Archive for the 'SUPA News' Category

Campers experience college life

Story and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford

INTS Summer Camp

Camp attendees with Dunbar High School Teacher Cameron C. Sandler (left) and INTS Advisors LaKalya Cooper and Carolyn Gist (right).

Fourteen high school students from the Fort Worth ISD participated in an Interdisciplinary Studies Mavs Summer Camp hosted by the School last week. The three-day camp included sessions with INTS Director Dr. Donna Akers and INTS faculty, a community involvement presentation led by Fort Worth Deputy Mayor MaryAnn Means, a Planning for Action session led by Institute for Urban Studies Director Brian Guenzel, and a visit to the campus Community Garden.

Campers also learned about financial aid and the study abroad program and took a campus tour. Rounding out the students’ simulated college experience were a stay in KC Hall, meals at the Connection Café in the University Center, and recreational sports at the Maverick Activities Center. INTS Academic Advisors LaKayla Cooper and Carolyn Gist kept the campers on track during all of the activities.

See more photos from the camp.

Workshop immerses students in spatial analysis

Story and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford
Workshop_SpatialAnalysis

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).

Dr. Jesus Trevino to lead GIS Workshop

This workshop is for UTA students, faculty and staff, and SUPA alumni:

GIS Workshop_July 2014

Online MPA program ranked No. 4

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!

Visiting Scholar assessing street addressing systems

Post and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford

Maher AlshammariDr. Maher Alshammari, a visiting scholar at the School of Urban and Public Affairs, is somewhat acquainted with SUPA faculty and the UTA campus. Alshammari earned a Master of City and Regional Planning degree as well as a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Pubic Policy from SUPA. He is currently on sabbatical leave from his position as Assistant Professor at the University of Dammam in Saudi Arabia.

While at SUPA, the scholar is working on his research titled “A Comprehensive Street Addressing System for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An Exploratory Study of Replicating the US System in the Kingdom.” He will examine the challenges of improving the system for identifying buildings, streets and neighborhoods in Saudi Arabia; evaluate previous approaches to the system; and review the system used in the U.S. Additionally, Alshammari will use a survey to identify elements of an ideal addressing system suitable for Saudi Arabia. The research goal is to determine how a well-organized street addressing system could serve Saudi Arabia.

Alshammari particularly appreciates the guidance of Professor Ard Anjomani, who was the chair of his dissertation committee, as well as the resources available through the Institute of Urban Studies and the UTA Library, while he works on his research. He will be at SUPA until January 2015.

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.

News highlights from the School of Urban and Public Affairs

Dean Barbara Becker weighs in on urban villages in a recent article titled Uneven road to renewal: Fort Worth debates success of urban villages published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Becker notes that “West Seventh is an example of an urban village done right.” Full Story.

The Arlington Urban Design Center was the focus of a CBS 11 News story. The Center is a partnership between the University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Urban and Public Affairs, School of Architecture, and the City of Arlington, Texas. See video and story.

Brian Guenzel, director of the School’s Institute of Urban Studies, served on the Lamar (Colorado) ULI Advisory Services panel that “made recommendations for changes to the built environment that would encourage people to get out and exercise.”  Full story.

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

Alumnus doing transportation research at the University of Illinois at Chicago

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Alumnus Havan Surat holds the position of Research Transportation Planner in the Urban Transportation Center in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Surat says he works primarily on Department of Transportation projects related to academic research at both the federal and state level.

Prior to moving to Chicago, Surat worked for the City of Fort Worth in the Planning and Development Department. His article titled Three-Dimensional Spatial Analytics and Modeling Is Now SOP for the City of Forth Worth, Texaswas published in ArcNews.

Surat holds a Master of City and Regional Planning Degree from The University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Urban and Public Affairs as well as a Masters in Urban Design from the University of Texas, Austin.

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.”