Alum, students win Texas APA Awards

A SUPA alumnus and graduate students were among the winners at the American Planning Association – Texas Chapter’s 2014 Awards:

Alumnus Doug McDonald (’09 MCRP, ’10 MPA), Senior Planner at the City of Plano, won the Chapter President’s Award.

Graduate students working at the Institute of Urban Studies won a Student Project Award (Honorable Mention) for their Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the City of Palestine.

Congratulations – we’re so proud of our students and alumni!

Public Administration program ranked No. 18

More good news about SUPA’s MPA program, which placed No. 18 in the Fall 2014 ranking of Public Administration graduate programs on GraduatePrograms.com. Rankings are based on ratings and reviews from current or recent graduates. Thank you students!

Hands-on projects lead to recognition

The City of Kennedale won second place in the 2014 Governor’s Community Achievement Awards, Category 3, and received an Award of Excellence. Assistant Professor Karabi Bezboruah and her Fall 2010 Strategic Planning, Policy and Management class created a plan for the Keep Kennedale Beautiful Commission, which contributed to Kennedale’s efforts. Kennedale City Manager Bob Hart says the city’s efforts started about five years ago and the “strategic planning class was a significant part of our start in obtaining recognition and providing direction.” The awards are presented by Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation.

The City of Dallas, Dallas Councilmember Dwaine Caraway and the North Central Texas Council of Governments have announced significant investments to improve sidewalks in the Oak Cliff Gardens neighborhood of Dallas. Dallas Habitat for Humanity notes on its blog that the investments are based on a 2013 walkability study of the neighborhood conducted by Urban Planning and Public Policy Ph.D. student Dian Nostikasari in collaboration with Dallas Habitat.

Great examples of SUPA students’ hard work resulting in benefits for our communities!

Alumnus publishes book on citizen engagement

Alumnus Dr. Basil Schaban-Maurer has authored a book, “Rise of the Citizen Practitioner,” based on his citizen engagement research. He holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from SUPA, a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Architecture from UTA’s School of Architecture, and a doctorate in Architecture, Urban Design and Urban Planning from McGill University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Urban Design at Concordia University, Principal of architecture and planning firm ARK Tectonics, and Director of the Urban Science Institute.

Dr. Casey to speak at “Building the Just City” symposium

The third annual Dillon Symposium, organized by the David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture, will be Oct 10-11 in Dallas. An interdisciplinary group of speakers from architecture, urban affairs, history, social work, policy and policing will examine the topic of “Building the Just City” — ways that we can construct spaces, in our streets and in our prisons, that better reflect our ideals of justice, fairness, and decency.

SUPA Associate Professor Colleen Casey will be one of the speakers at the panel “What is a Just City” on Oct 11.

See program details and register for the symposium.

Alumna to head Komen Greater Fort Worth

Alumna MaryAnn Means-Dufrene will be the new executive director at Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth. She served as deputy chief of staff to Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price for two years and will begin her new position on Oct. 20.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Fort Worth Business Press reported the appointment and listed Means-Dufrene’s accomplishments while serving as deputy chief of staff. The Business-Press report included a statement from the Komen search committee co-chairs that Means-Dufrene’s “… local community connections and varied professional background, coupled with her leadership skills, will be invaluable to the organization.”

Means-Dufrene holds a Master of Public Administration degree from SUPA.

Welcome Bash kicks off academic year

Welcome Bash 2014

SUPA graduate students at the Welcome Bash.

We had a great turnout for our Welcome Bash! Thanks to all the students and faculty who stopped by. See more photos.

Welcome Bash 2014

Students, faculty and staff at SUPA's 2014 Welcome Bash.

Welcome Bash for SUPA students

Join us at the SUPA Welcome Bash to kick off the academic year:

Welcome Bash Flyer

Research examines impact of urban forms on energy use

Dr. Yekang Ko’s article, “ The effect of urban forms on residential cooling energy use in Sacramento, California” was recently published in Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. The abstract notes that “higher population density, east–west street orientation, higher green space density, larger vegetation on the east, south, and especially the west sides of houses, appears to have statistically significant effects on reducing summer cooling energy use. This study quantifies the built environment impact on the energy demand of air conditioning and informs planners as they craft urban planning and design policies for energy conservation.”

Another article by Ko, “Urban form and residential energy use: A review of design principles and research findings,” which ran in the Journal of Planning Literature made the journal’s “Most-read Articles” list and was featured in the APA Planning Magazine as “an example of a solid literature review.”

New graduate students attend Orientation

New Graduate Student Orientation_2014

New graduate students attend Orientation

Incoming masters and doctoral students participated in SUPA’s Orientation Session over the weekend. Dean Becker, the program directors and graduate advisors discussed various aspects of graduate life at SUPA. The Director of the Institute of Urban Studies, student organizations and alumni also shared information and tips with the students.

Welcome from all of us at SUPA!

New Graduate Student Orientation_2014

Graduate Advisor Karolyn Field assists a student at Orientation.