DeMaria scholar combines love of music and architecture
If one considers two career paths - classical music and architecture - there seems to be little compatibility between the two. But Jeffrey Owczarek, the 2006 recipient of the DeMaria Building Company Scholarship, knows differently.
While he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at Wayne State University, the Warren, Mich. resident is now in his second year of pursuing a Master of Architecture at University of Detroit Mercy.
Owczarek says in many ways the two disciplines go hand-in-hand, and the learning process has been very similar. In particular, he says, having one's artwork, whether it be a musical composition or a building design, brought before a jury is much the same.
"It's always been my mission to learn both music and architecture," says Owczarek, "and each discipline has helped me with the other."
Though he's well-established in his architecture program at UDM, the busy commuter student still keeps music an active part of his life. He participates in a musical ensemble at his local church, and he plays trombone with the Metropolitan Brass Ensemble. He also stays connected to his musical roots by maintaining membership in Delta Omicrom, a professional music fraternity.
While music appeals to Owczarek's sense of culture, architecture at UDM provides Owczarek with a view of a different kind of culture, one that is helping to shape his future career goals.
"I really like that the School of Architecture is located in Detroit," says Owczarek. "I hope to one day be a part of its urban renewal, possibly working for the City of Detroit as an urban planner." Owczarek has a strong interest in historic preservation, and would like to see the buildings in Detroit renovated rather than torn down and replaced with new buildings that have little long-term stability.
In the meantime, however, Owczarek, who also serves on the SOA student advisory group, is focused on his academic success and getting as much experience as possible during his time at UDM. He will be co-oping at the Anchorage, Alaska office of the USKH architecture from May until December.
In 2002, DeMaria Building Company, Inc. created the scholarship that supports Owczarek's pursuit of his goals.