Archive for the 'Faculty' Category

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!

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.

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.

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.