DURP Students Travel to APA Convention to Accept National Award
The DURP `Ohana kicked off their first year with a travel grant to current MURP students whose Fall 2017 Site Planning (PLAN 678) project was accepted for presentation at the 2018 APA National Planning Conference. Four of these students—Erin “Bear” Braich, Laura Mo, Amanda Rothschild, and Brandon Soo—created a poster showcasing a research and design concept made for the State of Hawai`i Office of Planning, on transit-oriented development (TOD) in Waipahu. The site plans were designed to initiate conversation between key stakeholders to coordinate and make decisions on how to develop state lands near the Pouhala transit station.
The invitation to attend and present this poster at the APA Conference allowed DURP, the College of Social Sciences, and the University of Hawai`i to be represented on a national forum. It also presented an opportunity for these students to network with professional planners and gain insights from planning students nationwide. You can read more about their experiences at the APA Hawaii Chapter’s Spring 2018 E-Blast Newsletter.
Their APA presentation, originally informed by PLAN 678, was refined through DURP’s Spring 2018 Practicum as they conducted further research on Waipahu TOD and designed and facilitated a community talk story in Waipahu. The `Ohana’s gift enabled these students to jumpstart their professional careers, and facilitated a chain of support with other local planning professionals, who provided additional gifts and invited the students as speakers for APA-HI’s April Lunch Program. This was a first-time conference presentation opportunity for each of the students, who say they were invigorated by the experience and have gained new insights for their individual capstone projects and career goals post-graduation. In the meantime, they’re already working on proposals for next year’s APA conference!