Graduate Scholar Recipients

Neel Kamal Chapagain Erik Sigge
Patricia Fancher Stephen Starkey
Tugba Keser Adriana Patricia López Valencia
Pengfei Li Yuliya Dudaronak

Graduate Scholar Winners

Neel Kamal Chapagain
Neel Kamal ChapagainNeel Kamal Chapagain is a PhD candidate in architecture at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His doctoral dissertation aims at rethinking architectural conservation as it applies to living settlements. He holds an Architecture Doctorate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a BArch from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. His professional involvements include heritage conservation works in South Asia and design assistance to neighborhood organizations in Milwaukee area (USA). Apart from continuing on his doctoral dissertation, he also teaches at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. His research interests are cultural and environmental issues in architecture, participatory design and planning, and heritage conservation. He has presented in a few national and international conferences, has authored a few articles, and is preparing to co-edit a book on heritage management.

Patricia Fancher
Patricia FancherPatricia Fancher is a PhD student and Graduate Teacher of Record in Clemson University’s Rhetorics, Communication and Information Design program. She graduated with an MA from the Communication, Culture and Technology program at Georgetown University. Patricia’s research interests include feminist rhetoric, digital media studies and theories of embodiment. Before entering Clemson’s doctoral program, Patricia worked as a web designer, and continues to work on occasional freelance and personal web design projects.

Tugba Keser
Tugba KeserTugba is a Doctor of Education candidate in Mathematics, Science and Learning Technologies at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She graduated with BS and MS degrees from Chemistry Education at Bosporus University, Turkey in 2005. Then, she worked as a research assistant in Faculty of Education at Trakya University, Turkey. Tugba’s research interests include theories of reasoning and learning in science and mathematics education, the integration of technology into teaching and learning and the use of argumentation discourse in science classrooms.

Pengfei Li
Pengfei LiPengfei Li is pursuing his PHD in environmental psychology program at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Besides, he teaches psychology at New York City College of Technology. He graduated from Wuhan University with a BA in philosophy. Then he did research in Ethics at the University of Notre Dame from 2008 to 2009. Right now, his research project focuses on Beijing’s suburbanization, specifically on how the newly built suburban community and the suburban development process influence suburbanites’ daily lives. As an environmental psychologist who was trained in philosophy, he is extremely interested in the normative/evaluative aspect of community, aiming at investigating the humanistic and ethical issues regarding China’s recent urban and suburban developments.

Erik Sigge
Erik Sigge is an architectural historian and preservationist, currently pursuing his PhD in History and Theory of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Previously, he was Director of Educational and Cultural Programs at Scandinavia House in New York City, where he led the public programs of The American-°©‐Scandinavian Foundation. Erik Sigge earned a Master degree in Historic Preservation at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, New York in 2003, and a Bachelor degree in Integrated Conservation of the Built Environment at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden in 2000.

Stephen Starkey
Stephen StarkeyStephen Starkey is an architectural student from Waynesville, Ohio. In 2008, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelors of Architecture, and he is currently working towards a Masters degree at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is in the process of writing my graduate thesis with a concentration centered on the relationship between film and architecture. Whether in film or architecture, the use of narrative can provide structure to the experience encountered as the viewer moves through space. However, what I am most interested in is analyzing the visual techniques used in film in order to better understand how to manipulate the user experience in my own designs.

Adriana Patricia López Valencia
Adriana Patricia López ValenciaValencia earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture at the Universidad del Valle, followed by a Master’s Degree in Urbanism at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, both in her native Colombia.

Aside from teaching and academic research, Ms López Valencia worked as a consultant for the city of Yumbo in western Colombia and for Energy Rating Services, an energy and sustainable design consulting firm in the UK. Ms López Valencia is currently pursuing a PhD in Environmental Science at the Universidad del Valle in Colombia. As part of her doctoral work, she is currently conducting research at the Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada as a winner of the Emerging leaders of the Americas program (ELAP). After December 2011 she will be working during 6 months with the Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management and Adaptive Planning Section (VARMAP) at United Nations University in Germany.

Ms López Valencia is interested in holistic approaches to capturing economic, ecological and societal components of an urban space as a basis for land-use planning. She was one of the 20 young researchers who won the Green talents award 2010 for how she makes innovative use of different tools like geographical information systems designed to develop spatial simulation models to measure the sustainability in urban areas. This approach is ideally suited for climate-friendly and sustainable urban planning in the future.


Yuliya Dudaronak
Yuliya DudaronakYuliya was born in Minsk, Belarus and moved to US seven years ago. Currently, she is a sociology PhD student at the University of Virginia. Her research interests include comparative-historical sociology, sociology of culture, and consumption. In particular, she has looked at how cultural and political changes are manifested through urban environment in the case of Post-Soviet Russia. Her dissertation looks at the notions of self-discipline and self-control as they become central to the vision of the “New Man” in both the United States and the USSR.