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

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Spring 2021

Nusrat Nipu received a Merit Award in the 2021 Texas ASLA Student Design Competition on studio V projects named "Spark of the Light." Nusrat project and award will be presented at the Awards Luncheon on Thursday, April 29th in Galveston, Texas.

The IUS recognizes Amruta Sakalker(UPPP Ph.D. student), Alan Klein (Director of the IUS), and Meghna Tare (Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact,UTA) for submitting their project “Upper Trinity River Water Quality Report Card” for the 2020 RCE North Texas Award. They received Honorable Mention for contributing to SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation. This award is given annually to RCEs that have made outstanding contributions to address local, sustainable development challenges in their regions

Spring 2020

Erica Vallejo and Katherine White Interior Design students earned second place in the IIDA Student Design Competition. The team designed Curecology, which represented the intersection between the earth’s layers and its effects on humans, who have long had deep physical and emotional ties to nature, reported. IIDA is an international commercial interior design association with more than 15,000 members in 58 countries. Erica Vallejo and Katherine White won $15,000, and to be split among themselves. All winners will be announced in the Spring 2020 issue of QUAD, the IIDA student newsletter, and featured in DesignMatters and on the IIDA website. See all the winners on the IIDA website

Tahereh Granpayehvaghei, Urban Planning, and Public Policy doctoral student received a $10,000 Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowship this semester, making her the first recipient at UTA. The Shorthorn reported, Tahereh's research process entails combing through multiple data sets. She selects firms considered creative and divides them into categories such as performing or visual arts, education, museums, crafts, and gaming.

Amruta Sakalker, UPPP Ph.D. student, is a recipient of a 2019 Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) DFW Chapter Monique Pegues Graduate Leadership Scholarship. Amruta was selected based on her commitment and work efforts to STEM studies and her outstanding academic achievements.

Fall 2019

One of UTA's Landscape Architecture Studio past projects "Conveyance: Connecting People to Ecological Systems at UTA" has been selected for United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals - the Local Project Challenge Gallery can be viewed on their website:

Alfonso Riera, a Doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, was promoted to Vice President and Army Regional Federal Lead in the Gulf Coast and West Regions for Michael Baker International, Killeen Daily Herald reported.


Master of Architecture student Lily Corral had her article "Beacons of Truth: Newspaper Buildings in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries" selected to be featured as the final entrant into the Third Annual UHA/The Metropole Graduate Student Blogging Contest. Corral takes on the life cycle of the media industry, and shows how the architecture built by newspapers reflects the industry’s birth, heyday, and now legacy.

Four UTA interior design students received two awards in the 2019 Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Dallas Student Lighting Design Competition. The award winners were announced on August 30, 2019. Student team Bich Tuyen & Erica Vallejo placed 2nd place and Marylee Espinoza & Aline Dolisy placed 4th place.

Summer 2019

The Student Planning Association was recognized by the Division of Student Affairs for "Outstanding Contribution to the Greater Community" for the 2018-2019 school year. This Leadership Award was given specifically to a student organization that "made a meaningful contribution to the surrounding community through service, and addressed an existing problem, was committed to working with and for others, and successfully inspired and motivated others to act."

Catherine Osborn, MCRP, and Muhammad Khan, UPPP, both received Midwest Texas APA scholarships for the 2019-2020 school year for their outstanding academic record and commitment and future aspirations in the planning field.

The Student Planning Association received a Special Recognition Award from the American Planning Association-Midwest Texas Section for their collaboration and active involvement in the American Planning Association at the regional and state level for the 2018 - 2019 school year.

Lily Corral, Master of Architecture student and Grad Assistant for the David Dillon Center, had an article titled, "Beliefs That Bind: Religion's Role in Shaping Dallas Communities", published in The Columns, the AIA Dallas Magazine.

Spring 2019

Behnoud Aghapour, Master of Landscape Architecture student, received a Design Honor Award from Texas ASLA. The project is awarded based on the quality of design, context, environmental sensitivity and sustainability, and design value to the client and to other designers.

Two of our doctoral May graduates are affiliated with the military. Earnest Lloyd (UPPP), active reservist in the US Army Civil Affairs branch retiring this October and Jason Flake (PAPP), veteran of the Air Force. We thank them for their service.

Ahoura Zandiatashbar, UPPP doctoral student and Research Associate at CTEDD, was featured in a UTA graduate profile video.

Ahoura Zandiatashbar, UPPP doctoral student and Research Associate at CTEDD, accepted an offer package from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and will be joining them as a Geospatial Data Scientist and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in summer of 2019. He also has six publications in the top 5 planning journals including JPER, Cities, and Urban Studies.

Bachelor of Interior Design student, Marisol Houty, received a $2,000 award Network of Executive Women in Hospitality Scholarship (NEWH), for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Master of Architecture student, Tuan Nguyen, received a Student Design Award from the 2018 AIA Dallas Design Awards.

A paper authored by UPPP students Tahereh Granpayehvaghei, Ahmad Bonakdar, Ahoura Zandiatashbar and assistant professor of planning Shima Hamidi, has been published: “The Quest for Creative Industries: A Multilevel National Study of the Impacts of Urban Form on the Geography of Creative Industries ", Transportation Research Record. Their research focused on the relationship between creative industries and the regional economic development.

Master of Architecture students, Liliana Morales, Claudia Delgado, and Arabel Cutillar, received two of the Jury Honor Awards at the 2019 LiA PERSPECTIVAS FW juried exhibit.

Yusra Alhuraibi, Bachelor of Architecture student, was recogized on the national American Institute of Architect Students "In-Studio" feature. Read the Q & A about her college experience and the studio culture at UTA while pursuing her architecture degree.

Congratulations to our CAPPA students for winning Third, Second, AND First in the AIA Fort Worth Cottage Communities Design Competition!

The competition was an opportunity to propose new solutions to Tarrant County’s affordable housing shortage by designing a Cottage Community in Fort Worth’s Near Southside neighborhood as a prototype for future development possibilities.


Youssef Elmergawy
Madalyn Melton
Isaiah Sigala
Collin Anderson
Belen Vigil


Celso Esparza
Fausto Sanchez
Evan Jones
Jose Vega


Emmanuel Ogunlola
Asher Frailey
Tajiri Fernandez
Maria Huerta
David Zelaya
Sarah Gaines

Amruta Sakalker, UPPP PhD student, has received the the Wanda J. Schafer scholarship from Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) for her commitment and leadership on transportation. Qian He, UPPP PhD student, also received the Monique Pegues Graduate Leadership Scholarship for her demonstrated leadership in the transportation industry

Transit and walking amenities have a positive effect on attracting knowledge-intensive businesses, Science Trends reported in a column written by Shima Hamidi and Ahoura Zandiatashbar. Zandiatashbar is a graduate research assistant in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs. The two wrote a paper on the subject.

The city of Rhome agreed to a memorandum of understanding to hire the UTA’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs to prepare a master plan for the city, the Wise County Messenger reported. The article quoted Alan Klein, acting director for the Institute of Urban Studies, about graduate students creating a community-based plan

Fall 2018

Landscape architecture students ranked 2nd place in the national "2019 Better Philadelphia Challenge". The students presented an "imagined future" for the city of Kensington, PA to tackle the opioid crisis threatening the safety and integrity of surrounding neighborhoods.

  • Juan Fuentes, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Niveditha Dasa Gangadhar, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Crystal Kazakos, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Annabeth Webb, University of Texas at Arlington

The Kensington Catalyst Project is completed as part of Studio.5 Urban Landscape Studio and taught/advised by Dr. Taner R. Ozdil in the Landscape Architecture Program.

UTA doctoral student in UrbanUPPP student, Ahoura Zandiatashbar, was featured in the 3rd volume of the Annual Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Student Bulletin. The bulletin highlights his recent publications.

Five CAPPA students were recognized as Finalists for the 2018 AIA Dallas Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition.

  • Julio Arroyo- Student Physical Submission
  • Asher Frailey, AIAS - Student Emerging Technologies
  • Robert Oviedo - Student Physical Submission
  • Sara Joyce Williams, AIAS, CIA - Student Emerging Technologies
  • Liliana Morales- Student Physical Submission

A public reception/talk was held on November 10 for “UTA Student Projects: DOWNTOWN HOTEL +”. The architectural studio at the University of Texas at Arlington has developed designs for a hotel in El Dorado adjacent to the Murphy Arts District according to El Dorado News-Times. Professor George Gintole’s graduate students explored the entire town of El Dorado in Southwest Arkansas and concluded that a hotel with a range of businesses such as a furniture showroom, a brewery, or an urban garden would enliven the urban surroundings.

Two UPPP doctoral students, Mohammed Hafiz and Nazanin Ghaffarie students, were recipients of the 2018 ACSP/POCIG Student Travel Award to present their respective papers at the 2018 ACSP Conference. Recipients of the award "must be involved in research that focuses on planning issues of pressing importance to communities of color.”

Two senior CAPPA architecture students, Ashley Foster and Rainah Adkins participated in The Sukkah Dwell in Design Competition hosted by the Texas Jewish Arts in Dallas. Foster and Adkins were selected as finalists which entailed building a life size Sukkah with a modern and artistic perspective. The students' Sukkah, "The Modern Sukkah", received the People's Choice Award from the competition.

Kapreta Johnson, a UTA doctoral student in Public Administration and Public Policy, had her proposal accepted by the 25th IAVE World Volunteer Conference. The title of her proposal is: "This, That, and Trusting Them: A look at how volunteer organizations can purposely partner with minority groups to foster trust between mainstream society and millennials of color." .She will be participating in a Forum Panel Session on "Volunteering - Inclusion and Integration", Thursday, October 18.

Summer 2018

Aubrey Hooper, UTA doctoral student in Public administration and Public Policy, and the Dallas NAACP President has been leading the charge to thank North Texas legal and law enforcement warriors who he says are fighting for justice in turbulent times, The Dallas Morning News reported. Hooper spoke at the event, "Justice for All Brunch: Balancing the Scales of Justice," on August 11 at Lofty Spaces.

Spring 2018

Interior design students, Veronica Sanders and Dana Shihabeddin, were awarded the 1st place title in the "Student Designers - Real or Imagined" category for the 2018 ASID Dallas Design Ovation Competition. Their project was to design for a real or imagined client which may/may not have been completed.

Lenita Dunlap, a UTA doctoral student in Public Administration and Public Policy, was honored as the May 2018 Dallas Hero for the Dallas Heroes Project. Dunlap saw a need in the community and took on the leadership position as the CEO of Heart House, a nonprofit that serves refugee and underprivileged children through after school and summer programming. Now that she has years of on-the-ground experience, she’s studying ways to drive policy and affect systemic changes.

Steven Nuñez, a Master of Landscape Architecture student, was honored as one of the six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists by the Landscape Architecture Foundatoin (LAF). The program honors students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, and service to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits. Nuñez earned the designation of 2018 University Olmsted Scholars, received a $5,000 award and joined the growing community of 634 past and present Olmsted Scholars.

Takuma Mitani, a Master of Architecture student, along with his team was awarded a People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Phase I grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This student competition grant provided funding to showcase their research using decision analytics in green building design at the EPA’s 14th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo at the 2018 USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. . Their exhibit, entitled "Better Buildings for Sustainability", included hands-on activities, software demonstrations, and Takuma’s own balsa wood building model.

A paper authored by Ahoura Zandatashbar and co authored by Shima Hamidi has been published: “Impacts of Transit and Walking Amenities on Robust Local Knowledge Economy", Cities. The journal "Cities" has the second highest impact factor in the field of urban studies. This study is a step moving forward to evaluate the impacts of transit and walking amenities on building a robust local knowledge economy and offers several contributions to the literature.

UTA's College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, the City of Arlington and Housing Channel collaborated to create a design-build project that gives students the experience of designing and building a quality single-family home while working to provide affordable housing in the city, Fox 4 News reported.

Interior design students, Veronica Sanders and Dana Shihabeddin, were awarded the 2nd place title for the 2017 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Student Design Competition to design the new marketing and sales support office at OFS Brands Headquarters in Huntingburg, Indiana.

Ilia Yazdanpanah, a Master of Architecture student, was credited in Architect Magazine for contributing to a Progessive Architecture (P/A) award winning project while interning at NADAAA. The project called "A Cambridge Gateway" is intended as a full-service urban oasis, and a design that seeks to link the community of Kendall Square with one of its largest institutional neighbors, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Somayeh Moazenni, a UTA doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation as the 2017 outstanding student of the year for the UTA-based Center for Transportation, Equity, Decisions and Dollars (C-TEDD), UT Arlington and Science News reported.


Victoria Wong

Victoria Wong, a junior Architecture student, has been recognized by the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) as the February 2018 Chapter Leader of the Month. During her time as Co-Director and AIAS executive board member during the 2016-2017 school year, Victoria played a major role in increasing the membership count and participation within her chapter. One of her greatest achievements is the continuation of the mentorship pairing event. This event is where underclassmen are paired with upperclassmen.

Somayeh Moazenni, a UTA doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation as the 2017 outstanding student of the year for the UTA-based Center for Transportation, Equity, Decisions and Dollars (C-TEDD), UT Arlington and Science News reported.

La Bajada Urban Youth Farm Park near Dallas’s Trinity Groves restaurant complex allows economically disadvantaged high school students to learn about healthy food and environmental stewardship through paid internships, The Dallas Morning News reported. UTA’s School of Architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) partnered with the non-profit Trinity River Mission to develop the farm.

Jinat Jahan, a doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, received the "WTS DFW Chapter M.C. Dean Scholarship" from the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS). This scholarship is awarded to women who have constantly been involved in transportation related studies and active leadership.The sponsor of this scholarship is M.C. Dean, Inc. Building Intelligence.

Tahereh Granpayehvaghei, a doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, received the "WTS Monique Pegues Graduate Leadership Scholarship" from the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS). This scholarship is awarded to women pursuing graduate studies in transportation and demonstrated leadership in the transportation industry. The scholarship is competitive and based on the applicant's specific transportation goals, academic record, and transportation-related activities or job skills.

The Planning Program and the Department of Civil Engineering at UTA are the lead consultants for the North Texas Regional Housing Assessment, which evaluates housing needs, employment, transportation, and access to opportunity. They continue to collaborate with the City of Dallas on the Fair Housing Assessment, despite regulatory turmoil in Washington D.C., Myriam Igoufe, UTA doctoral student in urban planning and public policy, told D Magazine. Her team hopes to be able to present much of its work by June. The project, worth $914,231, was secured in 2016 by Urban Planning and Public Policy Ph.D. student Myriam Igoufe, who, together with Drs. Steven Mattingly, Ivonne Audirac, Nick Fang and Rod Hissong formed the CAPPA-Civil Engineering research team. The team for this project comprised of 15 researchers including the above professors, Urban Planning and Public Policy doctoral students: Flora Brewer, Lorin Washington, Eric Valera, Indira Manandhar, and Baharan Rahnama, and Engineering and Planning master students.

Fall 2017

The National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS) has named CAPPA Interior Design student Veronica Sanders as the 2017-2018 Transfer Student Ambassador for NISTS on behalf of UT Arlington (UTA). She is the first student to ever be selected from UTA and will be representing the university in Atlanta, Georgia on February 7-9, for the NISTS 16th Annual Conference.

Students from UTA’s College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs helped the city of Mineral Wells draft a formal ethics policy, reported the Cleburne Times Review. The students presented the draft at a city council meeting this week after collaborating with Mineral Wells’ Finance Director John Moran, a UTA graduate.

The Shorthorn highlighted Architecture students who visited Nedderman Hall to practice perspective drawing for their Design Communications I course.

The Shorthorn featured a piece about Landscape Architecture students and Associate Professor David Hopman working on the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs Polyculture, which houses various plants native to the Metroplex, for insights on creating healthy ecosystems.

The Shorthorn published an article about members of the American Institute of Architecture Students UTA chapter who teamed up with students at Tarrant County College to make an art installation from about 3,200 food cans, which will be donated to the Tarrant Area Food Bank.

Doctoral students Priscylla Bento, Brandie L. Green, Jennifer K. Panas, and Wesley S. Parks, along with Associate Professor of Public Affairs Karabi Bezboruah, published the article, "Cross-Sector Community Revitalization: An Experiential Case Study” in the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. This article is based on a service-learning project conducted by the PAPP 5355 Nonprofit Organizations in Public Policy class in Fall 2015.

Planning students participated in multiple events at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) conference earlier this month. Students co-presenting papers included Saad Alquhtani, Sahar Esfandyari, Mohammed Hafiz, Jinat Jahan, Golnaz Keshavarzi, Somayeh Moazzeni, Raha Pouladi, Reza Sardari and Yalcin Yildirim. Students presenting posters included Ali Adil, Golnaz Keshavarzi, Yalcin Yildirim and Ahoura Zandiatashbar. Ahoura and Associate Professor Shima Hamidi won Best Poster Award at the conference.

Ali Adil, doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, is one of 21 students accepted for the 2017 PhD Workshop conducted by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP).

Lauren Barker, a Master of Public Administration student, has been named the new executive director of Cape Cod Young Professionals, the Cape Cod Times reported. Barker is currently administration manager for the city of Denton.

Summer 2017

Kim McAuliffe, a Master of Public Administration student, was profiled in the Georgetown Community Impact Newspaper. She was appointed downtown development manager of Georgetown in May.

Ali Adil, doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, wrote a blog post for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) blog titled “Democratizing Energy Systems: An Opportunity for Planners as Cities Renew Commitment to Paris Climate Accord?”.

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 (2-2017). This article uses Sundance Square in Fort Worth and Klyde Warren Park in Dallas as study locations of public spaces for soundscapes.

Congratulations to our 2016-17 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 0
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’Henneze
  • 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./p>

UTA is including courses on building tiny houses in its architectural programs, according to 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.

Student planning Association

The 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 Yildirim

Yalcin 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 Johnson

Kapreta 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.


Zoranna Jones

Zoranna 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.

Myriam Igoufe

Myriam 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 Gonzalez

CAPPA student Ana-Sofia Gonzalez was named leader of the month of the American Institute of Architecture Students, 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 Washington

The 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 Sanders

The 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, received 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.

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

Ali Adil, PhD student of urban planning and public policy, is the recipient 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.”