2018 Outstanding Students
Garrett has taken an active role in developing a career outside of the classroom. He has participated in public and private horticulture work opportunities to gain a better understanding of the industry as a whole. Employers from both settings emphasize the quality of his work ethic and desire to learn. Garrett has found his passion in plants. He articulates his knowledge enthusiastically and will be a wonderful advocate for the art and science of horticulture.
The faculty of the DAAP School of Planning have selected Timothy Aaron Hawk as the Outstanding Bachelor of Urban Planning student for 2018. Tim has displayed academic excellence in the classroom and studio, and while on co-op as exemplified by his outstanding GPA and his reputation among faculty, peers and employers as one who does not shirk hardwork, readily contributes to group activities and is always willing to assist others. The breadth of his intellectual curiosity and accomplishments go beyond the School, as he also will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a certificate in Business Spanish. Further, Tim’s dedication to service exemplifies the best traits of the urban planning profession as represented by his Cincinnatus Scholar Service, Study/Service Abroad and mission trip activities, and his roles as a DAAP Ambassador, DAAP Senator to the UC Student Government and Senior Class Officer.
Alexa’s thesis work challenges the status quo of representation with a deft appropriation of popular culture to present contemporary black experience through overwhelmingly large-scale digital collage. Alexa is a leader–both in class and out of class–hungry for dialogue, and the scope of her work has continued to widen significantly over her time at DAAP. She balances taking risks in her studio practice with impeccable time management. Alexa consistently produces exhibition-ready, smart, and heartfelt work.
Jamie Maier is a talented designer that has found her passion in collaborating, connecting and serving others. While at DAAP / ID she has been an excellent student in both studio and co-op work. Jamie served outside of DAAP as a University Honors Program Ambassador and Retreat Coordinator, a ROAR Campus Tour Guide and as a Participant in the LeaderShape Institute. Along with her studies at DAAP Jamie collaborated with two other students from Graphics and Fashion Design to create and launch a nonprofit, http://sidekicksmade.org. Jamie has been a leader among her peers and a strong mentor to younger students. She maintains a positive and forward outlook. Jamie exemplifies the attributes of our number one-rated Industrial Design Program.
Abi Knipscher is an extremely creative and dedicated student whose work is conceptually strong and beautifully executed. And, she is equally adept at verbally communicating her ideas in presentations and at desk reviews. She is self-motivated and always comes to studio with new ideas. Abi exhibits a mature attitude and confidence, which will serve her well as she transitions into her professional career. Abi is deserving of the Outstanding Senior Award in Interior Design.
Master of Design
I have known Shay Xei since was an undergraduate student in DAAP. Her work as an individual and team member at the Live Well Collaborative was exceptional. She worked for two years then came back for her MDes and was immediately given a Graduate Fellowship Award at the LWC. She is a perfect example of why a designer should return for a masters degree. Her thesis project will give her the additional level of research and strategy to help her to become a leader in the field. Her path from China to Singapore to the US has been an amazing journey.
Ekin’s diligence, initiative, versatility, and receptivity to new ideas and approaches stand out. At UC, he has been active writing for art publications in the region, with a text on Charlie Woodman for Aequai, as well as working on a range of projects with Cincinnati’s MicroMini cinema and Wave Pool Gallery. As a junior, Ekin presented research at the Jonathan B. Reiss Undergraduate Symposium at the University of Dayton. It is testimony to his talent as an emerging writer and creative artist that he has accomplished all this in tandem with scholarly achievements of a high order. Ekin shared the Mary Ann Meanwell award and was awarded the Kristi Nelson Art History Scholarship in 2017.
Graphic Communication Design
Kyle Cypher operates at the highest levels with unflagging consistency and professionalism. He is a model student as reflected by his continuous Dean’s List standing and numerous academic scholarships. Moreover, he increasingly directs his efforts towards meaningful projects in health and wellness, whether on co-op at the Live Well collaborative or, for capstone, designing training materials for nurses at Children’s Hospital. In these and other cases Kyle produces unquestionably effective solutions by navigating research, designerly form making, and technological challenges all while maintaining a focus on users’ needs.
Doctor of Philosophy, Architecture
Abdulaziz Alsaqobi came to UC from Kuwait as a student in the M.S. Program in Architecture before embarking on studies toward the Ph.D. His doctoral dissertation considers the living conditions of people who lack formal citizenship status in Kuwait and relates these cases to analogous situations in other countries. This research demonstrates his commitment to the study of architecture as it relates to underrepresented populations and contributes to a more inclusive, empowering, and humane understanding of architecture.
Master of Architecture
Lauren Whitehurst is an exceptional student who has consistently displayed a high level of rigor, dedication and design talent that exemplifies the ideals of the Master of Architecture Program. She has consistently shown this through her excellent academic work and the creativity she brings to her design work. In addition, Lauren has displayed great leadership skills as a teaching Graduate Assistant for the past two years and strong organizational talents as the volunteer coordinator for the NCBDS conference at DAAP earlier this year.
Erika Frondorf is a thoughtful and introspective designer with a sophisticated aesthetic. She is respected and respectful within the DAAP community. Her academic accolades include attaining the highest-grade point average in the fashion program, membership in the University Honor’s Program, Dean List’s for all semesters, and recipient of the Exceptional Tailoring Award in 2016. Erika’s approach to fashion is both intellectual and principaled. She views fashion as an integral part of society and is dedicated to improving the industry through insistence on sustainable and ethical practices.
Blair Ramsey is a uniquely motivated, talented, and thoughtful designer who has made the most of her time as a student in the School of Architecture and Interior Design. She continues to find ways to challenge herself in the context of concept, design process, and its articulable outcomes. Beyond the rigorous development of her design work, she has also accessed the opportunities that the academy offers beyond its immediate borders, providing us with a truly engaged exceptional student.
Master of Community Planning
Molly Porter has been an exemplary student and graduate assistant, demonstrating the eagerness to learn new skills, the ability to make informed and independent decisions, and the skill to think and act critically. She wrote a truly excellent thesis on the Scholar House, an innovative form of public housing, in Newport, Kentucky. Molly was selected to present a shortened version of her thesis at a paper session of the Urban Affairs Association conference in Toronto.
Master of Science in Architecture
Bhaswar Mallick joined UC’s M.S. Program in Architecture from India, where he had worked professionally as an architect for five years after receiving his B.Arch. degree. His master’s thesis explores the persistence of building crafts in rural Indian architecture in defiance of the British colonial narrative of India’s cultural decline. It provides an original account of the role of architecture and the building trades in past and present conflicts over cultural and political identity.
Master of Fine Arts
Arvind only took one class with me (graduate seminar) but he contributed incredibly thoughtful and incisive comments and questions, and impressed me as highly intellectually curious about the subject of the class. In fact, I believe that Arvind would bring the same curiosity to any class, or even any task with which he would engage. Arvind’s studio practice was incessant- every work was a new question, a new push outside of comfortable boundaries. I deeply admire that commitment to art as ‘serious play’- Arvind set a standard to which I myself am challenged to rise. “Arvind was probably the most inquisitive and hardworking student of this list that I worked with.” “Based on my experiences working with him and many of the other students and on the work shown at the MFA exhibition. In my view, he has consistently been working at a very high level and is the most outstanding student in the current class of Grads.”
Mehrsa (Mehri) Mohebbi
Doctor of Philosophy, Regional Development Planning
Mehri Mohebbi started her journey at UC after almost seven years of academic and professional experiences in her homeland, Iran. Her doctoral dissertation focused on social components of multimodal transportation planning with a case study of Muslim women in Detroit Metro Area. Her PhD research received several fellowships and grant awards, along with the support from the Mayor’s Office, City of Dearborn, where it was considered as a starting point of a local health initiative. Mehri’s identity, as a Middle Eastern minority, encouraged her to dedicate her professional life to promote minorities’ social experiences in urban America. Since 2016, she has been actively involved in American Planning Association activities, including serving as the jury for national planning awards.
Addie Britt brings passion to her work demonstrating immediate impact within and beyond the academic environment. The art and science of urban studies are captured by her attentiveness to detail, her curiosity and approach to discovery and her compassion in broadening understanding of the social sciences in ways that leverage artistic meaning. Addie has taken a lead in lending service to less represented voices. Her engaging leadership and artistic second nature touch the urban landscape reflecting the school’s ideals of livable places that enrich people’s lives.