Newest alumni: Nearly 250 graduate from DCP
May 31, 2012
DCP alumni across The Gator Nation have a new crop of graduates to welcome.
Nearly 250 graduates walked across the stage at the College of Design, Construction, and Planning’s spring commencement on May 5 at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Jacinta McCann, executive vice president with AECOM, gave the commencement address, first noting that the DCP graduates have come “through a rigorous and very demanding curriculum” and “had the benefit of a truly world-class program here with a wonderful heritage.”
McCann was introduced by David Barth, LAE 1978, principal of AECOM, a Fortune 500 global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets.
“I believe there is no better time than today to be entering the design professions,” said McCann, who is AECOM’s Global Leader for the Design + Planning and Economics practice line, in which she directs 1,700 staff throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. “The reason for this is the scale and the pace of change that the world faces today. Design – whether we’re talking about architecture, or interior design, planning, landscape architecture and construction management – is about making deliberate, informed decisions about the way in which organizations, institutions, communities and societies as a whole will greet change.
McCann said we should ask ourselves how we plan to move into the future.
“The people you will work for, and in a larger sense the world, will be looking for answers, and if they aren’t, it’s your responsibility to step forward and to take a leadership role,” she said. “It’s your moment.”
McCann advised students to be ready to communicate and collaborate and reach out to other disciplines to seek their input and offer your own.
“You’ve all got the challenge of getting designed, approved and built, and you’re all seeing it through different lenses,” McCann said. “If you’re all sitting around the table at the same moment, your ideas can bounce off one another and become super charged by each other’s knowledge. Your process becomes exponentially smarter and more powerful.”
Caeli Tolar, the undergraduate recipient of the 2012 DCP Academic Achievement Award, spoke of living life without regrets.
“I would encourage you, fellow graduates, when making life decisions, consider which chance you will regret not taking,” Tolar said. “Despite the fact that we have made a big step in earning a degree, we still have a lot of living, working and deciding left to do. So if you weigh two options and know you will regret not doing one of them, I would urge you to take a chance and give it a shot.”
This year, architecture alumnus Mat Chandler, ARC 2009, M.Arch 2011, designed memento keychains for DCP graduates using laser cutters in the college’s Fab Lab.
Throughout commencement, the College of Design, Construction and Planning recognized a number of faculty members and students, as follows:
2012 University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship
R. Raymond Issa
Professor of Building Construction
2012 Dean’s Faculty Service Award
Assistant Professor of Interior Design
2011-12 College of Design, Construction and Planning Teacher/Adviser of the Year Award
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
2011-12 College of Design, Construction and Planning International Educator of the Year Award
Senior Faculty: Donna Cohen, Associate Professor of Architecture
Junior Faculty: Hui Zou, Associate Professor of Architecture
University of Florida Outstanding Four-Year Scholar
Honorable Mention: Roland Faust
2012 College of Design, Construction and Planning Academic Achievement Award
Undergraduate Student Award
Recipient: Caeli Tolar
Finalist: William Ross McClellan
Graduate Student Award
Recipient: Jake Landreneau
Finalist: Blair Mullins
2012 College of Design, Construction and Planning Student Leadership and Service Award
Recipient: Jose Luis Cruz
Finalist: Jennifer Harris