April 19, 2021 Local High School Student Receives National Scholarship to Study Architecture at UT

Two Local Scholarships Also Awarded

A local high school student with aspirations to become an architect is closer to making her dream a reality with a national scholarship and career support, an opportunity made possible through her participation in a local program, founded by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Image of Ava Davis
In April, Ava Davis, a senior at South-Doyle High School and daughter of Michael and Elaine Davis, was the recipient of a national ACE Mentor Program award, the CMiC Allen Berg Memorial Scholarship. For two years, Davis has participated in the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Knoxville program founded by UT and taught at SDHS by Jeff Bryant. 

“I’ve always been an artistic person and love to create things,” Davis said. “I was asked by [Mr. Bryant] if I would be interested in joining the ACE Mentor Program. I had never considered architecture as a career, but ACE has totally changed my career path. Now I’m definitely majoring in architecture,” she said. 

Davis and her mother were surprised with the announcement by ACE Mentor Program president, Diana Eidenshink, and national and regional directors during a Zoom call regarding her application for the scholarship. The $8,000 award will sponsor Davis’s career path as an architecture student in the UT College of Architecture and Design

“This is not just about the money,” Eidenshink said. “This is life-changing for our students.”

In addition to financial support, the award includes a sponsor from the ACE Mentor Program who will provide guidance for Davis and assistance to obtain summer internships throughout her career at UT. 

ACE is an after-school program that introduces participating local high school students to careers in architecture, construction management, engineering and other disciplines. In 2019, the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Knoxville was formed by the College Architecture and Design with UT partners, Institute of Agriculture Construction Science Program and Tickle College of Engineering, as well as local professional firms. That year, South-Doyle High School in Knox County became the first school in the Knoxville area to host an ACE program. 

The ACE Mentor Program of America was founded in 1994. Each year, the national organization provides approximately $2.5 million in scholarships to ACE participants. The ACE Program of Greater Knoxville also awards scholarships to students in participating high schools.

In May, two students from SDHS received a total of $4,000 in scholarships from the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Knoxville. Congratulations to Ava Davis and Madison Collier, daughter of Erik and Amy Collier and a rising senior at the school.

Today, more than 8,000 students across the country take part in ACE. Working with mentors from local professional firms, they are able to work directly with architects, interior architects, landscape architects, engineers, construction managers and tradespeople to gain exposure to these career paths.

Story written by Kelcie Rummage, communications intern


Learn more!

Learn about the School of Architecture.

Read about the inaugural 2020 scholarships given by the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Knoxville.