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HOK Awards $100,000 in Scholarships to HBCUs, Affirms Commitment to Diversity in Design

HOK has reaffirmed its commitment to fostering greater diversity within the architectural profession by granting $100,000 in scholarships to 10 students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and institutions known for their commitment to educating BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) and minority design students.

This announcement comes as part of the third annual presentation of the Diversity x Design scholarships, marking a continued dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive architectural profession across the U.S.

Launched in 2021 with the allocation of eight scholarships, the Diversity x Design Scholarship program has consistently expanded, offering nine scholarships in 2022, and now 10 this year. To date, HOK has invested a cumulative total of $270,000 into the initiative and has hired several past scholarship winners.

“We place immense importance and value in offering these scholarships. The architectural field needs a diverse range of voices and perspectives to create spaces that truly mirror and cater to the rich diversity within our communities,” said Shiva Mendez, senior medical planner in HOK’s San Francisco studio and co-chair of the Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) overseeing the scholarship program.

Sponsored by 10 HOK U.S. regional practices and awarded through a rigorous selection process, the scholarships target upper-level and graduate students enrolled in NAAB-accredited design programs. Participating institutions include HBCUs and other schools renowned for educating BIPOC and minority design students.

Ami Shah, an Atlanta-based lab planner and member of HOK’s DAC, heralded the addition of Florida A&M University to the scholarship program in 2023: “Investing in education and in the future of diverse design professionals is not just about enriching the profession. It’s also about ensuring that our built environment accurately reflects and serves the needs of all our communities.”

Congratulations to the recipients of HOK’s 2023 Diversity x Design scholarships:

  • Niles Hattaway, graduate student at Florida A&M University, sponsored by HOK’s Florida offices.
  • Chanse Huff, undergraduate at Tuskegee University, sponsored by HOK’s St. Louis studio.
  • Obed Lopez, graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, sponsored by HOK’s Chicago studio.
  • Sarah Montes, undergraduate at the University of Kansas, sponsored by HOK’s Kansas City studio.
  • Katherine Neuner, undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, sponsored by HOK’s San Francisco and Seattle studios.
  • Caden Norville, undergraduate student at Howard University, sponsored by HOK’s Washington, D.C., studio.
  • Sean Spencer, undergraduate at Kennesaw State University, sponsored by HOK’s Atlanta studio.
  • Gildalis Torres, undergraduate at City College of New York, sponsored by HOK’s New York and Philadelphia studios.
  • Carlos Vivero, undergraduate student at Prairie View University, sponsored by HOK’s Texas studios.
  • Marco Zhou, undergraduate at Cal Poly Pomona, sponsored by HOK’s Los Angeles studio.

Check out interviews with HOK’s 2022 and 2021 Diversity x Design scholarship winners.


Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko via

Market / Discipline

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