Meet the Institute for Quality Communities’ 2019 Graduate Assistants

Each academic year, the OU Institute for Quality Communities (IQC) provides the opportunity for GCA students to help enhance the quality of life in neighborhoods, towns, and cities as part of their classroom experience. This year, the IQC will also employ three graduate student assistants, Alice Calmon, Taylor Huizenga, and Matthew Kessler, to support this work. They will help develop projects in Hooker, Oklahoma, and in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Oklahoma City, among others.

Join us in welcoming Taylor, Matthew and Alice to the IQC team!

Taylor Huizenga

Taylor Huizenga is a graduate assistant who works with the Institute for Quality Communities to engage with the community and address challenges in the built environment. She believes her work with the IQC will help her learn how to address issues in the built environment and create great neighborhoods and communities for people.

Huizenga has worked as a student director of OU Cousins and currently works for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. She holds a degree from The University of Oklahoma in Environmental Sustainability. Huizenga also enjoys running, playing sports, and music.

Matthew Kessler

Matthew Kessler is a Master of Landscape Architecture student who works with the Institute for Quality Communities to build partnerships with mayors, city managers, and civic organizations across Oklahoma to identify challenges in the built environment. Kessler believes that through the collaboration of his team and communities, we can restyle towns and cities in ways to improve quality of life.

Kessler previously worked at the University of Oklahoma as a graduate assistant for the Landscape Architecture department, where he assisted Professor Bret Betnar in researching the green roof at the National Weather Center. He holds a bachelors degree in Environmental Design from the University of Oklahoma, and also served eleven years in the United States Air Force. Kessler enjoys hiking and traveling with his wife, Sara, and their dog, Zeus.

Alice Calmon

Alice Calmon is a Master of Landscape Architecture student who works on the team to enhance communities by creating meaningful spaces, experiences, and improving people’s quality of life. She was awarded the OU Creaties 2019 Award in the Best Student Website/Portfolio category.

Calmon holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of Brazil and has worked at multiple firms there. Last summer, she had the opportunity to intern at EDSA, a renowned Landscape Architecture firm in Florida. Calmon also enjoys gatherings with friends, outdoor activities, books, and yoga.

Above, from left: Taylor Huizenga, Matthew Kessler and Alice Calmon