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Three Modern Approaches: Derived from the Mentorship Action Plan created at the Young Architects Forum 15 Summit.




Podcast: 2009/5/26 - 25:53

Presenters: Lucy Reile; Michael J. Meehan, AIA; Grace H. Kim, AIA and Derek C. Webb, AIA, LEED AP



Michael J. Meehan, AIA, is a project architect and professional development manager at BWBR Architects in Saint Paul. He is an AIA 2008 Young Architect Award recipient and served as the 2007 chair of the YAF Advisory Committee, focusing on the YAF 15 Summit and creation of a 10-year strategic plan.

Lucy Reile is college-to-career coordinator in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, where she coordinates the College’s Mentor Program as well as many other career-related activities to ensure that students gain experience and knowledge about the career fields they are pursuing.

Grace H. Kim, AIA is the principal and cofounder of Seattle-based Schemata Workshop with husband Mike Mariano, AIA. An active advocate for young professionals, she was the Washington State IDP Coordinator from 2000-2002 and the recipient of the 2004 Emerging Professionals Mentorship Award. Grace also is the author of The Survival Guide to Architectural Internship and Career Development.

Derek C. Webb, AIA, LEED AP is project manager for m Architects in Houston, Texas where he is in charge of construction phase projects such as MD Anderson Radiation Treatment and Medical Oncology Center in Nassau Bay, Texas. Derek also serves as chair for the young Architects Forum.

Mentoring is an important part of the architecture profession during all stages of career development. The AIA acknowledges the importance of mentoring in the AIA Code of Ethics, which encourages members to "nurture their fellow professionals as they progress through stages of their career, beginning with professional education in the academy, progressing through internship, and continuing throughout their career."

The AIA Young Architects Forum (YAF) further recognized the necessity of mentoring at the YAF 15 Summit, where they placed mentorship at the top of their list of issues to tackle in the next 15 years.

The tactics the YAF has proposed to further mentorship are in direct alignment with the AIA Strategic Plan, specifically sections II.C Nurture Emerging Professionals and II.F Create Positive Member Experience. The "Mentoring: Three Modern Approaches" session at the 2008 AIA National Convention in Boston fulfilled one of the YAF's goals for mentoring as stated in its Action Plan. Other goals include establishing a mentor-matching database, developing resources in conjunction with AIA knowledge communities, and initiating a grant program to encourage mentorship programs.

The purpose of this discussion is threefold:

    • To examine the importance of mentoring on the large scale of the profession and on the small scale of firms, components, and schools

    • To introduce a modern definition of mentoring and to describe three methods of structured mentoring for use on the small scale

    • To issue a call to action for attendees to go home and set up mentoring structures in their own communities




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