Once-lers Anonymous

“It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Students Travel for Competition, Experience

on September 24, 2011

When the University of Arkansas’s third-year architecture students found out their fall trip would be to Boston, Mass., their excitement was evident.

“I’ve been wanting to go for a while,” said Amanda Neely, 21. At 11:20 on a Thursday night, it is just another night spent with half of the other third year students in Field House, the temporary home of the architecture studio while Vol Walker Hall is under construction.

Grace Smith, 20, perked up from her desk across from Neely’s at the mention of Boston. They had been discussing and planning what to pack since they found out, she said.

The trip, though exciting, comes with a daunting price tag for many students of around $800.

“It’s going to be legit, but that’s a lot of money,” said Michael Clark, 20. “If I really wanted to, I could go there for three or four days and come back for $300 to $400.”

“It’s kind of a lot of money, but it’s worth the opportunity to go,” Smith said.

Students are informed of the large financial requirements of the program when they join. The Fay Jones School of Architecture’s website encourages students to set aside at least $500 a semester for project materials.

The students were given an estimated price range for the fall trip during the spring semester, said Russell Rudzinski, an adjunct assistant professor since 2000. “Once the (site for the upcoming Lyceum Fellowship competition) was revealed, Boston really became the only option…. You could get some cursory sense for a building or a city from images on your screen or in a book, but being there is a full immersion experience.”

The students of the University of Arkansas’s Fay Jones School of Architecture  was invited were among those selected to compete in the Lyceum Fellowship for the fifth year in a row. Fifteen schools, including Boston Architectural College, University of Miami and University of Nebraska at Lincoln, were selected to compete for the travel fellowships, according to theLyceum Fellowship’s website.

Each year students from the selected universities work individually to create structures that meet specifications developed by leading architects to “advance the development of the next generation of talent by…stimulating perceptive reasoning and inspiring creative thought in our field,” according to the Fellowship’s website.

The first prize entry is awarded a $12,000 for six months travel abroad, the second prize entry is awarded a $7,500 for three months travel abroad, and the third prize entry is awarded a $1,500 grant, according to the Fellowship’s website.

Joseph Weishaar, received second place last year, the first time a UA student has placed, according to the Fellowship’s website.

The 2012 program, written by Peter Bohlin and co-authored by Ray Calabro and Denis Schofield, asks students to design a complex designed for artists that is integrated with and reflective of the site, Wells Lamson Quarry in East Barre, Vt. The structure must have an educational pavilion, artists’ studios and residences as well as a memorial for quarry workers who lost their lives in the name of the industry, according to the Fellowship’s website.

The U of A’s first fall break will provide third year architecture students the chance to visit Boston the site at Wells Lamson Quarry, as well as other architectural sites in the area.

“We probably would have taken (the trip) at the same time, but maybe not for as long,” Rudsinksi said.

After flying to Massachusetts, the group of 40 students will spend two nights in Lowell, Mass. Their first full day will be spent almost three hours away in Vermont, exploring the competition site on the edge of an abandoned granite quarry, he said.

The next day they will visit the famous Phillips Exeter Academy Library, designed by Lou Kahn in the ‘60s, according to the Phillips Exeter Academy website. The building was recognized in 1997 with the American Institute of Architects’ Twenty-Five Year Award for being artistically ahead of its time.

The remaining two days will be spent in Boston, Rudsinksi said, touring fabrication labs at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as other sites around the city.

The trip should be easier than last year’s trip to Chicago, Smith said, because there are only 40 students, rather than 60.

Even if other options had been presented, Clark would probably still have chosen Boston, he said. “These trips are valuable….Boston is a really unique city.”

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One response to “Students Travel for Competition, Experience

  1. Bret Schulte says:

    The lede is promising, but also confusing.

    You don’t open with a scene, but in the middle of the 2nd graf a scene suddenly opens. That threw me and it will throw a lot of readers.
    –When the University of Arkansas’s third-year architecture students found out their fall trip would be to Boston, Mass., their excitement was evident.

    “I’ve been wanting to go for a while,” said Amanda Neely, 21. At 11:20 on a Thursday night, it is just another night spent with half of the other third year students in Field House, the temporary home of the architecture studio

    You need to make it clear that this is where architecture is normally housed:
    –while Vol Walker Hall is under construction.

    If you’re going to open with a scene, then open with the scene first. Also, how did you get this scene? Were you there when they learned this info? Or is this re-created from interviews? The specificity of the details make me think you were there, which also makes me think these are your friends, which is forbidden. So, please see me before or after class Tuesday to talk about this.

    Nut graf needs to be much sharper. Why does this matter? What’s the news here? Why is this unusual? And is spending this money required for them? Or is it volunteer?
    –The trip, though exciting, comes with a daunting price tag for many students of around $800.

    And how much does a usual fall trip cost?

    Avoid parenthenticals. Explain what this fellowship is before you get into it the quote. Also, you use [brackets] inside quotes not (parentheses).
    –Once the (site for the upcoming Lyceum Fellowship competition) was revealed, Boston really became the only option….

    Poor syntax. And again we need to understand what this fellowship is and how it relates to this trip. And why was Boston the only option?
    –The students of the University of Arkansas’s Fay Jones School of Architecture was invited were among those selected to compete in the Lyceum Fellowship for the fifth year in a row.

    formatting, but good job including the link:
    –theLyceum Fellowship’s website.

    I’m confused by all this. So the schools get selected just to participate in this fellowship? But then they force all their students to spend money to go somewhere to compete? Explain. Make this clear.
    –Each year students from the selected universities work individually to create structures that meet specifications developed by leading architects to “advance the development of the next generation of talent by…stimulating perceptive reasoning and inspiring creative thought in our field,” according to the Fellowship’s website.

    The first prize entry is awarded a $12,000 for six months travel abroad, the second prize entry is awarded a $7,500 for three months travel abroad, and the third prize entry is awarded a $1,500 grant, according to the Fellowship’s website.

    Comma splice. Give class standing:
    –Joseph Weishaar, received second place last year,

    why caps?
    –Fellowship’s website.

    Don’t get it. I thought this site was in Vermont, not in Boston:
    –The U of A’s first fall break will provide third year architecture students the chance to visit Boston the site at Wells Lamson Quarry, as well as other architectural sites in the area.

    i see. it’s explained in next few grafs. Work on your syntax.

    I thought this story was going to be about how students couldn’t afford this trip. But it’s hardly mentioned. If that’s not the case, then what’s the news here?

    Story needs some serious thought and revamping.

    I look forward to reading your final draft. And, again, come talk to me Tuesday.

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