Alexandra '24

Alexandra '24 photo
School of Architecture

Major: Architecture
Minor: Sustainable Construction (SUNY ESF)

Describe your Syracuse experience.
Deciding where to attend university is an incredibly daunting and critical decision for a 17-year-old to make. Looking back on my experience, I strongly believe choosing SU was the best decision I could have made for myself. Since my first semester in the fall of 2019, I have been welcomed into a community of forward-thinking, energetic, diverse and motivated students and faculty that have pushed me to be the best version of myself, both academically and personally. I have been able to explore my passion for architecture and challenge myself to develop skills and think differently. I have found my niche and gained a better understanding of who I want to be as a professional. In addition to my academic career, I have made lifelong friendships at SU. I now have friends not only from around the country, but around the world, from whom I have learned so much.

How is the School of Architecture preparing you for your future career?
The School of Architecture has challenged me to see the world through the lens of an architect. My studio classes allow me to push boundaries and expand upon radical ideas of design. In addition, courses such as architectural history, theory, representation, systems and structures work together to provide a well- rounded education. The School of Architecture’s lecture and workshop series has exposed me to the vast diversity of career paths and uses of an architectural degree. I have learned that there is no one way to be an architect or designer. I have been encouraged to explore my personal interests and how they intertwine with the profession. The career services department has been a critical tool for helping me navigate the professional world, obtaining internships and preparing me to enter the profession confidently.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to move to New York City to begin my career as an aspiring architect. I want to work for an architectural firm that values mentorship and allows me a chance to work on a diversity of projects and phases and work towards my architectural license. I see myself as a very technically focused individual. I enjoy designing technical details to achieve unique and inspiring design goals. As an architect, I hope to push the boundaries of sustainability and rethink how we use and construct buildings to work with instead of against our natural world.

Tell me about your involvement with any organizations/extracurriculars.
As a first-year student, I dipped my toes into many different organizations and extracurriculars and found a passion for two organizations. The first is as a Student Ambassador and Peer Advisor for the School of Architecture. Student Ambassadors work in collaboration with the admissions department to meet, give tours to and answer questions for prospective students. We share our experiences and help provide a picture to high school students about life at SU and the SOA. Peer Advisors are students who volunteer to be mentors to incoming first-year students during orientation, until graduation, and beyond. I believe in the power of mentorship and having benefited so much from the student mentorship provided during my first year of college, I knew that I wanted to take up this role and become a mentor myself. Secondly, being a part of the gender-inclusive professional fraternity for architecture and the allied arts, Alpha Rho Chi has been one of the most influential parts of my college experience. It has allowed me to take on important leadership roles and understand the collective effort and collaboration needed to create a successful organization. This organization has also exposed me to people of different disciplines and understandings of design. The mentorship I have received from the older members of the fraternity has also contributed to my academic and professional success. I am proud to now be in a position to share this knowledge and continue to mentor the younger members of our organization!

Are you the recipient of any scholarships?
I hold the School of Architecture scholarship which is a full tuition scholarship award to students who excel academically and show a profound interest in architecture and design. I am also an Invest in Success Scholar. I received funding from the Renée Crown Honors Program to study abroad. Finally, I received funding to support my internship in NYC.

Have you performed any internships and how has that impacted you?
I have had three internships since starting at Syracuse University. First, in the summer of 2021, I worked for Integrated Design Solutions, an AEC firm in my hometown of Troy, Michigan. In the summer of 2022, in between my abroad semesters, I worked at a small firm called Studio Detroit in downtown Detroit. Finally, this past summer of 2023 I worked for KSS Architects in New York City. Each of these experiences has allowed me to grow as an aspiring professional. I have gained a multitude of different experiences including technical software skills, communication with consultants, diverse design philosophies, client relationships, business practices and so much more. With each internship, I have been able to build on these skills while understanding more about professional practice. I have met people of diverse backgrounds who play various vital roles in their companies and am extremely grateful for their mentorship.

Have you studied abroad? Tell me about that
I actually had the opportunity to study abroad twice! The School of Architecture understands the value of global exploration and experience and thus builds two semesters of off-campus study into our curriculum. In the Spring of 2022, I lived and studied in London, England. I spent the following semester in Florence, Italy. In both of these semesters, I took studio courses to continue engaging in design and also took survey classes which focused on British and Italian architecture and allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of our surroundings. In this survey class, we traveled to different cities and villages in England and Italy and sketched important monuments and buildings. While I do not consider myself the best sketcher, my sketchbook is something I will treasure forever as it is a physical manifestation of my newly gained knowledge and understanding of each place I went to during my semesters abroad.

What has been your favorite Syracuse experience so far?
My favorite experience at Syracuse so far has been participating in study abroad. I had dreamed of going abroad for as long as I can remember and being able to realize this goal not only once but twice has been an unforgettable experience. Being able to visit the places I studied for so long has given me a new appreciation for history and culture.

How has donor generosity impacted your time at Syracuse?
Without donor generosity, I would not be able to attend Syracuse and have all the wonderful opportunities and experiences I have had since matriculating. The scholarships I have been awarded allowed me to leave my home state and attend one of the best architecture schools in the country. Here, I have developed my passions and hope to use them to better our built environment.

Why do you think giving is important?
The spirit of giving is what allows our society to grow. By helping each other, we create a society of people who have opportunities they may not have previously had and thus are able to reach their full potential. By investing in people, we invest in society as a whole.

What does it mean to you to be Orange?
Being Orange means being a part of a strong community of support, growth, passion, collaboration and diversity. Over the past four years, I have come to truly understand that I am and always will be Forever Orange.

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