Student, Faculty & Alumni Profiles

Shamara Smith

Sustainable Influence: Shamara Smith '22 BS SBE

BS in Sustainable Built Environments student Shamara Smith came to UArizona from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this video profile, she discusses how she became interested in sustainability, her passions for leaving the world better than she found it, why community engagement is important and the value of networking in building a new career.

Urban Planning Student Christina Scarpitti

Planning for a Changing Climate: Christina Scarpitti '22 MS Urban Planning

MS Urban Planning student Christina Scarpitti made her way to Tucson in the midst of the pandemic. Although her time here came with a few trials, she looks back and reflects on the positive experience CAPLA and the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning have provided her as she enters the job field.

Richard "Richy" Eugene Altuna

Retail Design Innovator Richard Altuna ’74 B Arch Honored through CAPLA Endowed Scholarship

Richy Altuna, who graduated from the Bachelor of Architecture program in 1974 and went on to become a renowned consumer experience designer for many of the world's most iconic retail stores, passed away in June 2021. His family and friends have established the Richard “Richy” Eugene Altuna Endowed Scholarship to support CAPLA undergraduate students.

Christine Ufondu

Immersed in Architecture: Christine Ufondu '25 B Arch

B Arch student Christine Ufondu, who is also pursuing in a Minor in Real Estate Development, will graduate in 2025. She was born in Houston, Texas, but mostly grew up in Rivers State, Nigeria. Though she chose to come to CAPLA site unseen, it was the right decision: she loves the community of faculty, students and immersive design.

Mackenzie Waller

Creating Spatial Justice: Mackenzie Waller, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

Mackenzie Waller joined the college this semester as assistant professor of landscape architecture. Learn more about Mackenzie, including current research in environmental/spatial justice and this semester's landscape architecture design studio created around preserving native bees in urban Tucson.

Georgia Pennington

The Right Tools for the Job: Georgia Pennington ’19 BS SBE, ’20 MS Urban Planning

Georgia Pennington, who is originally from Kansas City, Missouri, came to UArizona to study sustainability. While in the BS in Sustainable Built Environments program, she found herself most drawn to the urban planning courses, so then enrolled in the MS Urban Planning accelerated master’s program option. Upon graduation, she accepted a planning job with the City of Tucson.

Tayler Forsberg

A Passion for Construction and Sustainability: Tayler Forsberg '22 B Arch

Tayler Forsberg, who is from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, will graduate from the Bachelor of Architecture program in May 2022. He then plans to attend graduate school before working towards becoming a registered architect and, eventually, teaching.

Daniel Vega

Protecting and Celebrating: Daniel Vega '21 BS SBE, '24 M Arch

Yaqui tribe member Daniel Vega, who is from Tucson, graduated from the BS in Sustainable Built Environments program in December 2021. Continuing his passion for sustainable design, he is taking advantage of the CAPLA Master of Architecture accelerated master’s program (AMP), which he will complete in 2024.

Dan Heinfeld

No Building Left Behind: Dan Heinfeld ’75 B Arch

Though Dan Heinfeld knew from a young age that he wanted to become an architect, he couldn’t have known in eighth grade—when he wrote a class paper on the profession—that his career pursuit would not only change his life but also change the design industry itself. As president of LPA, he’s done just that.

CAPLA Celebrates Heather Henricks Lenkin ’79 B Arch, 2020-2021 Alumna of the Year

The Arizona Alumni Association has named Heather Henricks Lenkin ’79 B Arch as its 2020-2021 Alumna of the Year for the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. Heather was chosen for her outstanding career success, passionate work to protect the world’s cultural resources and unwavering support of the university.

David D. Ortega

Art, Design and Authentic Place: David D. Ortega '77 B Arch

David D. Ortega, who is from Globe, Arizona and has lived and worked in Scottsdale since 1978, became the first architect and Latino mayor in the country when he was elected the 12th mayor of Scottsdale.  He credits his background in architecture with informing his views as a civic leader.

Irene Pineda in the Underwood Sonoran Garden

Accessibility for All: Irene Pineda ’22 MLA

Master of Landscape Architecture student Irene Pineda is from La Puente, California, located 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. She earned her BA in Communicative Disorders from San Francisco State University and served as a public school teacher before falling in love with the Sonoran Desert and joining the MLA program.