I have participated in the AIA at varying levels over the years. I was previously an editor for the National Associates Committee AssociateNews publication, and I was secretary of AIA Pittsburgh’s YAF. I first became the AIA PA Associate Director in December 2012 and have learned so much about fiscal responsibility via serving on the state board of directors. Annual participation at Grassroots (the AIA lobbying and leadership conference), National Convention, and the Large States Conference have all been opportunities to learn from and share ideas with our colleagues across the nation. I have also participated on the state communications committee as well as on the awards committee. I believe that participation in the AIA has been a means of being a part of the profession, whilst I actively seek gainful employment in the field. I also think that giving back time, actively participating in member policy decisions, and advocating on behalf of emerging professionals is a meaningful way of becoming a well-rounded architect.
And so, I am happy to share that I have been re-elected to a second term as your AIA PA Associate Director. More importantly, I am elated to announce that the hard work of the AIA Pennsylvania Associates Committee has resulted in the creation of a new statewide AIA PA ARE grant program. The program will award reimbursement scholarships for each of the 7 divisions of the AREs. Details of rolling out the program in 2015 are being finalized, and I will share them as soon as they become available. The aim of the program is twofold – to affirm AIA Pennsylvania’s commitment to the pursuit of registration, and to financially aid associates with the increasing costs of the tests amid difficult economic times. Moving forward, we hope to establish a nonprofit trust fund, so that the fund may grow and be a sustainable resource to aid associates over time.
Likewise, I am elated to report that Sean Sheffler, AIA was awarded one of the AIA Pennsylvania Emerging Professional Awards this year, for his dedication to education and outreach within the profession. I was happy to nominate him as an outstanding member of our Pittsburgh chapter because of his important contributions toward educating emerging professionals.
The AIA Pennsylvania staff has undergone a transformation, and the new team is moving forward with enthusiasm and a renewed sense of energy. I look forward to the chance to continue to work, learn, and grow with them during my upcoming 2015-2016 appointment. Upcoming priorities are improving the AIA PA communications endeavors through a website overhaul. In terms of the Associates Committee, we aim to strengthen outreach efforts in smaller chapters across the Commonwealth.
It has been a pleasure serving AIA Pennsylvania in my first term as Associate Director, and I hope to continue to share new ideas and implement additional resources and programming to assist Pennsylvania Associates in the upcoming two years.