The American Institute of Architecture Students Minnesota (AIAS-MN), the University's student group for anyone with an interest in architecture, has won a 2009-10 Tony Diggs Excellence Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Registered Student Organization of the Year. The award recognizes established student groups (more than three years since inception) that have demonstrated significant success and development in following the group's stated mission and goals.
Left to right Senior Vice President Robert Jones and Tony's mother Ira Diggs, Jenn Corazzo, Andrew Tisue, Lauren Weingartner, Andy Judd, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart accept Tony Diggs award.
AIAS-MN was nominated by Andrew Tisue, an intern at Cuningham Group Architecture. Over the past two academic years the AIAS-MN chapter increased membership by more than 60%, reaching a total membership of 140.
During Fall semester 2009 AIAS-MN participated in CANStruction for the first time, competing against local architecture and engineering firms to raise canned food for Second Harvest Heartland. The student group raised more than 1,300 cans of food and received the award for Structural Ingenuity. The chapter also began a mentor program that pairs freshmen and sophomores with juniors and seniors, helping the younger students gain insight into the school and profession.
In October 2009 the Freedom by Design team of AIAS-MN completed the restoration of a wheelchair ramp for a family in south Minneapolis that ensures a safe entrance to the resident's home.
The group hosted the national AIAS conference: FORUM in Minneapolis in December 2009. More than 500 international attendees gathered in Minneapolis from chapters across the country.