Leadership and Service

Buffalo Architecture Foundation (BAF)

President  |  January 2016 - December 2016
Vice President/President Elect  |  January 2014-December 2016
Board Member/Committee Chair  |  July 2011-December 2013

Buffalo Architecture Foundation is a not-for-profit, public charity dedicated to inspiring the exploration and appreciation of architecture and how it shapes our lives. BAF was established in 2010 with the generous support of its sibling organization, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Buffalo/Western New York (WNY) Chapter. BAF is committed to nurturing creative cooperation with AIA Buffalo/WNY and other regional cultural organizations to promote and celebrate architecture and design.  As President, responsibilities include: liaison between AIA B/WNY and BAF, creating budgets, reviewing financial statements and records, grant writing, leading the annual fundraising campaign, leading the annual report process, updating web content, social media, and marketing materials and volunteer outreach and coordination. 

 

AIA National K-12 Task-Force

Member  |  July 2015 - present

To develop a comprehensive long term strategy for introducing Architecture and the role of Architects into curriculum for grades K-12.  Developing an appreciation for Architecture and the role that Architects play in shaping the built environment.  Nurture an interest in participating in the design disciplines as a career, especially Architecture.  Promote the interdisciplinary, design thinking process employed by Architects that integrates many aspects of general education and life skills.  The aspiration is that through effective implementation of this strategy a more diverse group of young people will understand the relevance of the profession and both better appreciate it and consider joining it as a career path.  Especially important is to emphasize how Architecture touches all demographic and income groups with the hope of increased interest from minority populations.

 

Commission on Equity in Architecture

Commission Member  |  January 2015 - December 2015

The group of 22 architects, educators, and diversity experts is charged with examining diversity and inclusion in architecture by using data gathered from the 2015 Diversity in the Profession of Architecture Survey, published industry demographics, and other data from the Institute and other partner organizations. The commission will then develop recommendations for generating equitable practices in the industry; create measurable goals and mechanisms by which to track progress; and make recommendations toward a plan of action that they will then present to the AIA Board of Directors by the end of 2016.

 

American Institute of Architects Diversity and Inclusion Council

Council Member  |  January 2014 - December 2015

The AIA Diversity Council, a presidential-appointed committee, has been established to push diversity and inclusion initiatives forward in the profession of architecture. AIA Diversity and Inclusion celebrates the multitude of perspectives and experiences within the profession, empowers members to become active and engaged in their communities, and offers tools and resources needed to remain competitive and relevant within a changing global marketplace. As council member, responsibilities include: attending meetings across the nation for long-term planning and creation of strategic initiatives that will ultimately be applied to AIA Chapter Components in order to diversify the profession of architecture.

 

American Institute of Architects Buffalo/WNY Chapter (AIA B/WNY)

AIA B/WNY Scholarship Committee Member  |  January 2014-November 2015

Beginning in 2014, AIA Buffalo/WNY has committed funding to award academic scholarships to architecture students from the Western New York region. As a founding committee member, the roles and responsibilities included creation the guidelines and the application, outreach to NAAB accredited programs around the US, answering questions from potential applicants, collecting applications, and deliberating with fellow committee members to choose the winners.

 

Architecture + Education Program (Buffalo/WNY)

Committee Chairperson  |  January 2012-January 2016
Committee Member  |  June 2011-December 2011
Program Participant  |  October 2008-May 2011

The Architecture + Education Program Buffalo/WNY is an innovative collaboration between local architects and educators,  utilizing architecture to teach students math, science, history, art and technology within the New York State curriculum.  The program immerses students in multi-disciplinary architectural concepts for several weeks in the classroom and culminates with a public exhibit of the students’ work. The program works solely within Buffalo Public Schools and provides programming to under represented groups. As committee chair, responsibilities include: budgeting, fundraising, scheduling, implementing a volunteer campaign, planning and implementation of a full-day 10-hour Workshop for teachers and architects, collaborating senior leadership within the Buffalo Public School District, and public speaking on behalf of the program, and planning and implementing of a public exhibit.

 

Young Audiences of Western New York

Teaching Artist  |  January 2011-January 2016

Young Audiences of Western New York’s mission is to make the arts a part of young people’s lives in order to enhance their development as creative and productive human beings.   These residencies create meaningful connections between artists and young people that might otherwise not be exposed to the arts—especially arts integrated into school curricula.  The artists on the Young Audiences WNY roster are committed to their art, and using it as a tool for learning.  As a teaching artist, responsibilities include:  planning and implementing in-class residencies that education students about architecture, design and the built environment, planning and implementing programming at public venues around Western New York in order to expand the outreach of educating the public about architecture and its importance in our daily lives.


Recipient of the American Institute of Architects National Associates Award  |  January 2017

Recipient of the American Institute of Architects Buffalo/WNY Community Service Award  |  January 2015

Recipient of the American Institute of Architects New York State Intern-Associates Award  |  October 2014

Recipient of American Institutes of Architects Diversity Recognition Program  |  June 2013

Professional Recognition

 


Speaking Engagements

Mentorship Re-designed
Equity by Design: Metrics, Meaning, & Matrices:  San Francisco, CA  |  October 2016
Mentoring is important for professional growth at any career stage, from learning the ropes to navigating choices later on. Unfortunately, mentorship can reinforce inequity as mentors and mentees are often drawn to people of similar ethnicity, race, and gender. Mentorship can also be too limited in scope, restricted to advice when the mentor can be most powerful as champion or sponsor, advocating for the mentee when promotion or hiring decisions are made. This session ‘redesigned mentorship’ through hands-on exercises and small group discussions. 

Architects as Designers of the Mind
AIA Albuquerque; Albuquerque, NM  |  October 2016
There is power and benefit to educating school age kids about architecture and design using activities that integrate design thinking into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture/Arts, Math).  The Buffalo Architecture + Education Program, and its relationship to AIA Buffalo and the Buffalo Architecture Foundation is an on-going example of this type of program.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives within the AIA
2016 American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers Spring Conference; Chandler, AZ  |  April 2016
A brief overview of the various Equity, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives within AIA National including:  The 2016 Equity in Architecture Commission, 2016 AIA National Convention - Philadelphia PA, 2018 Women's Leadership Summit, Washington DC, 2015 AIA Diversity Survey and the 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Council.  In addition, a overview and highlight of key findings from the AIA Diversity Survey.  In closing, a review of the education program in Buffalo, New York with Tamarah Begay, AIA and Lake Shore Middle School.

Architecture + Education:  Why Architecture Matters to Kids
2015 AIA New York State Convention; Saratoga Springs, NY  |  October 2015
The Buffalo Architecture Foundation's  Architecture + Education Program is an award winning, best practice program for teaching school-aged children architecture and design concepts within Buffalo Public Schools.  This session focused on the structure of the program and its impacts and metrics.

Post-Grad Practices: Architect as Activist

2014 Architexx Lecture Series; Buffalo, NY  |  November 2014
Architexx seeks to transform leadership in architecture by bridging academy and practice. This lecture was designed to feature three emerging architects who have launched their careers in different ways - including differences in education, travel, research, practice, and outreach. The topics were Architect as Explorer, Architect as Builder, and Architect as Activist.

WNY STEM Hub Documentary Screening
Buffalo, NY  |  May 2014
Prescreening Remarks on ‘STEM to STEAM’ and ‘Social Action’ introducing the importance and impact of educating youth about architecture and design as an addition, and enhancement, to STEM programming. (Science Technology Engineering and Math)

Speaker Series: Center for the Study of Art, Architecture, History and Nature
Buffalo, NY  |  January 2014
The mission of the C-SAAHN speaker series is to enhance appreciation of the importance of lifelong learning as everyone’s responsibility in a democracy, and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System, schools, nonprofit organizations, and volunteers as central to the lifelong learning process.

Patricia Cotsen Arts Abilities Conference
Buffalo, NY  |  November 2013, November 2014
This annual conference is a professional development conference for educators that focuses on utilizing arts integration strategies across all curriculum topics as a tool for supporting young people at risk of educational failure. Participants participated in innovative seminars that demonstrated applicable techniques for creating an engaging learning environment through the arts.

CannonDesign Open Hand Studio - Meet and Match event
Buffalo, NY  |  October 2013
The event brought over 100 designers and community group leaders together for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to share public interest design project ideas and meet with potential new partners in order to realize those concepts. Open Hand Studio Meet and Match events have established a proven model for bringing design professionals and community group leaders together through an inviting and productive environment. Attendees heard from guest speakers who shared their success stories about community-based work.

Panel Discussion:  Women in Architecture
2013 AIA New York State Convention; Syracuse, NY  |  September 2013
Acknowledging the complex history architecture has with few women and people of color in its upper ranks and a disproportionate number of these groups exiting, the panel discussed ways to dramatically alter architecture –from who practices, how one practices, to reconsidering architectural education. Through short presentations by graduate students, young architects and those well into their careers in both practice and academia, the panel discussion focused on the future of a more robust and diverse discipline where women and people of color are equally participating in all aspects of our discipline.

Panel Discussion:  Intersecting Social Justice & Architecture
2013 AIA National Convention; Denver, CO  |  June 2013
50 years after America’s march on Washington, 40+ years after Whitney M. Young challenged the profession to become more diverse and 5 years after AIA’s first African American President - the panel discussed the intersect of social justice and architecture with award winning architects and community change agents who are leading socially through the design process.

Invited Guest Reviewer
Arizona State University, The Design School, Studio Critiques (Sophomore Studio); University at Buffalo, School of Architecture, Studio Critiques (Freshman, Junior and Graduate Studios); Buffalo State College, Department of Interior Design, Freshman Communication Studio