An interest in architecture has been a part of Katrina’s life ever since childhood. Having suffered from juvenile arthritis as a child, she didn’t allow her disability to impact her love for the world outside of her room. Instead, she spent her days creating a cardboard micro-universe for her toys and set out to create a more accessible environment for future generations.
At 14 years-old, Katrina enrolled in the 4-year pre-college design program at the Riga School of Design and Art, where drawing, interior design development, drafting classes, and summer field trips helped her turn ideas into real projects. For her final year project, she developed a multi-story accessible interior design project for a person in a wheelchair. This experience helped her land her first internship at an architectural firm, and find more exciting opportunities outside work, such as developing an accessible interior design project for an oyster bar “Planktons” and a New York restaurant “Featuring: The Center for Culinary Arts’’ which will train and hire chefs from various backgrounds, giving them a second chance in life.
Katrina is currently a student at the New York Institute of Technology, pursuing a Bachelor‘s of Architecture. She is very involved in campus life, serving as the president of the Campus Activities Board, a senator at the American Institute of Architecture Students NYIT Chapter, and working as a Peer Success Guide for 64 first-year architecture students. Outside campus, she interns at Enstoa, working as a BIM modeler for healthcare facilities.
After graduating, Katrina’s dream is to create a firm where architects collaborate with scientists, psychologists, ADA specialists, and construction workers to create uniform, well-planned structures, and inclusive spaces, welcoming people with different needs, financial and ethnic backgrounds, and beliefs.
Many of us had the pleasure of knowing Sean personally or through close relationships with the loving Mellon Family. It was through these relationships, whether they were professional introductions through Zetlin & DeChiara or through his family circle that we all came to enjoy Sean’s wry sense of humor, very quick wit and the curiosity of all that fascinated him. When a topic came to interest Sean, whether politics, religion, science or photography, Sean left no avenue of pursuit closed in his thirst for knowledge.
It is because of his never-ending love for learning, in particular his exposure to architecture, law, logic, and the arts, that inspired the founding of this scholarship program. This acknowledgement of a preeminent student of architecture has been created to provide a lasting legacy to his name and recognition for continuing education to the recipient for years to come.
The stature and reach of this program each year becomes more noteworthy within the academic world and a true testament and reflection of the vibrancy and intellectual curiosity that Sean brought to us all during his most meaningful and brilliant life.