Ensamble Studio, led by architects Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa, is the winner of the 2021 Marcus Prize.

“Ensamble’s name, processes and practice reflect the extraordinary times we’re living in,” said Lesley Lokko, 2021 Marcus Prize juror. “The combination of an outstanding firm and an outstanding prize bodes well for the future of all our built environment professions, not just architecture.”

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If you walked through the school this summer, you saw construction in progress, and spaces revamped and reimagined as we streamline and enhance services for students.

The RPLab is being expanded and revitalized. The gallery has moved to the old Resource Center space and has been expanded to accommodate larger exhibits and serve as a review space when needed.

The Resource Center is now housed in the space vacated by Third Coast Design Centre (we still miss you, Larry!) and the old gallery, which doubles as a student lounge. Through the generosity of Kahler Slater, who donated furniture that was made available due to their move to new offices, the student lounge has been appointed with comfortable seating plus two beautiful conference tables built by Matt Mabee. We look forward to welcoming students in this space!

A note from our supporters at Kahler Slater says, “As we prepare to move our corporate headquarters to the BMO Office Tower, we were grateful to be able to donate four U-Haul truckloads of furniture, chairs, equipment, and materials to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning. We are happy to be able to give back to the school that has given so much to many of our staff members.”


Friday, September 10 | 4-6 p.m. | 2131 E. Hartford Avenue

Please join us this Friday for the first UWM SARUP Gallery Night of the year, featuring innovative modular mobile furniture designs. Stop by anytime between 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. to give feedback on multiple designs. A brief gallery talk will begin at 4:30 p.m.


After 26 years at SARUP Nancy Frank officially retired in July, but will continue as Interim Dean this year, having served two years in this role. She will be supported in her volunteer role by Mo Zell, who is now Senior Associate Dean; Ivy Hu, urban planning chair and Executive for Academic Affairs and Research; and Kyle Reynolds, who steps into the role of architecture chair. Read more

Erica Chang is SARUP’s new marketing manager. With a background in urban place management, she particularly enjoys telling the story of what makes a place like UWM compelling and unique. Erica welcomes the opportunity to grow and develop connections between students, the schools she serves, and the Milwaukee community.

Joan Simuncak retired in July after serving as graduate advisor for 32 years. Congratulations, Joan! We wish her all the very best in retirement, and owe her a debt of gratitude for the many years devoted to SARUP. Her long-time colleague, Tammy Taylor, who will assume Joan’s role, says, “Over the years, It has been an honor to work with someone so passionate, calm, and professional all at the same time. I always appreciated Joan’s thoughtful, steady approach to solving any challenge large or small.”

Joining the Advising Office is Emily Zahasky, who will be the undergraduate advisor. Seeing the growth and passion of students is what drives her excitement for this career.

Assoc. Prof. Jasmine Benyamin will be leaving SARUP for California this fall. Jasmine has been with SARUP since 2012. We’ve had the pleasure of seeing her students excitedly working around the building, and the experiences she’s brought them were rewarded with a UWM Undergraduate Teaching Award. She initiated MasterCrit, which included lectures, critiques and design charrettes, inviting international architects like MOS, Andrew Zago, and Jürgen Mayer H. to the school. Jasmine chaired the PhD committee, and co-hosted the 2018 ACSA conference in Milwaukee. Sr. Assoc. Dean Mo Zell says, “She taught at all levels of the curriculum, and raised the bar for teaching at UWM.” Jasmine, we wish you well in your future endeavors!


James Mellowes (BSAS ’71, M.Arch ’73) and his wife Maureen have given an extraordinary gift of $500,000 to the School. The Mellowes Fund for Architecture provides unrestricted support for the school, the James Mellowes Graduate Research Fund encourages graduate students in architecture to pursue research activities, and the Bob Greenstreet Honorary Scholarship Fund provides student support as a tribute to the former, longtime dean of the School of Architecture & Urban Planning. Read more


We are grateful during this past year for the firms and organizations who hosted students as part of our externship program. Sometimes, these experiences lead to something more substantial. That was the case for Bescent Ebeid, an architecture undergrad. At the end of the externship week, the Department of City Development (DCD) at the City of Milwaukee invited her to join their team as a summer intern. Bescent, an Urban Design Intern, assists the Design Review Team with meeting prep, researching matters such as zoning overlay guidelines or historic preservation. In addition, she is involved in architectural discussions about material and design. City Planning Manager Sam Leichtling (MUP/MPA 2009) sees the externship program as “a great way to provide students a chance to see the inner-workings of city government on a first-hand basis while on their school break. The externs we’ve hosted at the Department of City Development have all been bright, inquisitive, and dynamic.”

If you are interested in hosting an extern, please contact Sr. Assoc. Dean Mo Zell.


Assoc. Prof. Arijit Sen was spring 2021 Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. His research report, “Landscapes of Hope,” described histories and practices of hope and resilience on the North Side of Milwaukee. Read more

Prof. Mo Zell has been named by the Milwaukee Business Journal as a Woman of Influence. This program profiles Milwaukee-area women who are leaders in their fields and are making an impact in their professions and communities. Read more

Assoc. Prof. Jasmine Benyamin was moderator of a conversation with the 2021 Exhibit Columbus Photography Fellows. Read more

Debbie Chen will serve as the school’s 2021-2022 Architectural Activism Fellow. Her proposal “Drawdown” addresses issues of carbon reduction and architectural representation. During the 2021-2022 academic year, students will have the opportunity to work closely with Chen and dig deep into the issue of carbon neutrality. Read more

Assoc. Prof. Kyle Talbott‘s “Rural Futures” studio will be working with the Town of Beloit this fall.

Robert Schneider has been promoted to Full Professor.


Congratulations to the students who received commendations at Superjury 2021. You can see the complete list of award recipients here.

CDS continues its work in the community, and you can read all about it! Read more

Watch M.Arch student John Everitt‘s virtual tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unitarian Meeting House.

M.Arch students Shaun Griffith and Kelsey Dettman played an integral role in work for Sculpture Milwaukee. Read more

Wisconsin residents are invited to receive no-cost designs for their dream Zero Net Energy Home, thanks to UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison students. Read more

Yash Mehta was recognized as the “clear winner” of 24 entries and received the first place Benn Johnck Award at the 2021 Chicago Award in Architecture student design competition, for his design proposal “Urban West Dance Centre.” Congratulations, Yash!


Peter Murphy (M.Arch/MUP 1987) was co-director of a case study about a master plan for redesigning streets in Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2020, the study won a National Urban Design Award from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. Peter is now Planning and Design Coordinator at the National Capital Commission of Québec.

Tommy Yang (BSAS 2017) has been awarded the Ann Kalla Teaching Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University. His collaborative project “Cia Siab (Hope) in Wisconsin: A HMoob (Hmong) Story” has received an National Endowment for the Humanities grant.

Paul Roback (MUP 2001) was recognized this summer as national runner-up for the Excellence in Community Development Award, in recognition of his efforts for outstanding programs of community development and to show excellence in collaboration with others to help them meet local needs.

Nick Blavat (BSAS ’99, M.Arch ’01) has been named Partner at Deep River Partners, Ltd.