Professor Montgomery | OL65 | Fall 2020

Discussion: Introductions

Please add a comment to this post introducing yourself to the class. You could include your academic interests, why you chose your major, what you enjoy reading, listening to, watching, and doing in your spare time, or anything else you want to share (include your pronouns, if you wish).

Before next class, please add your introduction and read the comments.

Get to know your classmates! Reply to one of your classmates’ comments. Do you have something in common? Did you learn something? Be kind.


  1. Jason Montgomery, Associate Professor

    I am an architect and educator. I worked as an architect in Indiana, Chicago, London, and New York. Some of the projects I worked on include a college extension in Cambridge England, a gallery in Athens, a palace in Jordon, a hotel in Egypt, a masterplan in Morocco, a Boy Scout Camp in West Virginia, a ski lodge in Montana, a new college at Yale, a college building at Columbia, a town center in southern California. I have taught architecture at Notre Dame’s Rome Program, at Yale University grad program, and Andrews University in Michigan. This is my 12th year teaching at City Tech.

  2. Salimatou

    Hello! My name is Salimatou Doumbouya and I am from Guinea. I am interested in Architecture and Urban Planning. I chose this because I wanted to do something that was technical and artistic at the same time but also something that required to work with people.

    I have started my own program called “Building a Brighter African Diaspora” that focuses on project building to solve case studies designed on some issues that people face in the countries in Africa. So one of my other interests is helping people reveal their innovative selves to produce projects in different areas like education, food insecurity, technology etc. To raise awareness on the realities in the continent is also a huge part of my goal.

    I like watching Baking shows as it is interesting to see how they put together very good looking pastries that also taste good (according to the judges).

    • J A Montgomery


      I visited Conakry back in 1999 when my sister was working on an NGO project for education in Guinea. Also got to travel to Mali on same trip. Look forward to talking about West Africa.

      Prof. Montgomery

  3. Michelle guzman

    Hi my name is Michelle. I was born and raised in New York. I have always had an interest in the arts ever since a kid, everything from drawing, music and dancing. I started studying architecture in high school and continued onto college as I fell in love withe the concept of designing houses. I have house had a passion for houses and design and knew this was the career for me. Even though it comes with its challenges it is something I actually appreciate having since I like to push my self harder to do my best. My goal in life is to be able to earn my architecture license and later on getting into real estate. Besides architecture I spend my days listening to music and dancing since it is what makes happy. Drawing is something I do when I need to relax or get my mind off of something.

    • J A Montgomery


      Many architects begin their careers as you are, with a deep seated passion for thinking of space and design, often starting with the house as a familiar but also critical type in the range of architectural archetypes. Glad to hear of your engagement and interest. I hope we can grow that in this course.

      Prof. Montgomery

      • Michelle Guzman

        Thank you for your feedback Prof Montgomery!

        I as well am looking forward in growing more during this course.

        Michelle G

  4. Farouk

    Hello, my name is Farouk Fares. I am currently a student at New York City College of Technology majoring in architecture technology. The reason I want to become an architect is quite simple really. I have been drawing and designing buildings and structures as soon as I could pick up a pencil. I never imagined that I could do anything else. Every time an adult asked me what I undoubtedly wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always an architect. They were always taken aback by my answer. Expecting me to answer something like a Fireman or Cowboy. But I was dedicated to becoming an architect. My former art teacher saw this remarkable dedication I contained towards the arts, and she pushed me to keep progressing. I truly believe that I would not be here studying architecture right now if it wasn’t for her help. But also because I grew up in a country that was torn apart by war. And every time I would see demolished buildings and cities left in rubble this would always make me sad. I would always daydream and wonder what that country would look like if it was rebuilt from the rubble. Growing up all I saw was just extensive destruction but here in New York City all I can see is a growing city with new buildings rising from the earth. I want to become an architect to encourage rebuilding the future of my country and inspire hope through architecture for all those who think that hope has been lost. I want to implement architecture as an instrument of advancing and rebuilding from the debris.

  5. yuliangxiao

    Hello! My name is Yuliang Xiao. Everyone can also call me Krystal. I am from China. I like painting very much. When I was young, I liked reading books with pictures. I was inspired by my father’s interest in painting, and I hope to design my own dream house in the future, so I want to be an architect to make the dream home of myself and others come true. I like watching TV, listening to music, getting together with friends, and playing with like-minded people is a very happy thing. I also like to become good friends with my classmates. I am very happy to spend this semester with my professor and classmates.

    • Salimatou

      Hello Yuliang! It’s nice to meet you. I think that we have another class together because I remember you speaking about wanting to build your dream house. I look forward to hearing from you further!

  6. Arbi Hasa

    Hello my name is Arbi Hasa . Im 19 years old ,I am currently a sophomore as this school year begins . The reason why i have chosen this major is because i like to chose things in my life that i enjoy doing . Since a litte kid i remember that one of the best talents i have ever had was drawing on my free desire , my parents especially my dad has helped me to work with my skills . I like architechture , i like to desing from the scratch , i like to freely think and create by my own but also i like to work with other people share ideas and discussions.
    My goal for the future is woprking in the architechture field also opening a desingn store and why not real estateid like to be flexible with each field.
    On my free time i usually spent time biking around the city which this summer has been amazing as i didnt travel anywhere because of the virus i have spent my free time on finding amazing spots and places to take pictures , going to the gym and physical activities such as running are also important things to do and last but not least i usually read online articles/books since my generation z will be rembered as using technology in almost every aspect of life.

  7. Erickson Diaz

    Hi! My name is Erickson Diaz. I was born in the Dominican Republic and moved here when I was 7 years old. I love playing sports, listening to music, cooking, and watching TV shows. Every since I was a kid I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the arts and over the last couple of years I truly realized that Architecture is what I wanted to do.

    I love the idea of just bringing something to life that starts of as an idea. Design can solve problems while also bringing unique beauty into the world that both the Architect and “consumer” can appreciate. A goal of mine is to hopefully establish myself in the field and have my own firm by the age of 35 while doing real estate on the side. A major project that I hope to work in would be creating a low-cost and self-sustained building/project that can be used as Public Housing with controlled rent. Homeless is a really big issue and a lot of it stems from the economic struggles that minority groups face and the incredibly high rent.

    I really look forward to learning more in this class and developing relationships with my peers and possibly creating something big in the future.

  8. Lydia Richardson

    Hi my name is Lydia. As a child I watched my dad draw up architectural plans for homes and also for machinery. He was a very skilled draftsman my entire childhood. I did not start in Architecture, I originally was an optician for 10 years. I just quit my career last year because I had a desire to be in the design world, being surrounded by it as a child instilled a constant love and curiosity for it. I never had the guts to make the big move to change my career path, but last year I decided it was time to do what I truly love. Coming to school and learning architecture has become my dream and I’m enjoying every moment, even from virtual learning. I hope to some day be able to design spaces that people can feel welcome and interact with. Ultimately, I want to create healing spaces for people who have dealt with trauma or other types of issues that need a healing space to grow in and where we can integrate nature into their healing process. Aside from architecture, I love to cook and I am a plant lover! Taking care of my many plants I have scattered around my apartment is not only enjoyable but it helps me relax . Hopefully I will have my own large garden some day! Look forward to meeting you all!

  9. Jason

    Hey everyone, my name is Jason Ventura. I happen to be a fitness coach for High School kids and as a result my kids won the Youth Physical Fitness competition who happen to be back to back championships in my three years of coaching. As far as I remember my teachers would recognized me for my art work, which is why I decided to take my talent to the architecture world. Amazed by how architects would travel different places of the world to unite communities with their imagination. I want to built objects that could last more then just a life time. Art has always been part of my life through music, dancing, fashion, and painting. One of my goals is to be able to express my creative, out of this world, mind blowing ideas.

  10. citytech student

    Hi my name is Alejandra Torres and I am from Nicaragua. I am interested in Architecture because I had always drawn things ever since could hold a pen. I always designed and invented and made things as a child. I was really interested in modelmaking as well.

    I didn’t really know much about architecture and my family had no contact with architecture or construction. I vaguely knew what architects did, but that was it. None of my family had been to college. However I am here to pursuit my passion its no that easy for me because as a ESL student is more challenging. But nothing is impossible.

  11. Armanda Kalavaci

    Hi everyone.I am Armanda Kalavaci.This is my second semester here at city tech and I am enjoying every moment because learning architecture isn’t easy but it’s rewarding when you do your work with passion.I grow up in Europe in a country called Albania and I moved to New York 9 months ago. I think architecture is a tool to make the world a better place to live. Were I lived buildings that were constructed did not live longer that’s by nature problems and so does human responsibility and other people suffer this consequences. I always enjoy doing art (,drawings,painting,making models etc )where I won several competitions and I love science as well. But that is not the only reason Why I admire architecture.I want people to be happy.I want humanity to be happy and I think architecture is the best thing our generation can invest for a better future. I want people to experience what they are looking or standing on.Presenting ideas using creativity combined with reasonable concepts to create small or mind blowing projects is what I love and hope to reach during this class. Aside architecture I am an animal lover ,dancer and I love sports.My biggest passion is architecture,that is why I am trying to turn it into a profession and give my contribute to the world. Thank you

  12. Chris

    Hello my fellow class mates I’m Christopher Wilson. I’m currently 24 years old. I was born in Jamaica Queens and have two siblings. I want to become an Architect. Ever since I was little on our way to church, I would pass through such elegant neighborhoods and think to myself who created these houses. First I thought to myself that I wanted to be a person that represents the house for sale (a realtor), but as I got older I realized my true dream is to design them myself and build them to life. Then why stop there when I can do buildings as well. I enjoy the different materials and usage of space in houses/ buildings. Everything about a house inspires me to become an architect, one of the greatest feelings is to see the house exterior compliment how it looks inside as well. My dream is to one day own multiple houses and design them all for my children to own so they can see what great architect their father has become.

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