Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients

The UVA School of Architecture is excited to announce our outstanding undergraduate scholars. These exceptional students were selected by their faculty and peers this academic year for specific criteria defined by each award, while each have demonstrated excellence in their pursuit of their undergraduate studies. 

We extend our congratulations to each for these well-deserved honors.

O'Shen Burgess

Blair Phillips Memorial Scholar
O'Shen Burgess (BSArch '24)

O’Shen Burgess is this year’s Blair Phillips Memorial Scholar. The Phillips Scholar was established to honor Blair Phillips (BSArch ’11) and is awarded to a 4th year architecture student who “collaborates effortlessly and synthesizes ideas across disciplines” and displays positive energy, creativity, and enthusiasm. Burgess noted that during his time as an A-School undergraduate student, the New York Studio was a highlight. “Not only did we feel as though we were designing alongside giants, but I felt as though the site visit brought us closer as a cohort.” The site visit and the studio were the perfect combination of shared collective experiences across students and faculty, ranging from good to challenging, and intellectual to fun, that made for lasting memories.

Next steps following graduation for Burgess are marked by a balance of rest and work, aspiration and realism. “After graduation I’m looking forward to taking some time away from school and getting to apply everything I’ve learned. It’ll be nice to not only see projects finally get built, but also to make money during the process.”

Irem Cavus

Clark Construction Scholar
Irem Cavus (BSArch '24)

This year’s Clark Construction Scholar, named for outstanding achievement, shared with us how a site visit to New York City with her design studio course in the fall of her third year had a positive impact on her as an architecture student. Citing how visiting works of architecture in the city strengthened her appreciation “for the intricate play of design, materiality, and construction,” Cavus also described how being introduced to a range of sustainable and resilient projects inspired and encouraged her to prioritize and implement environmental stewardship within her own projects.

What’s next for Cavus?
After graduation, she is looking forward to staying in Charlottesville and pursuing a Master of Architecture at UVA. “I’m excited to delve deeper into advanced design concepts and strategies and hopeful to learn more from what the A-School has to offer.”

Tabi Summers

Bobby Newman Scholar
Tabi Summers (BSArch '24)

Tabi Summers was awarded this year’s Bobby Newman Scholarship, established by William G. and Ann Newman in 1973 in memory of their son, Robert Keith Newman. The honor is awarded annually to an outstanding School of Architecture student who displays excellence in scholarship.

In her last semester at the A-School, Summers reflects on working in the Computational Tectonics Laboratory, led by Dr. Ehsan Baharlou. “The work has increased my insight into the complexity and importance of environmental and material strategies. I have learned to research thoroughly, and to develop projects to address the design questions about which I am most passionate.”

Summers elaborates that part of this enriching experience working in the lab included training her precision to the level of scientific experimentation which in turn improved her academic work. “Ehsan has been an exceedingly patient and motivating mentor, truly shaping my approach to architecture, and my career.”

Matthew Tepper

Kyle Kauffman Scholar
Matthew Tepper (BSArch '24)

The Kauffman Scholar Award was established by the Class of 1985 to honor the dedication and relentless hard work of their classmate Kyle (BSArch ’85), and is given to a rising 4th year who demonstrates the dedication, compassion, spirit and enthusiasm for architecture. This year’s Kauffman Scholar Matthew Tepper recalled a study abroad experience that was especially impactful to him during his time as an A-School student. During the summer, Tepper learned and lived alongside Professors Luis Pancorbo and Inés Martín Robles and an incredible group of peers in Spain and Italy. With homebases in Madrid and Vicenza, and with the opportunity to travel to the nearby towns and landscapes in proximity to both cities, Tepper described, “Despite being new to international travel, the curricula and adventures of exploring historical and contemporary sites left a lasting impression on me.”

Just a week away from graduation, Tepper is also reflecting back on the bonds of community built during his time as an undergraduate student: “Post-graduation will be surreal — to contemplate the memorable moments and experiences throughout my time at UVA and the A-School, from studio classes and late nights to the friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Melun Tershek

Rian Taylor Bachman Scholar
Melun Tershak (BSArch '24)

Melun Tershak is our Rian Taylor Bachman Bicentennial Scholar this year. In recognition of a top-performing undergraduate student in their final year of study in the Bachelor of Science Architecture degree program, the Bachman Scholar celebrates a student who has demonstrated empathy, a desire to benefit others through inclusive, thoughtful design, and an enduring curiosity for observing the people and world around them.

For Tershak the studio environment, built on direct exchange between student and faculty, shaped their experience as an undergraduate student.  Terhsak noted, “I appreciate the collaborative and dialogic learning environment that made me feel more connected with my professors and the work we created—and allowed me to be more open and experimental with ideas that are meaningful to me.”

After graduation, Tershak will spend the summer balancing adventure and relaxation, especially time outdoors. “I'm looking forward to decompressing and reflecting on the end of my undergrad experience, by spending a lot of time with friends, family, and wilderness. I also have exciting travel plans to East Asia this summer.”

Chun Wang

Galsworthy Scholar
Chun Wang (BSArch '24)

Chun Wang is a Galsworthy Scholarship recipient which supports exceptional undergraduate international students studying at the School of Architecture. Wang recounts that she has had many impactful experiences during her time as an undergraduate at the A-School. In particular, one allowed her to exercise her artistic and creative interest — working on the public art project “Fragile Beauty,” a 16-foot long, multi-panel painting on canvas, led by Professor Sanda Iliescu and then student, Laurie (Dillon) McDowell. Inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem “Hope is the Thing With Feathers,” Wang contributed to the painting that draws people’s attention to the world’s dire environmental crisis through a rich-layer collage of birds and open hands as figures on a background varying from dark and somber to bright and vibrant.

This collaborative experience also connects to Wang’s future career goals. She said, “I would like to become a designer who establishes emotional connections between inhabitants and their environments, advocates for innovative ways of using sustainable materials, and encourages meaningful forms of social encounters.”

Sirui Wu

Galsworthy Scholar
Sirui "Rita" Wu (BUEP '24)

A Galsworthy Scholar, Sirui “Rita” Wu, is recognized for her academic excellence and active involvement in student life. Wu, in her final semester at the A-School, reflected on her 4th year planning studio and the significant experience of working with the Westhaven community in Charlottesville. Being able to present ideas to local residents and planners, alongside her peers, left a lasting impression and afforded her the opportunity to address a real-world problem of flooding though a water management proposal.

Wu looks forward to using the enriching experiences and knowledge gained at UVA while pursuing her graduate education at Harvard University (MDes-Ecologies) — eventually working as a planner focusing on building urban resilience in the Global South. But first up before heading back to school, she gets to return to her hometown of Beijing this summer and reconnect with family and friends.  

Ziang Zhange

Galsworthy Scholar
Ziang Zhang (BSArch '24)

Ziang Zhang, a 4th year A-School undergraduate and a Galsworthy Scholar, has a passion for inter-disciplinarity. Throughout his four years at UVA, he has pursued the intersections between architecture and other disciplines. In particular, one specific course ARCH 5424: Grasshopper: Site and Systems with Professor Lucia Phinney was especially “intriguing, useful, and genuinely connected” the two fields he studied as an undergraduate: architecture (major) and computer science (minor).

Zhang hopes to continue to pursue these overlaps through computational design in the future, something he sees as the foundation for innovation in the design fields. “I am also looking forward to making further connections with alumni nationwide, continuously listening to their stories and learning from them."

Got it!

This website uses anonymous cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our use of analytical and performance tracking.
We do not sell or share any personally identifying information. More info