Founded in 1979, the Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State University is an advocate of meaningful design for small towns. We provide planning and design services to communities and conduct research that seeks to provide solutions to problems faced by communities across the nation.

The Carl Small Town Center is comprised of architects, planners, and students who work to improve the built environment in the communities in which they work.

Our Team


Leah Kemp
Leah Kemp

Leah Kemp, AIA

Director | (662) 325-8671 | E-mail

Leah Kemp is the Director of the Carl Small Town Center, a community design center that advocates for meaningful design for small towns. She is a registered architect who collaborates with MSU School of Architecture faculty, staff and students to help small towns in many different capacities.

Kemp earned a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Virginia Tech and a Master of Architecture from Tulane University. Leah has practiced in Washington, DC, Nashville, TN, New Orleans, LA, and across the state of Mississippi.


Johnson_Sheri copy-1
Sheri Johnson

Sheri Johnson, CRA

Business Coordinator | (662) 325-2207 | E-mail

Sheri Johnson is a certified research administrator and serves as the business coordinator for the Carl Small Town Center. Sheri has more than two decades of experience at Mississippi State University as a research administrator, business manager, and business coordinator.

Sheri has a Bachelor of Science degree from the Mississippi University for Women and an Associate of Arts and Sciences from Wood Junior College.