November 30, 2016


The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is celebrating the 60th anniversary of student excellence in leadership, service, and design. In honor of our 60th year, the AIAS is excited to share 60th: Legacy, an ongoing weekly celebration of and thanks to our alumni sponsored by Professional Publications, Inc (PPI). PPI is a publisher of professional licensing exam materials since 1975 and wants to recognize those who have helped the AIAS achieve 60 years of success.


Korey White, AIA, NCARB


RNL Design


Project Architect


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Korey D. White is a Project Architect at RNL Design in Denver, CO. As a recently licensed architect, Korey has been working in the Public Studio focusing on projects that serve the community at various scales. She is a graduate from the University of Colorado Denver, earning both a Master of Architecture and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. This multi-disciplinary approach allows Korey to design and progress projects from a single building to the large scale effect this building has on the community. Prior to her graduate studies, she received a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign. Korey is committed to advancing the profession through volunteer work. Currently, she is serving as the Vice-Chair of the AIA National Associates Committee (NAC) and will serve as the 2017 Chair of the NAC. Through her involvement on the NAC, she has championed and served as the Chair of the NDSA Coalition, a coalition comprised of various stakeholders who are working towards passing legislation, which would provide student loan forgiveness for architectural graduates. She has also assisted with the creation of the Emerging Professional ArchiPAC Committee and serves as a member of the AIA National Board Community Committee. As the Western Mountain Region, Regional Associate Director, Korey engaged Emerging Professionals across the Western States and helped to implement a committee of Associate and Young Architect members. During her tenure with the Western Mountain Region, Korey worked with the WMR Executive Committee to put forth a resolution to AIA National to implement graduated dues for recently licensed members. She has served on the AIA Colorado Board of Directors as the Student Director, while also serving as the AIAS UC Denver Chapter President, 2012-2013. In Colorado, she is serving on the Emerging Professionals Committee and was the co-chair of the inaugural Emerging Professionals Symposium, titled “Advocate for your Future”. In October 2016, Korey was awarded the AIA Colorado Leadership Award for her commitment to the architecture profession and community in Colorado. Since graduating in December 2013, Korey has focused her volunteer efforts on the future of the profession by engaging Emerging Professionals and advocating for the built environment. She has authored articles on advocacy efforts, reintegrating the Urban Realm into architectural projects, the effects of Emerging Professionals on the profession and the importance of working in interdisciplinary partnerships. Outside of professional volunteer work, Korey is a member of the WalkDenver Policy Committee, which advocates for walkability and safe routes to schools in the Denver Metro area.

ARE Prep Tip: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting to test?

Having completed the ARE a year ago, the best tip I can give to someone is to create a schedule, make it a part of your daily routine and stick to it. I created an excel spreadsheet for each exam, listing out the weeks until the test and the material I needed to cover each week. This way, I could organize the material without becoming overwhelmed, but could also break down all of the material into more bite-size chunks. The other most important tip is to keep pushing through. You may fail and that’s okay. But don’t wait to get back into studying and schedule the next exam. Momentum is key!

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How did your experience with AIAS help you to achieve your goals?

AIAS gave me the opportunity to start building a network before I graduated. Through the opportunities and leadership, I was able to meet principals of firms and really have a good grasp of what sort of firm I wanted to work for. Most importantly, the AIAS helped me to believe I could be a leader and that I was capable of accomplishing great things when surrounded by great people. It introduced me to aspects of architecture that I had not been familiar with through school and assisted me in figuring out where my strengths were and how to best channel those strengths.

What and/or who shaped you into who you are and what you do today?

One of the most transformational experiences was traveling abroad during my education. I was opened to new experiences, new cultures, and new people. It changed the way I viewed the impact of architecture but also how we interact with different cultures. I have also been shaped by those around my very much. First and foremost, my parents and brother. As the only one in a creative field, having conversations about this and having to explain what architecture is to family has helped me to realize how we communicate to clients, communities and friends in a very different way. They are all very financially and economically minded so just having conversations about the world, politics and economics has continued my education beyond school. It has also opened my mind to the realities of architectural business and how collaboration is such an important tool in everything that we do.

How can someone best change the world?

We can change the world by making small changes and having small wins. No one person can change the world themselves. But you can find something you are passionate about and work every day to make a change in that area. It’s very important to remember that sometimes very small wins build into a greater win. Architecture is a very long career. This provides many opportunities to make a change, but we must remember that this change is not always fast, easy and noticeable. If you focus on your passion, and surround yourself with people who are also passionate, you can effect change!

How do you define work-life balance and how is it achievable?

Work-life balance is the most important thing to hold on tightly to in this profession. We often are so passionate and engaged in our work that it can be difficult to step away. For me, this balance is achieved by knowing the limits of the work day and taking time for myself. Some days require longer hours than others. It is up to each individual to make sure you are creating a work-life balance for yourself. When I started my first internship, I was nervous to take a lunch because no one else in the office was. I was entitled to this lunch and taking an hour for myself in the middle of the day helped me to stay motivated and engaged throughout the rest of the day. You will always be a better designer, architect, etc if you step away from your work and see the world in a different way. For me, traveling is the best way to step back and understand the world from a different perspective. I might be talking to people of a different culture, eating different food and experiencing different scenery, but upon returning to the office, I feel rejuvenated and inspired to make the world a better place through architecture.

What is a decision or action you made in school that influenced your trajectory?

I committed to saying yes. When I moved to Denver for grad school, I didn’t know anyone in the city. I was told to get involved in AIAS and say yes to the opportunities that would come along. I did just this and was able to get very involved in both the profession and the School of Architecture very quickly. This allowed me to have a seat at the table and really guide where the architectural community is going in Denver.

If you, or another AIAS alumni you know, deserves recognition for their contribution to the profession and society at large, please use the link below to nominate them for this honor. 

Nominate Here