ASWU EVP Marta Huo: Answering a ‘Why Not?’ Moment with Design Thinking

Marta Huo, ASWU’s Executive Vice President, doesn’t just put a toe in the water. A fourth-year architecture student in the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) program, when Marta commits, she’s all in.

Consider her choice of majors. The Walnut High School grad didn’t decide on architecture until two months before she finished high school. “It was a ‘why not?’ moment and I just went for it,” she recalls.  She applied to Woodbury and SCI-Arc, got accepted by both and she’s now three years into the Architecture program. Starting off on a very right foot, Marta was a member of Professor Heather Flood’s “Natural Tendencies” First Year Architecture Studio, winner of the coveted 2017 Studio Prize from Architect Magazine, which recognized “Natural Tendencies” as among the most compelling studios in architecture education.

Marta interned at CO Architects in L.A. last summer, completing a schematic design for a City of Hope parking structure facade and working on analysis and documentation for a Scripps Mercy Hospital project in San Diego. Whatever the assignment, her professional credo is clear: “address urban issues through design and make an impact on the world.”

Within ASWU, she’s in effect the emissary to the university at large, overseeing all communications in and out of the ASWU Assembly, recording minutes of meetings and sharing those proceedings with the student body, and managing ASWU recruitment, projects and SIPS.

As in her academic career, once Marta began to explore the extracurricular Woodbury, she was hooked. “I’ve always been involved with school, either as part of ASB or sports teams, and as soon as I got to know members of ASWU and learned about the impact they’ve made, I decided to run for election and become VP of Student Organizations,” she says.  She has served as Student Alumni Ambassador since January 2017 and Resident Advisor since August 2017, working with the Assistant Dean of Students, Community Advisor and Administrative Community Advisor to support the 30 residents within the hall.

“Talking to my studio professors about the reality of working in the field, and life in general, has made a big difference in my career and beyond,” she says. “I’ve learned information that isn’t taught in class and I’ve been able to expand my network further. Likewise, I’ve got a close group of friends who act as my support system throughout, and who have kept me grounded and true to myself, no matter what’s going on.”

“There’s so much that happens outside of class time that students might not see,” Marta says.   “I’m thinking specifically about the efforts that professors, staff and faculty put in behind the scenes to help the students on this campus. That’s one of the reasons why I hope to inspire others to get involved in ASWU in the future.”

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