Hitting the Ground Running: MAF Scholarship Winner Ryan Johns Working Towards His Architecture License and Becoming a Firm Leader (and he’s still in school!)


Developing the leadership skills necessary to lead people and a practice is invaluable for a future architect. Add those leadership skills to having your architecture license in hand when you complete your architectural degree program, and you have Ryan Johns, Lawrence Technological University architecture student and 2020 Michigan Architectural Foundation scholarship winner.

Not just one scholarship, but two. Ryan received MAF’s Katherine and John Banicki Scholarship, as well as the American Institute of Architect’s Scholarship, recognized for his efforts toward licensure, his creative portfolio, and deep commitment to professional leadership impact in his dual award win.

Currently going into his 5th year of his architectural degree program at LTU, Ryan is enrolled in LTU’s Integrated Path to Architectural License (IPAL) program, in which architecture students can complete requirements for licensure while earning their degree in architecture. “My goal is to become a licensed architect as soon as possible and work as project designer right away,” he says. “I like to challenge myself, and the program provides the perfect opportunity to push my own boundaries while moving my career forward.”

Ryan’s leadership skills blossomed early in life. He participated in Boy Scouts for ten years, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.  “Boy Scouts taught me tremendous leadership skills and provided me with the necessary foundation to become a strong leader,” Ryan says.

Today, Ryan is actively involved in several leadership activities, both on and off campus.  “As an architect, you need to be able to lead people in order to lead a firm, and I challenged myself out of my comfort zone to get more involved on campus.”

For the past four years, Ryan has been actively involved in his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, holding several leadership roles, including serving on its executive board as Vice President of Recruitment.  Through the fraternity, Ryan has attended national leadership initiatives Carlson Leadership Academy in Chicago and the Ruck Leadership Institute in Richmond, Virginia. Ryan also has taken several leadership classes at LTU, and for the past two years, has been a first-year mentor for new LTU students, overseeing groups of 40 freshmen during their two-day orientation.

How does Ryan think architecture improves the quality of life for people? “Architecture has the power to bring multiple generations together. When you can design a space that benefits and is enjoyable to all ages, it makes architecture even more meaningful. You realize how powerful architecture can be.”