College of Arts and Sciences


  • Public Affairs Students Receive Planning Association Award

    August 17, 2011

    Public Affairs students received Honorable Mention for their project Seattle Prism Light Reconnaissance Study from the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA)/Planning Association of Washington (PAW). Working under the direction of Professor Marie Wong in the Community Design Workshop, students conducted an inventory of areaway prism lights in Seattle’s downtown, reviewed historic records, and researched the efforts of other cities to replace prism lights.

    “As city engineers and private property owners continue to address repairs and buttressing of underground areaway walls that lie beneath city sidewalks, there has been concern of how to retain and maintain the prism lights,” Wong said. “They are recognized as important icons of the history of the city’s early development, as a unique contribution to neighborhood design, and as an issue of cost and repair to private property owners as street safety is addressed.”

    The Seattle Prism Light Reconnaissance Study will be of use to the future development of three neighborhood plans/plan updates in the central city, as well as improvements to pedestrian access that are part of the city’s transportation plan for these areas. The inventory from this study will be added as another layer of GIS information and as part of the King Street Station Multimodal Transportation Hub Study that is currently underway. It will also be useful to the recently completed Trails to Treasure study that was undertaken by the Alliance for Pioneer Square.

    The Community Design Workshop is a service learning course for students who have elected urban studies as their policy pathway within the Public Affairs major. The class, which engages in a contemporary planning issue, combines service with the community, academic learning, and civic engagement. Project clients for the 10-week study were the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Pioneer Square Preservation Board, Chinatown/International District Preservation Board, and Seattle Department of Transportation.

    The award presentation will be made at the Northwest APA/PAW annual conference in Portland in October. The current students receiving the award are Anika Jesi, Audrey Mazza, Jack McKool, Keiko Okada, David Nielsen, Sara Cubillos, Anthony Yak, Anne Heron, Aram Dagavarian, Napal Tesfai, Paelina deStephano. Recent graduates involved in the project are David Gregoire, Emily Platt, and Kevin Quezon. Rosey Selig-Addiss was a visiting student from Brown University.

    The Institute of Public Service in the College of Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Public Affairs, an undergraduate minor in public affairs, a Master of Public Administration, and a Master of Nonprofit Leadership. Students in all programs work with neighboring communities and the region through applied research, collaborations, trainings, consultations, and public policy forums.

    The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degrees.


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