Celebrating DCP’s Newest Graduates

The latest graduates of the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning were celebrated at the Spring 2019 Recognition Ceremony.

The event, held at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on UF’s campus, saw 240 students walk across the stage and be recognized for their scholastic success.

DCP Dean Chimay Anumba opened the proceedings by welcoming the graduates, their families and friends, distinguished guests and members of the faculty and administration.

“While degrees will be conferred at the university commencement tomorrow, tonight, we celebrate with our DCP family,” Anumba explained.
Historic Preservation Director Marty Hylton then introduced the Distinguished Achievement Award winner, Frances Fontaine Bourque. She is a champion and long-time advocate for historic preservation and it was an honor for our college to celebrate her with this award.

After Hylton presented Bourque with her award, Dean Anumba stepped back to the podium to introduce our keynote speaker, Dan Whiteman, BBC ’69, MBC ’92, Ph.D. ‘02.

Whiteman is the Vice Chairman of Coastal Construction Companies, one of the Top 100 construction management companies in the country.
After Whiteman spoke, DCP Associate Dean Abdol Chini came to the podium to present two students with the college’s highest awards given to recognize outstanding student achievements.

First, Shane Ah-Siong was presented the College of Design, Construction and Planning’s Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award.

Ah-Siong co-founded and served as Vice President for OneOverOne, a student organization dedicated to helping individuals and families affected by cancer. He was President of Gators for UNICEF and also co-founder and chief product officer of RPS Recycling.

He also mentored first-year students through his service as a teaching assistant for Design 1. He served as a DCP Ambassador and was an active member of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students.

Chini then presented Laura Wiedenhoever with the Undergraduate Student Academic Achievement Award.

Wiedenhoever has been recognized with several awards, including the School of Architecture’s Architecture Design Award and the Martin G. Gunderson, Sr. Award. She was also selected as the winner of the first-ever Perkins + Will Prize in 2018, which paid for a semester study abroad in the school’s Vicenza Institute of Architecture.

She is a University Scholar, conducting research as an undergraduate student. Her research includes investigating energy efficient facades and studying the Lima water crisis.

Wiedenhoever also served as a DCP Ambassador, a teaching assistant for Design 3 and as a production editor for the student-produced publication, Architrave.

After these students were honored, it was time to recognize the Spring 2019 graduating class for our college. Each student crossed the stage to applause from loved ones. After the final student crossed the stage, Dean Anumba closed the ceremony with these remarks.

“Ladies and Gentleman, it is my pleasure to present to you the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning Class of 2019,” Anumba said. “Graduates, I wish you success in your lives as you enter our dynamic, changing world.”