Between the Lines: Falling back into place

Fall 2021: Welcome Back to Gould

I have been looking forward to welcoming everyone back in person for quite some time now. Seeing and hearing students in the classrooms, hallways, and review spaces has energized me and I realize how much I missed you all over the past year and a half. Though there are differences from pre-pandemic times (some nuanced, others more dramatic), the core experience of collectively inhabiting our spaces has a welcome familiarity. We come back together with a deeper understanding of our capacity to care for and extend grace to each other as well as an appreciation of the critical role of equity since we have seen, and continue to see, how situations affect individuals differently. We have learned new ways of working remotely, some of which we can’t wait to discard, others we see potential for extending reach and access in new ways.

Last year, we developed and adopted the College’s Strategic Framework which names three pillars: Collaboration and Impact, Bold Thought Leadership, and Equitable and Just Practices. Over the next two years, we will be implementing a plan to better align our most valuable resources, people, and spaces, to advance our goals. There will be several changes, a few are immediately visible, others will take some time to be apparent.
Some immediate changes:

  1. Creation of an office of student services led by Associate Dean for Students, Christopher Campbell. This group will expand recruiting efforts and look for more opportunities for students to connect to mentors and internships. They will build on the excellent work of the disciplinary advisors, who remain the first point of contact for students in their degree programs. Before school even started this year, this group developed and ran a set of tours for close to 200 CBE students to amazing buildings, landscapes, and precincts in the Seattle area hosted by incredibly knowledgeable members of our professional and alumni community.
  2. The Diversity Council is re-energized and reorganized to take on diversity, equity, and inclusion goals outlined in the strategic framework, and to create a plan specifically for advancing the college towards those goals in the short and medium term as well as driving discussion on long term aspirations. Student involvement in this work is critical to its success and we are thrilled with the response to the call for nominations and self-nominations for student representatives.
    Dana Bass – Student Representative, Real Estate
    Even Gebru – Student Representative, Construction Management
    Katrina Golladay – Student Representative, Landscape Architecture
    Maimoona Rahim – Student Representative, Urban Design & Planning
    Kana Takagi – Student Representative, Architecture
  3. Recruiting faculty for new full time positions will bring great people who will add to our excellent faculty. From past experience, we have seen that the search process for hiring new faculty can be a lively platform for dialogue on what we believe are the most important teaching, research, and engagement needs to help us create the just beautiful world we imagine. This year, we are structuring the search differently than has been done in the past by bringing in a set of candidates that will become a cohort of new faculty starting in Autumn 2022. By framing the goal of the searches as a cohort of 5-6 faculty, student involvement is even more critical than in the past because we need your voices in the discussions and also robust interactions with the candidates is one of the most vivid demonstrations of our engaged culture.

Work starting this spring

  1. As a college focused on the built environment, we are acutely aware of how physical places of gathering and learning can support or detract from goals we set collectively. This spring, we will work with a consultant to describe our space needs that will support goals laid out in our strategic framework, analyse our current space, and evaluate gaps between the two.
  2. We are also aware of the importance of our online presence, so a parallel effort will be done with our website and may result in the redesign of our College’s graphic identity.

During these pandemic times, I would be remiss if I didn’t close by urging you to remember to follow public health practices to keep our community safe. Conditions continue to change and policies adapt to take those changes into account. Look to the CBE COVID-19 Plan and the University of Washington Coronavirus website for facts and resources.

I look forward to a rewarding academic year, please do take advantage of my office hours to let me know how you are doing and I hope many of you engage in shaping how the strategic framework goals inform positive change in our college.

Yours,
Renee

Equity and Diversity Training wood block

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Orientation Session

Dean Cheng’s session on CBE’s approach to EDI.

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Remembering Department of Landscape Architecture Professor, Iain Robertson.

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Aspire Internship Program

The inaugural Aspire internship program at the College of Built Environments gave students the opportunity to interact with industry and academic leaders while learning about the importance of home and homeownership to promote a thriving community.

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Associate Professor Rachel Berney Named Faculty Director of Urban@UW

Professor Berney is well-positioned to collaboratively lead Urban@UW as a cross-disciplinary research initiative and learning community. Beginning its 6th year, Urban@UW continues to bridge disciplines, sectors, and perspectives as Berney and Davison plan the future of the initiative’s work.

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UW Receives $2M from National Science Foundation to Design An 'Adaptable Society'

The research team that includes Urban Design and Planning Associate Professors Dan Abramson and Branden Born, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to further research into how urban societal systems can be organized to be both efficient and resilient.

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Architecture Chair and Professor, Kate Simonen, recognized as AIA Community Service Award Honoree

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CBE COVID-19 Response

The following resources are intended to help CBE students during the ongoing COVID-19 crises, and back to school guidance in Autumn 2021 and through the 2021-2022 academic year. We will continue updating these FAQs and resources with the most accurate and up-to-date information. Please continue to check this page and your email for updates from our Dean and your departments.

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