#MentorMonday: Dr. John O. Onyango

Welcome to #MentorMonday! Mondays are dedicated to celebrating Black LICENSED Architects, Designers, and individuals in the profession of Architecture!

This week is different as I’m featuring one of my very own mentors: John Onyango.

Professor Onyango! I honestly don’t know where to begin. I’ll start with a small excerpt from his bio:

“John Odhiambo Onyango is an academic, scholar and is currently and Associate Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, University of Notre Dame (USA). His research primarily focuses on Sustainability in the broad sense that takes holistic approaches to the creative practices at the building and urban design levels that is both interdisciplinary as well as multidisciplinary in collaboration with other colleagues in the allied fields such as engineering, sociology, healthcare, and IT communications.”

Please feel free to read more at: http://www.elwengeledesign.com/#/about/

This gentleman has been one of my biggest mentors and supporters academically and professionally. He wasn’t only my professor, but the first Black Architect I ever met. I won’t forget taking one of his courses my Sophomore year in college. From his teaching style to his office hours, he gave himself to his students at any and all hours he could when he wasn’t giving them to his family. He didn’t allow his position as a faculty member to make us feel inferior. He allowed students to vent, be open, and to use him to bounce off ideas.

One reason I am so proud to call him a mentor of mine is because he helped America’s Hidden Gem blossom. He piqued my interest and made me interested in investigating Black Architects and as to why they matter. He instilled in me the necessary representation needed in Architecture. He has been there for me when I needed an advisor for one of undergraduate organizations and more, including pushing me to go overseas and explore the world (which hasn’t happen yet, but it’s coming). Whenever I need to reach him via phone, video call, messaging, he’s always there – just like he was this morning 😂.

I am truly grateful for God bringing people into my life that have stepped up and showed out. Thank you so much for everything Professor Onyango!

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