Profile: Cory Gallo
A creative problem solver in Mississippi State's department of landscape architecture, assistant professor Cory Gallo works to benefit the students at MSU, as well as the local community.
Teaching is just one of his passions, he said. Landscape architecture is a challenging field because it requires knowledge in so many subjects. Hydrology, site design and urban design are just three of Gallo's focus areas, and his goal is to share that knowledge with students in applicable ways.
"I really do enjoy teaching , but landscape architecture's a difficult field to put your arms around because it is so broad. A lot of what our students do is like art because there's never a right answer. Design is creative problem solving. A place can be designed to do what it needs to do, but the designer can do it in a thousand different ways," Gallo said. "Teaching is about getting students comfortable with making design decisions."
While Gallo enjoys training his students to feel confident in their decisions, he also appreciates other MSU departments' expertise, their professors and their students. Cross-campus collaborative efforts mark some of Gallo's greatest accomplishments at the university and in the local community, he said.
Gallo worked closely with MSU architecture professor Hans Hermann to design and construct the pavilion at Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum. Students from various academic programs, including landscape architecture, landscape contracting, architecture, building construction and art built the pavilion over the summer.
"June was an incredibly hot month last year, and literally, some days, we would say, 'It's too hot to be working during the day; we'll see you guys at night.' And we'd be out after dark because it was unsafe to be out there in the middle of the day," Gallo said. "The students would work out designs and figure out solutions.
"Our department applies the knowledge of what other research is going on. Then, we include art and creativity, and we help fill a need in the community."
By filling the community's need for an accessible outdoor meeting place at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, Gallo is accomplishing his goal of training his students to be the next generation of thinkers who not only make the world a better place, but make it a more beautiful place.
"The museum shows people what landscape architecture looks like or could be. It shows landscape architecture at its best, which is creative problem solving," he said.Writer: Leah Barbour | Photo: Megan Bean
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