Monday, August 03, 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?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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