Receiving Academic Recognition

Landscape architecture student wins award for work at Danish Institute for Study Abroad

With Copenhagen as his home and Europe as his classroom, James Ross DeVault, a fourth-year Master of Landscape Architecture student, found studying abroad to be an award-winning experience.

DeVault, St. Charles, Illinois, recently earned the Academic Award in Urban Design by the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. He was chosen out of 152 students who attended the institute during the spring 2014 semester. The institute presents four academic awards, one in each of its program disciplines: architecture, interior architecture, urban design and graphic design. The awards are given to celebrate students who not only excelled in studio work, but who also took an active part in academics.

“I was very proud and humbled to receive the award because if not me, the award could have easily gone to a number of other K-Staters,” DeVault said. “It reaffirms my belief that K-State’s College of Architecture, Planning & Design, and more specifically the landscape architecture and regional & community planning department, develops and places its students in positions where we can succeed and lead our peers.”

The nonprofit Danish Institute for Study Abroad is in Copenhagen and partners with Kansas State University in offering semester, academic year and summer programs taught in English. Established in 1959, the institute offers American students intensive, rigorous course work with field studies, hands-on learning opportunities, and study tours in Denmark and across Europe. The program promotes students gaining academic knowledge and intercultural leadership skills to prepare for their future careers in a globalized world.

“I have had the pleasure of having Ross in my urban design theory class,” said Henning Thomsen, program director architecture and design at the Danish Institute for Student Abroad. “And I have gotten to know him as a very dedicated student who also has shown himself to be a really good classmate to his fellow students.”

All students in the five-year landscape architecture program offered by the College of Architecture, Planning & Design are required to complete an off-campus experience. DeVault attributes his success during his semester at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad to the educational opportunities provided to him at Kansas State University.

“The landscape architecture and regional & community planning department promotes cross-disciplinary projects and workflows that allow us as students to expand our design knowledge, promote communication and understand our role in the greater workforce,” DeVault said. “All of the projects we completed at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad were interdisciplinary, and the background we had at K-State allowed us to emerge as leaders and create successful projects.”

Deanne Petersen, MRCP ’14 graduate, wins APDesign ARCC King Medal Winner

The ARCC King Medal is awarded to one student per Architectural Research Centers Consortium member college, school, institute, or unit and is based upon criteria that acknowledges innovation, integrity, and scholarship in architectural and/or environmental design research. The APDesign medal recipient is selected from nominees from each of the College’s four disciplines by a jury of University researchers.

The RCP King Medal nominee is nominated by their major professor and selected by a jury of faculty. Petersen’s nomination was based upon her master’s report, Food truck fever: a spatio-political analysis of food truck activity in Kansas City, Missouri. Her supervisory committee was Dr. Hyung Jin Kim, major professor, Dr. John Keller, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning, and Dr. Kelly Getty, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry/Food Science Institute.

“I have many good friends in the other disciplines—including a couple of the other nominees—so I knew I was up against some great projects and ideas. It was a privilege to be nominated, but I didn’t expect my name to be announced as the winner during commencement,” Petersen said. “I am usually a fairly quiet yet disciplined student, so it was a great feeling to have my hard work recognized by my peers and professors. Although I don’t go around introducing myself as a King Medal winner, my supervisors at TranSystems enjoy bragging about it!”

Petersen’s master’s project looks at the benefits of food trucks and how cities can modify their policies to encourage food truck activity. Her study engaged multiple stakeholders in order to inform policy guidelines that allow food trucks to operate effectively, thus augment the benefits food truck activity provides within a community.

Petersen said, “Since the boom of the modern food truck industry post-2008, planners have noted the social, economic, and cultural benefits the food truck industry can provide within a community. For example, food trucks can serve as revitalization catalysts to activate streets and urban spaces. While food trucks have become an increasingly visible aspect of street life, few jurisdictions have determined an effective manner to regulate the industry. “

The driving force behind Petersen’s research topic was her interest in public spaces and active transportation. While research in the past several years has demonstrated the benefits of food trucks, her research addresses a gap in the literature by exploring the policy implications of food truck activity.

“While the other nominated projects were primarily visual and design based, my research aimed to enhance social public spaces through a policy-based approach rather than a design. In addition, the study of food truck activity and the implications it has on urban spaces is a very up-and-coming topic,” Petersen said. “My research was literally on the forefront of this new trend in cities. I think the combination of these elements, as well as the applicable outcome of the research in Kansas City, made my project both innovative yet practical.”

2014 Commencement Award Recipients

MLA Awards:

K-State Landscape Architecture Foundation Olmsted Scholar- Caleb Melchior

ASLA Honor and Merit Awards-

– Honor: Gretchen Gravenstein and Caleb Melchior
– Merit: Alyssa Butler and Wesley Haid

Sigma Lamda Alpha International Honorary Society- Elizabeth Decker, Gretchen Gravenstein, Casey Gorrell and Brandon Woodle

Dr. Robert P. Ealy Award- Gretchen Gravenstein

Outstanding Graduate Student Award- Casey Gorrell

L.R. Quinlan Award- Elizabeth Decker

LA ARCC King Medal Nominee- Alyssa Butler

Outstanding Graduate Research Award- Wes Haid

MRCP Awards:

ARCC King Medal- Deanne Petersen

Outstanding Master’s Thesis- Christopher Clanahan

Outstanding Master’s Report- Deanne Petersen

Leland R. Edmonds Award- Deanne Petersen

AICP Outstanding Student Award- Deanne Petersen