AAP Students Shine in Recent Competitions, Awards, and Grants
Architecture, art, and city and regional planning students have received awards and grants for their scholarship, research, and work that advances the vision and scope of social justice and equity, urbanism, building preservation and adaptive reuse, robotics, AI, and sustainability.
The Architects Foundation, a philanthropic partner of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) that supports "a next-generation design community," selected Allexxus Farley-Thomas (M.Arch. '21) and Michael Paraszczak (M.Arch. 20) to receive 2020 scholarships. Farley-Thomas is a recipient of the Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship. She says issues of equality, health, safety, and well-being are primary in her approach to architecture, and she will use the grant to focus on "technical aspects of architecture as they facilitate experience." Farley-Thomas also received the Douglas W. Hocking and Melinda K. Abrams Award for the academic year 2018–19. Paraszczak was awarded the Yann Weymouth Graduate Scholarship. His interests include sustainable design, materials, and digital fabrication. Paraszczak works as a junior designer at Jenny Sabin Studio; he has previous experience working in the design office of REX and as a technician in the fabrication workshop at SUNY–Buffalo.
Chae Park (M.Arch. '20) has received the 2020 Suzanne Sheng Memorial Scholarship, from the Connecticut Architecture Foundation. The prize is awarded to students who have completed two years in an accredited undergraduate architectural program or have been accepted into a NAAB–accredited graduate program, with preference given to students at Cornell University. Park's other academic awards include 2018–19 Helen Fagan Tyler Graduate Fellowship in Architecture, and the 2017–18 Susan T. Rodriguez Graduate Award, founded by alumna, Susan T. Rodriguez (B.Arch. '81).
Laura Stargala (M.Arch. '20) won a 2020 Jerry. A. Tishman scholarship from the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach for an independent submission to the competition. Tishman scholarships support architecture students who have an interest in historic preservation. Stargala's other accomplishments include the 2018–19 Helen Fagan Tyler Graduate Fellowship in Architecture; the 2019 Inaugural Yann Weymouth Scholarship from the Architects Foundation; the 2017 Allwork Women's Auxiliary Eleanor Scholarship; and 2017–18 Dean's Graduate Award in Architecture.
Veronika Varga (B.Arch. '21) won a Frederick Conger Wood Research Fellowship from the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies Institute for European Studies (IES) for her project, "Living in the Era of Anthropogenic Climate Change." According to IES, the awards facilitate the development of thought leadership and discovery in the area of European Studies for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty members. In 2018, Varga took part in an independent study student team working with Assistant Professor Sasa Zivkovic of Cornell's Robotic Construction Lab (RCL) that took take third place in the architectural division of the Composites in Architecture Design Challenge.
Kirk Henriques (M.F.A. '21) was among 40 students selected as finalists in the to the AXA Art Prize 2020 Student Art competition. Describing his entry titled Discourse, Henriques says, "the viewer experiences the composition from the outside-of-the-fence-looking-in-at-the-figures who are comfortable in their own space." Working with art faculty Stan Taft, Gregory Page, and Maria Park, Henriques found support and inspiration in AAP's unique Teiger Mentor in the Arts program and books and online resources in the Fine Arts Library. "The strength of Cornell as a research university allowed me to add historical references to the inspiration of the work," he said. "Cornell provides an environment to explore and experiment with different mediums and mark-making."
Henriques's work is part of the Department of Art M.F.A. Virtual Exhibition: How to Build an Ocean.
Paloma Vianey (M.F.A. '21) has received an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant, a Canadian foundation that offers support to art students and emerging practitioners in the visual arts from any country. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Vianey has lived most of her life on the U.S.–Mexico borderlands and focuses her artwork on what she calls the region's "experiential contradictions." Vianey says the grant will help cover tuition and living expenses. Established in 1955, the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation funds young artists and students who pursue traditional techniques and workmanship in painting and sculpture.
Regional Science Ph.D. candidate Waishan Qiu's team won the grand prize and first place in the Hack.asia virtual hackathon Cooking with Big Data Challenge hosted by Jardine Restaurant Group and Microsoft Hong Kong. For the competition, teams developed innovative solutions leveraging AI and big data to improve consumer experience and restaurant operations in the current contexts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 36 hours' time, Qui's team developed FoodieXpress, combining AI technology with a business intelligence platform to function as an optimization tool for Pizza Hut restaurants in Hong Kong.
Qui was a fellow in the Mellon Collaborative Studies program during spring 2019 seminar Urban Unplanning: The City as Text. Before joining the Ph.D. program, he worked in research settings and laboratories, including the MIT SENSEable City Lab, the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, and the Evidence for Policy Design program at the Harvard Kennedy School. Qui's faculty advisor and committee chair is Professor Kieran Donaghy.
Second-year Urban and Regional Science student Lucien Wostenholme (B.S. URS '23) received an Engaged Cornell Serve in Place Grant for research undertaken with Associate Professor John Carruthers and Hanxue Wei, a second-year doctoral student in regional science. Their research shows how the city of Seattle, Washington, has been successful in greening its density across multifamily residential, commercial, mixed, and other land uses. "Growing Denser and Greener: Evidence From the 'Emerald City'" will be presented at the upcoming meetings of both the Associated Collegiate Schools of Planning and the North American Regional Science Council and will result in at least two peer-reviewed journal articles, according to Carruthers.
"Lucien has been instrumental in developing research that looks at the connections between land use planning and urban forestry in Seattle," Carruthers says. "This work will result in evidence that will help urban planners and other policymakers create greener, more livable cities."
The Serve in Place Grant supports team-based learning and research projects, presentations at virtual conferences, faculty-led engagement, and more.
By Patti Witten