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AIA Utah Reflexion Magazine Focuses on Architectural Education and Features SoA

The most recent issue of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Utah Chapter’s Reflexion Magazine focuses on architectural education. Several articles feature University of Utah’s School of Architecture (SoA), including an interview with Dr. Ajla Aksamija, SoA Professor and Chair; an article written by Angie Harris Roberts outlining recent endowed scholarships, and an overview of recently established AIA Utah Endowed Scholarship for our graduate students.

In her interview, Dr. Aksamija discusses programs, curriculum and classes offered at the SoA, as well as her educational and professional background.

Angie Harris Roberts outlines four endowed scholarships that were established during the last year to support our graduate students:

Kenneth and Sarah Olsen Endowed Scholarship

Robert Olsen, SoA alum 1966, established a scholarship in memory of his parents. As a first-generation college graduate, Robert asked that the scholarship be awarded to students who are from the first generation in their family to attend college. Additionally, Robert specified that the scholarship be awarded to students who have a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Michael and Carolyn Stransky Endowed Scholarship

Mike Stransky, SoA alum 1970, and his wife Carolyn established an endowed scholarship for students from Wyoming who apply and attend the U’s School of Architecture. Mike was very clear right from the start that he wanted this scholarship to encourage students to consider a future in architecture.

Master of Architecture Class of ’77 Endowed Scholarship in Memory of Mark A. Walker

John Jex, SoA alum 1977, established this scholarship in memory of his cousin, Mark Walker, who was also an alum of the class of 1977 and was a well-known architect in Park City.

Abe and Bobbie Gillies Memorial Endowed Scholarship

GSBS Architects established this scholarship in memory of their friend and colleague, Abe. To honor Abe, this scholarship will be awarded to a student who has faced a unique challenge or disability. Their intent is to bring more diversity to the architecture profession and open the door for a student who might otherwise not consider this field an option.

The AIA Utah Endowed Scholarship will support underrepresented graduate students enrolled in the School of Architecture. “We understand that not everybody has the same resources, and it is important to support people navigating the education system,” states Jessica Hoffman, 2023 AIA Utah President. “We hope to diversify our profession, and this initiative is part of our work to find ways to provide assistance and mentorship to underrepresented students in our state.” Robert Piñon, 2022 AIA Utah President and an Associate Instructor at the School of Architecture indicates that “[t]his endowment is very important to us. We want to continue our legacy of support, committed to growing upon it, helping more students through the years to come.”

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