Archive for the 'Faculty' Category

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.”

Publication highlights

Nonprofit and Human Service LeadersAlumnus Dr. Larry Watson, an Assistant Professor at UT Arlington’s School of Social Work, co-authored a recently published book “Developing Nonprofit and Human Service Leaders: Essential Knowledge and Skills.” Watson holds a Doctorate of Public and Urban Administration from SUPA.

Dr. Karabi Bezboruah’s article, “Exploring the Participation of Women in Financial Cooperatives and Credit Unions in Developing Countries,” was published in the August issue of Voluntas. The abstract notes that the researchers “find that in the case of the cooperative types of MFIs [microfinance institutions], increases in average loan sizes are associated with decreases in female participation in the administration and governance. Further, the findings demonstrate that with increases in the participation of women borrowers, the number of women in organizational governance also increases.”

Research on nursing home service quality in the news

Dr. Darla HamannDr. Darla Hamann’s research on nursing home service quality was featured in a news item on McKnight’s, a business news magazine covering the long-term care field.

The item notes that she analyzed nursing home employees’ managerial decisions and how they are linked to quality of service, and found that “[e]mpowering nursing assistants and family members of nursing home residents in decision-making results improved service.”

Hamann’s article about this research “Does Empowering Resident Families or Nursing Home Employees in Decision Making Improve Service Quality?” was published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, Vol. 33.

Research analyzes location patterns of arts organizations

Art Spaces, Art Places Report CoverDr. Carl Grodach and two graduate students recently completed a report titled “Art Spaces, Art Places: Examining Neighborhood Preferences of New York Arts Organizations.” Their research studied the location patterns of New York state and city arts organizations, finding that while there is a link between these organizations and the urban core and creative economy, the organizations tend to avoid diverse and disadvantaged neighborhoods. The researchers note that identifying key neighborhood attributes associated with distinct types of arts organizations can help identify potential sites and strategies to engage the organizations in underserved neighborhoods.

Urban Planning and Public Policy doctoral students Nicole Foster and James Murdoch III worked on the research with Dr. Grodach. The report was made possible by a grant from New York Community Trust’s Arts & Culture Research Fund. The research will be presented at two special sessions on the Arts and Urban Planning at The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) conference in Philadelphia this fall.

Dr. Martinez-Cosio’s research wins award

Dr. Maria Martinez-Cosio was awarded the 2014 Current Research Award from the Community Development Society. The award was given to Dr. Martinez-Cosio and her co-author, Dr. Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell, in recognition of work on their book “Catalysts for Change: 21st Century Philanthropy and Community Development.” Dr. Martinez-Cosio was also appointed to a U.S.-Canadian research collaboration, “Philanthropic Action of Canada’s Grant-Making Foundations: Investigating their Social Innovation and Catalytic role in Societal Change,” funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her role will be to share the typology she developed on private foundations engaged in community development in the U.S. and help develop points of comparison with Canadian foundations.

Director’s research spotlights Native American history

by Sara Abraham-Oxford

Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Donna Akers’ research focuses on Native American history, aiming to connect the legal and extra-legal historical actions of the U.S. government and its citizens with consequences for Native Americans. She is currently working on an article titled “Decolonizing the Master Narrative: Treaties and Other American Myths” to be published in the spring edition of the Wicazo Sa Review. She says the article discusses how U.S. college-level history text books tell a less-than-truthful version of westward movement without portraying the authenticity of the Native American experience of warfare, taking of land, conquest and exploitation.

Akers, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is also working on a book, Genocide in America: The Destruction of Native Americans by the U.S. Government, to be published in 2014. She has authored two previous books about Choctaw history and culture.

A mainstream narrative in elementary school that contrasted greatly with the history she had learned from family spurred her study of Native American history, Akers recalls. Her Choctaw grandmother’s comment that “we don’t interfere with the stories they tell themselves” also stayed with her and provided additional motivation to pursue graduate school. “I wanted to write about Native American history from an indigenous point of view. Native scholars call this field Decolonization History and it is considered a counter-narrative to mainstream U.S. history,” Akers says.

Akers, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Urban and Public Affairs (SUPA) at UT Arlington in addition to serving as the Director of School’s INTS program, spoke about her research to SUPA’s Ph.D. Colloquium earlier in the semester and presented a lecture titled ‘How to Discover Your Native Roots’ in November as part the University’s Native American Heritage Month.

Research addresses barriers faced by nonprofit organizations

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

File photo

Dr. Karabi Bezboruah’s paper “Community Organizing for Health Care: An Analysis of the Process” was published in the Journal of Community Practice, Vol 21.

A blog post discussing Bezboruah’s paper and its relevance notes, “New research from The University of Texas at Arlington presents three ways to overcome common barriers that nonprofits face when building capacity to address community needs.”

The blog post states, “Bezboruah offers three conclusions to overcome the nearly universal barriers of exclusion of low-income individuals, stake-holders’ misaligned ideologies and approaches, and public apathy. And they’re not all that different from previous community-based participatory initiatives.”

The post found on  Georgia Nonprofit NOW, a blog from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, outlines Bezboruah’s conclusions as noted below:

Grassroots identification of the problem: Allowing the service beneficiaries to identify the needs of their community will translate to more appropriately informed results as potential solutions and the organizational processes develop.

Identification of community specific solutions through collaborative discussions: With the leadership of a facilitator and the inclusion of all stake-holders — community members, service providers, public officials, and beneficiaries — in the development of goals and objectives, consensus can be achieved, creating more holistic solutions to the community-identified issues.

Building public buy-in: Advocacy is an essential piece of nonprofits’ responsibility in their communities (and even more broadly for more universal issues). Through the “use of community resources to educate the public and generate opinion about the critical problems faced by the community,” awareness and support can be built among stake-holders and the general public alike.

Dr. Audirac addresses impact of shrinking cities at international conference

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Photo courtesy Ivonne Audirac

Dr. Ivonne Audirac was an invited discussant at a roundtable that addressed ‘The Global Challenge of Shrinking Cities’ as part of the Cities Regrowing Smaller conference held recently in Essen, Germany.

The European Cooperation for Science and Technology website states, “To deal with the results of demographic, economic and physical contraction processes and to plan for the future of considerably smaller but nevertheless livable cities accordingly is one of the most challenging tasks in the near future.”

The site notes the purpose of the conference was to, “bring together experts from different arenas to share their knowledge on the shrinking cities process and to discuss possible approaches to deal with shrinkage.”

Dr. Ko researches effects of shade trees on building performance in Sacramento

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Photo Credit: Sacramento Tree Foundation website

Through a project titled Monitoring and Modeling Tree Growth, Longevity and Performance, Dr. Yekang Ko states she, “will examine the effects of shade trees on building energy performance in Sacramento, CA.”

According to Ko, the prime sponsor of the study is the United States Forest Service.

“Using field surveys and remote sensing technologies,” Ko said she will “conduct time series analysis to document changes in tree survival, growth, and energy performance for a sample of Sacramento shade trees planted by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) around 254 residences from 1991-1993.”

She goes on to say, “This database will be used with the building energy model to calculate effects of each Sacramento Shade Program tree on respective building energy performance over the 20-year period. The long-term effectiveness of different species and locations will be assessed.”

Ko is a professor in the City and Regional Planning Program in the School of Urban and Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Arlington.

Congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Sherman Wyman who retires with 41 years of service

Post and photo by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Drs. Wyman and Cole (left to right)

Dr. Sherman Wyman is retiring from the University of Texas at Arlington after 41 years of dedicated service to the University and the School of Urban and Public Affairs (SUPA).

At his retirement reception held April 16, 2013, Dr. Richard Cole spoke highly of Wyman and his contributions to both the School and the University.

Among the accomplishments noted were Wyman’s service as Director of the Institute of Urban Studies from 1972 to 1978 and later, as the Director of the Center for Economic Development, Research, and Services (CEDRAS).  Both the Institute and the Center provided research and services to cities throughout the state of Texas.

In addition, Wyman obtained federal funding to develop Public Administration and Management programs in the countries of Ukraine, Serbia, and Montenegro.  He also served as the Principle Investigator on a Department of Justice (DOJ) grant, Project Safe Neighborhoods: Reduction of Gun-related Violence in Target Neighborhoods in Dallas.

Dr. Wyman spoke very briefly thanking his many guests that included family members, SUPA faculty and staff, officials from various cities, alumni, and students.