Mississippi State University Team Receives National Architectural Education Award

Hans Herrmann
Portrait of Abbey Franovich
Abbey Franovich
Portrait of Ashley Studdard-Hughes
Ashley Studdard-Hughes

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A team of educators, which includes three professors from Mississippi State University, has been honored with an Architectural Education Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the American Institute of Architects.

Receiving the 2024 AIA/ACSA Practice and Leadership award, the Professional Horizons team comprises MSU professors Hans Herrmann, Abbey Franovich, and Ashley Studdard-Hughes, in collaboration with Thomas Kligerman from the Design Leadership Foundation.

“This year, MSU’s award application was the only winning submission among all 175 recognized National Architecture Accreditation Board programs across North America and beyond,” explained Herrmann.

MSU students on an architecture tour in New York City
MSU architecture students touring in New York City. (Photo submitted)

Recognizing outstanding teaching, scholarship, and outreach in professional practice and leadership, the award acknowledges the team’s comprehensive efforts within the Professional Horizons program, which includes a summer work/study program in New York City and a workshop initiative focusing on job search skills.

“In essence, this award recognizes our collaborative work with the Design Leadership Foundation to guide students towards potential career paths,” Herrmann elaborated.

For the past three years, the Design Leadership Foundation, a branch of the Design Leadership Network, has been assisting MSU students studying architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design through funding and support provided in collaboration with Herrmann, a founding board member of DLF.

“To date, the Design Leadership Foundation has contributed over $200,000 in support to MSU students, with an additional $100,000 earmarked for 2024 programs and scholarships,” Herrmann noted.

This support has included technology grants, mentorship sessions, and scholarships for students participating in the Professional Horizons Summer Work Experience in New York City.

“The Design Leadership Foundation and Mississippi State University have cultivated a valuable partnership to empower our students to aspire to higher goals and broader horizons in their professional careers,” said Angi Elsea Bourgeois, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design.

A celebratory event honoring the team’s achievements is scheduled for March 15 in Vancouver, British Columbia, as part of the ACSA112 Annual Meeting, where Herrmann will present on behalf of the team.

The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architecture professionals, while ACSA represents architecture schools in the U.S. and Canada.

For more information on the Professional Horizons work, visit https://www.acsa-arch.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/HH-AF-ASH-PL-2024Awards-7.pdf

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