Alumni Advisory Board

The University of Illinois School of Architecture has formed its first Alumni Advisory Board with ten inaugural members. The board serves in an advisory capacity to the school and the director, Francisco Rodríguez-Suárez, working to foster communication and networking between students, faculty, and alumni as well as within the broader professional community.

The Alumni Board has founded and generously funded the Alumni Board Design Excellence Awards, an awards program for the top graduate work for each academic semester. The board will assist in serving as jury members for the awards.

I am honored to be collaborating with such an outstanding and diverse group of architects, especially as we seek to enlarge the school's footprint and relevance in the city of Chicago. These prestigious ambassadors represent the Illinois brand with the utmost sense of excellence, and I am thrilled to share our studios and classrooms with their expertise and ideas. While the current composition benefits from our proximity to Chicago, it is our intention for the board to evolve into a national and eventually an international representation. I am grateful for their leadership, especially Board Chair Trina Sandschafer's commitment to make it a reality.
Francisco Rodríguez-Suárez, Director of the School of Architecture

Alumni Advisory Board Members

  • Trina Sandschafer, M.Arch ‘06, Board Chair, Vice President and Design Principal, Kahler Slater
  • Eleanor Esser Gorski, M.Arch ‘95, CEO, Chicago Architecture Center
  • Dina Griffin, BS ‘86, President, Interactive Design Architects
  • Ralph Johnson, BS ‘71, Principal and Design Director, Perkins + Will
  • Robin Owens, BS ’02, Deputy Commissioner, City of Chicago
  • Carol Ross Barney, B.Arch ‘71, Founder and Design Principal, Ross Barney Architects
  • Patricia Saldaña Natke, BS ‘86, President and Design Principal, UrbanWorks Ltd
  • Marc Teer, BS ’99, Founder & CEO, Black Spectacles
  • Ann Thompson, BS ’90, M.Arch ‘92, Executive Vice President of Architecture and Planning, Related Midwest
  • Michael Toolis, BS ’74, M.Arch ‘76, MBA ‘76, Former CEO, VOA Associates,
  • Jaime Torres Carmona, BS ’99, M.Arch ‘01, Founder and Principal, Canopy A+D
  • Brian Vitale, BS ‘93, Managing Director and Design Principal, Gensler
Alumni Advisory Board Members
As a collective, the Architecture Alumni Advisory Board is honored to serve the Illinois School of Architecture. Each of us credits the School of Architecture with setting the foundation of design, inquiry, innovation, and dedication in motion in our careers. Built on a legacy spanning nearly 150 years, the School of Architecture is crafting a bold vision for the future of architectural education. Together, we will work to ensure that the school continues to inspire and delight future generations of architects.
Trina Sandschafer, Board Chair
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