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Student AJ Prizzi wins Danish Study Abroad Award of Excellence

Monday, December 22, 2014

In December, Department of Architecture student Anthony Prizzi, Kansas City, Mo., was given the Academic Excellence Award for Architecture from the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS).  Institute staff members select recipients of the award.

The winners must have distinguished themselves not only through outstanding studio work, but also for their embrace of Danish culture, the study abroad experience, and the extent to which they contribute to a collaborative, supportive classroom environment.

Prizzi was chosen for the award from among 98 students who attend 45 American architecture schools.

Expounding upon the benefits of the DIS program, Prizzi said, “One of the benefits of living in a different country is that you step out of your comfort zone. Studying in Denmark allowed me to be immersed in a design culture that is quite unlike what we have in the States.”

“AJ’s well-deserved award from the Danish Institute of Study Abroad is indicative of growth I’ve seen in him as a student over the past several years,” said Paola Sanguinetti, Chair of the Department of Architecture,“ but it also illustrates the tremendous value that the study-abroad experience has for our students.”

In addition to his studio studies, Prizzi also took advantage of a new DIS program that allowed him to intern at a Copenhagen architecture firm, EFFEKT. “Combining learning in the classroom while working in a professional setting allowed me to create a link between the two that complimented each other, that was crucial to this experience,” he said.

Prizzi believes that the experience will have great benefit as he begins his career in a few years. “Biking through Copenhagen, which I did almost every day, allowed me to develop a mental map of the city which deepened my understanding of urban design and planning.

“When I graduate, I would love to work on large-scale projects that relate to an existing urban setting,” he continued. “Living there gave me a better understanding of how an urban fabric works, and how buildings should work within that fabric. By having gained that mental map of Copenhagen, I can try and encourage that type of environment in projects that I work on in the future.”

Prizzi is the second KU student to win the Academic Excellence Award for Architecture in the past three years. Henry Lennon, who graduated last spring, won the award in 2012.

KU has been sending students to participate in the Institute’s programs since 1984. The institute is affiliated with the University of Copenhagen and offers study in 20 academic disciplines other than architecture.