News • September 22, 2022

CBU architecture grad student participates in fellowship

CBU architecture grad student participates in fellowship

CBU architecture grad student participates in fellowship

 Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 22, 2022) – Pablo Guzman, an architecture graduate student at California Baptist University, completed a fellowship with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) program as an intern at Populous during the summer of 2022.

The fellowship offers students a mentorship experience to enhance their skills at top design firms. NOMA aims to increase diversity in the field of architecture and design. Guzman was one of three CBU students who received a NOMA Foundation Fellowship. Twenty students total were selected nationally for the program.

Aaron Greene, assistant professor of architecture at CBU, said the NOMA Foundation Fellowship is a major program because it provides students of color with an opportunity to engage with firms of a high caliber.

“This program has been developed to provide a gateway for students of color into practice during the academic experience, network creation/building, opportunities for mentorship and monetary encouragement to obtain an architectural license,” Greene said.

This was Guzman’s first internship, and he was able to learn more about the field while understanding how the operations and management side works at a large firm.

“I learned a lot of communication skills and ways to be more efficient in team collaborations,” Guzman said. “Populous handles numerous projects and ventures and the most challenging part was the first two weeks and trying to understand how their processes and work structure was done around the office.”

Additionally, the firm, which is located in Kansas City, Missouri, conducted education sessions that were tailored to interns and new graduates, Guzman said.

“A few of my favorites [included] intro to sports architecture, esports designs, internal data and crucial conversations,” Guzman said. “These were great sessions because they brought us up to speed on proper terminology and standards while also explaining how to continually improve designs on projects and how it works within the work-life culture.”

Guzman was inspired to pursue a career in architecture after he started working for his father’s construction business located in the San Fernando Valley. Many projects they work on are located in Los Angeles and Hollywood.  

“I was exposed to a variety of spaces—from commercial to residential buildings—and saw how they were transformed to create new living experiences,” Guzman said. “Seeing this firsthand convinced me to be on the design side where I have the opportunity to serve communities through my designs.”

Guzman said that his degree through the College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design (CAVAD) at CBU focuses on a practical and empathetic design approach.

“In the program we learned through readings, research, discussions and projects that, to be able to serve communities at the micro or macro levels, we must first understand who our users are [in order] to fully be able to design and serve them,” Guzman said.

Guzman has been mentored by Krysten Burton, assistant professor of architecture at CBU. 

“Professor Burton helped break down the interview process with the firms,” Guzman said. “She also reviewed my portfolio providing feedback and tips to better show its content, which is crucial during interviews.”

Burton said Guzman is a tremendously talented, creative and hard-working student with a generous and humble heart.

“We are very proud to see Pablo utilizing the skills he gained developing his projects in the studio to be a light in the world working with a prestigious and talented team to bring complex and fascinating architectural projects to life,” Burton said.