Grace Merline is an Architecture student at Illinois Institute of Technology. Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, she was selected for the advanced high school curriculum which she completed in two years. After graduating from high school in 2009, she came specifically to United States to continue her education at the Community College of Philadelphia, pursuing Architecture. Throughout her college years, she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and was in the High Honor list for four consecutive semesters. Some of her architecture works have been exhibited in the “Architecture, Design, and Construction Department Spring Show” in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In 2012, she was selected as a Recipient of the Recognition of Excellence in Architecture Award and received her Associate Degree in Architecture with highest honor.
Because of her curiosity and interest of studying Architecture, she moved to Chicago in 2012 to continue her architectural studies. She is currently the President of the Organization of the Indonesian Students in the United States in Chicago (PERMIAS Chicago). She was also part of the committee in the organization as treasurer and secretary in previous years. Through this organization, Grace is able to promote Indonesian culture to domestic and international students and build a sense of Indonesian community in Chicago. Her involvement in activities outside the academic realm has strengthened her leadership and interpersonal skills. In addition, she has been contributed to the Asian American Coalition of Chicago (AACC)’s 32nd Conference on Business and Networking & Annual Lunar New Year Celebration 2015 as Co-Chair of the Youth Education Networking Forum and Volunteer and Usher Coordinator at the AACC’s Lunar New Year Gala dinner; Furthermore, she actively participated in some events held by the Indonesian community in Chicago. She is also the Chairman of the Indonesian Students Association (Permias) in Chicago 2014-2015, and member of the representative committee for youth and students networking at the Indonesian Diaspora Network – Midwest, USA.
Grace has shown an ongoing interest in serving the community. She is currently involved in Design-Build studio as part of the architecture program at Illinois Institute of Technology. This summer, Grace and her twelve teammates will be going to build a small health clinic in the remote village of Jabung, Indonesia voluntarily. Through all of these experiences, Grace has increased her awareness to serve more people and create a better environment for the community.