Posted May 11th, 2010
Evangelos Limpantoudis is making news at NYU-Poly four months before he even sets foot in a classroom. Evangelos, who will begin the master’s in construction management program this fall, has received the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship, which prepares recipients to be leaders in the next generation of social entrepreneurs.
Evangelos and the seven other students from New York University’s 11 schools honored with the competitive Reynolds Fellowship will receive a total of up to $50,000 for two years of study. They also participate in an intensive curricular and co-curricular program comprised of workshops, retreats, and one-on-one coaching sessions with executives in the field of social entrepreneurship. Evangelos is the first student from NYU-Poly to receive the fellowship.
Evangelos, a LEED-accredited professional who earned his master’s in architecture at MIT, wants to create awareness about affordable, sustainable architecture through both practice and education by establishing a nonprofit design collaborative that will offer pro-bono services and training to low-income families and communities. Evangelos has worked for several architecture firms in New York and Boston and served as an adjunct faculty member at the New York Institute of Technology where he taught courses in visualization and urban theory. He is also an associate member of the American Institute of Architects.
From the name (Collaborative for Affordable Sustainable Architecture) to the business plan to the first group of volunteers, Evangelos has fleshed out plans for his venture. Included in those plans is being open to change. “I would be happy to see the collaborative become something I haven’t even thought of yet,” he says. “Conversation and feedback from members of the program and the NYU-Poly community will help guide me.”
When asked what most excites him about the Reynolds Fellowship, Evangelos expresses gratitude for the financial support it will provide and the structured curricular activities in social entrepreneurship. Still, what he values the most is the social connections it is sure to yield. “I will be part of a group of amazing people who are fully dedicated to their causes and the cause of social entrepreneurship in general,” he says. “Having access to such a team of talented individuals, all thirsty for change and for making a difference, is the best resource a social entrepreneur could ever ask for.”
The cadre of socially-minded scholars chosen as Reynolds fellows are typically motivated by a desire to remake the world by disrupting corrosive social patterns with innovative and lasting solutions. Some join the program still in the development stages of their idea; others arrive ready to launch a change-making venture, while a few are somewhere in between. Representing a range of disciplines, applicants are also academically accomplished in their fields and can demonstrate an active history in issues of social importance.
For Evangelos, that history stretches to his undergraduate years at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, where he received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts and architecture studies. There, he led a student group that worked to end crimes against humanity, an early signal of his passion for civic involvement. Evangelos also lead an architecture student group and wrote an honors thesis about affordable, sustainable architecture, an interest he has carried with him ever since, through his architecture studies at MIT to his teaching and his practice. Now he hopes to make affordable, sustainable architecture part of his focus at NYU-Poly.
If you are interested in learning more about the Collaborative for Affordable Sustainable Architecture project or would like to get involved, you can contact Evangelos Limpantoudis at email@example.com