Betty’s love for the arts and later architecture began as a young child in Oklahoma. In preschool she spent many leisurely afternoons drawing (probably more like scribbling) all over in coloring books before acquiring the skill to color within the lines. When not making a mess in coloring books or on walls, she fondly remembers playing with wooden alphabet blocks with her father. It became a game to see how many blocks could be stacked up before gravity took over. Her father had also encouraged her to spend playtime with Legos and other building toys to stimulate creativity.
All through out grade school teachers had used the same hands on method to teach their lessons. Craft time became the means to stimulate learning. Schools often held art contests and an excited. Betty almost always took home the first place ribbon. Seeing that she had some talent in this arena her parents sent her to art summer camp for kids to receive more training. Art remained her favorite subject all the way through high school and she aspired to become an artist one day.
In high school Betty had the opportunity to compete in many scholastic competitions one of them being “Olympics of the Mind”. This was a unique competition that required a combination of academic knowledge and creativity. Young minds were being stretched to create structural support made out of flimsy, brittle, balsa wood. The objective was to use the least amount of material to handle the most amount of pressure. Any solution was accepted except for the one stipulation that an architect could not be consulted. At the time the notation of using cross bracing as lateral support did not enter her young mind. One balsa wood model after another got crushed under heavy weights all the way to (amazingly enough) an honorable mention at state championships. Even though a national title was not to be had, the experience was to have a lasting impact on Betty’s decisions later in life.
When it came time to graduate high school and go off to college, Betty could not wait to go out of state and “experience the real world”. She chose to attend Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her parents wanted her to be practical and get a degree that could actually make money and so they forbid her to become an art major and thus she became a mechanical engineering major. Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, and Cell Molecular biology were not unfamiliar to Betty but she would rather have used a canvas than a calculator. While leaving chemistry class twice a week she would often run across architecture students whose building was right next door. One day while leaving class, lo and behold, what would she see in their hands? Why it was none other than the very same balsa wood models Betty remembers making as her mind flashed back to high school. She became very excited and decided to switch her major to architecture! When she made the announcement to her parents they had no objections due to the fact that being an architect was not the same thing as being a starving artist. So Betty had found the balance between heart and mind, being passionate and being practical, and thus her career in architecture was born.
Betty spent many nights up in the studios pulling all nighters with other “architectorture” students learning how to make models and not cut off fingers, how to wait for the ink to dry before accidentally smearing the hand drawings, and of course how to correct and hidemistakes. Eventually learning that drawing on the computer was the easiest and fastest way to correct mistakes. Also because of this acquired knowledge, she was able to intern at architectural firms. Betty also soon learned that the field of architecture was nothing like the school of architecture. Therefore taking a hiatus from school and gaining valuable experience as an intern before returning back to Oklahoma where she finished her bachelor of Environmental Design degree at the University of Oklahoma. After working a few years she decided to return to school to receive her professional degree in architecture. A decision she would not regret making as she has found her career path and is determined to become a licensed architect in the state of Oklahoma.