Calling all YARs!

A YAR is a Young Architect Representative; an AIA member who has been licensed for less than 10 years and who serves as a liaison between the state chapter (in our case, AIA Virginia) and the Young Architects Forum (YAF) focusing on issues that concern Emerging Professionals (EPs; architects in the early stage of their career). For several years Carrie Parker, AIA has been serving, admirably, as our YAR.

Carrie has recently been appointed YAF Strategic Vision Director at the national level. Please join me in congratulating Carrie on that achievement. Having co-authored the recent strategic plan for that group, we look forward to Carrie applying her substantial leadership and project management skills to its execution. And while we celebrate and look forward to Carrie’s achievements, we also realize that this leaves us in need of a new YAR, for a two-year term, beginning 1 January 2024.

Roles and duties of the Young Architect Representative (YAR)

Young Architect Representatives represent young architects within AIA at the state and national level. They are the primary connection between local AIA chapters and the national YAF Advisory Committee (AdCom).

The Young Architect Representative communicates information from AIA National to local emerging professional groups and vice versa by:

  • Maintaining quarterly communication with all YAF chapters within their state
  • Serving as a conduit between local YAF chapters and the AdCom

The Young Architect Representative contributes to the direction and planning of the YAF by:

  • Participating in the YAF Annual Meeting and attending YAF full committee conference calls
  • Working with the AdCom on various national issues through participation in at least one YAF Focus Group
  • Attending AIA Leadership Summit and AIA National Conference, when possible

The Young Architect Representative serves young architects at the state level by:

  • Providing reports regarding the activities of the YAF and emerging professionals groups when requested
  • Maintaining quarterly communication with the following counterparts from their state: National Associates Committee (NAC) state representatives, Strategic Council representatives, and College of Fellows (COF) regional representative
  • Attending monthly AIA Leadership Exchange calls
  • Suggesting or encouraging young architects for nomination for state or national awards, positions or committees/subcommittees.

Young Architect Representatives have the option to represent YAF within the larger AIA National community by serving as a member of or liaison to any of the following: Strategic Council work groups, Knowledge Communities, Board Committees, Member Interest Groups, or Task Forces. These opportunities may vary from year to year.

Additional responsibilities may be required by each respective state. Young Architect Representatives are required to work with their states to ensure that expectations from state leadership are clearly defined and met. The AdCom encourages all applicants to discuss the position with their state leadership (either the state AIA President and/or Executive Director) to fully understand the role and commitment that the Young Architect Representative will have to their respective state prior to submitting an application.

Activities of a YAR

Every month this position will require 4-5 hours of your time. The state representative should expect to participate in the following calls and meetings:

  • Full committee Annual meeting (Q1, travel and lodging paid by AIA National)
  • Bi-monthly Full Committee Calls (2 hours each call)
  • Working group calls (frequency depends on the workgroup and their current load, but assume 1-2 hours a month)
  • Special calls as needed (generally no longer than an hour)
  • AIA Leadership Exchange calls (1 hour quarterly)

Term: Two-year commitment.

Application Requirements
AIA Membership – Applicant must be an AIA member in good standing within AIA Virginia (AIA Blue Ridge, AIA Central Virginia, AIA Hampton Roads, AIA Northern Virginia, and AIA Richmond) and must be licensed not more than 10 years at the time of submission.

Letter of Interest – From Applicant. Indicate understanding of the position, qualifications/experience, and reasons for seeking election. Limit one-page.

Letter of Nomination – From an AIA local or state component Board Member. Indicate the connection between the YAR position and the Nominee’s leadership qualities. Limit one-page.

Letter of Recommendation – From an AIA member. Indicate the Nominee’s qualifications for the YAR position. Limit one-page.

Letter of Support – From Employer. A Principal (or Officer) within the candidate’s firm must commit to supporting the candidate in fulfilling the role’s obligations. Limit one page on company letterhead.

Personal Resume – Indicate education, employment history, organizations, activities, honors, and awards. Limit two pages (It is NOT in the applicant’s best interest to simply submit a firm resume with project experience).


  • Completed applications must be submitted by email as a single PDF to Paul Battaglia, AIA, Executive Vice President of AIA Virginia no later than Wednesday, 4 October, 2023.
  • The YAR is selected by the AIA Virginia Board of Directors.
  • Notification/updates of new YARs are sent to the new YAR and the AIA YAF staff liaison by 27 October 2023. 
  • Positions begin in January 2024, with AIA National-paid travel to the 2024 YAF Annual Meeting (date TBD).

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

YAF Update

Happy new year everyone! Attached is a copy of “Now YA Know” and below is the link to the current Connection issue about DEI.

Connection Q3: 

This issue is truly an exceptional one with a diverse array of topics speaking on issues of accessibility, being seen, Just certification, advocating for immigrant professionals, designs that affirm, and so much more.

Connection Q4 is about the YAF Summit, but if you have any content you want to contribute and write please let me know and I’ll connect you with the editor.

Carrie Parker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Young Architect Forum Update

If you did not have an opportunity to attend the ArchEx East conference, I highly recommend attending in the future. The recent conference was my first time in attendance, and it provided a unique value and community. The intimacy of the conference provided the perfect opportunity to engage with peers in a meaningful way. I also hosted the Emerging Professionals Roundtable and participated in several others that broke the ice for conversation for the remainder of the week. Look for it in Richmond next year. 

I also attended the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit (WLS) and heard from some of the most amazing women in the profession advancing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The keynotes were inspiring and thought-provoking. It is heart-warming to consider that the entirety of AIA national leadership will be led by women in the next few years and you can already feel a marked difference in their approach. As part of CEO Lakisha Wood’s strategic plan, the WLS will now become an annual, rather than a bi-annual event. Look to attending in Boston next year. 

Chapter Spotlight

I wanted to fill you in on some exciting work with AIA Greater Richmond (RVA)’s YAF. They were awarded a 2022 College of Fellows Emerging Professionals component grant this year. Their proposal sought funds to support community engagement efforts this year. From there they established the “COMMUNITY WISH“. This was an experimental installation studying reclaimed materials and modular construction for ease of construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction in new locations. More importantly, it was active research of what kind of spaces and structures we can build in order to engage our community for feedback, interaction, etc. They designed and built the Community Wish pavilion at this year’s Folk Fest which brings an enormous amount of visitors to Richmond’s Brown’s Island. Pictures of the installation are below. Congratulations to everyone involved and keep up the great work!

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

Young Architect’s Forum Update

Happy June everyone, there are a few updates and deadlines from the Young Architect’s Forum (YAF). It is all exciting and asking for engagement, so please read on!

  • Applications for Summit 30 – Due 6/19
  • Submissions for the next issue of the publication “Connection” – Due 7/29

Summit 30

Every 5 years the YAF undertakes its strategic planning for the next 5 years at our Summit. This year is the 30th anniversary of the YAF, hence the name “Summit 30.” The Code Red Charrettes discussed in my previous post gave us the thoughts, opinions, and sentiments from a wide range of architects that armed us with information for Summit, themed “Mission: 2130”–discussing critical issues facing the next 100 years. If you participated in the Charrettes thank you for your valuable input! Apply by June 19th at THIS LINK to be one of the select 50 people in the room to help shape the future of the YAF and its strategic goals for the next 5 years.

Connection Publication

Did you know that the YAF publishes a quarterly online magazine called Connection? Last year, we published an article titled “Becoming Visible”, amplifying the voices of young architects and emerging professionals advocating for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in architecture. In order to further these efforts, we would like to continue celebrating and featuring young architects and emerging professionals who have done great work in the world of architecture, particularly in advocating for diversity and inclusion in our field, through social media and a second Becoming Visible article in the Fall/Winter issue. We are looking for “emerging professionals” (less than 10 years since college graduation) and “young architects” (less than 10 years licensed) to showcase and inspire others. If you know someone who fits the bill, please contact me with their name and email address and I can contact them directly about the logistics. Please also feel free to forward this message to your other networks!

Anyone can contribute to Connection, and it is an easy way to be recognized and published. The next theme is “Career Evolution” and the content is due July 29th. Reach out if you have ideas or want to contribute to Carrie Parker at

As always, stay connected to the YAF in our channels:

  • AIA Knowledge Net (most comprehensive) 
  • Quarterly YAF Publication “Connection”. Links from Knowledge Net, are also available HERE.
  • Twitter: @YAF
  • Facebook: @AIAYAFNational
  • Instagram: aiayaf
  • Linkedin: AIA YAF

The Forum

Hello AIA Virginia members, I am excited to begin my two-year term as your representative on the Young Architect’s Forum (YAF). 


I am a Senior Associate at CannonDesign in Arlington, Virginia where for the last 9 years I have been specializing in higher education projects, mostly student life and science and technology. I graduated from Oklahoma State University and have had my architectural license since 2016. I officially onboarded to the YAF at the annual meeting last week and will be on the Strategic Vision Focus Group for the next year. But enough about me, many of you may wonder what the YAF is and what the role entails. 

Carrie Parker, AIA


The YAF is a program of the American Institute of Architects and the College of Fellows (COF) and is organized to address issues of particular importance to recently licensed architects, within 10 years of licensure. 

The national YAF Advisory Committee (AdCom) is charged with encouraging the development of national and regional programs of interest to young architects and supporting the creation of YAF groups within local chapters. Approximately 23,000 AIA members are represented by the YAF; our volunteer leaders are Young Architect members in the AIA national, regional, state, and local components. YAF programs, activities, and resources serve young architects by providing information and leadership; promoting excellence through fellowship with other professionals; and encouraging mentoring to enhance individual, community, and professional development.

The Young Architects Forum Leadership consists of:

  • AdCom (Chair, Vice-Chair, Advocacy Director, Knowledge Director, Communications Director, Community Director, Strategic Vision Director);
  • Regional / state representatives;
  • AIA Board of Directors Liaison;
  • AIA Strategic Council Liaison; 
  • AIA College of Fellows Executive Committee Liaison;
  • YAF Past Chair

The YAF itself is in its first year of a renaissance. Previously the YAF body was composed of only 18 individuals appointed by regions of states. This is the first transition year where instead of regions, we are representing individual states and territories. This will soon give us a body of more than 50 individuals, increasing the size of each focus group and allowing us to accomplish more in the process.

The AIA has re-organized this year and the YAF is now under the body of the Workforce and Knowledge Community Group, while the sister organization of the National Associates Committee (NAC, Virginia represented by Caitlin Morgan) remains under the AIA’s Center for Emerging Professionals. Why this change? There has been a lot of conversation about the definition of “Emerging Professionals” and the Emerging Professionals Task Force deemed that those who are licensed are no longer “emerging” in their careers. An Emerging Professional is officially defined as “professionals who have completed their academic studies up to the point of licensure or up to 10 years after completion of their academic studies.” So in order to better serve you and create content that you will use, there is now more specificity to cater to each population. 


We are gearing up for YAF’s 30th anniversary at Summit 30 this fall where we will set the strategic initiative and vision for the next 5 years. We are hosting a series of 90-minute virtual charrettes called “Mission 2013: Code Red” April 5-7 (times vary) to allow us the opportunity to gather data that will inform the Summit. Help us answer questions like “What will the world look like in 100 years? How will the profession of architecture evolve to meet the demands of our future communities and climate? What technology needs to be invented to support these efforts?” Join the YAF for a robust conversation about the future of our planet as we crowdsource risks and opportunities related to the built environment’s connection to planetary and human health. Register to participate HERE.

The Future Forward Grant is open for applications. Presented by the AIA Large Firm Roundtable (LFRT) and the YAF, this grant supports emerging professionals and young architects in the testing of new ideas that disrupt the traditional conception of practice, process, and product in the field of architecture. The application period is now open and closes on April 30, 2022, at 11:59 pm EST. Find the grant and apply HERE.


Stay up to date on the latest news:

  • Twitter: @YAF
  • Facebook: @AIAYAFNational
  • Instagram: aiayaf
  • Linkedin: AIA YAF
  • AIA Knowledge Net (most comprehensive) 
  • Quarterly YAF Publication “Connection”. Links from Knowledge Net, also available HERE.

YAF Summer Design Challenge 2020


Due to the present challenges of our nation’s enduring situation and uncertainty, the YAF Summer Design Challenge 2020 is cancelled until further notice. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at

We are hopeful that things will get better soon and we can rock on with you in the not-so-distant future.

Be well and safe.

Announcing [yaf]CON

AIA Virginia is proud to announce a partnership with the Young Architect’s Forum in Hampton Roads to present [yaf]CON.

[yaf]CON is a newly-curated micro conference for emerging design professionals held 2-5 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2018 during Architecture Exchange East.

[yaf]CON is open to the young and to the young- hearted. The goal is to have fun, to learn, and to discuss the power of design for our communities. This inaugural program was developed to create a platform for emerging professionals for years to come.

You can add [yaf]CON to your ArchEx agenda for no extra charge — or join us for [yaf]CON for only $50.

[yaf]CON is intentionally open to allied professions to encourage cross-pollination of ideas, skill sets, and networks to better activate and enrich our cities through the energy and passion of emerging professionals in the design and construction fields.

[yaf]CON is curated and hosted by the AIA Hampton Roads Chapter of the Young Architects Forum.

ELA Program Gains National Attention

Josephine V. Arbaugh, AIA, the AIA Young Architects Regional Director for The Region of the Virginias, and an ELA class of 2012 alum, has written a wonderful article in the recent issue of AIA Young Architect Forum’s publication Connection.

Read the article>> (on page 34)

Connection is published bi-monthly by the AIA, and is one of the only architecture periodicals that has content exclusively sourced from Emerging Professionals, serving as a platform for architecture students, associates, and young architects to communicate at a national scale.

YAF Advisory Committee Seeks Members

Are you ready to make the jump to a national level committee? Can you think strategically about the needs of young architects and work virtually with other committee members across the country? Consider applying for the YAF Advisory Committee. Open positions include:

  • Vice Chair
  • Community Director
  • Public Relations Director

Applicants must be young architects registered for 10 years or less.

The YAF Advisory Committee (YAF AdCom) is made up of young architects working in association with the COF Executive Committee. The structure of the Young Architects Forum was originally modeled after the leadership structure of the College of Fellows (COF) and is itself a prime example of mentoring in action. For more information on the YAF and Advisory Committee positions, view the YAF Handbook.

The AdCom typically meets in-person three times a year and has monthly conference calls. Interested candidates must be available for a transition meeting with current and incoming YAF Advisory Committee members Sept. 19-21, 2013.

Application deadline is Aug. 26, 2013.

Applicants must submit a one-page “Letter of Interest” describing their interest in a specific position. Additionally, applicants must provide a resume and three (3) letters of recommendation, including one from an AIA component leader (i.e. a Chapter President, Regional Director, or Component Executive). Application materials must be 8 ½” x 11” files and must not exceed six (6) pages and 5MB total.

Please submit applications as a single PDF document titled as follows: “YAF_AdCom_Application_LastName_FirstName.pdf”

Submissions may be addressed to Jon Penndorf and emailed to

Eligibility: Applicants must be members of the AIA in good standing, and architects licensed ten years or less, for at least the first year of their term. Appointments are based on submitted materials, and selection will be made by the YAF AdCom selection committee in late August. Although the Young Architect Regional Director (YARD) roster often serves as a pool of nominees for the AdCom positions, YARD experience is not required.