Taubman College Announces Class of 2021 Awards for Student Excellence

Taubman College congratulates the 241 graduate and undergraduate students who became alumni the weekend of May 2, 2021. View Taubman College’s virtual Commencement here. In a time of change and uncertainty, Taubman College is proud of the graduates for bringing their best to their work and for investing so much of themselves in the Taubman College community. They join Taubman College’s global community of 10,000 alumni.

As part of the weekend’s festivities, the following students received annual awards for excellence in each degree program in the areas of academics, leadership, service, and exemplary character.

2021 Master of Urban and Regional Planning Award Recipients

Academic Achievement Award: Clare Kucera
The award recognizes an exceptional student based on academic achievements and strength of contributions toward fostering a learning environment.

Service to the Community Award: Jessica Yelk
The award recognizes service contributions to people or organizations outside of the University of Michigan.

Service to the Urban and Regional Planning Program Award: Anna Thompson
The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the program, to the student body, and to advancing the mission of the program.

American Planning Association Outstanding Student Award: Nani Wolf
The award recognizes outstanding attainment in the study of planning. The program chair and faculty select the recipient each year based on a combination of academic achievement, leadership, commitment to planning as a career, and community service.


2021 Master of Architecture Award Recipients

Burton L. Kampner Memorial Award: Torri Smith, “Equitable Landscapes”
Honorable Mention: Alan Escareño, “Wasted Time: Exploitation and the Life of the Factory”
Established in 1967 by contributions from alumni and friends of Burton L. Kampner, B.Arch.’53, this memorial award is presented annually to one student in the Thesis Program, based on the academic year. The selection is made by a jury consisting of architecture faculty appointed by the chair of the architecture program.

Alpha Rho Chi Medal: Olivia Raisanen
Alpha Rho Chi, a national professional fraternity for students of architecture and the allied arts, awards its medal to recognize the M.Arch. degree candidate who has shown leadership and given service to the school and whose personality and attitude give promise of real professional worth.

AIA Henry Adams Medal: David Siepmann
In each recognized school of architecture in the United States, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) annually awards an engraved medal to the M.Arch. degree candidate with the highest scholastic standing.

Program Distinction Awards: Gibson Davis, Emily Ebersol, and Torri Smith
The Program Distinction Awards are awarded to graduating architecture students who have made a significant contributions to the college by a combination of exceptional academic performance and fostering community building activities within the program.


2021 Undergraduate Wallenberg Studio Travel Award Recipients

Pilar O’Hara, Shujing Chen, Rachel Lodes, and Yanchu Liu
“Africatown Park Site”
Studio: Africatown International Ideas Competition 

Tuleen Alrawashdeh and Areej Shahin
“Rouh Al-Sham: Syrian Cultural Embassy”
Studio: Cancel Studio / Build Culture

Chandler Caserta and Oscar Eloy Martinez
“The Asset Sublimator”
Studio: Common Polis 

Dua Duran
“Gecekondu: Redefining Informal Housing”
Studio: Imagination & Dreaming – World Building Without Dominance

The Wallenberg Awards are made possible through the generosity of the Benard L. Maas Foundation and recognize the best conceived and executed studio work by one or more Taubman College seniors. The funds are disbursed in the form of a stipend for international travel to a country of the student’s choosing. Wallenberg Award winners engage in the culture and people of the country they visit, exploring how these shape the experiential qualities of architecture.

Born in 1896, Benard Maas achieved success as an innovator and industrialist for the automotive industry. He dedicated himself and his fortune to enhancing the lives of young people, and became one of the state of Michigan’s most generous philanthropists. The Benard L. Maas Foundation continues his lifelong support of higher education through grantmaking, including the gift to establish the Raoul Wallenberg Scholarship Fund at Taubman College.