Virginia Licensing Advisor

The Architect Licensing Advisors Community is a group of individuals committed to assisting licensure candidates and architects as they navigate the path to licensure and reciprocity. Architect licensing advisors provide guidance throughout the licensure process by facilitating the flow of information to architecture students, licensure candidates, and architects.

The program is led by NCARB and jointly supported by the American Institute of Architects. AIA Virginia members are fortunate to have been guided by Michael Hammon, AIA the last 4 years (2 terms). As Michael finished his term this summer, we are looking for a new State Licensing Advisor. Are you interested in helping young professionals through the licensure process? Do you like to help your colleagues with issues of reciprocity and licensure? If you are interested in being considered for this appointment, please email

Here’s some more info from NCARB on the Licensing Advisor appointment>>

If you are on the path to licensure and have any questions, you can still reach out to Michael at before the end of June or Cathy Guske at

Highlights from the February Board Meeting

Inclusivity is the theme of the brightest highlights from our most recent Board of Directors Meeting.

We have changed our Awards to afford a greater opportunity to celebrate the contributions of more of our members. The newly-created Virginia Associate Award celebrates the contributions of Associate AIA members regardless of whether they are pursuing licensure or not. Revisions to the language and eligibility criteria of the Virginia Emerging Professional Award expand the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions of both Associate members and AIA Virginia members who are in good standing and have been licensed to practice architecture for fewer than ten years; more closely aligning this AIA Virginia award with AIA National’s Emerging Architect Award.

The Board of Directors also conditionally accepted the Inclusivity Into the Profession Task Force Report (the IIPTF Report). “Conditionally” only because we need to fully explore the specifics, and timetables, of each of the substantial recommendations proposed in the report. Importantly, the Board of Directors has, by this action, committed the organization to the ambitions and aspirations of the report. It now remains for us to address each and all of the individual recommendations and to develop a course of action, with consideration to both our own resources and how we might collaborate with strategic partners/allies to accomplish these transformational goals.

The Echoes of Whitney M Young, Jr.

During his address to the 1968 AIA National Convention, civil rights leader Whitney M. Young, Jr. challenged the architectural profession to pursue more progressive values.

“One need only take a casual look at this audience to see that we have a long way to go in this field.”

“You are not a profession that has distinguished itself by your social and civic contributions to the cause of civil rights . . . You are most distinguished by your thunderous silence.”

Robert Easter in a purple shirt holding an architectural model encircled by 4 students

In 1972, the AIA established a national award in his memory. That award distinguishes an architect or organization that embodies social responsibility and actively addresses a relevant issue, such as affordable housing, inclusiveness, or universal access.

The 2023 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award was bestowed upon Robert L. Easter, FAIA – a member and Past-President of AIAVA – in recognition of his enduring commitment to advancing those individuals who have traditionally been underrepresented in the profession of architecture.

On the 17th of February, during Black History Month, Virginia State Senator Ghazala Hashmi sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 373 in which the General Assembly commends Robert L. Easter, FAIA for having received that award. Read the resolution here: SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 373

I am convinced that Whitney M. Young, Jr.’s challenge still echoes. I am convinced that Robert L. Easter’s advocacy and activism was spawned, to some degree, in response to the echoes of Young’s challenge. I am convinced that there is an echo to be heard as a result of Easter’s actions. I am convinced that there are echoes emanating in response to those actions. I am convinced that we should not ignore those echoes. I am convinced that we can no longer feign deafness to those echoes.

Let us resolve to take the time – and the action – to encounter the great symphony of those echoes. To do what we can not only to amplify those who need to be afforded a voice, those whose voice demands attention, and those whose voice cries out for justice, but also to amplify those whose voice suggests a way to acknowledge injustice, to rectify wrongs, to prevent injustice, and to progress towards a more just and inclusive profession.

Let us be bold enough to listen to the echoes. And let us add our voices to that choir.

Paul Battaglia, AIA
Executive Vice President
AIA Virginia

What’s Happening at YAF

It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year into my two-year term as your Young Architect Representative. I’ll start now with if you are interested in serving in this role, please reach out and let’s discuss. Calls for applications will go out later this year. 

Future Forward Grant is open for applications

AIA National is offering a $10,000 grant opportunity! Applications are open now!

Access to funding activates innovation and makes significant research possible. That’s why the Young Architects Forum—in collaboration with the Large Firm Roundtable—funds the AIA Future Forward Grant. The $10,000 grant supports and enables early-career architects to explore ideas that redefine the practice of architecture and move our profession forward.  All AIA Associate members, young architects and AIAS students are encouraged to apply. Applications are due April 2, 2023.

Grant proposals are encouraged to explore one more the following topics:  

  • Fostering leadership and organizational development,  
  • Redefining firm management strategies
  • Innovating firm culture
  • Streaming workflows and establishing new project delivery methods
  • Developing new prototypes or technologies that advance the practice of architecture

View the sample application HERE.

As a member of the YAF’s Strategic Vision Focus Group I have been involved in the organization of this grant, but I will not be on the jury. We recently hosted a Q&A zoom session, but as of writing this, the notes are not yet posted online. If you have any questions about applying, please reach out. 

NCARB has retired the 5-year rolling clock!

As part of NCARB’s drive to be more equitable and inclusive, they are retiring the 5-year rolling clock. 

Have you taken a break from testing? Log in and reach out to NCARB to see how you were affected. 

Read more on NCARB’s website. 

Follow the YAF:

Stay up to date on the latest news:

  • Also, check out The AIA College of Fellows Quarterly Q1 2023
  • Twitter: @YAF
  • Facebook: @AIAYAFNational
  • Instagram: aiayaf
  • Linkedin: AIA YAF
  • AIA Knowledge Net (most comprehensive) 
  • Quarterly YAF Publication “Connection”. Links from Knowledge Net, are also available HERE.

Feel free to connect with me, too. What are some ways your firm is working with emerging professionals and young architects? Send me an email or a message on LinkedIn!
As always, I’m here for you.

Carrie Parker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Associate Vice President at CannonDesign
Young Architect Representative for Virginia to the Young Architect’s Forum, 2022-2024
AIA Virginia Young Architect Award, 2020

New Members

We are always excited to welcome new members to Virginia. The following members recently joined the ranks of AIA Virginia.

New Architect Members

Mushtaque Abban, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Matthew B. Amos, AIA (Richmond)
Emily A. Baker, AIA (Richmond)
Andrew J. Brack, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Heba Elamin, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Jordi Mack, AIA (Northern Virginia)
Gracie N. Wiliams, AIA (Northern Virginia)

New Associate Members

Alex Agyekum, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Jafar Al Quraishi, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Lindsey Blum, Assoc. AIA (Richmond)
Kallie L. Grose, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)
Vaishnavi Kakarlapudi, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Taro Matsuno, Assoc. AIA (Central Virginia)
Chetan V. Mogal, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Shivani Nimbalkar, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia)
Natasha Sachania, Assoc. AIA (Hampton Roads)

Transferred In

Javier Ansoleaga, Assoc. AIA (Northern Virginia) from AIA Florida
Michael N. Archer, AIA (Richmond) from AIA New York State
Barrett C. Burdick, AIA (Central Virginia) from AIA Arizona
Jonathan A. Hoffschneider, AIA (Northern Virginia) from AIA Washington DC
Anthony J. Lucarelli, AIA (Northern Virginia) from AIA Pennsylvania
Erica I. Nelles, AIA (Northern Virginia) from AIA California
Wayne G. Sieloff, AIA (Northern Virginia) from AIA Michigan
Anthony Strakhov, AIA (Richmond) from AIA New York State

New/Renewed Allied Members

Anna Lee Bamforth, President, Bamforth Engineers + Surveyors

View all of the AIA Virginia Allied members

Newly Licensed

We understand the dedication and effort required to study for and pass the ARE. Congratulations to the following members for passing their exams and gaining licensure. This is great news that thrills all of us and we are so proud to call you architects!

John H. Grigg, AIA   (Richmond)
John A. Sturniolo, AIA   (Richmond)
Ravine Kiese Kassam, AIA   (Northern Virginia)
Emma T. Schrantz, AIA   (Hampton Roads)
Fletcher C. Bruegger, AIA   (Northern Virginia)

Have you recently passed the ARE? Upgrade your membership to Architect using this AIA form. or send an email to your Member Services Director, Cathy Guske,

Are you ready to get licensed? AIA Virginia has 60-day Amber Book subscriptions for $50 here>>

Have questions about licensure? Contact AIA Virginia’s State Licensing Advisor, Michael Hammon, AIA at

Reis Elevated to Fellowship

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is elevating one AIA members from AIA Virginia to its prestigious College of Fellows, AIA’s highest membership honor, for their exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society. Less than three percent of the architecture profession achieve AIA Fellowship.

The fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession and made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. Architects who have been elevated to fellowship can be identified by the designation FAIA after their name.

Included in the list below are the newly elevated members from AIA Virginia:

• Mr. Robert V. Reis, FAIA

Visit AIA National’s website for more information on the College of Fellows or to view the complete list of newly elevated architect fellows.

Appreciation, Gratitude, and Applause

Rhea George, CAE, Hon. AIA Virginia, Hon. AIA Richmond

Nothing is forever.

No thing is forever.

No one thing is forever.

It is important to rejoice that things are as they are, when they are, for as long as they are.

After more than fifteen years of dedicated service to AIA Virginia – no less than five thousand six hundred fifty-one days to be precise – Rhea George is moving on.

Towards the end of this month, Rhea will join AIA national as Senior Director, Member Education.

Join us in expressing deep gratitude to Rhea for all she has done and accomplished and achieved and contributed during her magnificent tenure with AIA Virginia. And in wishing Rhea nothing but the very best.

We celebrate Rhea’s time with us and await all that is yet to come.

Thank you, Rhea. You will be missed. But your legacy and your impact will remain.

We are proud of you. And happy for you.

And we will be ever grateful.

Be well.

Start Talking

A new year has begun! Downtown Richmond, the central business district, has come alive with people traveling back and forth to Capitol Square, and the adjacent legislative offices. People waiting in line quietly at the legislative office buildings while others are marching with throngs of people, not so quietly!!  All hoping to make their opinions known to Virginia’s legislators.

Working in downtown Richmond for a number of years, this is the scene I have witnessed for many years. It marks the beginning of a New Year and a new Virginia legislative session. Frankly, I have really never given much thought as to its purpose and its importance; the fact is that I saw it more as a nuisance.

Over the past year, its importance and purpose have become very evident as I (we) have benefited from the hard work that the Joint Legislative Committee does.  (Current members are: Ed Gillikin, AIA, Stephen Weisensale, AIA, Lauren Sughrue, Associate AIA, and Rebecca Edmunds, AIA.) The Committee, working along with our lobbyist, has spent numerous hours reviewing, vetting, and discussing legislation related to the profession, climate change, resiliency, and other issues of importance. These efforts have benefited both citizens of the Commonwealth as well as the profession. This herculean endeavor by a small team of dedicated individuals is amazing.

 However, it made me wonder how much different things could/would be if:

  1. We were all advocates for the power of good design and its impact on the built environment.
  2. We were all advocates for the value that an Architect brings to a project and the built environment as a whole.
  3. We were all advocates for the influences of what a good design has on the human experience.

If indeed “knowledge is our currency” then it’s time to start sharing that “knowledge” with others and those who are making important decisions that impact our lives, the ecology environment, the built environment, the human experience, and the very profession which we practice.  It’s time to take action.

Change occurs when motivated individuals take action to improve conditions, solve problems, make social changes, improve environmental conditions, make changes to our lives, and change the status quo. As I have discovered, we should not be afraid to have reasonable debates and conversations as to the impact of any particular issue.  These collaborative discussions and discourse along with differing opinions and experiences can enrich the world in which we live and our individual lives.

I hope in the coming months we each find how we can become a part of these conversations ….. in our communities, our local AIA components, and AIA Virginia. These conversations have the ability to change the world in which we live and practice in. So let’s start talking!

Mitch Rowland, AIA
2023 President
AIA Virginia

Newly Licensed

James Atkins, AIA  (Central Virginia)

Have you recently passed the ARE? Upgrade your membership to Architect using this AIA form. or send an email to your Member Services Director, Cathy Guske,

Are you ready to get licensed? AIA Virginia has 60-day Amber Book subscriptions for $50 here>>

Have questions about licensure? Contact AIA Virginia’s State Licensing Advisor, Michael Hammon, AIA at