The Rice Architecture Mentoring Program (RAMP) exists to empower students at the Rice School of Architecture to take control of their future careers and to translate their studies from the RSA into a lifetime of achievement.
RAMP links RSA alumni with the current student body, building professional relationships and providing students with a closer look at possibilities after graduation. The RAMP team consists of a student-lead leadership committee and an Advisory Board. The Leadership Committee is directed by Madeleine Pelzel with 5 undergraduate coordinators: Jenny Heon (mentorship), Lara Hansmann (lectures), Sarah Lumelsky (workshops), Metinee Ding (field trips), and Esther Tang (externships). The Advisory Board members are Robert Taylor (B. Arch. '74), Judy Nyquist (community liaison), faculty members John Casbarian and Nonya Granader, and Emily Stein from the RSA administration.
RAMP Conversation with Peter Rowe (MArch, UD '71), 2013
How does RAMP work?
RAMP engages students, alumni, and affiliated community members in four strategic ways:
1. Mentoring Program:
The very heart and soul of RAMP is connecting students with alumni and fostering relationships that benefit both the alumni mentor and especially the student. This relationship gives the student an outlet to ask professional and industry specific questions and allows the alumni mentors an opportunity to educate the next generation of leaders in the field.
2. Guest Lectures/ Panel Discussions:
At least twice a semester, RAMP hosts a guest lecture that provides insights into industry specific topics or related career paths for architecture students. These lectures are structured so that the students have ample time to engage the speaker in a lively discussion following their brief talk.
At least once a year RAMP hosts a workshop to help prepare students for the professional world at large. This workshop includes resume and portfolio review with industry guests, talks on interview techniques, and mock interviews. The workshop takes place in January of each year, preparing students for internships or full-time employment for the coming summer.
4. Office Visits:
At least twice a semester, RAMP coordinates office visits to local practices. We will visit one large firm and one small firm allowing students to get a glimpse into different environments ranging in practice areas and to further engage with practicing architects.
5. Externship Program:
RAMP organizes opportunities for students to spend 2-5 days shadowing a professional over Winter and Spring breaks giving students an extended view of the profession and how day to day interactions work within a firm.
What should I expect?
RAMP Mentors are an asset to the school and to the student body. We know that you have a busy schedule and that your time is valuable. We ask that you be willing to commit to four in-person meetings per academic year. Examples of these meetings are attending a lecture together, visiting the student’s studio or inviting them to your office, or just meeting them for a cup of coffee at the Brochstein Pavilion. We also ask that you be willing to field periodic phone calls and/or emails with questions from your student. Download the RAMP Mentor Overview here.
As the primary beneficiaries, the students have a responsibility to initiate meetings. RAMP will host a kickoff event each year where we introduce mentors to their student(s). This is the perfect opportunity to schedule many of these meetings! Please come to the meeting with your schedule handy and a print out of your RAMP checklist.
How do I sign up?
If you are interested in joining RAMP, either as a mentor or a student, or you have any questions, email Madeleine Pelzel (B. Arch. '20) at firstname.lastname@example.org.