New graduate students attend Orientation

New Graduate Student Orientation_2014

New graduate students attend Orientation

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!

New Graduate Student Orientation_2014

Graduate Advisor Karolyn Field assists a student at Orientation.

Summer internships enhance classroom learning

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.

Alumna honored by Corps of Engineers

Alumna Dr. Rumanda K. Young was honored with the Lt. Gen. John W. Morris Civilian of the Year Award by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A story on the DVIDS site notes that the award “recognizes the employee who individually has made the most significant and noteworthy contributions to the mission, reputation and prestige of the Corps of Engineers – including significant participation in areas outside the workplace – in the past calendar year.”

Young is chief of the Master Planning Section of the Corps’ Fort Worth District Regional Planning and Environmental Center and the regional energy program manager for the Corps’ Southwestern Division in Dallas.

The story includes a statement from Col. Charles H. Klinge, the Corps’ Fort Worth District Commander, “Dr. Young’s pioneering work in master planning and resource management, and her teaching and mentorship of students and staff, represent a new generation of leadership that is advancing the Department of Defense energy sustainment mission.”

Young holds a Master of City and Regional Planning degree and a doctorate in Urban Planning and Public Policy from SUPA. She teaches at UTA and Southern Methodist University.

Congratulations to Dr. Young on the award!

McNair Scholar presents civic involvement research

Story and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford

William Addington presenting

William Addington speaks about his research at UTA's McNair Scholars Program 2014 Sumer Research Presentations

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.”

Publication highlights

Nonprofit and Human Service LeadersAlumnus Dr. Larry Watson, an Assistant Professor at UT Arlington’s School of Social Work, co-authored a recently published book “Developing Nonprofit and Human Service Leaders: Essential Knowledge and Skills.” Watson holds a Doctorate of Public and Urban Administration from SUPA.

Dr. Karabi Bezboruah’s article, “Exploring the Participation of Women in Financial Cooperatives and Credit Unions in Developing Countries,” was published in the August issue of Voluntas. The abstract notes that the researchers “find that in the case of the cooperative types of MFIs [microfinance institutions], increases in average loan sizes are associated with decreases in female participation in the administration and governance. Further, the findings demonstrate that with increases in the participation of women borrowers, the number of women in organizational governance also increases.”

SUPA student to present research

William AddingtonMcNair 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.

Research on nursing home service quality in the news

Dr. Darla HamannDr. Darla Hamann’s research on nursing home service quality was featured in a news item on McKnight’s, a business news magazine covering the long-term care field.

The item notes that she analyzed nursing home employees’ managerial decisions and how they are linked to quality of service, and found that “[e]mpowering nursing assistants and family members of nursing home residents in decision-making results improved service.”

Hamann’s article about this research “Does Empowering Resident Families or Nursing Home Employees in Decision Making Improve Service Quality?” was published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, Vol. 33.

Spring graduates are official

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.

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).