NJIT College of Architecture and Design (CoAD) Alumni and current architecture students are developing a mentorship program along with education programs that appeal to emerging professionals and current students. Mentorship is an essential feature of the development of an architect’s career. The form of mentorship has changed considerably over time, from its beginnings as an apprenticeship, to the current environment, with nearly limitless possible mentoring relationships.

The program, Mentorship NOW, utilizes today’s technology such as social media and promotes interpersonal communication to develop career relationships and interactions. Learning through mentorship has evolved from a narrow path to a complex range of possibilities. This organized program streamlines the current process into a more productive form of mentorship relevant to young interns/students today.

The technical component of the Mentorship NOW program is the online database. This database allows program participants to log pertinent information and interests. This information offers clearer insight when assembling groups with similar interests, and within similar geographic areas of the state.

Mentoring groups will have four professional levels including emerging professionals, mid-level licensed, mid-level unlicensed, and seasoned professionals. Fellows will be involved, ideally with the ideal goal of one per group. Mentoring through cross-generational communication will facilitate bridging the gap between different experience levels. Groups will be assembled based on information provided in applications.

As a supplement to the small mentoring groups, the committee will plan bimonthly educational seminars where all are invited, featuring presentations given by professionals in other fields. Mentorship NOW can join existing CoAD programs, lecture series, and mentorship programs to increase the quality and quantity of these resources. One goal of these interdisciplinary seminars is to foster interest in alternative career paths for architects, a growing minority of the associate membership, as people deal creatively with the recession by inventing their own jobs. For those on a traditional career path, the seminars will provide a refreshing point of view by informing attendees on topics not usually emphasized in current practice.

If you are interested becoming involved or donating your time, please contact either Clair Wholean clairmarie@gmail.com, or John Cwikla at jacaianj@verizon.net

CoAD Alumni involved in Mentorship NOW:

Priya Shah, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NJIT B. Arch. 2007

Jason Peist, Assoc. AIA, NJIT B. Arch. Fall 2008

Donna Miller, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD&C, NJIT B. Arch. 2009

Jennifer Mortensen Carson, Assoc. AIA, NJIT M. Arch. 2011

Ian Siegel, Past President of AIAS at NJIT, Current Student in B. Arch. (Expected 2012)

Mentorship NOW Planning Team volunteers:

Clair Wholean, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA, AIA-NJ Regional Associate Director 2011-2012

John Cwikla, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, First V.P. NS, & Emerging Professionals Chair

Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA, AIANJ Regional Director

Nicole DeCandia, Assoc. AIA, IDP Coordinator, NJ

John Kanengieter, Assoc. AIA, EIT, LEED AP

Peter Kozielski, AIA

Jason Lutz, Assoc. AIA

Lauren Thomson, Assoc. AIA