This month’s second CJ STEMM Idol Speaker, a young professional at a local architecture firm, will discuss how she’s used her college degrees to serve others, and how high school students can specifically use the knowledge and tools they posses now to win college scholarships from the Dayton chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Alexandra Bohler comes to CJ on Tuesday, Jan. 15, and will address all students interested in architecture and urban planning during homeroom periods in room 144. The Dayton native, who grew up playing Eagle Youth soccer and attending high school in the downtown area, hopes to inspire others by sharing the unique path she took to a career in one of the sometimes overlooked STEMM fields.
Currently an intern with LWC Incorporated – a 51-percent minority owned architectural firm headquartered on E. First Street – Bohler first earned a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University. She then enrolled at the University of Illinois in Chicago to work toward a Master of Architecture, which she received in 2010. But before entering the field professionally, Bohler decided to give back to her community through involvement with two national community outreach agencies.
“Between my undergraduate and graduate degress, I was a part of Teach for America in Philadelphia,” Bohler said. She tutored in numerous Ohio and east coast cities including Columbus, Philly, Ithaca and New York City.
“After graduate school, while living in Columbus, I was part of AmeriCorps, working with Homeport, a non-profit affordable housing developer. As part of this program, I was able to teach a summer design-build class for teenagers. We designed and constructed outdoor seating in the apartment community where the teens lived. I also led a green initiatives program for residents.”
Having returned to Dayton, Bohler now creates 3D computer models, works with construction documents and assists with the overall architectural process in her current role as an intern. She also serves as an associate director with AIA Dayton, a professional development organization for registered architects in the Miami Valley.
This school year, AIA Dayton is once again hosting the Art in Architecture Student Design Competition for teenagers in grades 9-12. The first 60 students to register by the Jan. 24 deadline will have the opportunity to work with a mentor from Miami University for a chance to win prizes including a $1,200 and $800 college scholarship.
Contests will be tasked with designing an “Interpretive Center” and memorial that commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the 1913 Great Dayton Flood. The cost to register is $25. Project submissions are due March 16 and an awards ceremony will be held at the Dayton Metro Library downtown on May 10. For complete details, visit www.aiadayton.org.