Designing a Difference
KSU alum is one of four Portz Scholar honorees in the country
KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 7, 2017) — Kennesaw State University alumnus William Lentjes has been named a Portz Scholar, an accolade the National Collegiate Honors Council awards to only four people in the U.S. each year.
Lentjes graduated from Kennesaw State in May with a degree in architecture and as an Honors Scholar, the University’s highest academic honor. The NCHC chose Lentjes as a Portz Scholar based on his senior capstone project titled “On Craft,” which re-examines the instructional methods utilized in architectural education.
“Being acknowledged in this way is an honor,” Lentjes said. “It brings up reflection on the friends, family, mentors and advisors who have made something like this possible. A special thanks goes to my honors thesis advisors, Dr. Kami Anderson, Professor Kathryn Bedette and Dr. Mine Hashas-Degertekin, for their help.”
Lentjes will present his project at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Atlanta in November. NCHC member institutions can nominate one paper written by an undergraduate honors student for the Portz Scholars competition, and Kennesaw State’s Honors College selected Lentjes’ thesis – which also was awarded the 2017 KSU Outstanding Senior Capstone Award for the Marietta Campus.
In “On Craft,” Lentjes promotes looking beyond “endless mechanized production and spiritless materialism” and viewing architecture “through the consciousness, awareness and perception of a subject.” He describes “craft” as a relationship between craftsman, tool and material.
Anderson said she was most impressed by the level of detail Lentjes put into the project. He made his own paper on which to write the thesis, used woodworking and burnishing skills to make the cover for the project, and transposed his computational drafts and graphic designs to the handmade book. Lentjes showed “thoughtful attention to how his work on that capstone could be a benefit to the learning process for other architects,” Anderson said.
“All of these things embody each and every one of the Honors foundations: critical thinking, creation and innovation, interdisciplinary learning, information fluency, professionalism, appreciation of diverse viewpoints, effective communication and leadership,” said Anderson, the director of the Undergraduate Honors Program for the Marietta Campus. “William’s capstone was exemplary in so many ways and was the best representation of what we stand for in Honors.”
Lentjes impressed potential employers as well, as he was hired upon his graduation as a designer for Office of Design, an architecture firm in Decatur. Lentjes said he is “excited to learn more each day” and plans to become a licensed architect soon.
“Long term, I aspire to use architecture as a means of helping others,” Lentjes said. “Space designed with care and intentional sincerity can bring healing – or even just a little appreciation for life.”
– Paul Floeckher
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university's vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.