As Epicenter has grown this year, we’ve continued to add new board members and we’re excited to announce the addition of Dijana Alickovic! Read our short Q & A below to learn more about Dijana, her work, and her passion for Epicenter.
Epicenter: What’s your background?
Dijana: I’d say it’s very colorful. I studied architecture and completed my master’s degree in architecture at the University of Utah. Before graduating, I spent some time with From Houses To Homes, a nonprofit organization in Guatemala constructing homes for families in need. This experience led me to develop a passion towards communities that have potential to improve their built environment and social activity. I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Utah County and NeighborWorks where I focused on designing residential single family homes. In 2009, I held an AmeriCorps Vista position, as a Housing Coordinator, with the International Rescue Committee and also co-founded Common Studio, a nonprofit with its vision to provide design architectural services to nonprofits and to individuals who could not afford otherwise. Between 2009 and 2014, I, collectively with other Common Studio members, provided schematic design for a small-scale school, orphanage, single family home, and interior office remodel. We worked with Haitian Roots to provide a design for the Children Village which consisted of classrooms, kitchen, caretaker house, visitor center, office, garden, and playground. We provided interior design services to Higher Ground Learning Center in Salt Lake City, sustainable concept design for a Habitat for Humanity home, and the Afghanistan Orphanage. In addition, we lead Debris Design competition that focused on removing materials from the waste stream in post-earthquake Haiti and using design to alter them for new daily-life uses. From 2011-2016, I worked as an architect with Prescott Muir Architects, focusing on retail, banks, high end residential, and a library. Wanting to focus more on architectural design for community service providers, outdoor industry, and national parks, led me to work as an architect at AJC Architects. Projects that I’ve been working on since include higher education and three new Homeless Resource Centers in Salt Lake County.
E: Where are you from and where do you now live?
D: I’m from away! My life stretches between Bosnia, where I was born, and the United States. Due to armed conflict in Bosnia, I resettled in the United States and I have been living in Salt Lake City since. The beautiful Wasatch Mountains tied me down and I’m happy to call them home.
E: What’s your connection to rural Utah? Green River specifically?
D: Being an outdoor enthusiast, the road would always lead me to Southern Utah, but little did I know I would be continuously visiting Green River! In 2009, during an AmeriCorps Vista Volunteer orientation, I met the Epicenter founders. Since then I have developed a heavy interest in Green River.
E: What made you want to join the Board of Directors at Epicenter?
D: I’ve been familiar with the organization since it was founded and always had a fondness for its mission. It has been inspiring to watch Epicenter’s accomplishment in Green River. I’m excited to be part of their team, to contribute to their success, and to learn from the community.
E: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
D: To fly! I love traveling the world, learning about new cultures, climbing mountains and flying would easily accommodate all of that.
Dijana has been a friend of Epicenter since our beginning, and we couldn’t be happier that she’ll now be joining us in an official capacity. Her knowledge and experience in architecture and nonprofits will be vital in pushing our programs forward and she’s already been a key partner in developing our housing strategy. Welcome to the team, Dijana!