The Future of Design:
MAF Awards $25,500 in Scholarships


What is the future of the architectural profession? It is today’s stand-out architectural students, who not only excel academically and have exceptional creative design skills, but also demonstrate professional promise and commitment to student and community leadership. These students also possess a passion for architecture and the built environment that will continue to strengthen and move the profession, and the world, forward.

These were among the characteristics noted by the Michigan Architectural Foundation’s Scholarship Jury, when selecting MAF’s 2021 Scholarship winners. MAF recently awarded ten scholarships totaling $25,500 to 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 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.

MAF’s 2021 scholarship recipients (and their scholarships) are:

  • Jenna Atkinson, Lawrence Technological University, Katherine and John Banicki Scholarship
  • Madison Girolamo, University of Detroit/Mercy, Professional Concepts Insurance Agency (PCIA) Scholarship
  • Sean Guirey, Kendall College of Art and Design, HED Alvin Ernest Harley AIAS Graduate Scholarship 
  • Taylor Kile, University of Detroit/Mercy, Daniel W. Toshach & AIA Saginaw Valley Chapter Scholarship
  • Spencer Lippert, Lawrence Technological University, Kenneth Neumann Design Scholarship. The award includes a summer internship at Neumann Smith Associates.
  • Rosa Manzo, University of Michigan, AIA Michigan President’s Scholarship.  In addition, she was awarded the Stachowiak/IDS Scholarship
  • McKenna Sabon, University of Michigan, Richard Sidney K. Robinson Scholarship. The award is co-sponsored by the AIA Huron Valley Chapter.
  • Jake Stuck, Lawrence Technological University, Leslie Tincknell Scholarship
  • Ellis Wills-Begley, University of Michigan, American Institute of Architects Scholarship

In their applications and supporting materials, each of MAF’s 2021 scholarship winners not only demonstrated passion for the profession, but also commitment to design, leadership, and community,” said Tim Casai, FAIA, MAF scholarship juror and 2021 MAF President. “These talented students represent the future of architecture, and the Michigan Architectural Foundation is pleased to help support them in their architectural education.”

Each of the 2021 MAF scholarship recipients was acknowledged at a May 11 virtual reception. The event also featured a panel discussion, with the Deans of the architecture schools at Lawrence Technological University, University of Michigan, and University of Detroit-Mercy presenting on developments in architectural education and the architectural profession.

Each scholarship defines specific judging criteria, including financial need. MAF scholarship recipients also are required to be residents of the state of Michigan.

Casai is one of four MAF board members who comprised the scholarship jury, along with Les Tincknell, FAIA; Gene Hopkins, FAIA; and Katherine Banicki, FESD. The jury was rounded out by Joel Smith, AIA; Ross Kaplan; Erin Andrus, AIA; Michael Cooper, PE; and Bob Hoida, 2021 AIA Michigan President. A separate jury consisting of Casai, Hopkins, Sidney Robinson, AIA; and Jan Culbertson, FAIA; reviewed the Robinson Scholarship applications.

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.

“As a jury, we are pleased with the overall quality of the submitting students, particularly their portfolios,” said Casai. “As is the ever-increasing case each year, students are in need of scholarship support due to escalating cost of architectural education, and college in general. MAF is grateful to the those who have contributed or helped raise scholarship funds to support deserving students.”

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.