Avi Gesundheit Traveling Fellowship

Purpose of Establishment


The Avi Gesundheit Traveling Scholarship Fund was established by Jaime and Susan Gesundheit in memory of their son. Avi was to begin USC Architectual School in the fall of 1996. He and his friend, Michael Lewis, were driving through Arizona on a graduation trip to Colorado. A rainstorm ensued, and Avi and Michael died in a head on collision, July 15, 1996.


Avi and his family traveled to many places around the world. His passion was to experience with all the senses and sensibilities. This was to have been his first major trip without the family.


The traveling fund will enable one or more students in or out of the United States during the summer months. Students will be selected from the class of 2001; there after, the fund will be available to all USC architecture students.


We hope the fund will perpetuate Avi's love of travel, of experiencing lfe and to offer the opportunity for an enriching experience to students of the USC School of Architecture.


Avi Efraim Gesundheit

The choice of a traveling fellowship will perpetuate Avi's love of travel, and impart that love of travel to other students. The person that Avi became was influenced by the many places he saw, experienced, tasted. His life was imbued with the colors, sounds, spaces, and people from his travels. He was in Italy, France, England, Denmark, Israel, Poland, Lithuania, Cayman Islands, Mexico and Canada. He had also been to Alaska and Hawaii, as well as Florida, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, New York, and Washington D.C. We believe that his writing, playing drums, and design sense were affected greatly by his travels. Of course, he was able to enjoy playing golf, scuba-diving, skiing and snowboarding on these travels.



Frequent family trips to Mammoth Lakes in the Sierras filled him with a love for the mountains, where he spent many happy hours winter snowboarding and summer hiking and fishing. Avi's grandparents donated a site at the Mammoth College of the Arts, which they named "Avi's Acre", a peaceful spot within the forest.


The ocean held fascination for Avi... he loved to swim in it, boogie boarding in Malibu and in Hawaii. He also did lots of snorkeling in Hawaii and Catalina, and then later, on a trip to the Cayman Islands in 1994, became scuba certified. His last dive was in Cancun, Mexico in July 1996. Diving brought him face to face with tropical sealife. He and his dad set up a salt water aquarium together and Avi studied some marine biology, useful information for that hobby.


Golf was an especially all-encompassing part of Avi's life. He started Fairways Golf Camp, then Stanford University Golf Camp. He qualified for a number of junior tournaments, and participated on the Golf team selected for the Macabbiah games the summer of 1995. He could fly the ball out of the driving range; in fact, he twice won the long drive award at a golf tournament. He really loved the sport, and he and his dad spent many hours together on the golf course.


Avi was always musically involved, first with piano, then alto saxophone, then drumming. He participated in high school jazz band, and also played in a band with a few friends. They called themselves "Unfiltered", and their first gig was at the Roxy in Hollywood. Among his favorite groups were the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and Phish, whose band Avi and Michael were traveling to see at Red Rocks in Colorado.


We hope that Avi's zest for life and travel will be carried on with each year's student selection. His physical presence is painfully missed by his parents Jaime and Susie, his sister Daniela, and great-grandmother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Avi's spirit and pure enjoyment of life will be carried on through the recipient architecture students of the fellowship, while they travel, and upon their return, when their experiences are relayed to the school of Architecture student body and to this web site.


In its initial year, the two recipients were Armen Khalafyan and Gabriel Zamora. They presented their trips to the students on February 18, 1999. They were chosen from Avi's class, as will the recipients up to the year 2001, when he would have graduated from the 5-year B.ARCH. program. After that date the selection committee will decide from which class the recipient will be.


We thank the other members of the selection committee for their care and participation in this program: Ken Lee, AIA, and Robert Simonian, both USC School of Architecture alums (close friends of Jaime and Susan Gesundheit), and Dean Qingyun Ma, AIA, and his staff for their support and attention to details that have made this project possible.



1998 ARMEN KHALAFYAN United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, & Italy (BArch 2001)
1998 GABRIEL ZAMORA A Study of Diversity in Spanish Architecture (BArch 2001)
1999 BRETT BUCHMANN France, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, & Hong Kong (BArch 2001)
1999 KELLY CAPP Berlin, Germany (BArch 2001)
1999 JUHEE (SOPHIA) LEE Washington DC, Boston, New York & Chicago (BArch 2001)
2000 YOUNG KATIE LEE Sustainable Architecture in Germany (BArch 2001)
2000 ROXANA LOPEZ Sustainable Architecture in Germany (BArch 2001)
2001 KRISTINA KAUR Germany and Western Europe (BArch 2001)
2001 THOMAS STEIDL Eastern Mediterranean (BArch 2001)
2002 JOSHUA DIVELBISS Study of Parks in London, Paris, & Barcelona (BArch 2005)
2003 SETH ADAMS Angkor Temples in Cambodia (BArch 2006)
2004 LUIS HERNANDEZ Australia, New Zealand, Easter Islands, Lima Peru & Mexico (BArch 2006)
2004 LAURA HAYMOND Commercial Development in Shanghai (BArch 2006)
2005 JACOB HAMMAN Paris, Rome, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria & Spain (BArch 2007 candidate)
2006 MARISSA ROBLES  "Transformation" in Mexico City, New York City, New York City & Berlin (BArch 2008 candidate)
2007 MEG KALINOWSKI  Religiously Inspired Buildings in India
2007 OLEN MILHOLLAND Back to Basics: A Trip Through Nicaragua
2008 HEATHER LUNA The Modern Movement Through Contrasting Lenses: Le Corbusier vs. Alvar Aalto
2009 LEON WOOD Narrative: Taipei, Tokyo, Seoul
2010 KRISTIN DREWS Viva la Vida – Experiencing the Color and Culture of Spain
2011 KOLLEN KMIEC Cultural Landscapes in Japan
2011 MARISSA RITCHEN Housing Conditions in Kenya
2012 SARAH MCGRATH-DENAULT Preserving the Humanity in Architecture
2012 CAMERON OVERY New Zealand: Composing with Landscape