By Marisa Kazmierczak.
Scholarship winner Marisa Kazmierczak shares her day exploring the field of architecture.
As a reflection of the vast number of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) so are the Girls in Technology Experience Scholarships. Every experience is carefully tailored to the winner’s interests and gives them priceless insights on the educational journey and exciting day-in-the life of a career in the desired field.
So, what is an experience scholarship like? Our latest scholarship winner Marisa Kazmierczak captured what she learned about studying and practicing architecture. Here are some highlights from her experience.
Studying Architecture: Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center of Virginia Tech
The day began at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center of Virginia Tech (WAAC) where I received a private tour of the design studios with Alyssa Tope, a graduate student and my main tour guide. Creative problem-solving, highly encouraged at WAAC was evident in the student designs I saw including the library, an innovative chair to sit comfortably on the stairs to watch movies and a stunning spiral staircase.
WAAC has students and professors from all over the world. On the day of my tour visiting German architecture professor Jessica Christoph presented an exchange program available to WAAC students in Germany.
Visiting the school’s metal and woodworking shop and the laser cutter used to build models, I learned the importance of craftsmanship in architecture.
After viewing students’ studios and a variety of projects, Yamina Lambert, also a graduate student, and president of the school’s student association, showed me a graduate student’s thesis “pin-up” and model.
Practicing Architecture: Ritter Norton Architects
In the afternoon I toured Ritter Norton Architects a nationally recognized architecture, interior design and planning firm based in Alexandria. The firm’s award-winning commercial and institutional projects including churches, schools, libraries and commercial interior renovations for the private sector and many local, state and federal government agencies. The architects, many who are alumni of WAAC, talked about their work on a variety of projects and the innovative materials used in building design.
Tools of the Trade
Yamina presented me with a parting gift of books on architecture, supplies and a souvenir t-shirt. Here I am wearing my new WAAC t-shirt and practicing drawing blue prints at home using the generous gifts.
A million thanks to Cheryl Chang of Women in Technology, Allysa Tope, Yamina Lambert, Jessica Christoph, Susan Piedmont Palladino and the many fine people of WAAC, as well as, the architects of Ritter Norton Architects who made my experience priceless.
Additionally, Girls In Technology (GIT) thanks their generous alliance partners, Women in Technology and the Stem for Her . Without their support, GIT would not be able to make such a difference in the lives of girls and young women in the greater Washington DC area.