Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Meet a Roadrunner: Aspiring architect maps out future by looking to past

Laura Shipley

Laura Shipley

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(April 16, 2014) -- Meet Laura Shipley. This aspiring architect and historic preservationist is using San Antonio's rich historical landscape and proximity to cultural sites as inspiration for her future.

"I've wanted to be an architect for as long as I can remember," said Shipley. "I came to UTSA because I was really interested in historic preservation, and I think San Antonio is the best city in Texas for anything related to historic preservation. I've loved every second of being here."

Shipley is a student in the M.Arch III program, an architecture graduate program for students without architecture undergraduate degrees. As an undergraduate, she pursued degrees in entrepreneurship and studio art at the urging of a family friend in the architecture field.

While at UTSA, Shipley has made it her mission to take advantage of as many opportunities as she can by accepting internships with small architecture firms, learning the ins-and-outs of the business, to traveling across the country to conduct research, to moving to another country to better understand historical preservation and architecture.

Currently, she is finalizing research for her thesis project, a conservation project for the Boston Government Service Center (BGSC), a mental health facility designed by architect Paul Rudolph.

Shipley is trying to understand how to preserve buildings created as a response to modern architecture that values functionality over aesthetics. The BGSC design, she said, emphasized aesthetics to the extent that it exacerbated psychological trauma in its inhabitants in spite of its function as a mental health facility.

This past summer, Shipley returned from an independent study project in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she worked with professors at the University of Buenos Aires and a local city conservator on a variety of projects including conducting research on the architectural conservation of the various districts within the city. She received a Graduate Student Research Award for her efforts. Shipley was one of five recipients selected from 45 applications by the UTSA Graduate School to receive this honor.

In addition to her two recent projects and architecture firm internships, she is an intern with the Historic San Antonio Missions. She even helped prepare their applications for World Heritage Site consideration by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

As Shipley looks forward to her upcoming graduation at the May 10 Commencement ceremony, she said she will take all her experiences with her and put them to good use in her chosen field.

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Do you know someone in the UTSA community doing cool things? Email us at social@utsa.edu, and we will consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Events
Sept. 7, All Day

Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
All Campuses

Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus


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