Join us at the SUPA Welcome Bash to kick off the academic year:
News from the School of Urban and Public Affairs
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!
By Sara Abraham-Oxford
Master of Arts in Urban Affairs student Tharani Devi Krishnakumar’s summer internship with Greenpeace at its Washington D.C. headquarters was featured on the Green Source DFW blog. Krishnakumar’s internship was made possible by the Archer Fellowship Program, which sends University of Texas System students to Washington D.C. for internships.
Urban Planning and Public Policy doctoral student Reza Sardari had an internship this summer with C&M Associates in Florida, which provided opportunities for hands-on application of knowledge gained from his classes and his work as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Institute of Urban Studies. His internship position as Associate Transportation System Modeler consisted of assisting with travel demand modeling and transportation planning, working on traffic data processing, and reporting the results of traffic modeling.
“Working as a graduate research assistant at the Institute of Urban Studies was a great opportunity for me to be involved in different projects such as land use planning, parks and recreation master planning, economic development and transportation planning,” he said.
Sardari noted that highlights of the internship included learning Cube software, a travel forecasting and transportation GIS system, as well as working with the Florida Standard Urban Transportation Model Structure (FSUTMS), that includes software, data formats and operating procedures for travel modeling.
Story and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford
McNair Scholar and Interdisciplinary Studies senior William Addington was one of sixteen students participating in UTA’s McNair Scholars Program Summer Research Presentations last week. His presentation, titled “Enabling Civic Discourse: Community Group Inclusion in Arlington, Texas,” examined public participation in city governance as well as facilitating factors and barriers to such participation.
Addington said the Interdisciplinary Studies program prepared him well for the task of turning in a research proposal, which was due in late May. He finalized his topic after brainstorming ideas from his interest area of urban planning and narrowing it down with his mentor Dr. Michan Connor.
The McNair Scholar Program, which prepares undergraduate students for graduate study, provides financial support over the summer to enable the students to work on their research. GRE-preparation classes and speaker sessions focused on the graduate school experience are additional components. Addington is working on finishing his research paper, which he will present at a McNair Scholars Conference at the University of North Texas in Spring 2015.
The McNair Scholars Program is “a lot of work but definitely a worthwhile learning experience,” Addington said. “It’s good to learn about research and grad school early on and get used to it.”
McNair Scholar William Addington, an Interdisciplinary Studies student, will present his research as part of the McNair Scholars Research Presentations. He will be among sixteen students from several disciplines presenting their summer research projects. Addington’s presentation is at 2:15 p.m., August 7th, in Room 101, College Hall, University of Texas at Arlington.
The official numbers for Spring graduates are in. Thirty-two graduate students earned their degrees through the School this spring, including three doctoral students. On the undergraduate side, 84 students earned their degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, six with Latin Honors.
Congratulations to all our graduates!
Students and staff attended the Spatial Analysis Workshop hosted by the School last week. Dr. Jesús Treviño, an Urban Planning and Public Policy (UPPP) alumnus and professor at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Mexico, led the workshop.
The workshop was “really useful for academic research although it was quite heavy material for three days,” said Kukhyoung Kim, a UPPP student. She noted that an especially useful feature of the workshop was access to some of Treviño’s research databases along with step-by-step instructions on conducting spatial analysis on them. Kim added that the workshop’s focus on combining spatial and non-spatial data required some statistical knowledge in addition to using geographic information systems (GIS).
Dr. 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.
SUPA’s spring commencement ceremony was held May 9 at the UTA’s College Park Center. The ceremony included hooding for doctoral candidates on stage. Program directors Dr. David Coursey, Dr. Ard Anjomani and Dr. Rod Hissong hooded the School’s masters candidates before the ceremony.