According to a brief published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, white college freshmen entering civil, mechanical and electrical engineering programs outnumber Black and Indigenous People of Color 7:1. A panel of experts at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine cited factors such as lack of funding and resources available for minorities who want to focus on STEM, the lack of accessibility to technology by low-income students, and sub-par teaching at lower tier schools. These experts never toured The Howard School’s Future Ready Institute of Architecture, Engineering and Construction in Chattanooga, or met its director, Japho Hardin.
Japho designed his fellowship to enroll at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsville, VT. Afterwards, he will experience an off-campus design/build program called The Rural Studio at Auburn University, and document prominent works of American Architecture in New York City. His mission, both at The Howard School and with this fellowship, is to provide Architectural & Engineering Design students with equitable access to quality design education.