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!
View photos and video of the School’s commencement ceremony.
Story and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford
Dr. Treviño (standing) works with students during the workshop.
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).
This workshop is for UTA students, faculty and staff, and SUPA alumni:
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.
Dean Barbara Becker, the faculty and staff congratulate these graduates and welcome them as SUPA alumni.
of the School’s commencement ceremony.
Good news about SUPA’s Online MPA program, which placed No. 4 in the Spring 2014 rankings of top graduate programs on GraduatePrograms.com. View the ranking. Rankings are based on ratings and reviews from current or recent graduate students on the site. Thank you students!
by Sara Abraham-Oxford
A strong focus on the urban form defines Students for the New Urbanism (SNU), one of the student organizations at the School. Affiliated with the Congress for the New Urbanism
which promotes walkable, mixed-use spaces, SNU was formed “to connect students with the professional community,” said Shane Pace, founder and 2013 President of the student organization and a Master of City and Regional Planning alumnus. He added, “While there is some crossover with the Student Planning Association, there are different professionals that SNU relates to including architects, urban theorists and designers.”
SNU aims to work as an advocate for new urbanism practices, raise awareness about the built environment, present educational forums and provide opportunities for members to network with professionals. The student organization held officer elections in Fall 2013, with the newly elected officers taking office in January. Incoming SNU President Kristina Heredia is a Master of City and Regional Planning student.
by Sara Abraham-Oxford
The University of Texas at Arlington’s Student Chapter of WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar) emphasizes the strength of its networking component as an integral benefit of membership. “One thing we highlight in our orientation meeting is that WTS has a really good networking program from students to professionals and also within the professional level,” says Chapter President Alexandra (Xie) Tracz, a dual masters student in City and Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture.
The chapter recently hosted a panel discussion where professionals shared experiences related to their work, the tools they use, and differences between the nature of work of transportation consultants in the private sector and planners in the public sector. Two of the panelists, Kendall Wendling and Chad Edwards, are School of Urban and Public Affairs Alumni who earned Master of City and Regional Planning degrees. “We really appreciate their help in inspiring our students to pursue a career in transportation and promoting education in planning,” says Dr. Jianling Li, faculty advisor to the student group.
The WTS student chapter, one of several student organizations at SUPA, recently held officer elections for 2014-2015 positions. The elected officers are: President – Kharrolyn Amissah-Aidoo; Vice President – Ayeh Sajjadieh Khajouei; Secretary – Lawrence Agu; and Treasurer – Stephanie Dubinsky.
WTS seeks to support and promote females within the transportation industry through mentorship, networking and professional development. The Greater Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of WTS, which supports the UT Arlington Student Chapter, offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate female students. Membership in the student chapter is open to all UT Arlington students.
To connect with the WTS Student Chapter, email President Alexandra (Xie) Tracz.
by Sara Abraham-Oxford
Creating a stronger connection between the academic and professional facets of planning is a primary aim of the Student Planning Association (SPA), one of several active student organizations at the School of Urban and Public Affairs.
Current SPA President and Urban Planning and Public Policy Ph.D. student Reza Sardari says part of the organization’s purpose is to “help our members have a better idea of what will happen when they graduate. We want to link to professional planning situations, for example having city planners talk with us, which will give members ideas of different career paths where planning is used.” Sardari added that the organization also wants to maintain a strong link to academic issues. One way to do that, he says, would be to have faculty talk to the organization about their new research topics, which would be a useful resource for students.
Recent SPA events have included a presentation about the parks planning process by De’Onna Garner, Park Planning Manager at the City of Arlington, and a demonstration of a site analysis. Possible future activities include a photo exhibit focused on city planning issues, a newsletter to share faculty and student research work, and a planning-themed film series.
SPA is supported by the American Planning Association and SPA membership is open to any University of Texas at Arlington student with an interest in planning.
Connect with SPA on its Facebook page or email SPA President Reza Sardari.
The Scholarship Committee for the School of Urban and Public Affairs awarded the following scholarships for the 2013/2014 academic year:
- Callie Brown awarded the George C. Campbell Endowed Scholarship
- Kim Jungsoo, Kim Kukhyoung, and Reza Farajifard awarded the Paul Geisel Endowed Scholarship
- Wayne Beggs, John Powers, and Kiranmayi Raparthi awarded the John W. Jackson Endowed Scholarship
- Eihua Corinne Shaw and Brenda Jackson awarded the R. L. “Jerry” Mebus Memorial Scholarship
- Anisa Heirani awarded the Nancy L. and Edward S. Overman Endowed Scholarship
- Polycarp Birika awarded the Del Taebel Distance Education Scholarship
- Rene Argueta awarded the David and Jerry Tees Endowed Scholarship
- William Addington, Ali Adil, and Raha Pouladi awarded the Trey and Shana Yelverton Endowed Scholarship
- Hamid Hajjafari, Mehrnaz Mehraein, Zoha Niazi, Sirwan Shahooie, and Mehrdad Vaziri awarded the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship
- Ann Mai awarded the Interdisciplinary Studies Scholarship