Karla S. Johnson Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations to Kristen Sexton and Katherine Arnold, the 2023 recipients of our Karla S. Johnson Memorial Scholarship! We wish both of these talented women the best in their college and professional careers and are happy we could help them achieve their goals.
Learn about them.

The Karla S. Johnson Memorial Scholarship is named for Karla Johnson, AIA, a principal of Johnson Roberts Associates, Inc. In addition to being an accomplished architect, Karla also raised two children, Megan and Hannah,  with her husband and partner, J. Stewart Roberts. Karla passed away from Pancreatic Cancer in 2016.

Karla believed strongly in encouraging women to pursue their dreams, and that women could—and should—do anything they set their minds to. Karla came into architecture at a time when women in practice were still rare, and while she was delighted to see more women enter the field, she still felt that more could be done, and she fought fiercely for women’s rights, in architecture and in the world at large. In spite of the gains women have made in the field of architecture since Karla began her career, she continued to see that women were underrepresented in the profession, and disadvantaged women, even more so. 

In her memory, Karla asked for donations to be used to fund a scholarship for disadvantaged women interested in the pursuit of a degree in architecture. The hope was, that any funds raised, however small, could be used to help at least one more disadvantaged woman to reach her goal of a career in architecture. The current goal of the Karla S. Johnson Memorial Scholarship, we are very happy to say, is to help as many women achieve this goal as possible; by helping them to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way. 

The Scholarship  

The Karla S. Johnson Memorial Scholarship is a one-time award for a disadvantaged woman who is currently enrolled in her final years of an accredited professional degree program of architecture (BArch or MArch) at an American college or university, within the USA, with plans to live and work within the USA. 

Award amount may vary, up to $6,000, based on need and merit. Any woman, or person who identifies as female, from any race, religion, national origin, or background, who is currently enrolled in a professional architecture degree program located in the United States, and meets the eligibility requirements, may apply. 

Eligibility Requirements 

  • Female, or identifies as female, and is disadvantaged, underrepresented, minority, or LGBTQ+  
  • Enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate professional architecture program in the United States of America
  • Will begin final year of program in Fall 2023 or Fall 2024 (last two years of program) 
  • American citizen or lawful permanent resident 

Submission Requirements

  • Online application  
  • Your Resume. Please include your grade point average (GPA) for each academic year. 
  • A Cover Letter. We don’t need an essay, just tell us about yourself, the disadvantages you face, and how the scholarship will help you 
  • Your Portfolio. Include a minimum of four academic, professional, and/or personal design projects 
  • Letter of recommendation from an architecture professor in your current program of study 

Additional Information 

The Karla S. Johnson Memorial Scholarship is awarded based on merit and need. More than one recipient may be selected. The award(s) will be decided by the Selection Committee based upon the strength of the online application and required supporting materials. Additional materials and/or information beyond that requested is not required. Applicants will be contacted with the results by August 31, 2023. Applicants may be asked to participate in an interview which may be conducted in person, or via an online meeting platform such as Zoom.  

Please do not contact Johnson Roberts Associates Inc. about the Scholarship, the application, or the potential interview at any time before or after the submission deadline. All interaction should be through the online application form. If we need additional information for any reason, we will contact the applicant using the information included in the application. 

Take a look at our Scholarship FAQ page for more information.

Learn about previous scholarship recipients

*All application materials, including portfolio, should be submitted electronically. Please format as PDF, mp3, mp4, or another common non-editable file format. Do not send physical copies of materials. 

APPLICATION (Submission Deadline: August 18, 2023 at 11:59pm ET)