Thursday  |  March 5, 2015   March 26, 2105 |  6:30 – 8:00 pm  |1.5 LU

(Postponed due to inclement weather. All registrations for 3/5 will automatically be valid for the rescheduled 3/26 lecture)

SmithGroupJJR | 1700 New York Avenue, Suite 100  | 

Is working for a traditional architecture firm, whether its S/M/L size, not satisfying? The once passionate architecture students now seek direction and/or motivation to continue in the architecture profession. This lecture will examine non-traditional career paths, how to define success in your career, and how becoming a licensed architect can not only broaden your career options but can give you the tools to save the world!


  1. Examine why women leave architecture and how women define success with the recent Equity by Design survey from AIA|SF and the Missing 32% Project
  2. Identify the importance of becoming a licensed architect and how, according to 3 licensed women architects, it can open doors in non-traditional career paths
  3. Examine three examples of non-traditional architecture career paths which include education, preservation and building enclosure
  4. Examine the decision and transition process from working in a transitional architecture firm to succeeding in a non-traditional architecture related career
  5. Examine how women architects can save the world




Nakita Reed,  AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, GGP |Co-founder of Encore Sustainable Design, LLC

Nakita Reed is focus on making existing buildings more sustainable. She is a licensed architect, trained preservationist, and has been the LEED Accredited Professional on multiple historic buildings. Nakita is well versed in ways to incorporate sustainable features into existing and historic buildings and has experience working with the GSA and Veteran Affairs Administration. She meets the Professional Qualifications for both Architecture and Historic Preservation under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines. Nakita holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. She completed her graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her Master’s of Architecture, Master’s of Science in Historic Preservation, and certificate in Ecological Architecture.

Bethan Llewellyn Yen, RA LEED AP | Critic, Studio Instructor at The Catholic University of America

Bethan Llewellyn Yen is a registered architect and received a Master of Arts with distinction in Housing & Urbanism from the Architectural Association School of Architecture. She received her undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Architecture, Summa Cum Laude. Bethan’s work at the AA and since has utilized multi-scalar design reasoning to approach cross-disciplinary projects and research.

Bethan’s professional experience has been split between academia and practice. She practiced as an architect at Studio27 Architecture, completing a number of award winning projects of varying scale and type. She founded her own practice, L2Y Architects, in 2013. After two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at The Catholic University of America, she continues her involvement as a Faculty Associate. There Bethan teaches architectural studios at both the graduate and undergraduate level and as well as seminars entitled ‘Design Process and Methods’, ‘The Architecture of the InFORMal’ and ‘Architecture and Global Urbanization’. She has also taught at The Pennsylvania State University as a visiting studio instructor. Her research focuses on new diagrams for urbanism that are composed of materially dynamic architecture and urban scale systems that foster the processes of transformation.

Amy Gelsone, AIA, LEED AP | Senior Enclosure Associate, Horizon Engineering Associates LLP

Amy Gelsone, is Senior Enclosure Associate at Horizon Engineering Assocs. LLP, a professional engineering firm specializing in commissioning, energy consulting, and LEED services. Amy specializes in enclosure auditing, commissioning, and consulting services, involving design review, performance criteria development, specification production, submittal review, site observation, issues tracking, failure cause/extent analysis, and remedial design. She also has significant experience working as a LEED Coordinator, helping companies develop approach strategies for pursuing LEED certification. These projects have involved LEED-NC, LEED-CS and LEED-CI rating systems and ranged from Certified to Platinum certification. Ms. Gelsone holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Harvard University where she concentrated in History of Art and Architecture. She furthered her education by attending the University of Houston where she received her Master of Architecture. In addition to her education, Amy is a Registered Architect in the state of Texas, a LEED Accredited Professional, an Energy Manager in Training and a Licensed Field Auditor for the Air Barrier Association of America.

Rosa Sheng, AIA, LEED AP BD+C | Senior Associate at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, founder of AIASF Committee The Missing 32% Project

Rosa Sheng  joined Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in 1997 and became a founding member of the San Francisco office in 1999 while serving as Project Architect for Pixar Animation Studio’s Headquarters in Emeryville. With 20 years’ experience, Rosa has led a variety of award winning and internationally acclaimed design projects, which range from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high profile retail stores to the innovative LEED NC-GOLD Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College. She was also part of the team for Square Headquarters and is currently working on innovative and sustainable projects for UC Davis and Dominican University of California. Rosa also serves as a Board of Director for AIA San Francisco and a member of SCUP, USGBC and OWA. Most notably, Rosa founded The Missing 32% Project Committee in July 2013 after the 2nd symposium and fueled by the persistent and striking, gender inequity within architectural practice; where women comprise only 15-18 percent of AIA members, licensed architects, and senior firm leadership. Under Ms. Sheng’s leadership, one of the committee’s largest undertakings has been the Equity in Architecture Survey. With 2,289 respondents, it is the largest known grassroots architectural survey to date. The results, and the challenges they raise, were the focus of the 250 person sold-out Equity by Design Symposium on October 18 in San Francisco.
The Missing 32% Project is a call to action for both women and men to help realize the goal of equitable practice to advance architecture, sustain the profession and communicate the value of design to society. Our mission is to understand the pinch points and promote the strategic execution of best practices in the recruitment, retention, and promotion of our profession’s best talent at every level of architectural practice.


This year, undergraduate students from Howard University and Catholic University of America will introduce the panelist. These passionate architecture students hope to save the world through architecture.



Nia Furr  | Fourth Year

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Nia is actively working towards obtaining her license in architecture through Howard University’s Intern Development Program. She hopes to one day open her own firm and be able to encourage young women to reach out and become more than just a minority in this field. Upon receiving her license, Nia’s goal is to work on Residential Architecture and Sustainable Design projects while always open to practicing all aspects of Architecture.



Salem Daniel | Fourth Year

Salem serves as vice president for Tau Sigma Delta Honor society for Architecture and Ailed Arts. In spring 2013, she initiate of  Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Alpha Chapter. Upon graduating, Salem plans to pursue a career in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design. Salem is from Prince George’s County, Maryland area.


Rachel Redmond | Fourth Year

Rachel recently returned to Howard University after a semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain where she was able to advance her cultural and architectural studies as well as volunteer in the local community. She plan to use her degree to start her own architectural and interior design firm. Rachel is from the Chicago suburbs area.


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