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Young Alumna Wins Prestigious Rose Architectural Fellowship

Emily Roush Elliott, a 2011 master’s of architecture grad, is the first-ever UC winner of a prestigious Rose Architectural Fellowship. The fellowship is offered to a handful of the nation’s finest, early career architects and provides them experience in sustainable community design work.

Date: 12/6/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided by Emily Roush Elliott

UC ingot   As a student in the University of Cincinnati’s top-ranked architecture program, Emily Roush Elliott added to her education by embracing what many might consider alternative experiences.
For instance, as part of her UC master’s of architecture from the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), she worked six months on site in Tanzania with Cincinnati based non-profit Village Life Outreach Project, helping to build a health clinic in partnership with a rural community, and gaining hands-on construction, cultural, accounting skills and more.
And now, Roush Elliott, 28, of Hillsboro, Ohio, who earned her UC master’s of architecture in 2011, is set to do something similar as an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow from 2013-2015. The mission of the Rose Fellowship is to inspire and nurture a new generation of architects as lifelong leaders dedicated to creating sustainable communities for people at all income levels.
Emily Roush Elliott
UC's Emily Roush Elliott at work in Biloxi, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina.

 Only a small handful of applicants, from three to five individuals, earn a Rose Fellowship each year, an honor that is accompanied by a $47,500 annual stipend. This year, only four young architects nationwide, including Roush Elliott, received the honor.
(While Roush Elliott was among this year’s winners of a Rose Fellowship, she was not the only UC grad to make the list of finalists for the honor. Another young UC architecture alumna, Chloe Hanna Korpi, who also graduated with a master’s of architecture in 2011, was also a finalist this year for the Rose Fellowship.)
With her fellowship, Roush Elliott will head to Greenwood, Miss., a Mississippi Delta community known for its Blues history. (For instance, it was the location of Blues vocalist, songwriter and guitarist B.B. King’s first live broadcast in 1940.) There, she will work in partnership with residents in the Baptist Town neighborhood as part of housing, landscape and streetscape rehabilitation efforts sponsored by the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation and the Carl Small Town Center.

Said Roush Elliott, “The overall goal of the development foundation and its partners is to create a neighborhood and community revitalization template that can be applied throughout Mississippi. This is an effort many years in the making, with a number of contributors who have worked hard to make this happen. My role is to listen to the residents and ask questions that can be applied to guide revitalization efforts, questions as simple as what do the residents want in their housing, what amenities to they need in their neighborhoods?”

Roush Elliott, who has been working at local architecture firm BHDP since her 2011 graduation from UC, added that she has good experience in asking such questions and listening to the answers via her prior work, including that in Roche, Tanzania, and even in participating in post-Hurricane Katrina construction projects.

She stated, “It’s about shaking hands, talking with people and asking questions. Listening, diplomacy and questions are the real tools. Only after that do you pick up a hammer.”

As for any challenges ahead, Roush Elliott should thrive, given that she chose architecture as a major because “it sounded hard.”

It was, and she recollected many “all-nighters,” working around the clock while earning her undergraduate architecture degree at Arizona State University and her master’s at UC.
She recalled, “I loved the hard work and the all nighters. I deliberately found additional challenges for myself, like the opportunity to work in Tanzania. Within architecture, I’ve always been interested in community driven design, and hope that this branch of architecture will continue to gain traction and no long be considered an alternative career path.”