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MSU’s Carl Small Town Center gains new director, community planner

Leah F. Kemp was recently promoted to director at Mississippi State’s Carl Small Town Center, and Thomas R. Gregory III has begun his new role as the center’s community planner.

Kemp previously served for six years as assistant director and one year as interim director. At MSU, she also has served as an adjunct professor, visiting assistant professor and instructor in the College of Architecture, Art and Design.

A Mississippi Registered Architect, Kemp also has practiced in Washington, D.C., and Nashville, Tenn. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Virginia Tech, and a master of architecture from Tulane University, where she received a commendation.

Kemp is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and the national American Planning Association and its Mississippi chapter. She also is a Mississippi Heritage Trust and Mississippi Main Street board member.

In her new role, Kemp said she will continue serving as a leader, partner and educator in public interest design for MSU’s School of Architecture. Being a strong advocate for meaningful design in small towns is another of her top priorities, she said.

Gregory is a 2005 MSU business administration, construction management and land development bachelor’s graduate who also minored in economics and political science. He returned to his alma mater after eight years as chief administrative officer for the City of Greenwood.

A Master of City and Regional Planning graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gregory is licensed by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a member of the American Planning Association and Congress for the New Urbanism, among other professional groups.

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