The Mel Ferris Scholarship Program is named in honor of the late Mel Ferris, Hon. AIA, and former Executive Vice President of the AIA California Council. Funded by donations, the program grants scholarships to promising architectural students throughout California. All ten of the state’s accredited architectural schools participate in the Mel Ferris program, with 121 scholarships awarded since its launch in 1991.
In 2011, the Mel Ferris program offered a first-place award of $5,000, a second-place award of $4,000, and two third-place awards of $3,000 each. Entrants also competed for the Dean’s Choice Award, a $500 prize granted by the Deans of California’s accredited architectural schools. Each Dean awarded the prize to a single outstanding Mel Ferris applicant from his or her school.
In addition, this was the third year the Mel Ferris program featured the Savings By Design Energy Efficiency Integration Award, a $5,000 scholarship for excellence in energy-efficient architecture. This award was sponsored by California’s five major utilities: Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Edison, and Southern California Gas.
Seventy-six students applied for Mel Ferris scholarships this year, representing the ten California accredited architectural schools. Fourteen entries from Woodbury University, Burbank; 14 from the Southern California Institute of Architecture; 12 from the University of Southern California; 10 from California College of the Arts; 10 from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; six from Woodbury University, San Diego; four from the University of California, Berkeley; two from Cal Poly, Pomona; two from the New School of Architecture and Design; and two from the University of California, Los Angeles.
This year’s award winners were determined by a panel of jurors including Thomas M. Angelwicz, FAIA; Robert Berkowitz; William Dasher, PE, AIA; Susan M. Eschweiler, AIA; Lauren Pasion, AIAS; Michael R. Pratt, AIA LEED AP; David L. Teerman, AIA LEED AP; and Gary Becker and Ray Nalangan, both representing SMUD and the Savings By Design award. The jury considered each entry based on four specific factors; 50% of the decision on the applicants’ portfolio, 20% on their academic achievement, 20% on financial need, and 10% on service to their schools and communities.
Fang Huan, a student at UC Berkeley, earned first place, winning $5000 in scholarship funds. In second place was Southern California Institute of Architecture student Luis Corona, receiving a $4000 award, and third place went to both Jae Hwan Lee of SCI-Arc and Erick Rodriguez of Woodbury University; each was awarded $3000. The Savings by Design Energy Efficiency Integration Award of $5000 went to Woodbury University student Klaudia Zarakowski. There are ten students selected for Dean’s Choice Awards; the following are award recipients from their specific schools: Andrei Hakhovich of California College of the Arts; Brandon Ro of Cal Poly, Pomona; Anthony Stahl of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; Sarah Blahut of SCI-Arc; Amy Lily Hu of UC Berkeley; Gabriel Huerta of UCLA; Sheena Casamassima of Woodbury University, San Diego; and Abdul Kabbani of Woodbury University, Burbank. Two more students will be awarded the Dean’s Choice Award, one from the New School of Architecture and Design and one from the University of Southern California.
Congratulations to all of the 2011 Mel Ferris Award recipients for their impressive accomplishments!