Meet the Future of Architecture: MAPP’s 2018 Scholarship Winners


In 1996, a Carnegie Foundation report on architectural education posed a radical idea that intended to bridge the gap between students and their future practice. Authors Ernest Boyer and Lee Mitgang envisaged a “unified profession,” in which firms and the academy collaborate to strengthen “the educational experience of students during school, creating a more satisfying system of internship after graduation, and extending learning throughout professional life.”


The profession had already taken note. Just a few years prior to the Carnegie publication, Barbara “Cookie” Kerxton, John Torti and Tom Gallas hatched the idea for the Jack Smith Kerxton Scholarship in honor of Cookie’s husband (and founding CHK partner) Jack. The scholarship was intended as a win-win: an investment in the future of Jack’s firm now known as Torti Gallas, while supporting the next generation of young architects. Over the years, the Kerxton scholarship has blazed the trail for other area firms to offer similar opportunities, greatly enriching and impacting generations of UMD students.


This year, MAPP is pleased to introduce five more accomplished and driven architecture students to the roster: Sara Ghafar Samar, Bryan Asson, Emma Weber, Kevin Garzon and Timothy Shook. Each will receive a paid summer internship in a prestigious area firm as well as generous scholarships to continue their education.


“We are proud of our partnerships with these excellent architecture firms,” says Professor Brian Kelly, AIA, Area Chair and Director of the Architecture Program. “Internship-scholarships are an investment not only in the future of these firms, but they are an important affirmation of the next generation of emerging architects. We hope to add additional internship-scholarship opportunities in the future.”


Sara Ghafar Samar is the recipient of this year’s Jack Smith Kerxton Internship-Scholarship. She will continue in the footsteps of the over 25 Terps before her, working in Torti Gallas’ Silver Spring Office this summer before returning to complete her degree this fall.  


Bryan Asson is the recipient of the David M. Schwarz Architects Internship and Traveling Fellowship Award. In addition to his summer job at the Schwarz office, Bryan will travel abroad to do the groundwork for his thesis. The traveling fellowship reflects the priorities of the Schwarz firm that is known for its achievements in traditional architecture and urbanism.


Emma Weber is currently studying in the Architecture Program’s semester-long program in Florence, Italy. When she returns from her time abroad she will join the Baltimore firm Design Collective for her summer work experience.


Kevin Garzon is this year‘s recipient of the Gensler Maryland Alumni Scholarship, a firm-wide endowed scholarship created by MAPP alumni in 2015. Kevin will join former UMD alums in Gensler’s D.C. office this summer.


This year marks the inaugural year of the Ayers Saint Gross endowed scholarship and internship. Timothy Shook will spend the summer in Ayers Saint Gross’ Baltimore Office as he prepares for his thesis next academic year.


Learn more about scholarship opportunities at MAPP here. If you are interested in creating an endowed scholarship, please contact Brian Kelly at If you are interested in offering an internship opportunity for one of our students, contact Kristen Tepper at


Above: 2018 Internship-Scholarship recipients (L to R): Bryan Asson, Brian Kelly, Architecture Program Director, Timothy Shook, Sara Ghafar Samar and Kevin Garzon. Not Pictured, Emma Weber (studying abroad in Italy)

Posted on April 2, 2018 by Maggie Haslam