Update from YAF

Emerging Professional (EP*) and Young Architect (YA**) Community, we have several announcements. So please bear with me to the end. I have to make up for some lost time after welcoming my first child (a boy) this spring with my architect-husband. So apologies for not updating you all sooner on all of the good things happening. And yes, I have all-white Legos waiting for him to get big enough to not eat them.

*EP = those who have recently graduated and up to the point of initial licensure. AIA National member group is the National Associates Committee (NAC). Representatives to the NAC are known as State Associate Representatives (StARs)

**YA = those who are licensed under ten years. AIA National Knowledge Group is the Young Architects Forum (YAF). Representatives to the YAF are known as Young Architect Representatives (YARs)

Attend ArchEx East

Architecture Exchange East is our state AIA conference from the evening of November 1 through the morning of November 3. Sydney Huibregtse, your Viginia StAR, and I will be hosting some programming geared toward EPs and YAs. Thursday morning you can find us at the roundtables: first participating in the firm-size discussions and then in the career-stage discussions where we will host the EP/YA Roundtable. We would love to hear from everyone about their experiences and how we can progress together. One morning we will also co-host some casual conversation over coffee about mentorship and career growth. Lastly, we will hold an informal resume and portfolio review over a brown bag lunch on Friday for anyone wanting to get started in the profession or dust off their portfolios to start something new. Registration will soon open and we hope to see you in Richmond then.

As a self-proclaimed conference junkee (I met my husband at one, so can you blame me for liking conferences?) I have to say that ArchEx East offers the best networking experience that I have encountered. It’s intimate and has something for everyone. 

Apply to be the next Young Architect Representative

Alas, my term as Virginia’s representative to the Young Architects Forum is coming to a close and we are looking for my replacement. (See more info here) I have had the most rewarding two years and I am glad to have served my constituents. If you would like to volunteer, please reach out. If you know someone who would be a good fit, please connect them to me–I would love to talk to them about the role. I’m not completely disappearing and will stay on in a mentorship capacity for the next YAR (more on that in a future newsletter). With Paul Battaglia at the helm of AIA Virginia, there are great things in store and it’s a great time to be involved. Must be licensed for fewer than ten years and a member of AIA Virginia to apply. 

YAF News

 Paul Battaglia and I collaborated on an article regarding the role of advocacy in architecture for the recent Advocacy-themed publication of “Connections”. Our article “Architect as Advocate” is as much educational as it is a call to action. “Connections” is the quarterly online publication put out by the Young Architects Forum. We hope you enjoy reading and catch a glimpse of the Virginia capital on the cover.

Now YA Know” is a quick poster with links to national programming for EPs and YAs. Check it out for webinars, toolkits, and social meetups for the NOMA and WLS conferences. 

Apply to be a mentee in the Align Mentor Program that pairs young architects with AIA Fellows. Applications open September 11, but you can read more about it in this Connection article

Follow the YAF:

Stay up to date on the latest news:

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


ELA 2023 Nominations Open

AIA Virginia announces the call for applications for the 2023 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA): An Honors Academy of AIA Virginia.

The application and more information is available here>>
The application deadline is Nov. 11, 2022.

ELA is an intensive program of educational sessions structured around presentations, discussions, team exploration, analysis, consensus-building, collaboration, and case study activities undertaken over the course of a year by a small cadre of participants selected for their potential to be outstanding contributors to the profession and the community. Facilitators and mentors who are established leaders in the building, finance, non-profit, development, university, legal, consulting, and design professions and in the community at large develop and deliver the sessions, designed to provide participants with advanced knowledge and skills related to specific areas of leadership and practice.

The program consists of monthly, day-long seminars, work sessions, or class project presentations, culminating at a presentation in November.

The seminars are interactive, drawing on real examples and actively involving participants. They rotate among sites in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Richmond, Alexandria, and Norfolk in conjunction with the firms, schools, and the local AIA component in each area.

The class project for 2023 will be in Charlottesville, so many sessions and the project workdays will be located in the Charlottesville area.

How to Apply
The committee seeks applicants from three categories:

Component Nominees: Each of the five AIA Virginia local component Boards may nominate one or more individuals for admission to the program. One participant will be selected from each component for a total of five. If interested, please contact your local AIA chapter representative. Each chapter sets its own deadline and application requirements for these positions.

Student Nominees: Each Virginia Architecture School (UVA, VT, Hampton, and WAAC) may nominate one or more students for admission to the program. One participant will be selected from each school for a total of four. If interested, contact your department Chair/Dean.

Open Applications: Applicants may apply on their own or be nominated by someone else. Seven participants will be selected from among these applicants.

The application and more information is available here>>
The application deadline is Nov. 11, 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Guske, Member Services Director, cguske@aiava.org

Emerging Professionals Roundtable Meeting

The “Meeting of the Roundtables” serves as an educational opportunity to bring AIA members together from firms of various sizes to discuss pertinent practice topics in a structured and facilitated format.

Engage in a dialogue regarding how the AIA can best position you to be successful in creating positive change in the built environment and the profession.

Earn 1.0 AIA LU

Register online.

Learning Objective 1:
Describe risk management techniques and best practices

Learning Objective 2:
Discuss human resource management and understand how to implement best practices

Learning Objective 3:
Discuss best practices for firm transitions and describe how to support emerging leaders

Learning Objective 4:
Share your experiences navigating firm management during an economic downturn. Discuss collaboration, business development, and project management during COVID-19 and hear the experiences of other firm leaders and designers.

Earn 1.0 AIA LU

Register online.


ELA 2021 Class Announced

Here’s the 2021 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture.

Barbara Benesh, AIA, B. Grace Design
Marcos Alberto Borjas, Associate AIA, HKS Inc.
Kayla Bromley, Associate AIA, Reader + Swartz Architects, P.C.
Haley DeNardo, Associate AIA, Niles Bolton Associates
Maggie Dunlap, Associate AIA, WAAC
Alexandra Marie Foster, Associate AIA, MTFA Architecture, PLLC
Gary Glinsey, Hampton University
Aria Hill, Virginia Tech School of Arch + Design
Iroda Karimova, Associate AIA, HBA Architecture & Interior Design
Sasha A. Light, Associate AIA, Jacobs Engineering Group
Ashley Montgomery, Associate AIA, Hanbury
Hayley Owens, Associate AIA, VMDO Architects
Marium Rahman, Associate AIA, KGD Architecture
Stephanie Smid, Associate AIA, Jacobs
Lisette J. Stone, Associate AIA, SFCS Inc.
Taylor Terrill, Associate AIA, TKA Architects

If you are interested in supporting this group through a sponsorship, please contact Cathy Guske at cguske@aiava.org.

Associated Thoughts

AIA Virginia Resources for Unlicensed Professionals

As an emerging professional architect, are you feeling out of the loop? Like you might be missing something? Too many things to do, and not sure where to start? Are you an architecture student wondering how to make connections for jobs, put together your portfolio, or simply sign up for licensure hours? Are you trying to take the next step in your career, but could use some help?

Michael Spory, Associate AIA

Virginia is a great place to be a young designer—full of diverse and growing communities, dynamic designers, dramatic landscapes, surprising little towns, and vibrant urban places. As an emerging designer who found my footing in Charlottesville’s design community, I have learned so much from the talents and resources of architects across the commonwealth, and I hope Virginia continues to be a place where designers can flourish in their firms, start their own successful practices, and do the compelling work that serves our communities and our environment.

As the AIA Virginia associate director, I represent all unlicensed associates on AIA Virginia’s Board of Directors, advocating for the unique statewide and local needs of Virginia’s students and young professionals, and serving as a connector for initiatives and people in each of our five regions. I began my two-year term on the AIA VA board in January, strategizing about how to best connect emerging professionals with the right people, skills, and resources they need to take the next step in their careers. In my day job, I am a designer for VMDO Architects, focusing on educational and community projects.

This snack-sized monthly newsletter is intended to connect you, as an unlicensed architectural professional in Virginia, with the right resources and the right people to take that next step in your career. From ARE test study guides to job postings, procedures for the Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) Program (you should apply!) and advice on salary negotiation to tips from colleagues about how to lead a meeting, or even just finding the nearest architecture happy hour in your city—we at AIA Virginia are here to help bridge that gap. I want to help you find what you need next to grow, and many of those resources are right under our noses.

And if that one thing you need doesn’t seem to exist yet—let’s talk about getting it started together. Sometimes big ideas get started with the brave-but-simple question: “Can you help me?”

In the meantime, let’s get started. Please reach out at any time to me, with requests both big and small, and we will connect you to local EPs near you. We are here to serve you.

In social distancing solidarity,

Michael Spory, Associate AIA

Just a Few Fun Things to Click On

Because You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: Read your monthly newsletter from AIA Virginia. Want to read back issues? Click here.

Someone You Should Know: Michael Hammon, AIA is the NCARB Licensing Advisor for Virginia. He knows all things NCARB and is appointed by AIA Virginia to help you. Reach out to him at mhammon@glaveandholmes.com

Someone Else You Should Know: Corey Clayborne is the Executive Director of AIA Virginia, a recently awarded AIA Fellow (one of the youngest ever and the first ELA alum!), a dynamic leader and advocate for the profession, and an all-around great guy.

Something You Might Need: AIA National is offering their ARE prep course ArchiPrep FOR FREE for associate members until August 31. This is a steal, so you definitely should use it if you are taking your ARE exams like I am.

Something That’s Different Than Before: NCARB’s Youtube channel is surprisingly helpful, and they recently recorded a video session with Covid-related updates to the ARE registration and exam procedure. Super helpful if you’re not sure how your testing experience may be affected by a global pandemic.

Something to Brag About: AIA Virginia just successfully lobbied for the first ever statute of limitations for certain state projects. For those of us whose Professional Practice memories are a little hazy, this keeps us from getting sued into eternity. Or something like that. But it’s a big deal.

Something to Bookmark: For those on the job hunt, take a look at the job board on the AIA Virginia website — with employment opportunities all across Virginia.

Something Inspiring: Foster + Partners releasing templates for DIY paper architecture.

AIA Virginia Virtual Meeting of the Roundtables + Virtual Happy Hour

There is no question that these current times are posing some unique challenges to our firms and the industry. Join your colleagues for an hour to discuss in a moderated open forum how you are moving your firm forward. When navigating through unprecedented times such as these, some of the best medicine is simply talking to one another. Also, feel free to bring any beverage of your choice to the “Zoom” conversation.

Please register for the roundtable that corresponds with your respective firm size. You may register for multiple roundtables, but note that you can only receive 1 LU regardless of how many you attend.

Emerging Professionals Roundtable
for those on the path to licensure or licensed 10 years or less
Thursday, April 23, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Moderated by Krystal Anderson, AIA of Gresham Smith

Small Firm Roundtable
for 1 to 9 employees
Wednesday, April 22, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Moderated by Dan Zimmerman, AIA of Alloy Workshop

Mid-Size Firm Roundtable
for 10 to 24 employees
Friday, April 24, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Moderated by Andrew McKinley, AIA of VIA Design

Large Firm Roundtable
for 25+ employees
Tuesday, April 21, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Moderated by Paul Battaglia, AIA of Clark Nexsen

Emerging Professionals Summit

On Friday, March 6, 2020, AIA Virginia convened YAF and Emerging Professional leaders from around the state to build connections, share resources, and identify service redundancies and gaps in services.

This group of leaders will continue to meet regularly in-person and via conference calls to discuss ways to support our emerging professionals.

NCARB Live: Architecture Career Tips

Join NCARB on August 15 for a live webinar on career tips for emerging professionals in architecture!

Not sure how to find a firm that will support your licensure goals? Looking for advice on the best way to ask for a raise? Need tips for your next interview? Our experts are here to help!

Join Perkins and Will’s Director of Human Resources Amber Hamilton and NCARB Assistant Vice President of Experience + Education Jeremy Fretts, AIA, NCARB, M.A. Ed., for an interactive webinar on advancing your architecture career!

During the webinar, we’ll explore:
• Finding a firm that will support your licensure goals
• Interview and portfolio tips
• Advocating for equity and inclusion
• Coaching and professional development (as it relates to the AXP)
• Navigating benefit packages and negotiating salary
• The power of networking

You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions of our experts.

Date: August 15, 2019
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Where: To watch, simply go to YouTube before the webinar starts

Can’t make it? A recording will be available on the NCARB Blog and YouTube channel after the webinar.

Young Architect Update

It’s hard to believe I’m approaching one year since I started as The Region of the Virginias Young Architect Regional Director. My time as YARD has been a constant learning curve and simultaneously energizing. I want to give an overview of the exciting current events happening within YAF.

First, the AIA membership is listening to young architects. In 2017, emerging professional content was six of the ten most read articles on the AIA website, and 65% of the traffic on www.aia.org is ages 18-44. And for the second year in a row, the young architects’ ArchiPAC group, “EP WolfPAC”, donated more to Race for the ArchiCUP than any other group. I encourage all emerging professionals to stay connected by visiting the AIA Center for Emerging Professionals.

In 2017, YAF sponsored a Practice Innovation Lab that explored new ways of thinking about the profession and what lies ahead. The lab was designed “to get architects out from behind their desks to strategize rather than theorize.” More information can be found here. On the heels of a successful Practice Innovation Lab, the YARDS decided at the Annual Conference in February that the theme for 2018 YAF should be “Practice Innovation: Redefining Purpose.” By listening to the concerns of the emerging professionals around the country, there is an overwhelming desire to promote and challenge the profession; all while finding purpose in the process. Young architects in several regions and local components have been conducting their own versions of Practice Innovation Labs. These sessions can come in many different forms and sizes, and if you’re interested in organizing or starting one of these sessions, please contact me.

The Mission Statement of the Young Architect Forum is “Engage. Inspire. Advocate. Serve. Promote.” To solidify this mission, the YAF group is subdivided into five categories: Knowledge, Community, Public Relations, Communication, and Advocacy. I am currently serving in the Knowledge group. Our main task is getting emerging professional seminars formulated and approved for Conference. We’re already working on seminars for A’19 in Las Vegas. The YAF sponsored seminars for A’18 were superb. Some seminars available were “Rage Against the Machines: Surviving the End of Architecture”, the “Mini MBA: Mastering the Business of Architecture for Emerging Professionals,” and “Harassment in the Workplace: Building a Respectful & Harassment-Free Workplace Culture.” I volunteered at A’18 in NYC with several tours, seminars, and some YAF sponsored causes, like the anti-harassment commitment wall. Post-conference, I helped get seminar summaries on YAF’s social media to try to reach an audience that maybe couldn’t attend A’18. To stay connected please follow the ‘aiayaf’ on Instagram and AIA Young Architects Forum on Facebook.

Another mission the YAF has been advocating is developing an EP Friendly Firm Initiative. Several regions have already started a successful Emerging Professional Friendly Firm recognition program, and YAF has worked with those regions to help assemble a toolkit for other regions to get one started. I believe Virginia is looking into this and West Virginia is in the process of starting a committee to explore this program. We’re also trying to conduct a comprehensive study of the status of component level committees. I’ve sent out a survey to the local component YAF leaders and we hope this information will enable the YAF to better support our members in the future and to ensure EP committees feel connected to each other and AIA National.

One more way to stay connected is by reading ‘YAF Connection’. This quarterly publication is the official magazine for young architects and includes articles on leadership, mentorship, and fellowship. See the latest issue here.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time so far as the Virginias YARD. Witnessing emerging professionals tackle the big issues in our practice is inspirational and invigorating. It really makes me question, “What can I do to advance the profession?”

All the best,




Marie McCauley, AIA
Virginias YARD

ELA Class Off And Running

The 2018 Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) program has completed their fourth session of the year and it is shaping up to be a great year!

The April session was titled Practicing Professionalism and focused on the esteemed role of the architect as a pillar of the community that is looked to for leadership by many stakeholders. StrengthFinders certified coach, Kahtra Kayton, worked with the class to review their CliftonStrengths. Class participants learned more about their own strengths, shared it with the group, and then discussed how these attributes could best elevate the group’s performance on the class project. Next, Missy Rand conducted a dynamic session entitled Ethics and Standards of Practice. During this component, the class split into groups to role-play and discuss real-world examples of scenarios that firm leaders may face.  Alison Mullins, Esq. led off the afternoon with her engaging and laugh-producing presentation At the Crossroads of Contracts, Construction Documents, and Licensing Obligations. A topic normally considered mundane by many was presented in an attention captivating way that taught the class key points in risk management.  The session concluded with Paul Beckman’s Building Codes, which covered best practices in permitting and document review processes during the various design phases.

The group continues to advance with the class project. The next session will take place in Richmond on May 11.

Special thanks go out to the sponsors of the 2018 ELA program and to all who contribute in any capacity to make the program a success.

ELA Program Sponsors:

Patron ($1,500 – $1,999)
Moseley Architects

Sustaining ($1,000 – $1,499)
Hampton University

Supporter ($500 – $999)
VMDO Architects
AIA Central Virginia

Contributor ($1 – $499)
Alloy Architecture & Construction
Clifton Tiller, AIA
NFM Lending
Maya Restaurant