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Thank you all for applying for the DrAL scholarship. After a careful and independent review by five faculty members, we are delighted to inform the five recipients of the DrAL scholarship this year. We had a large number (25+) of applications this year and congratulations on being winners below.



Haoyue Yang

Ph.D. Student in Urban and Regional Science

After graduating with a master’s degree in landscape architecture, Haoyue Yang accepted admission into the doctoral program of Urban and Regional Sciences. During her master's study at Texas A&M University, she grew passionate about evidence-based health planning and design. She has design-related working experience with small communities. In the summer of 2019, she interned in Iowa, focusing on achieving environmental justice for two small cities by implementing ecological and active living concepts in urban design. For her final study, she worked with Nolanville, Texas, to develop a smart city framework to improve the urban environment and the residents’ quality of life.

Research Statement

Her research interests include active living, evidence-based health planning and design, therapeutic landscapes, and pandemic disaster resilience in the community. She is keen on passaging the outcome of her research to designers and the public to bring about healthy, walkable, and resilient environments and healthy lifestyles.



Xi Chen

Ph.D. Student in Urban and Regional Science

Xi Chen is a third-year doctoral student in the Urban and Regional Science program at Texas A&M University. She received her Master of Arts in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Sheffield in 2017, and her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Regeneration and Planning from the University of Liverpool in 2016. She has working experience as an intern in some private design companies in Beijing, China.

Research Statement

She is interested in design for aging, age-friendly community, dementia-friendly community and active living research. Her interest in this field began during the the final study of her master's program, when when she got to know people with dementia for the first time and understood their mood, feeling and spirit as well as the challenges they face in their local communities. She is currently working on her dissertation research, exploring how neighborhood environment affects the overall/global cognition as well as specific aspects of cognitive function among older adults and the possible mechanism(s) for any observed associations. The main findings of her research study will advance our understanding of how neighborhood environments affect the cognitive health of community-dwelling older adults and provide further recommendations and guidelines of policy planning on active living, dementia prevention and the development of ‘age-friendly community’ and ‘dementia-friendly community’ in the US.



Neha Rampuria

Master of Architecture Student

Neha Rampuria is a second-year student of Master of Architecture, admitted to Texas A&M University in the Fall of 2019. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University in India. She is curious and passionate about architectural design and how it positively impacts the health and lifestyle of communities and lead to their upliftment. Her various urban experiences in India have always made her think about how public and environmental health and architecture critically rely on each other. This led her to pursue the Design for Health (Track) certification. Currently, she is participating in the Innovation[X] project, studying the health facilities of existing underserved communities in the Brazos Valley region and developing innovative design concepts that support the health of the residents. Also, for her final study, she is designing a Cancer Care Center which will provide physical, social, and mental support to its visitors.

Design Statement

She is interested in designing healthy, minimalist, and sustainable architecture for people and providing them an improved lifestyle through spaces that promote healthy living, possibilities of interaction, safety and, most importantly, a sense of belonging. Moreover, since they are the future of a country, she would also like to study the impact of an educational built environment for the mental, physical, and social development of children,. Children spend the most important initial learning years of their lives in these settings, and she aims to contribute to this learning/developmental process through her design and research.



Sun Shu

Master of Architecture Student

Sun Shu is a second-year master student of landscape architecture. Her initial interest in active living came from the projects at work – aging community design in Gulou Street, Beijing. Since then, she began to think about the design of senior living. While studying at Texas A&M University, she developed a deeper understanding of intergenerational communities through a studio course with Professor Jane Winslow and Professor Dingding Ren. She became more determined in aging active living and applied for the Design for the Design Research for Active Living (DrAL) Summer Internship in Dr. Lee’s team. During the internship, she participated in different projects, which improved her research and design abilities and established discipline and logic, including the master plan modification of Thompson & Grace Medical City Project, design modification amidst the COVID-19 for the Intergeneraltional Village Project in Japan, and other research-related work on Active Living Austin and Active EI Paso projects. She is conducting research and evidence-based design on the intergenerational community in Mueller Austin for her final study and continues to learn research and design in active living. 

Design Statement

Her academic interest concerns the intergenerational community, which aims at building accessible, participable and aging-friendly environments to facilitate all generations to go outside, enjoy multiple interactive outdoor spaces and communicate with each other. The intergenerational community is designed with politics, programs, practices and settings that promote interaction, exchange and cooperation among different generations, and provides opportunities for all ages to share their talents and support each other.



Yashraj Ahir

Master of Science in Construction Management Student

Yashraj Ahir is from Mumbai, India. He first graduated with a diploma in Construction Technology from the Bhausaheb Vartak Polytechnic near Mumbai and furthered his education with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Universal College of Engineering, Mumbai University. Currently, he is in his final semester of Master of Science in Construction Management degree at Texas A&M University. After graduating, Yashraj wants to be a part of Construction and Design projects. He is interested in Lean Construction, BIM Systems, Technology-Data and Information, Active Living, Public Policy, Urban Design, Vernacular Architecture amongst many other things.

Research Statement

Active Living is a phenomenon that affects our physical and mental health, finances, security, etc. A well-thought, well-designed sidewalk contributes as much to active living as a well-designed community or housing society. Well-designed communities promote social interactions that lead to healthy social relationships coupled with a balanced mind. Evidently, the effects of active living are beyond physical activity. Simple, small steps towards it have the potential to make a huge difference not only to an individual but to the society as a whole. The scope of this study is to see how technical and management skills, data and information, technology from multiple disciplines and overlapping ideas can be used to make efficient designs from the micro to the macro level.





Hao Huang

Ph.D. Student in Architecture

Hao Huang was admitted to the Master of Architecture program at Texas A&M University in Fall 2016. His first exposure to design for aging was through his final study, a multigenerational CCRC project. His committee chair is Dr. Susan Rodiek who introduced him to several towering figures: Victor Regnier, John Zeisel etc. It would be true to say that the day he became interested in the CCRC project was a turning point in his life. The CCRC project further brought him into a fascinating world in which he experienced a kind of intellectual awakening that largely shaped his pursuit today. After he finish his final study, he volunteered in couple nursing homes in Kansas and Massachusetts in 2018 summer. In Hearthstone Alzheimer Care in Boston, he was shadowing staff on AM-shift, PM-shift and OVERNIGHT-shift. He also help prep meals for residents and socialize with residents, such as playing BINGO, making Blueberry Muffins and etc. In Medicalodges skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Columbus, KS, he often play card games and water flowers with residents. It was at that moment he realized the importance of keeping aging senior active. Being active can help aging senior in a wide range of ways. He is a first-year PHD student and He is very excited about his adventure!

Research Statement

A rapidly growing elderly population fuels the concern for developing better housing for the elderly. Traditional institutional facilities for older people have received much criticism for their task-oriented environmental design, which is based on the medical model. New solutions are needed to satisfy the diverse needs of the elderly population within a more acceptable and therapeutic environment. Many experts in the field of environmental gerontology agree that “homelike” care environments hold the most therapeutic potential for older adults. “Homelike” care environments are person-centered and show respect to residents’ changing needs and choices. Unfortunately, this goal remains unmet in many facilities for the elderly. The scope of his study is to explore physical environment characteristics that influence homelike character of residential facilities for aging. The main finding can be used in the process of designing residential facilities for aging.


Chenjun Su

Master of Landscape Architecture Student

Chenjun Su is a third-year master student in landscape architecture. After she got her bachelor degree of landscape architecture in Hunan Agricultural University in China, she came to Texas A&M for her further study in landscape. She is doing the healing garden for Houston Methodist Center in Houston for her final study and working for HOK planning as student intern in her last academic year.

Design Statement

She is interested in sustainable urban design, residential design and building related landscape design like roof garden or interior landscape. Exploring the balance between buildings and outdoor surrounding is an effective way to create active living design. Making a better and healthy living environment for people is one of her reason to choose landscape as her major.




Jeongjae Yoon

Ph.D. student in Urban and Regional Science

After graduating from Chungang University, South Korea, JeongJae Yoon received my master’s degree in urban planning from University of Seoul, South Korea. Currently he is a Ph.D. candidate at Texas A&M University, Department of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning. Upon graduation, he is looking forward to joining a research institute for a career of research/ teaching in urban planning/design.

Research Statement

His research interests include urban design and physical planning; urban form/land use and non-motorized transportation; residential preferences and residential location choices regarding physical activity, preferred lifestyles and residential satisfaction. He is also interested in applying the outcome of research into urban planning policies for healthy cities, revitalization of downtown areas, and development of user-friendly transportation systems.


Sara Soltani

Master of Architecture Student

Sara Soltani is a second-year masters student in architecture from Isfahan, Iran. After graduating with bachelors degree in architecture from Art University of Isfahan, She started her graduate studies at Texas A&M University in 2015. Her interests in architecture lie in vernacular architecture, interactive design methods, and user-centered design. She enjoys architectural sketching, painting, and travelling. Being interested in community spaces and human social interactions, she is designing a community school for children from pre-k to 5th grade as for her final studies. Her dream is travel all over the world, visit architectural masterpieces and get to know different cultures.

Research Statement

In the past, elementary schools used to be the center of the communities, however this role has faded away with the expansion of cities through time and this project tries to revitalize this role by utilizing school as a community center. Community Schools are like normal schools but they are more interconnected with the community. They work as schools during normal school hours, however they're also provided with a number of flexible spaces that can be employed as a common space after school hours. These centers can become more active by providing walkable routes to them. Well-lid, walkable routes and sufficient greenery along the walkways, can increase safety among the neighborhood and therefore, encourage people to walk to these community centers and decrease their dependency to automobiles, helping them maintain a healthier lifestyle.



 Jinuk Hwang

Ph.D. student in Urban and Regional Science

He is a Ph.D. student in Urban and Regional Science program at Texas A&M University and a Graduate Assistant of Research at Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). He received my master’s degree in Urban Planning at Texas A&M in May, 2016. Prior to enrolling at Texas A&M, he completed my B.S. in Urban Engineering at Pusan National University, South Korea in 2014.


Research Statement

His research interests lie in the area of sustainable transportation planning, exploring the environmental and socio-economic impacts of transportation infrastructure, policy, and planning on our community. His interests also include traffic safety of active transportation modes, alternative transportation and human behavior, and social justice in planning and policy.






Jaewoong Won

Urban and Regional Science | Ph.D | Instructor 






Sungmin Lee

Urban and Regional Science | Ph.D Candidate 




Minjie Xu

Urban and Regional Science | Ph.D | Postdoctoral Fellow





Wendy Weatherly

Architecture| MA Student




Chunkuen Lee

Urban and Regional Science | PhD Student




Jeongjae Yoon

Urban and Regional Science | PhD




Design for Aging Scholarships

The Center for Health Systems & Design is pleased to announce new scholarships in Design for Aging

These competitive scholarships will be awarded to Master’s students in the College of Architecture who will be entering their final year in fall 2017 and who will pursue aging related projects as part of their final study. Preferences will be given to the students with interests in multi-generational communities, active aging, aging in place, and/or population aging in Japan. To qualify, the applicants should be members of SHEA, and working toward the Certificate in Health Systems & Design. 

The application package should include the student’s CV, and a brief essay (2 pages, single-spaced, maximum), answering the following questions:

  1. What are the potential benefits to older adults, of aging in an intergenerational setting, instead of in age-segregated housing? (can briefly describe 1-3 case studies of successful intergenerational communities, in any location or culture).
  2. In modern Japan, what cultural aspects related to aging should be taken into account in the design of intergenerational communities?

Essays should cite their main references, using APA style preferably.

Please email your submission to, by 5pm on July 31, 2017 at 5pm. 


DrAL scholarships opportunities for the 2016-2017 academic year

Design Research for Active Living (DrAL) scholarships are awarded to graduate students in the College of Architecture with an expressed interest in research and/or evidence-based design related to active living, and with a strong potential to become a leading scholar/professional in this interdisciplinary field. The number and amount of awards may vary each year.

For the 2016-17 academic year, up to three competitive $1000 scholarships will be awarded. To apply, please submit your complete resume/vitae (2 pages maximum) including your GPAs and a short description of your research interest and its relevance to active living (2 pages recommended), to Chanam Lee ( by noon on August 31, 2016. Please write “DrAL Scholarship Application” in the email subject line. Applications will be reviewed by a faculty panel from DrAL and Center for Health Systems and Design, and announced by September 22016.