2018 AIAS Honor Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Honor Awards!

Each year the AIAS honors individuals and groups for their exemplary work in areas such as leadership, collaboration, scholarship and service. Join us in celebrating this year’s winners at the AIAS Honor Awards Reception sponsored by AIA Seattle, Saturday, December 29, at the AIAS Forum here in Seattle.

In addition, all are invited to participate in the pre-Forum YAF + AIAS Holiday Happy Hour, December 28, 5:30 – 7:30pm, hosted by Bassetti Architects and Mahlum Architects and sponsored by Vectorworks.

For more information about the 2018 AIAS Honor Awards Jury, visit aias.org.

Chapter Honor Award

Carnegie Mellon University

a group of students sitting around a tableThe AIAS Chapter at Carnegie Mellon University was awarded the Chapter Honor Award in recognition of their outstanding achievements in creative programming, active membership, community engagement, and fostering student leadership. The jury was impressed by the level of rigor the Chapter went through to reinvent and re-imagine their programming having used data, town halls, and other avenues to pursue their members. In addition to engaging with the larger community, the Chapter worked to tackle socio-economic issues their peers and members faced. The integration of AIAS into CMU’s academics, studio culture, and school community is clear and intentional, and makes for a well-rounded and impressive chapter.

Chapter President Honor Award

Zain Islam-Hashmi | Carnegie Mellon University

Zain Islam-Hashmi has shown tremendous skill in leading and guiding the AIAS CMU during his endeavors as Chapter President. Under his dedicated leadership, AIAS CMU has become a positive and inspiring force in the school and in the region due to Mr. Islam-Hashmi’s advocation for the AIAS among other peer-led councils within CMU’s SoA. In addition, he established the first year of AIAS Freedom By Design at CMU, and oversaw their fi rst project, which won an NCARB grant award. Mr. Islam-Hashmi also spearheaded the “Design Out of Studio Initiative,” leading to a built SoA pavilion that showcases the work of CMU students.


HONORABLE MENTION: Alexander Siegel | California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

Alexander Seigel head shotAlexander Siegel is professional, humble, and tenaciously committed to the AIAS. He diligently assisted California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in strengthening their AIA/AIAS partnership; and by attending local AIA Board Meetings and cohosting events, a mentorship program was cultivated between his chapter and the nearby Cuesta College chapter. Peers and faculty describe Mr. Siegal as a wonderful student, and an effective and gracious leader who always takes initiative when he sees an opportunity.



4th Year Design Excellence

Rafael Armendariz and Destanee Cook | University of Nevada – Las Vegas

Rendering of NARA Community CampusRafael Armendariz and Destanee Cook received this award for their rural preservation community development plan for the Northwest Area Residents’ Association (NARA). This project incorporated strong community engagement activities and clearly demonstrated the value of design to the community. In addition to displaying an extremely thoughtful and thorough process for understanding their site context, they blended architecture with education to successfully integrate it into the community that they were designing.



Graduate Research Honor Award

Kelsey Kauffman | Southern Illinois University Carbondale

"How Architecture Can Combat Obesity" cover sheetKelsey Kauffman was granted the Graduate Research Honor Award for her thesis, “How Architecture can Combat Obesity.” The framework of her conceptual neighborhood school project was centered on the influence that an architect can have on society, health, and education, as well as the overlap and benefits of racial equality in education. At her final defence, Ms. Kauffman transformed a gallery into an interwoven story of architecture, obesity, and food insecurity, and produced a thesis dissertation book, many provocative graphics, and two hand-crafted models.



Freedom by Design Program

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Rendering of two children running in yard in front of homeThe FBD Chapter at Wentworth Institute of Technology is a model AIAS FBD program. Despite being newly established, they have already made a significant impact in their school and the greater community of Boston. They demonstrated a dedication to collaboration and teamwork, which resulted in a revolution in student-led, externally-collaborative, project-based, and interdisciplinary learning on their campus. The team members consistently displayed a commitment to professionalism and mentorship, which encouraged the school to re-examine the role of students in project-based learning.



Educator Honor Award

Eva Kultermann | Illinois Institute of Technology

Eva KultermannEva Kultermann is highly revered for her dedication to teaching and learning, as well as for her wealth of knowledge regarding the craft of building. Ms. Iltermann has received the Educator Honor Award for her development of studio exercises that engage local community clients. Because of her work, students are encouraged to be informed and active citizens that are responsive to the needs of a changing world and equipped with the ability to address critical environmental, social, and economic challenges through design and responsible professional practice.



Katherine Schwennsen FAIA | Clemson University

Katherine Schwennsen head shot

Katherine Schwennsen FAIA, is a teacher, administrator, and advocate for architecture students of the highest order. She is approachable, encouraging, and inspirational. In her role as a teacher, she has persistently worked to transform the culture of architectural education by prioritizing collaboration, engagement with affiliated communities, improved communication, and critical objective inquiry. She continuously seeks ways to bridge the gap between education and practice, to more extensively support socially-minded, public interest projects, and to advocate for student leadership.



Emerging Professional

Ryan McEnroe | Associate, Quinn Evans Architects

Ryan McEnroe headshotRyan McEnroe leads by example. His incredible history of engagement with students from high school to college, graduate students, emerging professionals, and young architects is nothing short of powerful and motivating. He co-founded the AIA|DC Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program and has volunteered for countless positions within the AIA, NAAB, and AIAS. Mr. McEnroe’s accomplishments and efforts have positively impacted and influenced emerging professionals and students across the country, and he is clearly a man of strong character and dedication to his community.



AIA Component

AIA Las Vegas | AIA Nevada

AIA Las VegasThe AIA Component in Las Vegas was awarded the AIA Component Honor Award in recognition of their remarkable efforts to develop the next generation of architects and leaders. Their impact stems from K-12 to college and into the emerging professional environment. This component clearly sees the potential in the next generation and empowers students to be leaders by providing opportunities for them to be involved with AIA committees and hold positions on the component’s Board of Directors, in addition to funding student travel and leadership scholarships.