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Pennsylvania State University

June 7, 2012

The summer is a relatively quiet time in the Stuckeman School. It provides a period for students to reflect on their educational journey, and for faculty and staff to focus on maintenance and preparation for the pending academic year. While we do offer some course work in the summer, many of our students and faculty use this time to pursue research, foreign travel, and service-learning projects that cannot fit into the normal academic calendar.

Professors Brian Orland and Larry Gorenflo are once again leading a group of students in a study abroad project in Tanzania titled “Parks and People: Conservation of Nature and Community.” This project involves a six-week on-the-ground stay near the Udzungwa Mountains National Park in Mang’ula, Tanzania.

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Student Hired on the Spot

The following article first appeared on, the website for the American Institute of Architects:

A recent graduate of Penn State’s five-year architecture program, Melissa Rodríguez, Assoc. AIA, took a nontraditional approach to getting hired and landed her first job at the AIA 2012 National Convention.

Why did you attend the AIA 2012 National Convention?
My advisor, Curt Marshall, offered several students the opportunity to attend the convention. Two of us had just graduated so the conference presented a key networking opportunity.

For full story, click here.


BIM Studio Wins National Honor Sean burkholder image

Project by Creative Logic team: Mazhad Tashakori, Laurie Beth Donnachie, Pat Laninger, Josh Progar, Josh Wentz, Asher Harder

Penn State’s Interdisciplinary Collaborative Building Information Modeling (BIM) Studio, an initiative of the Stuckeman School for Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the Department of Architectural Engineering, has won its second award from the American Institute of Architects’ Technology in Practice BIM Awards Program. The studio is the 2012 winner in the Academic Program/Curriculum Development category.

“Based on our benchmarking, we believe this is the only university design studio that involves students from all of the major design and construction disciplines,” said Bob Holland, who has a joint appointment in Architecture and Architectural Engineering and leads the BIM Studio. “We are very proud that Penn State has become a leader in the teaching of collaborative design and BIM technology. This studio should help make our students strong candidates for entry into the rapidly changing fields of design and construction.”

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Architecture Student Wins Sustainability Leadership Award

A picture with a woman with her back to you on a path with trees surrounding her.

George Gard, who received his bachelor of architecture degree at commencement on May 5, was one of three recipients of the inaugural Penn State Student Sustainability Leadership Award and had a tree planted in his honor near Fisher Plaza in late April. The Student Sustainability Advisory Council, which just finished its first year of activity, initiated the award and honored the students for their peer education, community projects, and campus leadership.

Interested in the relationships among art, the individual, and the built form from a young age, George is one of the founders of SEED: Students for Environmentally Enlightened Design, a group started in 2009 to encourage students from the departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Architectural Engineering, and Engineering to engage in environmentally conscious architecture. George developed the SEED library project  and raised $15,000 to build shelving in a shipping container for donated books to be sent to a refugee camp in Africa. The project uses recycled materials and includes photovoltaics to power electrical lighting. He also organized student exhibitions about sustainable architecture and planned field trips to architecture firms in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

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Faculty Research: Endangered Species, Languages Linked at High Biodiversity Regions

tom on a bike
Man in native dress in Papua New Guinea. © Photo provided by Conservation International

Biodiversity hot spots -- the world's biologically richest and most threatened locations on Earth -- and high biodiversity wilderness areas -- biologically rich but less threatened -- are some of the most linguistically diverse regions on our planet, according to a team of conservationists.

"Results indicate that these regions (hot spots and high biodiversity wilderness areas) often contain considerable linguistic diversity, accounting for 70 percent of all languages on Earth," the researchers report in the May 7 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Moreover, the languages involved frequently are unique to particular regions, with many facing extinction."

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Practice Founded by Ron Henderson Selected for "unMADE IN CHINA" Exhibit

tom on a bike
“Observation Tower,” an unbuilt project by L + A Landscape Architecture, is joined by work from eleven other firms.

The international design practice founded by Ron Henderson, head of the Penn State Department of Landscape Architecture and Chair in Integrative Design in the H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, has been selected for an exhibition entitled "unMADE IN CHINA: architecture undone in the P.R.C. "

The exhibition runs through June 20 at the ide@s Gallery in Shanghai, China.

For full story, click here.

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