New holders of professorships, chairs announced at reception

New appointments to the Texas A&M College of Architecture's endowed professorships and chairs, which support their holders’ teaching, research and service initiatives, were announced by Jorge Vanegas, dean of the college, at a Sept. 12 reception in the Wright Gallery.

Many of donors who established the chairs and professorships were in attendance at the ceremony, which also honored past holders.

In the Department of Architecture, Mark Clayton, professor of architecture, now holds the William M. Peña Endowed Professorship in Information Management. An expert in building information modeling, housing design and construction, facility management, information technology, energy systems and technology management, Clayton’s areas of interest also include historic preservation and recovery in the wake of natural disasters.

The professorship was established to honor Peña, a pioneer in architectural programming, by CRSS, the successor firm to Caudill Rowlett Scott, the landmark architecture, engineering and planning firm in which Peña served as a principal.

Rodney Hill, professor of architecture, now holds the Harold L. Adams ’61 Endowed Interdisciplinary Professorship in Architecture. Hill’s interests include social and behavioral factors in architecture, creativity and future studies.

As president, CEO and chairman of RTKL Associates, Inc., Adams oversaw RTKL’s growth from a lone office to a design, planning and engineering firm with projects in more than 60 countries. He established the professorship to support its holder’s interdisciplinary teaching, research and professional development related to the built environment professions.

George Mann, professor of architecture, now holds the Ronald L. Skaggs Professorship in Health Facilities Design. Mann has established an international reputation as a leader in health facilities design, teaching more than 4,000 students and leading more than 650 architecture-for-health projects.

Skaggs, chairman emeritus of HKS Inc., has been actively engaged in the design of more than 650 architectural projects. He established the professorship to further the holder’s scholarly activities in health facility design.

Valerian Miranda, associate professor of architecture, now holds the Wallie E. Scott Jr. Endowed Professorship in Architectural Practice and Management. Miranda’s areas of interest are in architectural design, architectural computing, imaging, design process and energy optimization.

Scott, renowned as a master of the client interview process, was a founding partner of CRS, the landmark architecture, engineering and planning firm. The professorship was established by CRS’ successor firm, CRSS.

Mardelle Shepley, professor of architecture, now holds the Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA and Joseph G. Sprague, FAIA Endowed Chair in Health Facilities Design. She specializes in architectural and health care facility design, social architecture, applied research and environmental psychology.

Skaggs, chairman emeritus of HKS Inc. and Sprague, senior vice president and director of health facilities at HKS, established the chair to support the holder’s practice-oriented teaching, research and service activities in health facilities design.

Philip J. Tabb, professor of architecture, now holds the Liz and Nelson Mitchell Professorship in Residential Design. His interests include community architecture with an emphasis on climatic, energy and sustainable architectural design and village planning. He also focuses on sacred building and place typologies.

The Mitchell family, founders of History Maker Homes, created the professorship as an interdisciplinary initiative to prepare students for careers in the increasingly diverse construction industry.

Bob Warden, professor of architecture, now holds the David Woodcock Professorship in Historic Preservation. Warden’s areas of interest are in historic preservation and the documentation and philosophy of architecture.

Friends of the Center for Heritage Conservation created the professorship as a permanent source of support for preservation studies at the college and a tribute to Woodcock, a beloved former faculty member who founded the CHC and whose leadership shaped the Department of Architecture’s academics for decades.

In the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Geoffrey Booth, coordinator of the Master of Land and Property Development program, now holds the Nicole and Kevin Youngblood Professorship in Residential Land Development. Booth’s research interests are in planning law and development entitlement reform, sustainability, and the application of visualization and virtualization technology in the improved design of place and creation of real estate value.

The Youngbloods are part of the Mitchell Family, founders of History Maker Homes, who established the professorship to support college faculty’s teaching focus on residential development, construction and design.

Walter Gillis Peacock, director of the Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center, now holds the Sandy and Bryan Mitchell Master Builder Endowed Chair. Peacock is interested in urban planning, sustainability and resiliency, natural hazard, hazard mitigation, long-term disaster recovery, and quantitative methods.

The Mitchell family, founders of History Maker Homes, established the chair to support the teaching, research service and professional development of its holder, coordinate activities of the Mitchell Studio and the other chairs and professorships they endowed at the college.

Jon Rodiek, professor of landscape architecture, now holds the Harold L. Adams ’61 Endowed Interdisciplinary Professorship in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. His areas of interest include wildlife and wetland habitat planning.

Adams established the professorship to support its holder’s interdisciplinary teaching, research and professional development activities related to the built environment professions.

Shannon Van Zandt, director of the Center for Housing and Urban Development, now holds the Rod L. Dockery Endowed Professorship in Housing and the Homeless. Her areas of interest include housing policy, sustainable community development and social vulnerability following disasters. Her research examines ways to improve neighborhood stability and produce positive outcomes for households, particularly those with lower income.

Dockery, founder of Dockery House Publishing, earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree at Texas A&M in 1966. He established the professorship to further its holder’s scholarship activities related to housing and the homeless in the built environment professions.

Jim Varni, a professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, now holds the Craig Beale ’71 Endowed Professorship in Health Facilities Design. Varni’s areas of interest include pediatric cognitive-behavior therapy interventions and research and evaluation projects focusing on the effect of the built environment on child, parent, and staff as a basis for evidence-based architectural design for pediatric and adult healthcare facilities.

Beale, executive vice president and healthcare group director at HKS Inc. in Dallas, and his wife Julie established the professorship to support its holder’s practice-oriented teaching, research and service activities related to healthcare facilities planning and design.

In the Department of Construction Science, Joe Horlen, department head, now holds the Charles Dewey McMullan ’58 Endowed Chair in Construction Science. Horlen specializes in legal issues involving construction, dispute resolution, employment law, and product liability.

The chair was established by Robert Jones, a former engineering student at Texas A&M, his wife Alice and the Mitchell Family, founders of History Maker Homes, to support the head of the Department of Construction Science’s professional development and discretionary official expenses.

Julian Kang, associate professor of construction science, now holds the Cecil Windsor Jr. ’66 Endowed Professorship in Construction Science. Kang is interested in best utilizing emerging information technologies such as building information modeling, 4-D visualization and radio frequency identification for construction engineering and project management.

Gamma Construction established the professorship to honor Windsor, who earned a civil engineering degree at Texas A&M in 1966 and is the vice president in its Denver office, to advance new technology in construction science.

Bob Segner, professor of construction science, now holds the James C. Smith/ Construction Industry Advisory Council Professorship. Segner specializes in project management, construction materials and methods, project delivery systems and continuing education.

The professorship was established by former students and the Construction Industry Advisory Council to honor Smith, on the construction science faculty since 1996, to support its holder’s teaching research and service that reflects the importance of interaction between university construction science programs and the industry.

Jim Smith, professor of construction science, now holds the Harold L. Adams ’61 Endowed Interdisciplinary Professorship in Construction Science. He enjoys researching project acquisition, alternate delivery systems, design-build, and public-private partnerships.

Adams established the professorship to support its holder’s interdisciplinary teaching, research and professional development activities related to the built environment professions.

posted September 19, 2012