UPD Student Jared Islas Awarded Transportation Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Portland, OR

Junior Urban Planning + Design student Jared Islas will spend the summer researching transportation planning at Portland State University in Portland, OR.

UPD junior Jared Islas
UPD junior Jared Islas

Jared was selected among a competitive pool of undergraduate students across the country and the globe to participate in the Transportation Undergraduate Research Fellowship (TURF) sponsored by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) at Portland State. NITC is one of five U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers and a program of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State.

Jared will spend 10 weeks researching with Nathan McNeil, a Research Associate in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. Jared will receive a $7,500 stipend for his work this summer.

Billie Hufford

Senior UPD Billie Hufford Recognized as a Spring 2018 Honor Recipient

Senior Urban Planning + Design major Billie Hufford has been selected as one of 19 Spring 2018 Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Honor Recipients. Graduating students are recognized for their leadership and service to UMKC and the community. Billie and the other award recipients will be celebrated at a breakfast on May 11.

Billie Hufford is a dedicated student and outstanding leader. I’ve observed her dedication and leadership in and out of the classroom, particularly her assistance and mentoring of other students. As a nontraditional student, Billie has brought her wide variety of experience to multiple organizations at UMKC, including the LGBTQIA Affairs Council, the Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC), Planning + Design Students (PDS), and the UMKC chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). Billie applied the knowledge she gained with SAFC to PDS and APWA, connecting more students to resources and professional development opportunities. She has been an active participant of and ambassador for the UMKC Undergraduate Research program. Billie has translated the knowledge and skills she’s acquired from her studies at UMKC to improve Kansas City neighborhoods through volunteer efforts with the Northeast Office of the Mattie Rhodes Center and the Marlborough Community Coalition’s Economic Development Board. Billie has also volunteered with other local organizations, including KCUR, Cultivate KC, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and multiple LGBTQIA organizations, including annual participation in AIDS Walk Kansas City.

Billie graduates this month with a B.A. in Urban Planning + Design, a Sustainability minor, and an undergraduate GIS certificate. After graduation Billie will begin her new position with the City of Grandview as a planner and building inspector.

UPD Student Will Present Research on Cuba on March 6 and March 8

 

Funded by a SEARCH grant from UMKC Undergraduate Research, UPD Junior Billie Hufford traveled to Havana, Cuba over winter break to study transportation and the built environment. Billie will present her research in 101 Katz Hall (5005 Rockhill Rd.) at noon on Monday, March 6, 2017 and repeat it at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Please join us to learn more about Cuba!

First-Year Planning Field Trip

During our fourth annual planning field trip with first-year students in the Urban Planning + Design program, we finally made it to the Kansas City, Missouri City Hall observation deck (it was closed during previous trips).  After speaking with a planner on the 15th floor, we walked to Louis Berger to learn what AUP+D alums are working on. We rode the streetcar to Union Station and walked to lunch at Crown Center before returning to campus on the Main MAX bus.

Clara Irazábal merges pursuit of social justice and equity in two areas

Clara Irazábal is settling into her new roles as director of the Latina/Latino Studies (LLS) Program and professor of Urban Planning at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she combines these roles to pursue social justice and spatial equity.

“These positions allow me to teach, research and serve while addressing the urban challenges our communities face,” said Irazábal.

“I feel mutually connected and devoted to both areas, and my classes at UMKC will have components from urban planning and Latinx Studies, including exploration of issues of economic and community development; affordable and inclusionary housing; and sustainability and resilience for the Latinx communities and other minoritized groups in Kansas City and beyond,” she said. “Not only will we learn to identify and analyze the challenges, but most importantly, rehearse solutions for them while empowering communities.”

Irazábal has conducted her planning research in Latinx communities in the United States and in countries of Latin America, including Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean. Throughout her career, she has been motivated by her concern for understanding social justice struggles as displayed in the transformation of urban space, which has allowed her to share her experiences and expertise with communities.

“I have conducted the majority of my urban planning research in the Latinx community. It sets the stage for how to improve practices and the well-being of the entire community, beyond Latinxs,” said Irazábal. “I know here in Kansas City there’s a Troost divide, which the city has not yet overcome. We need to integrate both sides of the community,” she said.

Irazábal explained the rapidly-growing term ‘Latinx’ (pronounced Latin X) as an all-inclusive term. When using ‘Latina or Latino,” some individuals might be excluded. Latinx includes individuals who do not identify as women or men in the LGBTQ community.

The new UMKC Center for Neighborhoods in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design is an example of where she can merge the two areas of research and engage the community.

“The goal of the center is to promote community development by training leaders, and allowing them to select projects they wish to work on,” Irazábal said. “The Center just graduated its first cohort of trainees, which includes neighborhood leaders and police officers. There is much hope for the LLS and the Center for Neighborhoods as instruments for community development, representing opportunities to learn how to work better, collaborate and create synergies,” she said.

Since her arrival in July, Irazábal has been attending meetings and learning about more initiatives at UMKC, which she will support.

“I have already attended meetings with the UMKC Hispanic Advisory Board and was impressed by how invested its members are in the LLS Program and UMKC at large, as well as their energy when promoting the university and our students,” she said. She has learned about upcoming Division of Diversity and Inclusion programs, including the Social Justice Book and Lecture Series, the Agapito Mendoza Scholarship Breakfast and the Avanzando program.

“Each of these is critical to the success of our students and to celebrate and reach out to the community,” she said.

Irazábal has some specific thoughts about enhancing the LLS Program, which include opportunities for growth.

“I want the program to mature and expand and offer an integrated graduate certificate, a Latina/Latino Studies major and eventually a master’s degree,” she said. “Also, I want the program to include Latina/Latino and Latin Americas Studies, attracting students and faculty to increase visibility and impact in the community,” she said. “I want the program to have a larger presence in our community and for the community to be engaged with us.”

Having arrived at UMKC by way of Columbia University in the City of New York, where she taught and conducted research for eight years, Irazábal worked with the Institute of Latin American Studies and collaborated with the Centers for Brazilian, Mexican and Caribbean Studies.

“Latinxists and Latin Americanists – researchers, teachers and activists – came together to create a synergy, a dialog, an enrichment to communities and students,” she said. “I want to stimulate that here at UMKC.”

While not in the classroom this semester, Irazábal will take the time to be become more familiar with UMKC and the LLS program before teaching in the spring.

“I will teach Introduction to Latina/Latino Studies. It will be a good way to get to know the students and for them to know me,” she said. “Later, I will teach Urban Planning and Latino Studies, which will help students understand community development and the LLS. It will have an impact on the minority community. That course is still being developed,” said Irazábal. She also wants to ensure the students continue to grow their research skills, including investigating, developing and testing hypotheses.

Invoking a line from poet June Jordan – “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” – and a phrase from activists César Chávez and Dolores Huerta – “Sí se puede (yes we can),” Irazábal illustrated her sense of mission and vision for what she and the community can do together.

Wandra Brooks Green, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Photo credit: Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Reposted from UMKC’s blog.

Urban Studies Student’s Photography Project on Display in Miller Nichols Library

Head to Miller Nichols Library this semester for a display of Anne Martin’s photography.  The lightboxes are on view just to the west of the circulation desk on the first floor.

Anne is a senior Urban Studies major who conducted research and photographed homes built in Minneapolis as part of the Green Homes North project. The photography exhibit highlights the environmental and economic development impacts of infill housing in an older urban core neighborhood.

The UMKC Office of Undergraduate Research funded Anne’s work with a Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity (SUROP) grant.

New Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation

The Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design now offers a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation.  The 18-credit certificate has been designed to prepare a wide array of professionals interested in historic preservation. For more information on the certificate, please click here.  Students can start the certificate program Fall 2016 with UPD 5743: Introduction to Historic Preservation.