City College's selection as a finalist for the 2011 Solar Decathlon gave Farah Ahmad a unique opportunity to apply her passion for writing and communications to her field of study, architecture. As project leader for communications, she became the student face for the project, giving public presentations, being interviewed by reporters and maintaining Team New York's website and social media feeds.
Farah developed her dual interests growing up on Staten Island. She often accompanied her father, a project manager with the School Construction Authority, to construction sites, where she got to meet developers and architects and learn about construction. She also had an internship in high school with her local newspaper, the "Staten Island Advance," and wrote about politics and religion and contributed reviews.
"The Solar Decathlon was a great experience," she said. "It helped me develop design, construction and communication skills that I'll be able to incorporate into professional practice as an architect." In addition, she is incorporating the knowledge of sustainable building practices she gained from the project into a monthly column for the "Proud Green Home" website. She adds that being part of CCNY's diverse student body helped her "become more open minded and well rounded."
Since the Decathlon, Farah has kept busy outside the design studio serving as president of the CCNY chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students and a member of the student government. She also is employed as a student coordinator for CCNY Green, the College's sustainability initiative, and organized CCNY's Earth Day festival.
After graduation, this daughter of Pakistani immigrants aspires to put her design and communications skills to work for an architectural firm, and she will work toward earning her professional license. She credits Professor Christian Volkmann and her current boss, CCNY Vice President Robert Santos, for inspiring her in the design profession and instilling in her a "good work ethic."
"The Solar Decathlon was a great experience. It helped me develop design, construction and communication skills that I'll be able to incorporate into professional practice."
- Farah Ahmad.