LPA Awards 2022 Interdisciplinary Diversity Scholarships

Integrated design firm LPA Design Studios announced the second cohort of recipients for its LPA Interdisciplinary Diversity Scholarship Program, an annual program to support historically underrepresented demographics pursuing careers related to architecture, engineering and design.

The 2022 scholarship winners are Miamor Orozco, San Antonio Texas; Gabriela Guerrero, Port Isabel, Texas; Claire Burnley, Rancho Cucamonga, California; and Nanami Dolley, Kerrville, Texas.

LPA’s Interdisciplinary Diversity Scholarship Program awards up to five high school seniors with $5,000 renewable scholarships each year. In addition to financial aid, students are matched with LPA mentors in their respective disciplines and have the opportunity for paid summer internships at LPA.

“We are committed to addressing and advancing the diversity, equity and inclusion in the world of architecture, engineering and design,” said Wendy Rogers, CEO at LPA Design Studios. “This program reflects our support for a more diverse generation of professionals who will bring a wider perspective to our industry.”

Developed through LPA for Change, the firm’s community support initiative, and Scholarship America, the program targets the architecture and engineering industry’s well-documented lack of diversity. In 2021, as part of an industry-wide movement, LPA pledged to disclose its workplace practices through the International Living Future Institute’s JUST Program, a nationwide initiative to promote social equity and enhance engagement in the workplace.

The Interdisciplinary Diversity Scholarship seeks to build a long-term relationship with the students and help them gain practical experience as they progress in their education. Throughout the process, students will be introduced to a multi-discipline approach to design, which focuses on collaboration and cooperation across disciplines.

The inaugural class of recipients, Diego Riverbay, mechanical engineering, Olin College; Elisabeth Gutierrez, interior design, Penn State University; Aisha Lizaola, mechanical engineering, University of Texas; Elsie Lappin, dual degree engineering, Berry College; and Hunter Aguilar, civil engineering, San Jose State University, are all thriving at their respective universities and continuing to pursue their careers and receive financial and career support from LPA.

“The dedication and growth of these students has been outstanding,” said LPA project manager Brien Graham, chair of the firm’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Council. “Our goal is to support them as they continue their studies.”

This year’s recipients include:

News Scholarship Miamor

Miamor Orozco (Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas)

A senior at Young Women’s Leadership Academy in San Antonio, Texas, Orozco hopes to find herself working in a corporation that strives to achieve the true purpose of engineering, which to her is about improving the world.

“Being accepted into a university has been an amazing experience in itself,” she said. “My current goal is to be the first in my family to complete schooling at a four-year institute and receive a degree in mechanical engineering.”

News Scholarship Gabriella

Gabriela Guerrero (Interior Architecture Design, University of Texas at San Antonio)

A senior at Port Isabel High School in Port Isabel Texas, Guerrero’s ultimate goal is to give back to her community in the form of design and mentorship in order to bring more awareness of the substantial impact design has on people.“

This scholarship will provide me the opportunity to start a new chapter in life where I will be able to take multiple architecture courses and programs with no limitation due to financial burden,” she said. “My goal is to one day give back to the community in the form of design and mentorship, hence bringing more awareness of building structures, innovation and creativity in communities.”

News Scholarship Claire

Claire Burnley (Civil Engineering, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA)

A senior at Rancho Cucamonga High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California, Burnley’s career goal is to become a civil engineer. She wants to fight the effects of climate change and dreams of creating designs for LEED-certified affordable housing complexes across California.

“Receiving this scholarship makes me glad that I’ve persevered through my challenges to be in a position to earn this wonderful recognition,” said Burnley, who hopes to grow into a position where she can help aspiring civil engineers.

News Scholarship Nanami

Nanami Dolley (Construction Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas)

A senior at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, Dolley dreams of owning her own company, but would like to work her way up from an entry level position in the homebuilding industry.

“This scholarship has given me the opportunity to further my education, with security, in construction science at Texas A&M University,” she said. “I will forever be grateful to LPA. I had bright plans for my future and LPA has given me an even brighter one.”