Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Message from CALA Dean Jan Cervelli

I write to you to acknowledge CALA heroes, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Gabe Zimmerman, and 3rd Year Architecture student, Brian Kolfage.

As you have heard, U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords has announced that she will resign her seat this week in order to devote herself to her ongoing recovery from the tragic shootings of January 8, 2011. A strong champion of solar energy and a sustainable future for all of us in Arizona, Giffords supported CALA's 2009 Solar Decathlon entry. The Congresswoman herself holds a Masters in Planning from Cornell University. Gabby was instrumental in keeping the U. of A. Planning Program from elimination by the University six years ago when she was a State Senator. She has been a constant and strong supporter of CALA and the design and planning community in Southern Arizona.

Let us never forget Gabe Zimmerman, son of Emily Nottingham, a CALA Planning faculty member, and brother of Ben Zimmerman, a graduate of our Planning Program. Please join me in prayer for the victims of the senseless acts of violence on January 8, 2011 and for the continued recovery of Congresswoman Giffords, the other wounded, and the healing of family and friends left behind.

Allow me to also recognize another extraordinary member of our CALA community, Brian Kolfage. Brian's story is also one of bravery, persistence, and courage (see Video). Brian began serving in the U.S. Air Force in 2001, and was injured three years later in a mortar attack in Balad, Iraq. One of the most seriously wounded soldiers to survive the war in Iraq, Brian was left without his legs and dominant right hand. His recovery has been remarkable, as Brian allows nothing to stand in his way. We are so proud of you, Brian!

I am pleased to announce that Brian will be joining Congresswoman Giffords, as her guest, for President Obama's State of the Union Address this evening in our nation's capitol (see Brian featured in Giffords video). He got to know Giffords when she helped him on many occasions dealing with government "red tape." Be sure not to miss this exciting event!

Gabby, Gabe, and Brian exemplify the very meaning of the words, courage and hope. Please join me in thanking them for their inspiration and unselfish service to Arizona and our nation.


Janice A. Cervelli, FASLA, FCELA