Inaugural excellence celebration honors arch. dept. achievements

Geoffrey Kornegay’s proposal for a network of community facilities in Mexico City, his final Masters of Architecture study project at Texas A&M, won “Best of the Best” honors at the Department of Architecture’s inaugural Celebration of Excellence held May 11 at the College Station Hilton.

“This celebration truly identified and recognized excellence in the classroom and a myriad of other special achievements by our students and faculty,” said Ward Wells, head of the department.

Kornegay’s project, intended to encourage community connectivity, was one of five final study presentations made by fellow Master of Architecture students Dayna Finley, Kuangyi Tao, Jose Terrazas and Mark Willingham.

The projects, previously selected by department faculty as the academic year’s top graduate design proposals, were juried by a group of design professionals who queried students about their proposals and commented on each presentation before announcing the winning concept.

The competition jurors were:

Charlie Burris, founding principal of The Arkitex Studio, Inc.,
Vincent Canizaro, chairman of the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Department of Architecture,
Ronnie Self, associate professor of architecture, University of Houston,
Bryan Trubey ’83, a design principal with HKS and
• David Woodcock, architecture professor emeritus.

Other graduate student award recipients were: Peri Arthur, presented with the American Institute of Architects’ Henry Adams Certificate and Akshay Sangolli, presented with the AIA’s Henry Adams Medal for remarkable work throughout their program studies; Amy Kircher, presented with the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for her leadership, accomplishment, service and promise of professional merit and Pasquale de Paola, presented with the Architectural Research Centers Consortium’s King Medal recognizing innovation, integrity and scholarship in research.

Undergraduate students recognized with top integrated studio projects were Marquesa Figueroa, Troy Grant, Rick Hasner, Alex Holtzer, Andrew Horne, Michelle Huertas, Eric Opperman, Michael Rollins, Ellen Sampson and Rafael Vasquez.

Michael O’Brien, professor of architecture, and Shelley Holiday, senior architecture lecturer, were announced as recipients of graduate and undergraduate teaching awards, respectively, on the basis of a student vote.

“These awards recognize not only our most promising students and their individual accomplishments, but also represent the level of excellence of all our students,” said Ward Wells, head of the Department of Architecture. “The recognition of students and faculty is truly a cause for a celebration of excellence.”

The inaugural Celebration of Excellence is a project of the Department of Architecture’s Council of Excellence, an elite group of department friends and former students committed to supporting and enhancing architecture program excellence, building relationships with students, and bridging gaps between the academic and professional worlds.

posted June 5, 2012