IMMIGRANT ARCHITECTS COALITION FOUNDERS
Yu-Ngok Lo, FAIA, CDT, LEED AP, NCARB
is the founding principal of YNL Architects, Inc. His work was published at different international media such as ArchDaily, Hinge Magazine, CONDE, Commercial Architecture Magazine, and Hospitality-Interiors Magazine. YNL Architects also received numerous awards including the AIA Miami Design Awards, AIA Long Beach Design Awards, AIA Inland California Design Award, AIA Orange County Inspire Award, Gold Nugget Awards, Best of American Living Awards, A' Design Awards, American Residential Design Awards, etc., Yu-Ngok also served on various design and professional award juries such as the AIA Hong Kong Design Award, NAHB Best In America Living Award, AIBD annual design award and the AIACC Academy for Emerging Professionals Award.
Personally, Yu-Ngok is a recipient of the 2019 American Institute of Building Design Designer of the Year Award, 2018 AIA Presidential Citation, 2016 AIA National Young Architects Award, 2016 BD+C 40 Under 40, 2015 ENR 20 Under 40, and the 2015 AIACC Young Architect Award. He was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2020.
Graciela Carrillo, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, C.E.O.
Originally from Colombia, Graciela Carrillo, AIA, immigrated to the United States in 2003. She worked as an Architect for Cashin Associates, P.C where she led all scales of urban design, planning and architectural projects. Recently, she joined Nassau BOCES Facilities Services as a Senior Manager where she is in charge of coordinating school’s related projects.
Graciela has committed almost a decade of volunteer leadership service to the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She has been involved with the AIA at the local, state and national level, currently serving as the President 2020-2021 as well as the Chapter’s Women In Architecture Founder and Co-Chair. On a National and State level Graciela was the past 2017-2018 NY Regional Director (YARD) for the Young Architects Forum (YAF). Graciela is also the Co-Founder of the Immigrant Architects Coalition, a group committed to helping and providing resources for immigrant architects to achieve a prosperous career in the In 2019, Graciela was the recipient of the AIA NYS Young Architect Award. Through her volunteering to the AIA, Graciela has had an abundance of career enrichment and professional development. Of particular interest is providing a voice for immigrant professionals established in the U.S., and encouraging and supporting them in their path towards licensure and professional development, since she experienced, first hand, the challenges of being educated in a foreign country while ultimately acquiring a professional license in NYS.
Shahad Sadeq, Assoc. AIA
is an Iraqi immigrant architectural designer at smithgroup. She is an active member of the American institute if architects (AIA) at the local level. Shahad is passionate about amplifying diverse voices in the profession and developing sustainable workplace culture. She currently is co-leading the EDI task force at AIA Dallas, co-leading the immigrant architect coalition and sits on the J.E.D.I. committee board of Smithgroup. She believes that architecture not only has the power to shape society, but to propel the future in its wake.
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
Oyuki Sulu, Assoc. AIA
is currently a Project Designer at Shelton Design Associates located in Pittsburgh, PA. Oyuki was born in Merida, Mexico and moved to Pittsburgh in 2012. She graduated with a bachelor 's degree in Architecture from the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Facultad de Arquitectura. She is a licensed architect in Mexico and she is currently in the process of obtaining her architectural license in Pennsylvania. She also possesses a certificate degree in Green and Sustainable Building Design. Oyuki is the PA State Associate Representative (STAR). Oyuki is passionate about sustainability, commercial design, and helping other international architects by mentoring and guiding them on the licensure process.
Gloria Kloter, AIA, NCARB, CODIA
is a Registered Architect and Interior Designer in the State of Florida, and in the Dominican Republic. She established her firm in 2009 back in the Dominican Republic. Gloria and her projects have been featured in nationwide Dominican newspapers and architectural journals like Arquitexto, HOY, Listin Diario, Diario Libre, Arquitectura Radial, and many others.
Gloria has a passion for mentoring and helping others around her. From 2008 to 2015 she was a professor of Architectural Drafting and Design in the School of Design Altos De Chavon in Santo Domingo, this school is affiliated with the Parsons School of Design in NYC. She also volunteered with TECHO where she built houses for families who lived in extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic. Gloria is also the founder of the Facebook page Foreign Architects (click here), designed to help immigrant professionals to achieve a successful career in the U.S.
Gloria has recently been promoted as the NCARB’s Architect Licensing Advisor for AIA Florida after her efforts in supporting emerging professionals in their licensing journey. She was also honored the 2019 Sho-Ping Ching Women’s Leadership Summit Grant, a recognition to mid-career women architects who are advancing toward leadership roles and are making a positive impact within their communities.
Gloria currently serves as an Associate Director of the AIA Tampa Bay. Driven by her passion for Architecture and her community, she revived the Women in Architecture Tampa Bay and co-created the Young Architects Forum Tampa Bay, where she now serves as the chair of both committees. For several seasons, she also has volunteered in the program “Architecture in Education”, an 8-week program where architecture professionals teach 5th grade students about Architecture.
Natasha Espada, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP
is the founding Principal of STUDIO ENÉE, a women and minority-owned design firm with an expertise in architecture, urban planning, and interior design. She has over 25 years of design and construction expertise in both renovation and new construction of institutional, civic, and commercial buildings and has a special interest in design excellence and sustainability. The majority of her projects are for Colleges and Universities and Public Institutions, which require innovative planning and design, creative solutions, limited budgets, an extensive community process, and successful user/client/team collaboration.
Ms. Espada is the 2020 President of the Boston Society of Architects/AIA. Among many initiatives, her focus is on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the profession and in making Boston a Design City by promoting the value of architecture, design, and art equitably to all of the neighborhoods in Boston. She is a mid-career mentor for Women in Design and an adjunct professor at Northeastern University. As a Puerto Rican, she is dedicated to helping rebuild Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria as a collaborator with ResilientSEE and she serves on the board of the Town of Needham, Massachusetts' Permanent Public Building Committee.
Bea Spolidoro, AIA, LEED GA, WELL AP
is an Italian architect registered in Pennsylvania. She is a Principal at Fisher ARCHitecture in Pittsburgh, PA. She is an active member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) at a local level, and she has served as a judge for the Institute Honor Awards of AIA National in 2016. Bea is passionate about building sustainable, healthy environments. For her, good design should improve both the physical and mental health of people. This goal is pursued regardless of the building typology or the age and the social and economical background of the occupants.
Marcella Massa, Int'l Assoc. AIA, Assoc IIDA, LEED GA, APA
has a bachelors in architecture and urban planning degree from the University of Cuiaba in 2010 and a master in interior design and lighting in 2012, both in Brazil. She became a licensed Architect and Urban Planner in 2011 in Brazil, and is working towards getting licensed in the United States. Marcella has extensive experience with retail, mixed-use projects, interior design, space planning, and master planning. In 2013, she and a partner received the best project award for Social Interaction in Milan Italy, which made her more passionate about the holistic approach for designing and sustainability. Most recently, Marcella and a group of five Emerging Professionals women from Dream | Design | Activate won the 2019 AIA Baltimore Design Excellence Award for Social Equity and Honorable Mention. She is an active AIA Baltimore member and is passionate about helping others to achieve professional success and achieve licensure.
Katya Siemoneit, Assoc. AIA
is Ekaterina, but I go by Katya. I live in Anchorage, Alaska and I absolutely love and adore this land. I was born and raised in small town in Russia, graduated with my Bachelor of Architecture from State University of Land Use Planning in Moscow in 2016 and currently pursuing my Master of Architecture in Boston Architectural College, expecting to graduate in Spring’21. I work as an Architectural Designer in NorthForm Architecture, where I am responsible for project documentation, coordination with other design disciplines, BIM modeling, rendering, preparation of Project Documentation and plan review applications. I also do project analysis and construction administration. I am AIA Associate member and one of the contributors to the creation of new chapter in AIA for Immigrant Architects in
the United States. My hobbies are very typical for an Alaskan: spending most time outdoors, travelling and hiking. I am very passionate about animals particularly about cats. I have two chubby cats and I volunteer at a local animal shelter.
Nour Alhussaini, Assoc. AIA
Is an emerging professional, originally from Syria, moved to the United States upon her graduation from Damascus University in 2015 with a Bachelor in Architecture. Nour started her career path working for an architecture firm in Richmond, Virginia as a project designer besides her volunteer engagement with AIA Virginia and the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design. She has also provided interpretive services for several agencies specializing in English/Arabic interpretation.
In 2018, Nour sought positions in association management and has been working for the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) since then. Besides, she serves as an NCARB licensing advisor and is currently a student at Southern Illinois University, pursuing her Master's in Architecture since 2019. Nour is passionate about design and believes that having a community to support immigrant architects is essential to achieve diversity and inclusion in the architecture profession where everyone is effectively participating in the built environment.
Saakshi Terway, Assoc. AIA, LEED Green Associates
Originally from New Delhi, Saakshi Terway is a licensed architect from India currently working as a Designer at Wiencek + Associates Architects + Planners, Washington DC. As an emerging designer/ architect, she has contributed to many featured multi-family housing and senior living projects. After working in India for 2 years, Saakshi graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017 with a master’s degree in architecture and a certification in sustainable landscape design. Her interests lie in responsible and sustainable architecture that has a social impact on local and global communities. She seeks to produce work that allows architecture and design to become a tool in empowering marginalized groups, encouraging them to appreciate and relate with the built environments around them.
When she is not working, she spends a lot of her energy volunteering with local architecture community. Being the current chair (2021) for the AIA DC Urban Design Committee, she has held this position for 2 consecutive years. Saakshi also has a passion for writing. She is the editor for the avenues journals vol. 2, 3 & 4 (in making) and a part of Mayor Bowser’s team that worked on Resilient DC: A strategy to thrive in the face of change. In past, she has represented USA as a reporter for World Architecture Community and published over 20 articles and interviews.
is an internationally experienced Architectural Designer with over eight years of experience working in Architecture and Planning.
She is a UCLA Architecture and Urban Design, M.Arch. alum and was part of the research studio led by the Architect, Thom Mayne in 2014. She was a recipient of the JN Tata endowment for higher education in 2013. As a licensed Architect in India, she is currently pursuing her Architect's license in the State of California.
She is particularly skilled in the design and execution of large-scale architecture across a variety of project typologies. Ranging from mixed-use residential to health, wellness and commercial offices and currently works at Gensler. Prior to Gensler, she has worked at award-winning architecture firms in Los Angeles and Mumbai and was a researcher focused on the documentation and discourse of informal settlements in Mumbai. At present, she volunteer's her time at AIA Urban Design Committee's local chapter.
She recognizes the acute shortage of resources in modern cities and hopes to build experience as an Architect and advance her passion for urban theory and research.