Students Now

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


Learn about various student projects and how they have impacted the community around the college, the metroplex, and the globe. We are proud to share the work of our students to highlight their achievements while inspiring others.

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June 2023

Shadin Nimery was selected as the 2023 ACSP fellow of Diversity and Inclusion. This fellowship is offered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Diversity & Inclusion & designed to foster diversity and inclusion amongst the next generation of leading urban planning scholars and researchers.

Shadin Nimery presented her dissertation research “ The Socioeconomic Implications of the Digital Divide on low income communities: case study: city of Dallas” on the 2023 Social Equity Leadership Conference- Social Equity in action which focuses this year on putting social Equity policy, practices, and processes into action. The conference was held June12-14 at Kansas City, MO

Ladan Mozaffarian, Ph.D. Candidate in Urban Planning and Public Policy, who was awarded the prestigious "Summer 2023 Dissertation Fellowship" by the UTA Office of Graduate Studies. The UTA Office of Graduate Studies awards the Summer 2023 Dissertation Fellowship to students who are in good academic standing and have an approved dissertation proposal. The fellowship grant is worth $8,000 and is intended to support students in writing and completing their dissertations.

May 2023

Amruta Sakalker, Ph.D. graduate and Adjunct Assistant Professor, who has a proven commitment to excellence through years of hard work, perseverance, and dedication. Earning a Ph.D. is an extraordinary achievement that embodies excellence, as she has transformed into an expert in her respective field. Now, she embarks on the next chapter of her life, equipped with the knowledge and skills to positively impact the world.

April 2023

Oren Mandelbaum, Graduate Student in the Landscape Architecture program, earned him the ASLA Student Awards for his contributions to the "Bottom Rises" team project and an individual design that received an Honor Award for the Hensely Field Project. As part of a studio, he designed the Hensley Field Runway Park, leveraging the site's cultural history and physical character to create a unique waterfront experience. The design incorporated aspects of the site's geography, military history, and sustainability to develop a walkable, sustainable master-planned neighborhood in Dallas.

The winners of the CAPPA JEDI and Sustainability Awards Competition

Jackeline Menjivar Torres & Iva Galvan
Project "Fabricscape"

Nazmun Akter Pia
Project "Exploring the Disparities in Public Transportation Usage"

(Honorable Mention)
Alaina Gunter
Project "Strategies for Avoiding Gentrification"

March 2023

Victoria Kiker and Ismail Ahmed, were on the winning team in the 2023 Wildfire Simulation Competition held by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration.

Seven talented Architecture students won in the International Design Competition: Architecture of the Apocalypse.
Cole Griffith and Christian Cortes took First Place with their Mechanical Cloud entry; Jarrett Nestroy and Joshua Rigsby secured Second Place with their Toxic TerRAIN design; Edwin Flores received an Honorable Mention for his Bunker of Unification design, and Fu Li and Jose Garcia won an Editor's Choice Award for their Convalescence project.

Padmi Ranasinghe was selected as a 2023 cohort of Diversity and Inclusion Fellow in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship. This fellowship is designed to foster diversity and inclusion amongst the next generation of leading urban planning scholars and researchers.

February 2023

Alexander Arceo, Amanda Nguyen, Lekammrun Woods, M. Elizabeth Moore, and Patricia Cerida made up the team 'MavTracers' and won first place in CAPPA's 'Bridge the Gap' design competition. Their efforts and accomplishment in the competition was recognized in a Kera News article, detailing their inspirations and concerns taken into account in their bridge designs.

Jala M., Ph.D. student in the Public Administration and Public Policy program, has been selected as a 2023 Founders' Fellow by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). This prestigious honor recognizes Jala's exceptional achievements and leadership role in the college. Her passion for public service and dedication to research is outstanding, and this recognition is a testament to all of her hard work.

Josh Newton, Ph.D. candidate for the Urban Planning and Public Policy program, secured a position as a Student Representative on the Governing Board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Congratulations Josh!

Student design teams from The University of Texas at Arlington shared their visions on Feb. 11 for the future of the Cooper Street pedestrian bridges as part of a competition to reimagine what are among the University's most recognizable landmarks, U.S. Fed News reported.

January 2023

Students Victoria Kiker and Alyssa Knox, second-year Master's students in City and Regional Planning, received the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowships from the U.S. Department of Transportation for their contribution to transportation research. Only around 150-200 of these fellowships are awarded nationwide each year, and we recognize the great efforts that went into our students receiving them.

November 2022

Ursula Emery-McClure, Ralph Hawkins Visiting Professor, and 14 architecture graduate students were able to present projects on how to create sustainable housing at the “Gathering at the Wellspring, Envisioning the Future of Arlington" on October 21st. The Arlington Center for Community Engagement (ACCE) hosted the event, along with several local businesses. Read more about the event at KERA.

October 2022

Eric Pham, a senior architecture student, received an Award of Excellence from the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI) in their Student Competition for his work "Labyrinth" and will be featured in the 37th annual Architecture in Perspective catalog and exhibition. This project was part of the conceptual drawing course (ARCH 4344) taught by Professor Steve Quevedo. Achieving the Award of Excellence means that Eric will have his work displayed in the catalog and the exhibition held in London, UK in November.

May 2022

We acknowledge students who have raised the bar of excellence within the School of Architecture and congratulate the following award and commendation recipients as selected by UTA’s School of Architecture Faculty for the 2021-2022 academic year. We recognize their achievements through the following awards.
Most Distinguished Graduate Award - The Architecture Alumni Chapter supports this award, recognizing one student who exemplifies overall academic achievement and outstanding professional promise.
Emily Haueisen - Master of Science in Architecture
AIA Medal for Academic Excellence - For more than a century, the American Institute of Architects has provided the Henry Adams Award to the top-ranked graduate who displays “general excellence” throughout their academic career. 
Marshall Strawn - Master of Science in Architecture
Donald F. Gatzke FAIA Book Award – awarded to a student from the Masters I (Path A) program completing a Masters of Architecture Degree, shows exceptional academic accomplishment while at UTA and demonstrates extreme professional promise moving forward.
Alexis Chastain – Master of Science in Architecture
Alpha Rho Chi Award - presented to a graduating student who has shown the ability for leadership, performed outstanding service for their school and gives promise of exceptional professional merit.
Esmeralda Vargas Galvan – Bachelor of Science in Interior Design

The ARCC King Student Medal Award - this award is presented to students who have shown excellence in Architectural and environmental research.
Cindy Nguyen – Master of Science in Architecture

Commendations- the School of Architecture Faculty Commendation Awards for Design Excellence and Academic Achievement
Masters of Architecture Program
Rachel Barrett
Bich Tuyen Lemai
Gilbert Livingston
Alexandra Morales
Bachelor of Science in Interior Design Program
Yvette Ramirez
Bachelor of Science Architecture Program
Alondra Ramirez
Matthew Tomlanovich
Guadalupe Mora
Adan Hernandez Salazar
Scott Bojanowski
Nery Umana
Raul-Andres Hassenteuffel Morales
Mikel Cardiel 
Hortence Keita
Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society in Architecture and Allied Arts– Since 1913, Tau Sigma Delta has recognized academic and professional excellence in architecture and the related design arts. The following were inducted into the Nu Alpha Chapter of Tau Sigma Delta, the national honor society in architecture and the allied arts for students in the top 20% of their class. 
David Hine
Parita Babu
Sabista Saakhakarmi
Jacqueline Hernandez
We are excited to recognize these students and appreciate their tremendous contributions to the School of Architecture.
And to all of our students, you are highly valued members 
March 2022
Qian He, Ph.D. Student in Public Affairs and Planning, shares her lead-authored study “Covid-19 pandemic impacts on essential transit riders: Findings from a U.S. Survey,” which has been published by Transportation Research Part D. He discovered that groups with social vulnerabilities (including racial and ethnic minorities, female, non-binary or genderqueer riders, people with disabilities, etc.) experienced greater mobility challenges during the pandemic. The pandemic emphasized how transit riders from different backgrounds adapt to major disruptions as well as disparities in the impacts they experience. In addition, He’s study highlights how existing revenue models can put riders’ access to essential destinations in jeopardy during a crisis. He explains how the pandemic-era transit funding crisis and reduced transit use impacts riders’ day-to-day lives. “We must save transit for those who need it the most,” says He.

March 2022

Qian He, Ph.D. Student in Public Affairs and Planning, shares her lead-authored study “Covid-19 pandemic impacts on essential transit riders: Findings from a U.S. Survey,” which has been published by Transportation Research Part D. He discovered that groups with social vulnerabilities (including racial and ethnic minorities, female, non-binary or genderqueer riders, people with disabilities, etc.) experienced greater mobility challenges during the pandemic. The pandemic emphasized how transit riders from different backgrounds adapt to major disruptions as well as disparities in the impacts they experience. In addition, He’s study highlights how existing revenue models can put riders’ access to essential destinations in jeopardy during a crisis. He explains how the pandemic-era transit funding crisis and reduced transit use impacts riders’ day-to-day lives. “We must save transit for those who need it the most,” says He.

February 2022

Ladan Mozaffarian, Ph.D. Student in Urban Planning and Public Policy was selected for the WTS DFW Chapter Wanda J. Schafer Scholarship. 

Jala Morrow, first-year Ph.D. student in Public Administration and Public Policy, was selected as a Public Administration (PA) Theory Network Fellow for the 2022 conference. Morrow previously graduated UTA with a Master of Business Administration in 2019. The PA Theory Network strives to connect people who share an interest in the critical understanding of government, governance, and administration. Morrow explains that PA Theory Network Fellows are awarded paid registration to this year's 2022 conference entitled, Weaving Together Public Administration Theories from All Corners of Our World. The fellowship “includes an invitation to the doctoral workshop, a PA Theory Network membership, and a subscription to their journal,” says Morrow.  

Hanan Boukhaima, doctoral student in Urban Planning and Public Policy, contributed to UTA’s recognition as the 2021 National Leader in the EPA Food Recovery Challenge to reduce food loss and waste. Boukhaima serves as a Student Senator representing CAPPA college in Student Government and a leader of the Mavs Go Green student organization that oversees the Food Recovery Network (FRN) chapter. Boukhaima’s engagement has addressed food waste in various ways, such as collaboration with dining services, an award-winning composting program, and involvement in community partnerships. Boukhaima has helped UTA recognize the importance of minimizing food waste and its emerging issues with environmental, social, and economic impacts. Boukhaima thanks “the composting program at UTA, student engagement in the FRN, the food pantry on campus, food waste efforts by Chartwells, and the establishment of the North Texas Food Policy Alliance" for helping “us in receiving this recognition."


Fall 2021

This time of year good news typically comes in the form of "the semester is almost over!" We wanted to add some additional items to our list that we could celebrate. Join us in congratulating or being thankful for the support of the following items:

Architecture Student, Scott Bojanowski one of the Commended Entries for the Architizer's 3rd annual One Drawing Challenge. Architizer is saying that "these extraordinary drawings form a powerful reflection of our times, and prove that, while some of its greatest challenges burden the world in recent memory, the creativity of the architectural community remains undimmed."

Lenita Dunlap, Ph.D. Student and Graduate Research Assistant, will be honored with the United Nation’s Association Award this Saturday October 30, 2021. Dunlap proudly shares this special honor with the University because she created the awarded program with her “newly acquired research skills” from her Fall 2014 CAPPA courses.

Ladan Mozaffarian, Ph.D. Student of Urban Planning and Public Policy (UPPP), receives the 2021 William J. Pitstick Scholarship from the UMANT Executive Committee. Mozaffarian shares the achievement to thank Dr. Coursey for sharing the wonderful opportunity and providing support throughout the process.

Fernando Rojas Cervantes, architecture student and Fort Worth artist, wrote a first-person piece for Fort Worth Report that told his story and journey toward art. The story also appeared in Arlington’s, sharing his experience moving from Mexico to the United States and his love for art. Fernando Rojas Cervantes has murals in San Antonio and Fort Worth and at the Trinity River trails.

Qian He, Ph.D. student selected and awarded a $4,000 Scholarship by the American Planning Association(APA) Foundation Scholarship. This award is given to diverse students who intend to pursue careers in planning and are enrolled in Planning Accreditation Board accredited planning programs.

Qian He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Urban Planning and Public Policy and an Instructor at the Department of Public Affairs and Planning. Her research focuses on environmental equity and community development through public transit, neighborhood safety, and public health. She is particularly interested in examining how urban planning policies shape health outcomes and the well-being of historically disadvantaged communities. Qian's dissertation explores the social determinants of mental health under the impacts of urban environments and social equity using longitudinal data from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan area with the Spatial-Econometric modeling techniques.


Summer 2021

Sally Ayuk, an Urban Planning and Public Policy student, has been accepted for the Walton Transportation Research Fellowship. Ayuk will be participating in a summer internship at the University of Texas at Austin Center for Transportation Research (CTR). The fellowship provides an opportunity for Ayuk to learn how public agencies decide on complex technological issues, which will culminate in the publication and presentation of a research paper relevant to the topic of transportation.

Angeles Margarida, a current Master of Landscape Architecture student, received the 2021 Bill Millsap Fellowship: The Art of Landscape Architecture from the Architecture and Design Foundation. The fellowship awarded Angeles with $2,500 to help facilitate a research project, an experiment, or a supplemental experience in art or creative landscape expression. The foundation chose Angeles amongst numerous and impressive applications for this year’s fellowship. Therefore, Angeles has been invited to a Recognition Breakfast with the Architecture and Design Foundation Board of Directors and the Scholarship Committee to celebrate her tremendous achievement.

Angeles Margarida (Landscape Architecture) collaborated with five DFW-based artists and The University of Texas at Arlington FabLab to create a project called “Empowering Artists Who have Experienced Homelessness Through Temporary Public Art in the City of Dallas, Texas.” Angeles’s goal sought to discover if temporary art can be used in the public landscape to empower homeless individuals. Angeles hoped that stories from artists who have experienced homelessness can alter misconceptions, influence creative solutions, and make an impact for homelessness. Margarida reported, “In the past, landscape architecture has divided and excluded communities by not including them in the process. This project, however, aims to unite, include and improve the quality of life of the homeless community in Dallas.” With the help of the FabLab, Angeles designed and built multiple large wall-like structures with the help of the FabLab, which assisted with significant woodwork and vinyl cutting. Margarida hopes to continue her work with a company that shares her values once she graduates.

Spring 2021

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has selected Amruta Sakalker as their Ecoleader Community Research Fellow! This fellowship focuses on advancing their equity and justice principles of NWF. Amruta Sakalker is a Ph.D. student in Urban Planning and Public Policy. Amruta is so excited to showcase CAPPA and UTA at this national forum of Ecoleaders. She shares her achievement with Meghna Tare (director of UTA's Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact) and Dr. Reyes-Sanchez, (Assistant Professor, Public Affairs and Planning) for their support and encouragement. 

College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs student team won first place in the master plan category of the ninth annual EPA RainWorks Challenge, reported. The UTA entry is titled "The Path Forward: Contain, Clean, and Connect." Here is the team's video about the project. 


The national competition engages college students in the design of on-campus green infrastructure solutions to address stormwater pollution. First-place teams will receive a $7,000 student prize to be split among team members and a $3,000 faculty prize to support green infrastructure research and training. 

Emily Brandt Public Administration and Public Policy Doctoral Student, selected as one of ten Public Administration Network (PATNet) Fellows for 2021. She is presenting a paper titled "Morally Conscious Decision Making: A Theoretical Analysis" at the upcoming Public Administration Theory Conference. The PATNet Fellowship includes:

  • Fully paid conference registration.
  • Membership to PA Theory Network.
  • An invitation to participate in a pre-conference workshop to engage with senior scholars and craft a scholarly identity in PA Theory.

The Public Administration Theory Network's goal is to bring together people engaged in critical thinking about democracy, policy, and administration. Every year in late spring, the Network hosts a conference where scholars can discuss their work and hear from colleagues from all over the world.

Ladan Mozaffarian, Graduate research assistant at the University of Texas at Arlington Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions, and Dollars (C-TEDD), was awarded the Annual University Transportation Center’s Outstanding Student of the Year Award. Ladan is recognized for her outstanding achievements and contributions to transportation research and education.

Sindi Malelli announced as the winner of the CAPPA’s Student Sustainability Award for their winning design project “Greenland: Agriculture as a Driver of Independence” Sindi’s approach was innovative in its multilevel approach, making connections between Greenland’s dependence upon imported food and how responding to the increase in arable land due to a warming climate can change this dependence. A circular design that incorporates modules for hydroponic vertical farming, produce wash areas, produce storage, teaching kitchen, classroom, and local market was presented as a flexible template that could be replicated.

Ph.D. student Shadin Nimery announced as the winner of the inaugural 2021-2022 CAPPA JEDI Award. Through her ongoing research project, “WHAT ARE THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF THE DIGITAL DIVIDE ON THE NOTION OF SMART CITY IN THE DFW METROPOLITAN AREA?” Nimery has offered a thorough analysis of a set of problematic JEDI issues, focusing upon the divide of internet access, particularly in the Dallas Metroplex of 7.5 million people.  

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 recognized 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 Foundation (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.

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 livability-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.”