This year, the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), the main professional association for BIPOC architects in the United States, accepted 30 architecture students to a new fellowship that places future architects in paid internships at firms across the country, virtually. The NOMA Foundation Fellowship (NFF) allows recipients to do design research at participating firms under the guidance and mentorship of senior architects.
“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,” NOMA President and HOK Principal Kimberly Dowdell, said in a statement. “Mentorship, experience, and exposure are all key to the success of any architect. NFF formalizes that support structure for minorities and connects NOMAS members to firms expressing an interest in supporting the next generation of architects, recognizing the growing importance of diversity to the field.”
Black architects founded NOMA in 1971 to network with and support each other professionally. Today, registered architects don’t come anywhere close to reflecting the country’s diversity: Only 2 percent of registered architects (2,300) are Black. NOMA membership is now open to non-Black POC, but it is still invested in increasing the number of practicing Black architects. The NFF fellowship is part of an initiative to increase the number of licensed Black architects to 5,000 over the next ten years.
The fellowship application was open to National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) members in schools across the country, and their work wraps at the end of August. Students are doing 100 hours of work in exchange for a stipend of $2,000 and wages from the firms with which they are doing the fellowships.
Employers reading the list below, take note: Most of the following fellowship recipients below are looking for full-time work when they graduate.
- 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
NOMA has 30 professional chapters for licensed architects, as well as 75 NOMAS groups at colleges and universities.