LAWRENCE — Global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm HOK has awarded its 2021 HOK Diversity x Design Scholarship to University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design architecture student Darius Mathis.
HOK’s Diversity x Design Scholarship was created to promote diverse voices in the profession to represent communities and clients.
“Receiving this scholarship allows me to provide inspiration to other young minorities within my community, showing that not only can it be done but that there are people out there that are willing to help you achieve your wildest dreams,” Mathis said.
The selection criteria for the scholarship was based on a combination of demonstrated passion, academic achievement, work samples and participation in activities that support community advancement.
His submission materials were focused on equity within architectural design and to show the significance of community.
Mathis, now in his final year of the five-year master of architecture program, from Kansas City, Kansas, excels in the classroom, studio and community. A student leader, he is heavily involved in KU’s chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) and YouthBuild, a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of young people through education, job skills training and advocacy. He is a three-time recipient of the AIA Kansas City Architectural Foundation Scholarship.
Mathis spent one year pursuing his degree in architecture, then took a hiatus to gain professional experience in the field by taking on jobs and internships in design and sales as well as serving as a safety director for a steel construction company. After three years, he resumed pursuing his degree and is on course to receive his master’s degree in architecture in 2022. On top of pursuing his degree, Mathis is currently an architectural intern at Kansas City, Missouri-based engineering and architecture firm Burns & McDonnell.
“I plan to continue on the path of designing within the health and wellness space in order to improve my knowledge and skill so that I can apply those things to helping other young and marginalized architects and designers,” Mathis said.
KU is one of a select number of institutions whose students are eligible for the HOK Diversity x Design Scholarship. The scholarship provides $10,000 to support academic and educational pursuits.
Photo: Darius Mathis (left) teaches construction techniques at the 2019 Project Pipeline summer camp in Kansas City, Missouri.