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Creating connections with Howard University

June 24, 2021

With Howard University being a leading HBCU and leader in STEM fields, we are excited to create lasting connections with their students

Howard University (Howard) is known for providing diverse, talented, and ambitious students with quality education. As a leading Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Howard is a culturally rich institution where students all over the world attend to study professions in health, science, engineering, art, law, and education.

One of Stantec’s 2021 goals was to establish meaningful, school-based connections with a few HBCUs, one being Howard. With plans to create and attend events each semester at these universities, along with funding, we believe this new relationship will be a great one.

Earlier this year, Stantec did a presentation on construction documents to the 4th year architecture class. This was requested by the Chair of the department to help students understand how the theory they learned in school translated to the real-life practice of architecture. Participants included Stantec employees Jasmin McDuffie, Clarissa Kelsey, Dominique Hayes, and Tasso Karras.

Like most events this year, the pandemic put a pause on the in-person presentation and was moved to MS Teams. However, as part of Stantec’s commitment to partner with Howard, we anticipate doing several more of these presentations in the fall 2021 semester, both at Howard and in the local Stantec offices.

“Presenting to the students at Howard University, a historical Black university, allowed me the opportunity to pour knowledge into the foundation of my career,” Dominique said, “I'm a firm believer in the importance of our African American youth seeing there are others that look just like them in this architecture and design industry—I hoped to prove to at least one student that it is possible even when it seems impossible.”

“I believe that connecting academics to practice is key to helping students enter the profession successfully. I hope that sharing my personal experience, lessons learned, and industry information can help students envision their future in the field,” Clarissa added, “When I was a student, I never saw representation of myself in the profession so it’s meaningful to me to be able to be an example of a Black female architect.”

"The feedback provided in jury reviews is instrumental in helping designers improve how they think about and execute their design projects; both current and future and it was great to be a part of that process,” Jasmin said.

The Buildings team in our Mid-Atlantic region, specifically the Education studio, will have a Howard intern this summer. In addition to contributing to ongoing projects in the office, the intern will be participating in the Building Intern Program. The project the intern will be assisting with is designing a district-wide learning center focused on environmental education. Along with other interns, they will work on a multi-disciplinary team that will provide an opportunity to interact with their peers and professionals from across the company.

We are excited to connect with Howard University and look forward to continuing to explore different ways on how we can support HBCUs—and the students attending these important post-secondary institutions.

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