Taryn Underwood Risley graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture in 2015. After graduating Ranken, she received her Master of Architecture degree from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale in 2017. Taryn is a licensed Remote Pilot for unmanned aircraft (drones) and certified in CM-BIM (construction management in building information modeling), and Autodesk Revit. She now holds the position of Architect II, at FGM Architects, a firm places a high value on understanding and responding to the multi-layered contexts of our clients’ projects, on collaborating to craft artful forms and spaces, and on how the architecture can creatively serve the gamut of causes and activities of the occupants.

Kevin Meyer, AIA, NCARB, Managing Director at FGM, explains Taryn joined FGM Architects during the heart of the pandemic, but despite remote work conditions she already feels like an irreplaceable asset to the team. She brought her immense knowledge of BIM, but has already proved that she is loaded with potential in other area as well. Taryn is organized, self-motivating, and dedicated. Whether it is jumping into contract documents or space planning early in design, Taryn jumps in and consistently exceeds expectations. I am anxious for what her future holds and I hope I am around to witness it. I cannot say enough complimentary things about Taryn. Since her start at FGMA, Taryn has never failed to impress me. She is hard-working, detail-oriented, and truly understands the fast-paced schedule of the commercial world. I am truly overwhelmed by her computer skills; she is not only advanced within most programs, but she also delivers a beautiful graphic presentation to all of her work. I also admire her attention to the details. Taryn has been a great addition to FGMA and I know she will continue to grow and make us better. Taryn is not afraid to dive-in and get it done.  With minor direction toward the end goal, she can turn that into a usable end product, and do it very proficiently and accurately.  She is a highly adept problem solver and learns extremely quickly. While analytical problem solving is a great strength of hers, she also approaches every challenge with an artistic viewpoint.   She is an excellent artist, skilled in both drawing and painting.  Taryn is always willing to share her knowledge and teach fellow coworkers as well. She possesses a rare combination of exceptional software skills, artistic vision, and eagerness to learn the craft of architecture that make her a remarkably valuable resource.  She has been a great fit at FGM, and I look forward to watching her progression at this amazing firm.”

Missy Borchardt, former Architecture Department Chair and instructor, says “Taryn had a strong work ethic, an eye for design, and was a strong role model for many.”

Taryn was granted several scholarships which fostered her success. Ranken scholarships included: the Anheuser-Busch InBev Scholarship, the BKD Scholarship, the Frederick Eiseman Scholarship, the Home Builders Association Scholarship, and a STEM Scholarship. She often spoke at Ranken-sponsored events to express her gratitude to those scholarship sponsors. Taryn also enjoyed representing Ranken during open houses and College community events.

Taryn was heavily invested in the Ranken community. She explains, “I was the Head Resident Assistant of Walker Hall Dormitory, Ranken Bookstore Associate, President of Student Ambassadors, President of Phi Theta Kappa, and President of the Student Government Association.” Above all, Taryn says “Ranken taught me two valuable things; the importance of networking and the tremendous value a technical degree has. I have been able to hold different positions within the field of architecture, ranging from drafting to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and even Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). In each of these positions, I have been able to gain beneficial experience that has helped me thrive as a future licensed architect.”

Of her many memories, Taryn recalls her late nights in the Architecture studio working on models with her peers. Kasey Risley, Taryn’s husband, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ranken’s Information Technology program in 2015. He is currently an Infrastructure Engineer for Connectria, a global technology solutions provider.

Learn more at https://ranken.edu/find-your-career-path/