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Introducing the First Annual Rise Internship + Stipend

Hickok Cole launches its first annual Rise Internship and Stipend, elevating Black design voices.

The Rise Internship and Stipend program will provide financial assistance and professional experience to support promising Black architecture and interior design students. Recipients will receive a $5,000 stipend for university-related expenses including tuition fees, textbooks, boarding, and current semester balances.

“To be truly equitable, we must level the playing field by recognizing our differences and accepting that we’re not all starting from the same place,” said Mike Johnson, II, Associate Principal and Director of Interiors. “Black designers make up a small fraction of the industry. We’ve named the program Rise not only because we want to increase that percentage, but because it reads as a call to action for the industry and Hickok Cole as leaders within it to meet this challenge head-on.”

In addition to the stipend, students will join Hickok Cole for an eight-to-ten-week paid internship that begins with an initial rotation program exposing them to the core project phases before being fully immersed as a team member within a project for the remainder of their time. The internship offers a valuable opportunity to obtain the work experience required to successfully position them for an entry-level role upon graduation.

“Our goal is to eliminate the hurdles that discourage underrepresented communities from pursuing higher level design education and, ultimately, increase diversity within the profession,” said Bertin Radifera, Associate Principal and founding member of Hickok Cole’s DEI Council. “Especially, given the demographic make-up of our headquarters city, it’s incumbent on us to represent these communities as best we can to ensure our work both includes and serves them.”

The Rise Internship and Stipend will be awarded to students who demonstrate excellence in the Schools of Architecture, Planning, and Interior Design. The award will be based on academic achievement and application quality. Funding is managed by Hickok Cole and may be subject to provisions of the recipient’s University and state and federal laws.

“We established the Rise program to demonstrate our commitment to seeking and nurturing a more diverse pool of talent while increasing access and inclusivity within the profession,” said Robert Holzbach, Principal and Director of Commercial Office. “We believe in the transformative value that comes with diverse experience and perspective and know we’re a stronger firm and profession with more voices at the table.”

About the Rise Internship and Stipend

Key Dates

  • Applications open: December 1, 2022
  • Deadline to apply: February 10, 2023
  • Winner announced: March 10, 2023
  • Internship timeline: May-August 2023


Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Identify as Black and/or African American
  • Be enrolled and entering at least their third year of an architecture and/or interior design university program
  • Demonstrate excellence in their class

For more information, download the application package. Ready to apply? Click here.
Questions can be directed to info@hickokcole.com

About Hickok Cole

Hickok Cole is a forward-focused design practice connecting bold ideas, diverse expertise, and partners with vision to do work that matters. For 35 years, we’ve worked hard to design projects that inspire change and leave a positive impact, bringing the best of our creativity and expertise to every opportunity across our diverse architecture, interior design, and creative branding practice. From landmark projects to conceptual explorations, we’re at our best working as part of a team pushing the boundaries of design. These collaborations have resulted in 300+ design and industry awards, record-breaking real estate transactions, and the first mass timber and net zero renovations in Washington, DC.

Our Top Moments of 2022

It’s hard to believe we’re approaching the end of the year–and what a year it’s been. During the previous years of instability and abnormality, we’ve remained steadfast in our commitments and worked harder than ever before to achieve our goals. To celebrate, we’re counting down to the new year with the biggest milestones and our top moments of 2022. Thank you to our clients, partners, friends, and especially our staff for contributing to these accomplishments and helping us realize our mission to do work that matters 365 days a year!

Let’s Kick Things Off!

  1. EARNING OUR JUST LABEL: Hickok Cole received its Just Label 2.0 from the International Living Future Industry. The grassroots initiative supported by leadership officially launched in January 2020 with the objective of demonstrating our commitment to building a better and more inclusive workplace for current and future employees.
  1. 2022 PROMOTIONS: We celebrated 14 promotions! Most notably, Bertin Radifera, Thomas Corrado, Paul Quast, and Starr Ashcraft were promoted to Associate Principal while Senior Associates, Tammy Lipman and Patrick Gegen were promoted to Design Director.
  2. CATCHING THE TRAVEL BUG: We expanded beyond the DMV, winning and starting projects in major cities across the US including Raleigh, Nashville, Minneapolis, Seattle, Hollywood (FL), Stamford, and Salt Lake City.
  1. NAIOP NOVA SWEEP: The Highlands, one of our most impressive and longest-running projects to date, delivered and after celebrating several project milestones, promptly won five awards at the NAIOP Northern Virginia Excellence ceremony, including Best Sale, Best Multifamily, and Best Mixed-Use.
  2. NEW INTERIORS LEADERSHIP: Mike Johnson II joined the firm as Director of Interiors and Associate Principal, bringing with him two decades of corporate design expertise, local roots, and a global presence as the Vice President of IIDA’s International Board of Directors.
  3. DIVERSIFYING THE PROFESSION: In partnership with the DEI Council, Hickok Cole launched its first RISE Internship and Stipend program, focused on reducing financial barriers for Black students pursuing design careers and on advancing equity and inclusion within the industry.
  1. NEW FUNDRAISING RECORD: Art Night raised a record-breaking $156,000 in support of Washington Project for the Arts and the artist community while attracting an impressive level of engagement on Instagram throughout its month-long campaign.
  2. SHINING BRIGHT IN RICHMOND: Hickok Cole was on the winning team selected for the Diamond District project, a prime mixed-use redevelopment opportunity in Richmond, VA.
  3. AGU’S COVER MOMENT: The American Geophysical Union Headquarters graced the cover of Interior Design Magazine, celebrating the Mid-Atlantic’s first net zero energy renovation in style.
  1. LOTS OF FRESH FACES: We continue to grow–and fast! This year alone, Hickok Cole welcomed over 20 new team members! Shout out to our recruiting and onboarding teams for attracting talented designers for positions across offices and service groups.
  2. RESEARCH TURNED REALITY: 80 M Street, the Mid-Atlantic’s first mass timber renovation project, delivered, resulting in several new timber project wins, including a Building Innovation Grant from the Department of Energy and Environment to study embodied carbon at St. Elizabeths Campus. The buzz-worthy project even landed a feature in Metropolis.
  1. NAT GEO’S NEW SUMMIT: Our second National Geographic project broke ground. With plans for a new education center, outdoor entry pavilion and plaza, and an interactive exhibit, the Base Camp renovation promises to wow the community.
  2. REPO TAKES CENTER STAGE: Our repositioning team got to work breathing new life into aging buildings and neighborhoods including Phase One of the MLK Gateway development, Studio Theater, and several prominent office building renovations.
  1. TRANSFORMING DOWNTOWN DISTRICTS: Office-to-residential conversions proved to be more than a post-pandemic trend as owners reevaluated outdated office building stock. We began work on several repositioning projects, including 1313 L Street and 1125 15th Street while Hickok Cole Creative rebranded an Alexandria office campus into the award-winning Park and Ford residence.
  2. SUPPORTING PASSION PROJECTS: iLAB 2022 launched two staff-led research programs, Ethical Manufacturing and Vertical Opportunities, focused on analyzing the current processes behind selecting materials and programming.
  1. BRANDING’S BIG BOOM: Creative keeps them coming back for more! A gangbusters year of growth in repeat clients, geographic project reach, and new team members.
  2. EXPANDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPTIONS: The Paxton kicked off construction, with plans to deliver 148 units of much-needed affordable housing in the District by 2025. Designed in partnership with our full trifecta–creative, architecture, and interior design–The Paxton extends the rapidly growing H Street Corridor eastward along Benning Road.
  1. THE NEW SOUTHERN LIVING: Two additional trifecta-designed mixed-use projects delivered in Richmond, VA: The Current, a full block development, is comprised of residential, office, and retail, located in Manchester while Wellsmith Apartments brings 350 units to the new 80-acre Libbie Mill – Midtown area.   
  2. GIVING BACK THROUGH DESIGN: Following the completion of Arts on the Block, our Full Circle philanthropy committee won their second pro-bono hybrid project: designing the new DC Center for the LGBT Community.
  3. CELEBRATING CAREER MILESTONES: Senior Associate and Director of Marketing and Communications, Laura Ewan won the SMPS DC Chapter’s Golden Tuba Award, an honor reserved for marketing professionals demonstrating excellence in the AEC industry.
  4. RICHMOND REALIZED: Our Richmond studio has nearly doubled in size to 12 people and now officially offers the full trifecta of Hickok Cole services in-house.
  1. AWARDS AND ACCOLADES: Our work received nearly 40 award wins including, the American Geophysical Union Headquarters earning Retrofit’s Best Whole Building Metamorphosis Award, 80 M Street winning Best Building Renovation from NAIOP DC|MD, Salisbury Country Club bringing home the firm’s first hospitality award and The Earl winning two awards at the IIDA VAWV IDEAS ceremony, and finally, our own Hickok Cole Headquarters placing as a finalist for Interior Design Magazine‘s Best of Year Awards in addition to receiving Best Interiors from NAIOP DC|MD,

Thanks for celebrating our top moments of 2022. Happy holidays from Hickok Cole–see you next year!