NOMA Completes Its Foundation Fellowships Summer 2022 Cohort

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The Official Logo of the National Organization of Minority Architects

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUN. 29, 2022

Program Helps Progress 2030 Diversity Challenge 

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) completed its fourth class of 20 architecture students as the 2022 summer cohort of the NOMA Foundation Fellowship (NFF). The NFF is a two-month summer fellowship hosted at leading architecture firms across the country where fellows engage in design research and benefit from firm mentorship. NFF provides professional experience to underrepresented students to connect them to the profession and provide a pipeline to eventual employment, supporting the 2030 Diversity Challenge which aims to increase the number of licensed Black architects. 

“The NOMA Foundation Fellowship is one of our most impactful programs to build and develop the next generation of Black and minority architects and designers which highlights the importance of mentorship,” said Jason Pugh, NOMA, AIA, AICP,  LEED AP, NOMA President and Gensler Principal Architect and Certified Urban Planner. “To date, more than 80 students have been awarded fellowships since the program began in 2020, and many of those enter into full-time design and architect positions, demonstrating the value of making professional connections. As a practicing architect and urban planner myself, I support the opportunity to bring in new talent to learn from professionals while also making connections to break down industry barriers.”

Students and Architecture Firms Participate in Fourth Cohort

The NOMA Foundation Fellowship program was the first initiative launched since the announcement of the American Institute of Architects Large Firm Round Table (AIA LFRT) 2030 Diversity Challenge, which called for the industry to increase the number of licensed Black architects from 2,300 to 5,000 by 2030, expanding representation from 2 percent to roughly 4 percent Black licensed architects in the U.S. 

“We are pleased with the participation we’ve received from students and architecture firms since the program began in 2020 and look forward to doubling our fellowship participation in years to come,” said Tiffany Brown, MBA, NOMA, Assoc. AIA, NOMA Executive Director.  “The students bring passion and energy to the field, and the professionals who mentor the fellows are making a major contribution to the direction of our industry.”

The fellowship’s application process for the fourth cohort was open to any National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) members in good standing. The summer program ran for eight weeks from June 6–July 29, 2022. Fellows receive a salary of $7,040, a $1,000 travel assistance or relocation stipend and $1,000 licensure stipend if fellows become a licensed architect within five years of completing the fellowship. The program and application process is managed by Melanie Ray, AIA, LEED Green Assoc., NOMA, NCARB, NOMA Northeast University Liaison and an Associate at Hord Coplan Macht. 

Meet the NFF 2022 Cohort

The 2022 summer fellowship cohort included the following architecture students and graduates placed at design firms across the U.S:  

  • Uyiosa Aimufua, Morgan State University, at Moody Nolan
  • Tyron Alford, North Carolina State University, at Cunningham – San Diego
  • Nese Gulay Altintas, Illinois Institute of Technology, at Quinn Evans – Washington, D.C.
  • Jadesola Ayodeji, Pratt Institute, at LEO A DALY
  • Shakori Carpenter, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, at LS3P
  • James Chidiac, Southern California Institute of Architecture, at HDR – Los Angeles
  • Lika Corson, Illinois Institute of Technology, HKS – Los Angeles
  • Aaron Gamez, California Baptist University, at CannonDesign – Irvine, CA
  • Pablo Guzman, California Baptist University, at Populous
  • Samuel Harrison, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at Perkins & Will – Boston
  • Sydney King, Pratt Institute Brooklyn Campus, EYP
  • Auriel Lewis,Thomas Jefferson University, at Hord Coplan Macht
  • Jeyda Muhammad, University of Maryland, at BWBR
  • Veronica Paulon, Cornell University, at Perkins & Will – Dallas
  • Thaddaus Perkins, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, at Gould Evans  
  • Lindsey Rasberry, Ohio State University, at Gresham Smith
  • Hina Sardar, The City College of New York, at HLW – New York
  • Amalia Sosa, California Baptist University, at HDR – Seattle
  • Anishwar Tirupathur, Carnegie Mellon University, at HED – Detroit
  • Anusha Varudandi, Lawrence Technological University, at SOM – New York

“The NOMA Foundation Fellowship was an amazing opportunity,” said Monique Dorroh, a graduate architecture student at Pennsylvania State University and NOMA NFF alumni. “It connected me with a firm that is truly invested in my development within the field, and those connections that I made last summer allowed me to continue working with them throughout my final school year. I’m happy to say that I was offered a full-time position with the firm prior to graduation and celebrated my one-year anniversary a few weeks ago.” 

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About NOMA

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) was formed over 50 years ago to represent the needs of African American architects. Founded in 1971, the purpose of NOMA was to bolster and provide support for the handful of Black licensed architects around the country. Today, NOMA is a haven for architects of all origins who seek inclusion in the design industry. We continue to advocate for the licensure of African American architects (who account for only two percent of all licensed architects today), as well as those from other from underrepresented backgrounds. 

NOMA has more than 35 professional chapters across the U.S. and over 80 student chapters, National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) — mentored by regional NOMA chapters. NOMA Columbus (Ohio) and NOMA Utah are the newest chapters in 2022. NOMA and NOMAS membership is predominantly African-American, with other minority members including Native American, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, East Indian, and Asian, as well as an increasing segment of non-minority members who support NOMA’s mission. NOMA supports its student members by providing mentorship, scholarships, and job opportunities to ensure their successful transition into the profession.