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Contact person: Christie McNeal

Michele Herrmann (OPA Photo)

STARKVILLE, Mississippi—A longtime faculty member takes the position of acting associate director of the Mississippi State Department of Building Sciences this year as George Ford, who led BCS for the past four years, moved to full-time education.

Associate Professor Michele Herrmann, who holds a Juris Doctorate from New York School of Law and has been teaching fourth-year BCS studios since the fall of 2011, said she was excited to learn the administrative side and to see things from this perspective. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in design from Clemson University.

“Michele Herrmann brings to this interim role a deep understanding and a wealth of historical, program and academic knowledge,” said Angi Elsea Bourgeois, Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. “I appreciate his willingness to step up and put his skills and strengths to work for the college and the department as we move forward this year.”

Herrmann has taught seniors in all BCS graduating classes except the first, which graduated in the spring of 2011 before coming to MSU. She said she enjoys receiving emails and updates from alumni about their promotions or career changes, and about their growing families.

“It’s been a very rewarding process to watch them as students and to see them eight to 10 years later succeed in their careers and send the next generation of BCS students to us,” she said.

One of the primary areas of interest for BCS senior studios is contract law, and Herrmann said his law degree has proven to be a major advantage.

“It’s essential that they understand for their careers what students have learned in the studios of estimating and planning ahead with contract requirements,” she said. “Training shop education and the law have more in common than some might think. They both require critical thinking which is crucial in solving real world problems.

The department has seen a lot of growth and change since starting Herrmann, including becoming accredited by the American Council for Construction Education in 2020.

“Some of the most significant changes have been the addition of two additional studios to our program to allow collaborative semesters with architecture to occur,” she said.

Herrmann said the department plans this year to resume some activities suspended during the pandemic, including Associated Builders and Contractors student chapter events and studio field trips.

Learn more about MSU’s Department of Building Construction Sciences at www.caad.msstate.edu/bcs.

MSU is the main university in Mississippi, available online at www.msstate.edu.