AIAVT Announces Winners of Scholarship Awards

Heidi Underbakke, Winner of the 2019 VTC AIAVT Ruth Freeman Award, with Joel Page, AIAVT Board President and a graduate of VTC at the AIAVT Annual Design Awards Event

By Sarah O Donnell


At the AIAVT Annual Meeting and Design Awards event, the recipients of this year’s scholarship awards were announced. The AIAVT Scholarship awards are made possible through the Hanne N. Williams Scholars Fund, which derives support from the AIAVT Annual Guy Teschmacher Memorial Golf Tournament, the AIA National Component Matching Grant Program, and other sources.


Three Vermont Tech students were named the recipients of the Ruth Freeman Award, given in memory of Vermont’s first female architect and president of AIAVT. The Freeman Award of $750 is given to a VTC student who has demonstrated excellence in their undergraduate work. The 2018 winners were  Samantha Daniels and Jonathan Severinghause. The 2019 Winner of this award is Heidi Underbakke, who was in attendance at the AIAVT Design Awards event.  


Samantha Daniels, a student in the Architectural and Building Engineering Technology Program at Vermont Technical College (VTC), will graduate with the class of 2020. Jonathan Severinghause completed his studies, graduating Summa Cum Laude in May of 2018, and is now Drafter & Marketing Associate at the Cushman Design Group in Stowe, Vt.


In December, two students at Norwich University, the state’s only accredited school of architecture, were recognized for demonstrating serious interest in the practice of architecture, strong design skills, leadership potential, and an understanding of the profession’s responsibility to the community. Victor J. Pagan-Lugo and Jordan M. Kacur each received a scholarship award of $1,500; both were in attendance at the AIAVT Design Awards event.


The 2018 AIAVT Scholar Promise Award, annually awards one $1000 scholarship to a graduating Vermont high school student who has been accepted to an accredited architecture program in the United States. The 2018 Winner of this award was Eva Jane Harris.  


Harris attended Springfield Vt. public schools, where a long time passion for art lead to an interest in architecture, which combined art with math, science, and design- all subjects that Harris found interesting in high school. Now enrolled in the Cornell University Bachelor of Architecture program, Harris says, “I'm very glad I continued on the architecture path, especially at Cornell. Coming from a lower-income public school without any architecture prep classes, I saw myself struggling to keep up in a competitive program, but found that in actuality, they value creativity and new thought processes more than technical skill. The program has opened my eyes to the wide range of applications that architecture really has.”