Selser Schaefer Architects’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarship Program Taking Applications

Selser Schaefer Architects is now accepting applications for its inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Scholarship Program. The program offers a one-time $2,500 award to each scholarship recipient and a paid summer internship with the Tulsa architectural and interior design firm.
Selser Schaefer Architects is known for clients and projects including H-E-B Grocery Company, Philbrook Museum, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Greenwood Rising, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Public Schools, Osage Nation, The Boxyard shipping container retail center, Mother Road Market food hall, Tulsa Zoo, and The Village Flats residential community, to name a few.
“Architecture and interior design has lagged as a field to encourage and mentor a diverse group of professionals. Potential students and professionals don’t see themselves represented in the field and we know it’s time for that to change,” said Whitney Stauffer, partner, Selser Schaefer Architects.
“Research shows that a more diverse workforce not only benefits the individuals, but it also benefits the architecture and interior design community through increased creativity, problem-solving and an enhanced community experience for all. The DEI scholarship program helps to create avenues to improve that.”
The National Architectural Accrediting Board has reported that 44 percent of all architectural students in U.S. accredited colleges and universities are white. Other ethnicities are reported as 19 percent Latino students, 9 percent as Asian, and Black students comprise 5 percent. The remainder is made up of international students and ethnic categories in the single digits or so small they round to zero.
Trend data has shown that the architectural field has trailed other fields in recruiting a pipeline of skilled professionals. The percentage of African American architects in the U.S. has remained flat for more than 30 years, at just approximately 2 percent (2,325 of 116,242), according to the 2020 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and the Directory of African American Architects. In both the medical and legal professions, this percentage is approximately 5 percent.
Candidates who are of historically underrepresented communities, including Black/African American, Hispanic, Alaskan Native or American Indian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and LGBTQ+ students, are eligible to apply. The deadline for application for the 2021-2022 academic year is March 1, 2021.
Selser Schaefer Architects has provided internships for many years but this is the first scholarship offering provided. Full information and eligibility requirements can be viewed at
About Selser Schaefer
The following is from Selser Schaefer Architects literature: “When you’re passionate about your work, it’s because you know the “why” behind it. As architects and interior designers, it would be easy to assume our “why” is great design. But great design is nothing without people to experience it, interact with it — and connect with each other because of it. People are our why. And we’re proud that this singular focus has been shaping our work for 27 years. We call it people-first design. It’s our promise to our clients, our community and each other.”
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