URP Student Awards 2020
May 20, 2020
The faculty of the UF Department of Urban and Regional Planning (URP) are pleased to announce the recipients of the annual URP student awards for 2019-20. The awards recognize graduate planning students in the masters (campus-based and online) and doctoral programs for achievements overall and for specific planning topics. Several awards were created by, or in honor of, persons and organizations of special significance to the URP Department and the planning field. When provided by the sponsors, several of the awards come with monetary supplements to assist the students with their continued academic and professional endeavors. Congratulations to all the award recipients!
APA Outstanding Student Award
The American Planning Association presents the Outstanding Student Award to one graduate student in each accredited planning program. This award recognizes a student who has performed well in class, demonstrates leadership, and shows promise of early achievement in the planning profession. The recipient will receive a certificate from the American Planning Association and be recognized on the APA’s website.
The recipient of the 2020 APA Outstanding Student Award is Lian Plass. Lian excelled overall in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program with outstanding academic achievements, such as her studio work on social equity, and leadership as President of the Student Planning Association. Congratulations Lian!
Peter J. Kanavos Sr. Memorial Award
The Peter J. Kanavos Sr. Memorial Award is given in honor of Mr. Kanavos, who founded the Flag Development Company. The award fund was established in 1991 by the family and friends of Mr. Kanavos. Generally this award is presented to an outstanding student who is interested in real estate development; however, the donors to this fund do not limit the award to students with this focus.
The recipient of the 2020 Peter J. Kanavos Sr. Award is Seth Wood. Seth was recognized by the faculty for his academic and research accomplishments while in the master’s program, particularly in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Congratulations Seth!
Ulla Rydberg Memorial Award
The Ulla Rydberg Memorial Award is given in honor of Ms. Rydberg, who was a researcher in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the time of her death in 1991. She was particularly known for her work to provide housing for seniors, and she is remembered for her openness and generosity. This funded award honors her commitment to gerontology and other forms of social planning by recognizing an outstanding student focusing on one of these fields.
The recipient of the 2020 Ulla Rydberg Award is Michelle Larime. Michelle stood out for her professionalism, academic achievements, and excellent master’s thesis, “Preserving Place: Planning for Equity in Historic African American Communities.” Congratulations Michelle!
Margaret E. Raynal Memorial Award
This award is given in honor of Margaret E. Raynal, who was the statewide trainer for the Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program in the URP Department until her death in 1996, which resulted from an automobile-caused bicycle crash. At Raynal’s memorial service a letter from Gov. Lawton Chiles was read which praised her exemplary commitment and character. This funded award is presented to an exceptional student who specializes in environmental or transportation planning, particularly alternative forms of transportation, or health education.
The recipient of the 2020 Margaret E. Raynal Award is Brooke Peters. Brooke was noted for her undergraduate sustainability capstone on scooter safety and environmental impacts, her thesis on transportation and social equity, and her research assistance to the Safe Routes to School project. Her advisor Dr. Ruth Steiner remarked that Brooke embodied the spirit of Margaret Raynal. Congratulations Brooke!
WRS Infrastructure & Environment Inc. Award In Memoriam of Mario Ripol
WRS Infrastructure & Environment, Inc. established this award in memory of Mario Ripol, who was an MURP graduate and research associate in the GeoPlan Center when he was killed in an automobile crash in 2000. This award is presented to an outstanding student who specializes in information technology for planning.
The recipient of the 2020 Mario Ripol Memorial Award is Haoming Qin. Haoming was recognized for his research on integrating transit with ‘transportation network companies’ such as Uber and Lyft. His advisor, Dr. Zhong-Ren Peng, commended Haoming for his “passion in helping other students.” Congratulations Haoming!
Jim Beeler Public Service Memorial Award
This award is given by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in honor of James Nevin Beeler, Jr., who graduated from the MURP program in 2011 and passed away in 2012. Jim was active in local political and civic circles everywhere he lived. He was not afraid to get involved in public controversy and public service. Before becoming a URP student, he served on the Tampa-Hillsborough County Planning Commission and worked on several campaigns for area politicians. This award is presented to students who engage in public service and make a difference in their communities.
The recipient of the 2020 Jim Beeler Public Service Memorial Award is Adrienne Aviles. The faculty who nominated Adrienne called her a “dynamo” and commended her willingness to take on controversial planning subjects. She was further recognized for her innovative use of GIS and crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED). Congratulations Adrienne!
Paul and Malea Zwick Graduate Student Award
The Paul and Malea Zwick Graduate Student Award was established in 2018 by URP Professor Paul Zwick and his wife, Malea. This funded award recognizes a student who has best integrated innovative use of technology into their solution for urban and regional planning problems or research.
The recipient of the 2020 Paul and Malea Zwick Graduate Student Award is Yu Han. Yu’s dissertation was an innovative application of spatially-explicit and dynamic models to evaluate urban and environmental issues, particularly coastal flooding and community adaptation. Doctoral advisor Dr. Zhong-Ren Peng acknowledged Yu’s work ethic and dependability, and expressed “full confidence in his research and future academic career.” Congratulations Yu!
Carl Feiss Urban and Environmental Design Award
URP alumni and friends established the Carl Feiss Urban and Environmental Design Award in memory of Carl Feiss, who was among the founding faculty of the UF Department of Urban and Regional Planning. He was trained as an architect and was instrumental in founding the planning professional nationally through his work on affordable housing, historic preservation and other regional planning priorities from the Roosevelt (FDR) to the Kennedy administrations. This funded award is given to accomplished students showing significant future promise based upon studio work, papers, or presentations in urban and environmental design.
The recipient of the 2020 Carl Feiss Urban and Environmental Design Award is Rachel Mandell. Rachel’s master’s research project, which was about land use and policy impacts on the urban tree canopy and heat island effect, embodies the spirit of the Feiss Award. Rachel is also accomplished academically and noted for her professionalism. Congratulations Rachel!