STEMM Idol Speaker

Guest speaker Tom Hesse, an architect with the downtown Dayton firm John Poe Architects, met with students in the CIL Tuesday during all homerooms to discuss opportunities in architecture as part of December’s STEMM Idol Speaker Series.

After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, Hesse earned his Masters of Architecture from the Ohio State University before working on his first professional project designing the addition to the Kettering Recreation Complex. He is currently a member of the American Association of Architects (AIA) and achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council.

“Architecture is the art and science of designing environments where people live, work and play,” said Hesse during his lecture. Students were able to see photos and computer-generated 3-D renderings of a few of his firm’s projects, including some he helped design such as the Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park in Columbus.

Along with having the opportunity to work on fun projects like community centers and aquatic complexes, Hesse pointed out that architects can also incorporate their personal faith into projects by being socially conscience and keeping sustainability in mind.

“It is important to have a solid foundation in math and science plus a sense of art and design, but there are a lot of niches for people with different interests,” he said.  Although John Poe Architects specializes in health care and recreation, the firm—located just a few blocks northwest of CJ—has been involved in everything from making renovations for Dayton Daily News facilities to building condominiums.

The firm has received a number of awards for its work, and most recently garnered an Honors Award from the AIA Dayton Chapter for the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, which is also the site of this year's Christmas concert Sounds of the Season Friday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.