CAPLA students come from a rich diversity of backgrounds and experiences.
View profiles of a few of our students, including undergraduate architecture, landscape architecture and sustainable built environments students and graduate architecture, landscape architecture, real estate development and urban planning students:
Designing for the Body: Ally Pearl Kwan ’23 B Arch
Ally Pearl Kwan came to UArizona from Cypress, California, choosing the B Arch program because of the studio spaces and world-class Materials Labs. At CAPLA, Ally has become a student leader, joining the American Institute of Architecture Students Arizona chapter, where she was president and awarded the 2021 Chapter Leader Honor Award by the AIAS.
Reconnecting Humans and Nature: Ibeth Martinez '23 MS Arch
Ibeth Martinez came to UArizona from Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she studied architecture as an undergraduate student. She came to CAPLA to pursue the Master of Science in Architecture because of its research focus flexibility and the fact that it offers both studio and research courses.
Creating Results: Jacob Schaffer ’23 SBE, ’24 MRED
Jacob Schaffer came to UArizona from Highland Park, Illinois, after his father, an alumnus, forwarded him information about CAPLA. The combination of sustainable built environments and real estate development piqued his interest, and he has been creating results ever since.
Material Matters: Danielle Breyton ’23 B Arch
Danielle Breyton came to UArizona from Alamo, California. She fell in love with the university after touring campus and the city, but she wasn't always interested in attending college. At CAPLA, she has learned that the B Arch program is much more than design: it's challenging and rewarding in multiple ways, and has prepared her for a dynamic career.
Pursuing Athletics While Planning for Real Estate: Talie Bonds '23 MRED
Talie Bonds is a UArizona Track and Field student athlete from Las Vegas, Nevada. Though her goal is to become a professional athlete, she also understands the value of preparing for life outside of athletics. This May, she graduates with her Master of Real Estate Development from CAPLA.
Building Immersive Environments: Erika Schmidt '20 BS SBE, '23 M Arch
Erika Schmidt, who is originally from Maryland but grew up in Sahuarita, Arizona, graduated from CAPLA's BS in Sustainable Built Environments at the beginning of the pandemic. A sudden shift in career possibilities led her to enroll in the Master of Architecture program, but her passions for performance and design remain.
Designing Place, Designing Policy: Jesus Nava ’23 B Arch
Jesus Nava was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, and grew up in San Diego, California. He was drawn to UArizona and the Bachelor of Architecture because of the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and its many outdoor recreation opportunities—as well as UArizona’s “great basketball program.”
Community Found and Community Created: Julia Smith ’26 B Arch
Julia Smith isn’t your typical design student, and for Puente—the Hispanic student organization of CAPLA that she recently led—that’s a good thing. Though Smith is a second-year Bachelor of Architecture student, she’s six years older than most of her classmates. She’s also married to a member of the U.S. military.
Sustainable Scandinavian Pursuits: Zsalina Allen ’23 MS Urban Planning
This summer, graduate student Zsalina Allen participated in a sustainable transportation study abroad program in Denmark and Sweden. She documented her travels in a fascinating and entertaining blog. We followed up to learn more about her experience in Scandinavia, as well her UArizona MS Urban Planning experience.
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.
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.
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.