Paul W. Welch Jr. ARE Scholarship

In recognition of Paul Welch Jr.’s distinguished and lengthy career of service to architects and the architectural profession, this scholarship program was created to celebrate Paul’s experiences with the California Architects Board (CAB) as well as with the American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC) and his unwavering belief in the power of the architectural license. The scholarship recognizes the significant contributions of California interns at early stages in their careers and encourages them to complete the licensure process by covering all associated costs.

Award Details:

A committee of distinguished professionals representing the AIACC, the AIACC Academy of Emerging Professionals (AEP), the California Architectural Foundation (CAF), the California Fellows,  the California Committee on the Environment (COTE) and the Welch family serve as the jury. They will select a minimum of two recipients annually based on their satisfaction of the criteria described below:

  • An applicant must be a California resident at the time of application and must be an Associate AIA member in good standing.
  • An applicant must be an NCARB and CAB record holder in good standing.
  • Applicants may have passed one or more divisions of the ARE but can not have passed all divisions.
  • AEP Council of Advisor members are eligible.
  • Significant contributions at an early stage of their career to the profession and/or community;
  • Exemplary involvement in community and/or professional organizations;
  • Outstanding achievement in the creation, development and delivery of creative programs for emerging professionals;
  • Demonstrated passion for pursuit of licensure;
  • An essay addressing the role of the architect in making buildings sustainable;
  • Strong letters of support detailing personal and professional contributions;
  • And, an inspiring state of contribution.

Paul W. Welch Jr. Hon. AIACC

Application Process:

Applicants should demonstrate the subsequent attributes with a submittal package containing each of the following:

  • Completed 2017 Paul W. Welch, Jr., ARE Scholarship Application
  • A primary recommendation letter
  • A one-page essay (no more than 800 words in 12 point font) in response to:
    What is the role of the Architect in making buildings sustainable, and how is this role different from that of other consultants working on a project? Is this more of a design or a technology issues? Please share your views.
  • A biography and/or resume (limited to two pages)
  • Two additional letters of recommendation (limited to one page each)
  • A copy of  the NCARB “Authorization to Test” (ATT) showing proof of eligibility to sire for the ARE – 2017 applicants may submit when available.

Submittal packages must be e-mailed to Hillary Krek at no later than Monday, October 30, 2017 to be considered for the scholarship.


Scholarship recipients will receive:

  • A complete set of Brightwood ARE 5.0 Study Guides (courtesy of Brightwood)
  • Reimbursement of the cost of passing each division of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) ($1,260-$1,470) and the CA Supplemental Exam ($100). Proof of passing must be submitted along with a request for reimbursement. Funds can be applied to previously passed divisions.
  • Reimbursement of NCARB ($100) and CAB ($100) fees to establish records

Recipients are encouraged to complete all divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) within five years of receiving the award and in compliance with any rolling clock requirements.  Scholarship funds are subject to local, state, and federal tax.

2017 Schedule

Call for Entries: Friday, September 15, 2017

Submittal Deadline: Monday, October 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST

Scholarship recipients will be notified by the end of November.

2017 Paul W. Welch, Jr., ARE Scholarship Jury:

Paul W. Welch, Jr., Hon. AIA
Paul W. Welch Jr., Hon. AIA and Executive Vice President of the AIA California Council (AIACC), is the former interim Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C.

Tom Gerfen, FAIA

Debra Gerod, FAIA

gerod_debra_LADebra Gerod, FAIA, LEED AP, is a partner of Gruen Associates, a 75-person, Los Angeles-based firm focused on architecture, planning, interiors and landscape. Debra specializes in the project management, collaborative design and delivery of significant civic and cultural projects such as libraries, courthouses, embassies, performing arts centers, museums, and government facilities. Her recent projects include large-scale national and international Executive Architecture work such as the US Embassy in Berlin, the Capitol Area East End Complex in Sacramento, the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa and the Pacific Design Center Red Building. Other successfully completed projects include the historic 1939 Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan, Glendale’s Central Library Renovation and the award-winning restoration of Brand Library and Art Center.

In addition to managing complex projects as well as managing Gruen Associates as a key Partner of the firm, Debra was elevated to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2013, she was the 2016 President and is the Immediate Past President for the American Institute of Architect’s Los Angeles Chapter, is a member of the Board of the AIA California Council (AIACC) and a long-time board member for the ACE Mentor Program of Los Angeles. She is a constant advocate and supporter of licensure for emerging professionals in the industry as well as continues to mentor staff, students and clients in their career pursuits. Debra has personally guided recent winners of the Paul W. Welch, Jr. ARE Scholarship. It is her great honor to serve with Paul as a fellow juror for this year’s program.