Tuskegee Alumnus Ricardo Maga Rojas Appointed as 2016 NAAB Team Member

The Tuskegee Architecture and Construction Alumni Association (TACAA) congratulates 2013 architecture alumnus Ricardo Maga Rojas for his appointment to the Mississippi State University NAAB visiting team during the Spring of 2016. Mississippi State seeks its continuation of accreditation for its Starkville based architecture program.

Ricardo, hometown Miami, Florida by way of Cuba, is currently a graduating senior in the Texas A&M University Master of Urban Planning program and serves as the AIAS local chapter president and architectural designer for Patterson Architects in Bryan, Texas.

Ricardo is the third Tuskegee student to be appointed to a NAAB visiting team, the 1st being Charles Raine, 1972 Hampton Institute team member, and 2nd Jennifer Matthews, 2013 New Jersey Institute of Technology team member. Nominations are accepted by the President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) each summer and are submitted to NAAB for appointment. This opportunity offers an invaluable experience to learn more about architecture programs across the US and overseas as well as knowledge for the accreditation process and its requirements.

Ricardo states, "During my undergraduate tenure, I was heavily involved in a multitude of student leaderships ranging from the Tuskegee University Pre-Alumni Council’s President to Alabama Assistant District Director for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. It was not until after becoming an Associate AIA member upon graduating from Tuskegee University, that I recognized the importance of the architecture profession and re-dedicated myself to becoming licensed and becoming an advocate for historic preservation, minority and low-income communities, mentoring students in academia with respect to licensure and integrating different interests outside of architecture. While at Tuskegee University, I was already involved with mentoring students in academia, however, the year that I took off before attending graduate school, I spent a lot of time re-building myself mentally, financially, and emotionally. I spent a year in Miami, Florida working odd jobs (Valet Attendant, Sandwich Artist, Front Desk Agent, Overnight Stock Clerk, Tour Guide, Call Center Agent, and Night Auditor) to make ends met while staying active with the American Institute of Architects – Miami Chapter. One job after the next found me extremely humble and re-invigorated to return to the profession. During my tenure at Texas A&M University for graduate school, I have served as a mentor to the chapter’s undergraduate members, coordinated construction efforts in Freedom by Design, held joint events with urban planning and other disciplines to gauge interests outside of architecture, executed sponsorship for our Annual Career Fair, and increased participation of M. Arch students by 50%. My advice for anyone wielding indubitable leadership is to unleash it to the world. If you have a passion for something, get involved with that cause and do not sit stagnant; be the change that you want to see in the world and ACT NOW!"

Ricardo is also a candidate for the 2016-2017 National Vice President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). The election takes place during the AIAS FORUM Conference in San Francisco, CA December 29th - January 2nd. As outlined by the AIAS, The American Institute of Architecture Students holds elections each year at FORUM to fill vacancies on the National Board of Directors. The National Board is comprised of a total of ten positions which include President, Vice President, four regional Quad Directors, an ACSA Liaison and an AIA Liaison (appointed by their respective organizations), the Past President, and the Executive Director (who are both ex officio members of the Board). Student members are eligible to submit candidacy for the President, Vice President and Quad Director Positions. Members on the National Board help steer the course of the organization and connect with chapter leaders and students throughout the AIAS network.

Candidacy for such a position is a great opportunity to further develop leadership abilities, build a solid national and international network with fellow students and professionals, and be a part of [...] During FORUM in San Francisco, members and delegates of the Council of Presidents will have several opportunities to hear from each candidate, and ask questions about their vision for the organization.

View Ricardo's Resume: Click Link

TACAA is extremely proud of the many accomplishments we are able to share on behalf of our alumni. We fully support Ricardo's leadership efforts and wish him the best of luck in his candidacy for AIAS National Vice President.

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