Seven HWS students and recent graduates of the Colleges’ architectural studies program have been accepted to top graduate schools, where they will explore new facets of the field — from designing and building, to leasing and selling.
(The photo above, taken at the Harvard University Graduate Program open house, features William Smith architecture alumnae, Laura Butera ’12, Ana Garcia ’14, Alexandra DiStefano ’15 and Amanda Walker ’16. The photos below highlight student work at Houghton House.)
Alexandra DiStefano ’15, who majored in architectural studies and minored in political science, will begin a master’s program in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the fall of 2017.
“HWS provided me with a strong foundation in design, emphasizing hand drawing and an iterative process,” says DiStefano. As a member of the Arts and Design Collective, she had “amazing exposure in collaborating with students from other disciplines.” As a youth organizer for the grassroots movement We Are Seneca Lake, she developed an independent study project with Assistant Professor of Architecture Gabriella D’Angelo that “resulted in one of my strongest portfolio projects,” DiStefano says.
Since graduating, she has been exploring sustainability, entrepreneurship and landscape architecture as a graphic designer, as well as through a design internship at a landscape architecture firm and in a work-study internship at Concordia ecology resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands. After an open house meeting with HWS alumnae currently enrolled at Harvard, DiStefano decided graduate school was the next step in developing her skills and experience. DiStefano is also grateful for the support she received from Associate Professor of Art and Architecture Kirin Makker, who helped her land a seat at Concordia.
Audrey English ’17 began studying architecture as a first-year at HWS and “knew almost immediately that I wanted to make it my career.” English, who is the president of the Colleges’ Arts and Design Collective, was accepted into architecture programs at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, University of Buffalo, University of Massachusetts and Syracuse University.
Rick Runfola ’17 has also been accepted to the master’s program at University of Buffalo, as well as the programs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
“I enjoy working with abstract concepts and experimenting with new methods and materials as I go through my design process,” says Runfola, an architectural studies major and art history minor. “There are so many aspects and components of the field that I am in love with. My master’s will allow me…the freedom to have the most mobility and choice as I enter into my professional career.”
Ethan Miller ’17 has been accepted to Clemson University, where he will explore the intersection of his major and minor, architectural studies and economics, in the university’s master’s in real estate program, which emphasizes responsible development and sustainable growth alongside economic feasibility.
Emily Jones ’16, Mike Kwilos ’16 and Allie Rubin ’17 have all been accepted to the University of Oregon, which offers concentrations in sustainable architecture and interior architecture, “which is uncommon in many graduate programs,” says Rubin, who has also been accepted to the master’s in architecture program at Temple University.
Jones, who majored in architectural studies and minored in art history, is also interested in pursuing a career in interior architecture. She has been accepted to Pratt Institute and Rhode Island School of Design as well.
Kwilos, who has ambitions to design “sustainable, efficiently planned residential spaces,” has also been accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design, and to Northeastern University.