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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Architecture Students Learn, Brick by Brick, From Masons: Student Teams Win $18,500 in Prize

Nine teams of architecture students from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) competed in a masonry design competition, with five teams winning $18,500 in prize money.

The contest, sponsored by The Masonry Contractors of New Jersey and co-sponsored by The International Masonry Institute, taught the students techniques they don’t commonly encounter in design studios: how to spread mortar and lay brick.

Some 60 students, all sophomores at the New Jersey School of Architecture, not only designed but built the walls, using masonry elements such as brick, mortar and concrete. A group of masons came to NJIT to teach the students how to build, and earlier in the semester, with the help of their professors, the students designed the walls.

“The design competition establishes understanding and mutual respect between design and building professionals,” said Urs P. Gauchat, dean of the New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT. “Architecture students are introduced to the parameters of masonry materials and, as you would imagine, a more informed designer, in this case our students, will certainly create a higher quality product – lessons the students remember during their life-long careers as architects.” 

The Masonry Contractors awarded the winning teams with $18,500 in prize money that will help them get through college, Gauchat said, adding that the masons also awarded a $5,000 scholarship fund to NJIT. “Their generosity is much appreciated,” Gauchat said. 

After the teams finished the building their walls, the nine mock-ups lined the long promenade leading to the architecture school. A panel of judges evaluated the walls, listened to student presentations on design and building, and announced the following winners:

The first place team, which will share a $7,500 prize, included Kyung Jang, Englewood Cliffs; Dan Halajian, Byram Township; Jiten Ragha, Bloomfield; Bruce McConnell, Mount Olive; Chad Coronato, Toms River; John P Hartanowicz, Yardley, Penn.; Vincent A. Iacono Jr., Staten Island, N.Y.; Mariusz Bando, Lakewood; Nelson Parada, Bloomfield; Diane Chau, Atlantic City; and Czarina Lao, Jersey City.

The second place team, which will share a $5,000 prize, included Jonathan Baczewski, West Milford; William A. Moses, Paterson; Skylar Bastedo, Atlantic City; Gregory C. Moormann, Wantage; Viren Patel, Aberdeen, Md.; Lisze Rachel Lam, Egg Harbor; Yunion A. Ramos, Paterson; Lori Ziemba, Holmdel; Aldo Badillo, Newton; Veronica Caballero, Union City; Peter Oliver, Pitman; Vilma Corina, Paterson; and William A. Moses, Paterson.

The third place team, which will share a $3,000 prize, included Peter Hamilton, Northfield; Juan Gallegos, Perth Amboy; Carlos Andres Navia, West Orange; Darryl Murphy, Browns Mills; Caitlin A. Dzikowski, Bayonne; Natalie Rojas, Paterson; Mina Talai, Montclair; and Mary Hanna, Milltown.

Two teams tied for fourth place, and both teams will share two $1,500 prizes.

One fourth place team included Anthony Pesic, Barnegat; Amanda Bossen, Riverton; Kyle Rendall, Lawrenceville; Alex Boardman, Parkton, Md.;

Emmanuel Urquijo, Montclair; Brian Kane, Howell; Amaury Reyes, Paterson; Dan Sernotti, Lakewood; Thomas Sutton, Hamilton; Thomas Lopes, Garfield;

Roman Stefaniw, Edison; and Pinar Goybulak, Cilfton.

The other team fourth place team included Sam Lim, Nutley; Matthew S. Horten, Byram; Miguel Flores, Roselle Park; Jeff Gendell, Washington; Jim Cipperly, Stewartsville; Inchul Yeo, Livingston; Stephen Pavlies, New Bruswick; Roger Quesada, North Bergen; Mike Marvin, Mount Olive; Theodora Boyadjis, East Brunswick; Leonor Costa, Garfield; Priya Shah, Maplewood; and Tony Mauro, Sayreville.

“We were extremely impressed by the caliber of work produced by all of the participating students,” said Michael Schmerbeck, association president of the Masonry Contractors of New Jersey. “The emphasis of our competition is on the importance of linking design ideas with hands-on experience, and each student design was highly impressive.”

The Masonry Contractors of New Jersey, based in Bordentown, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting quality union masonry craftsmanship, the latest technological advances and the highest safety standards.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.