Dr. Jesus Trevino to lead GIS Workshop

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

GIS Workshop_July 2014

Research analyzes location patterns of arts organizations

Art Spaces, Art Places Report CoverDr. 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.

Dr. Martinez-Cosio’s research wins award

Dr. Maria Martinez-Cosio was awarded the 2014 Current Research Award from the Community Development Society. The award was given to Dr. Martinez-Cosio and her co-author, Dr. Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell, in recognition of work on their book “Catalysts for Change: 21st Century Philanthropy and Community Development.” Dr. Martinez-Cosio was also appointed to a U.S.-Canadian research collaboration, “Philanthropic Action of Canada’s Grant-Making Foundations: Investigating their Social Innovation and Catalytic role in Societal Change,” funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her role will be to share the typology she developed on private foundations engaged in community development in the U.S. and help develop points of comparison with Canadian foundations.

Spring graduates advance to alumni status

SUPA Commencement Spring 2014

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.
View photos and video of the School’s commencement ceremony.

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!

Interest in urban form links student group with professionals

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.

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.

Jason Roberts shares insights on The Better Block Project

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.