SoA Alumni Panel and Networking Reception

Networking reception immediately follows in CFA Great Hall
M 05 Nov 2018 | 5:00pm | Kresge Theatre (map)
Co-sponsored by the CMU Career and Professional Development Center

nEXt-UP is a conversation on architectural careers with SoA alumni. The event features a panel discussion on the diversity of career trajectories possible following the powerful experience and foundation of an architectural education.

The event will begin with presentations from each of our alumni panelists on their work, followed by a moderated panel discussion. The panel explores the experience and perspectives of our panelists, how they leveraged their education to get to where they are today, and how their professional career, work, and research were informed by their education in the School of Architecture. The panelists will share their experiences in practice, education, and other related ventures.

Following the panel discussion is a reception providing the opportunity for attendees to network with our moderator, panelists, invited guests, alumni, and current students.

5:00-5:30pm: Panelist Introductions

5:30-6:00pm: Moderated Questions & Discussion

6:00-7:30pm: Networking Reception




Christine Mondor, AIA, LEED AP
B.Arch ’93 | EvolveEA

Christine Mondor has been active in shaping Pittsburgh’s buildings and landscapes as an architect, educator, and activist. Christine was project architect for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, one of the first LEED-rated buildings in the country, and has provided green building consulting for clients including the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, ALCOA Corporation and Carnegie Mellon University. She has produced other projects that have been recognized for their design and environmental quality, including a straw bale comfort station and the renovation of the CCI Center. Most recently, Christine has designed residential and commercial landscapes to create beautiful settings that reconnect people to the outdoors and improve environmental conditions such as storm water and habitat quality. Mondor teaches architecture and landscape design at Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham College.



Erica Cochran, PhD, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, LEED AP
MSSD ‘09, PhD-BPD ‘14 | CMU SoA Assistant Professor

Erica Cochran Hameen, PhD, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, LEED AP is an architectural designer and Assistant Professor in the CMU School of Architecture. Erica serves as an instructor for multiple graduate and undergraduate courses and recently developed a new course focused on energy efficient and healthy retrofits. Erica’s doctoral research investigated the impact of school building and neighborhood physical and environmental characteristics on student and teacher health and performance. She is also a contributing researcher for a Sustainable Engineering textbook and served as one of the Principal Investigators for the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI), formally the EEB Hub, established by the DOE as an Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster.

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Avneet Gujral, Assoc. AIA, FIIA, LEED AP BD+C & ND, WELL AP
MSSD ’07 | Sustainable Design Consulting LLC

Avneet Gujral serves as a Senior Project Manager at SDC. In her role, she provides strategic leadership for LEED certification of Neighborhood Development projects that focus on Master Planning such as the $2 billion Wharf DC and the Pittsburgh Penguins Civic Arena Redevelopment, WELL certification, as well as individual mixed-use, commercial, educational, residential, and institutional projects. Additionally, Avneet is an Enterprise Green Communities Charrette Facilitator. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Market Leadership Advisory Board for the U.S. Green Building Council's National Capital Region, and has served as an expert for the development of the LEED for Neighborhood v4 and WELL AP exams for the USGBC and International WELL Building Institute and various pilot green building standards, most recently WELL v2.

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Zekun (Suzy) Li, LEED AP
MUD ’13, M.S. Architecture ’14 | PhD-BPD Candidate, CMU SoA

Suzy Li is an urban designer, entrepreneur, and certified LEED accredited professional. She received her Master of Urban Design and Master of Science in Architecture from CMU in 2013 and 2014. With a background in urban planning, her work focuses on design at the urban and neighborhood scale and context. She and her team received the honorable mention in the 2013 ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. She was an adjunct instructor at CMU, co-instructing urban design methods, before she went back to China where she founded an engineering cost consulting firm. She currently resides in Pittsburgh as a PhD candidate in Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon University.

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Lauren Schmidt, AIA, LEED AP
B.Arch ‘04 | KPF

Since joining KPF in 2004, Lauren has worked as architectural designer, job captain, and project manager. She and the design team have collaborated to develop a design for the award-winning luxury residential building One Jackson Square in NYC. A skilled manager, Lauren was Job Captain for Al Bateen Wharf, a mixed-use project in Abu Dhabi, and 175 Park Avenue, a repositioning project in New Jersey. She was also involved in 30 North Colonnade at Canary Wharf in London, a 16-story office tower. Lauren is currently Project Manager for 55 Hudson Yards in New York, a tall office tower currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2018. Lauren actively leads KPF’s Educational Program and many other outreach and training programs. In 2011 she received the Emerging New York Architects Merit Award from AIA New York, which honors recently licensed architects for their contributions to the profession. She also teaches ARE study courses at the New York Center for Architecture and has been involved with the firm’s ACE mentor program.

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Rachel Zsembery, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
B.Arch ‘01 | Bergmeyer Associates, Inc.

A Principal at Bergmeyer Associates, Inc., Rachel J. Zsembery, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, directs design and strategy teams that research, develop, and implement experience-rich consumer environments. Rachel serves on the Bergmeyer Associates, Inc. Board of Directors as the company’s Vice President, and is currently a member of the VMSD Editorial Advisory Board, the Boston Society of Architects’ Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and the SHOP! Industry Future Council. Rachel’s accomplishments have been acknowledged by local and national publications, and she is frequently called upon to serve as a speaker on the future of architectural practice.