Two recipients selected for the David W. Lakamp a/e ProNet Scholarship

Awarded to architecture students who demonstrate interest in architecture practice management

For immediate release:

Washington, D.C. – June 5, 2017 – The American Institute of Architect (AIA) has selected Emmanuel Cofie and Emily Wirt to receive the 2017 David W. Lakamp a/e ProNet Scholarship.  The program, initiated by ProNet, a national association of insurance brokers who are committed to providing liability insurance and loss prevention to architects, is awarded to architecture students who demonstrate a particular interest in the principles of management in architecture practice. Cofie and Wirt will both receive $5,000 to use towards their tuition.

The a/e ProNet scholarship is open to third and fourth year undergraduates as well as graduate students of architecture enrolled in a NAAB- accredited professional degree program.  Submissions are reviewed by jury members of the AIA Practice Management Knowledge Community.  Candidates were graded on their transcripts, letters of recommendations, and an essay on how they would resolve a project management dilemma.

About the recipients:

Emmanuel Cofie always had an eye for art and design. This desire led him to obtain a B.S. in Architecture from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 2007. Subsequently, he landed a full-time position at an architecture firm in Florida. The job exposed him to team collaboration, the risks involved with poor communication, and the means by which stakeholders, with different interests, mitigate issues. Wanting a more technical education, Cofie enrolled in FAMU’s Construction Engineering Technology Program and completed the degree in 2016 with knowledge of how to plan out projects to suit the owner and minimize financial loss. While enrolled, he went on a missionary trip to Peru where he saw the effects of inequality and forced urbanization first-hand. It’s apparent that such education will be needed for a future design professional to solve such complex issues. This experience further strengthened his desire to study architecture at the graduate level. Cofie will start a two-year Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree at the University of Michigan this fall.

Emily Wirt, NCIDQ, LEED GA, completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Interior Design from the University of Georgia in 2012.  She is currently a first-year Master of Architecture candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She is an active member of Georgia Tech’s American Institute of Architecture Students and Women in Architecture chapters.  Prior to her graduate studies, Wirt worked as a commercial interior designer for four years in Atlanta and Shreveport, LA, primarily in the corporate design and healthcare sectors.  Her design work at smaller local firms provided opportunities to manage design projects with sustainability and risk assessment at the forefront.  She served as the main point of contact during the contract administration phases of several larger projects, and during this role, she learned the importance of clear communication between contractors, clients, and the design team to ensure a successful and cohesive project.  To further her professional standing and commitment to sustainable management, she has also obtained her National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification and LEED Green Associate accreditation. In her graduate studies, Wirt strives to further her studies of innovative technologies in sustainable design in regards to risk assessment.

Jury Commentary: Lira Luis, AIA, of the AIA PMKC Advisory Group offered the following comments on the jury’s deliberations: The scholarship applicants this year demonstrated strengths in diversified areas within the submission requirements that made it challenging to select our winners. The scholarship winners however, stood out among the rest because not only did their essays address the practice management topic in an articulate to-the-point manner, but also the suggested solutions demonstrated clear understanding of best practices such as peer reviews and the value of accountability, where risk is reasonably managed and future potential liabilities mitigated and the value of communication that includes in person interactions. In addition to the essay responses, the jury found the letters of recommendation to be strong while the experiences documented in their resumes indicated a conscious initiative to be educated in the business aspect of architecture while at the same time having strong design firm experience.

Started in 1990, the scholarship was renamed in 1999 for David W. Lakamp. Mr. Lakamp was a founder of a/e ProNet and a trusted advisor to the profession. He left behind a legacy of professionalism and integrity that set new standards in the field of insurance services. The jury for the 2017 David W. Lakamp a/e ProNet Scholarship includes: Thomas G. Coghlan, A. Lira Luis, AIA, Matthew Shoor, AIA, and Muriel Watkins.

For more information on the scholarship and to view the recipient’s essays visit: http://network.aia.org/practicemanagement/home/pronet

About The American Institute of Architects

Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

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