2022 Roula Alakiotou Scholarship


About the Roula Scholarship

Established in 2019 through the generous $100,000 endowment by Roula Alakiotou—pronounced “Roola Alah-kyo-too”—an original member of Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA), and recipient of the Chicago Women in Architecture Foundation (CWAF) Lifetime Achievement Award, this annual scholarship begins in 2021 and recognizes strong women architecture students in their final year of study for academic and leadership achievements. “With this scholarship,” Roula stated, “I intend to support the continued growth of diversity of the future for women architects,” embodying her long-standing involvement and belief in the CWA community.

The open application will be released in the fall and or eligible students are invited to apply. Applications will be reviewed by a jury including CWA Executive Committee members, officers from the CWAF Board of Directors, and other recognized architecture practitioners. With 2021 being the opening year for this scholarship, we will be awarding (2) winners this year who will be awarded at the spring CWAF Lifetime Achievement Award event, where the Roula Scholarship winner will also be celebrated. The Roula Scholarship recipients will each receive the unrestricted $5,000 award, a one-year membership to CWA, two tickets to attend the CWAF Lifetime Achievement Award event, and the winner’s credentials will be featured on the CWA website.

About Roula Alakiotou

Roula Alakiotou, FAIA, established her Chicago-based eponymous firm, Roula Associates Architects, Chtd., in 1980 after completing her master’s with honors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1978). Her study of architecture began in Roula’s native Greece, at the Athens Technological Institute, and continued at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she received her bachelor’s with honors (1975). Throughout her career, Roula has established herself as a leader in women-owned architectural firms and developed her practice specializing in large-scale public sector projects—spanning from Greece to the American Midwest. Additionally, Roula has taught at University of Illinois at Chicago; mentors international architecture students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; serves as a juror for many student panels and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Metal and Firm Award juries.

Roula was elevated by her peers as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) in 1997. In 2018, she was named the CWAF Lifetime Achievement Awardee and was recently recognized as one of Crain’s 2020 Notable Women in Construction and Design. She is a member of the Chicago Architectural Club, the Chicago Network, Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA), and The Executives’ Club of Chicago. Previously, Roula served on the board of directors of the International Women’s Forum (IWF). She is currently on the board of the Chicago Women in Architecture Foundation.

Learn more here: http://www.roularchitects.com/.


Applicants must be female architecture students scheduled to graduate in the academic year for which they are applying (May or December) with a M. Arch or a five-year B. Arch degree, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5/4.0, from a National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB)-accredited architecture program.

Eligible Institutions:
Illinois Institute of Technology
Judson University
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Application includes:

  • A digital portfolio of completed work during her studies. (one digital document – no larger than 10 MB)
  • An academic letter of recommendation (1-page limit) from the dean of the department of architecture which specifically addresses student’s scholastic and leadership performance as attested by the student’s professors. All letter of recommendation should be emailed to scholarship@cwarch.org with the ID # on the email subject line. All digital form of letter of recommendation must originate directly from the institute/company this recommendation is originated from
  • Two (2) personal letters of reference with #ID at the top of the letter written by individuals who can provide insight into the applicant’s character, leadership, and community involvement. These individuals may include religious leaders, community organization staff, current or previous employers, or other members of the community—family members excluded
  • Student Transcripts
  • Submission Process:

  • Fill out the Entry Form on the CWA website to receive the ID number
  • Email your ID# and acceptance of participation by email to scholarship@cwarch.org. The scholarship committee will send you a folder link to drop all the documents in. Access to this folder will close a day after submission deadline
  • For file names use the following naming convention for all materials: _ID#_A.pdf
  • Submitted material should bear no graphic such as name, university logo, etc. that would identify the author(s). Provide #ID number on each page one of the application materials. Locate the #ID number [2] in the lower right-hand corner
  • Schedule

    The application is available in October and due April 29th, 2022. Scholarship winners are announced and celebrated at the annual CWA Spring Brunch in May (date varies).

    October 7, 2021: Application available online at cwarch.org
    April 29th, 2022: Application submission deadline

    May, 2022: Announcement of scholarship winners at the Annual CWA Spring Brunch.

    See submission guidelines