Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Nese Gulay Altintas
Ankara, Turkey

Major and Graduation

Architecture – May 2023 

Short-Term Goals

It was much more straightforward and easy to think about and articulate my specific life goals in the near and distant future, just a year ago. Obviously, life happens, circumstances change, and we adjust ourselves as well as our perspectives and thinking. Throughout this pandemic, I put so much energy into trying to adjust. This unprecedented time has also prompted me to look within, and I pushed myself to find an effective balance between logic and emotion and strove to be more confident in expressing my boundaries, and more selective of the people who impact my life. As my priorities have evolved, I have had to adjust my selectivity, time management, commitments, and overall lifestyle accordingly. I took steps toward situating myself in a better living environment by starting therapy, getting more sleep, talking to people who bring constructive positivity and genuine input while distancing myself from toxic relationships.

Therefore, my short-term goals evolved into simply keeping these healthy refinements in my lifestyle and committing to my emotional health by taking time to do things I enjoy in a well-organized environment that can help me live more comfortably. Holding onto organizations that have kept me motivated and focused such as AIA, AIAS, NOMAS, Leadership Academy; and looking forward to the ongoing development of personal projects like City&U is also my list! I want to stay rooted in these organizations because I believe I can really contribute to the communities that we have formed and come from by getting together and uniting around similar motives and initiatives.

I also want to interact with people outside of my current social circle, make new friends and inspire each other and create real change, bring real value and goods to life! This is more concretely volunteering in community design-build projects around the Bronzeville area over summertime & keeping building relationships with local creators & entrepreneurs.

Most importantly, in the following phase of my life, I want to grow into what I will become a little more organically: without rush, without limiting my description of success and self-worth with results-focused assumptions, and by just really diving into the experience.

Long-Term Goals

Staying connected to myself and fully partaking and engaging in the experiences I store throughout my life has always intrigued me, just like the concept of the Nomadic lifestyle: exploring different places, spaces, cultures, and perspectives. The beauty that I find in this way of life comes from genuinely connecting to the unknown. Discovering something foreign and strange, and finding value and meaning in it. This is why I want to keep feeding my passion for life and one day hopefully find my own non-profit organization in which I can keep manifesting the nomadic lifestyle & provide inclusive support & love to diverse communities all around the world.

To achieve this dream goal, I am dedicated to holding onto the “just keep swimming” ideology and consistently follow my daily plans to achieve my short-term goals that will bridge my present to my future. Additionally, while pursuing my bachelor's degree in Architecture and minoring in Leadership, I will continue searching for internship opportunities in alternative career paths related to architecture & design that will allow me to evaluate how to use my design skills to serve the needs of human health, more specifically mental health & wellness.

Leadership Experience

  • Founder & Director - The City&U Project - (06/2019- Present)
  • Campus Life Ambassador - IIT Office of Campus Life - (08/2021 - 05/2022)
  • Student Chair - AIASpire Leadership Conference Planning Committee, Illinois Chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA IL) - (01/2021-06/2022)
  • Student Director-Elect - AIA IL - (06/2022 -06/2023)
  • Co-Chair - Council of Global Representatives Committee (CoGR), American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS ) - (08/2020 - 06/2021)
  • Member - CoGR - (08/2019 - 08/2020)
  • President - Illinois Institute of Technology Chapter of American Institute of Architecture Students (iitAIAS) - (05/2020 - 05/2021)
  • Events Committee Chair - iitAIAS - (08/2018 - 05/2020)
  • Women's Appreciation Chair - Kappa Phi Delta (01/19-01/20)
  • Social Chair - Kappa Phi Delta - (01/19-01/20)