Spotlight: KSS Interns of Summer 2020

A very warm (virtual) welcome to our 2020 summer interns! Our talented interns join us from their respective homes as we continue to work remotely in the midst of COVID-19. We are excited to have these enthusiastic young professionals on-board and look forward to the fresh perspective they will bring to the firm as we work together this summer.


We are excited to have Rachael back for a second summer, after her valuable contributions to our Philadelphia office last year. Rachael is passionate about creating environments that enhance the interactions between people and the spaces they occupy, capitalizing on unique features that are already present, or introducing new solutions to improve how people can positively interact in their surroundings. Traveling is a huge design influencer for her, whether it is the metropolitan capitals of Asia or the remote virgin countryside’s of South America, or even simply exploring her neighborhood more deeply, these diverse landscapes provide rich experiences for Rachael to draw upon for inspiration and have helped elevate her understanding of how people use and shape their world. Her interest in KSS stems from a desire to be part of a work environment centered on ensuring that designed spaces improve lives for people, the communities they live in, and the environmental landscape at large. Rachael is currently pursuing her Masters of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

 How has your experience been interning remotely?

“I’m currently working out of my apartment in downtown Philly.  I’ve found that working from home has been a fun challenge as I’ve always wanted the opportunity to test out if I could maintain a high-level of productivity and remain connected to my coworkers while occupying my home, a space that I’ve previously tried to maintain as off-limits to work and school. I’ve learned that setting a routine is really important to remain productive and that casual forms of communication and collaboration between team members are incredibly helpful to ensuring idea sharing is open and clear.  I’ve also learned to make sure there is enough distance between my husband and I when making simultaneous conference calls if we want to hear our teams clearly and that cats will unfailingly interrupt you at the most inconvenient of times!”


Originally from Cape Cod, is inspired by the power of nature to improve people’s health and aims to incorporate those qualities in her architecture, both in academic and professional settings. At KSS, Ellie looks forward to being part of a firm that emphasizes healthy environments and quality projects through an animated, collaborative workflow. Prior to joining KSS, Ellie has worked in high end residential in Chatham, MA and higher education in Washington, D.C., learning the importance of relationships, trust and attention to detail to create meaningful change in every project. You can find Ellie walking or running around town, exploring the local flavor of wherever she is in the world that day. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

How has your experience been interning remotely?

“Working from my childhood home in Chatham, MA is a very different atmosphere from downtown Philadelphia, however I have learned so much from my new colleagues through lively Zoom meetings, daily updates, and spontaneous Teams sessions. One of the benefits of working remotely is getting to know so many of the friendly and knowledgeable members of the KSS family. Communication has been swift and seamless and everyone is willing to answer any and all questions thrown at them.”



Elizabeth is passionate about architecture’s ability to affect change at a local and global scale. She has lived in a number of different countries, cultures, and communities, all of which have contributed to her interest in architecture. She is drawn to architecture as a means to bridge her passion for design and desire to create a physical and tangible impact on the communities that have affected her life. As a summer intern at KSS, Elizabeth is eager to learn from her mentors and contribute to a successful project. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys cooking, volunteering, being active, and being creative with different art mediums such as painting and photography. Elizabeth is a rising second-year candidate for the degree of Master of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, where she serves as co-chair for Penn Women in Design.

How has your experience been interning remotely?

I am very fortunate to have incredibly talented and supportive mentors at KSS who have all welcomed me to the team. I have been primarily working from my apartment in Philadelphia, but I am currently working from my parent’s house in Virginia. Despite working from home, I feel very closely connected to my team through Zoom calls, Microsoft Teams meetings and daily check-ins.  They are always available to answer my questions and I have learned a great deal in the past month.  I think it is really important to love what you do and the engaging work environment my mentors have created has made it so that I look forward to work everyday and the new challenges and opportunities it presents.


Growing up living in several different countries, Yanni developed her interest in architecture from childhood age. The experience of living both eastern and western backgrounds contributed to her passion for architecture as powerful expressions of various cultures, values, and communities. She also developed great interests in the technical side of design, specifically facades and building envelopes, from her past professional and academic experience. As a summer intern at KSS, Yanni is looking forward to advancing her skill sets, learning from the team, and contributing to firm projects. Prior to joining KSS, Yanni has worked on an adaptive reuse project in Queens, NY in addition to mixed-use high-rise towers in China and Kuwait. Besides architecture, Yanni likes to swim or play basketball in her spare time. She is also training as an amateur boxer. Yanni recently graduated from Columbia University where she received her Master of Architecture degree this past May.

How has your experience been interning remotely?

“I’m currently working from my apartment in Queens, New York City. Although there is no physical detachment of home space and workspace now with working from home, I still find myself very engaged in the working environment through zoom meetings, Teams messages, and the weekly check-ins. Also, the best part of working remotely is I can spend more time with my dog and she absolutely loves it. I have just started my internship and I am very much excited about new challenges and opportunities.”