Architecture student builds a future with leadership experience

A native of Moorestown, New Jersey, Kelsie Donovan will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Architecture and a resume that already speaks to her leadership potential.

Donovan’s interest in Tulane’s School of Architecture was amplified by its location in New Orleans, but it was the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design that sealed her decision. She has worked as an intern for the center for two academic years, including helping curate a photo and research exhibit and creating graphics for the city of New Orleans.

“It’s been really great. I've got to work on a lot of different kinds of projects,” she said. “I've interacted with a lot of people outside of the ‘uptown bubble,’ and I've had a lot of exposure to people doing great work in the city, which is really inspiring.”

Donovan received academic awards during her time on campus, including multiple semesters on the Dean’s List. She also held an office in the Architecture Student Government and is the outgoing secretary and co-chair of Tulane Women in Architecture.

The Tulane experience was crucial in her formation, including learning from female architects. Donovan recalled a housing studio in which Associate Professor Margarita Jover brought in professors from Spain, whose architectural philosophies piqued Donovan’s interest and influenced her outlook. Also, working with Favrot II Professor of Practice Emilie Taylor Welty, who is director of architecture at the school and design-build manager at the Small Center, has readied her for the next chapter.

Donovan also spent her senior year working as an intern at a local architectural and design firm with a wide range of projects. She will turn that position into a full-time job once she graduates but looks forward to trying out different roles within the field before she settles on one path.

“The School of Architecture has really taught me and my classmates how to think like designers and kind of step back and look at the bigger picture,” Donovan said. “And that includes the Small Center as well — when you're designing something, you're not just taking into account the client, but everyone who's going to interact with the space. And I think that ability is really important.”