MSU student honored with new architecture fellowship

Contact: Christie McNeal

Maria Degtyareva (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State architecture major is among the first to receive the newly established Method Studio Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Senior Maria Degtyareva is receiving a $3,000 award as she spends the fall semester working with Method Studio, a full-service architectural and design firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Now of Starkville and a Dean’s List Scholar at the university, the former Novosibirks, Russia, resident is in her third of the university’s five-year undergraduate architecture program.

As part of the fellowship, Degtyareva is working under the guidance of Jacob Gines, a School of Architecture assistant professor who also is Method’s vice president of research and design. Her first assignment involves comparing and documenting design trends among campus student housing facilities throughout the U.S.

Gines, now in his fourth year on the Starkville campus, said he and other professionals at the Utah firm are working to make it a “thought leader” in the architectural community, both to generate and disseminate knowledge. “There is a lot of support for connecting academia to the profession of architecture,” he added.

Gines said the new fellowship should provide “a unique opportunity” to strengthen that connection between the architecture school and Method.

School director Michael Berk said he and his colleagues “are honored to be working with Method Studio and value the confidence the firm has placed in the School of Architecture.

“This research collaboration is an important endorsement of our faculty expertise and will provide our faculty with research assistants, enabling us to continue to push the boundaries of cutting-edge tectonic research,” said Berk, who also holds the school’s F.L. Crane Professorship.

While Method is not local, Gines said Degtyareva and future fellows will be researching a variety of issues that are transportable across geographic regions. “There is strength and value in connecting not just locally, but at a distance as well,” he said.

“Maria will start to understand at a deeper level the concerns, opportunities and issues that the profession is facing right now,” Gines continued. “It’s really great for her to play this critical role in formulating some research not just for a firm, but for the architectural community.”

For details about Method Studio, visit

Part of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, the School of Architecture is the Magnolia State’s only professional training program of its kind. For more on the college and school, see

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 1:11 pm