By Elysia Mikkelsen, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C

AIA Central PA kicked off their first PALM Program this spring! The PALM (Promoting Advocacy and Licensure through Mentorship) program is a new state initiative designed to create a dialogue between registered architects, aspiring architects and architecture students regarding advocacy, career experiences, goals, and thoughts on the past and future of the profession. Central PA was able to form six groups located in and around Harrisburg, Lancaster and York. Teams were sorted by location and given a brief outline for what should be discussed at each meeting. These topics ranged from basic introductions and why they were pursuing architecture to an in depth analysis of portfolios, resumes and current projects.

A kick-off event took place on March 4th at Tattered Flag brewing company in Middletown. This event was in partnership with AIA Central PA’s Past Presidents event and gave students and new members a chance to meet those who have shaped our organization in the past. PALM strives to integrate the knowledge of multiple generations within the design industry, and align different peer groups to evoke informed conversation about the role of architects in the built environment and society as a whole.

Overall AIA Central PA has received positive feedback and we are well on our way to refining the program to meet these goals. We will be holding a wrap-up event where participants can give feedback and mingle with others outside of their groups. This event will be on July 29th, please check your inbox for more information. All of our members are welcome! We intend to hold another round of the PALM program in the fall of 2017. Should you have any questions feel free to email


The Yeoman Architect on Mentorship

By James Mehaffey, AIA

“I became the architect I was supposed to be because of Gregg, not for the skills he taught me; but because he encourages young professionals to develop talents they may not even know they have.  The time Gregg spent on my mentorship was vital to my career development and it continues to this day – 20 years later.”

One would expect in a profession that requires an internship program that mentorship would be an integral part of most firms.  Sadly, this is not always the case. My first job out of architecture school was at a large Japanese A/E/Construction firm in the NY area. I languished there, partly due to my inability to speak the native tongue, so this employment didn’t last long.  I returned to the firm in my hometown where I worked for a summer and at breaks.  I’m still here, 20 years later.  Read on to learn about one of the best decisions I ever made.