Recent architecture alumna earns AIA Medal for Academic Excellence
Puja Bhagat, who graduated from Penn State in May with a bachelor of architecture from the College of Arts and Architecture’s Stuckeman School, was named a recipient of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Medal for Academic Excellence.
The AIA medal is awarded annually to the top graduating students in National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)- or Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB)-accredited degree programs whose “imagination and design thinking will influence the future of the architecture profession and the built environment,” according to the AIA confirmation letter.
“I’m honored to be given such a prestigious award,” said Bhagat. “The AIA Medal for Academic Excellence showcases my hard work and dedication throughout my undergraduate career, and I’m so thankful to the faculty and staff at Penn State who helped shape me into the person I am today.”
A Schreyer Honors College scholar during her time at Penn State, Bhagat graduated with a 3.98 GPA along with minors in sustainability leadership and residential construction. She served as a lab assistant in the Stuckeman School’s Digital Fabrication Lab from 2019 until her graduation and she was a student tutor with the Beehive Student Tutoring Group in the Department of Architecture. She was also a member of the Penn State Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Team from 2018 to 2020.
In the fall of 2021, Bhagat was named the winner of the Department of Architecture’s Corbelletti Design Charrette, a coveted prize among upper-level architecture students.
In May of 2021, she became a Certified Passive House Consultant through the Passive House Institution U.S. (Phius) and in August 2020, she was certified as a U.S. Green Buildings Council LEED Green Associate.
Bhagat, who hails from West Grove, Pennsylvania, is currently an intern with WRT Design in Philadelphia. She will begin pursuing a master’s degree in emergent technologies and design at the Architectural Association in London in the fall.
The Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture is the largest academic unit in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State. It houses the departments of Architecture, Graphic Design and Landscape Architecture, as well as two research centers: the Hamer Center for Community Design and the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing.
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