Lauren Rodgers, a second-year graduate student in FAMU’s School of Architecture and Engineering Technology, was one of two students in the country to receive a notable $5,000 national scholarship.
Founded in 1942, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca is regarded as one of the most prominent architecture firms in the country. A committee at Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) spent last summer setting primary goals to impact and evolve the African American culture with hopes of positively changing the world beyond measures.
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca staff raised $160,000 on June 19, 2020, better known as Juneteenth ZGF invested the funds with the Oregon Community Foundation and instantly introduced the new ZGF Emerging Black Architects Scholarship.
FAMU notified students about the architecture scholarship and Rodgers promptly jumped on the offer as she applied and sent her “Eco-Tech Environmental Design” portfolio to the ZGF committee.
“We were impressed with boldness and thoughtfulness of process in her Eco-Tech Environmental Learning and Research Center design,” the scholarship committee said in a release.” We all agreed that her submission successfully demonstrated her passion and know-how for the design and a unique architectural view.”
Rodgers said she was stunned when she received an email telling her that she had been selected as one of the students to receive the scholarship and paid internship that was held this past summer with ZGF’s Seattle office.
“This scholarship almost felt like validation,” Rodgers said. “The fact that I was one out of two recipients among thousands of other applicants to have been chosen lets me know that my work stood out and that makes me feel so accomplished.”
“Architecture is such a big deal,” she said. “It’s the valuable role in shaping the way humans go through their everyday lives. We as people sleep, learn and work in buildings, so being able to help contribute to the creation of planning, designing and constructing a building is beautiful artwork.”
Andrew Chin, an associate dean and professor in the School of Architecture and Engineering Technology, said he knows that FAMU has prepared Rodgers and other students for their “next big thing.” He added that it is great for the university to receive recognition on the behalf of its students’ ability and potential.
“Lauren has the technical, personal and professional skills needed to go anywhere and accomplish whatever she sets her mind to,” Chin said. “We are blessed to have her as a student.”
Starting this year, and every year to come, two African American students will be selected to receive $5,000 toward tuition and fees from the ZGF scholarship committee.