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Reflecting on the 2019 SCUP Southern Regional Conference

Atlanta, GA

Image of Reflecting on the 2019 SCUP Southern Regional Conference View of downtown Atlanta from the roof of the CODA building.

Higher education innovators from all over the south gathered in Atlanta this year for the SCUP Southern Regional Conference. This year’s conference was held on the pristine campus of Georgia Tech University. Between the fall colors, college football a block away at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, and a rooftop event at the CODA building with a brilliant view of downtown Atlanta, everyone was inspired to discuss current and future trends in higher education.

Notable among the thought-provoking sessions this year was a “A Shared Vision: UTSA and San Antonio’s Future Campus,” in which Kimberly Espy and Benjamin Perry of UT San Antonio joined together with Ryah Losch of Page and Noel Poyo of NALCB to explore how UTSA’s master plan will guide the University’s growth. The discussion highlighted UTSA’s present and future as a place where disadvantaged and first generation students thrive, and explored the new relationships the campus is seeking to establish with community partners.

Student housing was also a topic of discussion. Many of us have heard before that first year students benefit from living on campus, driving many Universities to put an emphasis on developing more campus housing. However, in the session “First Year Success: Campus Housing Models that Help Students Succeed,” Michelle Kane from University of Delaware spoke with Trina Mace Learned from Connecticut College and Jennifer Stone of Robert A.M. Stern Architects about the impact different housing types have on student success, reminding us that thoughtful planning backed with careful research can improve our results.

The main conference tour brought attendees to Emory University, where we learned about the campus’ rich history as well as the future challenges they are tackling with their master plan. 

As so many Universities continue to grow and thrive, it is exciting to tackle the challenges parking poses and find innovative ways to integrate it successfully. Looking forward to learning where the conference is heading in 2020.

About the Author

Michael Nielson has over 25 years of experience in architecture and is licensed in two states. A proven project leader, Michael has extensive experience building strong client relationships and working with them to achieve project goals. He has successfully delivered over 50 projects to satisfied clients, including the San Diego Airport Terminal 2 Parking Plaza and the UC San Diego Osler Parking Structure & Visitor’s Center.

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