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A Yankees fan with ambitions in architecture, Mia Lorenzetti ’02 (Alpha, N.J.) is indulging both of her interests this summer in a research project on campus. She is studying innovations in the design and construction of sports venues.

“It was something the professor wanted to do, but he tailored it to me,” says Lorenzetti, a double major in A.B. engineering and art. “He was interested in the economic and social side of it, but I want to study architecture.”

A participant in Lafayette’s distinctive EXCEL Scholar program, Lorenzetti is working with David Veshosky, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and head of the bachelor of arts in engineering program. In EXCEL, students assist faculty members with research while earning a stipend.

Veshosky is examining how the design and construction of sports facilities have evolved in response to socioeconomic, cultural, and technological factors. In addition, he wants to know how innovations in design and construction have influenced the economics of the sports industry.

Lorenzetti is focusing her research on the development of roofed stadiums and those with retractable roofs. The first roofed stadium was Madison Square Garden, she says.

“I’m having a good time with it. I didn’t know much about it at all,” says Lorenzetti, who might eventually want to design theaters and museums “but it could be in another 30 years.”

“It’s interesting to me how they adapt stadiums to cities, their placement in the cities, even the different field surfaces and how they affect play,” she adds. “Sometimes they build parts of them underground.”

Helping her pursue her interests, she says, is the flexibility of Lafayette’s bachelor of arts engineering major.

“It’s a technical major which I’ve found is one of my strengths, but it also allows space for liberal arts courses, and there’s room for a double major, too,” she says. “You only have to take one to two engineering courses per semester. It lets you take more electives.”

Lorenzetti has opted for art and economics courses and she plans to take more in government and psychology. Even better, she spent a semester in Florence, Italy, to study art for a semester.

“With a bachelor in science in engineering, I wouldn’t have gotten to go to Florence,” says Lorenzetti, who has been interested in the program since touring the college as a high school student. “I spoke with one of the professors who was really promoting the A.B. program.

“It seemed like a great opportunity, not to have to specify in one field. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a professional engineer. I had an analytical mind and I thought it would be good for me. It’s helping me achieve my goals. I get to take a lot of engineering project management, economics and policy, and it shows how those jobs interact with each other.”

A graduate of Phillipsburg High School, Lorenzetti is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, the Leonardo Society, and the Pi Beta Phi sorority, where she will be a residence adviser this fall.

Categorized in: Academic News