Partnership for equity and inclusion in design and planning schools welcomes a second cohort of early career fellows!


August 1, 2022

Contact: Thaïsa  Way
Phone: 202 339 6461

Partnership for equity and inclusion in design and planning schools welcomes a second cohort of early career fellows!

The Dean’s Equity and Inclusion Initiative, a partnership of now over two dozen U.S. schools and colleges of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, preservation, and design, welcomes a second cohort of 17 early career faculty to the scholarly development program. This partnership works collectively to nurture a diverse population of emerging scholars focused on teaching and researching built and constructed environments to advance socio-ecological and spatial justice, equity, and inclusion.

Launched in Summer 2021, the cornerstone of the initiative is cohort-based fellowship program supporting early career faculty in the academy who are significant contributors to the pursuit of equity and inclusion in/through the built environment. Fellows participate in a two-year cohort, including two summer institutes and academic year-round professional development workshops. Additionally, each fellow is paired with an internal mentor (from within her/his institution) and an external mentor during their fellowship. Partner schools nominate fellows with attention to BIPOC and other underrepresented faculty dedicated to the built environment professions and disciplines. The first cohort of seven fellows are currently in their second summer institute, hosted at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, a Harvard research center located in Washington DC.

The 2022 cohort features seventeen fellows from the University of Washington/ College of Built Environments; Tulane University/  School of Architecture; University of Texas at Arlington/ College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs; City College of New York/ Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; Graduate School of Design/ Harvard University; University of Michigan/ Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; University of Pennsylvania/  Stuart Weitzman School of Design; The University of Arizona/ College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; University of Maryland/ School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation; Virginia Tech/ School of Architecture and Design; Cornell University/ College of Architecture, Art, and Planning; and Howard University, College of Engineering and Architecture. They include faculty from architecture, landscape architecture, real estate development, historic preservation, city and regional planning, and construction management.

Participating in the program are members of the Dark Matter University, senior faculty and deans from partner schools, and members of the professional associations of the Association of Colleges and Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA). The professional organizations have also offered financial support for the program as have many of the schools including the Spitzer School of Architecture and North Carolina State University.

“Increasing diversity in ways that value and strengthen equity and inclusion in our institutions requires more than what any one school can do. We believe it takes the collective of design and planning schools to change who we hire, and what we teach and practice,” states the Dean’s Initiative website. And as noted by Adrian Parr, University of Oregon “We are collectively mentoring the next generation of diverse faculty into successful academic careers. Working together, we believe that through cross-institutional stewardship of early career faculty, the initiative will expand and enrich the community of designers, planners, and scholars in tenure-track faculty positions across our schools and the nation.”

For more information, visit the initiative’s website at


Media interview opportunities:

Thaïsa Way, Director, GLS, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, Harvard University,
Adrian Parr, Dean, College of Design, University of Oregon,



Fritz Steiner, Dean, University of Pennsylvania / Stuart Weitzman School of Design

“The University of Pennsylvania is delighted to participate in this launching pad for young scholars. The Deans Equity and Inclusion Initiative provides a network for emerging design and planning academics to connect with one another as well as seasoned administrators. In doing so, I hope we can help change the future of education in our fields to foster a greater sense of justice and belonging for all.”

Nancy Pollock-Ellwand, Dean, University of Arizona / College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture
“​​We are thrilled that the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona’s most recent faculty hires, Kenneth Kokroko and Mackenzie Waller, will participate in the second cohort of the Deans Equity and Inclusion Initiative.  This grouping of young scholars from across the country will undoubtedly make critical connections; and be both inspired and provide inspiration to others in that cohort.  We are enthusiastic about this opportunity to help further broaden our continuing efforts around Equity and Inclusion in our college. “

Clara Irazábal, University of Maryland / School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation

“What the DEII Program does both for POC and other underrepresented faculty from schools dedicated to the built environment and for these institutions is fabulous and necessary, but even more important and transcendent is what fellows will do for themselves and each other in the communities of learning and care they’ll form.”

Ignacio N Alday, Dean, Tulane University / School of Architecture

“After the enormous success of the two Tulane Architecture Fellows in the first cohort of the DEII program, we are even more convinced of the potential of this approach: to facilitate the access to the university to early career and future academics from underrepresented minorities. The fellows are contributing to TuSA very substantially -each in his own area of focus- and are helping to make a more just built environment through bringing new perspectives. Having our third fellow in this new cohort -Dr. Fallon S. Aidoo- is as promising and exciting.”

Renee Cheng, Dean, University of Washington / College of Built Environments

“Intercultural fluency is an essential skill for the 21st century, because valuing insights from those with life-experiences different than our own leads to innovation and true collaboration. By connecting scholars from diverse disciplines, institutions, and backgrounds, this program provides important opportunities to build their intercultural skills and advance our collective work tackling built environment issues relevant to societal challenges such as the right to housing and promotion of environmental justice.”


Fellows 2022

Fellow: Title Department/ Program Host School:
Fallon S. Aidoo Assistant Professor Real Estate Development & Historic Preservation Tulane University School of Architecture
Michelle Magalong Assistant Professor Historic Preservation University of Maryland
Georgeanne Matthews Assistant Professor Architecture University of Maryland
Zihao Zhang Assistant Professor Architecture/

Landscape Architecture

Spitzer School of Architecture/ CCNY
Kenneth Kokroko Assistant Professor Landscape Architecture School of Landscape Architecture & Planning, University of Arizona
Mackenzie Waller Assistant Professor Landscape Architecture School of Landscape Architecture & Planning, University of Arizona
Ariadna Reyes-Sanchez Assistant Professor Planning University of Texas Arlington
Dr. Matt Miller Kenyatta Post-Doctoral Fellow City and Regional Planning Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania
Dahlia Nduom Assistant Professor Architecture College of Engineering and Architecture, Howard University,
Isaac Mangual-Martinez Visiting Instructor Architecture Virginia Tech, School of Architecture + Design
Zakhary Mallett Strauch Fellow City and Regional Planning College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Cornell University
Sydney Maubert Strauch Fellow City and Regional Planning College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Cornell University
Torri Smith Michigan Mellon Design Fellow in Egalitarianism and the Metropolis Architecture Taubman College, University of Michigan
Kevin Bernard Moultrie Daye Spatial and Racial Justice Fellow Architecture Taubman College, University of Michigan
Narjes Abbasabadi Assistant Professor Architecture College of Built Environments, University of Washington
Lingzi Wu Assistant Professor Construction Management College of Built Environments, University of Washington
Sean Canty Assistant Professor Architecture Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

From the Dean: June 2022

Congratulations to this year’s graduates and also to those from 2020 and 2021! Even with all of the changes that the past two years have brought us, our community has continued to be resilient, creative, passionate, and kind.

While this year continued to challenge us, there is a lot to celebrate:

    • We celebrated in-person graduation for the first time since 2019, 350 students attended the interdisciplinary CBE ceremony with over 2500 family, friends, and supporters.
    • We had three students named to the 2020 Husky 100 awards and two students named to the 2021 and 2022 Husky 100 awards.
    • We completed a first-ever cohort hire, bringing on 6 new faculty – which is an important part of our strategic framework to grow our capacity for collaborative interdisciplinary work with the goal of advancing climate solutions.
    • And we continued to impact the broader community through work like the Nehemiah studio, work with the Duwamish Longhouse, and coastal communities facing rising sea levels.

As we wrap up this academic year, I’m looking forward to:

    • Our visionary programming analysis that will look at how our college’s virtual and physical spaces and places support our goals and answer the question of ‘what are the academic work and learning spaces of the future?’
    • The branding effort that will help us align our Strategic Framework with the visual identity of the college

I hope you have a revitalizing summer. See you in September.


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.


Equity and Diversity Training wood block

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Orientation Session

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


Iain Robertson

In Memoriam: Iain Robertson

Remembering Department of Landscape Architecture Professor, Iain Robertson.


Fritz Wagner

In Memoriam: Fritz Wagner

Remembering Adjunct Research Professor of Landscape Architecture and Research Professor Emeritus of Urban Design & Planning, Fritz Wagner.


Students standing outside the Liberty Bank Building

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.



Birds eye view of Othello neighborhood with lightrail

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.


Students and faculty standing in the grass in front of a brick building

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.


Honor Awards Celebrating the Projects and People of Our Design Community

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

“Connecting significant professional experience in high performance building design and technical expertise in environmental life cycle assessment she works to spur collective action to bring net embodied carbon to zero through cutting-edge research, cross-sector collaboration, and the incubation of new approaches.”



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.


COVID-19 & the Future of Architectural Education

The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions. A wide array of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is also available on iTunesSpotify, and YouTube.

This week hosts David and Marina are joined by Marc Neveu—Chair of Architecture, The Design School, Arizona State University and Executive Editor of the Journal of Architectural Education; Renée Cheng—Dean of the College of Built Environments, University of Washington; and Kiel Moe—Gerald Sheff Chair in Architecture, School of Architecture, McGill University to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted teachers and students, the future of education (changing studio, reviews, and lectures), and more. Enjoy!


Read and listen on ArchDaily

A letter to my Asian women students looking for answers

Dean Cheng sitting with two men one in a red shirt and one in a gray shirt looking at something in the distanceMy mom loved Obama, she loved his measured speech, his cool, his handsomeness, how he reminded her of JFK. She loved that America had a Black president. A few weeks before she died, her stamina wasn’t great, but she stayed up after dinner to watch his State of Union address. Sitting in her tiny rocking chair, she was rapt, nodding at the good parts, making comments like, “so smart” and “so true.” I noticed she was starting to nod off, so I offered to help her to bed. She readily agreed, “Yes, I don’t need to see anymore, he’s got it right.” She died in 2009, confident that America had moved into a post-race era. While I will always wish she lived longer, lately the stronger emotion I have when thinking of her is gratitude. I’m thankful that she died never knowing how wrong she was.

Over the past year, the historic hate against Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders has once again exposed itself. But a few weeks ago, as I drafted a message to my college community after the murders in Atlanta, I experienced something new. I tried so hard to stay in my identity as a leader and public figurehead of our college, which is usually a comfortable skin for me. But this time, for this message, for the first time in a year’s worth of tough messages, I resented being a leader crafting a statement for my majority-white colleagues and students about tolerance, culture, and bridging differences. I understand that what I say can help you, and most of the time I welcome that responsibility. But today, can’t I opt out? How can I speak when I have so much confusion over my own race?

Like many of us, my concept of race isn’t simple and can be traced to experiences over a long period of time and to the people who taught us. My mom fiercely loved America and believed it truly lived up to its promise as the land of opportunity, even when she found many aspects of America “qíguài” or even more extreme “qíguài sǐ le” which, depending on the context and the topic, translated to odd, baffling, perplexing and/or wrongheaded. When I was a child, my mom used to tell me about how hard it had been to come to the U.S. from China, homesick and disoriented. Part of earning her college scholarship was visiting places in Ohio that had never seen a Chinese person before. She dressed up in her qipao, and let schoolchildren touch her, and made small talk at country clubs, patiently correcting assumptions, assuring her audience that she grew up with both running water and books and if the curiosity seemed genuine, she mentioned that those amenities were no surprise in a country that had movable type printing presses and infrastructure at the time when many in the Western world were living in caves. She said it made her skin crawl to be touched, and that presenting felt like being a performing seal, but the scholarship was important.

My mom drew as fluidly as the most accomplished Walt Disney animator. I asked her once how she learned to draw so fast, and she told me that when she was in college, she busked to earn bus fare to visit her sister who had married a man in Florida. Drawing faster meant more caricatures, bigger crowds, and more money. As a child, what struck me most about her description of Florida in 1950 was that when she wanted to go to the bathroom, she had to choose between the “colored” and “whites only” doors. Deeply puzzled, I asked:

Which one did you go into?
I didn’t know what to do.
So which did you use?
I waited until we got home to go.
Couldn’t you ask someone?
I didn’t want to ask.
Couldn’t you wait to see what the other Chinese people did?

She shook her head and laughed.

What ‘other Chinese people’? There were no other Chinese people.
What did Aye say to do?
She said, ‘don’t drink anything so you don’t have to go until you get home.’
Are we white or colored?
Well, we aren’t white.
So are we colored?
Maybe, I don’t know. But you don’t have to worry about it, it’s one of those strange things that happened a long time ago and no one cares about that anymore.

To Mom, race didn’t matter but culture did. Chinese food, not American, was comfort food. All those cool things my friends did that I wasn’t allowed to do, hanging out at the mall, having sandwiches for dinner, calling grown-ups by their first name, treating report cards cavalierly, were all off-limits to me. The default reason was always “because our family is Chinese.” For all those reasons and more, I’ve known since childhood that I’m not white, yet I’ve never known if that meant if I was in Florida in the 1950s, would I use that door marked “colored?” Let alone answers to even more haunting questions: If that door still existed today, would I use it? If there is an equivalent metaphor for that door, have I been passing by it or through it without conscious choice?

A few years ago, planning a diversity training, I disagreed with the much younger white woman who was in charge of the program. I can’t remember what the issue was, but I remember her dismissal of my viewpoint “since you aren’t really a minority.” It’s true that I’m hardly the only Asian walking around my campus, but it’s also true that the Asian perspective is not part of the dominant white culture. The first time I was in a majority-Asian event, my freshman year of college at a Chinese volleyball tournament, I walked around in a daze, wondering to myself “What is this feeling? Look at all these Asians and not one of them is my cousin or someone I know.” It took me many more of these events over a couple of years to identify what I was experiencing was a tiny part of me relaxing, a consciousness of difference didn’t need to be held. The feeling was a missing tension, a release of pressure to try to see through white eyes; I didn’t have to be vigilant that something I said might be heard differently because of my Asian face.

A few weeks ago, sitting down to craft the message to my college, I felt an unexpected resentment. Why can’t I be that freshman at the volleyball tournament, able to speak as just me – a Chinese-American person in a crowd of Chinese-Americans. I felt burdened; I yearned to be that Chinese-American daughter being reassured by her Chinese-immigrant mother that America was the greatest country in the world and race no longer mattered. I felt insecure, as a leader that people look to for answers to complicated questions, how can I talk about this if I don’t know for myself the answer to the simple question – which door would I enter, the one marked “colored” or “white”? When my university excludes Asians from the category of “underrepresented minority,” does that close a door that I might want open, if not for myself, for my students or faculty?

In the end, I know if my words can help my college community, my built environments community,  I will always take the opportunity to talk or engage about race to an audience willing to listen. I know my actions matter in a different way from my white colleagues as we work on the systemic issues that impact all historically marginalized people. But today, I’m taking the time I need to work out some things for myself. And I’ll let you know if I have answers to share.


Renée Cheng, FAIA, DPACSA, is Dean of the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington. She is the lead researcher for a multiyear project resulting in the American Institute of Architects Guides for Equitable Practice .