Publication addresses the San Fernando Valley secession movement

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Dr. Michan Conner, assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in the  School of Urban and Public Affairs examines the San Fernando Valley secession movement in his article“’These Communities Have the Most to Gain from Valley Cityhood’: Color-Blind Rhetoric of Urban Secession in Los Angeles, 1996–2002″ published by the Journal of Urban History.

He notes, “the history of American suburbanization is marked by efforts by the affluent to draw boundaries that keep disadvantaged people out and tax dollars in, and the campaign for Valley secession partly fits this mold.”  Connor goes on to say “the campaign was unique because groups that had previously favored anti-busing and anti-immigration politics were forced to seek allies among the Valley’s fast-growing Latino population.”

Connor argues “as American cities’ budgets grow tighter, suburbs grow more diverse, and competition for resources among cities and neighborhoods grows fiercer, the politics that drove the secession movement will be replayed in metropolitan areas across the country, as affluent communities try to shed fiscal obligations to poorer ones.”

Director’s research spotlights Native American history

by Sara Abraham-Oxford

Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Donna Akers’ research focuses on Native American history, aiming to connect the legal and extra-legal historical actions of the U.S. government and its citizens with consequences for Native Americans. She is currently working on an article titled “Decolonizing the Master Narrative: Treaties and Other American Myths” to be published in the spring edition of the Wicazo Sa Review. She says the article discusses how U.S. college-level history text books tell a less-than-truthful version of westward movement without portraying the authenticity of the Native American experience of warfare, taking of land, conquest and exploitation.

Akers, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is also working on a book, Genocide in America: The Destruction of Native Americans by the U.S. Government, to be published in 2014. She has authored two previous books about Choctaw history and culture.

A mainstream narrative in elementary school that contrasted greatly with the history she had learned from family spurred her study of Native American history, Akers recalls. Her Choctaw grandmother’s comment that “we don’t interfere with the stories they tell themselves” also stayed with her and provided additional motivation to pursue graduate school. “I wanted to write about Native American history from an indigenous point of view. Native scholars call this field Decolonization History and it is considered a counter-narrative to mainstream U.S. history,” Akers says.

Akers, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Urban and Public Affairs (SUPA) at UT Arlington in addition to serving as the Director of School’s INTS program, spoke about her research to SUPA’s Ph.D. Colloquium earlier in the semester and presented a lecture titled ‘How to Discover Your Native Roots’ in November as part the University’s Native American Heritage Month.

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.

Fall Bus Tour Destination: Downtown Dallas

The SUPA Alumni Chapter and Dean Barbara Becker invite you to be a part of SUPA’s Fall Bus Tour of downtown Dallas.
Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul Geisel will serve as guide through neighborhoods such as West Dallas, The Cedars, Lakewood, Oak Cliff and more.
JOIN US on November 9, 2013
MEETING POINTS/TIMES (Jump on the bus at one of two meeting points)

  • Dan Dipert Welcome Center, UTA (Departs 9:30am, returns 2:30pm)
  • Dallas Housing Authority (Departs 10am, returns 2:00pm)
COST is $55 (Lunch included at a hidden gem)
  • Tour is open to anyone age 12 or older
  • Limited seating available
REGISTRATION DEADLINE is Monday, November 4, 2013

Research addresses barriers faced by nonprofit organizations

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

File photo

Dr. Karabi Bezboruah’s paper “Community Organizing for Health Care: An Analysis of the Process” was published in the Journal of Community Practice, Vol 21.

A blog post discussing Bezboruah’s paper and its relevance notes, “New research from The University of Texas at Arlington presents three ways to overcome common barriers that nonprofits face when building capacity to address community needs.”

The blog post states, “Bezboruah offers three conclusions to overcome the nearly universal barriers of exclusion of low-income individuals, stake-holders’ misaligned ideologies and approaches, and public apathy. And they’re not all that different from previous community-based participatory initiatives.”

The post found on  Georgia Nonprofit NOW, a blog from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, outlines Bezboruah’s conclusions as noted below:

Grassroots identification of the problem: Allowing the service beneficiaries to identify the needs of their community will translate to more appropriately informed results as potential solutions and the organizational processes develop.

Identification of community specific solutions through collaborative discussions: With the leadership of a facilitator and the inclusion of all stake-holders — community members, service providers, public officials, and beneficiaries — in the development of goals and objectives, consensus can be achieved, creating more holistic solutions to the community-identified issues.

Building public buy-in: Advocacy is an essential piece of nonprofits’ responsibility in their communities (and even more broadly for more universal issues). Through the “use of community resources to educate the public and generate opinion about the critical problems faced by the community,” awareness and support can be built among stake-holders and the general public alike.

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.