August 8, 2017 / President's Letters

August 2017 President's Letter – Back to School

It is hard to believe that it is August already. Kids big and little will be heading back to school. This brings the opportunity to talk about education. Like mentorship, education is something that affects people of all ages. You never stop learning, right? And I believe you never stop teaching also. When you share your knowledge and experience, you get more back in return. There are a variety of ways to educate and be educated.
With elementary and middle school students, there is an opportunity to share the building blocks of design and the impact that architecture has from as small as their home and community to as big as the world. The Future Architects Resources (FAR) committee has many opportunities for career days such as Stevenson University’s Expanding Your Horizons and the Girl Scouts’ Women in STEAM. FAR’s Adopt-a-School program has paired five architecture firms with five local schools, creating comprehensive lessons about architecture with a focus on Baltimore neighborhoods.
High school is an opportunity to share more specifics about the skills needed to be an architect. We are fortunate to have local schools like the Howard County ARL Architectural Design Academy and the Baltimore Design School where there are programs creating pipelines to the profession. Recently, AIABaltimore intern and current Morgan State University AIAS president Summayah Raji put together an “A Day in the Life of an Architecture Student” event, giving high school students a taste of architecture classes, studio culture, and campus life.
Continuing to college, students have shown their interest and commitment in continuing to pursue architecture, giving us the opportunity to share real-world experience of life in the profession while helping to develop and hone their creativity and skills. There are many opportunities to be part of design crits, portfolio reviews and career fairs at the architecture programs at Morgan State University, University of Maryland, MICA, Anne Arundel Community College, and Montgomery Community College. Our chapter supports college students through the International Travel Research Scholarship for MSU students, the Fellows Leadership Award, and the FAR Scholarship program, along with providing mentorship and forming collaborative relationships with local architecture schools.
Recent graduates are an important group to keep engaged. We need to build upon their post-graduation momentum and desire to get to work. We need to provide them with the resources and support to complete their AXP and take the ARE. Through the Achieving Registration Together (ART) program (which kicks off on September 6), our Emerging Professionals committee developed the ARE Pact to motivate emerging professionals to achieve licensure.
Once licensed, young architects are finding their way and soaking up as much experience as possible. Young architects need to be motivated and seize opportunities to learn more, and seasoned architects can be there to support them. This is where mentorship can have a big impact. The Emerging Professionals committee is a great way for peers to engage with each other.
Speaking of seasoned architects…whether you have 10 years of experience or 40, architects still look for education, and I don’t just mean the continuing education needed to maintain your license. We need to stay educated on the latest trends, design ideas, materials and much more. There are opportunities to delve into topics that fit your practice areas and passions with AIABaltimore’s many active committees such as Historic Resources, Urban Design, Practice Management, COTE | R, Health & Wellness Design, and CAE.
Live and learn. Teach and learn.
sharon signature
Sharon Day, AIA
GWWO Inc./Architects