Juan De Loera
Texas Tech Student of Integrated Scholarship
College of Architecture/College of Arts and Sciences
Learning about new places and cultures never fails to inspire Juan De Loera. Born in Mexico and raised in California and Texas, he has managed to balance breadth and depth throughout his years as an undergraduate. De Loera is on his way to completing bachelor’s degrees in architecture and French. Still, the education he gained within the bounds of the Texas Tech campus was enhanced by his semester abroad in France. In addition to strengthening his conversational skills through courses with his fellow students and Professor Carole Edwards, De Loera had the opportunity to connect with several people from France and, as a result, he learned firsthand about the country’s society and culture. De Loera also is committed to giving back through the university’s chapter of Global Architecture Brigades, which he began at Texas Tech and now leads. The group designs and builds sustainable facilities in Central America. Beyond graduation, De Loera plans to continue studying architecture and French at the graduate level, ideally in France.
Learn more about Student of Integrated Scholarship Juan De Loera in this question-and-answer session.
What got you interested in your major?
I am currently a junior dual majoring in architecture and French. What got me interested in my majors was my exposure to different cultures at a young age. What led me to my interest in architecture was a college road trip at the end of my junior year in high school. During the trip I was fortunate enough to visit the Kimble Art Museum with an architecture graduate from Rice University. After that visit I was inspired, and the right side of my brain kicked in. As for my French major, I took three years in high school, where I was intrigued and fascinated by the culture, language, and gastronomy, which led me to pursue a higher education on it.
What courses are you taking this semester?
This semester I am taking Studio V, Construction III, Contemporary Issues, Building Information Technology, French Phonetics, and Weight Training.
What is the most challenging course you've taken? How has it affected you?
The most challenging courses that I have taken have been my architecture studio and technology courses. Being part of studio becomes a lifestyle. Every semester studio is what takes up most of my time, and it is a very rigorous learning environment. During the week, studio requires numerous hours of work, late nights, early mornings, and all-nighters. Even though studio is challenging, we become part of a studio culture, where we learn and expand our knowledge. During the long hours of work in studio we get to develop our ideas and create our designs for our project.
Have you completed internships or had other work experience applicable to your field of study?
This past summer I was able to study abroad in Reims, France, with the French department. While I was there I took two French courses at Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, where I completed my minor. Being exposed to the French culture triggered my interest in a dual major.
What service projects (volunteering, community service, etc.) have you been involved in?
I like to get involved a lot with my community, and I do so by participating monthly in Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at the YWMCA, and campuswide events, like Relay for Life and Raider Fest. I am also the president of Global Architecture Brigades, which is a service organization that provides sustainable facilities to third world communities, mainly in Honduras. We are looking forward to travel there this upcoming summer for a week to help build a health care facility.
What advice would you give to other students who would like to be a Student of Integrated Scholarship? Students of Integrated Scholarship balance academics with additional activities, such as research, internships, service learning, and study abroad.
Don't wait. There is enough opportunity to make a difference in our community. Though college can be difficult, everything is possible when you set your mind to it and work hard. Give it all, but most importantly enjoy it at the same time.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduating I would like to continue my education and get a master's in architecture and French. I would love to attend the Lyon School of Architecture in France. Thereafter, I would like to get my practicing architecture license and work for a small firm in Austin. As an architect I would enjoy helping my clients get their design down on paper and guide them through the design-build process.
What experiences do you value most as a student at Texas Tech?
As a Tech college student I value the challenges that college has put in front of me. Coming to college is a big adjustment from being home. Here I have come to find myself and grow as a person. The experiences and knowledge I have gained would not have been possible without venturing out into the college life and putting myself out there.