We’re sharing stories of some of our amazing 2018 graduates: Paul Bamson, Dillon Dunn, Cody Grooms and Lauren Higdon. These students persevered, elevated their game, exhibited incredible determination and in some cases, overcame significant odds to reach graduation day. They share their stories and memories along with some advice for younger students. We thank these students and send congratulations to all of our graduates.
Bamson Seeks Broad Skillset, Becomes First to Graduate in Unique Dual-Degree Program
When Paul Bamson, a Master of Landscape Architecture student, walks across the stage to receive his diploma in May 2018, he will become the first student in the College of Architecture and Design to graduate in the new 5+2 dual-degree program.
The 5+2 program
is a combination of degrees in Bachelor of Architecture, a five-year program, and Master of Landscape Architecture, a three-year program accelerated into two for UT students.
Bamson first heard about the program from professors Scott Wall and Brian Ambroziak in his third year in the School of Architecture. “At the time, I honestly didn’t know much about landscape architecture,” stated Bamson. “I didn’t give it much thought until about halfway through my fourth year during my Integrations Studio.”
During Integrations, Bamson learned more about the challenges that come with the implementation of architecture and urban design and the environmental consequences of each design move.
“From climate change and rising waters to food and water shortages, increasing populations and mass migration, there are many challenges coming in the 21st century that will need to be addressed by a multidisciplinary coalition of designers, engineers and allied arts,” said Bamson. “I wanted a diverse skillset by studying landscape architecture that would allow me to engage in multiple arenas once in the profession.”
Bamson explained that this program has helped him pursue his professional goals; in fact, he considers it “one of the best professional decisions” he has made. Since pursuing this degree path, Bamson has interned at five different architecture and landscape architecture design firms around the country and was recently elected into the AIAS National Board.
“The 5+2 program has expanded my skillset and my view of design and its capabilities, and has made me much more desirable to potential employers,” expressed Bamson. “Not only do I see and think of design differently, but my considerations of what is important in design also have been broadened.”
Following graduation, Bamson, who has lived in the U.S. for 20 years and is originally from Abuja, Nigeria, will travel home with his sister for a long-awaited visit and a much-needed break. Later, he plans to work for a firm that practices architecture, urban design and landscape architecture to seek licensures in both.
Bamson thanks the amazing faculty at the College of Architecture and Design for making this program possible. “A special thanks to Gale Fulton for leading the School of Landscape Architecture to a bright future,” stated Bamson. “I will be keeping a close eye on the college going forward. I am looking forward to seeing many other students go through the 5+2 and 4+2 [Bachelor of Interior Architecture and Master of Architecture] programs!”
One such student, who is closely following Bamson through the 5+2 program, is Breanna Browning. This summer, Browning will become the second student to graduate from the program.
Beginning in 2016, the 5+2 dual-degree program is designed to give UT College of Architecture and Design students an accelerated path to degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture, which differentiates graduates entering the design professions.