Archive for the 'Students' Category

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Student organization highlights transportation, networking

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.

Student Planning Association seeks to build connections

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.

SUPA scholarships awarded

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

PUAD student advances in law enforcement career

by Sara Abraham-Oxford

Christopher Cook, a student in SUPA’s Public and Urban Administration Ph.D. program, was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant in the Arlington Police Department. Lieutenant Cook serves as supervisor of the department’s Office of Communication/Media Unit.

Photo by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Cook enrolled in the PUAD program following discussions with others in law enforcement, including Dr. Theron Bowman, a SUPA Distinguished Alumnus who was Arlington Police Chief at the time. “Networking outside of law enforcement is very important as you go higher in your profession,” Cook said. “The diversity of the program really broadens one’s horizons.”

Discussing his experience with the PUAD program, Cook noted that it has enhanced his approach at work. “Decision-making becomes less arbitrary and more of a process where you give more thought to the consequences of your decisions.” He also expressed appreciation for the size of classes at the graduate level, which were small enough to allow him to build valuable relationships with fellow students and faculty.

Congratulations to Lieutenant Cook!

SUPA doctoral student receives award/earns MSS degree at Army War College graduation

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Photo courtesy of LTC Lloyd

Lieutenant Colonel Earnest R. Lloyd, was awarded the Lieutenant General Thomas J. Plewes Reserve Components National Security Strategy Writing Award given for excellent writing by a reservist on Reserve Component issues for his paper titled Stability Operations, Civil Information Management and Spatial Decision Support Systems.

According to Lloyd, a doctoral student in the Urban Planning and Public Policy Program in the School of Urban and Public Affairs, the award is sponsored by the Reserve Officers Association and focuses on the role of the Reserve Component in support of national military strategy.

In a written statement, Lloyd said his paper, “examined the difficulties of information management and analysis during Stability Operations (e.g.: Peacekeeping, Humanitarian Assistance, Reconstruction) and the potential application of Urban Planning and Economic techniques in mitigating those problems.”

LTC Earnest R. Lloyd receiving diploma

Lloyd received the award at the United States Army War College graduation ceremony this July where he also received his diploma for completing the Master of Strategic Studies Degree.

Lloyd says the United States Army War College’s senior level program “is designed to enable its graduates to successfully function at the strategic level of leadership.” He was one of 348 graduates of the United States Army War College Class of 2013 distance education program.

LTC Earnest Lloyd with Dean Barbara Becker

Lloyd notes that the curricula includes: strategic thinking (critical, creative, systems, ethical, historical); strategic leadership (leading and managing organizational change within volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments); Defense Department Organization and Processes (including capabilities development/integration, programming/budgeting execution, and defense system acquisition); national security policy and strategy; theater strategy and campaigning; and working within Multiservice, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multinational environments.

Barbara Becker, Dean of the School of Urban and Public Affairs, attended the graduation ceremony.  She, along the faculty and staff of the School, congratulates Earnest on his accomplishments.

Student Planning Association hosting end-of-year party

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

The Student Planning Association is hosting a School of Urban and Public Affairs end-of-year party at Bowl & Barrel located at 8084 Park Ln., Suite 145, Dallas, TX 75231.

The event will take place May 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm.  For more information contact David Stark at david.stark@mavs.uta.edu.

Come join the fun!

Student recognized for service and dedication

Post and photo by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

William Addington was awarded the Jeff Butler Award for Outstanding Student Congress Member for academic year 2012-2013. The award includes a $750 scholarship, a plaque, and a certificate that states the award is “in recognition of outstanding dedication to the students of The University of Texas at Arlington.”

Addington is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and a minor in Urban and Public Affairs with an emphasis in Urban Planning and the Environment from the School of Urban and Public Affairs. Dean Barbara Becker, along with the School’s faculty and Staff, congratulate Addington for his accomplishments.

Students recognized at academic excellence reception

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

At a reception hosted by Dean Barbara Becker of the School of Urban and Public Affairs, students were recognized for academic excellence. Students proudly display certificates of achievement at the reception held April 19, 2013 as part of the University of Texas at Arlington’s Academic Excellence Week festivities. (Photos courtesy of Troy West)

Betsy Price to speak at School’s commencement ceremony

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson
Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth and a University of Texas at Arlington alumna, will speak at the School of Urban and Public Affairs commencement ceremony.
Price’s posted biography states, “Betsy Price, a Fort Worth native, was elected as the 44th Mayor of the City of Fort Worth June 18, 2011. Throughout her early tenure, Mayor Price has been focused on fiscal responsibility, creating a stronger economy through public/private partnerships, and strengthening our neighborhoods through her faith-based and citywide health engagement initiatives that are set to launch this spring.”
Approximately 380 students at the doctoral, master, and bachelor levels will hear the Mayor’s words of wisdom and they prepare to bridge from the world of academics to their chosen professions.
The joint commencement ceremony of the School of Urban and Public Affairs, the School of Social Work, and University Studies will held December 16 at the University’s College Park Center.

Welcome Bash photos

Last week, we welcomed all new and returning students to the School of Urban and Public Affairs at the Fall 2012 SUPA Welcome Bash. Thanks to the students, faculty and staff who joined us. Check out more photos on the SUPA Facebook page.