S.T.E.M. Spotlight

STEM Spotlight: Meet Kelly Phillips, Class of 2016, Architectural Technology

Rarely in her tenure of teaching has Professor Pam Rice witnessed a student approach her work with such dedication, focus and calm as Kelly Phillips. Since her first semester in SUNY Orange’s Architectural Technology program Kelly has steadily grown into a sensitive and thoughtful designer with a keen aesthetic sense uniquely her own. Her work speaks for itself.

You can see Kelly’s work at https://kellyphillips.carbonmade.com

In the two years that Kelly has spent in the architectural technology program, she has developed strong model-making and sketching skills, and has become quite talented at digital modeling and rendering, always honing her talent. Kelly was a first-year architecture student when she signed up to participate in a year-long intensive architecture project with 10 of her classmates.

Throughout the 2014-15 academic year, students reviewed a series of case studies of five buildings by renowned architects located in Colorado, which included a holistic study of each building, thorough research of their architectural language, structural and enclosure systems, materiality, and construction details. The students created hand drawings, sketches, digital models, and renderings.

Kelly consistently performed at the top of the class. In preparation for a week-long field study at the end of the year, each student designed an individual project to be completed during the trip, and worked to enhance their studies of the aspects of the building architecture that interested them. Kelly was one of the students who remained intent on building a comprehensive study of these structures.

Upon return to campus, she assisted with, and participated in, an exhibition of this body of work, demonstrating some of her finest drawings. Being a part of the process, and the travel aspect of the trip in particular, seems to have prepared Kelly with the courage to set her sights on the next phase in her studies, and in life.

The Office of Alumni Relations recently caught up with Kelly to ask her the following questions:

What is/will be your favorite memory of SUNY Orange?

Last May I got the opportunity to travel to Colorado with the SUNY Orange Architecture Club. We all spent our first year here studying several buildings in different areas of Colorado and documenting them through both hand drawings and digital media. It was an amazing curriculum; getting to see the buildings in person after spending months studying pictures of them was so satisfying.

What has been your favorite class/teacher at SUNY Orange?

My favorite class is one that I am currently taking: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment with Professor Pam Rice. Our final project this semester is to design a tiny house and all of the systems that will be incorporated within. The idea is that it will be a prototype to help house the homeless population in Colorado. It's an incredible experience as a second year architecture student to design something that could potentially be life-changing for someone in need.

Where will you be heading after graduation on May 19?

This fall I will be attending the University of Colorado at Denver to finish my Bachelor's of Science in Architecture. I fell in love with Denver after going there last May and knew I wanted to apply there. It's a beautiful city and the university campus is right in the middle of it. I'm incredibly blessed that I will be able to start the next chapter of my life there.

What are your latest accomplishment(s)?

I was recently offered a job working at Mercer Interior in Warwick starting this summer. This will be my first time getting to work in a real design office and put what I've learned here to use. I'll be helping out in various different areas and will get hands-on experience with interior design, something that I have always been interested in.

What are your dreams for the future?

I have a few big dreams, but all of them come down to making a difference. I would love to travel to different countries to help design and build schools and housing for people in need. I love what architect Shigeru Ban has done by incorporating architectural design into the disaster relief work he has done around the world.

I would also like to somehow get involved with the restoration of Newburgh, the town I grew up in. Giving back is very important to me and if I can make even one person's life better through what I've learned, I will consider myself successful.

Kelly is the recipient of a SUNY Orange Foundation continuing education scholarship which will be awarded at the May 2016 Convocation Ceremony. She will graduate from SUNY Orange May 20th, 2016. All of us at her alma mater wish her the best in her future endeavors.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs at SUNY Orange are supported by Orange & Rockland Utilities.