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Randy Steiner Elevated to the AIA College of Fellows

RANDY STEINER, FAIA — Elevated in Object 3 - Led a Related Organization 

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has elevated AIAPV member Randy Steiner to its prestigious College of Fellows, AIA’s highest membership honor, for her exceptional work and contributions to architecture and society.

An advocate for under-represented individuals striving to be architects, Randy Steiner has shifted the horizon towards greater access and opportunity within the profession through her visionary creation of the Coalition of Community College Architecture Programs.

Less than three percent of the architecture profession achieves AIA Fellowship. The fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession and made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.

A longstanding leader of AIA Potomac Valley, Randy was elevated to AIA’s College of Fellows on her first attempt. She is one of only 12 members in the mid-Atlantic region to achieve this distinction in 2020. Randy served for 13 years on Potomac Valley’s Board of Directors, including a term as President (the second woman to serve in this role), and was President of the Potomac Valley Architecture Foundation (PVAF) for five years and PVAF Treasurer for two.

After serving the community as coordinator and professor at Montgomery College, Randy recognized that there was a disconnect between the associate degrees offered at community colleges and the link to continuing the architecture education at accredited schools, as required by most jurisdictions for licensure. She founded the Coalition of Community College Architecture Programs (CCCAP) in 2012 as an alliance of community college architecture programs to seek the answer to the question “How are you doing with transfer efforts?” Through this visionary effort, the CCCAP has expanded to become an alliance of over 120 community college architecture programs, and has been able to expand access and opportunities for under-represented students with an Architecture Associate Degree to transfer to an institution that offers baccalaureate programs.

Answering this question has proved to be exceedingly difficult to facilitate and coordinate, but has helped to champion equity, diversity and inclusion within the architectural education program track, and has allowed a different pathway into the profession, offering more flexibility to individuals. Randy’s determination and efforts, as well as the foresight to ask the hard questions, has helped make both Potomac Valley and the AIA more equitable. AIA Potomac Valley is fortunate to have benefited directly from her efforts and is proud to support her as she rises to Fellow.

“More than any single member of the AIA, Randy Steiner has influenced the demographic diversity of students entering our profession. I say this without hesitation or qualification!… Some candidates have a myriad of leadership positions that form the basis for their career accomplishments. A fewer number have one singular achievement that sets them apart for a lifetime, or lifetimes … a contribution to our profession of SUCH significance that it will positively affect our collective trajectory for years to come. Such is the case with Randy, who founded the Coalition of Community College Architecture Programs in 2012. The CCCAP, with Randy in service as President, now has some 30 active schools setting the path toward licensure for hundreds of traditionally underrepresented individuals in our profession…These are not international scholars who return to their home countries to practice. They are American students from greater than 40 cultures and ethnicities who launch their university careers through more affordable community college programs. A large percentage progress into accredited architecture schools, while others directly enter architectural practices or alternative careers. All of them make their valuable perspectives available to us.” — Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA | 2014 AIA President

AIA Potomac Valley is proud to have one of our members achieve such esteem, and we express our congratulations, solidarity and gratitude to Randy on behalf of the chapter. Along with 115 new fellows, Randy will be honored at a ceremony on May 15 at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2020 in Los Angeles.

Randy joins the following current, distinguished members of the Potomac Valley Chapter who have achieved Fellowship:

Ralph Bennett, FAIA
Fernand W. Dahan, FAIA
Panayotis E. DeVaris, FAIA
John P. Eberhard, FAIA
Thomas N. Eichbaum, FAIA
Carl Elefante, FAIA
David A. Holtz, FAIA
Diane J. Hoskins, FAIA
Thomas C. Jester, FAIA
John C. Loss, FAIA
Mark C. McInturff, FAIA
Stephen L. Parker, FAIA
John P. Salmen, FAIA
John F. Torti, FAIA
Sharon F. Washburn, FAIA
Michael D. Watkins, FAIA
John C. Wilmot, FAIA 

Note: Randy is happy to mentor any Potomac Valley members who may be seeking fellowship and are interested in making a submission to the College of Fellows. You can reach Randy by email.

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