September 09, 2022

Fall 2022 Newsletter

Dean’s Update

Since my arrival two years ago, I have often mentioned the importance of strategic planning for a successful organization. I have also spoken of the importance of having a strategic plan before conducting an overdue curriculum review.  However, by acknowledging the National Architecture Accrediting Board mandate for regular course assessments and the addition of new faculty members this semester, I have decided that now is the right time to begin a multiyear curriculum review.

The following the "Multiyear Objectives" cited in the Accreditation Report will guide our program until we convene a Strategic Planning Committee:

  1. Recruit and retain Faculty and Staff to advance the mission through excellent teaching, research, and service.
  2. Elevate the School's reputation and increase employment opportunities for its students across the nation.
  3. Increase enrollment.
  4. Increase alumni and philanthropic support.
  5. Increase and intensify the School's relationships with other institutions.

The accreditation team will visit the school virtually in February (dates to be determined) and report their findings within 30 days of the visit.  After a period of review with the school, they will submit their final report to the NAAB Board of Directors for a determination at the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting. 

We look forward to a full semester of activities, including the Walton Lecture Series. This year the series includes a talk by the inaugural Visiting Critic in the Classical Concentration, Melissa DelVecchio, a partner at RAMSA. 

Pleases connect with us on LinkedIn and continue to email your comments and updates Christine Klecic, senior director of University Advancement for the School of Architecture and planning.  

Zero Energy Design Designation

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded our Master of Science Net Zero/Master of Architecture joint degree program a Zero Energy Design Designation (ZEDD).  This designation recognizes the School's "commitment to imbuing students with a greater understanding of the enduring impacts their design choices have on the built and natural environment."  Completing both degrees augments the skills and knowledge architects need to advance the world-wide effort to mitigate climate change. 

Congratulations to Associate Professor Patricia Andrasik, director of the MSNetZ program, and her team:  Robin Puttock, former Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies; and lecturers Carl Elefante, Jaime Van Mourik, Ann Sussman Rachel Nicely, Christine Gibney.

Walton Critic Lecture Series

It is our practice to add new voices to our school conversation through a public lecture series which began on September 12 with Suchi Reddy. It will continue with talks by Melissa DelVecchio, Philip Bess, Brigitte Shim, Mark Gage, and David Leatherbarrow on Mondays through November 21 at 5 p.m. in the Koubek Auditorium of the Edward M. Crough Center for Architectural Studies at CUA and via Zoom. 

2022 Walton Lecture Series 

Alumni updates

Mark Kramer B.A. Arch ’74, is the founder of Kramer Architects in Bethesda and also works as a professional artist and sculptor, primarily in bronze and welded steel, in the greater DC area. His latest project, with his wife Margi, has been writing and illustrating a children’s book – Molli & Me and the Family Tree to inspire readers to discover and connect with their family stories. 

Send news you’d like to share to Christine Klecic, Senior Director of Development.

Our Faculty

Joining us in the classroom this fall semester are several new instructors:  Faisal Moshin is teaching a 201 Design Studio section, Jason Montgomery is advising Thesis II students in the Urban Practice concentration, Shawndra Harry is teaching Portfolio DesignAnn Sussman is teaching Cognition and Architecture, and Nathaniel Walker is teaching the City and Cinema.  


Two distinguished visiting critics will join our senior/graduate level studio instructors this semester.  Suchi Reddy, the Founder/Principal of Reddymade in New York will join Julio Bermudez as the Walton Critic and Melissa DelVecchio, a Partner and Director of Research at RAMSA in New York will join James McCrery as the Visiting Critic in Classical Architecture and Urbanism.

Tonya Ohnstad accepted a tenure-track appointment as Assistant Professor and continues to serve as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Ohnstad wrote an article, “(re)construction: Joinery and Craft of the Notre-Dame Replica Truss,” for the June 2022 issue of Timber Framing journal. 


Ordinary Professor Julio Bermudez is starting his second Templeton Religion Trust-funded research investigating the architectural features that elicit human responses to sacred buildings using last-generation mobile eye-tracking technology. His research team is composed of experts from psychology, neuroscience, theology, computer science, and more.


He delivered lectures: “Neurofenomenología & Arquitectura Sagrada. Primeros Pasos” at the Virtual International Seminar “Neurociencias Aplicadas a la Arquitectura y al Diseño” hosted by the Universidad de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina (Aug. 2022); and “Uso de la Neurociencia y la Fenomenología para Investigar lo Arquitectónicamente Inconmensurable,” at the 3rd Latin-American Conference on Research in Architecture hosted by the Universidad de Piura in Piura, Peru (Aug. 2022)

Faculty Outside the Classroom 

Stanley I. Hallet, FAIA, is the winner of the 2022 AIA Centennial Award. The former Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at CUA, Hallet is Professor Emeritus of Architecture at CUA where he teaches undergraduate and graduate studios and seminars exploring the historic and contemporary relationships between culture, urban design, landscape and architecture. 

Given his early experiences in Tunisia as a Peace Corps Volunteer and in Afghanistan as a Fulbright-Hayes Lecturer at the University of Kabul, his studio work and lectures explore issues of landscape, urban fabric and sacred space. Formerly Studio Head in Rome, then in Paris, he helped oversee the transformation of the design curriculum in architecture at the School of Architecture at the Universite Tunis Carthage. Recently he has been exploring and proposing alternative models for incarceration during a time of social justice emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment. Hallet was nominated in the Architect Educator category but the nomination, with its wide support from around the region and across disciplines, was quickly determined to merit Centennial Medal consideration. 

The Centennial Medal is the highest honor AIA|DC can bestow upon a member. The Laureate must be “an architect whose contributions span at least a decade of service to the Chapter, to the community, or to the profession. 

Adjunct Professor Milton Shinberg was a featured drawing leader, along with Mark Allen Hewitt (Draw in Order to See) at the premier international Moving Boundaries Conference this summer.  One week was in Santiago de Compostela, Spain and the other in Porto, Portugal where representatives from six continents contributed their thinking, their probing questions and shared new ideas.  


In Memoriam


Edward Feiner, M.Arch ’71 revolutionized the public image of federal agencies by hiring notable architects to design courthouses, border stations and office buildings throughout the U.S. during his tenure as Chief Architect of the United States at the General Services Administration. Feiner, who passed away July 1, was said to be “the most powerful architect in America” in an Esquire article in 2003. He insisted that good design was in the government’s interest and engaged private-sector architects to sit on selection juries. He overturned decades-old practices that deterred young, innovative firms from applying and brought great design to both high-profile and obscure projects.


“Ed was a force of nature without ever being disagreeable,” said Douglas Palladino, AIA|DC President and Lecturer at the School of Architecture. “He was totally devoted to making the world better through architecture. It is a great loss.”  Palladino worked with him on GSA projects and recalled Mr. Feiner returning to CUA to deliver a lecture. 


Doreen Adengo, B.S. Arch ‘00 founder of the Ugandan architecture firm Adengo Architecture, died July 22. Her studio is known for its commitment to social housing and focuses on "affordable and sustainable" projects in the country.

Adengo was born in Uganda in 1976 and moved to the US when she was 18. She studied architecture at the Catholic University and completed a master’s degree in architecture at Yale University. She taught at The New School and Pratt Institute in New York, the University of Johannesburg's Graduate School of Architecture, Uganda Martyrs University and was a conservation architect at the Uganda Museum. She had been nominated by Nairobi architecture studio Cave Bureau co-founders Kabage Karanja and Stella Mutegi as one of fourteen architects and designers you should know earlier this year for her ability to "enrich her contemporary projects with historical depth".


“She was a visionary and her passion for architecture and design was unmatched,” said Ashik Jaffer Ali, B.S. Arch ’01. “She was my closest friend and confidant since our first year at Catholic University, and I watched with pride as she built her career over the years and across continents.” 


Information about a scholarship in her honor at the School of Architecture and Planning at CUA will be forthcoming. 

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