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NOMAS Spotlight - Monique Robinson (Incoming President Fall 2019)

My name is Monique Robinson, and I was born in Washington D.C in 1996.

I am the incoming president of the NOMAS chapter at Morgan State University. I study Architecture + Environmental Design at Morgan State University, and I will be entering my fourth-year this upcoming semester.

How did you find architecture/design?

Architecture found me in 2016. I was at a point in my life where I did not enjoy studying in a completely different field (Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology) and I needed a major shift. I wanted something that would challenge me but also allow me to use the things I was passionate about which all centered around creativity and helping people. One day, my father said "why don't you try architecture?" I had never heard of architecture formally, but once I looked into it and saw that it combined so many different fields in one and was a sort of explorative major, I was in and ready to take on the challenge. And a challenge it was, every step of the way being in school with people who have wanted to do architecture all their lives; learning the discipline, how to visually communicate, how to research and how to articulate your ideas clearly was all new to me and it took a lot of mistakes, errors, and even failing to get the finally hang of how things needed to be done in school. I was fortunate enough to have experiences that have helped to shape me as an architecture student: internships, attending conferences, even speaking on panels, and gaining mentors in the field have been critical in helping me to develop what my point of view is as a designer and where I could be the most passionate. I thrive on the relationships I've created that help nurture me, humble me, inspire me, and help me to create standards for what I want out of myself and out of life. Community inspires me more than anything, and helping to serve in areas that are under served, figuring out how to get funds and being a sort of activist for communities is where my passion has led me, and I cannot wait to see where it will take me.

Where will you be going post-graduation?

Post graduation I hope to attend graduate school and study Architecture with a concentration in urban design and historic preservation.

What do you hope to do with your new experience/education?

My passion has led me to Architecture, and emerging in this field has shown me the relation of social injustices within many minority communities. I aspire to contribute towards projects that help communities be stitched together in an empathetic, thoughtful, and forward thinking way. I have made it my personal mission to inspire, create, and impact under served communities through architecture and activism in order to enhance their sense of pride, expose the assets that exists within them, and restore value in who they are as a people.

What are you plans for Summer 2019?

My plans for summer 2019 include interning for ZGF Architects in Portland, OR working in the urban design sector. My personal endeavors include researching graduate school programs that I will be applying for in the Fall 2019, and working vigorously on perfecting my portfolio that will help towards acceptances for graduate school. It will also include lots of exploration in this new city, as well as networking with other professionals and students working here and gaining new mentorship within the firm!

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