American Institute of Architects, California Council, Recognizes Dedicated Professionals

Sacramento, Calif.—Not only have the best and the brightest minds been recognized, but those who support architects in the early stages of their career.  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.

Meghana Joshi, Assoc. AIA, a member of AIA Orange County, received the AEP Associates Award for how much she has accomplished so early in her career. The jury was impressed with her involvement in movements such as #Girl Uninterrupted, promoting the value of architecture to students, other emerging professionals and women in architecture programs. “She has already done so much with her involvement in the architecture profession, and there is no end in sight as it appears now,” commented one juror.

This year’s Firm Mentorship Award was given to Anderson Brule Architects located in San Jose. The jury was impressed with their approach to mentor and retain talent and was appreciative of their deep roots within the community. “It’s clear this firm has hands-on community involvement which is so important for emerging professionals to not only witness but be a part of.” The jury believed their impact to be multilayered from their influence on early architectural careers to how involved and engaged they are within their community.

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.

Student Award goes to Alex Siegel, AIAS, who currently attends California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. The jury was particularly impressed with the breadth of his volunteer work—and how it clearly stretched beyond AIA but to students, community and the chapter. His example and his mentorship have already proven inspirational for students at CalPoly, and all seem to be interested in his trajectory and what he will do next.

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.

All recipients will be recognized November 9 at the Leadership Institute in San Francisco.

For more information, please contact Shannon Calder 916-642-1718.


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. For more information, visit www.aiacc.org.

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