College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs
601 W. Nedderman Drive
Arlington, TX 76019-0108
Joshua is a Ph.D. student in Urban Planning & Public Policy (UPPP), and his journey so far has been a unique experience. "I have attended multiple campuses in my academic journey, and CAPPA (and the UPPP program) is by far the most welcoming and supportive I have experienced," said Josh. Academia often creates silos of knowledge production that isolate us as individuals from our peers and professors, but CAPPA attempts to overcome this reality. The number of opportunities for interaction with students of all levels, as well as professors and administrators, makes CAPPA a unique place. He added, "even exposure to ideas from disciplines outside mine (such as architecture, landscape architecture, and public administration) has profoundly affected my thinking."
Josh speaks about how CAPPA has helped him achieve his career goals by being supportive and helping him gain the opportunity to serve as an Assistant Professor. Joshua stated, "my peers and professors have been incredibly supportive throughout my time at CAPPA in ways essential to advancing my goal to land an assistant professor position at a university. I have been able to teach a course (PLAN 3301 The Metroplex) and receive training in effective teaching methodologies." The professors at CAPPA extend opportunities to the students by involving them in research work and valuing their input. "I have also joined or partnered in research projects with peers and professors that have pushed my thinking about cities in completely new directions." Joshua has benefited from the opportunity that Professor and students share with each other.
Joshua is constantly applying for these opportunities and has been chosen for three dissertation workshop opportunities (Crossing Latinidades Summer Program at Univ. of Illinois Chicago, International Society for Third Sector Research Ph.D. Seminar, and Academy of Management Doctoral Consortium) this summer, and the Crossing Latinidades Mellon Fellowship with Dr. Ariadna Reyes-Sánchez this fall).
Based on his experiences, Joshua strongly recommends CAPPA to prospective students and states, "this is the most welcoming and collegial academic space in which I have participated in my academic journey. My peers, professors, and administrators are always willing to lend a helping hand when I need it. The conversations in and outside classes have shaped my understanding of cities in important ways."
The culturally diverse department encourages students to participate in on-campus activities and keeps them engaged outside the classroom. The diversity of backgrounds and experiences in our department and school facilitates this. "I have peers from all over the world that have pushed me to think outside of my U.S.-centric mindset," Joshua says.
This fall semester, Joshua is serving as the president of the Student Planning Association. He has a good partnership with the leadership team, which includes Irene Vu, Brian Campbell, and Ladan Mozaffarian. He hopes to make the group more accessible to students from all levels (undergraduate, master, and Ph.D.) and create programming that helps push students forward in their academic and career journeys. Joshua says that the great leadership has helped them make academic life much easier for the next generation of students.