Campus Collaboration to Benefit College of Medicine – Tucson

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cross-college collaboration is working toward the University of Arizona’s benefit. In order to honor scholarship and endowed chair donors, the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, in partnership with the UA College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA), have solidified and constructed a new Donor Recognition Wall.

“This particular project came about through conversations with the deans of the respective institutions last year. Rob Miller, the director of the school of architecture, and Angela Souza, assistant dean of planning and facilities with the College of Medicine, were tasked with outlining the shape of the project and I took over when I arrived in August,” says Ruben Caldwell, adjunct lecturer at CALA. Caldwell instructs one of the fifth-year senior studio classes.

The project has demanded a great deal of student, staff and faculty involvement. While the CALA students worked to create multiple designs, College of Medicine students were given the opportunity to vote on their favorite proposals.  

Before voting began, representatives from both colleges came together to discuss the needs and desires for the design plans. Although the Donor Wall will be the first to be installed, the project spans far beyond.

“We were called to design a master plan for the College of Medicine Plaza that would provide things such as shading, seating and community space. The plan even provides a space for potential outside patient care. We also were asked to create a bunch of designs for a Donor Recognition Wall. If we had one design that the College of Medicine liked, we were to begin constructing,” Caldwell says.

Mariana Vazquez-Maloney, CALA alumni relations coordinator, says this isn’t the first time architecture students have gotten involved with community projects.

“Our students collaborate with the community on a fairly regular basis. For example, architecture students built bus shelters for the Marana Bus Shelter Project,” Vazquez-Maloney says. “It’s a really great experience for our students to do hands-on design and structure. The more we can do that, the better.”

Senior architecture student, Aracely Lencinas, says the Donor Wall project has been a highlight of her educational experience at the UA.

“ Working in collaboration with my classmates is not a new experience. However, working from drawings to actually building something has taught us a new meaning of collaboration and precision. The process of developing the conceptual design was a new experience because we had an actual client,” she says. “The selection process was very exciting for all of us; to know who was selected was very thrilling. The news of building the design I worked with, in collaboration with my peer, Zhenyu Wang, was shocking and unexpected.”

The current partnership is foreshadowing of the future. CALA is creating a graduate program, centered around place, well being and healthy communities, called the Institute on Place and Well-Being. The new program will utilize the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, medicine, immunobiology, neuroscience, psychology, nutrition, and biomedical engineering. Both CALA and College of Medicine anticipate the outcomes of the longitudinal collaboration.

To the College of Medicine, the wall signifies more than brilliant design. The names of those to be featured on the wall represent the history and future of medicine. While donors use the past as motivation for giving, the outcome is medical advancement, training and service for years to come.

“We are grateful for each individual who chooses to invest in medical education at the UA College of Medicine. This is just one of many ways we can show our appreciation for their contributions,” says Clint McCall, senior director of development for the College of Medicine – Tucson. “It has been exciting to partner with the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and see the fantastic creativity students brought to their designs. College of Medicine faculty, staff, students and administrators were all involved in the selection process, and we are eagerly awaiting the Donor Wall’s completion.”

With allotted spots for a few hundred names, the college looks forward to celebrating the spirit of generosity, hope for the future of medicine and the hard work and dedication that goes into compassionate patient care.