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Student Experience

Two New Students Join MAAS Program

New MAAS Students

Two new students joined the Master of Advanced Architectural Studies program, a three-semester, research-based innovative program for students who have earned a professional degree in architecture. The program provides opportunities for specialized study in leading-edge areas of the built environment and a platform to explore solutions to the crucial issues of the 21st century.

Hear from two new students on what drew them to the program and what they hope to accomplish.

Marina Mustakova

Marina Mustakova

I have a Bachelor of Architecture from my hometown in Astrakhan, Russia, and continued my journey by completing my Master’s in Environmental Design in St. Petersburg. After graduation, I started working as an architect and an interior designer in an architectural bureau in St. Petersburg. We designed big residential projects in the Leningrad region. In 2022 I quit the job at the bureau and started working on my own on apartment and residential projects. 

In 2020, I had a crisis in my career – being in the hospital for several days due to COVID-19 led me to see the tremendous work of the medical staff and had me thinking about ways to contribute to society living in a turbulent world. I’m currently interested in public projects that aim to address the different issues affecting our society, including affordable housing and displaced people.

It has been over two months studying the MAAS program and I can undoubtedly say that I am in the right place. My study plan and course load are directly built towards my main project and goal which allows me to progress and obtain knowledge for a shorter period of time. Down the road I see myself working not only on individual but also societal projects around the globe impacting the world on different levels. 

Sophiat Alaran

Sophiat headshot

I have always been fascinated about how the built environment comes into shape which prompted me to do a first and second degree in Architecture from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. Afterwards, I worked as a project architect for a few years where I noticed a gap in the practice of sustainable and green development in the field. This created a yearning for understanding sustainable architecture and how it can be used to impact the architectural and building industry in Nigeria.

I am interested in finding out how to enhance health and sustainability in Nigeria residential homes through material selection and practices and I believe the MAAS program will steer me towards the right direction in achieving this. By the end of this program, I hope to have acquired a wealth of knowledge through research on sustainable development, green material selection, and how buildings can impact human health and well-being. One day, I hope to be able to work as a Sustainable Development Practitioner on a global scale.