At last Friday's Texas A&M University commencement ceremonies, the Association of Former Students presented a posthumous Distinguished Alumni Award to Frederick E. Giesecke, who founded Texas’s first formal architectural education program 100 years ago at what is today Texas A&M University.
The 1886 graduate designed many of the buildings on campus, including the Jack K. Williams Administration Building, Cushing Library, Hart and Walton Halls and the Chemistry Building. He was the first head of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station and he led the formation and drafted the constitution of the first Alumni Association, the forerunner of The Association of Former Students.
In 2004, Giesecke was posthumously honored as an Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Architecture. This year, his grandson, Preston M. Geren, established a lecture series at the college in Giesecke's name.
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Going boldly where relatively few have gone before, 14 women — the most ever —graduated last Friday from Texas A&M University with bachelors degrees in construction science, entering an industry traditionally dominated by men.
“The young women who choose this major do very, very well,” says Charles Graham, Mitchell Endowed Professor and interim department head of construction science (COSC), “but, unfortunately, despite our vigorous recruiting efforts, the numbers of women in the department have crept up extremely slowly over the years. From about three percent of students during the program's early days, today about 12 percent of our majors are women.
“In part, these percentages are the result of our industry's image — when people hear the word construction, they think of jobs operating heavy equipment, tying steel or connecting I-beams at the job site. But in reality, almost all of our graduates, both male and female, enter the work force as managers, directing other employees and performing complex calculations and contract negotiations.
“In fact, our curriculum provides an excellent preparation to enter management in any number of fields.”
The COSC department, housed in the College of Architecture, is home to 29 faculty members and nearly 700 students, making it one of the largest such programs in the country. Students take courses to prepare them for construction industry apprenticeships that groom them for management positions. The curriculum offers an interdisciplinary approach that conveys a broad knowledge of materials and methods of construction, construction procedures, construction law, estimating, scheduling and construction operations. Students are required to complete general courses in the humanities, mathematics and the physical and social sciences to provide a well-rounded background. They also pursue courses at Mays Business School and the College of Engineering to obtain appropriate expertise in related fields.
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Robert B. Hunter, FAICP, (B. Arch ’67 and M. Arch ’71) from the College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, has been elected as president of the national organization of professional planners from across the United States. His election to the top position of the American Planning Association (APA), announced at the national conference in San Antonio, Texas, April 25, will begin a four year term as leader of the national board of directors, first year as president elect, two years as president and a fourth year as past president.
The American Planning Association, with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C., is an organization of 40,000 planners, public and appointed officials and supporters of “Making Great Communities Happen.” It provides support and leadership in the development of livable, diversified communities by advocating excellence in community planning, environmental priorities, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to effect positive change.
Department of Architecture to host
reception during LA AIA convention
The Department of Architecture is hosting a special reception during the 2006 AIA National Convention at RTKL Associates’ Los Angeles office.
The event is set for 7 p.m. Friday June 9, 2006. RTKL office is located at 333 Hope Street in Los Angeles, Calif.
For former students, faculty and friends of the college are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please RSVP by June 5 to Trish Pannell at 979.458.0400 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Center for Health Systems & Design at the Texas A&M University College of Architecture recently joined the Center for Aging Services (CAST), a program of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), which is the primary U.S. organization serving the non-profit long-term care industry.
The CAST is leading the national charge to develop and deploy technologies that can improve the aging experience in America. The organization has four focus areas:
Established in 2003, CAST has become a national coalition of more than 400 technology companies, aging services organizations, research universities, and government representatives.
“Through research, collaboration, and evidence-based practice, CAST task groups work to ensure that technology solutions attain their fullest potential to meet the needs of our aging society, explained Amy Hodukavich, CAST program coordinator.
Susan Rodeik, assistant professor of architecture and associate director of CHSD, is listed as the primary CAST contact at Texas A&M University.
As members of CAST, Rodiek said, the center is eligible to participate in a variety of development programs conducted by the organization. Rodiek has already discussed the possibility of a TAMU studio project focused on the design and installation of health-related communication and monitoring technologies in individual residences.
Other TAMU contacts for the organization include Elton Abbott, a lecturer in the Department of Architecture, and Marcia Ory, professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Health at the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center.
More information about CAST is available on the organization’s Web site at http://agingtech.org/. The site includes the “CAST Clearinghouse,” which is created and maintained by CAST members as a place to learn what's happening in aging services technologies. The site’s “partnering opportunities” section offers a Web-based bulletin board where companies, researchers and service providers can post collaborative projects.
The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (www.aahsa.org) serves two million people every day through mission-driven, not-for-profit organizations dedicated to providing the services people need, when they need them, in the place they call home. AAHSA members offer the continuum of aging services: adult day services, home health, community services, senior housing, assisted living residences, continuing care retirement communities, and nursing homes. The organization is committed to creating the future of aging services through quality people can trust.
Former architecture professor Chowdhury featured in The Eagle
Sculptor and former A&M architecture professor Ali Chowdhury was featured in the April 30th edition of The Eagle for the sculptural work he now does in his backyard.
Texas A&M invites proposals from faculty interested in developing faculty-led study abroad programs outside the United States for fall 2007, particularly for the Santa Chiara Study Center in Italy.
Proposals that are interdisciplinary are especially encouraged. All out-of-country courses in which faculty and students are outside the U.S. together must be submitted as proposals. This ensures the special approval required by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to allow collecting formula funding for courses taught outside the U.S. This includes variable-credit courses such as 685, 485, 689, 489, 484, etc. This review process begins with a review by the University Study Abroad Program Policy Committee for recommendation to the executive vice president and provost. Notifications of recommended courses for Fall 2007 will be made early in Fall 2006, but final approval from THECB will not be available until Spring 2007.
The updated proposal forms (for College Station or Galveston) and instructions for submission are available on the following Web site: http://studyabroad.tamu.edu/forms.asp#faculty.
It is critical that the most up-to-date version of the form for your campus be used, rather than changing dates on a previous version. The deadline for submission of proposals to teach outside the U.S. in Fall 2007 is 5 p.m. on September 4, 2006. Please note that proposals are to be submitted to the Study Abroad Program Policy Committee (SAPPC) member of your college by the stated deadline. A listing of the current SAPPC members is a part of the application form.
College Station campus proposals submitted after the Final Submission deadline may not be considered for matching faculty salary funding through Study Abroad Enhancement Funding. For more information or for assistance in locating appropriate sites outside the U.S. to conduct study abroad programs, faculty may contact Dr. Suzanne Droleskey, Executive Director, International Programs for Students, at (979) 845-0544.
Those who’d like to use on-line materials in their teaching, who want to know how to safely post grades on-line, who want to have training materials available online for their staff, or who have not seen WebCT since version 2, will want to attend the free WebCT Vista 4.0 demonstration 9:30 – 11 a.m. Thursday, May.
The demonstration, hosted by Instructional Technology Services (ITS), will be held in two locations: the ITS classroom in 004 Heldenfels, and in the Medical Sciences Library Education Center, next to the new ITS office on west campus.
All faculty, staff and teaching assistants are invited. The demonstration will examine new WebCT features and the enhanced user interface. Participants will learn about using rubrics, blogging and peer review. A question-and-answer session will follow the demonstration.
Seating is limited. To reserve spot, e-mail ITS at email@example.com and indicate which location you will be attending.
Saturday & Sunday — May 20-21
Building Inspection Workshop: a continuing education course for building inspectors is set for 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. in Langford C 105. For more information, please contact Ann Eastwood at 845-0289 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday — May 29
Memorial Day : Faculty and staff holiday.
Tuesday — May 30
First summer session begins: First day of first term and 10-week semester.
Secret Pal Luncheon: Secret Pal participants gather 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. in the Langford B Exhibit Hall. For more information, contact Susie Billings at 847-9357 or sBillings@archmail.tamu.edu.
Thursday - Saturday — June 8-10
AIA National Convention will be held in Los Angeles, Calif. For details visit:
Friday — June 9
AIA reception in LA: The Department of Architecture is hosting a special reception during the 2006 AIA National Convention at RTKL Associates’ Los Angeles office. The event is set for 7 p.m. Friday June 9, 2006. RTKL office is located at 333 Hope Street in Los Angeles, Calif. For former students, faculty and friends of the college are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please RSVP by June 5 to Trish Pannell at 979.458.0400 or e-mail
Monday — June 19
Q-Drop: Last day for all students to drop courses with no penalty for the first term.
Friday — June 30
First summer session ends: Last class day of the first summer term classes.
Monday — July 3
Final exams for first summer term.
Tuesday — July 4
Independence Day: Faculty and staff holiday.
Wednesday — July 5
Second summer session begins: The summer’s second term classes get under way.
Wednesday — July 19
Q-Drop: Last day for all students to drop courses with no penalty for the 10-week summer term.
Tuesday — July 29
Q-Drop: Last day for all students to drop courses with no penalty for second summer term.
Monday — Aug. 7
Second summer sessions end: Last class day of the second summer term and 10-week semester classes.
Tuesday - Wednesday — Aug. 8 - 9
Final exams for second summer term and 10-week classes.
Friday — Aug. 11
Summer commencement and commissioning
Friday — Aug. 25
College faculty/Staff meeting: College of Architecture faculty and staff meet 10 a.m. in the Langford B auditorium,. Lunch will be served in the Langford B Exhibit Hall after the meeting.
Sunday — Aug. 27
Freshman Convocation is a 45-60 minute ceremony that welcomes freshmen to Texas A&M University's community of learners in a manner similar to the community's recognition of students' graduation at commencement. The university president offer some inspiration remarks urging students to make their Texas A&M education a life changing experience. For more details on this event, visit http://www.tamu.edu/freshmanconvocation/about.htm
Monday — Aug. 28
Classes start: First day of fall 2006 semester gets under way.
Monday-Friday — Sept. 4 - 8
German Study Abroad Exhibit: Students who participated in the spring 2006 study abroad program in Düsseldorf, Germany will exhibit their work in the Langford B Exhibit Hall.
Friday — Sept. 8
Academic Convocation: In academia, the word "convocation" refers to a ceremonial assembly of the members of a college or university. Traditionally, academic convocations celebrate special events such as the beginning of the academic year or the anniversary of an institution. In 1997, Texas A&M re-established the practice of Academic Convocation as a celebration of the university's progress and an opportunity to discuss the university's plans for the future. To learn more about this annual event, visit http://www.tamu.edu/conv/
Monday - Sept. 11
Tuesday - Sept. 12
Fifth Annual HIAC Meeting: The Health Industry Advisory Council for the College of Architecture’s Health Systems & Design will meet 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. in the Langford A Gallery. Lectures and networking opportunities will highlight the daylong event. For more information, contact Judy Pruitt at 845-7009 or e-mail email@example.com.
Friday — Nov. 10
Outstanding Alumni Award Banquet: The College of Architecture will honor the 2006 recipients of the Outstanding Alumni Award 6:30 - 10 p.m. at Miramont Country Club. For more information, contact Trish Pannell at 979.458.0400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2006 construction graduates honored