Leadership Academy Scholar Mae Smith
Traverse City, MI

Major and Graduation

Architecture - May 2022

Short-Term Goals

I view my short-term goals as investments in myself and my environments, and they are grounded in my aim to embody passion, empathy, and wisdom in all I do.

While one of my goals is to maintain high academic standing, I also want to continue pursuing my own creative and intellectual interests: to cultivate a personal collection of creative work that documents my evolution as a thinker, to experiment in many media to diversify my abilities, and to focus energy on avenues which will yield a better understanding of the world. My short-term goals also concern engaging with a culture of mentorship and growth, so I will continue to surround myself with professors and students who push me to ask questions and engage in meaningful discussions. Contributing to groups like the Art x Architecture Gallery and the Cumulus Zine will develop my leadership skills and allow me to produce outcomes in a tight-knit team of individuals- I hope to create communities such as these as I carry myself beyond IIT. Because supplementing coursework with practice is essential for success, growing professionally is also important to me. Accordingly, I would like to continue working within the field of architecture and design as I study.

Long-Term Goals

When I set my long-term goals, I expect them to evolve as I discover more about myself and the world, but one of my greatest aspirations is quite simple: to remain in environments of a rich community. I aim to seize opportunities based on their added cultural value to my life, in pursuit of joy and long-term personal well-being. Academically, I hope to explore my interests in visual and spatial storytelling in my graduate education. In similar pursuits professionally, I can envision myself in multiple creative fields, potentially gallery work or publishing in addition to architectural practice. Part of my long-term goals is pursuing these similar avenues and having diverse professional experience. As I develop as an architect and designer, I want to remain near the realm of academia. I have always found myself drawn to environments that provide space for growth, commonly surrounding my own or my peers' creativity. Beyond what I aim to create, I always hope to be attentive to the people around me, so I may have an impact on lives and be a more compassionate person.

Leadership Experience

  • Director - Art x Architecture Gallery - Current
  • Co-Founder and Editor - Cumulus Zine - Current
  • Scholar - Leadership Academy - Current
  • Vice President - American Institute of Architecture Students - 2019-2020
  • Second Year Representative - American Institute of Architecture Students - 2018-2019