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Syracuse chapter of American Institute of Architecture Students receives two national honors

July 25, 2012

Elaine Wackerow
(315) 443-6004

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) has awarded the Syracuse University chapter two of its highest honors—the Chapter Honor Award and the Chapter President Honor Award. The Chapter President Honor Award went to Syracuse University School of Architecture student Christopher DePalma ’13, AIAS president from 2010-11. Awards were formally announced on July 22 at the AIAS National Grassroots Leadership Conference in Alexandria, Va., and will be conferred at the AIAS FORUM to be held in Savannah, Ga., from Dec. 29–Jan. 1.

aiasAIAS is a nationally run student organization, acting as the official voice of architecture students in both the educational system and the profession. Each year, AIAS honors individuals and groups for their exemplary work in areas such as leadership, collaboration, scholarship and service. The AIAS Honor Awards were developed to publicly recognize outstanding achievements by students, educators and practitioners who have exhibited an exemplary commitment to the education and development of architecture students.

The Chapter Honor Award is bestowed upon an AIAS Chapter for its consistent growth and stability while providing outstanding educational and professional programs to its members and others. The Chapter President Honor Award is awarded each year to an AIAS chapter president for his/her outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to the consistent growth and development of the AIAS chapter at his/her school.

“This group of students and the organization that they have nurtured and grown over the past few years has been a pleasure to watch and advise,” says Syracuse Architecture Associate Professor Brian Lonsway, AIAS faculty adviser.“In the past three years our local chapter has not only hosted important events such as the Fall 2010 Quad Conference ‘Reclaiming Architecture,’ but made significant contributions to student life at the school in smaller ways. The leaders and members initiated the establishment of the Syracuse-based Freedom by Design chapter to design and build small-scale projects for individuals at the local level faced with physical, mental and/or financial challenges, and nurtured ongoing public discourse about urban design issues through the establishment of the Storefront: Syracuse center downtown.”

depalma“Chris DePalma was passionately dedicated to the success of the organization and promoted the visibility of the chapter in countless ways," Lonsway says. “His maturity in working with school administration and faculty demonstrated a professionalism that is not common among students. Chris worked tirelessly to bring visibility to an organization that had, until that point, but a modest impact on the everyday life of the school. He brought visibility at both the local and national levels.”

"I am honored to receive this award and very proud of AIAS Syracuse, whose many active team members foster provocative ideas and real-world change on a regular basis,” says DePalma. “The growth over the past four years to now being recognized as the most active and progressive chapter in the nation is remarkable and only possible because of our incredible team of leaders. We advocate for design that has tangible meaning, and these awards serve as a milestone for the relevance of student architectural activism in our Syracuse community."

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