The American Institute of Architects Select Recipients of the Seventh Annual Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship


Washington, D.C. – July 25, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected ten recipients to receive the 2013 Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship. The recipients will receive compensation for the entire cost of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and a full set of study guides provided by Kaplan Architecture Education.

The recipients are Dijana Alickovic, Assoc. AIA, Nicole Alvarez, Michael Archer, Assoc. AIA, Rachel Auerbach, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, Gina DeLeon, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Erike DeVeyra, Assoc. AIA, Steven Marrone, Assoc. AIA, Erin Porter, Assoc. AIA, Jaclyn Thomforde, Assoc. AIA, and Melissa Threatt, Assoc. AIA, SEED.

The recipients of the scholarship were chosen by a jury composed of AIA members including recently licensed architects, IDP Coordinators, and a representative from Kaplan Architecture Education.

The recipients were selected on the following criteria:

• Significant contributions at an early stage of their career to the profession and/or community

• Exemplary involvement in community and/or professional organizations

• Outstanding achievement in the creation, development, and delivery of creative programs for interns, associates, and/or young architect members

• Traditional or alternative career path, with demonstrated passion for pursuit of registration

• Strong letters of support detailing personal and professional contributions

• Inspiring statement of contribution

2013 Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship recipients:

Dijana Alickovic, Assoc. AIA, received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Architecture at the University of Utah. Alickovic’s aspiration for public interest design inspired her decision to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Utah County and From Houses to Homes, Guatemala. In 2009, Alickovic co-founded COMMONstudio, a nonprofit organization that provides design services to communities and nonprofits who greatly benefit from public interest design. With COMMONstudio, she was involved with designing an orphanage outside of Kabul, Afghanistan, a teen center in Green River, Utah, as well as a school and orphanage in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti. In addition to providing design services, she was sponsored by AmeriCorps as a VISTA volunteer for the International Rescue Committee of Salt Lake City, Utah where she facilitated refugee resettlement for individuals and families coming from Bhutan, Myanmar, Iraq, Somalia, Congo, and Eritrea. Currently, Alickovic is a member of the AIA Committee on the Environment and is voluntarily involved with Magna Main Street Implementation Group whose vision is to revitalize Magna Main Street, Salt Lake County.

Nicole N. Alvarez is a practicing architect intern and project manager at Ellen Cassilly Architect in Durham, N.C. In 2012 Alvarez founded, an internationally recognized blog about small spaces and simple living. Previously, she helped grow a start-up architecture firm in Raleigh, N.C., leading design, management, and outreach projects for the firm. Alvarez received her Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture (2008) and Master of Architecture (2010) from N.C. State University where she was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal. In 2011, Alvarez received her Master of Global Innovation Management as a complement to her degrees in architecture. She is active in the community as a member of the YAF Mentoring program, urban livability activist, and architectural photographer.

Michael N. Archer, Assoc. AIA, is a 2011 graduate of Pratt Institute in New York with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. As a dean’s list graduate he was a recipient of the Institute’s Trustee and President Scholarships, the Pratt Institute Circle Award, Outstanding Merit Award for the School of Undergraduate Architecture, and Distinguished Undergraduate Degree Project and Undergraduate Thesis Awards. His current position as Junior Architect with GF55 Partners in Manhattan has allowed him to take a team-oriented approach to designing and constructing large scale, diverse communities throughout the boroughs of New York City. Archer was a founding member of NCARB’s Intern Think Tank in 2012 where he collaborated on a framework prototype for a new IDP, recently served as the Internship Representative at NCARB’s 2013 Annual Meeting and is a new member of Emerging New York Architects at his local chapter of the AIA. Most recently he has been appointed as the Intern At Large on behalf of NCARB for the 2013 Internship Advisory Committee. The belief that practice and education are best enhanced when in concert with one another has led Archer to frequently offer his professional perspective as a guest critic at his alma mater.

Rachel Auerbach, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, is currently the AIA-SWO Volunteer Coordinator, and has been a leader in Design|Spring, the emerging architectural professionals group of Eugene, O.R. since graduating in 2009. There she created the Gingerbread House Competition and Parking Garage Pinball, lighthearted fundraisers that demonstrate architectural skills. While earning her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon, Auerbach directed the Ecological Design Center. With BuildingGreen and the Center for Housing Innovation, she shared case studies of innovative buildings and ecologically appropriate design processes. She is a designer at Nir Pearlson Architect, which just won the 2013 Fine Homebuilding Best Small Home Award.

Gina M. De Leon, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, has experience in affordable housing, post-disaster construction, and citizen participation in design. Currently, she serves as the Single Family Development Specialist at Avenue Community Development Corporation. Prior to joining Avenue CDC, Gina served as an AmeriCorps Community Builder in the LISC GO Neighborhoods initiative for the Near Northside of Houston. She has been involved in many grassroots community development projects including LEED-registered affordable housing, transit mobility, and post-disaster planning with both private and non-profit organizations. De Leon earned her Master of Architecture degree in Community and Urban Design from the Pennsylvania State University and her Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design degrees from the University of Houston.

Erike De Veyra, Assoc. AIA, currently serves as the AIA Associate Director for AIA Philadelphia and its Board of Directors. Since graduating from Philadelphia University in 2009, with a Bachelor of Architecture and minor in Photography, De Veyra has been an active member of the Chapter’s Associate Committee and the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. She is currently chair of the Center’s Art by Architects fundraising exhibition and a major volunteer for the Constructing Play Exhibition since its conception in 2009. This year the chapter recognized her as a co-recipient for the Volunteer of the Year Award presented at the annual chapter meeting in April. In addition to her commitments to her local chapter, she currently serves on the Philadelphia University Alumni Board, the University’s College of Architecture & the Built Environment Advancement Committee; Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia Young Professionals Committee, Assistant Organizer for the local Park(ing) Day, and finds time to work on small design projects with colleagues and pick up her film camera. De Veyra has been featured in Artists Wanted/See.Me EXPOSURE in Times Square and Art House Co-op’s A Million Little Photographs (AMLP) on tour.

Steven Marrone, Assoc. AIA, is serving his second year as the Associate Director for AIA San Antonio. His work with the chapter has initiated several programs benefiting both emerging professionals as well as the broader architectural community, providing education and networking opportunities. Marrone orchestrated multiple design charrettes for urban renewal projects throughout San Antonio. His leadership has focused on providing community service opportunities for emerging professionals as well. Marrone is an active mentor in the ACE mentorship program that pairs A/E/C professionals with high school students. Marrone also serves on the education committee at his church. He’s worked on a variety of commercial, corporate, and higher education projects during his time with Alamo Architects.

Erin E. Porter, Assoc. AIA, works with New Orleans area students to recognize and address design issues in their communities through initiatives such as the National Organization of Minority Architects’ Project Pipeline, ACE Mentor Program of America, and Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools. These programs empower local youth and promote diversity in the field of architecture. Porter currently serves as a committee chair for the recently founded Women in Architecture Committee of AIA New Orleans and is an associate at Billes Partners, LLC. Her professional experience includes institutional, corporate, community and residential work. Porter earned her Bachelor of Architecture in 2007 from Rice University.

Jaclyn Thomforde, Assoc. AIA, earned a Master’s degree in Architecture from Cornell University in 2009. Her undergraduate degree is in construction management. Thomforde is currently a Project Manager with Alchemy Architects designing and overseeing prefabricated, modular projects called “weeHouses”. She is an active member in her local AIA Chapter (Minneapolis-St.Paul), a volunteer Crew Leader with Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, and will be traveling to the Philippines this fall with Habitat’s Global Village group on her first international volunteer build. Once licensed, Thomforde plans to focus on projects that aid in the development and growth of neglected communities.

Melissa Hill Threatt, Assoc. AIA, SEED, has been an active member of AIA Greenville chapter for four years and is currently serving as Membership Director. She is employed by DP3 Architects, Ltd. in Greenville, S.C. Threatt holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages – Spanish from Clemson University as well as a Master of Architecture from Louisiana State University. After returning to South Carolina in 2009 and being unable to find full time employment, she became involved with the Kids in Architecture program through AIA Greenville. In addition to serving on the AIA Greenville board, Threatt also serves on the Women in Architecture – Upstate board and is the curator of the WIA newsletter, Verve. In 2013, Threatt was given the SEED Award for Organizing in Public Interest Design while at Public Interest Design Week in Minneapolis, MN. She hopes to achieve licensure and spend her career creating environments that promote the success of children and families while using the triple bottom line approach known as SEED (Social, Economic, and Environmental Design) to gauge projects’ success.

About Jason Pettigrew, Assoc. AIA (1974-2004)

Jason Pettigrew, Assoc. AIA served on the inaugural National Associates Committee. During his two-year term as the Western Mountain Regional Associate Director, Jason also served on the NAC Executive Committee as the Mainstream Director championing issues of internship and licensure. Jason dedicated much of his time with the AIA towards the development and growth of others and was committed to community service. He touched the lives of everyone around him through his selfless service which included not only leadership roles locally, and with AIA Colorado, but through his national service as well. His significant contributions also include serving multiple years as Representative to the IDP Coordinating Committee and involvement in the development of the Emerging Professional’s Companion released in 2004.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit

Contact: Matt Tinder

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