrated excellence in teaching.” The award winner is selected by the graduating class.


Alpha Rho Chi (APX)

Chapter President: Sara Boyte
Faculty Advisor: Associate Professor Jacob Gines
Alpha Rho Chi is the only national co-ed professional/social fraternity for architecture and the allied arts. MSU’s Hippodamus chapter includes members representing architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and engineering.

Sara Boyte, left, gives the APX award to Sarah Mixon

Alpha Rho Chi Student Book Award

Recipient: Sarah Mixon
The APX student book award is given to a graduating fifth-year active member who has furthered the mission of the fraternity through service.


American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)

Chapter President: Noah Bates
Faculty Advisors: Associate Professor Alexis Gregory, Dr. Aaron White
The American Institute of Architecture Students is the counterpart of the American Institute of Architects, or AIA. The chapter works closely with professional architects in the state through the Mississippi Chapter of the AIA, which funds this award.

Noah Bates, left, poses with AIAS award recipient Kathryn Stewart

AIAS Member of the Year Book Award

Recipient: Kathryn Stewart
The recipient of the AIAS Award is chosen by the AIAS membership. The qualifications for this award are:  “… that the student goes above and beyond
what has been asked; has shown initiative and leadership qualities; has been
an AIAS leader within their level; and does well academically.”


National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS)

Chapter President: Micah Webb
Faculty Advisor: Associate Professor Silvina Lopez Barrera

The National Organization of Minority Architecture Students is the student arm of the National Organization of Minority Architects. Students participating seek to enhance the educational experience of its members by fostering diversity within the School of Architecture and the community at-large.

NOMAS Diversity Award

Recipient: Karlton Wallace
Chosen by the group’s membership, the NOMAS Diversity Award is given to a
student who has shown outstanding initiative and leadership in promoting diversity within the school and the larger community.


Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society (TSD)

Chapter President: Caeli Finch
Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Duane McLemore
Tau Sigma Delta is the architectural and allied programs honor society open to top academic students in design disciplines. Induction does not occur until the student consistently demonstrates high academic standards and is in the third-year.

TSD Initiates

Bryant Baugus, Shabrea Davis, Kailyn Gardner, Mackenzie Gibbs, Isaac Hall, Anna Kate Horn, Kasey Losik, Gabbi Morelli, Heather Papizan, Brad Robinson, Skylar Sloan, Alana Vice, Summer Watson, Abby Williams

TSD Fifth-Year Graduates

Bryant Baugus, Travis Bryan, Kailyn Gardner, Jake Herrington, Mikayla House, Gabbi Morelli, Luke  Murray, Elaine Otts, Summer Watson

TSD First-Year Design Award

Recipient: Miles Williams
The Tau Sigma Delta First-Year Design Award is presented to the first-year design student who has exhibited excellence in design. This is a book award.

Caeli Finch, left, hands award to Professor John Poros

TSD Faculty Book Award

Recipient: Professor John Poros
The TSD Faculty or Staff Book Award is presented by the third- and fourth-year members to the faculty/staff member who has inspired them to excellence.


Young Women in Architecture (YWA)

Chapter President: Kasey Losik
Faculty Advisor: Visiting Assistant Professor Emily McVey
YWA’s mission is to empower and support women in architecture during and after their time at Mississippi State. The group has established five pillars as its backbone: design, integrity, community, scholarship and purpose.


Queer Students in CAAD (QCAAD)

Presidents and Co-Founders: Ada Fulgham, Ellen Overstreet
Faculty Advisor: Asst. Professor Duane McLemore
QCAAD–or Queer Students in the College of Architecture, Art and Design – strives to create a safe space for students and faculty in architecture and the allied arts who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The club serves as a space for open dialogue about queer identity and expression within CAAD and exists to support its members through academic and personal growth.


Faculty present first-year book award

First-Year Faculty Book Award

Studio Coordinator: Associate Professor Silvina Lopez Barrera
Recipients: Tess Higginbotham, Abigail Crocker
This award is a book selected by the first-year faculty and presented to a first-year student selected on the basis of design excellence.


Assistant Professor John Ross stands with second-year book award recipients

Second-Year Faculty Book Award

Studio Coordinator: Assistant Professor John Ross
Recipients: Peter Fox, Quinlan Pisciotta/
This award is a book selected by the second-year faculty and presented to a second-year student selected on the basis of design excellence.


Instructor Ryan Ashford stands with a third-year book award recipientAssociate Professor Alexis Gregory stands with a third-year book award recipient

Third-Year Faculty Book Award

Studio Coordinator: Associate Professor Alexis Gregory
Recipients: Carlie Gleason, Yuria Sloane
This award is a book selected by the third-year faculty and presented to a third-year student(s) selected on the basis of design excellence.


Professor Hans Herrmann stands with a fourth-year book award recipientAssociate Professor Hans Herrmann stands with a fourth-year book award recipient

Fourth-Year Faculty Book Award

Studio Coordinator: Associate Professor Jacob Gines
Recipients: Jackson “Creed” Broom, Abigail Gauthier, Grace Owens
This award is a book selected by the fourth-year faculty and presented to a fourth-year student(s) selected on the basis of design excellence.

Mississippi Forestry Association Mass Timber Award

First Place: Charles Rounds
Second Place: Matthew Thomas
Third Place: Grace Owens
Honorable Mention: Camille Bohannon, Sara Boyte, Caeli Finch
The Mississippi Forestry Association Mass Timber Awards are selected by MFA executive board members to recognize exceptional and innovative uses of mass timber within the fourth-year capstone studio.


Dr. Aaron White poses with Du’Juan Brown, the recipient of the 2024 ARCC King Award

ARCC King Award

Recipient: Du’Juan Brown
Presented by: Dr. Aaron White
Named in honor of the late Jonathan King, co-founder and first president of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium, this award is presented to one student per ARCC-member school. Selection is made by the entire faculty based upon criteria that acknowledge innovation, integrity and scholarship in architectural or environmental design research.   


Professor Jassen Callender poses with 5th-year Jurists' Award recipients

Fifth-Year Jurists’ Award

Studio Coordinator: Professor Jassen Callender
Recipients: Alston Brown, Jenny Hutton, Gabriella Morelli
The Jurists’ Award, a book award, is conferred by the fifth-year design faculty upon the student(s) who has achieved the greatest personal growth as a designer and whose work has contributed to the overall success of the fifth-year design studio.


Professor Jassen Callender poses with CDFL Capstone Studio Travel Award recipients

CDFL Capstone Studio Travel Award

Recipients: Elisa Castañeda, Luke Murray
Presented by: Professor Jassen Callender
Funds from Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons Architects + Engineers’ $5,000 fifth-year, capstone studio sponsorship were used to support the studio and provided support for prominent external project reviewers as well as two cash awards for student travel.


Sara Boyte, left, poses with APX Medal recipient Elaine Otts

Alpha Rho Chi Medal

Recipient: Elaine Otts
Presented by: Sara Boyte
The Alpha Rho Chi Medal is awarded to the graduating fifth-year student who has shown an ability for leadership, performed willing service for the school, and gives promise of professional merit through attitude and personality. The medal is offered each year to every NAAB fully accredited school of architecture. The recipient is chosen by the entire faculty of the school.


Director Karen Spence, left, poses with Academic Achievement Award Recipient Kailyn Gardner

Academic Achievement Award

Recipient: Kailyn Gardner
Presented by: Director Karen Spence
The Academic Achievement Award is a book award presented to the graduating fifth-year student who has the highest cumulative MSU grade point average.


Director Karen Spence, left, poses with Medal for Academic Excellence Recipient Travis Bryan

Medal for Academic Excellence

Recipient: Travis Bryan
Presented by: Director Karen Spence
Sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, the Medal for Academic Excellence, formerly the Henry Adams Medal, is considered the most important award given to graduating students. It is awarded for “general excellence in architecture” throughout the course of study. The medal is awarded to the most qualified student, selected by the entire faculty.


Other Notable Student Awards, 2023-2024

Aydelott Travel Award

Yuria Sloane
Yuria received $20,000 to travel to Bolivia, Japan, New Zealand and Norway. Her faculty mentor is Assistant Professor Silvina Lopez Barrera. This award was established by late Memphis architect Alfred Lewis Aydelott and his wife, Hope Galloway Aydelott.


Association for Retired Faculty (ARF) William L. Giles Award for Excellence in Architecture

Camille Mask
This $500 award was established in 1997 in honor and memory of William Lincoln Giles, a charter member of ARF. It is given each year on the basis of academic excellence and overall leadership. Funding comes from a contribution by Hazel Presson, aunt of Ginger Giles Jones, Dr. Giles’ daughter.


Trussell Travel Award

Anna Rives Gully
The Trussell Travel Award, which is funded by alumnus Ted T. Porter, is awarded to the runner-up of the Aydelott Travel Award. The award provides $4,750 for student travel.


Method Studio Undergraduate Research Fellow

Fall 2023 & Spring 2024: Paulina Fernandez
Method Studio Research Fellows receive a $3,000 award and work on research during the semester for the Method Studio under the guidance of Associate Professor Jacob Gines.


Spring 2024 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Michael Herndon
“Architecture Community Resilience: Disaster Relief Practices and Informing Better Built Environments” was completed under the guidance of Associate Professor Silvina Lopez Barrera.


Gender Studies 2024 Student Competition

Rachel Sampson
Rachel’s project, “Completing the Rainbow: Exploring the Voices of Lesbian and Transgender Architects,” was part of the Inaugural Research Poster Competition completed under the guidance of her mentor Associate Professor Alexis Gregory.


Gulf Coast Research Award

Shawn Mackey

Shawn’s research, “Architecture Preserving the Past, Securing the Future: Safeguarding Historic Structures in Tornado-Prone Communities,” was completed under the guidance of his mentor Leah Kemp, director of the Fred Carl Jr. Small Town Center. The Gulf Coast Research award highlights projects that address issues facing the Gulf Coast, including community health and resilience, environmental protection and stewardship, and energy safety and sustainability.


Burris Wagnon Study Abroad Travel Award

Elisa Castaneda, Elaine Otts, Caroline Prather, Annelise Sernich
Bill Burris and Stan Wagnon, principals of Burris/Wagon Architects, P.A., established the $500 Burris Wagnon Study Abroad Travel Award to fulfill a desire to assist students traveling abroad to experience architecture.


Poole & Company Student Design Award Recipients

Professor Lopez Barrera’s studio:

  • Honor Award: Camille Mask
  • Merit Award: Libby Borkowski

Professor Herrmann’s studio:

Honor Award: Noel Fisher | Merit Award: Caeli Finch

Professor Duane McLemore’s studio:

Honor Award: Charles Rounds | Merit Award: Toussaint Robinson

This monetary award is selected by an outside jury committee, including Bruce Herrington, to recognize exceptional design work among fourth-year students.


PCI Foundation Studio (3B/Collaborative) Honors

Ryan Ashford, Briar Jones:

  • Top Project: Isaac Hall, JR Hitchcock, Kasey Losik, and Mark Perry (ARC); Aaron Shankle (BCS)
  • Honorable Mention: Caroline Clune, Lauren Odon, Iliana Ramos, and Rachel Sampson (ARC); Cooper Smith and Trey Walker (BCS)

Professor Alexis Gregory, Briar Jones:

  • Top Project: Mary Kirk Dillard, Mackenzie Gibbs, Carlie Gleason, and Anna Rives Gully (ARC); Ella Bunch (BCS)
  • Honorable Mention: Team 12: China Chandler, Ashlyn Jones, Elvis Scott, and Faith Troutt (ARC); Ben Myrick and Ashton Gibson (BCS)

This studio is funded by the PCI Foundation with projects focused on the use of precast concrete for structure and cladding for museum designs.

Read more.


2023-2024 Scholarships

Ann & Jim Somers Annual Scholarship

$1,000: Abby Williams


Charles H. Dean, Jr. Annual Memorial Scholarship

$1,000: Ada Fulgham


Eley Guild Hardy Architecture Endowed Scholarship

$2,000 each: Jessica Kiger

$1,000 each: Anna Criswell, Evelyn Ramirez


Jason D. Labutka Scholarship

$1,500: Kali Nolen


JJAJ Endowed Scholarship   

$500 each: Camille Bohannon, Shawn Mackey


Lyndall Gail Wood Memorial Scholarship

$1,000: Michael Herndon


Mockbee Hall & Drake Annual Scholarship

$2,000: Anna Criswell


Primos Scholarship in Architecture

software award: Evelyn Aguilar, Noah Bates, Sydney Cothern, Madison Jones, Abby Mickholtzick, Kali Nolin, Carolyn Oglesby, Kathryn Stewart, Jakobi Walton, Annika Watson


Pryor & Morrow Annual Scholarship

$500 each: Evelyn Aguilar, Kali Nolen, Annika Watson    


Rowan Taylor Endowed Scholarship

$1,000: Elijah Camba


School of Architecture Patrons Scholarship

$1,000: Arturo Hernandez


Shelia Renea Jackson Endowed Scholarship    

$2,000: Evelyn Ramirez


Stephanie M. and Don F. Pizzetta Endowed Scholarship

$1,200: Elvis Scott


Stephanie M. and Don F. Pizzetta Annual Scholarship

$1,200: Abby Williams


Class of 2024

Recognition Day photos.

Commencement photos.

Download photos from Recognition Day.

Download the Recognition Day program.

Saturday, May 11, 2024 - 11:48 am

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