Research, Scholarship and Creative Work

McWhorter Fund for Excellence Grants

The Earlon McWhorter ’68 and Betty McWhorter Fund for Excellence (McWFFE) was established to “further collaboration between the major academic disciplines in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction,” specifically in the area of design-build. The application cycle typically launches in late Fall.

2022 Awardees


Gorham BirdJunshan Liu, and David Smith
Realizing Alabama’s Rosenwald Schools, Phase VI: Traveling Exhibition

This grant will support the design and construction of a full prototype of a traveling exhibit. This enhanced exhibit will present the research team’s previous work on Rosenwald Schools to a broader audience, reflective of developments and visitor feedback.

Wes Collins and Elizabeth Farrell Garcia
Can Autodesk BIM capabilities be leveraged to improve Front Porch Initiative workflows?

The Front Porch Initiative is the outward facing arm of Rural Studio providing custom housing designs to builder partners throughout the southeastern United States. The current workflow to provide these design solutions has great opportunity for improvement. The question being addressed in this proposed research is can one suite of BIM-related products from Autodesk be better leveraged to improve Front Porch Research Team workflows associated with design, material quantification, energy modeling, and incorporation of accessibility best practices, eliminating the work of five to six discrete software programs?

Robert Finkel and Junshan Liu
Enhanced Visual Communication for the Selma Project: IMPLEMENTATION

The project, “Enhanced Visual Communication for the Selma Project: IMPLEMENTATION” seeks to produce and implement an interpretive exhibit of the layouts designed under the art direction of Associate Professor of Graphic Design Robert Finkel that uses the data collection and archival research of the Bloody Sunday Conflict Site of Drs. Richard Burt, Keith Hebert, and others that has been ongoing since 2016. The intent is to produce more user friendly and engaging display structures and complementing print materials that will continue to tell the story of the events that took place in 1965 and better engage the public in identifying and recognizing the people and places featured in the archival photos.