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Diversity and Inclusion > AIA Diversity Recognition Program > 2010 AIA Diversity Recognition Program Honorees

2010 AIA Diversity Recognition Program

The Diversity Recognition program recognizes architects, component chapters, and others who are actively committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within the architecture profession.

“The DRP is about finding those grassroots efforts within our own ranks and using the AIA's structure to promote them,” wrote juror and 2010 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award recipient Benjamin Vargas, FAIA. “This is also an enormous resource to our other members who might be at a loss on how to start their own efforts. This program promotes faith in the AIA and in our members on the matter of social responsibility."

2010 AIA Diversity Recognition Program Honorees

AIA Kansas City Women in Design Committee: Outreach 2009-2010 – Kansas City, MO

AIA Seattle Diversity Roundtable – Seattle, WA

Studio Red Collaborative – Houston, TX

The Boston Architectural College: Implementing an Institutional Commitment to Diversity – Boston, MA

Additional Submissions

AIA Buffalo/WNY: Architecture + Education

AIA Orlando: Valencia Community College's Annual Golf Tournament

Atlanta Center for Creative Inquiry

Carnegie Mellon University: UDREAM

Kian Goh, AIA, LEED AP: An Architectural Activism

Lam-Thuy Ma: Tweeprints

Minnesota Architectural Foundation: The Clarence Wigington Scholarship

Rick D. Ruiz, Assoc. AIA: Architects in the Making

R. McGhee and Associates Diversity Workforce Program

ZGF Architects: ZGF Career Day

Submissions by this year’s recipients were displayed at the 2010 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Miami.

2010 AIA Diversity Recognition Program Jurors

Ronald Battaglia, AIA
Mr. Battaglia is the Managing Principal of Flynn Battaglia Architects, responsible for the overall firm management and the successful integration of finance, talent management, and operations of the firm. 

In three decades of professional practice, Ronald Battaglia has served in a leadership role for a wide variety of projects utilizing his experience and knowledge in design, management, planning and project delivery. 

In addition to his strong interest in design, Mr. Battaglia is equally interested in the business and advancement of the profession. He has been a staunch advocate for emerging professionals and the involvement of architects in their communities. Under his leadership as Vice-President – Community (2006) of The American Institute of Architects, the AIA launched an extensive community outreach program called AIA150 which will provide volunteer services by architects to their communities throughout the Country.  With equal passion he works to improve the lives of emerging professionals through mentor programs and improvement to the internship (IDP) and licensing processes.

Lourenzo Giple, Assoc. AIA
Lourenzo is a recent architecture graduate from Ball State University. It is part of his personal mission as an architect to better the lives of people by understanding the role of architecture and its impact on society. Since immigrating to the United States from Liberia, West Africa, as a young boy, he has always combined the experiences of growing up on two diverse continents. Africa exposed him to many things, such as the true meaning of vernacular architecture, sustainability, and that as people of the world we are responsible for each other. Upon coming to the United States, the core beliefs which he learned in Liberia were reaffirmed through rediscovering the need for sustainability which had been and continues to be a way of life for the rest of the world. Lourenzo plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in architecture along with an MBA to complete his educational career.

Danielle Herman, AIA
Danielle Hermann received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Iowa State University in 2001 and graduated with a Master of Architecture degree, Summa Cum Laude, in 2008. She currently practices architecture at OPN Architects in Des Moines, Iowa, where she has been a Project Architect since joining the firm in 2008. Danielle has been involved in the restorations and rehabilitations of some of the Des Moines areas most significant historic sites, such as the renaissance of the historic East Village neighborhood, the restoration of the Salisbury House and the Hoyt Sherman Place Theater, and her most current work at Terrace Hill, the Iowa Governor’s Mansion.

Danielle is also a studio critic and has taught undergraduate architectural design studios at Iowa State University. She continues to be actively engaged in the Iowa component of the AIA and is the current Chair and founder of the AIA Iowa Diversity Committee. One of her most current efforts is the development of a mentorship program and supporting coalition of organizations that includes partnering with the local ACE chapter and student organizations such as NOMAS. Danielle is a contributing editor for Iowa Architect Magazine and is member of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Class 2009/2010.

Renee Kemp-Rotan
Renee Kemp Rotan has held numerous high-ranking posts in Urban Design and Economic Development, serving numerous mayors in US cities. Her posts have included: the City of Birmingham, Alabama, Office of the Mayor, Director of Capital Projects, where she had oversight of a $175 million bond issue construction. There she led the master plan effort for the $50 million Railroad Reservation Park and the $90 million New Fair Park Olympic Village for Children; the City of Atlanta, Director of Economic Development, Chief of Urban Design/Urban Development; Programming Atlanta Aquarium; and Director of National Practice/Education Programs, The American Institute of Architects. She has lectured on major design issues at The Sorbonne, Paris; University of Cairo, Egypt; MIT; Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design; FAMU; Howard University; and Columbia University, among a host of others. As a writer and contributing editor she is published in the First Encyclopedia of World Vernacular Architecture, Cambridge University Press.

Benjamin Vargas, FAIA
Benjamin Vargas is a former AIA Regional Director (2002-2005) of the Florida/Caribbean Region. During his term on the National Board he successfully lobbied for the reinstatement of the original medal for the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award and for approval of Resolution 04-2 "To Strengthen the Demographic Diversity of the Design Profession," which led to the first AIA-sponsored research on diversity in the profession. He also drafted the wording of AIA Public Policy #32: "Diversity," and led the effort to create a new AIA program recognizing exemplary practices that enhance efforts to increase diversity within the architecture profession, known today as the AIA Diversity Recognition Program.

Benjamin Vargas, in recognition of his efforts to instill the value of diversity and inclusion into the AIA at a national, Institute-wide level, was selected as the 2010 recipient of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award.

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