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The Latest News and Achievements from UTA Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs Students

To submit news items, please contact Sara Abraham-Oxford at saoxford@uta.edu.

Spring 2017

Doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Affairs Yalcin Yildirim’s article “Measuring Sounds with a Grid Method for Supporting the Design of Public Spaces” was accepted for publication in the upcoming issue of Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture.


Congratulations to our 2016-7 student scholarship recipients and awards winners at CAPPA:

Babatunde Adeleye

Sahar Esfandyari

Zoranna Jones

Toluwalope Olayinka

Ali Adil

Jonathan Essary

Golnaz Keshavarzihaghighi

Linh Ngoc Pham

Behnoud Aghabour

Tajiri Fernandez

Ayeh Khajouei

Salvador Portillo

Zaid Al Bakhit

Adam Fogel

Jinnell Killingsworth

Raha Pouladi

Abeer Al Mughrabi

Christian James Gentry

Kukhyoung Kim

Talia Rueda

Dyan Anderson

Layal Ghanem

Carole LaFreniere

Prarthan Shah

Aabiya Baqai

Kerry Gray-Harrison

Mary Lievsay

Farnoosh Sharbafi

Karis Bishop

Julia Green

Tariq Mahadin

Lana Shihabeddin

Joshua Brown

Hamid Hajjafari

Ann Mai

Ugur Tan

Ramiro Campusano

Christie Holland

Indira Manandhar

Lorin Washington

Jhala Criss

Aubrey Hooper

Takuma Mitani

Sara Joyce Williams

Carlos Cutting

Wendy Hurtado

Somayeh Moazzeni

Mahsa Yari

Kelly Dent

Myriam Igoufe

Miriela Rico Monteiro

Ahoura Zandiatashbar

Abhishek Devkota

Jinat Janhan

Jordan Moses

Ikram Eloualid

Pegah Jahangirpor

Ravija Munshi


Congratulations to our 2016-17 honor society inductees at CAPPA:

Tau Sigma Delta
• Joseph Boring
• Jonathan Brown
• Nathalie d’Hennezel
• Preston Kelly
• Antonio Molina Bendeck
• Trinh Nguyen
• Samantha Oliphint
• Nicholas Oliver
• Ann Podeszwa
• Rohan Saklecha
• Dana Shihabeddin
• Sarah Wheeler
• Sara Joyce Williams

Pi Alpha Alpha
• James Adams
• Autumn Atta-Fynn
• Christopher Brannan
• Cari Dighton
• Shelley Elliott
• Patrick Jackson
• Tiffany Morgan
• Fatema Nasreen
• Rachelle O’Neil
• Steven Peggs
• Kristtina Starnes


Interior Design Junior Veronica Sanders won second place in the "Student Designer - Residential - Real or Imagined" category at the American Society of Interior Designers Dallas Design Ovation Awards. Sanders was also awarded a scholarship by the Dallas Chapter of NEWH and will accept the $6,000 award at the organization’s celebration on May 18th. Additionally, a design Sanders created which won the Halle Berry logo design competition will be on an app along with being featured on Berry’s Hallewood fan website.


Madeline Ham-Ost, an Honors student in Architecture, has been awarded an Honors Dean Excellence Fund Scholarship to cover tuition and required materials for a one-week introductory course in gilding through the Society of Gilders, which will be holding its annual conference at UTA this June.


Three CAPPA students have been awarded Archer Fellowships to live and work in Washington DC this summer:

Babatunde Adeleye, MPA
Aabiya Baqai, MPP
Christie Holland, MPP & MCRP


CAPPA students won four awards in the 3D-print Architecture Design Competition hosted by the CSI Dallas Chapter:

  • 1st place: Tania Madah (MArch student)
  • 2nd place: Alfredo Fraire (BSArch student)
  • 3rd place: Luca Chudoba (BSArch student)
  • Honorable mention: Abel Verdi (BSArch student)

Architecture student Marone Abraham was one of 88 students to receive a Greenbuild scholarship. He is minoring in environmental sustainability and hopes to make buildings more energy-efficient and resilient.


Christie Holland, masters student in Public Policy and in Planning, is a Summer 2017 Archer Fellow. She has also been awarded a First Generation College Scholarship funded by the Friends of The Archer Center Trust ($1,000); an Archer Center Scholarship ($1,500); and a Travel Voucher for a Round Trip to Washington, D.C.


Doctoral student in Public and Urban Administration Lenita Dunlap’s proposal ”Raising Leaders: Education Through Adversity" was accepted at the National Afterschool Alliance and she presented in a workshop. She also received funding from The Dallas Foundation to attend the 1st Refugee and Trauma conference in Sydney, Australia, in March 2017, where she represented the U.S. learning about effective community development strategies and integration. Dunlap’s proposal "Fundraising with Soul" was accepted at the Association of Fundraising Professionals DFW conference to be held in May. She and a colleague will present about best practices in fundraising in adverse situations. 


Myriam Igoufe, doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, was recently awarded the Monique Pegues/AECOM Graduate Leadership Scholarship for her innovative transportation research. The competitive scholarship is based on the applicant's specific transportation goals, academic record and transportation-related activities or job skills.


Three projects by CAPPA Landscape Architecture students won awards from the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (Texas ASLA). The awards will be presented at the Texas ASLA Conference in Austin later this month:

  • Award of Excellence: Design Category - "Marine Creek: Ecological Restoration Connecting Community and History" by Behnoud Aghapour, Ann Mai, Ravija Munshi, and Juan Fuentes. Supervising professors: Tary Arterburn and Jessica Clements.
  • Award of Merit: Design Category - "St. Luke: Landscape of Grace" by Molly Plummer and John Watkins. Supervising professor: David Hopman.
  • Award of Merit: Analysis and Planning Category - "Lancaster Village: The Hub" by Reza Paziresh and Behnoud Aghapour. Supervising professor: Dr. Taner Ozdil.

Ahoura Zandiatashbar, doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, received a Dean’s Award for Outstanding Poster Presentation at the Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students at UTA. 


Miriam Igoufe, doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, is project manager on a transportation and fair housing research project that was awarded $734,430 by twenty-two cities and housing authorities. Igoufe is working on the research project with Ivonne Audirac, associate professor of planning, and faculty members from the Department of Civil Engineering and the School of Social Work. Other CAPPA students working as graduate research assistants on the project are Flora Brewer, Indira Manandhar, Eric Varela and Lorin Washington. Read the full UTA News Release about the project.


UTA is including courses on building tiny houses in its architectural programs, according to earthdaytx.org. In April, UTA students will display tiny houses they have built over several months as part of Earth Day Texas 2017. The students are led by Professors Bang Dang and Brad McCorkle.


Brandy Hensley, a student of Professor Hilda Rodriquez, was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2016 Steelcase Competition.


A Dallas Morning News editorial said people should be encouraged that Aubrey Hooper, the Dallas NAACP’s new president, is willing to forge collaborative alliances to shape public policy. Hooper is a UTA PhD student in urban and public administration.

Fall 2016

Public Now reported that Haltom City has partnered with UTA’s Institute of Urban Studies on a Citizen’s Survey. The results will be used for city planning purposes.


CAPPA PhD student Michael Gibson was honored by the Veterans National Honor Society with a Lifetime Membership, in recognition of academic excellence for maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Gibson is a second year doctoral student in the Department of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and is a student of Dr. Ard Anjomani.

The Veterans National Honor Society recognizes those members for their outstanding service, academics, leadership, unity, tribute and excellence as well as the commitment to academic success.


CAPPA’s Institute of Urban Studies was featured in the Fall 2016 edition of UTArlington Magazine for its Downtown Dallas Walkability Project. “Walkable streets could help us be more physically active and live healthier,” says Shima Hamidi, director of the Institute and an assistant professor of urban planning. “A scientific analysis enables community leaders to identify elements that impact the appeal of a place and to plan enhancements for the pedestrian experience.”


Texas Central Partners, the private company that is set to develop a bullet train line that would take riders from Dallas to Houston in 90 minutes, announced on Wednesday the results of a contest aimed at allowing the system's target customers to help shape the vision for stations in Dallas, Houston and the Brazos Valley, according to the Dallas Morning News. UTA student Julia Green won the station architectural design prize for her vision of the Dallas station. Her proposal included gallery space for local artists, as well as retail and restaurant space on a second story. Adrian De Leon was awarded an Honorable Mention in the competition.


Ahoura Zandiatashbar from CAPPA’s Institute of Urban Studies was featured in a story in the pages of the UTA Shorthorn, “Student brings world of experience to teaching”.


A 6-page article in the October issue of D Magazine about CAPPA called "How to Build a MegaCity" features Dean Ellin and three of our “Star Students": Myriam Igoufe, Ahoura Zandiatashbar, and Lorin Washington.


Urban Planning and Public Policy student Indira Manandhar has been awarded the Diversity Scholars and Leader Award from the Association of Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), an international organization focusing on Nonprofit sector research. Indira will have the opportunity to participate in the Professional Development Workshop at the upcoming annual conference in November 2016. She will be presenting a paper on Food Security, funded by a CAPPA seed grant, with Professor Karabi Bezboruah, PhD at this conference.


In its seventh year celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AIA Dallas Latinos in Architecture Network presents ENLACES, a juried exhibition showcasing Latino architects and design professionals in Dallas.

A number of CAPPA faculty and alumni are among the selected exhibitors that will be honored at ENLACES and have their work exhibited at the Dallas Center for Architecture:

  • Carlos Bautista (MArch student, ‘15 BS), Olsen Studios
  • Dennis Chiessa (‘07 BS, ‘09 MArch), CAPPA (Lecturer of Architecture)
  • Alma Espinoza, Assoc. AIA (’11 BS, ’15 MArch), WDG Architecture
  • Wendy Hurtado (MArch student, ‘16 BS), Far + Dang
  • Ricardo Leon, Assoc. AIA (’07 BS), CAPPA (Lecturer of Architecture) and Far + Dang
  • Miguel Mendez, (MArch student, ’16 BS)
  • Ricardo Munoz, AIA (’07 BS), CAPPA (Lecturer of Architecture) and Page

Exhibition Opening

Wednesday, September 28th

6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Latino Cultural Center

FREE event; please register to attend


Kapreta Johnson and Brandie Green, PhD students in public and urban administration, were elected as the 2016-7 officers of the CAPPA PhD Consortium.


SPA 2016 OfficersThe Student Planning Association elected its officers for the 2016-7 Academic Year:

President Athena Seaton
Vice President Gedeon Modo
APA Student Representative Dhawal Kataria
Event Chair Brandon Utterback
Treasurer Eric Peabody
Secretary Evan Pu
Social Media Zainab Safri

Yalcin YaldirimYalcin Yildirim, PhD student in urban planning and public policy, was awarded a grant from the University Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities (UTRCLC) for his paper, "A Longitudinal Analysis: Accessibility to Transit and Housing Market Resiliency." . The UTRCLC comprises a consortium of participating universities, including UTA, committed to addressing the nation's critical transportation challenges through the prism of livable communities.


Zoranna Jones, PhD student in public and urban administration, and Lorin Washington, PhD student in urban planning and public policy, are the recipients of 2016 APPAM Equity and Inclusion Fellowships to attend the 2016 Fall APPAM Research conference. Zoranna and Lorin are among 25 students chosen among more than 100 applicants.


Congratulations to our 2016-7 student scholarship recipients at CAPPA:

Ali Adil

Abhishek Devkota

Pegah Jahangirpor

Somayeh Moazzeni

Behnoud Aghabour

Sahar Esfandyari

Zoranna Jones

Abeer Al Mughrabi

Dyan Anderson

Layal Ghanem

Golnaz Keshavarzihaghighi

Ravija Munshi

Zaid Bakhit

Kerry Gray-Harrison

Ayeh Sajjadieh Khajouei

Linh Ngoc Pham

Karis Bishop

Hamid Hajjafari

Jinnell Killingsworth

Salvador Portillo

Tyler Burch

Denise  Hernandez

Kukhyoung Kim

Raha Pouladi

Ramiro Capusano

Christie Holland

Carole LaFreniere

Talia Xochiquetzalli Rueda

Cristin Cox

Aubrey Hooper

Mary Lievsay

Farnoosh Sharbafi

Jhala Criss

Wendy Hurtado

Tariq Mahadin

Lorin Washington

Carlos Cutting

Myriam Igoufe

Ann Mai

Masha Yari

Kelly Dent

Jinat Janhan

Indira Manandhar

Ahoura Zandiatashbar

Summer 2016

Kapreta JohnsonKapreta Johnson, PhD student in public and urban administration, was selected to present a poster at the national conference for ARNOVA in Washington DC, November 19-19, 2016. Kapreta's presentation is titled, "Reach Out and Touch: Volunteerism and its impact on society's perception of millennials of color." Kapreta was also invited to participate in the Emerging Scholars Research Roundtables where participants provide constructive feedback for peer research papers.


Z JonesZoranna Jones, PhD student in public and urban administration, was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation Division of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. Zoranna's research examines programs that influence STEM-educated African American graduates to pursue high tech entrepreneurship.


This summer, interior design student and IIDA UTA Chapter President Veronica Sanders assisted in the stage design at the 2016 State Farm Neighborhood Awards in Las Vegas. The annual awards show honors local businesses, schools, churches and community leaders from across the nation for their work to improve neighborhoods. The event was hosted by comedian and television host Steve Harvey. Veronica also assisted with the event spaces for the Freedom Friday After-Party as well as the VIP After-Party.


The Dallas Morning News reported that a team of researchers and doctoral students from the Institute of Urban Studies in UTA’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs are embarking on a first-of-its-kind study on the walkability of downtown Dallas.


IgoufeMyriam Igoufe, PhD student in urban planning and public policy and a researcher for the Institute of Urban Studies, was awarded the "Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship," a program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. The national fellowship is highly competitive among graduate students pursuing studies in transportation-related fields.


Students from the Institute of Urban Studies at UTA's College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs are embarking on an analysis of pedestrian traffic in downtown Dallas, ScienMag reported. The student researchers will evaluate characteristics including density, block size, noise levels, parks and landscapes, building uses, active storefronts and other aspects in the downtown area.


UTA’s College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs hosted a weeklong summer camp for 23 high school students interested in architecture and interior design, The Texas Society of Architects reported. At the end of the camp, the students produced an exhibition of group installations as a result of their work with two and three-dimensional exercises.


Dallas Morning News columnist Robert Wilonsky noted a proposal by UTA students in his piece about a new Fair Park proposal. The latest study maintains that giving the State Fair less space will make it more profitable, which echoes similar proposals previously offered and, more recently, by students in The University of Texas at Arlington’s Institute of Urban Studies, Wilonsky wrote.


D Magazine’s Front Burner blog reported that a new Fair Park proposal argues that State Fair sprawl is bad for business. The report, which was funded by former Trammell Crow executive Don Williams’ Foundation for Community Empowerment and is reminiscent of other Williams-backed plans from UTA and urban designer Antonio Di Mambro, lays out a plan for how the State Fair should reconfigure itself, using up less Fair Park acreage, with the requisite maps and watercolors.


Ana-Sofia GonzalezCAPPA student Ana-Sofia Gonzalez was named leader of the month of the American Institute of Architecture Students, AIAS.org reported. She served as AIAS UTA events coordinator in 2014-2015, vice president in 2015-2016 and recently has been elected as president for the 2016-2017 year. With her leadership, she has helped to grow the chapter to more than 100 members.


Lorin WashingtonThe City Influencer has named Lorin Washington one of Dallas-Fort Worth’s Most Influential College Students of 2016. In all, 14 winners are recognized. The goal of the initiative is to celebrate African-American college students who are the epitome of what makes DFW such a special place in which to live, work and play. Lorin is a PhD student in the urban planning and public policy program.


Advocate magazine noted that an effort to identify the most walkable neighborhoods in the Dallas-Fort Worth region will recruit UTA doctoral students in architecture and design to identify every piece of real estate in the area. In addition to UTA, the project has secured support from DART, North Central Texas Council of Governments and the Texas Real Estate Commission.

Spring 2016

Veronica SandersThe Texas Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers has recognized CAPPA interior design student Veronica Sanders as a First Place winner in its 2016 Dallas Design Ovation Awards. Sanders's entry was selected in the student design category, "Student Designer - Real or Imagined". The award was presented at the Awards Ceremony on May 5, 2016, at the Dallas Market Center. The event recognizes achievements in interior design and architecture, as well as special contributions to the Dallas area community. Almost four hundred DFW area interior designers and industry partners attended and entered their work in the prestigious competition.


Yalcin Yildirim, PhD student in urban planning and public policy, collaborated with Taner Ozdil, associate professor of landscape architecture, on the article “Adopting Soundscape Technology to Assess Urban Landscape Performance” for the May 2016 issue of Journal of Digital Landscape Architectural.


Myriam Igoufe, PhD student in urban planning and public policy and a researcher for the Institute of Urban Studies, recieved a $1,000 award by the UTA Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities to investigate the true affordability of LIHTC units when transportation costs are factored in. The Center supports projects with awards ranging from $500-$1,000 to produce research on livablity-related topics such as enhancing mobility, accessibility and safety of walking, bicycling and transit modes, people with disabilities, older adults, low income populations, and commuters. 


A University of Texas at Arlington student team’s design to reduce stormwater runoff that could result from future campus construction projects has won a national Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water award as part of the agency’s 2015 Campus RainWorks Challenge.

Riza Pradhan

The team included landscape architecture graduate students Baishakhi Biswas, Sherry Fabricant, Jacob Schwarz and Ahoura Zandiatashbar, a doctoral student in urban planning and public policy. Their winning entry in the Master Plan category was called “Eco-Flow: A Water-Sensitive Placemaking Response to Climate Change” and centered on water runoff rates at sites of potential UTA student living, dining, recreation and parking facilities.

Another UTA team received honorable mention for its project submission, “Innovation Park at The University of Texas at Arlington: Research and Innovation in a Changing Climate.” That team included landscape architecture master’s students Layal Bitar-Ghanem, Kerry Gray-Harrison, Riza Pradhan and doctoral candidate Somayeh Moazzeni of urban planning and public policy. UTA won two of the six national awards. 


Ali Aldil, PhD student of urban planning and public policy, presented the paper "From Vulnerability to Resilience: A theoretical framework for resilient energy systems based on sociotechnical and social-ecological perspectives" at the 2016 American Association of Geographers conference.


Yalcin Yildirim, PhD student in urban planning and public policy, co-presented “Urban Soundscape: Learning from the Sounds of Klyde Warren Park, Dallas” with Taner Ozdil, associate professor of landscape architecture, at the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2016 conference in Salt Lake City. Utah.


Ali Adil and Flora Brewer, PhD students in urban planning and public policy, will participate in the Makeover Montgomery 3 conference to showcase a service learning project on community development and planning titled "Gentrification and displacement: Strategies for local business and affordable housing."


Ali Adil, PhD student of urban planning and public policy, is the recipent of the Krishnan and Rohini Krishnan Graduate Fellowship for academic excellence in the area of renewable energy or sustainability studies /and or policy and economic aspects of energy. The fellowship is awarded by a competitive application process through the UTA Office of Graduate Studies.


Ann Foss, PhD student in urban planning and public policy, co-authored an article published in the December 2015 issue of Environment and Planning C, an international journal that seeks to advance scholarly debates on the governance of a wide range of economic, societal and environmental issues. The article, titled "The other end of the spectrum: municipal climate change mitigation planning in the politically conservative Dallas-Fort Worth region," examines challenges of climate change planning in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Ann completed a second article based on this research for the London School of Economics US Politics and Policy blog, "Although cities often are touted as climate change policy leaders, a close look at politically conservative Texas cities finds many lagging or faltering.” The article is available on the EPC journal website: http://epc.sagepub.com/content/33/6/1412