NOMA’s Foundation Fellowship nurtures the next generation of architects and designers through mentorship and professional development at 19 architecture firms | News

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Mentorship opportunities for young architects and design professionals have been an ongoing mission for The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). Now in its third iteration, NOMA announces 24 architecture students who will be part of the 2021 summer cohort for the NOMA Foundation Fellowship (NFF).

This two-month research fellowship will take place in person and virtually at 19 leading US-based architecture firms. NOMA shares: “The NFF 2021 cohort will engage in design research and benefit from firm mentorship.” In addition, NOMA has worked hard in building partnerships with various architecture firms that have collaborated with the NFF to provide professional experience to underrepresented students. This fellowship allows students to connect with the profession by establishing a pipeline for eventual employment once the fellowship ends.

In February 2021, NOMA announced its list of Winter Fellows consisting of ten students who were placed at ten design firms. Including the organization’s inaugural cohort reported in 2020, the organization has successfully provided fellowship opportunities to 64 students / graduates across more than twenty architecture schools.

Previously reported on Archinect: Inaugural NOMA Foundation Fellowship cohort selected for employment and mentorship opportunities

… the organization has successfully provided fellowship opportunities to 64 students across more than twenty architecture schools.

NOMA President and Gensler Senior Associate Jason Pugh shared: “I’m excited about NFF’s third cohort of fellows because they are the next generation of black and minority architects and designers. This fellowship provides mentorship and firm access for these young professionals, which is crucial to achieving our 2030 Diversity Challenge goals. This is more than just an opportunity for NOMA fellows to get a foot in the door; it is an opportunity to blow the door off its hinges and begin to pave the way for minority architects and designers that follow. ”

Below are this year’s summer cohort class and the design firms they have been placed with to spend their fellowship.

* marks students or graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

  • Yasmeen Abdelaal, The University of the District of Columbia, at EYP

  • Gladis Y. Adorno, Kean University, at Gould Evans

  • Moid Ali, Illinois Institute of Technology, at WRNS Studio

  • Kristal Audish, Cal Poly Pomona, at CannonDesign

  • Emmanuella Bakare, Penn State University, at HGA, Boston

  • Teisha Bradley, Rhode Island School of Design, at Salazar Architects

  • Xochitl Castel, Illinois Institute of Technology, at HGA, Minneapolis

  • James Chidiac, California Baptist University, at Valerio Dewalt Train

  • Milamem Lauriane Donang, Georgia Tech, at HKS

  • Onyi Egbochue, Pratt Institute, at Perkins & Will, NYC

  • Jalyn Grays, Hampton University *, at Moody Nolan

  • Andrea Gomez, Rice University, at LS3P

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

This is more than just an opportunity for NOMA fellows to get a foot in the door; it is an opportunity to blow the door off its hinges and begin to pave the way for minority architects and designers that follow. “- Jason Pugh (NOMA President)

  • Gabriela Gonjon, The City College Of New York, at ZGF Architects, Seattle

  • Durmon Jones, Morgan State University *, at Quinn Evans

  • Kelsey Mitchell, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at Perkins & Will, Atlanta

  • Shaela Nelson, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, at Snow Kreilich Architects

  • Nwando Onochie, The Ohio State University, at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

  • Himesh Patel, Columbia University, at RS&H, Inc.

  • Diana Hernandez-Serrano, California Baptist University, HGA, Alexandria

  • Miranda Sharp, Louisiana Tech University, at Ayers Saint Gross

  • Amalia Sosa, California Baptist University, at OTJ

  • Damla Begum Sucuka, Illinois Institute of Technology, at Perkins & Will, Chicago

  • Alexander Thomas, Macalester College, at FX Collaborative

  • Jeter Vasquez, Kean University, at Valerio Dewalt Train

NOMA shares: “The NOMA Foundation Fellowship program was the first initiative to launch since the announcement of the AIA 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 US NOMA originally launched the NFF as a three-month summer design fellowship in 2020; however, COVID-19 forced the restructuring of the program to ensure that fellows and firms are availed of meaningful experiences while protecting their health and wellness. To provide the most flexibility for firms, the NOMA Foundation Fellowship will accommodate both Virtual and In-Person internships for the 2021 program. “





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