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.”

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.

Dr. Donna Akers named Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Program

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford

Dr. Donna Akers joins SUPA as Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program (INTS) in the School of Urban and Public Affairs.

Akers research interests include Native American history and studies; Native American Women; Race, Gender, and Ethnicity; Indigenous Peoples of the World; Comparative Colonialism; and Indigenous Decolonization.

She comes to SUPA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she held an Assistant Professor position. Her experience also includes an Assistant Professorship at Purdue University and Program Director, Native American Studies Program, at California State University-Northridge.

Dr. Ko researches effects of shade trees on building performance in Sacramento

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Photo Credit: Sacramento Tree Foundation website

Through a project titled Monitoring and Modeling Tree Growth, Longevity and Performance, Dr. Yekang Ko states she, “will examine the effects of shade trees on building energy performance in Sacramento, CA.”

According to Ko, the prime sponsor of the study is the United States Forest Service.

“Using field surveys and remote sensing technologies,” Ko said she will “conduct time series analysis to document changes in tree survival, growth, and energy performance for a sample of Sacramento shade trees planted by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) around 254 residences from 1991-1993.”

She goes on to say, “This database will be used with the building energy model to calculate effects of each Sacramento Shade Program tree on respective building energy performance over the 20-year period. The long-term effectiveness of different species and locations will be assessed.”

Ko is a professor in the City and Regional Planning Program in the School of Urban and Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Arlington.

SUPA alumnus conducts spatial analysis workshop

Post and photo by Sara Abraham Oxford

Treviño (pictured left) provides instruction to workshop attendees

Dr. Jesús Treviño, an alumnus of the School of Urban and Public Affairs (SUPA), led a Spatial Analysis Workshop at SUPA earlier this summer. Students, staff and faculty participated in the workshop, which provided an overview of Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), geovisualization and spatial statistics.

Treviño is a professor at the School of Architecture at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Mexico and a member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers. Interestingly, he was the first graduate of the Urban Planning and Public Policy (UPPP) Ph.D. program at SUPA when he earned his degree in 2006.

Recalling his time at SUPA, Treviño said the UPPP program “was a great chance to put together experiences from my twenty years of teaching and research” and utilize his social science background in economics. He added that he especially appreciated the feedback he received from the faculty during his studies.

SUPA Alumni Chapter sponsors bus tour of Arlington and Fort Worth

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Dr. Paul Geisel (file photo)

Alumni, students and friends of the School of Urban and Public Affairs are invited to participate in a bus tour of Arlington and Fort Worth.

Dr. Paul Geisel, Professor Emeritus, will serve as tour guide in what is hailed as the School’s inaugural bus tour.  The theme of the tour is, “Transitions – Past, Present, and Future – Tour of Arlington & Fort Worth.”

According to the UT Arlington Alumni Association website, Geisel was chosen to host the tour because of his extensive knowledge of the cultures of established neighborhoods in Arlington and Fort Worth.  During the tour, he will discuss transitions that have, are, or will take place in these cities.

The tour is limited to 50 participants.  To register or to learn more about the location, time, and cost, visit www.utaalumni.org/supabus.

Wealth indicators and healthy cities

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

According to Brian Guenzel, Director of the Institute of Urban Studies, wealth is “one of the strongest social determinants for predicting health outcomes.”

In a story by Leslie Barker, staff writer for The Dallas Morning News, Guenzel discusses the role of wealth indicators in determining the health of cities.

The story, titled “With its trails, air quality, accessibility to grocery stores, Colleyville ranks high in health,” focuses on the City of Colleyville, Texas.

Photo courtesy City of Colleyville parks and recreation web page

According to the article, “Colleyville also has the distinction — taking into account such factors as fitness facilities and grocery stores per capita, miles of trails, air quality, lifetime cancer risk — of being named Healthiest Neighborhood through data analyzed by The Dallas Morning News.”

The full article can be accessed at Neighborsgo, a weekly community newspaper published by The Dallas Morning News.