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September 11, 2020
Interview with HED NOMA Fellowship Intern Diana Hernandez
The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Foundation Fellowship (NFF) is an initiative that seeks to increase diversity within professional practice as well as provide firm mentorship and design research experience for young emerging professionals.

In this inaugural 30-student cohort, HED has had the opportunity to host two interns -- these students spend their internship researching a topic with the help of HED staff and resources. HED is proud to provide a platform for the next generation of architects and looks forward to the positive impact they will have on the industry and the world.

One of this year’s interns is Diana Hernandez, a master's student studying architecture at the California Baptist University. We asked Diana about her time at HED and the positive impact she created while being a part of our team.

What is the title/topic of your project?
-I am researching the effects of COVID-19 in K-12 schools and understanding the best ways to approach design in these environments while considering the circumstances.

What drew you to this topic/project?
-What drew me to this project is how little we know about the situation here in the US and the relevance this research has both nationally and internationally.

What type of work did this project consist of?
-I’ve had to read through and collect countless examples of local, regional, national, and international responses. I’ve categorized this information and am working on the best way to visually present these findings.

What was the result/findings?
-Schools are essential for student’s well-being and health. This is why it is crucial we find the safest ways to reopen them without compromising their physical health. Many countries have been able to successfully reopen schools after “flattening the curve” by following combinations of precautions and protocols.

What is the positive impact or potential positive impact of this project?
-The findings from this project could serve as a guideline for keeping schools safe when the time comes to reopen them. It can also serve as a guideline designers should consider when designing schools from here on out.

HED is proud to be an active supporter of NOMA and wishes Diana the best in her future.
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