Member-Student Connections

Greetings from the AIA California Office,

Mid-November, the 17th, specifically, I had the chance to watch students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo make connections with California firms during a job fair organized by AIA California and the school’s respected architecture department.

The room was buzzing; that’s a cliche, I know, but it had that kind of energy. Students connecting with firms from across the state, discussing practice, design, opportunity. The conversations were amazing.

The fair was the result of a new concept for the annual AIA California Awards Celebration: honor awards winners, bring great architects to those who appreciate their work; connect students to innovators, practitioners of design excellence, and members with lengthy and established contributions to the profession.

The afternoon lecture feature 2023 Maybeck recipient Lorcan O’Herlihy, FAIA, saw a packed, standing room-only-crowd of students. The evening awards ceremony featured AIAS and NOMAs leaders presenting awards. And the job fair, and other talks–for instance, the one with Mark Jensen, FAIA, AIA California Distinguished Practice Award recipient–drew next-generation architects into the profession, bringing them in direct contact with firms and practitioners.

Over 100 students registered to participate, but the success of the program, was in the depth of discussion between experienced practitioners and the students themselves. AIA California: bringing architects directly to students.

We’re thrilled that so many architects chose to meet us SLO—nearly 150 in attendance–and humbled by the depth of commitment by AIA California Central Coast and Cal Poly SLO’s architecture department which made the day a success. We also look forward to continuing the tradition at a different school next year.

Have a wonderful week,

Nicki Dennis Stephens signature

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