Our 2021 Emerging Professionals
Posted on April 13, 2021
By Hollis + Miller Architects

Each year, our team of emerging professionals gains hands-on experience designing our annual Learnscape project. This year’s team has learned to adapt while they are busy designing the future with the Park Hill School District. We wanted to get to know them, and asked what makes them tick and where they feel the most inspired to create.

“I love that Emerging Professionals get to do meaningful work at Hollis + Miller. I don’t know that interns at any other firms that can say they have regular face time with partners, or that feel as though their voice matters at the charette table. Being able to collaborate with people in different areas has made me a better designer and I look forward to the things I will learn from other members of the firm every day.”

Grace Hawkins

Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design, University of Central Missouri

Grace Hawkins is currently a senior Interior Design student at the University of Central Missouri, set to graduate in May. From the small little town of Napoleon, Missouri, Grace is currently living out her dream job of being an interior designer. She is fulfilling her calling to be creative and feels most inspired in coffee shops. The casual, comfortable atmosphere, the caffeine pumping through your veins and the conversations swirling around her all motivate Grace to think outside the box and be productive. Some favorite coffee shops include Messenger (Hollis + Miller’s KC neighbor), Coffee Sknobs and the Filling Station.

Caitlyn Barry

Pursuing a Master‘s Degree in Interior Architecture & Product Design, Kansas State University

Born and raised in Lincoln, Neb., Caitlyn ventured to Kansas State University to pursue her Master of Interior Architecture and Product Design degree. Set to graduate in May 2022, she is spending her time with Hollis + Miller honing her design skills, both inside and outside of the office. One universal space that inspires Caitlyn, regardless of the city she’s in, is a good bookstore. There’s something comforting and familiar about always finding one, in towns small or large, and how they always feel like an exciting space of exchanged ideas.

Andrew Smith

Pursuing a Master of Architecture Degree, Kansas State University

Andrew is a proud KSU Wildcat, planning on graduating in the spring of 2022. He is originally from Topeka, Kan., and his dream job is becoming the architect of the U.S. Capitol and being responsible for the upkeep and development of the United States Capitol Complex. Andrew was inspired to become an architect after visiting the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Marta Fears

Pursuing a Master‘s Degree in Architecture, Kansas State University

Marta is in her third year as an architecture student, planning to graduate with her master’s degree in spring 2022 and is enjoying the learning process every step of the way. She is very in touch with her creative side and loves to watercolor, sketch, read and explore nature in her free time. When the weather is nice, she enjoys taking her work outside where she always feels inspired to develop her newest ideas.

Ashley Williamson

Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture, University of Kansas

Ashley is spending her second semester with Hollis + Miller as an emerging professional, recently graduating in May with a Professional Master of Architecture degree. Originally from Strong City, Kan., she has a passion for escaping the Midwest and traveling wherever and whenever she can. She would love to travel the world with her husband and two dogs, and have the opportunity to create a travel blog.

Mica Ratzlaff

Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture, Kansas State University

Mica is currently a fourth-year architecture student at Kansas State University, planning to graduate in May 2022. From a small town in Kansas, Mica spends a majority of her free time reading, catching up on new movies, snowboarding or spending time with family and friends. Mica is inspired by many architectural spaces, but finds that sometimes the best inspiration can come from dreams or spending time outdoors, and dreams of one day leading an architectural firm of her own.

Lauren Bennett

Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture, Oregon State University

Lauren Bennett from Chandler, Arizona is a Master of Architecture student at the University of Oregon. She will be spending her third summer with Hollis + Miller and bringing her valuable experience to the Learnscape design team once again. After she graduates in the spring of 2022, Lauren plans to work in education design. In her free time, Lauren likes to go on mini-road trips with her dog, Barkley. Recently, they visited several lighthouses along the coast. Buildings like these lighthouses, that have withstood the test of time and endured the elements, most inspire her.

Brandon Mitchell

Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture, Kansas State University

Brandon is a proud Kansas State University student. Planning on graduating in the spring of 2022, Brandon is very happy with his current trajectory. If he wasn’t in the architecture field, he would love to work in music with all of the big-name artists. Brandon enjoys playing guitar and spending time with family, friends and his new puppy, Bentley. He is inspired by the Cap Fed building on campus — the use of color, materials and spatial orientation has always made him think about future designs for his own projects.

Our 2021 Emerging Professionals