For Veronia Alkomos, designing is all in the family.
ASWU’s VP of Finance, a sophomore from Torrance majoring in Architecture with a minor in Graphic Design, has embraced an Alkomos tradition. “Initially, I wanted to major in Interior Design to follow in my dad’s footsteps, since I always liked watching him design interior spaces and would help him with it,” she says. She ultimately settled on Architecture so she could design not only interior spaces but exteriors as well.
As a member of ASWU’s leadership team, Veronia is the go-to person for any campus organization interested in turning an idea into an experience. “I pretty much look over the spending of ASWU, as well as provide Organizational Allocations Committee (OAC) money to organizations for events,” she says.
Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, Veronia isn’t the first in her family to attend college, but is one of the first to do so in America, along with her sister, Valeria, who is also a second year architecture student with a minor in fashion design. Woodbury’s Architecture school made Veronia’s short list, thanks largely to its pioneering Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) program. The program encourages schools accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board to integrate education and experience requirements, as well as provide an opportunity for students to take each of the six divisions of the Architect Registration Examination 5.0.
True to form, she says, “the Architecture studio is one of the classroom experiences that has made a big difference in my education — while working, I see everyone else’s work and that inspires me to do more. Criticism is helpful, and both professors and students offer insights on what could be done better.”
Veronia has found site visits and field trips an especially rewarding part of the curriculum. “My first site visit with the studio, to Boyle Heights, was amazing,” she says. “It was my first time trying to picture my project in a real space and not just on paper, taking photographs of the space, seeing how my project will fit, and how I can make it culturally relevant for use by the people in that area.”
Acknowledging that Woodbury’s small class sizes foster one-on-one student/professor relationships, Veronia sees another significant benefit from the university’s intimate scale. “Because professors know their students on a personal level, students really trust them, which advances the learning process,” she says. “It’s particularly helpful in getting a handle on the real world.”