Mentor Program- Mentees Visit Syska Hennessy Group

19 January 2017
By: Gary Brennen
USC Architectural Guild Mentor Board Member

As part of the Mentorship Program with the USC School of Architecture, M.Arch +3 students, Yi-Ting Hsieh and Khalil Gobir, visited Syska Hennessy Group in Culver City to tour our office and meet with their mentors, Yiyu Chen and myself.  Having mentors on the MEP engineering side gives the students a unique opportunity to explore the other side of the architecture industry and acquire building engineering knowledge which they can apply to their class and studio projects.


Yiyu, a USC alumnus with a Master’s Degree in Building Science, talked with the students about High Performance Building Design, highlighting Energy Modeling case studies done on the Long Beach Civic Center and the County of San Diego Housing & Community Development Office.  He also touched on California’s Energy Code requirements (Title 24) and how it affects the design process.

Yi-Ting and Khalil were also introduced to our youngest generation of engineers, our EDTs (Engineering Development Trainees), who gave their perspective on the AEC industry, what they enjoy, and the dynamics of their working relationship with our architectural clients.  Tim Tyrrell, an EDT, led a presentation with an example of the mechanical design work we do and the coordination between various teams on a project.

We hope Yi-Ting and Khalil enjoyed their visit to our office and learned a little more about the collaboration involved in the various facets of building design.  We plan on bringing them onsite to one of our projects currently under construction, so stay tuned for our next blog post when that happens!


Mentor Program 2016-2017

23 October 2016
By: Chuck Whitaker
USC Architectural Guild Mentor Program Chairman

The USC Architectural Guild Mentor Program initiated the 2016-2017 mentoring program this last week.  The program is open to all USC architecture students and we had an overwhelming response with more than 100 students and 80 mentors registered!

The purpose of the mentorship program is to provide an impactful, professional and “real world” experience to supplement their formal education.   Students will gain insight and guidance from architecture, design and construction industry professionals who will assist them in preparing for their careers after graduation.

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Many of the mentors and mentees attended the “kick off” breakfast at the USC campus on October 19, 2016 to meet each other and discuss their interests.  Discussions between the students and mentors included: planning mentoring events, learning about collaboration of design professionals and contractors, the roles of design professionals, and visiting architectural and associated design professional offices.

One gathering that occurred through the mentorship program was at JLA Structural Engineers.  They invited several architectural students to their office and provided a luncheon presentation on the role of a structural engineer. Another mentor meeting took place at a construction site close to the USC campus.

I’m very excited for the launch of the program an hope it’s not only impactful and rewarding for the students but also a meaningful experience for the mentees as well.








Engage! with Steinberg Architects

07 October 2016
By: Jessica Tien
USC School of Architecture Alumni ’12

Touring the office, this time at the PacMutual Building in Downtown LA, learning about the firm and several of their projects are always a part of the Engage! program. However, the best takeaway is always what this setting is conducive for – opening up the dialogue.

Principal Kim Patten and Associate John Wirfs shared with us an amazing transformation of Whittier College Science and Learning Center during the presentation, but it was later in the Q&A when they were particularly inspiring with their personal stories on how they came to join their firm. These Trojans both saw leadership opportunities here for younger professionals with room to grow. It was encouraging to know that climbing the ladder may not be as farfetched as I had previously thought, given that I look in the right places.

The Engage! series is a chance to stay engaged (pun intended) with the AEC industry in a relaxed setting where you can make new connections, catch up with old coworkers and classmates, and be offered valuable advice you didn’t even know you needed!




36th Annual USC Architectural Guild Golf Tournament

31 August 2016
By: Steve Luchetta
USC Architectural Guild Vice President

The USC Architectural Guild held its annual golf tournament Monday August 29th 2016 at the prestigious Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles. Now in its 36th year, the Golf Tournament is considered to be one of the most competitive tournaments of its kind bringing together leaders in the design, architecture, construction and real estate industries. This year the Syska Hennessy Group graciously stepped up as our presenting sponsor. We appreciate their continued support of this longstanding industry event. Over 125 golfers enjoyed a beautiful day of fellowship on the golf course which included breakfast, lunch, golf, a networking mixer after golf, awards dinner and a dessert reception.

The annual event is a major part of the fundraising efforts of the Architectural Guild and raised more than $50,000 dollars to support scholarships, other activities and events for deserving architectural students. This year’s tournament was won by Reza Safavi who is currently on the USC School of Architecture Board of Councilors and past president of the USC Architectural Guild. Congratulations Reza on a fine round of golf!

We extend our appreciation and thanks to the golf committee, the participants and our dedicated sponsors who have been loyal supporters of this tournament for many years. Fight On!


USC Architectural Guild Annual Retreat

16 August 2016

By Michael J. Marquez, AIA
Guild Board President

This past Saturday, the USC School of Architecture Guild board members met at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, for our annual summer retreat. The setting and the day were extraordinary. Each year, the Board uses the retreat to reflect and evaluate the performance of the previous year and study ways to better enhance the coming year. As the President of this year’s Board, it was an honor to stand before this collection of dedicated and extremely talented volunteers and support staff.

The amazing location provided us an opportunity for stimulating conversation. We considered a multitude of ideas on how to improve each of our events and how they can better enrich the lives of our students. Much of the discussions were placed on furthering our communication efforts with the students and the Southern California building community as well as setting goals for increased membership.


This year the Board set some extremely challenging goals for increasing our membership by studying ways to reach out the many companies who traditionally participant in our annual events.  For example, the Guild’s Communications Committee will be utilizing social media in ways we’ve never attempted before, including this blog! It should be a blast for some of the “old folks”. Check out our Facebook page, Instagram account and Twitter feed. Find us on Snapchat @uscarchguild as well! Into #s? Try #uscarchguild. It is our hope that the excitement and energy experienced during the retreat will carry through to our audience via these new tools and launch us into another successful school year.

The day concluded with a private reception for past Guild Board members and various other supporters. This year we also invited several new incoming students to join us for the reception, which allowed them a chance to meet us, and for us to meet them. The highlight of the day was a surprise visit by our distinguished University President, Max Nikias. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!