CABE Receives Numerous Awards for Work With ACE Mentor Program

CABE Executive Dean Barbara Klinkhammer

The College of Architecture and the Built Environment was the guest of honor at the ACE (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) Mentor Program of Greater Philadelphia’s 21st annual scholarship breakfast. There, numerous awards were bestowed upon the college.

CABE Executive Dean Barbara Klinkhammer received the Person of the Year Award, while the University and CABE was named ACE’s Partner of the Year. Kim Douglas—director of the landscape architecture program—was also lauded as the Community Advocate of the Year.

According to Dean Klinkhammer, the awards focused on CABE’s well-established partnership with the program which mentors 250 students in the region annually as well as more than 10,000 students nationwide.

“ACE has had a huge impact on my personal and professional life, and gave me the opportunity to inspire young people to consider the architecture, engineering and construction disciplines,” says Klinkhammer. “I love mentoring and working with youth, and hope that many of the students who I worked with found a pathway into one of our rewarding professions.”

Klinkhammer has served within the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Philadelphia since 2013, with the ACE Mentor Program Collegiate Chapter being founded at the University a year later by Breanna Sheeler ’19, an incoming freshman to the Bachelor of Architecture program and almuna of the ACE Mentor Program.

Those mentorship opportunities have included Douglas’s Park-in-a-Truck program which offers ACE students the opportunity to work on real-world projects in Philadelphia.

In 2021, CABE and ACE teamed up on an initiative to offer a virtual Summer Academy, with 25 full scholarships secured from partner firms to support students from traditionally underrepresented populations in the industry. This summer, that will continue to provide high-school students with an opportunity for pre-college education and career discovery of the architectural professions.

Melissa Raffel—Affiliate Director for ACE Greater Philadelphia—noted the longstanding partnership and collaboration focused on the education of students pursuing careers in the integrated design and construction industry. She also cited CABE’s upcoming Summer Academy as part of this partnership.

“Through hands-on and real-world learning, students in this academy have the opportunity to explore the architectural fields and get an understanding of different study options and career paths,” Raffel said. “CABE has provided scholarship opportunities for ACE students who attend Thomas Jefferson University. Faculty have mentored ACE students and assisted ACE Leadership with providing informational session tours for ACE students interested in learning more about Thomas Jefferson University’s degree programs.

“We are pleased to honor Thomas Jefferson University's CABE as ACE Greater Philadelphia's 2022 Partner of the Year and look forward to many more years of collaborations benefitting students.”

In addition to the aforementioned awards, two Jefferson Health initiatives—the Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital Patient Pavilion and Jefferson Washington Township Hospital’s Silvestri Tower—were lauded by ACE as Projects of the Year.

“We couldn’t have had a bigger microphone to shout out the great successes of our college and programs,” Klinkhammer shares of the recent ceremony, noting that ACE director Melissa Raffael said more than half of mentors in ACE’s Philadelphia firms graduated from the University. “This is CABE’s biggest exposure in the architecture community in quite some time, as we were recognized in front of more than 250 participants from the leading architecture, construction and engineering firms in Philadelphia.”