Presented by AIA Virginia, the award recognizes the accomplishments of emerging leaders in the profession

Sonny Joy-Hogg, Assoc. AIA, and Alec Yuzhbabenko, AIA, are recognized this year with the Virginia Emerging Professional Award by AIA Virginia. Launched in 2015, the Virginia Emerging Professional Award recognizes the accomplishments of emerging leaders in Virginia for their contributions to the profession in design, research, education, discourse, as well as service to the profession, mentorship, or service to the community. Most recipients, including 2022’s honorees, are accomplished in several of these areas, and all demonstrate the strength of the architecture profession in their early promise as thought leaders and designers.

Sonny Joy-Hogg is motivated to design spaces that impact communities. With an architecture degree from Virginia Tech, Joy-Hogg interned for two years at New Directions Services, a sober living community committed to sheltering those who would otherwise go unhoused. This work led to the type of designer and person he is today. Sonny is now a landlord, himself, working with disenfranchised populations in a model similar to New Directions, but he also focuses on civic and cultural projects with the firm Baskervill. His human-centered approach is a common theme throughout his design work, professional achievements, and personal passions — which includes work on the William & Mary’s Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved, dedicated in 2022 as a place to remember nearly 200 known and unknown men and women enslaved at the university. Through this effort, Joy-Hogg demonstrated a commitment to the project’s mission and goals and in the end, crafted something that imbues honor and respect for those that came before us.

In Alec Yuzhbabenko’s short career, he has demonstrated a steadfast pursuit of excellence with a combination of natural talent, intellectual clarity, and genuine inclusiveness. These qualities have propelled him to a leadership position as associate design principal at Hanbury, and his articulate nature has identified him as a recognizable figure in regional and national media outlets through press coverage. Having moved to the United States from Odessa, Ukraine as a child, his professional work ethic and demeanor were uniquely shaped by the experience of immigration, enculturation, and a desire to succeed. Yuzhbabenko’s colleagues note his humility and willingness to mentor as obvious and sustained qualities that set him apart from his peers. He maintains active engagement in the firm’s studio design critiques, the summer scholars program, and knowledge-sharing workshops and seminars he has offered to the profession and the public. Whether he is leading the project or in the studio, Yuzhbabenko has a clear passion for design that extends beyond his project work and into valuable advocacy for good design.

Sonny Joy-Hogg and Alec Yuzhbabenko will be celebrated at Visions for Architecture on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.