Fay Jones School Alumni Find New Opportunities, Post-Graduation Success

Interior design alumna Sloan Aulgur (left) was selected for the international YACademy Architecture for Exhibition program, and architecture alumnus Selwyn Bachus II began graduate school this fall at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Images courtesy of Sloan Aulgur and Selwyn Bachus II

Interior design alumna Sloan Aulgur (left) was selected for the international YACademy Architecture for Exhibition program, and architecture alumnus Selwyn Bachus II began graduate school this fall at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design is highlighting the successes of some recent architecture, interior design and landscape architecture graduates who have received recognition and been accepted into post-graduate academic programs. While the COVID-19 pandemic has created unusual circumstances in the industry, these alumni continue to achieve professionally following graduation from the University of Arkansas.

"As a professional school of architecture and design, our success is measured by the achievements of our students, both inside the school and beyond," said Peter MacKeith, dean of the Fay Jones School. "The accomplishments and recognition of these students, from across our central design disciplines, is testimony to their commitment, hard work and talent, and also emblematic of the quality of our students overall. I know as well that these students have benefitted from extraordinary faculty guidance and mentoring. As a school, we are extremely happy and proud. Congratulations to all."


One of those achievements came last month, when design work by Ben Magee, Jacob Costello and Max Frank was recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the national professional association for landscape architects in the United States.

Magee (B.L.A.'18) and Costello (B.L.A.'18), both recent graduates, and Frank, a fourth-year honors landscape architecture student, won an Honor Award in the General Design category for their project, "The Foodway."

Their project was one of 35 Student Award winners chosen from a pool of 560 submissions from around the world. The 2020 Professional and Student ASLA Awards were announced Sept. 3.

Transforming and revitalizing an abandoned brownfield site, The Foodway imagines a model system of food production where ecological health, community vitality and social equity all manifest in an accessible, urban farm. As a new campus for Tri Cycle Farms, a Northwest Arkansas non-profit community garden with dedicated food waste reduction impacts, The Foodway becomes a vessel for the organization's three pillars: awareness, education and empowerment.

The size of the new site allows Tri Cycle Farms to include space for housing its frequent AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, and add a multi-use parking/event space and a farm-to-table restaurant that broadens the organization's reach to a wider range of people and creates a new revenue stream. Additionally, all aspects of the site and buildings were designed to meet the Living Building Challenge guidelines.

Ken McCown, head of the Department of Landscape Architecture, served as faculty advisor on the project. Scott Biehle, a teaching assistant professor of landscape architecture, was a faculty instructor, and Beau Burris, a fifth year Honors landscape architecture student, helped with graphics and post-production.

Interior Design Alumna Accepted Into YACademy

A recent interior design graduate, Sloan Aulgur (B.I.D. '20), was one of 25 international students selected for the YACademy Architecture for Exhibition program, a 10-week course focused on exhibition design. The course includes workshops and lectures given by design professionals from different international colleges and firms, including Zaha Hadid Architects, David Chipperfield Architects, Polytechnic University of Milan, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Snøhetta.

"Exhibition design is a field that has fueled a lot of my interests as a designer, and many of the teachers in this course inspired me throughout my education at Fay Jones," Aulgur said.

The course, which started in September, is based in Bologna, Italy. However, due to the pandemic, Aulgur opted to take the course online. She said about half of the 25 students chose the virtual option.

Aulgur said that the course covers all aspects of exhibition design, including curation, contemporary art, museum case studies and lighting. Individuals from each of the partnership firms will give a lecture, and then the students are guaranteed an internship with one of those firms following the course. 

"It's great that each of the participating firms presents a lecture though, as it gives a better idea to what their workplace and design motives are like," Aulgur said. "It would be an honor to work for any of them."

The course also includes a design element similar to Aulgur's design studio experience at the U of A, Aulgur said. The YACademy partnered with the Lamborghini Museum in Bologna, and the students will present new exhibition design alternatives to the museum's creative team at the end of the program.

Aulgur said she is excited to be learning from and working with individuals from groundbreaking firms in the exhibition design field. The program has also provided new opportunities during the pandemic.

"Graduating in the midst of COVID stunted many of my post-graduation plans and employment opportunities," Aulgur said. "But this course is keeping me creative and ready to jump into the workplace when the time is right."

Architecture Alumnus Begins Harvard M.Arch. Program

A recent architecture graduate, Selwyn Bachus II (B.Arch. '19), started the Master of Architecture II program at Harvard University Graduate School of Design this fall.

"I decided to continue my education, because a long-term goal of mine is to return to the classroom as an educator," Bachus said. "We have a lack of minority representation in architecture, and even more so in architectural education. If I can help to be a small part of changing that, I feel obligated to do so."

Bachus said he chose Harvard because it seemed like an architecturally critical program with a social atmosphere that encourages individual expression, similar to what he found at the Fay Jones School. He's also interested in learning more about Black identity in architecture, which he's already exploring in his first semester.

"Luckily, in my first semester, I am in a studio offered by Toshiko Mori titled 'House of Our Time,' where we are examining the possibilities and opportunities related to deconstructing the colonial aspects of housing," Bachus said.

After graduating from the Fay Jones School, Bachus spent a year volunteering at his high school alma mater, Creighton Prep, in Omaha, Nebraska, to gain some teaching experience. Upon finishing his program at Harvard, Bachus said he's interested in community-focused design.

"I would love to move to New York and focus on community-oriented design-build projects that empower architecturally underserved communities," he said.

John Folan, professor and head of the Department of Architecture, applauded the work Bachus has continued after graduation.

"Selwyn's aspirations represent, by action, what it is to be a citizen architect," Folan said. "His desire to simultaneously impact the broader public and profession is entirely representative of the positive spirit and transformative sensibilities he demonstrated in the Department of Architecture while at the Fay Jones School." 


Shawnya Lee Meyers, digital media specialist
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4744, slmeyers@uark.edu

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4704, mparks17@uark.edu


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