Class Acts: Former student news


The 2018 edition of “Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals,” published by the Facility Guidelines Institute, was dedicated to Joe Sprague ARCH ’70, senior vice president and director of health facilities at HKS Inc, and an Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Architecture.

As the chairman or chairman emeritus for six “Guidelines” editions, Sprague led efforts to include updates that included research-based industry changes such as new health care delivery systems and technologies. For more than 40 years, he has promoted design excellence in the health care industry.


Russell Buchanan ENDS ’83 designed a residence, featured in an online design website, that satisfied a client’s desire to mimic her experience visiting homes in Guadalajara, Mexico that had stark, concrete wall exteriors that opened up to inviting interiors.

Buchanan, a member of the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows, created a design that addressed his client’s needs, which included an emphasis on security, privacy, and low maintenance.


Tom McKnight, BDCR ’83 and his wife Cyndi were at “The Swamp,” the University of Florida’s football field, on Oct. 14, 2017 to cheer the Aggies to a 19-17 victory over the Gators.

“Seeing the game with so many thousands of Aggie fans in the stands was an awesome experience,” said McKnight, manager of capital improvement construction in the city of Jacksonville, Fla., Department of Public Works. “I also heard from more than one Gator fan of the great hospitality they experienced in College Station when the Gators played there during Texas A&M’s first season in the Southeastern Conference.”


Joe Mandola BDCR ’86 will be the new president of Trendmaker Homes, one of Houston’s leading homebuilders, beginning April 1, 2018. Mandola, who has decades of experience and connections in the homebuilding industry, has been at the company for 25 years. He succeeds longtime firm president Will Holder.




Jamie Crawley MARCH ’98, BED ’96, earned the American Institute of Architects’ 2018 Young Architects Award, presented annually to professionals who have been licensed 10 years or fewer and have made significant contributions to the field and acted as exemplary leaders early in their careers.

Crawley, director of architecture at Austin-based HA Architecture, lends his experience to commercial and residential projects while fostering community connections through extensive pro bono work.

 Among the accolades his emerging practice has received is an award at Austin’s annual Creek Show, whose organizers seek to raise awareness of the Waller Creek Conservancy’s environmental renewal efforts.

 Crawley was also instrumental in the success of the first-ever National AIA Leadership Institute in 2015, recommending speakers and Texas AIA chapter collaborations. As a result, he was asked to co-chair the institute’s successful, well-attended 2016 institute.


Shane Hesters BDCR ’01 has been promoted to vice president of business development in the commercial division of Jordan Foster Construction. Hesters, a Marine Corps veteran, joined the company in 2017 as project director in the company’s Dallas-Forth Worth and Austin markets. He previously worked as a division and business development manager for Yates Construction and as vice president of operations for Vintree Development.



Tiffany Robinson Long BED ’04, MARCH ’06, an associate partner at San Antonio-based Marmon Mok Architecture, was recently board certified by the American College of Healthcare Architects. Long is the first female and one of only three Alamo City designers to earn ACHA certification.

The certification process requires documenting more than 6,000 hours of healthcare practice experience and passing a written examination on the specialized requirements of healthcare facilities.


Jenna Higginbotham BED ’08 was promoted to associate at Looney & Associates, an award-winning, interior design and architecture firm with offices in Dallas, Chicago and Honolulu.

 Higginbotham provides design direction on interior architecture and space planning and plays important roles in marketing, event planning and company culture. She contributed to firm projects including The Lodge at Gulf State Park, JB Duke Hotel, Omni Nashville Hotel and Hyatt Regency Tyson’s Corner.

 “I learned early in my career that Looney & Associates has an exceptional reputation for being easy to work with, diligent and respectful,” Higginbotham said. “One of my personal goals is to embody the spirit of hospitality in my relationships with project teams and clients.”


Andrew J. Rowell USAR ’12 is pursuing a Master of Architecture degree at the University of Houston. He is expected to complete his graduate studies in 2018.


posted June 30, 2018