The Future of Architecture:
MAF Awards $33,500 in Scholarships


Strong campus and community involvement and leadership; outstanding academic records; active mentorship and impressive references; wide-ranging design impact; promising portfolios; and a strong commitment to a career in architecture and design.

These were among the comments noted by the Michigan Architectural Foundation’s Scholarship Jury when selecting MAF’s 2023 Scholarship winners. MAF recently awarded twelve scholarships totaling $33,500 to twelve Michigan college and university architecture students.

MAF awards the scholarships annually to students who are completing a Bachelor’s Degree program and who have been accepted or are currently enrolled in a professional program leading to a Master of Architecture degree. One scholarship, the Richard M. and Sydney K. Robinson Scholarship, is awarded annually to a student at the University of Michigan completing their first year of architecture studies.

Each scholarship defines specific judging criteria, including financial need.

MAF’s 2023 scholarship recipients (and their scholarships) are:

  • Tala Dababna, University of Michigan, Richard M. and Sidney K. Robinson Scholarship. The award is co-sponsored by the AIA Huron Valley Chapter.
  • Brian Hamel, University of Detroit Mercy, HED Alvin Ernest Harley AIAS Graduate Scholarship
  • Odette Giorgees, University of Detroit Mercy, Professional Concepts Insurance Agency (PCIA) Scholarship
  • Rebecca Gladd, University of Detroit Mercy, Paul Stachowiak & Integrated Design Solutions Scholarship
  • Makenna Karst, Ferris State University, Daniel W. Toshach & AIA Saginaw Valley Chapter Scholarship
  • Angel Mangham, University of Detroit Mercy, AIA Michigan President’s Scholarship
  • Larissa McCoy, University of Detroit Mercy, Kenneth Neumann Design Scholarship. The award includes a summer internship at Neumann Smith Associates.
  • Efti Miculi, Lawrence Technological University, AIA Mid-Michigan Scholarship
  • Marcus Puste, University of Detroit Mercy, Leslie Tincknell Scholarship
  • Kyle Sutton, Kendall College of Art and Design, AIA Grand Rapids Scholarship
  • Ian Wardowski, Kendall College of Art and Design, AIA Grand Rapids Scholarship
  • Giovanni Zora, University of Detroit Mercy, Katherine and John Banicki Scholarship

MAF’s 2023 scholarship recipients were acknowledged at MAF’s fourth annual MAF Donor Recognition Event, held April 27 at the St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids.

“The architecture students who apply for MAF Scholarships demonstrate a passion for the profession, as well as a commitment to design, leadership, and community,” said Tim Casai, FAIAE, Chair, MAF Scholarship Committee chair and scholarship juror. “This year’s twelve award winners were once again exceptional in one or more of these important areas. As a jury, we were pleased with the overall quality of the submitting students and their work, particularly the quality of the portfolios.”

Casai continued, “For the most part, as is the case each year, the applying students are in great need of financial support due to the escalating cost of architectural education. On behalf of the students awarded scholarships, MAF again offers many thanks to those who have contributed or helped to raise funds for our scholarship program. In the future, we hope to not only increase the number of awards offered, but also the scholarship amounts, and continue to build our support for students working towards a career in architecture.”

Casai is one of four MAF board members who comprised the scholarship jury, along with Les Tincknell, FAIAE, Gene Hopkins, FAIA, and Jeff Hausman, FAIA. A separate jury consisting of Sid Robinson, AIA, Gene Hopkins, FAIA, Jan Culbertson, FAIA, and Tim Casai, FAIAE, reviewed the Robinson Scholarship applications this year.

MAF’s scholarship program began in 2001, with one scholarship. Since then, MAF scholarship awards have grown and been underwritten due to the generosity of MAF donors, and through the considerable time and efforts MAF board members dedicate to numerous fundraising activities to support the program, including MAF’s annual ‘Fore a Great Cause’ Golf Outing.

For more information on MAF’s Scholarship program, click here.  Want to help support the academic goals of Michigan’s architecture students? Click here to donate to MAF’s scholarship program.