Gabriel Díaz Montemayor, left, is the new Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, and Jennifer Webb is the new Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs at the school.
Two faculty members from the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design have been appointed to newly created Assistant Dean positions, effective July 1.
Peter MacKeith, Dean, and Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, Associate Dean, have decided to devote additional attention and resources to two areas critical to the school’s future growth and development: graduate programs and diversity , equity and inclusion.
Gabriel Díaz Montemayor, ASLA, is the School’s Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture. Jennifer Webb is the school’s associate dean of graduate programs and associate professor of interior design.
“Matching our growth in student and faculty numbers, as well as the growth of our academic programs and community engagement, Fay Jones School is expanding its academic leadership team with these important appointments from Professors Webb and Díaz Montemayor as Assistant Deans, ”said Peter MacKeith, Dean of the school. “Professor Webb led our graduate programs initiative almost from day one, to their current productive momentum, demonstrating admirable administrative qualities of insight, vision and diplomacy. Professor Diaz Montemayor came to our faculty as a national leader in diversity and inclusion initiatives in the design disciplines, and the school is the beneficiary of its staunch commitment and skillful collaborative skills in this important work. “
Díaz Montemayor joined the faculty in the fall semester of 2019. Previously, he was a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University at Tempe, and the Graduate Institute of Architecture and Chihuahua design (ISAD). He received the 2019 award for excellence in design studio teaching, junior level, from the National Council of Landscape Architecture Educators.
He is a founding partner of LABOR (Landscape, Architecture, Border) Studio based in Chihuahua City, where he has been practicing since 2002. The work produced by the office is characterized by a wide range of scales in private and public commissions, mainly in the Chihuahua State, Mexico.
He has been a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) since 2008 and attended the organization’s Diversity Summits in 2018 and 2019. He completed the Bachelor of Architecture – a five-year professional program – at the ‘ISAD and holds the title of professional architect. title of the Autonomous University of the State of Chihuahua. He received a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Auburn University, Alabama, in 2007.
Díaz Montemayor’s research focuses on the advancement of landscape architecture with a socio-environmental basis in Latin America and in the border region between the United States and Mexico. In this context, he researched and wrote on urban ecotones as a model for resilient communities and hybrid urban-natural structures.
In addition to designing and constructing buildings and landscapes, Díaz Montemayor produced master plans for park and trail networks and mixed and residential developments. He was also a consultant for USAID in a public space reclamation project for cities in northern Mexico. His professional and academic work has been published in Arquine review, review Durability, Urbanism Journal, ULA Journal, and Landscape architecture magazine, among others.
As Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Díaz Montemayor strives to contribute to the continued transformation of the school’s culture into one to which everyone – faculty, staff, students – belong. . This includes supporting the recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty and staff; support student, staff and faculty initiatives on DCI; organize trainings on DCI issues; organize conferences, panels, workshops and publications focused on DCI; contribute to transforming the content of study programs into a diverse and inclusive model; support scholarship applications with a focus on helping minority applications; and planning and designing the school’s DCI goals, strategies and methods for short, medium and long term implementation.
Webb joined the University of Arkansas interior design faculty in 1999. She is also a licensed interior designer.
She holds a doctorate in environmental design and has passed the NCIDQ and LEED AP exams. Webb has taught a wide variety of interior design courses that include commercial, healthcare, and hospitality design studios, as well as courses that explore the behaviors and inclusion of diverse people in the built world.
During his tenure at the university, Webb pursued an active research program focused on person-environment fit. In collaboration with colleagues from two institutions, she studied the role of intimacy in the living environments of the elderly and the subsequent adaptation in assisted living environments. She has also studied the models of proxemia in the elderly in independent and assisted living environments.
Webb initiated a research on intended living environments for residents of Arkansas, and this survey provided the pilot data for the Arkansas Health and Housing Survey (2006). This project provided extensive data regarding Arkansans views on aging, health, home and community design, and current and projected trends.
She received the Joel Polsky Award for her contributions to the interior design profession for her work on Just below the line: disability, housing and equity in the South (University of Arkansas Press, 2010). She also contributed to the Universal Design Manual (2010).
Webb is invested in the scholarship of interior design and related architectural professions. For six years, she served on the board of the Journal of Interior Design with an additional four-year term as chair of the board. She was also a member of the National Board of Directors of the Interior Design Educators Council, where she coordinated the efforts of the conference review processes, the Interior Design Journal, creative scholarship competitions, task forces and publishing integrity. The Council of Interior Design Educators awarded him Fellow status in 2019.
Webb’s experiences as a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oklahoma State University motivated her interest in graduate school. At both universities, she received mentorship that transformed her understanding of higher education and its role in developing the knowledge base for transformative design processes and solutions.
As Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs, Webb strives to develop effective recruiting practices that include a strong web presence, social media outreach, and in-person events. She advises all graduate students and strives to identify culminating residency experiences for each student, contributing and informing each student’s unique career goals. She also supervises the development of the program within each concentration, in collaboration with the school administration and stakeholders.
Fay Jones School offers a Masters in Design Studies, with current concentrations in Resilience Design, Integrated Wood Design, and Retail and Hospitality Design. Further concentrations of studies are being developed in the areas of preservation design, housing design, and health and wellness design.