License to Build: Mel Ngami Earns RA

GBBN is pleased to announce that Mel Ngami has passed all her architecture licensing requirements and is now an officially licensed architect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Becoming licensed takes dedication, focus, and stamina. It is a rigorous, multi-year endeavor requiring at least 3,740 hours of experience in six different practice areas (e.g. Project Management, Programming & Analysis, Construction & Evaluation, etc.) and passing a set of six corresponding exams. What put Mel on the road to licensure?

 “I have found myself at local elementary and middle schools talking to students about my experience in architecture and I work with high schoolers as a co-leader of the Project Pipeline summer camps offered by Pittsburgh chapter of NOMA, the National Organization of Minority Architects,” says Mel. “Since I keep telling them getting licensed is awesome, I felt I should get licensed too. I also wanted to help shift the numbers because there are very few licensed Black female architects.”  An added bonus: “My Discord handle has always been Architect_Intern,” she says. “I wanted to achieve the ultimate flex of changing it to The_Architect.”

Earlier this month, AIA Pennsylvania named Mel as one of three recipients of full scholarships to attend the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit later this month in San Jose, California. The event brings women leaders from across the industry to learn from each other as they work to make a positive difference in the industry and in design. Says Mel, “My hope in attending is to gain confidence in my identity and the work I do by seeing how other women who are leaders have prospered in the profession.”

Mel’s work includes Carnegie Mellon University’s Sorrells LibraryPittsburgh’s Contemporary CraftPenn State Behrend’s Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research, & Evaluation, and 5th & Dinwiddie West.

Learn more about her here.