a closer look: 2+2+2 architecture program model

Student project
guest author: John P. Ehrig, FAIA, LEED AP, vice president, CASE project manager, HHCP/Architects Inc.

As a New Jersey transplant to the Sunshine State, I began my career in architecture at the University of Florida, graduating with a bachelor of architecture degree. I have been involved with American Institute of Architects for over four decades, first as a student and later serving in various positions throughout the Institute. In 1993, I became the youngest Florida architect to be elected to the AIA College of Fellows. After I moved to Orlando in 2000, I served as president of AIA Orlando in 2001 and that’s where the story about the 2+2+2 architecture program begins.

As background to AIA Orlando’s relationship with Valencia, in 2002, one of our members, CT Hsu, FAIA who was also a member of the Valencia Foundation board of directors, approached the chapter with the idea of joining forces in fundraising efforts to benefit both the chapter and Valencia Foundation’s scholarship program. As discussions unfolded, Valencia’s Geraldine Gallagher made a presentation to the AIA Orlando board of directors about joining forces and as they say, “The rest is history.” Over the past 12 years, AIA Orlando has been a part of generating over $240,000 for the foundation creating a strong connection between the chapter and the college.

Central Florida architects had been talking about having an architecture school in Orlando for decades and the last big push was way back in the 1970s. At that time, creating a new school or program required legislative approval as well as approval of the Florida Board of Regents.

In the fall of 2007, the AIA Orlando chapter, created an Educational Task Force (ETF) to spearhead this effort. During this time frame we discovered that Dr. Shugart was an “architect at heart.” I heard him say once “had he not gotten into education he would’ve wanted to be an architect.” CT Hsu and Alan Helman, FAIA, told Sandy about the work of the ETF in trying to get a professional degree program here in Orlando and he said he would try to assemble the right people to discuss the possibilities.

Around that time Valencia had worked out an “articulation agreement” with the University of Florida – School of Architecture where students would graduate with an associate of arts in architecture and would go right into upper division as juniors without skipping a beat. This was important to me because when I transferred to UF, I transferred in as a junior but I had to start over in all my design coursework. Ultimately it took me six years to get a five-year degree because of that “transfer gap,” something I did not want to see happen to students today.

The articulation agreement was working and students that were graduating from Valencia were heading off to Gainesville and elsewhere. Everything was going along fine except the openings in the upper division for transfer students were dwindling year after year. Competition was exceptionally tough because of the program’s notoriety. So, the task force believed it was time for a creative solution. We knew the university wanted to increase their focus on urban design in their undergrad and graduate programs. The ETF also knew that UCF had indicated an interest in creating an architectural program in the past.

So as things were starting to evolve the ETF developed a list of things that we wanted in a program and generated a formal White Paper. This paper included what the profession would do to help move this effort forward; like providing adjunct professors, employing students as interns in local offices and securing additional funding to support the program.

We called Dr. Shugart and said, “Here’s what we’d like to do.” And he said, “I’ll set up a meeting in a couple weeks to see where this may go.” Then one day I got a phone call inviting me to a meeting consisting of people from UCF, UF and Valencia. On meeting day, Dr. Shugart made some opening remarks and immediately looked at me and said, “Okay John, you asked for this meeting, what do you want to discuss?” This was the opportunity and audience I needed to present the white paper and openly discuss the need for an architectural program in Orlando.
Student project2

The current scenario was a student would go to Valencia and get a two-year degree then they’d apply to UF or other colleges. They were accepted at major universities across the country and once they received their degree, they would very seldom return to Orlando. So our goal was very selfish – keep the talent here in Orlando. We wanted the ability for students to get an education here, complete their internship here and stay here to design their professional life in Orlando where they started.

We knew that there was a really good working relationship between Valencia and UCF in several programs involving the DirectConnect to UCF program, so that was our roadmap. And if something could be worked out with UF to obtain a two-year graduate program that was all we needed for the professional degree. UCF became the critical link to what would be a unique architectural program with three separate institutions, hence the 2+2+2.

There are always up and downs in anything new but, the bottom line for the most part is we have the consistently strong Valencia portion with the first two years, we now have the third class of graduates from UCF, and this year we graduated our first class of UF students. Sixteen walked the stage in Gainesville on May 3 and of the 16 graduates, nine went through the 2+2+2 right here in Orlando.

Read the Valencia News article on the first 2+2+2 architecture grads

I know Sandy is a Christian leader and I appreciate his direction and passion in this entire effort. There are some things that we humans try to manage and manipulate to get what we want but, there are so many things that have occurred that I know are not “coincidences”. Too many things “fell into place” at just the right time for us mortals to take the credit for it. For instance the funding for the studio space in Building 9, the building of the UCF Joint Use Facility, UF’s support of the Orlando program, and the talented students that had the faith in signing up for a program with no previous track record, just to name a few.

The Orlando architectural program is now a proven, new educational model.

This year you have the special opportunity to support the 2+2+2 program through AIA Orlando’s 25th annual golf tournament June 20, 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. Non-members can play for $175 and sponsorships start at $250. Here is a link to more information.

a closer look: commercial real estate women

crewlogoValencia Foundation’s successes are the direct result of successful partnerships with organizations and individuals who do their part to contribute, advocate and invite others to learn about Valencia. Partnerships with organizations such as Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando take the important step in setting the philanthropic curve in today’s world – finding new and unique ways to bring funds to those who need it most and over an extended period of time.

CREW Orlando was formed in 1987 to attract the most powerful and influential professionals in the commercial real estate industry. Each chapter has its own unique structure and framework but every chapter follows the purpose of “advancing women in commercial real estate.”

Former foundation board chair, Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier, Esq., and former board member, Sarah Kelly, led the charge for Valencia’s partnership with CREW. The organization endowed a scholarship through Valencia Foundation and also partnered on an interactive program designed to introduce female high school students to career opportunities in the commercial real estate industry.

Every year since 2002, CREW Orlando has used dollars raised at their golf tournament to fund The CREW Orlando Scholarship at Valencia. In all, CREW’s golf tournaments have gathered $119,500 to benefit students in need.

Bill Mullowney, Brian Macon, Geraldine Gallagher and Jim Grumberg at CREW's annual golf tournament

Bill Mullowney, Brian Macon, Geraldine Gallagher and Jim Grumberg at CREW’s annual golf tournament

This year the CREW golf tournament is Friday, May 16 at Eagle Creek Golf Club. Sponsorships start at $250 and individual golfers can play for $175 per person. For more information, here is the brochure.

The CREW Scholarship was created to support students who seek a future in commercial real estate or a related industry, students such as Arzu.

Becoming a mechanical engineer was a childhood dream for Arzu, but that is all it was, just a dream. She came from a family of six with parents who tried to make ends meet with a very low income. When she came to the United States, she feels she was given a second chance to pursue her education.

Three years ago, she started attending Valencia and although it was a start, the road was still very rough. She felt alone and faced the problem of not knowing the language. Naysayers told her graduation would be very difficult, but she did not give up. She took English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and her hard work paid off. Today she is proud to tell of her 3.7 GPA.

In addition to being a student, Arzu is a wife and mother and she says that her marriage and birth of her daughter are the most satisfying and inspiring events in her life. Though it has been a struggle to manage all of these roles, she knows that education is important and feels it will make her a wonderful role model for her daughter.

Arzu is currently enrolled as a full-time sophomore in the articulated pre-major program for engineering. This course of study is based on an agreement with UCF and is designed for students who plan to transfer to UCF as a junior to complete a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

At UCF, she plans to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. She is passionate about her degree choice and enjoys building and construction and fabricating projects from scratch. She also plans to get a Professional Engineering license to increase her knowledge in her career and boost her position in the workforce.

When she found out she received the CREW Scholarship, she got very emotional. She was using Valencia computers and library services to learn, but now she could get her own books, a calculator and a laptop. These tools allow her to study anywhere and give her more time to help her daughter with her schoolwork.

She says she will always be appreciative to CREW because even though they didn’t know her, they helped make her dream come true.

For more information about CREW, please visit http://creworlando.org/.

way to go crew!

crewlogoCommercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando had a successful golf outing on May 10. Net event proceeds from the event were $16,186.91. Funds raised at this event go to support the Commercial Real Estate Women Scholarship, designed for students studying in the fields of accounting, architecture, building construction, engineering, drafting and design, pre-law/paralegal studies, real estate and marketing. In all, CREW Orlando golf outings have raised $113,000 for student scholarships.

We send CREW a job well done, thank you for being our partner and helping students realize their dreams!

philanthropy – different definitions, same message

At the Aspen Institute dinner in early November, billionaire David Rubenstein pointed out that “Philanthropy means loving other people, not rich people giving away their money.”

In truth, it is a word with a highly personal connotation for many. We decided it would be interesting to see what members of our Valencia community think. What is your definition of philanthropy? Why is it important to support Valencia scholarships?

First, we immediately discovered that people usually don’t fit in just one group: they are faculty and retirees who are donors, donors and partners who are alumni and so on. Second, we found that people welcomed the opportunity to share on this topic and we received so many great responses. Instead of compiling them all into one story, we will feature them in a series of articles and bring you a few perspectives in each newsletter.

The foundation has enjoyed a relationship with the Women’s Executive Council (WEC) for many years. The current president of WEC, Deanna Snyder, an alumna from 1985, felt Valencia’s impact at an early age. She shares how Valencia fit so well into her life-plan and core principles. “To serve others, that has been my guiding beacon for the past several decades.  It started while I was in high school. The field of science and medicine intrigued me. As a young girl, I wanted to be nurse.  Not just any nurse, but a caring nurse that could change the lives of those who crossed my path. As I did my research, I discovered that Valencia had an outstanding nursing program, both clinically and academically. It is one thing to be ‘book smart,’ but it is another thing to have compassion. One of my favorite quotes is from John Maxwell, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ My instructors at Valencia infused both into my training and my soul.  I am grateful and thankful to be a Valencia nursing graduate.  Over the years, my career has led me down different paths, but I always stay true to my mission of serving others.”

Deanna Snyder

Deanna Snyder

Her work with WEC helps to define philanthropy in her life and giving back through their scholarship program greatly enhances the lives of recipients in our local community. “To me, philanthropy comes in many forms, but it all has a common thread of unselfish giving. It is the desire of WEC to empower and embrace and serve women in Central Florida.” And she acknowledges the wonderful circle of giving that result from scholarships. “These scholarships are key turning points in the lives of these remarkable women. Their stories of triumph and success lead them to be philanthropic members of society and thus the giving circle never ends.”

Hannah Wickham

Hannah Wickham

The foundation also shares a wonderful partnership with Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando. In addition to a scholarship endowment, CREW also donates proceeds from their annual golf tournament to support their scholarship, which is targeted for female students who wish to pursue a career in commercial real estate with a degree in accounting, architecture, business administration, construction, engineering, law or real estate.

Hannah Wickham has been involved with the CREW board for the past two years as the director of the annual golf tournament She works at Brasfield and Gorrie and is also involved with NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association; Frederick Leadership Initiative; United Way and Habitat for Humanity.

So what is Hannah’s definition of philanthropy? “Philanthropy is being connected to your community and feeling the need to give back – volunteering time, donating funds and offering knowledge and perspective – and doing what you say you are going to do.”

She believes it is important to support scholarships because it helps bring females into the commercial real estate industry, here in Central Florida and even outside the state. “There is a great opportunity to develop long careers in this industry and the scholarship gives these young ladies a chance to understand the importance of education, as well as their future opportunities within our community. Valencia is an outstanding educational facility that provides so much to their students and so much back to our surrounding communities.”

The foundation relies on our board members a great deal. They are our advocates, donors and advisors. It is an honor for us to work with this league of extraordinary men and women, and while we are privy to enjoy the fruits of their labor, it is interesting to find out the motivation behind the movement.

Lori Sims has been a Valencia Foundation board member for approximately 11 years and the chair of the finance committee for 6 of those years. She attended a community college in her local town and that experience made her understand the value that a community college can provide.

She became involved with Valencia because she has a deep passion for education. She is a steadfast supporter of our college and foundation and a member of our president’s giving circle. Lori and her company, CliftonLarsenAllen LLP, can always be counted on to offer backing when we have our signature A Taste for Learning fundraiser. And Lori recently answered a call for funds for special 2+2 scholarships for Valencia and UCF students through the Johnson Foundation Scholarship, donating a sizeable personal gift.

Lori Sims

Lori Sims

Her definition of philanthropy is “a desire to improve the material, social and spiritual welfare of humanity, especially through charitable activities. For me personally, philanthropy goes far beyond providing monetary contributions to charities. I strive to provide not just financial support, but also my time and talents to those organizations which need my help and for which I have a passion.”

The importance of scholarships really hit home with Lori when she had the “privilege” of reviewing scholarship applications. “Every single applicant has a compelling story and an intense desire to complete their education. For those less fortunate that can use some additional financial support, it is critical that our community do what we can to make it possible for those desiring a higher education to fulfill their dreams.”

Thank you Deanna, Hannah and Lori. We look forward to next month’s discussion!

aia golf tournament

This past Friday, many of us were at Reunion Resort for the 23rd annual AIA Orlando Golf Tournament. Some of us played and some of us volunteered, but we all had a great time in support of AIA’s partnership with Valencia and the foundation. In total, AIA Orlando has generated $255,000 in scholarships.

Unique partnerships such as those with American Institute of Architects help us give students opportunities to learn and succeed and keep within our goal to provide access for every person in our community who wishes to attend college.

Here is a fun video by AIA Orlando golf committee member, Al Ramphal, that really captures the spirit of the event. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9Iy7MPaWaQ&feature=youtu.be

aia golf tournament – june 15

Each year, AIA Orlando, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, helps support foundation scholarships through proceeds from their golf tournament. This year’s 23rd annual event will be on Friday, June 15, at Reunion Golf Resort. AIA members can play for $150 each and non-members for $175 per player. Sponsorships start at $300. Click here for more information.

crew golf tournament photos

Golfers enjoyed great weather and a great game on Friday at Reunion Resort. The event was the CREW Orlando golf tournament, proceeds of which fund Valencia scholarships. The theme was the 80s and everyone had a totally rad time, fer sure!

For more photos, visit us on Facebook.