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Graduation reflections from Architects Foundation Scholars

Orli HakanogluOrli Hakanoglu
2018 Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Scholar
May 2019 Graduate, Yale University

It has been [a few months] since I graduated with my M-Arch degree from Yale, and have had a bit of time to relax and reflect on the past three incredible years. When I started school, I had no idea what world I was about to enter; all I knew was my own curiosity and eagerness to join a community that spoke my language. What I didn’t anticipate was the richness of this language, and that it had such a wealth of “dialects,” so to speak. I was introduced to countless angles of investigation that greatly expanded my understanding of the process of design. Anchoring me and my peers’ exploration was an understanding of history, context, and an essential reflexivity about the role of the profession itself. This multifaceted quality of inquiry was encouraged from all directions: students, faculty, visiting critics and jurors, members of the University, and the broader New Haven community.

The semester-long teaching fellowships I held were probably the highlight of my time at Yale, particularly those in which I was given a hands-on role as an instructor. I would have never imagined that my own knowledge of the subject could be so deepened through work with brilliant peers only a year or two my junior. The school’s encouragement of a richness of perspective and ways of seeing is likely its most powerful pedagogical tool, and I hope to cultivate the same open-mindedness within the communities I belong to in my post-graduate life. I am endlessly thankful to Payette and the Architects Foundation for their support in making this education possible for me. Having graduated, I am now ready to experience the aspects of the profession less dwelled-upon in the classroom, and am planning my next steps as an architect with optimism and excitement.

Vaughn LewisVaughn Lewis
2014 Diversity Advancement Scholar, AF/McAslan Fellow
May 2019 Graduate, The Cooper Union

My acceptance into The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union in 2014 was an incredible opportunity which was both exciting and challenging. It came at a difficult time, a complex year in the 155-year history of the institution when there was a change in Cooper’s tuition policy. Because of this, my first studio Architectonics, led by David Gersten with Wes Rozen and Rikke Jørgensen, was the most formative during my education. In that semester my professors worked to create situations within which the students could inhabit questions and create new works that would embody the current moment in the life of the institution. Together with my classmates, we measured, drew and built a six-foot-high scaled model of the Foundation Building’s exterior, filled with each student’s interpretation of salient interior spaces. Speaking metaphorically, our professors placed the weight of the school in our hands, to care for the school in the most profound sense of “building it.” We built a model of The Cooper Union while acknowledging that The Cooper Union is itself a model of education. This approach was unlike anything I thought studying architecture would be and as a result of this experience, each studio thereafter became a social poetic act, a collection of gestures of ethics and imagination.

Throughout my studies, I committed myself to seek out programs which would provide me the foundation I needed to become a valuable member of any design team. Aside from my design studios and classes, it was extremely important to me that I supplemented my education with teaching. I learned about the school of architecture while I was in high school and attending a Cooper Union pre-college program called The Saturday Program. The program offered free studio art courses to New York City Public High School students and gave students individual advisement on applying to colleges along with preparing their art and architecture portfolios. It was because of this program that I gained the necessary skills I needed to create a competitive application for acceptance to The Cooper Union. So in my sophomore year, I became an instructor and taught a class each semester thereafter until I graduated. It was important for me to help give to others what was given to me because I fully understand that service is the price we
pay for the space we occupy.

I also received several prominent scholarships/grants and fellowships including: a grant from The National Science Foundation, 2018 William Cooper Mack Thesis Fellowship, 2017 Palmer Hayden Travel Fellowship and the 2015 AIA /AF Diversity Scholarship. These fellowships and organizations have provided me with a tremendous amount of financial and moral support. As a result of these opportunities, I was fortunate enough to travel to places like Mexico, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, China, and Africa.

An integral aspect of architecture is its engagement with different cultures and communities around the world. Furthermore, I pursued architecture fully aware of the disparity between the total number of African American in the U.S. population and the percentage of licensed African-American architects.

However, I believe that without greater diversity in the architecture field, the profession threatens to limit its views, perspectives, and ideas. As we live in a multicultural society, it is my belief that the architecture profession should support professionals who reflect and represent the diverse communities they serve.

Jalen PriceJalen Price
2014 Diversity Advancement Scholar
May 2019 Graduate, Drury University

My time in architecture school is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences in my life. Going into this course of study, I had a base understanding of architecture. I was unaware of the depth at which architects and other design professions do impact society. Throughout my five years at Drury University, I grew as a person and largely as a designer. I was challenged to design in a variety of typologies and user groups. My designs ranged from a singular space to complexes, to a 25-year master plan. Outside of design, I solidified my commitment to using design to impact my community through the student organizations Art of Space and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). I was able to grow my leadership skills as a Residential Assistant for the university.

In addition to working part-time, keeping up with course requirements, and participating in various organizations, I am proud of receiving the following recognition during my time in architecture school: Three-time recipient of a scholarship from the AIA St. Louis Scholarship Fund; Community Award recipient from the Hammons School of Architecture; and Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal recipient from the Hammons School of Architecture. I completed two architecture internships. I was a Summer Intern with Grice Group Architects -St. Louis, MO in 2017. I completed a Spring internship with Agency Landscape and Planning – Cambridge, MA in 2019.

As I enter the professional world, I will begin with a position as an Architectural Designer with BRR Architecture in Kansas City, MO. I am excited to see where this opportunity takes me. I carry two pieces of advice as I begin this phase of my life. A professor once told me keep growing and refuse to become stagnant in my path as a designer and person. The second piece of advice came from a mentor who told to always seize opportunities from those who believe in me. The intersection of design and positive community impact I learned at Drury has sparked an interest in urban design; therefore, I plan to pursue an additional degree in the future.

AIA Custom Residential Architects Network endows Architects Foundation Diversity Advancement Scholarship

AIA Knowledge Community becomes Foundation’s first donor providing support in perpetuity for the Foundation’s diversity initiative.

WASHINGTON – The Architects Foundation is receiving a permanent endowment from The American Institute of Architects’ Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) to fund additional Diversity Advancement Scholarship recipients.

Through its $150,000 gift, CRAN will support a minority architecture student who shows interest in residential architecture as a career path by funding their college experience with $20,000 to be distributed evenly over the course of up to 5 years.

“CRAN is pleased to further the educational needs of future residential architects,” said 2019 CRAN Chair Mary S. Cerrone, AIA. “The positive experience from this first scholarship investment prompted CRAN to invest more fully in the education of future minority architects.”

This is not the first time CRAN has supported the Diversity Advancement Scholarship. Last year, the CRAN Legacy Committee—a volunteer group comprised of the knowledge community’s past chairs—previously gave $20,000 to support one scholar in 2018.

“This very generous gift from CRAN has set the stage for new foundation pillars of giving focused on scholarships in perpetuity” said Architects Foundation President James Walbridge, AIA. “Our board has created a fundraising campaign called ‘Pillars for the Future.’ Each pillar represents one Diversity Advancement Scholarship in perpetuity.

‘With this gift, CRAN has become the foundation pillar. We are so delighted to have CRAN as our partner in this effort to attract, inspire and invest in a diverse next-generation design community.”

The Architects Foundation has been working to expand the Diversity Advancement Scholarship. Last week, the Foundation awarded ten minority students entering or transferring to accredited architecture programs with scholarships.

Applications for the 2020-2021 Diversity Advancement Scholarship will open in fall 2019.  Complete details are available on the Foundations website.

Individuals and organizations interested in creating a lasting impact to support and empower a diverse next-generation design community are encouraged to contact the Architects Foundation.

2019 Architects Foundation Scholars Selected

Newly expanded scholarships recognize and support diverse future leaders of the profession in equity, historic preservation, risk management and sustainability

WASHINGTON – The Architects Foundation is continuing to support the future of the architecture profession by recognizing and supporting scholars through an ever-expanding scholarship and grant program offering.  Programs listed below represent the latest recipients of the Architect’s Foundation scholarship and grant program.

Architects Foundation/McAslan Fellowship
The Architects Foundation is awarding the inaugural 2019 Architects Foundation/McAslan Fellowship to Cooper Union student Vaughn Lewis and University of Nebraska-Lincoln student Shayla Dick.  The scholarship supports travel experiences for two top graduating students to engage with McAslan+Partners and the World Monuments Fund.

Learn more about this year’s Architects Foundation/McAslan Fellowship.

Diversity Advancement Scholarship
The Architects Foundation is continuing to support diversity in the architecture profession by awarding its Diversity Advancement Scholarship to 10 students entering architecture school.  Each of the students will receive $4,000 per year towards tuition for the next five years totaling $20,000 each. This year’s recipients are:

Roberto Arroyo Nia Lankford
Kayla Brown Samuel Leung
Justine Do (Benjamin Moore & Co. Scholar) Sarah Lowrey
Yanela Diaz     Jalion McLean
Alec Jackson Michael Stokes

Learn more about this year’s Diversity Advancement Scholarship.

2019-2020 Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship
The Architects Foundation is awarding the 2019-2020 Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship to Yale University student Michelle Badr. Badr will receive a $10,000 scholarship intended to support the education of women in architecture. She will also be mentored by an architect at Payette for the scholarship year. Badr is the fourth recipient of the scholarship, which honors late architect Sho-Ping Chin, FAIA, a long-time principal at Payette and a healthcare practice leader who was instrumental in defining and elevating the national discourse for women in design.
Learn more about this year’s Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship.

Sho-Ping Chin Women’s Leadership Summit Grants
The Architects Foundation is recognizing and supporting women in architecture with the Sho-Ping Chin Women’s Leadership Summit Grant. Specifically, the grant provides registration and travel to the 2019 AIA Women’s Leadership Summit for women in architecture moving into leadership roles in the profession. This year, the grant will fund eleven women to attend the summit, which is being held from September 12-14 in Minneapolis. This year’s recipients are:

Learn more about this year’s Sho-Ping Chin Women’s Leadership Summit Grants.

2019-2020 a/e ProNet David W. Lakamp AIA Scholarship
The Architects Foundation is awarding the 2019-2020 a/e ProNet David W. Lakamp AIA Scholarship to Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) student Vardhan Mehta and Texas A&M University student Hassan Anifowose. Each will receive $5,000 to be used towards tuition for demonstrating a strong interest in practice and risk management. The scholarship honors David W. Lakamp, who was a founder of a/e ProNet and a trusted advisor to the profession of architecture.

Learn more about this year’s a/e ProNet David W. Lakamp AIA Scholarship.

Yann Weymouth Graduate Scholarship
The Architects Foundation is awarding the inaugural Yann Weymouth Graduate Scholarship to Cornell University student Laura Stargala. Stargala will receive a $5,000 scholarship towards tuition for demonstrating an exemplary work focus at design that includes sustainability, resilience, wellness and beauty.

Learn more about this year’s Yann Weymouth Graduate Scholarship.


Architects Foundation now accepting applications for two scholarships

WASHINGTON – Beginning today, architecture students can apply to the Architects Foundation—the philanthropic partner of The American Institute of Architects (AIA)—for two scholarships that can help advance their professional goals.

“Scholarships are key to supporting the next generation of architects,” said Architects Foundation Executive Director Marci Reed. “By providing these opportunities to students matriculating from architecture programs and to graduate students, the Architects Foundation aims to empower students to excel in the profession and have positive impact on their communities and the world.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the Architects Foundation/McAslan Fellowship and the a/e ProNet David W. Lakamp AIA Scholarship. Architecture students that meet all outlined criteria are eligible to apply. Applications must be received for either scholarship by Wednesday, March 20, 2019 in order to be considered.

This is the first year The Architects Foundation/McAslan Fellowship is being offered. The scholarship supports travel experiences for two top graduating students to engage with McAslan+Partners and the World Monuments Fund. Specifically, selected students will participate in the restoration of the Madame Gauthier Villa in Port au Prince, Haiti. The program is part of the U.S. State Department’s newly awarded Ambassador’s Fund. As part of the scholarship, students will travel to New York as well as Port-au-Prince.

This is also the first year the Architects Foundation is offering the a/e ProNet David W. Lakamp AIA Scholarship, which was established in 1990. The scholarship honors David W. Lakamp, who was a founder of a/e ProNet and a trusted advisor to the profession of architecture. Lakamp’s legacy of professionalism and integrity set new standards in the field of insurance services. In his honor, two students who best demonstrate a strong interest in practice and risk management will each receive a $5,000 award that can be used towards tuition.

Complete details on all scholarship programs offered by the Architects Foundation can be reviewed here.

Call for Applications: Architects Foundation Now Accepting Submissions for Scholarships

WASHINGTON – The Architects Foundation, the philanthropic partner of The American Institute of Architects (AIA), is now accepting applications for three scholarships that support the next generation of architects.

“The Architects Foundation is thrilled to welcome more scholars into our fold,” said Marci Reed, Executive Director. “In addition to financial support, we aim to empower them to succeed in the profession of architecture and have positive impact in an increasingly diverse world.”

Beginning today, architecture students—that meet the required criteria—can apply for either the Diversity Advancement Scholarship, the Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship or the Yann Weymouth Graduate Scholarship. Applications must be received by Jan. 16, 2019 for consideration.

Diversity Advancement Scholarship

This multiyear scholarship supports high school and undergraduate minority students who are entering, enrolled in, or transferring into a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited undergraduate architecture program. Scholarships may be renewed every year until the degree is completed, for up to five years ($20,000 total award).

Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship

This scholarship is an honor to the legacy of Sho-Ping Chin, FAIA, who helped shape the national discourse on women in architecture and design. The scholarship is open to third and fourth-year women architecture students in a NAAB-accredited undergraduate degree program, as well as women in any level of graduate study in a NAAB-accredited program. In addition to a financial award of $10,000, recipients are also paired with a senior mentor from Payette for their scholarship year.

Yann Weymouth Graduate Scholarship

The Yann Weymouth Graduate Scholarship was established in 2018 in honor of architect Yann Weymouth, AIA. Weymouth served as chief of design for I.M. Pei on the National Gallery of Art East Wing in Washington, DC and the Grand Louvre Project in Paris. He is now working as the Design Director for a science research laboratory at the University of Miami with Harvard Jolly Architecture. This scholarship is awarded each year to an architecture student with a focus on the design intersection of sustainability, resilience, wellness and beauty. The recipient will receive a $5,000 scholarship as well as the opportunity to be mentored by Weymouth.

Complete details on Architects Foundation scholarship programs are available online.

Architects Foundation Announces 2018 Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship Recipients

Scholarship recipients receive funds and study materials for the Architectural Registration Examination.

WASHINGTON – The Architects Foundation has selected ten recipients of the 2018 Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship.

The Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship recognizes the significant contributions of emerging professionals at early stages in their careers and helps defray the costs associated with the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The scholarship recipients will receive funds to cover all sections of the Architectural Registration Examination, as well as study materials from Brightwood College.

“The Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship recognizes the exceptional efforts of individuals in the community who are also seeking architectural licensure” said Pettigrew Scholarship Jury Chair William Roschen, FAIA. “We are excited to be able to support these emerging professionals in recognition of their accomplishments.”

Each year, the jury selects up to ten recipients for the award. This year’s scholars are:

Jose Barajas, Assoc. AIA (Spokane, WA)

Geraldene Blackgoat, Assoc. AIA (Albuquerque, NM)

Maya Bird-Murphy, Assoc. AIA (Chicago, IL)

Tiffany Brown, Assoc. AIA (Detroit, MI)

Denise Everson, Assoc. AIA (Washington, DC)

Sergio Legon-Talamoni, Assoc. AIA (Seattle, WA)

Isela Martinez, Assoc. AIA (Hampstead, NC)

Deborah Perez, Assoc. AIA (Bajadero, PR)

Robyn Savacool, Assoc. AIA (Hamilton, NJ)

Sarah Young, Assoc. AIA (Lafayette, LA)

The Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship was established in 2004 by the AIA National Associates Committee, to honor the memory of their late friend and colleague, Jason Pettigrew, Associate AIA. The scholarship has been with the Architects Foundation since 2015.

Complete details on the Jason Pettigrew scholarship program are available on the Architects Foundation website.

Architects Foundation Supports Women in Architecture with Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship

Scholarship honors architect Sho-Ping Chin, impactful mentor and champion of equity in architecture.

WASHINGTON – The Architects Foundation announces architecture student Orli Hakanoglu as the 2018-2019 recipient of the Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship, which is an annual $10,000 grant intended to support the education of women in architecture.

“The opportunity to recognize Orli and honor Sho-Ping through this scholarship elevates the entire profession,” said Architects Foundation Executive Director Marci Reed, CFRE, MPA. “Sho-Ping’s legacy is thriving and Orli’s passion for architecture is proof.”

Hakanoglu is the third recipient of the Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship, which honors the late architect Sho-Ping Chin, FAIA, a long-time principal at Payette and a health-care practice leader who was instrumental in defining and elevating the national discourse for women in design.

“We started this scholarship to honor Sho-Ping’s memory and it is such a privilege each year to meet outstanding students of whom Sho-Ping would have been proud to have known,” said Payette President Kevin B. Sullivan, FAIA. “After reading Orli’s essay and reviewing her portfolio, I knew the jury had selected an ideal candidate. Her commitment to serving socially-conscious design is well aligned with Sho-Ping’s values and approach to architecture. We look forward to supporting Orli as she launches her architecture career.”

Born and raised in New York, Hakanoglu is a third-year student working towards her Master’s degree (anticipated May 2019) at the Yale School of Architecture. Prior to her time at Yale, Hakanoglu studied studio art, art history, and architecture at Wellesley College, where she supplemented her coursework with architecture studio courses at the MIT School of Architecture + Planning through the Wellesley-MIT exchange program. Hakanoglu is passionate about how architecture, art, and design can play a role in promoting equality across a range of societies and cultures. Additionally, she is interested in strengthening diversity and inclusivity within the professional and educational fields of architecture. Hakanoglu has worked at Architizer, the Yale University Art Gallery, and is currently working as a summer intern at Deborah Berke Partners. In her free time she enjoys painting, urban sketching, and exploring New York. Hakanoglu is the third recipient of this first scholarship offered through the Architects Foundation.

Applications for the 2019-2020 Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship will open in the fall of 2018. Qualified students—with at least two years of undergraduate or any level of graduate study—are encouraged to apply.

Visit the Architect’s Foundation website for complete details.


About The Architects Foundation

The Architects Foundation was created to celebrate architecture’s value by advancing tomorrow’s design leaders and preserving architectural treasures of the past. Through its scholarship programs, the Foundation aims to attract and cultivate a diverse next generation of architects, and provide new opportunities to support the evolution of the profession. The Architects Foundation also preserves the historic Octagon building in the nation’s capital, seeking ways to best express the values of historic preservation work and keep the Octagon’s legacy alive with exhibits, educational programs and partnerships. For more information, visit the Architects Foundation website.

About Payette

Payette is a leading architectural design firm in Boston, MA. They are a design collective driven to create boldly original buildings for science and healthcare that are as profoundly humane in their accommodation of needs as they are pioneering in their pursuit of environmental performance. For more than three quarters of a century, Payette has practiced innovation in these highly technical buildings while developing a culture based on deep readings of program as one of the essential subtexts of architecture. This thorough understanding of how hospitals and laboratories work has helped clients transcend function to transform places and improve people’s lives. For more information, please visit


Architects Foundation Quadruples its Diversity Advancement Scholarships

Scholarship expansion provides financial support to 20 students enrolling in architecture studies.

Washington – The Architects Foundation is awarding 20 new multiyear scholarships to students attending NAAB-accredited schools of architecture, quadrupling the number of scholarships made in 2017.

The Foundation–the philanthropic partner of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)—is also more than doubling the number of students currently assisted by its multiyear scholarship program with a $1 million investment from the AIA. As part of the Foundation’s program, scholars receive $4,000 per year for up to five years.

Two of the new 20 scholars are funded by Benjamin Moore & Co. Foundation and will receive an additional $1,000 per year. The AIA Custom Residential Architects Network also funded a scholar this year who has expressed interest in residential architecture. Recipients of the 2018-2019 Diversity Advancement Scholarships will be recognized at the AIA Conference on Architecture (A’18) in New York City.

“The Diversity Advancement Scholarship was established by the AIA and the Ford Foundation following a 1968 speech by Whitney M. Young Jr. calling upon architects to do more for the community. Young’s charge included scholarships for minority students, and in 1970, 20 awards were made,” said Marci Reed, Executive Director of the Architects Foundation. “Fifty years after Young’s challenge, we are pleased to be back at this impressive level of effort to create a diverse next generation of architects and community builders.”

Eight scholarship recipients, including new scholars Maly Sears and Caroline Senyszyn, will attend A’18 this week, which was made possible in part by Benjamin Moore & Co. Foundation, ConstructConnect, Cooper Carry, and Lord Aeck Sargent.

The 2018-2019 Diversity Advancement Scholarship recipients are:

  • Esmeralda Aceituno of Los Angeles, CA
  • Daniel Allen of Chicago, IL
  • Elizabeth Amigon of Sunnyside, NY
  • Annabelle Asali of Los Angeles, CA
  • Shanelle Brown of Fairhope, AL
  • Nina Crosby Walton of Frederick, MD
  • Andrea De Haro of Doral, FL
  • Genesis Gadberry of San Angelo, TX
  • Isabella Greco of Chicago, IL
  • Joya Ma of Phoenix, AZ
  • Lauren McLean of Mount Vernon, NY
  • Hana Morrison of Honolulu, HI (scholar funded by AIA Custom Residential Architects Network)
  • Amy Rojas of San Antonio, TX
  • Sarah Saad of East Elmhurt, NY
  • Maly Sears of Adrian, MO (scholar funded by Benjamin Moore & Co. Foundation)
  • Caroline Senyszyn of Fort Worth, TX (scholar funded by Benjamin Moore & Co. Foundation)
  • Luiza Vara of Phoenix, AZ
  • Ania Yee-Boguinskaia of Houston, TX
  • Nahom Zeleke of Columbia, AL
  • Carolina Zuniga of Doral, FL