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

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 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

ELA Class of 2017

We are excited to announce the individuals who will be a part of the 2017 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA).

Katie Atwater of LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects
Adreon Bell of Hampton University
Claude Breithaupt of Studio Breithaupt
Miken Cheveyo (Che) Clark of Mason & Hanger
Barry Collier of Colley Architects PC
Jameson MacNichol of Virginia Tech
Awais Mahmood of Baskervill
Corey McCalla of Moseley Architects
Andrew McKinley of VIA design architects, pc
Chris Moore of Hanbury
Theresa Mozinski of Virginia Tech WAAC
Gareth Ratti of Clark Nexsen
Amanda Schlichting of Dewberry
Andrew Shea of University of Virginia
Michael Spory of Stantec
Emely Taveras of Glavé and Holmes Architecture

Watch AIA Virginia NEWS for updates and for more information on their class project in Blue Ridge!

ARE Prep

ARE 5.0’s launch date has been confirmed as November 1st, 2016. To prepare for this upcoming change, below are some tools for those pursuing licensure.

  • ARE 5.0 Guidelines – For general guidelines as to the changes in 5.0 and tips on how to prepare for your exams the Guide Booklet is an excellent resource. A pdf version of the guidebook can be found here.
  • ARE 5.0 Handbook – Developed to help you prepare for the ARE this handbook provides information on what content will be assessed on the exam. Find a pdf version of the Handbook here.
  • 5.0 Test Specifications – The test specification identifies the division structure of the exam and additionally defines: the major content areas, called Sections; the measurement Objectives; and the percentage of content coverage, called Weightings. A pdf version of the Test Specifications can be found here.
  • 5.0 FAQs – Have a question about the upcoming transition, check out ARE’s FAQ’s for 5.0 here.

More information will continue to be released on the NCARB website. Additional news will follow in future AIA Virginia newsletters.

New Architect Class of 2015

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 in 2015. This is great news that thrills all of us and we are so proud to call you architects! Have you recently passed the ARE? Please send an email to Shanelle Calvin, Membership Manager, to upgrade your membership and be featured in the next newsletter.

Amanuel B. Admassu, AIA
Catherine M. Atwater, AIA
James L. Barker II, AIA
Lacie A. Beemer, AIA
Charles B. Beshore, AIA
Rebecca C. Boller, AIA
Barbara M. Boykin, AIA
Carmine A. Cafiero, AIA
Kristin R. Carleton, AIA
Anna E. Carpenter, AIA
Helena C. Cerda Kun, AIA
Michael D. Dinka, AIA
Kelly N. Drewry, AIA
Hallie A. Futterman, AIA
Christopher L. Garwood, AIA
David A. Grootegoed, AIA
Kenneth Charles Harbaugh, AIA
Jeffrey D. Hart, AIA
Laura A. Helminski, AIA
Sara A. Heppe, AIA
Christopher M. Humes, AIA
Jessica Lane Inge, AIA
Michael Farrell Kennedy, AIA
Hazel Eclarinal Lai, AIA
Ross T. Larkin, AIA
Amanda G. LeBeau, AIA
Yeni Li, AIA
Chelsea D. Lindsey, AIA
Whitney C. Ludvik, AIA
Corey E. McCalla, AIA
Joshua S. McCullar, AIA
Joshua A.W. McKenrick, AIA
Eric W. McLaughlin, AIA
Carmen Adela Monroy Firoozfar, AIA
Emre Ozkan, AIA
William G. Payne, III, AIA
Mary E. Phillippe, AIA
Allison L. Powell, AIA
Gareth J. Ratti, AIA
Susan B. Reed, AIA
Juan J. Riestra, AIA
Sarah M. Schubert, AIA
Dustin A. Schulze, AIA
David L. Smith, AIA
Pete Soukas, AIA
John H. Spain, AIA
Meghan E. Spigle, AIA
Brittan W. Springs, AIA
Jeana M. Stright, AIA
Shriram Surendhranath, AIA
Steven T. Treser, AIA
Daniel H. Whitmire, AIA
Hong Zhu, AIA