Rosalyn Wells | March 6, 2017
The college experience is often made richer by the relationships you build, the friends you make and the things you learn about yourself; for minority students those experiences are often colored by their race, gender or sexual orientation. In Fall 2016, architecture students formed a new student organization to offer support for students from underrepresented groups. The National Organization for Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) aims to “provide role models to encourage, inspire, and provide a sense of belonging in the field of architecture.” The organization is a student chapter of the National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA).
With the assistance of faculty advisors Dean Michael Lykoudis and Assistant Dean Samantha Salden Teach, NOMAS is a place where minority students can engage with key issues and focus on creating a positive experience for all students at the School of Architecture. NOMAS, still in its’ early stages, has been holding regular meetings and students are excited to get involved and make an impact. Sophomore Erikc Perez-Perez hopes “to learn about other’s stories and how they work to contribute to diversification in the field of architecture…[so] I could form my own ideas about what I could personally devote as a student.”
In their first full academic year on campus, NOMAS is focusing on building relationships and forming a supportive network and community within and beyond the School of Architecture. This semester their focus, according to NOMAS President Gabriel Jacobs, is three-pronged. Students plan to connect with NOMAS groups at other institutions; create a space for relationships between minority upperclassmen and underclassmen at the School of Architecture; and foster professional mentor relationships.