February 2023 Chapter Leader of the Month: Michael BoongalingUniversity of Memphis
Michael Boongaling, more commonly referred to as “Boongie”, is a current 4th year student and an Accelerated Bachelor to Master Program Candidate within the department of architecture at the University of Memphis pursuing a dual Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture and Interior Architecture. While going into a career surrounding the built environment was not at the forefront of his mind when attending the university, he began to grow a love for architecture through his peers and mentors that surrounded him. This is reflected within his selfless involvement at both the local level by serving as the current AIAS Chapter President at the University of Memphis as well as the national level as a NAAB Continuing Accreditation Student Representative. It is through this role alongside his time as studio representative and public relations officer that Boongie found AIAS as a local community beyond the studio that can grow and foster relationships into the professional environment.
As Boongie has recently expanded his relationship with AIAS into the national audience by attending Grassroots and becoming more involved with national affairs, it is through this that he has created genuine friendships and relationships with architecture students from across the country. As he continues to do many things for the built environment and all things adjacent to it, Boongie attributes much of his drive and motivation for his love for architecture to his local chapter’s vice president and closest studiomate, Dakota McMullen. Dakota and Boongie are 2 of 4 within their studio year that was inducted into the Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society and both take part in being students within the pilot studio for the Accelerated Bachelor to Master Program within the department. Aside from architecture, Dakota and Boongie ingrain their friendship and their love of architecture, the department, and AIAS through their daily polaroid collection with fellow students and faculty in the Department of Architecture at the University of Memphis.
During his time as AIAS Chapter President, Boongie has been able to lead a team of almost 15 board members that have set unprecedented expectations for future board members within the department through a reconfiguration of the department studio as well as an entire month dedicated towards mentoring students with many smaller events that hosted upper years, faculty, alumni, national students, and professionals. It is through these events as well as smaller competitions like the “Know Your Studio Autograph Book” that Boongie has tried to foster studio culture and allow for students to create deeper relationships outside the academic setting. Boongie also made it possible for board members to attend AIAS Grassroots 2022, the first time the department has appeared at nationally in almost 4 years. It is through this momentum as well as apparent favor from fellow students and faculty that Boongie hopes to continue in reestablishing a strong AIAS presence at both the local chapter level and within the national community since the pandemic.
Boongie continues to give back to the department by working as a department assistant by managing the Imaging Center and archiving department work for CIDA accreditation. His passion for architecture follows into academia through his six consecutive semester appearances on the university dean’s list, developing research for an associate professor within the department, and being awarded a Design Studio Award of Excellence. These alongside the many projects developed within his studio courses has allowed him to find an apprenticeship with UrbanARCH, a local firm that has and is continuing to make developments within the Memphis International Airport. While much of his time lies within the architectural profession, Boongie continues to bring his energy and passion outside of his work and into extracurricular activities most prominently seen through his involvement with the Fil-Am community by both instructing and performing multiple dances almost every year for the past decade with his most recent activity being that of teaching a group of 20 high school students a traditional Filipino dance known as Singkil. It is through these and many more that Boongie hopes to express not just his excellence at a superficial level, but also his love and passion with everything that he does at a much deeper level with all the people that has impacted him and all the people that he hopes to impact as well.
This ‘Chapter Leader of the Month’ feature is sponsored by the Benjamin Moore.