Fourth-year architecture student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rachele Louis has been awarded the 2009 Gensler African-American Internship & Scholarship (GAAINS) from the global design and architecture firm Gensler.
The scholarship recognizes top emerging talent among African-American college students enrolled in an architecture program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). As the winner of the top prize, Louis will join the firm as an intern this summer in its New York City office. The award also includes a scholarship that will aid in her final year of design study at Rensselaer.
â€œIt has been my great pleasure to see Rachele mature as a student and I have every expectation that she will excel in the profession â€“ as an innovator and as a leader,â€ said Acting Dean of Architecture Mark Mistur. â€œHer balance of abilities, skills, and personal character will make her an extraordinary representative of the Gensler Scholarship and Rensselaer,â€
Louis has an exceptionally strong GPA. However, according to Mistur and the faculty of the school, her most recognized strengths can be seen in her independent design work. Louis is known for her experimentation in design with unfamiliar forms and approaches to space that are both structurally sound and innovative.
Her internship with Gensler will consist of working directly in the studio on various design projects and proposals with architects and designers.
â€œThe GAAINS scholarship not only allows me the ability to further my architectural educational pursuits, but Iâ€™ll have the opportunity to be at the forefront of sustainable design with advanced architectural technologies as an intern with a leading firm,â€ said Louis.
Through a rigorous selection process by a panel of seven jurors, Louis was selected as the winning candidate based on a submission that showcased clarity of ideas within both design and analytical realms, according to the design firm.
â€œGAAINS is a valuable program to both Gensler and the broader student community; it furthers our position with the student dialogue by promoting innovation, thought leadership, and design excellence,â€ says Blake Mourer, senior associate and design director at Gensler and one of seven members of the GAAINS jury.
In its first year, the GAAINs program aims to raise awareness about the architectural profession as a career choice as well as create greater accessibility for this student population.
Gensler is a global architecture, design, planning, and strategic consulting firm, with 31 offices on five continents.
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