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

NJIT Architecture Students Win Nearly $20,000 in Masonry Design Competition

Nine teams of architecture students from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) competed recently in a masonry building competition, with four teams winning nearly $20,000 in prize money.

The contest, sponsored by the Masonry Contractors of New Jersey, taught the students techniques they don’t encounter in design studios: how to spread mortar and lay brick. The more than 100 students, sophomores at the New Jersey School of Architecture (NJSOA) at NJIT, built parts of arts and music centers using masonry elements such as brick, mortar and concrete. The centers could hypothetically be placed in downtown Jersey City. Forty masons taught the students building techniques, and after the students finished their projects a panel evaluated them and announced these winners:

The first-place team, which will share a $7,500 prize, included Sean Michael Andres, of Wayne; Nicholas Kenneth Conrad, of Plainsboro; Eugene Dassing, of Caldwell; Tyler Hamilton, of Dayton, Ohio; Zahra Jabini, of Fort Lee; Benjamin Lindner, of Manalapan; Renata Sabina Mayhew, of East Rutherford; Christopher Morella, of Montvale; Renuska Papalexiou, of Mercerville; Darshna Patel, of Elmwood Park; Dominick Anton Rodriguez, of West Windsor; and Ray Saleh, of North Arlington.

The second-place team, which will share a $5,000 prize, included Alvaro Delgado, of Paterson;  Jenna Hoge, of Bloomfield; Edward Lai , of Harrison; Stephen Leddy, of Toms River; Selwyn Martin, of East Orange; Matthew Mulkeen, of Point Pleasant; Nichoals Nguyen-Dinh, of West Hartford, Conn.; Dayana Rivero, of North Bergen; Cathey Roa, of Union City; Erick Romero, of San Francisco, Calif.; Francisco Sarmiento, of Ledgewood; Mickeal Soliman, of Jersey City; Jameson Torraco, of Kearny; and Brian Veneri, of Succasunna

The third-place team, which will share a prize of $3,000, included

Steven M. Antonino, of Staten Island, NY; Dario Brito, of Newark, Jose Camacho, of Dayton; Joseph DiNapoli, of Colonia; Francesco Gennarini, of Englewood; Caitlin Marie Grant, of Garnerville, NY; Hyun Lee, of Ridgefield Park; Josephine Matic, of South Orange; Michael Nonnenmann, of Warminster, Penn.; Alesia Trail, of Stony Point, NY; Carmela Tripodi, of Moonachie; Luis Enrique Valencia, of North Bergen, Adam Valenzuela, of Ridgefield; and Kate Finger of Hoboken.

The fourth-place team, which will share a $1,500 prize, included

Diana Reinmann, of Saddlebrook; Thomas Sherman, of  Sewaren;  James Lopes, of Elizabeth; Robert Pietrocola, of  Staten Island  NY; Cindy Ceron, of Newark; Tahseen Hussain, of Frederick, Md.; Kevin Kuziola, of Union; Christopher Malloy, of Staten Island, NY; Pawel Pregowski, of Bridgewater; Alfio Racite, of Woodbury; Nisha Roy, of East Rutherford; and Christopher Ruel, of Tuxedo NY.

“The masonry design-build competition establishes understanding and mutual respect between design and building professionals,” said Urs P. Gauchat, dean of NJSOA.  “Architecture students are introduced to the parameters of masonry materials – lessons the students will remember during their life-long careers.” 

In addition to awarding the students nearly $20,000 in prize money, the masons also donated $5,000 to an NJIT scholarship fund. The Masonry Contractors of New Jersey is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting quality union masonry craftsmanship, the latest technological advances and the highest safety standards. Other contest sponsors included the International Masonry Institute, the Bricklayers and the Allied Craftworkers of New Jersey, local Numbers 4 and 5.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.