Inaugural Future Architects Award Recipients Attend Summer Architecture Program
The first three recipients of the Cornell Future Architects Award (CFAA) attended the college’s Introduction to Architecture Summer Program on campus in June and July.
Mesha Johnson, Lee Gregory, and Devin Heard received the award, which aims to give students from historically underrepresented backgrounds a chance to experience the rigors of a professional bachelor of architecture degree program.
Founded with a gift from Bill '69 and Catherine Perez, the CFAA is a merit-based award that provides funding for high school students who may want to pursue a degree or career in architecture but are not able to attend a summer program because of cost. Students who have shown an interest and talent for design are invited to apply for the award, which covers all expenses related to the program. Once in Ithaca, students are exposed to the ideas, principles, and methods of exploring architectural problems in a studio setting while preparing elements of a competitive portfolio for application to design-based programs.
"This gift was the result of a conversation Kent Kleinman and I had about diversity and the barriers to attracting underrepresented students to AAP and, in particular, architecture," said Perez, who is a university trustee. "Kent's hypothesis was that young people needed exposure to the field of architecture and that we could make a difference by offering talented high school students an opportunity to attend a free summer program."
Heard agrees. "In six weeks, I learned to be more creative and open to thinking through problems related to both life and architecture," he said.
Perez adds, "The feedback from Mesha, Lee, and Devin, the program's first students, made it all worthwhile."
By Patti Witten