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Inaugural NOMA Foundation Fellowship cohort selected for employment and mentorship opportunities
Los Angeles, California, USA
Media, Architecture
Katherine Guimapang
Date Published: 
Architecture, Minorities, Diversity, Leadership, Higher Education, Scholarship
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2020-08-01 18:02:12
2020-08-02 17:27:32
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The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) has announced the inaugural 30-student cohort of the NOMA Foundation Fellowship (NFF), an initiative that seeks to increase diversity within professional practice as well as provide firm mentorship and design research experience for young emerging professionals.

With the recent events of COVID-19 and a growing civil rights movement sweeping the nation, the importance of actionable measures that increase representation within firms and foster better opportunities for Black and minority students is paramount. With these initiatives in place, NOMA has announced the placement of 30 students to engage in a two-month virtual summer research fellowship.

According to NOMA, "Amidst COVID-19 and record unemployment, NFF provides professional experience to underrepresented students with the goal of keeping them engaged in the profession and providing a pipeline to eventual employment. In all recessions, including the current one, minorities are often the most adversely impacted by job loss."

The NFF program is one of the first initiatives to address the AIA Large Firm Round Table 2030 Diversity Challenge (AIA LFRT).

Consistent growth, mentorship, and job opportunities for Black and minority graduates and students is "important now more than ever" says Carole Wedge, FAIA LEED AP, AIA LFRT Chair and President of Shepley Bulfinch. The application process was open to any National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) member in good standing. Those chosen will receive at $2,000 stipend as well as a job opportunity capped to 100 hours of work. However, according to NOMA, "host firms are offering additional funding to supplement the fellows’ work and hours."

Below is a list of the 2020 NFF cohort and their design firm placements.
  • Gabriel Andrade, University of Virginia, at Ennead Architects
  • Storm Campo, Woodbury University, at Cuningham Group
  • Carl'Drail Cannon, Kent State University, at ZGF
  • In-San Chiang, Illinois Institute of Technology, at Gresham Smith
  • Ngoc Linh Danh, Morgan State University, at Gould Evans
  • Takumi Davis, Carnegie Mellon University, at Desmond Architects. Davis will also participate in the ZGF Institute
  • Jameica Demercado, California Baptist University, at Hord Coplan Macht
  • Aaron deRoux, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, at HED
  • Monique Dorroh, Penn State University, at FXCollaborative
  • Keristen Edwards, Tulane University, at Ennead Architects
  • Desiree Green, Ball State University, at Gensler
  • Nancy Guerrero, Prairie View A&M, at CannonDesign
  • Damion Hardy, Mississippi State University, at Wight & Co.
  • Diana Hernandez, Serrano California Baptist University, at HED
  • Walter Hunt, Kent State University, at CannonDesign
  • Sami Jaber, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, at NBBJ
  • Roberto Medina, Ball State University, at Colloqate
  • Christina Meyer, North Dakota State University, at LS3P
  • Nimah Mohiuddin, Illinois Institute of Technology, at Mass Design Group
  • Barbara Nasila, University of California, Berkeley, at Cuningham Group
  • Kenny Nguyen, University of Houston, at Moody Nolan. He will also participate in the remote Shepley Bulfinch Summer Experience Program.
  • Olaoluwapo Odukoya, Illinois Institute of Technology, at CallisonRTKL
  • Himesh Patel, New York Institute of Technology, at Ayers Saint Gross
  • Malachi Pursley, Louisiana State University, at Ennead Architects
  • Rosario Rojas, California Baptist University, at Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
  • Sydnee Sampson, Tuskegee University, at EYP. She will also participate in the remote ZGF Institute.
  • Tyler Sauter, Illinois Institute of Technology, at CannonDesign
  • DeJanae Wright, Morgan State University, at KTGY Architecture + Planning
Current NOMA President and HOK Principal, Kimberly Dowdell, NOMA, AIA, LEED AP shares, "During this time of economic uncertainty, we have an imperative to support the next generation of minority architects looking to find their way in the profession and the NOMA Foundation Fellowship program, funded by the American Institute of Architects Large Firm Roundtable (AIA LFRT), is helping us to achieve that."