From the NOMA Student

Some of the most rewarding experiences can be found through the effort of organizing. Interorganizational interactions are one such engagement in the process of organizing. The NOMAS at SDSU students’ experiences are contextualized through inter-organizational interactions within the city of Brookings, the human capital constructs of the South Dakota Board of Regents, and the rare socio-spatial adventures beyond county lines. The [illegitimate] National Organization of Minority Architecture Students at South Dakota State University (sans official recognition procedure) has been given defining and impactful opportunities and is here presented as the current congregation of aspiring architects, students of architecture, and architecture faculty and administration. We reflect on what has most demonstratively marked our time here.


Walking to the Brookings Walmart in February is an introduction to the adversity that coping mechanisms are to expeditiously and numbingly be provided for. The car we can’t afford becomes a trigger reinforcing our determination to make our time in Brookings worthwhile. We pivot our thinking to the warmer welcomes we have experienced in the community. Compared to architecture programs outside of the United States, we are forever ingratiated by the opportunity to receive funding for our studies at South Dakota State University. Our ability to share our unique experiences with the architecture student body provides life-long memories. Outside of our program, The Office of International Affairs works diligently to connect students to opportunities in the broader Brookings community, where we discover the generosity of the local churches that offer shuttle services to Sioux Falls.


NOMAS at SDSU has had the opportunity to engage with the School of American and Global Studies this past year when we hosted Dr. Craig Howe to speak on Ethnoarchitectonics during American Indian Studies class time. Through this collaboration we were able to aggregate our NOMAS student membership to the regular class attendance. Side note, not only can we not afford a car, we can’t afford Dr. Craig Howe either! We are grateful to the Wokini Foundation for sponsoring his lodging and making that experience possible. Through our engagement with the American Institute of Architects, we have been able to increase extracurricular opportunities by 200% following the pandemic and have been delighted to also contribute attendance to both the Firm Crawl in Sioux Falls as well as the AIAS Midwest Quad Conference.


We take pride in our contributions that have raised awareness of the structures and organizations present to support the scholastic, personal, and professional goals of the SDSU Architecture Community. We aspire to continue building on the esteemed legacy of NOMA at South Dakota State University (legitimately) and will continue to welcome opportunities for collaboration with AIA South Dakota. It is our hope that a synergy that fosters positive, impactful change in our built environment can be attained with continued collaboration and communication. We are grateful for the contributions we have received and look forward to providing more value in the future.

Produced by the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students SDSU Chapter

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