By Eric Pringle
The College of Design may be one of the smaller colleges at the University of Minnesota, but there is no lack of talent among its students, who have been winning national and University-wide awards, scholarships, and grants over the past year.
Fulbright Program grants
Two CDes students are among 14 University undergraduate and graduate students to receive Fulbright grants to pursue study, research, or creative work in a foreign country.
Vivian Mui (BS Graphic Design '08) will spend the year as a Fulbright English teaching assistant at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.
"In addition to teaching, I plan to volunteer for local art, design, and visual communication organizations in Hong Kong to expand my knowledge of cross-cultural graphic design theories and international design concepts," she said.
Aside from being a place to research cross-cultural design, Hong Kong is very meaningful to her.
"My parents both emigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong about 30 years ago, and as an American-born Chinese, I have always been curious about my parents' birthplace and the city in which they grew up," she said.
Evan Hall (BS Arch '08) will spend the 2009-10 school year studying in South Korea. He will attend the Korea National University and plans to research how the urban environment in Seoul is changing.
"I will conduct interviews with architects, [do] field research including sketches and photography, and culminate my research with a community-based architecture design proposal," he said. Hall plans to give a lecture on his findings at CDes in December 2010.
Hall said, "I cannot thank my studio professors enough for pushing me to my furthest potential at the School of Architecture. Martha McQuade, Ralph Nelson, Andrew Dull, and Ozayr Saloojee were all extremely influential."
Since its inception in the late 1940s, the U.S. Department of State has sponsored the Fulbright program, which has provided grants to more than 286,000 students wanting to continue their studies abroad.
Walter H. Judd Fellowship
Jessica McClurg (MArch, Architecture and Historical Preservation) was one of 10 University graduate and professional degree students to receive a 2009 Walter H. Judd International Graduate and Professional Fellowship. Each year, this highly competitive fellowship awards students up to $2,000 to help offset the cost of travel, living, and academic expenses abroad.
McClurg said she is interested in how tourism can affect a historic site. Her decision to study in Japan was based on a desire to learn more about the culture and preservation techniques.
While studying in Japan, McClurg documented instances of overcrowding at numerous historical sites and noted any physical impact the overcrowding could have on the site.
Fibiger Scholarship for Research
Each fall and spring semester, the College of Design's Fibiger Scholarship for Research is awarded to the student whose Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) proposal is ranked number one. The scholarship is sponsored by John and Barbara Fibiger, both of whom are University alumni. Heidi Erm (BS Housing Studies '09) was the fall 2008 recipient, and Michael Anderson (BDA Arch '09) was the spring 2009 recipient.
Erm's research proposal analyzed two housing policies that deal with aging-in-place: the Livable Communities Act in the Twin Cities and the Livable Region Strategic Plan in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She said being awarded the scholarship validated that her research was important on a broader scale. (See Emerging, spring 2009, p. 7.)
Ann Ziebarth (Housing Studies) was Erm's faculty sponsor for the proposal. "I have confidence that Heidi will leverage her housing studies degree into a successful career," Ziebarth said. "[She] is well prepared to take on tough challenges and solve critical global housing issues."
Anderson's research proposal investigated the relationship between architecture and society in Nicosia, a city in Cyprus that is home to much political tension between the governments of Greece and Turkey.
Community Engagement Scholars Program
Andrew Sundal (BS Arch '09) is the first CDes student to complete the University's Community Engagement Scholars Program. How much engagement are we talking? "I had to complete 400 [community service] hours, six reflections...take eight credits of service-learning classes, take a seminar, and do a final project," he said. Sundal worked with Leslie Van Duzer (Architecture) and the Wilder Foundation on a Center for Healthy Aging Program project.