Award’s Day event delights students with prizes, T-shirt cannon and lots of cowbell

by Rachel Teaman

Published May 23, 2021

“We are here today because of our collective determination to mark one of the most important traditions of the School as a community, and with the celebratory flair and conviviality deserves. Award’s Day and Atelier are all about you, our students – your diligence and academic achievement, your creativity and ingenuity, and your service to the School and our professions.”
Robert G. Shibley, Professor and Dean

Earlier this month, the clanging sound of more than 300 UB-Blue cowbells filled the air on UB’s South Campus as the School of Architecture and Planning gathered for Award’s Day + Atelier 2021, a festive celebration of student academic achievement.

The May 8 celebration brought together faculty, staff and students on the Hayes Hall front lawn to recognize more than 75 students across the School’s programs in architecture, urban planning, real estate development, environmental design and historic preservation. Guests were then invited to wander campus grounds for an indoor-outdoor exhibition of student work.

The annual award’s ceremony felt more like a pep rally this year as the first School-wide, in-person event since the start of the pandemic last spring. Attendees were handed blue cowbells (for COVID-safe cheering), and entered the grounds through an archway of blue and white balloons. A T-shirt cannon pumped prizes into the crowd in between award announcements. 

The event was carefully organized to ensure a safe celebration, with masked guests seated on the lawn in spray-painted circles spaced six feet apart, and “roommate pods” grouped together (the circles and balloon markers were arranged by sophomore architecture students in the shape of an interlocking "UB"). Faculty and staff raced from pod to pod to hand-deliver awards. 

The Atelier portion of the program showed off students’ built works and models, evidence of the School’s curricular adaptations over the past year to allow for hands-on, in-person learning. First-year architecture students stood with their creative assemblies of wood and metal to discuss their projects with guests. Also on display were an assembly of terra cotta bricks from the Material Culture graduate seminar, parametric facades designed by students in the Situated Technologies studio, and wooden boats built for the junior architecture Tectonics of Buoyancy studio.

Members of the Class of 2020 – many of whom remain with the School as graduate students in architecture and urban planning – were recognized with a blast of confetti.

The event will go down as the highlight of the year – a celebratory cap to one of the most difficult periods in the history of the School.

Lindsay Romano, director of fabrication for the School, and Greg Delaney, clinical assistant professor of architecture, co-organizers of event, said Award's Day + Atelier served as a reunion of sorts for the School and an important opportunity to honor the hard work and accomplishments of our students over the past year. The two offered the following statement:

“In planning this year's Awards Day, we knew from the beginning that we wanted to go BIG. It's been such a challenging year for everyone, and Award's Day posed an ideal opportunity for us to reunite as a school to celebrate all the hard work and accomplishments of 2020–2021, and end this very long year with something social, and memorable. It also gave us the opportunity to honor all of our 2020 grads in person, and restore the annual tradition of Atelier with an awesome array of student work on display both outside and in Hayes and Crosby Halls. While planning the event posed a great number of challenges, we couldn't have been happier than we were the day-of, seeing so many students out on the lawn—smiling, laughing, cheering, ringing cowbells, and reminding us all of the amazing community we have here at the School.“

- Lindsay Romano and Greg Delaney, co-organizers of Award's Day + Atelier 2021

Korydon Smith, professor and chair of architecture, also organized the program. “The complications of the pandemic presented a creative challenge for us, something we relish here at the School of Architecture and Planning. In the end, we had the largest and among the most fun Awards Days in our history, all while maintaining the health and safety of the community.”

Students in the Department of Architecture and Department of Urban and Regional Planning each recognized a faculty member in their department for their leadership and dedication to students within and outside the classroom. The 2021 Gary Day Award was presented to Nicholas Bruscia, assistant professor of architecture and researcher in the Situated Technologies graduate research group. The 2021 Outstanding Faculty Award in Urban Planning was presented to Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah, assistant professor of architecture and co-lead of the Community for Global Health Equity's Food Equity research group.

Typically held in the Hayes Hall fourth floor auditorium just before final reviews and exams, Award’s Day is a festive tradition for the School, where students are regaled with confetti, prizes and comic relief. Last year, at the height of the pandemic, the School presented “E-ward’s Day.” Set to a spy thriller theme, a mysterious “Sir-Prizes” and a band of masked (of course) faculty and staff delivered prizes to students’ homes via a caravan of cars. The recorded event was then presented to the School online, drawing an audience of more than 3,000 faculty, staff, students, alumni and family and friends.

In addition to Romano and Smith, this year’s program was organized by Greg Delaney, clinical assistant professor of architecture and emcee for Award's Day. A special thank you to UB's Department of Environment, Health and Safety, UB's Office of Special Events, and the Erie County Department of Health for their planning and problem-solving assistance.

Today we celebrate our stellar students and their triumph over challenge. Special recognition goes out to our graduating students, who crossed the stage the following week for the 49th Commencement of the School of Architecture and Planning.

Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society inductees

  • Mario Aguilar
  • Oluwadamilola Bankole
  • Lauren Beckingham
  • Justyn Bellitto
  • Katelyn Broat
  • Lindsey Bruso
  • Blayne Burnside
  • Andrew Callard
  • Eryn Conlon
  • Gina Gaudio
  • Sohanna Gee
  • Allison Gomez
  • Bethany Greenaway
  • Andrew Griffin
  • Andrea Harder
  • Connor Harrigan
  • John Henning
  • Reid Hetzel
  • Omar Ibrahim
  • Clifford Imes
  • David Kelly
  • Marietta Koeberle
  • Katharine Mahoney
  • Brianna Mancini
  • Soham Mehta
  • Mitchel Mesi
  • Anna Mytcul
  • Yoshifumi Oka
  • Anthony Pineda
  • David Pulliam
  • Madeline Rohrbacher
  • Lanika Sanders
  • Jasraj Sandhu
  • Jay Schwartzkopf
  • Craig Spangler
  • Ian Stern
  • Christopher Sweeney
  • Daniel Ukiri
  • Charles Wingfelder
  • Austin Wyles
  • Cameron Ziegler

Student Awardees

BAED Awards

Academic Excellence Award
Ehler Htoo
Omar Ibrahim

Design Excellence Award
Tyson Morton

BS Arch Awards

Hyatt’s Design Award (for first-year students)

Khulangoo Barkhasbadi
Jessica Chan
Mark Chen
Jasmin Ferreiras
Nicholas Frantzeskos
Joseph Glatz
Katelyn Glynn
Rylee Gollogly
Alex Hoover
Zachary Izzo
Jamie Jiang
Alec Lewis
Aaliyah Tramp
Cheryl Qiu
Patrick Scherer
Catherine Sze
Carol Thomas
Faith Vale
Katarina Voss
Megan Wysocki

Academic Excellence Award
Khulangoo Barkhasbadi
Katie Nelson
Shavindya Do
Andrew Griffin

Design Excellence Award
Ananna Khan
Hannah Ruth
Ekaterina Dokurova
Cole Wishman
Shavindya Do
Rocco Battista
Isabelle Dabrowski

MUP Awards

Academic Excellence Award
Justyn Bellitto
Nathaniel Mich
Ruth Fatolitis
Ian Stern

Excellence in Studio Award
Alexis Kennedy
Erik Woyciesjes

Public Service Award
Brennon Thompson

Service Award
Daniela Leon

Chair’s Award
Rakshanda Nagaraj

Michael J. Krasner Memorial Scholarship
Annalyse Paulsen

Best Thesis Award
Micaela Lipman

AICP Planning Excellence Award
Lanika Sanders

MS RED Awards

Academic Excellence Award
Dino Koutsandreas
Jay Schwartzkopf

Excellence in Studio Award
Emily Cloutier

Student Excellence Award
Jay Schwartzkopf

Public Service Award
Pamela Jackson

Service Award
Mythea Mazzola

ACHP Awards (Historic Preservation)

Student Excellence Award
Libertad Figuereo

MArch Awards

Academic Excellence Award
John Mark Silbert
Nicole Sarmiento

Design Excellence Award
John Mark Silbert
Nicole Sarmiento
Heather Leslie
Sarah Langille
Connor Harrigan
Joshua Barzideh
Reid Hetzel

Chair’s Award
Briana Mancini

Alpha Rho Chi Medal
Rosanna Valencia

AIA Henry Adams Gold Medal
Morgan Mansfield

Faculty awards

Students in the Department of Architecture and Department of Urban and Regional Planning each recognized a faculty member in their department for their leadership and dedication to students within and outside the classroom.

Nicholas Bruscia, winner of the 2021 Gary Day Award

The Architecture Graduate Student Association presented the 2021 Gary Day Award to Nicholas Bruscia, assistant professor of architecture. According to Courtney Vrona (MArch '21), who joined fellow ArchGSA members to present the award: "Not only is Professor Bruscia an excellent educator, but he also shows kindness and compassion to his students in all aspects of life. As a professor, Nick understands that your best work comes from a healthy working environment. Pushing students' design boundaries while maintaining a high morale in studio settings." 

Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah, winner of the 2021 Outstanding Faculty Award in Urban Planning

The Graduate Planning Student Association honored Emmanual Frimpong Boamah, assistant professor of urban planning, with the 2021 Outstanding Faculty Award. "Professor Boamah is caring, passionate, and empathetic. Encouraging inclusivity, engagement and enthusiasm, he facilitates intellectually stimulating and rewarding classroom discussions, and has served as both a counselor and mentor," said David Kelly (MUP '21), outgoing president of the GPSA.