ASU's Pijawka recognized for contributions to planning community and teaching

November 1, 2017

In recognition of decades’ worth of service to teaching and research, Professor David Pijawka has been awarded the Distinguished Professional Planner Award by the American Planning Association’s Arizona Chapter. The award, presented during the chapter’s annual conference on Oct. 26, celebrates the latest achievement in Pijawka’s remarkable career.

Pijawka started his career at Arizona State University in the mid-1980s in the School of Public Affairs, where his teaching and research focused on environmental planning and policy, public policy, and hazards management. Pijawka then joined the School of Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture, which ultimately merged with ASU’s geography program in 2009 to create the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. In this newly formed school, Pijawka helped to develop the undergraduate and Master of Urban and Environmental Planning programs, assisted in the establishment of a new PhD in Urban Planning program, and has helped usher more than 60 students through their master and PhD efforts as an adviser. ASU Professor David Pijawka was presented the award for Distinguished Professional Planner on Oct. 26 during the annual American Planning Association’s Arizona Chapter's conference. Download Full Image

“David’s input and impact is felt throughout our planning program,” said Trisalyn Nelson, director for the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. “From his guidance of our students to the development of program curriculum, our successes are thanks in large part to his incredible contributions to our school and the planning field. He is an innovator and an early proponent of themes like urban sustainably and resilience, and very deserving of this award.”

Pijawka’s pioneering research in areas like urban sustainability and resiliency is widely recognized nationally and internationally. Pijawka's research also includes sustainable planning and design, disaster management and recovery, environmental justice and Native American community planning. His work in sustainability, specifically, has brought forth opportunities to speak on the subject around the world and has earned him the position of senior sustainability scientist with ASU’s School of Sustainability.

According to Pijawka, his professional and research pursuits were motivated by the desire to “improve living conditions for everyone, eliminate poverty, push for social justice and security, and make cities that provide these attributes ‘livable.’” Driven by his personal experience of being born in a refugee camp only made these qualities of a city all the more important to Pijawka.

With so many years dedicated to research and teaching, Pijawka is delighted in what he sees looking back on his career.

“Seeing the implementation of your work and ideas into an improved reality where environment, cities, place is enriched, improved, safer and happier is wonderful,” he said.

He continues to draw inspiration for more opportunities to teach and research each year as new students arrive.

“New students wanting to learn, wanting to change their environment is inspirational,” he said. “Imparting knowledge to the next generation and making your presence felt cannot be matched.”

Manager, Marketing and Communication, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning


image title

New sustainable home opens for Herberger Young Scholars Academy

November 1, 2017

Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. To read more top stories from 2017, click here.

Arizona State University celebrated its latest state-of-the-art educational facility on Monday at the new home for the Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy on the ASU West campus.

The building provides a sustainable, open and inviting space for Herberger Academy students and the ASU community.

“The whole purpose for this school is built around the core premise that we have as a university,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said at the opening ceremonies, which included student performances and a tour of the new facility. “We are here to create teaching, learning and discovery environments for all learners. We’ve left the world that everyone is going to be pushed through the same factory, through the same box, through the same system.”

Herberger Young Scholars Academy (HYSA), created in 2011 as part of ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College with an endowment from philanthropists Gary and Jeanne Herberger, offers a learning environment designed for highly gifted students in grades 7 to 12 who will have the opportunity to explore the building’s unique features on a daily basis.

The learning setting includes cutting-edge classrooms, a makerspace for collaborative projects, a black-box theater for drama, a fish tank that students are responsible for, and outdoor spaces with raised-bed gardens and an amphitheater.

Carly Cairns, a student in her humanities year at HYSA (roughly equivalent to 10th grade), said she was excited about what the new building and its location offer.

“There are so many great opportunities here being on the ASU campus,” she said. “Not only that, but with this amazing new building there are so many things that we can built off of to really pursue our interests. I have an interest in theater and drama, and this new black-box space is great for plays.”

The academy offers students an accelerated academic program that encourages students to complete middle and high school in as few as three years. Many students choose to continue their studies, taking advanced classes offered under the guidance of the internationally recognized Cambridge curriculum and ASU courses for college credit. Students also have the opportunity to participate in research with an ASU professor.  

The new building offers a space befitting its exceptional mission.

“The building delivers a great deal of natural light and different types of learning spaces,” said Kim Lansdowne, Herberger Young Scholars Academy executive director. “We did not want it to look like an average school.”

HYSA was involved in the building’s design process and was able to tailor some of the features to meet its needs. HYSA students participated in a design charrette with Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts faculty and students, and the architect, Marlene Imirzian and Associates, incorporated these features into the final design.

Lansdowne said the school would not be able to step into this new era without the support of Jeanne Herberger and her late husband, Gary Herberger. The Herbergers provided financial support to open the school in 2011 and provided additional new-building funds.

“What would Gary say if he were on hand for this celebration? If Gary had a chance to address you today, how would he tell the remarkable story of the Herberger Young Scholars Academy?” Jeanne Herberger said during Monday’s ceremonies. “I thought about it. I kept turning it over and over in my mind, and then it hit me: Gary is here. Gary’s spirit is fully alive in this gathering and in every corner of this magnificent building.

“The story of the Herberger Young Scholars Academy is Gary’s own story of how a gifted young person who is encouraged to pursue his or her own dreams can achieve extraordinary things.”

Sustainable future

As with the school’s learning environment, special considerations were taken into account of the physical environment during the building’s design and construction.

“ASU is a leader in sustainability, which includes creating and maintaining a sustainable physical environment, said Bruce Nevel, ASU Facilities Development and Management ­­associate vice president and chief facilities officer. “As a leader, we set the example by constructing and maintaining our buildings in a highly sustainable and energy-efficient manner.”

All new ASU buildings are required to achieve a minimum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, with many garnering Gold and Platinum rankings. ASU currently has the largest number of LEED-certified buildings in Arizona at 47, with several more buildings pending LEED certification, including HYSA.

LEED criteria encompass how well the building conserves energy, water efficiency, types of construction materials used, whether the site enhances sustainability and indoor environmental quality.

The following sustainable aspects were implemented in the HYSA design and construction phases:

• 15 percent of annual energy consumption is offset by the ASU West campus solar photovoltaic system
• 95 percent of construction waste was recycled and diverted from the landfill
• designed with materials that do not contribute to the urban heat-island effect
• low-flow fixtures save 25 percent of indoor water use
• native, adaptive landscaping reduces the amount of potable water needed for irrigation
• occupancy sensors and lighting controls provide energy savings

Green Ideas Building Science Consultants, which assists ASU in the LEED documentation process, expects HYSA to perform closer to 30 percent below ASHRAE 62.1-2007 Standard. This means compared to a similar building of size, use and construction, the HYSA building will perform approximately 30 percent better because of careful design of the building envelope and mechanical systems.

“Every nook and cranny of this space has Gary (Herberger) in it,” said Gretchen Buhlig, CEO of the ASU Foundation for a New American University. “Though he didn’t have this kind of place to learn, for these students to understand that he was one of them is an amazing legacy for generations to come.”

Communications program coordinator , Facilities Development and Management