The American Institute of Architects California Council has recognized AIA San Fernando Valley with the Chapter Award for their support of Woodbury students and alumni, while Woodbury alumna Leanna Libourel was also honored with the AIA California Young Architect’s Award. The 7th Annual AIACC Academy of Emerging Professionals Awards Program jury met at the end of September to deliberate all of the extraordinary candidates who submitted.
The Chapter Award this year was awarded to AIA San Fernando Valley. “Emerging professionals seem to be the heart and soul of this chapter,” one juror noted. They not only support their emerging professionals and mentor them through the process, but their membership is driven by the students at Woodbury University. The jury was also impressed with the amount of scholarships the chapter is able to award architecture students or those on the path to licensure.
Woodbury alumna Leanna Libourel was also honored with the AIA California Young Architect’s Award. As the AIA stated, “The Young Architect’s Award category was filled with very strong candidates, and was unusually difficult for this year’s jury to narrow, but ultimately, they chose two worthy candidates: Carina Mills, AIA of the AIA Long Beach/South Bay chapter and Leanna Libourel, AIA, of AIA Los Angeles. “Both of these architects are highly qualified and what they seem to take on is an inspiration to many,” said one juror. Mills, who serves as president for her chapter, has made a point to emphasize communication and impactful change with her members. “She rolled up her sleeves, got in there and did the work,” said another juror. “She must be fearless with the leadership roles she has taken on, and I look forward to seeing what she does next,” said another.
Libourel’s narrative had all the jurors taken aback and impressed. “To call her qualified for this award would be an understatement,” said a juror. She has contributed to the profession at the local, state and national level. And she has already in her career, managed to expand the definition and role of what architecture can encompass. Her journey through the profession has proven interesting—from work in a traditional firm to branching off to create her own services clearly demonstrates there is more than one way to thrive in an architecture career.”
In the past year, the AIA SFV Emerging Professionals Committee developed and delivered a number of
creative mentorship programs:
• The development of the ARE Exam Prep Saturday seminars that promotes the value of licensure,
mentoring and continuing education, under the leadership of member Nico Gemigniani,
• The launch of a Women in Architecture sub-committee to address continuing issues of gender inequity
in the profession, under the leadership of Serena Winner, AIA and Jesse Santiago, Associate AIA,
• A series of mentorship events hosted by the Emerging Professionals committee to introduce emerging
professionals to seasoned professionals,
• Hosting the annual AIA|SFV AXP Design Competition presented as a challenge to associates and
emerging professionals on their path to licensure, and gaining hours towards their NCARB certification,
originally launched by former Executive Director Leslie Nathan.
• Establishing relationships with John F. Kennedy High’s Architecture Magnet, as well as with Jovenes
Inc., an organization committed to addresses homelessness and education needs of 18-25 yr. olds
• Bringing together AIA Emerging Professionals Committee members from Los Angeles,
Pasadena/Foothill and Long Beach chapters
• Attending Woodbury’s ‘Grand Critique’ at which AIA SFV-funded scholarships are awarded
All recipients will be recognized November 9 at the Leadership Institute in San Francisco.
About AIA San Fernando Valley
The AIA San Fernando Valley is a local chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The AIA advocates for the value of architecture and design across the built environment. Their work drives positive change through the power of design. The local chapter offers many services to members and the community, including support for student scholarships and continuing education. The San Fernando Valley Chapter continues to support student photography alongside the Julius Shulman Institute.
About AIA California Council
The AIACC represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California. Founded in 1944, The AIACC’s mission supports architects in their endeavors to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more livable communities, sustainable designs and quality work environments. Today, The AIACC is the largest component of the national AIA organization.