Auburn University Community Planning Newsletter August 2017 - May 2018
Students & Faculty | Achievements & Updates Program Initiatives & Updates
-Student Faculty Advisory Committee o Each semester, students and faculty meet to resolve concerns and thoughts addressed by students. -Study Abroad Survey o This survey was sent to all MCP students to gauge future interest and willingnes to participate in a program-led study abroad course. The study found a variety of interests. -Accreditation Update o Preconditions have been met for candidacy so the program will be submitting their self-study report. To assist with the application process, the program hired an external consultant. We are scheduled to submit the first self-study report on August 1st for PAB candidacy. -Diversified Planning Advisory Council o The program has made an effort to expand and diversify its advisory council through adding new members. -Search for new faculty member o The program is searching for a new faculty member to teach Urban Design & Plan Making.
New e-Portfolio Program
The MCP program received one of Auburn University’s e-Portfolio Curriculum Development Grants in order to think through how best to implement the e-Portfolio project in the program. An e-Portfolio is a personal website that communicates and showcases your skills, experience, and learning; and it allows you to provide examples of your work products and contextualize those products for potential employers or further graduate school studies. A pilot group, comprised of MCP student volunteers, was run over the course of six weeks in the fall of 2017. The spring 2018 Synthesis Studio class has been tasked with creating an e-Portfolio for their final project. MCP faculty, in consultation with students, continue to strategize about how best to implement e-Portfolios in the program, but students can expect to start working with them in their classes beginning fall 2018.
Go to http://www.cla.auburn.edu/polisci/graduate-programs/master-of-community-planning/ about-the-program/meet-our-students/ to see e-Portfolio examples.
Outreach Engagements with Communities
Opelika’s Jeter Academy - Synthesis Studio II students organized three Saturday events to interact with kids to make changes within their community. Students designed sessions to inform the kids about what planners do as professionals, how and why we make changes within communities, and how they too can become planners for their own neighborhood. In conjunction with teaching the kids, students created each session to gain data for their studio projects. An example includes a mapping activity where kids drew a map of five places they go to daily and the mode of transportation they take to get there. With this information, a studio student analyzed their modes of transportation compared to destination. The class was led by Rebecca Retzlaff.
City of Dothan Transportation Corridor Project – Sustainable Transportation students participated in the City of Dothan’s public outreach meetings, met with city leaders and transportation professionals, and created and presented a Corridor Redevelopment Plan. Students took two trips to Dothan to participate in community outreach events and gather primary data for the three nodes of the study area. This class was composed of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of backgrounds including community planning, civil engineering and environmental design. Each group presented their preliminary data and design recommendations to Dothan’s city planner and MCP faculty. They will present next week to the mayor and city council. The class was led by Sweta Byahut.
Early in 2018, Auburn Universityâ€™s Student Planning Association passed leadership from DeAndra Navratil to Nathaniel Graham. Transitioning roles over the winter break enabled a smoother change as DeAndra was readily available to assist Nathaniel with any questions that arose. The types of activities that took place through out the year included socials, workshops, conference prepping, guest speakers, and field trips.
Recent Graduate Hires
Brittney Hudson, Director of Community Development for the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center Daniel Butler, Associate Planner at Watermark Design in Mobile, AL DeAndra Navratil, City Planner for the City of Richmond, IN
Recent Alumni Hires include: William Butler, Transportation Planner at AECOM of Atlanta, GA Jonathan Corona, Planner at Roswell, GA Phoenix Robinson, Planner at Central Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission
Student Achievements & Scholarly Engagement
For the 2017 AL/MS APA Conference, three of the six attending students participated in the student poster contest. DeAndra Navratil, Amanda White and Brittney Hudson were sponsored by the department to present their projects. DeAndra and Amanda took 1st Place in the Student Competition with the project “Rural Greenway: Connecting Bike Paths, Street Plans and Open Spaces, City of Auburn, Alabama.” Additionally, Sweta Byahut’s Spring 2017 Sustainable Transportation Planning class was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award for a Planning Student Team for the “Prattville Pedestrian Parking and Management Plan.” For the 2018 National APA Conference in New Orleans, LA, Natasha Miles, Andre’ Westbrook and Jaspuneet Kaur were sponsored to attend and present thier projects.
Students and Faculty at 2017 AL/MS APA Conference with Awards.
The recipient of the 2018 Arch Winter Fund for Excellence in Community Planning and the Dean’s Awards from the MCP program include Nathaniel Graham, James Djamba and Andre’ Westbrook. These students exhibited outstanding academic performance and leadership.
Students 2017 AL/MS APA Conference with 1st Place Student Award.
Students at 2018 National APA Conference.
Jay Mittal— In the last year, Jay published three journal articles and presented at six conferences. The focus of his articles are land value capture, economic growth and housing markets which were published through Information Tech for Development, Journal of Urban Planning and Development and Environmental Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science. These articles were also the topics of his presentations at conferences in the Netherlands, Poland and Serbia and at ACSP. He was also invited to RICS School of the Built Environment, India for a week long faculty development training and seminar to real estate students. Megan Heim LaFrombois—Megan published a book, presented at two conferences and received three grants. Her book, Reframing the Reclaiming of Urban Space: A Feminist exploration into Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Urbanism in Chicago, was published by Lexington Books. The book explores the concept of do-it-yourself (DIY) urbanism; or grassroots, citizen-led urban planning interventions; from an intersectional feminist analytical framework. Of the three grants, two were from Auburn University; the Intermural Grants Program Seed Grant and the e-Portfolio Curriculum Development Grant. These grants fund her upcoming projects to examine "shrinking cities" and the planning strategies that these cities have adopted in light of population loss and implement the e-Portfolio project into the MCP program. She presented her preliminary findings for her research on shrinking cities in Denver, CO and Toronto, Canada. Rebecca Retzlaff—In the last year, Becki has published a book, a journal article, presented at four conferences and received funding through three grants. Her book, Ohio Planning and Zoning Law, 2018 edition, was published by Thomson Reuters. In 2018, she also co-authored a journal article published through the Journal of Urban Design, which focused on planning and urban design in the 1960’s. The topics of her conference presentations include the interstate highway system in relation to the civil rights movement and coastal planning issues. Totaling over $68,000 in awarded grant funds, her upcoming projects entail analyzing historic city plans created by the Alabama State Planning Board and conduct research on the interstate highway system through Alabama. Funds were also used for the Spring 2018 Community Planning Synthesis Studio’s outreach efforts and buy out a semester’s worth of teaching. Sweta Byahut—In Spring 2018, Sweta was promoted to associate professor with tenure. In the past year she also published a book chapter, three journal articles, presented at three conferences, and received funding for three grants. Additionally, she was an invited speaker for TESS Talks - Together Embracing Successful Scholars, organized by the WISE Institute, Office of Inclusion and Diversity, Auburn University. Her book chapter on smart city strategies in the rust belt was published through Springer, Singapore while her journal articles are in the Urban Design International (forthcoming), the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, and Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science. The journal articles focus on building regulations for affordable housing and land use readjustment. The focus of her three grants are mediating the impacts of local flooding, teaching effectiveness, and support for community outreach class project.
Megan Heim LaFrombois' book: Reframing the Reclaiming of Urban Space: A Feminist exploration into Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Urbanism in Chicago
AU.MCP CONTACT: Jay Mittal 334-844-8409 firstname.lastname@example.org auspa.wordpress.com
In early 2018, Megan, Sweta, and Charlene LeBleu (Associate Professor from Landscape Architecture) received a two-year grant from the Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Consortium for their research project, “Mediating the Impacts of Local Flooding in the Mississippi-Alabama Coastal Region through Green Infrastructure Plan Evaluation.” The research aims to improve the quality of coastal communities’ plans, and the communities’ quality of life, by incorporating key concepts of green infrastructure planning in to their planning process and reducing flooding events. It also seeks to promote awareness of and provisions for green infrastructure planning in rapidly growing jurisdictions as to avoid excessive stormwater damage. e-Portfolio examples can be seen by going to the following links: Indrani Das - https://indranictg.wixsite.com/aumcp-indrani James Howell - https://jayhowellportfolio.weebly.com/ Felix Huang - https://felixyuchihuang.wixsite.com/felixhuang Yuying Huang - https://yzh0049.wixsite.com/Eunice Jeffery James - https://jzj0057.wixsite.com/jeffreyjames DeAndra Navratil -https://oconn5871.wixsite.com/deandranavratil Tram Vo - https://tzv0011.wixsite.com/mysite-2
newsletter from the Master of Community Planning program at Auburn University, Spring 2018 edition