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Staff Spotlight: Campus Architect Jessica Vitali

November 29, 2023
Campus Architect Jessica Vitali

Jessica Vitali joined Bryn Mawr in July 2023 as the College's architect In her Staff Spotlight, Vitali talks about her role at the College.

When did you start at Bryn Mawr and what did you do prior to coming here? 
I started in July of 2023.  Prior to working at Bryn Mawr I spent 15 years working in Architecture Firms doing a variety of projects, including lab Design, multi-family housing and higher education work.

What does the campus architect do? 
The campus architect works to maintain the integrity of the campus when new projects are done. These projects could range in scale from a new entrance all the way up to a new building. The Campus Architect helps to identify new projects, completes feasibility studies and designs smaller projects. When outside architects are hired, I work closely with them to advise on overall layout and design.  

What are some current projects you're involved with and excited about? 
I am involved in a small way with the ARCH project. It has been wonderful to see how Nekisha and her team will be bringing their vision to life. In addition, Rhoads Terrace, which was removed over the summer, is being rebuilt in the spring. The new terrace will be wheelchair-accessible, allowing everyone to enjoy the space.

How did you get involved in your current career and do you have any advice for students who may be interested in this sort of work?
I went to school for architecture and spent a lot of my career working with Institutions to both renovate their existing buildings and design new buildings. I really enjoyed working on the same campus long-term because it gave me the opportunity to really get to know the spaces. The campus architect position allows me to do that long-term.  

For anyone who may be interested in this career path, select a graduate program that aligns with your interests and values. Unlike some careers, architecture is ever changing and gives you the opportunity to explore a range of project types. That said, your first job often sets up your specialty, so choose wisely. Don't be afraid to ask for informational interviews or to shadow someone before you decide. Architects are always willing to help aspiring architects.

What sort of things are you interested in outside of work? 
When I am not working, I can be found working in the garden, fixing up my 100-year-old house, serving on my local Zoning Board, reading, hiking , or running (both for fun and after my 5-year-old). 

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