Building Bridges of Excellence

American Institute of Architecture Students continue to build with high school outreach program

Features > Building Bridges of Excellence
Building Bridges of Excellence
President Terrell Bascus and The American Institute of Architecture Students
Photos courtesy of Terrell Bascus
Justin Kanski, Staff Writer

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is an independent, nonprofit, student-run organization dedicated to advancing leadership, design and service among architecture students. It is the primary organization for architecture students and since 1956, has played a vital role in architecture education and profession nationwide. AIAS members get the very best information, advocacy, education and internship opportunities that exist for architecture students.

The AIAS Kean Board of Directors is composed of undergraduate students from the Michael Graves School of Public Architecture. Members of the board include Chapter President and MGC Student Ambassador, Terrell Bascus; Chapter Vice-President, Abigail Boussios; Chapter Secretary, Olabobola Aluko; and Chapter Treasurer, Christopher Cabarcas.  

AIAS Zoom Meeting
Photo courtesy of Terrell Bascus

Though the past year has presented itself as challenging due to the ongoing pandemic, this has not stopped AIAS from continuing its mission. The organization has elevated its program at the university in a virtual setting with an outreach program at Union High School. While initially cumbersome, the program was approved by the Board of Education and was successful. This opportunity allowed Kean AIAS members to speak to drafting students at the high school level interested in pursuing architecture and higher education specifically at Kean. This was the first time Kean AIAS had a high school outreach.

"Reaching out to our youth is what our organization strives on. We are here to represent our program and Kean as a whole for the community," said Terrell Bascus, president of the Kean chapter of AIAS.

A unique aspect of the AIAS chapter is that it operates several services within Michael Graves School of Architecture and Design. These "by-students, for-students" services are another way AIAS is able to breed a culture of leadership at Kean University and provide great quality services to fellow students at a low cost.

The American Institute of Architecture is a professional organization that helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects in American society. "The mission of the AIAS is to promote excellence in architectural education, training, and practice; to foster an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines; to enrich communities in a spirit of collaboration; and to organize students and combine their efforts to advance the art and science of architecture."-AIAS

Architectural practice is constantly evolving and AIAS understands that a large part of this evolution begins within education. The AIAS strives to be ahead of the curve; providing its members with invaluable experiences that will prepare them for entering the profession and beyond. 

Events and programs are geared towards encouraging students to discover and ignite their true passions. Each AIAS opportunity is developed to appeal to students of varying backgrounds, experience levels and interests. AIAS empowers its members and students as a whole to be good citizens on their campuses and in their communities.

Under the guidance of faculty advisor Professor Craig Konyk, the program at the Michael Graves College of Public Architecture here at Kean University as well as the AIAS organizations have received recognition and excellence in various aspects of research as well as architectural design. For more information on AIAS, please visit American Institute of Architecture Students.

about the author
Justin Kanski - web

Justin Kanski, Staff Writer

Justin Kanski is a senior majoring in Communication with a focus on Media/Film and a minor in Health Relations. A Staff Writer for The Cougar's Byte, Justin is also a part of Kean TV and WKNJ 90.3 Cougar Radio as the host of J Money Jams. He is a member of the Leadership Institute Platinum Level and has served as a New Student Orientation Leader for the past two years. Justin’s favorite shows are “Power” and "Cobra Kai" while his favorite movies are anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also loves listening to Hip-Hop music. Whether it be in front of the camera or behind it, Justin aspires to be a media mogul.