Q&A with Maree "Raz" Rasmussen, Junior; Associates of Arts with focus on ASL and the Humanities Major: Architecture; Minors: Sustainability and Construction Management; Teaching Assistant for Dr. Du Introduction to Sustainability; Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Student Spotlight Office of Sustainability February 2021
What is your area of research or interest? What made you interested in pursuing this area? What is your favorite part of your position or research?
Currently I'm studying Architecture with a Minor in Sustainability. The science and truth behind sustainability has always been an interest of mine. I've always been a low-maintenance person that typically only takes from a system if I can give back in some way. I love being able to explore architecture as a means of sustainability because it combines my passion for efficiency, creativity, and sustainability in to one clean package.
What are your favorite accomplishments or projects you have worked on so far?
The labs I got to partake in last semester and will continue in this semester have been showing me exactly how to design buildings with solar shading devices, solar heat gain, and rainwater collection units. I'm extremely excited to further my knowledge.
What career or path do you see yourself pursuing after graduation?
After Kent, I have a few options and ideas, but the biggest contender is to apply for jobs in New Zealand, work there for two years, and then attend the University of Auckland for my masters degree. There, the architecture program has two main focuses: Sustainability and Collaboration with the Indigenous People. Social equality is one of the three pillars of sustainability, so it could be argued that you can't have one of those focuses without the other. My main goal is to use architecture to create solutions for social inequality in whatever city I end up living in.
What do you enjoy about your role as Teaching Assistant for the Intro to Sustainability course with Dr. Du?
Teaching has always been an undersung aspect of my personality. I absolutely love seeing the realization in students' eyes when they find out exactly how much in our world is wasted. The class is always very diverse and has opinions from all spectrums of political standings. I've had the pleasure of moderating constructive dialogues that have been informative to everyone in the room, including me and Dr. Du! I think my absolute favorite day was when I invited a friend of mine to speak to the class who owns his own hydroponics farm in Cleveland. The students had amazing introspective questions that clearly were developed from information they had learned from class.
What does American Institute of Architecture Students at Kent State do? How are you involved?
AIAS Kent is part of a national organization that is closely affiliated with AIA. I got involved with committees year one, and started holding positions my second year. This club has been one of the MOST rewarding experiences of my time at Kent State. The conferences are not only informative, but also always include intensely thoughtful dialogues with the other students where we get to really dig into the ideas that were covered in the lectures. I have made countless networking connections across the country, learned about space architecture, how to prepare and apply for my licensing exam, and made reliable, fun friendships along the way.
Anything else you’d like to add/tell think is important to mention? (anything else I missed?)
Being in this position has offered me the opportunity to get to know the CAE and Dr. Du on a more intimate basis, which never would have happened if I hadn't accepted. Dr. Du is an extremely intelligent and caring mentor, and I've learned to relate architectural ideas back to the science of sustainability fluidly with the knowledge I obtained. Integrated design is all about being conscious of all stakeholders and thinking as holistically as possible. This position has absolutely granted me knowledge that I will, and can’t wait, to apply in my future career.