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    In the Spotlight

    Architectural Intern, Shannon Murray, Added to the PMA Team!

    PMA Architecture welcomed Shannon Murray, a fourth-year student studying architecture at Virginia Tech, to the firm this week as a summer intern. Shannon grew up in Hilton Village and lives down the street from the firm.

    “Hilton Village is a tight knit community where you grow up with your neighbors,” says Shannon. “I knew of Jeff and Katie Stodghill before working at the firm, and I wanted to come back home for the summer to work because I knew of the impact that PMA has made on the City of Newport News.”

    As a child, Shannon’s house and neighborhood in Hilton Village shaped her desire to study architecture in college. “I believe architecture can be a powerful tool to bring people together, elicit feelings, and hold memories.” She knew that she wanted to create and design buildings that make an impact on others, the way her childhood home and neighborhood affected her. “I want to be able to create and design something that can also shape someone’s ideas and feelings... not just residential but also offices, community centers, or any building that can have an impact on someone’s life.”

    Shannon grew up supporting the Virginia Tech Hokies because her father graduated from VT with a degree in Engineering. “I am a legacy, and I grew up going to games supporting Blacksburg and the Hokies. I knew I wanted to go to Virginia Tech because their architecture program is highly ranked across the country and once I got accepted, the rest is history.”

    Shannon recently returned to the U.S. from a study abroad trip to Rome, Italy, where she studied both History and Theory of Architecture from May to June 2023. She attended La Biennale di Venezia, an international arts and architecture festival held in Venice. “They’re at the forefront of creative thinking,” said Shannon. Often referred to as “the Olympics of the art world,” Biennale is a premiere art exhibition that has been running since 1895 where artists from all over the world come to present and display their work. This year’s theme for the International Architecture Exhibition is The Laboratory of the Future.

    “My favorite aspect about architecture is the history that can be seen from a building or design.” Shannon enjoyed studying abroad this summer because she was able to see the juxtaposition of a historic building from the 1800s standing next to a newer building and how they look “normal” together. “It’s cool that architecture can mediate the relationship between two very different buildings, especially in Europe where urban design and historic preservation merge.”

    Currently, Shannon is working on a state AIA award submission for PMA’s recent renovation of historic guest cabins at two Virginia state parks, and is improving her skills in REVIT, a 3D building design software. “My first week is going great! This is my first internship in an office setting, and I am excited to gain professional knowledge and career experience.” She is interested in historic preservation and urban design projects, which is what drew her to apply to PMA Architecture for a summer internship. “I really enjoy the types of projects that PMA works on, especially the state park cabins project.”

    In her free time, Shannon enjoys going to the gym and spending time with her dog, a black lab, named Hurley. “I really want to pick up crocheting as a hobby this summer,” said Shannon. Her dream is to one day live and work in a city as an architect.