Hopkins Named Planning Director

August 20th, 2015 by jsudurp

Bennie Hopkins

Bennie Hopkins, M.A., was named the Director of Planning for Desoto County in May 2015.  The job responsibilities include overseing the planning process in the county in relation to subdivision applications, zoning applications, and Planned Unit Development Development applications.

He comes with a great deal of experience especially pertaining to community development, site development, long range planning, and zoning experience.  Also, his background encompasis having worked in leadership as a planner throughout the City of Jackson and speaheading a consulting business.

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The College of Public Service recently selected the Department of Urban and Regional Planning professor, Dr. Edmund Merem, as Researcher of the Year for 2014-2015.  He was bestowed this honor at the CPS Faculty and Student Recognition event held on April 24, 2015 at the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Station Auditorium.  Congratulations to Dr. Merem on this noteworthy accomplishment!



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The Jackson City Council Meeting will hold their regular meeting at the JSU e-Center on Tuesday, March 24th at 6:00 p.m.  What makes this meeting so special is the fact that JSU students will make impact statements regarding relevant issues facing the City of Jackson.  Our Department of Urban and Regional Planning students along with students from other academic units will address topics ranging from water and sewer issues to the rising costs of towing fees.  Whenever the DURP students are granted the challenge to combine classroom knowledge with the practical application, this is what epitomizes what urban planning is all about.

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Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Walton Present at COMPA

February 27th, 2015 by jsudurp

COMPA 2015
(left to right) Alla Frank, Antron McKay, Angeline Walton (MPPA students), Sylvester Murray (PPAD visiting assistant professor), Michael Bolden, Tina Collier, Aden Brown (MPPA students) and Dr. Talya Thomas (DURP assistant professor)

DURP is proud to boast that Dr. Talya Thomas, assistant professor, and Mrs. Angeline Walton, office manager, presented at the National Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA).  The title of their presentation was "Urban Sprawl as a Link to Sustainable Development Presentation."  COMPA was held February 18th-20th, 2015 at the Sheraton Pensylvania University City Hotel in Philadelphia, PA.


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Arash winning photo competition



(Arash is the fourth person from the right side.)
Congratulations to Arash Ghahramani, M.A. student in DURP who won first place in the hobbyist category.  The contest was called Jackson's Sky Through My Eye sponsored by the City of Jackson.

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Two Pass the AICP Examination

November 17th, 2014 by jsudurp

Joan Blanton picture

Joan Blanton, DURP Ph.D. candidate, passed the AICP examination!
Joan is currently completing her dissertation and her research centers on the effectiveness of collaborative planning and particularly of the design charrette led by the New Urbanist following Hurricane Katrina.  She is an employee at JSU working as a program manager of a large grant from the National Science Foundation that is intended to prepare underrepresented minorities to obtain Ph.Ds in the sciences.  Joan has almost 20 years experience as a practicing planners in which she secured over $1 million dollars in grant money for housing rehabilitation and research.

Colandra Jones

Colandra Jones, M.A., DURP Class of 2006, passed the AICP examination!
Colandra presently works for the City Planning Division in the Comprehensive Planning Studio.  She has been involved in processing growth management plan amendments, annexations, master plans, re-zoning and subdivision plats.  Additionally, she is currently the Growth Management Plan Coordinator for Large Scale Amendments and the lead planner for various projects in the Southeast section of Orlando know as Lake None Medical City.

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(Pictured left to right is Jasmin Fleming, M.A. student, URP and Dr. Talya Thomas, assistant professor, URP
Volunteering in the community makes the sacrifice worthwhile when the Department of Urban and Regional Planning helps with creating a playspace for children.  This project was sponsored by the Jackson Medical Mall, Humana, and KaBoom, the national nonprofit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve.  Participants were tasked to build the playground in one day to promote the playground's mission of encouraging brain expansion, making friends, and building muscles.  The chosen location was Homestead Heights on Prosperity Street.

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Congratulations to Dr. Talya D. Thomas, assistant professor, Urban and Regional Planning, selected as one of 25 scholars for the Third Cohort of the Academy of Research and Scholarly Engagement at Jackson State University.  Participants will engage in various activities related to research and peer reviewed activities pertaining to their respective proposals.

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Emmett Till Symposium_(L-R)_Oppenheim, Phillips,Foster,Seraile,Wesley,Mayor Thomas


Several participants were recently featured at the Inagural Emmett Till Symposium held at the Dollye Robinson Liberal Arts Building September 23rd.  Two representatives from the Urban and Regional Planning Department were on program  They were Dr. Joan M. Wesley, associate professor, Urban and Regional Planning and Dr. Daphine Foster, URP alumna.  Their topic was, "The Emmett Till Historic Intrepic Center" located in Glendora, MS.  Speakers were as seen on photo above from left to right:  Attorney Jed Oppenheim, Dr. Ivory Phillip, Dr. Daphine Foster, Dr. William Seraile, Dr. Joan M. Wesley, and the Honorable Johnny Thomas of Glendora, MS.

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Several of Urban and Regional Planning's faculty and students collaborated on an article pertaining to "Analyzing Water Resource Issues in the State of Mississippi."  The article was published in the British Journal of Applied Science and Technology on April, 22, 2014.  Authors included:  Dr. Edmund C. Merem, Dr. Joan Wesley, Emmanuel Nwagboso, Siddig Fageir, Peter Isopehi, Marshand Chrisler, Shayron Thomas and Romorno Corney.  Purpose of the research centered around a rise in pumpage amoung different sectors and the increase in boil water alerts prompted by pollution and standard violations.  They concluded that the capacity of utilizing a mix scale approach to bring attention to the vunerability of Mississippi's water resources to degradation.

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