Creating A Structural Foundation

Kean's American Institute of Architecture Students builds its way up

Features > Creating A Structural Foundation
Creating A Structural Foundation

A strong building needs a strong group to make it

Joanna Kristine Ninal

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is a non-funded student organization at Kean University. The organization gives students opportunities through leadership, networking and design, as well as educating students on the steps required to become a licensed architect.

"The [AIAS] provides opportunities to attend events and conferences across the country," said Ayana Ayscue, AIAS treasurer and sophomore architecture major. "The AIAS is an exciting way to communicate with the creative minds of architecture students and a prominent start towards developing long lasting friendships that go beyond the studio."

The AIAS is a new student organization, dedicating its first year to trying to be involved with other clubs or organizations.

"Since we are new, we haven't been involved with other clubs, but we were recently thinking of collaborating with other departments such as theatre, art and sustainable science," said Komal Acharya, AIAS vice president and sophomore architecture major.

The AIAS encourages all architecture students to attend meetings and use their voice when it comes to planning events. 

"This way, people can participate in running an architecture event, help set up, bake for bake sales, make phone calls and send emails," said Lillian Agutu, AIAS secretary and sophomore architecture major. "Our events allow students and faculty to come together, support each other, give students opportunities, [and] encourage and educate students."

The AIAS hosts events such as Coffee During College Hour as a way for both students and faculty to come together at the beginning or end of the week to talk with each other. The AIAS also offered an event where the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) came to speak with everyone. The NCARB discussed the process of becoming a licensed architect. 

"We also held an art contest, as well as a gallery opening, which [was] open to all design students within the Michael Graves College. Right now, we are planning a charrette for Earth Day to open a discussion about sustainable design/science," said Kadijah Bangura, AIAS president and sophomore architecture major.

The AIAS executive board is full of architecture majors, but is open to anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in architecture or wants to learn more about architecture.

"We are also welcoming of those who are not just architecture majors, but is interested in another related field that connects to architecture," said Meagan Davis, AIAS student representative and sophomore architecture major.

The AIAS meets during college hour at 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Green Lane Academic Building (GLAB). The room is subject to change but, by sending anyone of the executive board an e-mail or reaching them at, students will be informed of any change in location.

about the author

Joanna Kristine Ninal, Staff Writer

Joanna Kristine Ninal is an English education double major with minors in Asian and Chinese studies. Ninal works as a Staff Writer for The Cougar's Byte since fall 2016. Ninal loves to play video games, such as “Overwatch” and “Final Fantasy XIV”, as well as create projects such as videos, stories and scripts in her free time. She loves to read and write, especially dramatic and romantic themes in young adult literature like the Harry Potter series and the To All The Boys I've Loved Before series. Her goal in life is to be an English teacher and travel around to teach in countries such as Japan, China and South Korea.