Mohammed Abdelaal, Campus/Facilities Planner
Mohammed joined Facilities and Campus Services in 2003. His responsibilities include work on campus planning, facilities programming, and project management for campus physical development projects. Mohammed's professional career at UMass began as a CAD Specialist with the Design and Construction division, and then as a Facilities Planning Specialist with the Campus Planning division.
Before coming to UMass, he worked as a project designer and job captain at Jung|Brannen & Associates, Elkus Manfredi Architects, and Sasaki Associates. Mohammed brings to the department strong planning and design capabilities to synthesize information from diverse disciplines. He has advanced professional experience utilizing supporting software, including AutoCAD, ArcGIS, Adobe Creative Suite, and Microsoft Office, for planning, programming, and design.
Mohammed holds a Master of Regional Planning degree from UMass, Amherst, with a focus on planning university campuses for urban revitalization in collaboration with local government, business, nonprofits, and community. He also holds a first-professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Boston Architectural College. Mohammed is a LEED Green Associate.
Rommel Cordova-Fiori, Space Information Manager
Rommel joined the UMass Space Management team in 2019. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Building & Construction Technology and Master’s degree in Sustainable Building Systems both from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to joining Campus Planning, he worked as an Assistant Project Manager at Hill International for four years managing accelerated projects repairs for many school districts in Western Massachusetts.
Rommel gains his excellent planning skills from his experience with construction consulting and all phases of project development including design, construction, punch-list and systems inspections. His expertise also includes structural design and scheduling in timber frame, and his technical knowledge includes building regulations and environmental standards for commercial and residential construction. He is well versed in CAD software such as AutoCAD, Sketch Up, Revit, Visual Analysis and Woodworks.
Rommel is responsible for all aspects of development and maintenance of the electronic floor plans of all buildings comprising all campuses, ensuring accuracy, quality, and integrity of products through enforcement of procedures and protocols as well as through coordination with construction project managers in all divisions. He maintains space inventory databases including data collection, management, maintenance, and integrity.
Jeff Dalzell, Project Planner/ Manager
Jeff Dalzell is a registered architect and Project Manager on the Campus Planning team, focusing on programming and feasibility for new capital projects.
Prior to joining Campus Planning, Jeff enjoyed a 20 year architecture practice that took him from Illinois to the Carolinas and eventually back to New England. He has designed and managed collegiate building projects serving diverse functions. With conviction that a successful project is one that sets off on a good—and integrative—foot, Jeff values the collaborative discussions that lay solid groundwork.
Jeff has a BA from Williams College and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Buildings that he designed prior to coming to UMass have won peer and professional association recognition. Looking forward, Jeff is earnestly invested in the importance of building sustainably, for the long term.
Connie DeSantis, Administrative Assistant
Connie comes to us from Paraffin Services, LLC where she served as the Office Manager / Executive Assistant. Connie’s skills include expertise in office management, property management, project management, personnel and benefits administration, payroll, and knowledge regarding practices and protocols with regards to HR guidelines.
Tom Huf, Senior Program Manager
Tom Huf brought to the Campus Planning Division at UMass Amherst a 25 year background as a registered architect and planner responsible for a wide range of building design, programming, and planning from small labs to campus plans. Since 2006, Tom has served as the Senior Academic Facilities Planner working with all Colleges and academic departments on campus on facility master plans and assessing needs and defining programs and budgets for large capital projects.
In private practice with firms in Boston and Cambridge Tom was a Senior Associate and Partner overseeing projects and managing teams on multi-building redevelopment and new buildings in cities from Cleveland and Miami Beach to Cambridge and Boston. Tom was partner in charge of university master plans and university facility programs for more than ten universities in the northeast including MIT, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Penn, Westfield, Worcester and several universities in the Middle East.
At UMass, Tom has served as manager for the Comprehensive Science and Engineering Plan, The SPHHS Master Plan, the Instructional Space Plan, and for the programming of many large capital projects for sciences and humanities including the Life Science Building, Physical Sciences Building, Integrative learning Center, South College, and the new Isenberg School of Management Addition.
Tom has a BSci in Architecture and BSci in Building Sciences from Rensselaer and a Master of City Planning in Urban Design from Harvard University.
David LaBanc, Interim Assistant Director, Space and Asset Management
Dave joined the Campus Planning team in 2020. His responsibilities include analysis of space use data, including reports for academic and financial project progress, including Provost initiatives in the areas of faculty related space utilization and productivity.
Dave has more than two decades of higher education experience in student affairs, development, and facilities. Prior to his arrival in Amherst, he worked at Ole Miss in the Department of Facilities Planning as a Project Manager and Space Administrator.
He earned his B.A. in Management at Baldwin-Wallace College (B-W), his M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and College Student Personnel at Kent State University, and his MBA at B-W.
When he is not at work, Dave is involved in the community as a volunteer firefighter with the Amherst Fire Department.
Niels la Cour, Senior Physical Planner
Niels la Cour is a Senior Physical Planner on the Campus Planning team, focusing on the natural and built systems of the campus physical environment. Niels has served on the Town Gown Steering Committee and maintains a close working relationship with the Town of Amherst. He is responsible for the integration of the Geographical Information System (GIS) into the operations of the campus’ physical plant and it’s new Computer Aided Facilities Management System.
Prior to joining our team, Niels was a Senior Planner in the Town of Amherst, MA Planning Department, where he was instrumental in making the town’s GIS accessible to the general public, which earned Amherst a Special Achievement in GIS Award from ESRI in 2008. Niels also managed the town’s extensive Master Planning process and provided staff support for the Planning Board and their permit review processes.
Niels brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Campus Planning, having also served on the Massachusetts Geographic Information Advisory Committee and the Board of NEARC, the region’s Arc Info user group. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental History from Northland College, a Masters of Landscape Architecture and a Masters of Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Niels previously completed a successful career in Landscape Architecture, Planning, Engineering and Environmental Analysis firms, as well as Historic Preservation.
Douglas Marshall, Assistant Director, Facilities Programming and Planning
Doug Marshall is a registered architect who has been an integral staff member since 2010. Prior to joining Campus Planning, he was a Senior Associate at Sasaki Associates in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he was engaged in a wide variety of college and university building projects. His passion for higher education brought him to UMass, where Doug is involved in all phases of planning and design on campus. His responsibilities include: management of consultant contracts for facility planning, programming, and feasibility studies; facility planning and programming of projects when performed in-house; and procurement, management, and tracking of off-campus leased space. In addition, Doug puts his analytic strengths to work in support of the Space and Asset Management group, to identify opportunities and evaluate options for potential space assignments.
Doug completed his undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College, earning a degree in Engineering Science and Visual Art, and obtained his Master of Architecture from Yale University.
Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham, Senior Campus Planner
Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham is Senior Campus Planner and is responsible for facilities and urban planning to support the comprehensive planning and design activities of the campus. Ludmilla was on the Campus Master Plan team and has managed the planning of major capital projects including Harold Alfond Hall/ISOM Addition, the Integrated Science Building, the Berkshire Dining Commons Renovation, the Southwest Residential Area Concourse, the Comprehensive Academic and Classroom Facilities Plan, and the Library Master Plan.
Passionate about campus sustainability, Ludmilla often lectures on the topic and helped author the first UMass Amherst Sustainability Plan and the Master Plan Sustainability chapter. Prior to coming to UMass she worked for design firms in New York City, most notably for John M.Y. Lee/Michael Timchula Associates, managing the design and construction of the Curtis/Balkan Factory in Sofia, Bulgaria, and as a member of the team that designed the Shenzhen City Center Urban Design and City Hall in Shenzhen, China
Ludmilla has a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and European Cultural Studies from Princeton University and a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University. She sits on the North Atlantic Regional Council of the Society of College and University Planners, Board of Directors of AIA Massachusetts and Western MA AIA, http://works.bepress.com/ludmilla_pavlova-gillham/.
Simon Raine, Campus Designer/Planner
Simon Raine joined Campus Planning in January 2011 as the Campus Designer/Planner and is responsible for urban design and planning for the 1400-acre Flagship University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.
Prior to joining Campus Planning, Simon practiced for over 10 years with Sasaki Associates, Inc., working on a wide variety of planning, landscape and urban design projects across the country, such as Pennsylvania State University and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Simon is a registered landscape architect and was educated in the United Kingdom, receiving both a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture from Leeds Metropolitan University. He also practiced with the Derek Lovejoy Partnership in London.
Andrew Soles, Senior Facilities Planner
Andy Soles is a registered architect who was hired as a Senior Facilities Planner in 2003. He has been involved in master planning and early conceptual planning work with Residential Life and the campus as a whole. Drawing on his past experience in private practice, he undertook project management responsibilities for the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community and the North Apartments residential projects, seeing both projects through to occupancy. His other responsibilities include development of feasibility studies, project planning and budget development and the development of scopes of work for campus projects.
Prior to joining Campus Planning, Andy was a Senior Associate for over ten years with Beacon Architectural Associates working with a variety of higher educational, commercial and public clients across the country.
Madelaine Taft-Ferguson, GIS Analyst
Madelaine Taft-Ferguson joined the Campus Planning department in 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Yale University and a Master of Science in Geography, GIST from UMass Amherst. Prior to joining Campus Planning, she worked in the field of affordable housing, most recently in Franklin County, MA.
Madelaine helps to maintain the campus-wide enterprise GIS system and facilitates the use of geospatial information by a wide variety of campus users, both internal and public.
Nan Wang, Senior CAD-CAFM Specialist
Nan develops and maintains electronic floor plans and space data for Space and Asset Management in the campus Integrated Work Management System (IWMS). She tracks, surveys and updates floor plans and space data for campus buildings to reflect the latest renovations and new construction. In addition, Nan maintains Sharepoint, providing support for reporting space information to all UMass campus facilities.
Richard Yeager, Director
A 30 year veteran in architecture and planning administration, Richard Yeager was named Director of Campus Planning in September, 2018.
Richard has contributed to and managed an extensive number of academic projects, including design, renovation and restoration, master planning, scheduling, and budget development as well as project and construction management. He has a strong background in preservation and extensive experience in the renovation of numerous historic buildings throughout his professional career.
Richard recently served as assistant director of planning and design at Boston College and led a design staff that oversaw Boston College’s physical campus of over 150 buildings. He was responsible for the design and management of the annual capital projects on campus as well as played a critical role in BC’s major projects, architect selection and design oversight. He also had an integral role with the development of Boston College’s Comprehensive Master Plan and the development of their Brighton campus.
His background includes a 2007 appointment as a commissioner with the Boston Landmarks Commission for the City of Boston. He has been a member of the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) for over twenty years as well as a member of the Association of University Architects (AUA), and has presented at numerous conferences. He has served as chair of the Heritage Preservation Committee for the AUA, focusing on historic academic buildings, and he co-hosted their national conference in 2013.
Richard was an adjunct faculty member of the Boston Architectural College, where he had been teaching an advanced design studio class for the past six years. He majored in architecture and received his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Virginia and received his Masters of Architecture degree at Yale University.