The College of Public Service held its' annual Student Recognition Program on Thursday, April 20th at 5:30 p.m. held at the 101 W. Capitol Street (downtown campus) of Jackson State University.  Purpose of the event was to honor respective graduates of CPS' three academic programs:  Department of Public Policy and Administration, School of Social Work, and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.  Brian McCoy, M.A.'17 and Brandon Rankin December '16 were both recognized in various categories by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.  Brian was honored for having the "Highest GPA for the DURP Master of Arts Graduate" and for his "Commitment to Community Service." Brandon received accolades for his dedicated involvement with the "Student Planning Association" DURP's student organization and noted as the "Student Most Exemplifying DURP."

We are proud of both young men as they progress to the next chapter professionally in the field of planning! 

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Congratulations are in order for five DURP students selected to participate in the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice Conference (DSCEJ).  The students chosen are:  Reggie Davis, MA student; Tiffany Lomax, PhD student; India Tate, MA student; Daniel Walker, PhD student; and Sabrina White, PhD student.  Additionally, Le Bu a PhD student with the Department of Engineering at Jackson State University will also present a research topic.  These students are enrolled in Dr. Yaw Twumasi, DURP visiting assistant professor's Geographical Information Systems course.

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5th Anniversary HBCU Climate Change Conference 



March 15 – 19, 2017

New Orleans, Louisiana


Dillard University's Deep South Center for Environmental Justice along with Texas Southern University collectively will host the 5th Anniversary HBCU Climate Change Conference.  The overall objective of the event is to bring together HBCU faculty and students, researchers, climate professionals and environmental justice and costal community residents impacted by toxic facilities and severe weather events related to climate change in order to bridge the gap between theory and the experiential realities of climate change.  The conference will address issues ranging from climate justice to other major climate change topics.

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(Pictured from left to right are):  Marshand Crisler, DURP PhD student and Chief Executive Operator for the City of Jackson; Eric Jefferson, MA, AICP and Planning and Development Director with the City of Jackson;
Dr. Evandro Santos, DURP Associate Professor; and Dean Ricardo A. Brown, College of Public Service and DURP Interim Chair 

October is designated as "National Planning Month" by the American Planning Association.  The Jackson City Council on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, issued a proclamation declaring October as "Planning Month" throughout the City of Jackson.  Theme for this years' planning month is "Civic Engagement" which hopes to highlight the necessity of engaging the local government and community leaders in discussions that shape the future of our cities.  

Many students and alumni from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning pursue successful careers with the City of Jackson and other cities across the country. They go on to make key contributions to improving their cities' growth and development.

Representatives shown in the photos know and understand the importance of urban planning to any city and were honored to serve as honorary recipients for this occasion. Planning and Development Director for the City of Jackson, Eric Jefferson said, "He was grateful to Mayor Yarber for again proclaiming October as Community Planning Month in Jackson, and for allowing the Planning and Development Department to publicly recognize the wonderful faculty and students with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Jackson State University.  He also wanted to publicly recognize and thank the members of the Jackson Planning Board and Jackson Historic Preservation Commission who have diligently contributed to their time and expertise for the improvement of Jackson".

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“Cinema and the City” on Fridays @ 3:00 p.m.

October 14th, 2016 by jsudurp

You are cordially invited to attend a movie series called "Cinema and the City" sponsored by
Dr. Evandro Santos, Associate Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

The next movie will be Friday, November 4, 2016 @3:00 p.m. followed by a planning discussion. For additionl information about the movies chosen, please see the following link: 

The movies are free and the public is welcome to attend!  Light refreshments will be served as well.  Please join us at 101 W. Capitol Street (downtown JSU campus).

Listed below are the moderators, discussion topics and movie titles:

Guest Moderator-John Gomez, Associate Director, Downtown Jackson Partners
October 7th-TOPIC-Utopia:  Gardens, Concrete and Flying Machines (Empire City, Decadence Ave. Elegance)
Featured Film:  "Metropolis"-Fritz Lang (1927)

Guest Moderator-Melody Moody Thortis, Executive Director of Bike Walk Mississippi
October 14th-TOPIC-Urban Sprawl & Suburbia:  On the Trap of Freedom (Urban Escapees and Asphalt, Suburbia & Miopia, Technoburbia, Megametros & Cement Rugs)
Featured Film:  "The Truman Show"-Peter Weir (1998)

Guest Moderator-Charles Weeks, Instructor at Mississippi College
October 21st-TOPIC-The Experience of Place:  Identity, Ownership & Self (Everyday Life, The Monumental, Iconic & Symbolic City History & Heritage,"Genius Loci" & Sense of Place, Social Encounters)
Featured Film:  "Playtime"-Jacques Tati (1967)

Guest Moderator-Eric Jefferson, M.A., Director of Planning and Development, City of Jackson
October 28th-TOPIC-Boundaries, Transitions & Transgressions:  The Geography of Exclusion (Disparities & Segregation, Border & Limits, Race, Crime & Urban Violence)
Featured Film:  "The Pruitt-Igoe Myth"-Chad Freidrichs (2011)

Guest Moderator-TBD
November 4th-TOPIC-The Beauty, The Soft & The Ugly (Courage & Resilience, Water, Rivers & Tears, Concrete, Glass & Sweat)
Featured Film:  "Amelie"-Jean Pierre Jeunet (2001)

Guest Moderator-Roy Decker, Principal Architect, Duval Decker
November 11th-TOPIC-Texture & Complexity, The Collage of Urban Engagement (Industry, Rails & Change, Inequalities & Globalization, Automobile as King, Pedalling Your Way)
Featured Film:  "Urbanized"-Gary Hustwit (2000)

Guest Moderator-Dr. Brian Pugh, Deputy Executive Director, Department of Finance and Administration for Mississippi
November 18th-TOPIC-Terrain Vague (Dystopias & Forgotten Walls, Helmets & Rubble, Bridges to Nowhere)
Featured Film: "Blade Runners"-Ridley Scott (1982)




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The Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Planning and Development are hosting a Brown Bag Lunch and Panel Discussion on Monday, October 31, 2016 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  This event will culminate several planning activities held during this month commemorating October as "National Planning Month" as designated by the American Planning Association.  Theme of this event is "Planning and Civic Engagement-How Projects Get Done."

Featured speakers are:  Eric A. Jefferson, Planning and Development Director with the City of Jackson; Jonathan Kiser, Tranportation/Traffic Manager of Neel-Schaffer, Inc.; Virgi Lindsay, Executive Director of the Greater Belhaven Foundation; Roy T. Decker, Principal with Duvall Decker Architects; Primus Wheeler, Jr., Executive Director of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation; and Jay C. Estes, Chief Operation Officer with Allen Engineering and Science

We welcome the public to attend!  Location of this event is the Jackson State University (Downtown Campus) 101 W. Capitol Street, Room 107, Jackson, MS  39201.  For more information and RSVP, contact Lisa Johnson at (601) 979-8725 or by email at

Sponsors include:  Allen Engineering & Science and Neel-Schaffer, Inc.



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The Deparment of Urban and Regional Planning at Jackson State University in conjunction with the Planning Department with the City of Jackson are partnering up to host a poster contest to middle and high school students. October is deemed as "National Planning Month" by the American Planning Association.  Students will envision what their ideal city looks like with the theme of "Civic Engagement".  High school students only will have the opportunity to enter no more than two of the four topics of interest:  Organizational Involvement, Individual Volunteerism, Electorial Participation and Creative Representation

Entry forms are due on October 14, 2016 by 5:00 p.m.  
Click here for poster rules and entry form:  poster-contest-flyer-2016


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Copiah County held a community meeting to discuss what were some of the possible usages for the Millsaps Hotel if renovated.  This discussion was lead by several representatives from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning:  Dr. Joan Wesley, DURP associate professor; Sara Hidouk, M.A., DURP alumna and presenter; Abe Hudson, Jr., DURP Ph.D. student and discussion facilitator; and TIffany Lomax, DURP Ph.D. student and discussion facilitator.

Dr. Daphine Foster, DURP alumna, is the president of the Calling Panther Heritage Foundation which orchestrated this event.  

Select the link below for featured story.
Coates, A. (2016, April 20). Millsaps Hotel-What will it be. Copiah County Courier, pp. 1, 9.

copiahCourierPages (5)


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PAB New Logo 2015

The Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) has extended the accreditation period by two years through December 31, 2020 for the Master of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Planning.  This is great news to celebrate as the program takes great pride in making their mark on educating and training future planning practioners.

The Master of Arts degree was initiated with the establishment of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in the 1998-1999 Academic Year.  Creation of the department resulted from several years of discussion involving the Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) for the State of Mississippi, the President and administration at Jackson State University, various scholars and practioners, and consultants to establish a regionally recognized urban and regional planning program that would also be the State's only graduate program in that field.  

PAB accredits university programs in North America leading to bachelor's and master's degrees in planning.


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Ashlee, Akili, and Jaynae Startup Weekend Jackson 2016
Great ideas come from DURP planners and the "TinyJXN" concept is nothing short of ground breaking!  Fellow DURP Alumni Ashlee Kelly, M.A.Akili Kelly, M.A.; and Jaynae Young, M.A. joined forces with several others visionaries:  David Kinsey, Brandon Worsham, Sunny Fridge a mentor, and Chris Watkins who provided music for the YouTube video.  

They all participated in Startup Weekend Jackson and pitched Jackson's first "tiny home" develoment.  There were a toal of 23 pitches and this great team was selected along with seven others.  The concept is to create tiny homes in distressed area of Jackson and sell a minimalist lifestyle, and customized, eco-friendly and sustainable design.  Target market of the homes are students, young professionals, first-time homeowners, and empty nesters.

As first place winners, they were awarded six month space at Coalesce, legal planning from Baker Donelson, marketing consultation from ThinkWebstore as well as a Office Depot gift card.

Additionally, they need support from everyone to follow their journey @TinyJXN on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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Urban Studies Grads 2016The Urban Studies Program is proud of our most recent graduates.  Janet Lewis, B.A., shown on the left and Chaka Johnson, B.A. on the right.  They received their degrees on Saturday, April 23rd at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.  Their advisor shown in the middle, Dr. Moe Chowdhury, DURP visiting assistant professor, was all smiles as he congratulated his top scholars.  

Our department expects great things from both young ladies as they pursue their career aspirations!

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