Georgia Tech

College of Architecture announces National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program Women of Excellence Award Winners

May 2, 2013 | Atlanta, GA

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Lisa Herrmann

Director of Communications

College of Architecture

The College of Architecture’s National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program recently announced their 2012-2013 Women of Excellence award winners. Nisha Botchway, Dana Habeeb, Alice Vialard and Megan McDonough are the winners of the 2012-13 awards that are presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves through professional leadership, mentoring, academic excellence and sustained service on behalf of the Georgia Tech and the College of Architecture.

Nisha Botchwey, associate professor, was awarded the Women of Excellence Faculty award. Nisha came to Georgia Tech in 2012 and has since garnered national leadership recognition. She is an elected Southeastern schools representative to the Governing Board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, ACSP’s delegate to the research committee of the National Academy of Environmental Design; and a member of the Director’s Advisory Council of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  She has an active and influential research agenda, with recognition as a leading authority on connections between the built environment and public health. 

In addition, Botchwey is a dedicated member of the Georgia Tech community, leading the Healthy Places Research Group, serving on the search committee for the Dean of the College, and advising the social justice committee of our Student Planning Association.  Her course evaluations are excellent and students regularly praise her teaching and advice. 

The Women of Excellence Graduate Student award was this year awarded to two outstanding women, Dana Habeeb and Alice Vialard. PhD student Dana Habeeb has distinguished herself in the School of City and Regional Planning in numerous respects.  She has served as co-author on two papers published in 2012 – one in the Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning and a second in the Journal of Environmental Management. Having distinguished herself as an exceptional graduate teaching assistant, Dana is one of only a few doctoral students who serve as sole instructor of a graduate level course.  

Beyond her scholarly contributions to the School of City and Regional Planning, Dana is active in student governance.  In 2010, she was selected by her peers to serve as the doctoral student representative to the faculty, a position she still holds; and from 2010-2012, she served as the doctoral social chair. She served as a representative to the planning student finance association and has further served on multiple faculty search and special purpose committees.    

Alice Vialard, PhD student in the School of Architecture, was awarded the Graduate Student award for her contributions to research and to the intellectual life of the doctoral program in architecture. As a researcher, Alice has developed new methods for evaluating the relationship of built form and urban form; as a teacher, she has experimented with the uses of analytic typologies in the context of sophomore design studios. In collaborative work with the College of Computing, she helped to evaluate the impact of new video analysis tools on architects’ ability to make better design decisions based on an understanding of patterns of use. In addition to her ongoing research, in 2007-08 she was the editor of the doctoral program’s newsletter and she has co-authored five refereed publications. 

Alice has assisted with faculty searches and works every day to bridge the gaps between her roles as student, mentor, instructor and researcher. 

The Women of Excellence Undergraduate Award went to Megan McDonough, a senior in the School of Architecture. Megan has been a superb student and an outstanding citizen of Georgia Tech and the School of Architecture over the past four years.   She has been actively involved in gray_matter(s), the undergraduate student publication, which has raised awareness of campus and local/regional issues. Megan is one of only a few College of Architecture undergraduates to be selected into the President's Scholar program when she applied to Georgia Tech, a testament to her leadership skills as well as to her interest in the larger world. She will attend the graduate program at Yale University this fall. 

This year’s winners are added to an impressive list of winners from previous years, including 2011-12 award winners Ann Gerondelis, director of the Common First Year (CFY), Christine Cagelosi, master of architecture student and undergraduate Roya Agharahimi from the School of Building Construction.

(Not pictured: Alice Vialard)

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