2016 Graduate Scholar Award Recipients

Asma Mehan

Asma Mehan

Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

Asma Mehan is a current PhD Researcher at Politecnico di Torino (Italy) in the field of “Architecture, History and Project." Asma has been working as an architect, lecturer and researcher since 2008. Her doctoral research encompasses the socio-political transformations of Islamic societies, with special reference to Iranian cities in the modern period (1920-79). She has presented her research in international conferences in Europe, Asia and the United States. She has received grants including the Society of Architectural Historians’ (SAH) Keeper’s Preservation Educational Fund Annual Conference Fellowship (Chicago-2015), and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) Graduate Student Research Forum Travel Grant (Edinbourgh-2015).

Amelyn Ng

Amelyn Ng

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Amelyn is a graduate architect and independent writer from Melbourne, with a deep interest in civic agency and socially responsive infrastructures. Her research project on refugee housing was presented at the 2016 AMPS housing conference in Nicosia, Cyprus and exhibited at the 2015 Archiprix International in Madrid. She recently collaborated on a poster presentation for the 2016 Making Cities Liveable Conference in Melbourne, and continues to publish regularly across a wide range of Australian media, from academic and Institute-affiliated work to mainstream publications. Her Masters thesis, a critique of Southbank's laissez-faire privatisation and civic decline, was awarded the 2014 Edward & Penelope Billson Prize and Ernest Fooks Memorial Award by the University of Melbourne.

Swati Palanivelu Vijaya

Swati Palanivelu Vijaya

Ohio State University, Columbus, USA

Swati Vijaya is a doctoral student in the department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. She completed her Master's in Women's Studies after earning a honors Bachelors degree in Political Science. Swati’s doctoral research project is an ethnographic study of queer spatiality in postcolonial urban spaces. She is a feminist geographer in training and her broader academic interests span across the thematic intersections of Urban Studies and South Asian Studies.

John Haffner

John Haffner

Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada

John is a PhD student in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. His dissertation research focuses on the social processes behind infrastructure development with particular attention paid to municipal-indigenous relationships in transportation and land use planning in southern Ontario. In this research he is working closely with the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded project Planning with Indigenous Peoples (PWIP) led by Professor Leela Viswanathan. John received his Master’s degree in community development from the University of California at Davis. His previous research experience also includes work as a research fellow with the Right2Know Campaign in South Africa promoting alternatives to privatized telecommunications infrastructures.

​Adediran Adeolu

​Adediran Adeolu

University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

Adediran Adeolu holds a Diploma in Civil Engineering from Federal Polytechnic Ilaro (2004), a Bachelor’s degree in Hydrology from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (2010) and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from University of Ibadan (2015). As a student at the above named department, he was involved in many activities. He was a volunteer for building Nigeria resistance to climate change and also a program officer for various environmental projects in Nigeria. He has used his time and talents to benefit his community. He is currently a master’s degree student in Environmental Engineering at University of Oulu, Finland.

​Melissa Heil

​Melissa Heil

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, USA

Melissa Heil is a first-year doctoral student in Geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include non-profit/voluntary organizations, privatization, gentrification, urban governance, and neoliberalism. Melissa holds a M.A. in Geography for the University of Illinois and a B.A. in Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan. In addition to her studies, she created and maintains the “Illinois Atlas of Austerity” website with the goal of increasing public awareness of how the State of Illinois’ budget impasse is damaging social services, public health, and higher education in Illinois.

Ezgi Balkanay

Ezgi Balkanay

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA

Ezgi Balkanay is a PhD in Design Student in North Carolina State University with a Provost Doctoral Fellowship. She has worked as an architect, research assistant in Department of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. She holds M.Arch degree (2011-2014, with the Graduate Courses Performance Award with the highest GPA) and B.Arch degree from the same department (2005-2010). Her fields of interest are urban space/form analysis and design methodology; time-image and movement-image; cinematography; and montage theory. She has participated and/or presented papers in national and international workshops, conferences and panels such as; International Symposium on Urban Design: Towards a Holistic Perspective, METU; Cinema & Audiovisual Arts Institute, “Utopia of the Montage”; Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation’s Summer Design Workshop; 7th International Cultural Studies Conference: “Memory & Culture”; 9th Annual METU Sociology Days: “Media”, 5T International Conference: “Design and Resistance”.

Daniel Gonzalez

Daniel Gonzalez

University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Champaign-Urbana, USA

Daniel Gonzalez is a doctoral student in the Geography and GIScience department at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. His research centers on the historic and ongoing reconfigurations of identity, space, and urban economic development. Daniel has both a B.A. in Geography and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy Management from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to his doctoral studies, Daniel worked as a community organizer on issues pertaining to farm workers' rights, environmental injustice, and affordable housing in California.

Priyam Tripathy

Priyam Tripathy

University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Champaign-Urbana, USA

Priyam Tripathy is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Cities and Metropolitan Areas Program at the department of Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her doctoral research focuses on speculative urban redevelopment and land acquisitions in the peripheries of Delhi, India. She holds an M.Phil. in Planning and Development from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and a Masters in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India.

In Their Words

I really appreciated talking with and listening to mature scholars who have had diverse and interdisciplinary careers. It gave me ideas on how my career could take shape, and widened my perspective on options and paths in the future."

Tuulia Law, 2014 Graduate Scholar Awardee

I really appreciate having the possibility to chat with and hear all these wonderful people. This is not a vertical dynamic, we all were treated the same and that made possible for us students to talk with amazing academics and to have their comments on our work."

Silvia Agreda, 2014 Graduate Scholar Awardee

This conference experience will aid me in my future because it reminded me of the importance of learning from colleagues and building upon our strengths. I feel more confident that I can communicate effectively with fellow scholars from around the world."

Andrew Pratt, 2014 Graduate Scholar Awardee