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HOK Announces New Scholarships for BIPOC Architecture Students

The eight $10,000 scholarships further HOK’s efforts to diversify the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.

HOK has announced the first recipients of eight annual scholarships to be awarded to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) design students. The HOK Diversity x Design Scholarships, each valued at $10,000, reflect HOK’s commitment to promote diverse voices within the AEC industry and communities across the U.S.

“Architects, engineers and contractors have the privilege of building environments that influence the way we engage with one another,” said Bill Hellmuth, HOK chairman and CEO. “It is our hope these scholarships will translate into more inclusive design and greater equity within our communities and our profession.”

The scholarships, underwritten by eight HOK U.S. regional practices, apply to upper-level and graduate students enrolled in NAAB-accredited design programs. The eight geographically dispersed schools participating in the scholarship include historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and institutions with a track record of educating BIPOC design students.

The inaugural recipients and institutions of the HOK Diversity x Design Scholarship are:

  • Gabriela Gonjon, an undergraduate student at City College of New York, sponsored by HOK’s New York and Philadelphia studios.
  • Tracy Eteh-Benissan, a graduate student at Howard University, sponsored by HOK’s Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Tampa studios.
  • Fathima Rizna Rafi Maalouf, a graduate student at University of Illinois at Chicago, sponsored by HOK’s Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, studios.
  • Roodza Pierrelus, an undergraduate student at Tuskegee University, sponsored by HOK’s St. Louis studio.
  • Darius Mathis, a graduate student, at University of Kansas, sponsored by HOK’s Kansas City studio.
  • Brooke Meshack, an undergraduate student, at Prairie View A&M University, sponsored by HOK’s Houston and Dallas studios.
  • Misbah Mamoon, an undergraduate student, at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, sponsored by HOK’s San Francisco and Seattle studios.
  • Daniela Vargas, an undergraduate student, at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, sponsored by HOK’s Los Angeles studio.

“These young designers are tomorrow’s practitioners, who will improve our built environments and the way we engage with and understand one another through shared space and belonging,” said Katherine Antarikso, an architect in HOK’s Philadelphia studio and member of the Diversity Advisory Council that led the scholarship effort. “We are proud to invest in their careers and look forward to seeing how they use their diverse perspectives and lived experience to develop as architects and change makers.”

Watch interviews with five of the 2021 HOK Diversity x Design scholarship recipients on this YouTube playlist.

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