California Architectural Foundation Announces 2023 Kain Healthcare Design Education Scholarship Recipients

(Sacramento, CA.) Three students of architecture, who believe in the field’s possibilities to deliver compassionate change, will receive 2023 Robert J. Kain Healthcare Design Education Scholarships to support their architectural studies, the California Architectural Foundation announced today.

  • Jesús Guillermo Macías Franco, an immigrant from Mexico who overcame fourteen years of financial hardship to pursue an education in architecture, wants to “promote equitable access to healthier communities”
  • Heather Leighton, who brings keen insights into removing barriers to accessibility and inclusion based on her experience circumventing health facilities after an injury left her body paralyzed, who is interested in making architecture of shared moments
  • Jennifer Muganza, a young woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo who speaks Swahili, Lingala, French, and English, dreams of providing environments that save lives and hopes to “take part in the progress of African healthcare facilities”

are each recipients of $2000 in scholarship funds.

“Each recipient is a testament to the Kain Scholarship’s recognition that architects have a crucial role to play in shaping the future of healthcare by creating healing environments that promote wellness, compassion, and innovation,” said AIA California President Scott Gaudineer, AIA.

“Guillermo [Macias Franco] illustrates strong passion, authenticity, and persistence when overcoming obstacles. His family history and personal connection to hospitals captured the jury’s attention, as did his design talent,” noted the awards jury.

“Heather [Leighton] brings her unique experiences and perspective as a person with disabilities to her excellent design work. She is motivated by the limits of our current healthcare environment and has a genuine desire and drive to use her skills to benefit others from an accessibility standpoint,” the jury observed.

“Jennifer Muganza is an extraordinary force. Her leadership skills and interest in community wellness are exemplary. Her evolution from studying medicine, to becoming an architect, to focusing on healthcare architecture specifically, is very compelling and will drive her success in our profession,” said the jury.


This year, AIA California’s parent organization, the American Institute of Architects provided matching grants through the 2023 AIA Component Matching Scholarship Grant Program.

AIA National is pleased to support state and local components, or their affiliated foundations, in their efforts to provide and develop scholarship programs with the AIA Component Matching Scholarship Grant Program. The grant is provided to augment existing component scholarship programs and reinforce the role AIA has in preparing the next generation of architects.

About the California Architectural Foundation
The California Architectural Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting excellence in architecture through scholarships, grants, and educational programs–bridging the gap between the academic and professional worlds. CAF exists to provide a mechanism for members of the AIA and the general public to contribute to an organization with a great benefit to society.

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