Class of 2017

AIA New York is pleased to announce the 2017 class of the Civic Leadership Program (CLP). Ten talented and civically-minded emerging architecture professionals will participate in a six-month mentorship and training program to develop skills to engage in the civic process. Download the Class Yearbook here.

Michael Caton

Michael Caton, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Michael Caton is a New York-based architect at Ennead Architects who focuses on helping communities build environments of possibility, equity, and imagination. In practice, Caton works on cultural, institutional, and civic projects that explore the critical relationship between architecture and the public realm. He participates in myriad initiatives, programs, and events that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in both architectural practice and education; these include involvement in the ACE Mentor Program and with the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects.

Caton has practiced architecture in the Persian Gulf, Italy, and Switzerland. He has taught design studios and seminars at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE and regularly serves as an invited critic at architecture and design programs in New York City. His work and contributions to the field of architecture have been widely recognized by institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Twenty-first Century Art (MAXXI) in Rome, AIA New York, and Airbnb Design.

Jack Dinning 650px

Jack Dinning, Assoc. AIA

Jack Dinning conducts research on healthier, non-toxic building materials, as well as strategies for how these can benefit vulnerable populations. He has developed this work at the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons and through collaborations with LTL Architects, LEVENBETTS, and Bernheimer Architecture. Dinning advocates for those most affected by materials toxicity, including infants and children, seniors, expecting mothers, and affordable housing residents.

Dinning has developed curricula and resources to educate fellow designers on best practices for healthier materials. He has led workshops with more than 200 students and professionals, from fashion students redesigning hospital gowns in the Bronx, to an architecture design-build studio renovating the Children’s Museum of the Arts. He has also developed public awareness campaigns in the form of gallery installations, social media ads, and online learning tools. Dinning’s work also demonstrates a longstanding commitment to social and environmental design advocacy on topics like coastal resiliency, urban timber construction, and sensory design for children with autism.

Christina Hernandez

Christina Hernandez, Assoc. AIA

Cristina Hernandez is an architectural designer at SLCE Architects, where she works on housing. While studying Environmental Planning at Binghamton University, Hernandez worked on the Energy and Climate Action Plan for the City of Binghamton, developing recommendations for local policy and government action, a moment she points to as a catalyst to her interest in community building. Upon returning to New York City, she entered the M.Arch program at the CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture. While there, she worked as a research assistant for “Prototyping Architecture: The Solar Roofpod,” where she researched New York City’s infrastructure and the potential for net-zero-energy building in underutilized spaces.

Hernandez sees design as a form of communication, change, and service, with the physical design of homes, neighborhoods, and communities shaping every aspect of our lives. Before coming to SLCE, Hernandez biked across the country with Bike & Build to raise money and awareness for affordable housing efforts nationwide.

Daniel Horn

Daniel M. Horn, Assoc. AIA

Daniel M. Horn is an architectural designer who focuses on community recovery. While living in Lindenhurst in October 2012, Horn was personally affected by Superstorm Sandy. This experience fostered his commitment to building resilience through advocacy in at-risk coastal communities. After Sandy, Horn co-organized a grassroots group called Operation Resilient Long Island (ORLI), with the goal of bringing new resilient ideas to local towns affected by the storm. The group launched “3C: Comprehensive Coastal Communities,” a global design competition that brought in more than 60 entries from 20 countries.

Horn is now co-founder of ORLI+, a rebranded version of ORLI, which has become a resilient design and community engagement consultancy based in New York City. Horn is also a SEED (Social, Economic, Environmental, Design) certified professional and believes that public interest design and resilience should be paramount in all aspects of architectural practice.


A.L. Hu, Assoc. AIA

A.L. Hu is a nonbinary person of color who designs, teaches, and organizes in the field of architecture. They are a graduate of and a teaching assistant at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), where they earned a School Service Award for their work on Program Council, Queer Students of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (QSAPP) and GSAPP Political Action Projects. They are also a recipient of the student-nominated Avery 6 Award for the student whose commitment within the studio and the school at large has earned the respect of the student body. As a member of The Architecture Lobby and a former member of the Graduate Workers of Columbia, A.L.’s work and research is at the intersection of architecture, gender, race, and labor rights.

Michaela Metcalfe

Michaela Metcalfe, AIA, CCM, LEED AP

Michaela Metcalfe is an architect dedicated to mindfully shaping public space. Her professional and academic explorations have included multi-scalar, architectural, and urban territories that advance design in the public realm. With over 12 years of experience as a Senior Designer and Project Manager at Sage and Coombe Architects and as a Senior Project Manager and Design Liaison at the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC), she has led collaborative processes resulting in award-winning public projects. Currently, as the Director of Design and Construction Excellence at DDC, she continues to advocate for equitable, sustainable, resilient, and healthy design while facilitating consensus between discrete stakeholders, the design aspirations of architects, and the delight of the public.

Metcalfe graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Design from the University of Florida School of Architecture and earned a M.Arch from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Jessica Morris

Jessica Morris, Assoc. AIA

Jessica Morris is a Designer and Project Coordinator in New York City where she is working towards professional licensure as an architect. Morris is currently a member of the AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee. She obtained a M.Arch from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006. She is currently an architectural designer at Daniel Park Architects. Morris’s professional interests are diverse, ranging from environmental stewardship and community building to advancing the role and reception of art and architecture in society. She delights in the discourse of shared perspectives across practices, interests, and disciplines.

Shilpa Patel

Shilpa Patel, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Shilpa Patel earned a B.Arch from the University of Houston and a M.Arch II from UCLA. She has over 13 years of architectural experience working on multi-scale domestic and international projects. As a Design Manager at Laguarda.Low Architects, she focuses on project management, design process, and feasibility for numerous projects. Through her work, she aims to address public relationships in urban design while maintaining a high degree of technical detail.

In 2015, Patel moved to New York City from Texas to pursue her Master in Real Estate Development at NYU. She hopes to balance her education in real estate and architecture to promote positive community and economic growth in conjunction with intelligent and innovative building design. Patel strives to understand and impact communities through positive leadership and volunteering, whether mentoring young girls or teaching yoga in underprivileged neighborhoods.

Jenna Wandishin

Jenna Leigh Wandishin, Assoc. AIA

Jenna Leigh Wandishin is a project manager at Matiz Architecture & Design, designing for a range of higher education clients, non-profit organizations, and single-family residences. While earning her Bachelor’s at Temple University, she created volunteer opportunities for architecture students to utilize their design-thinking in neighboring Philadelphia communities. She also led design/build efforts through as part of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) architectural interventions in several North Philadelphia vacant lots. Wandishin also created cross-disciplinary programming for students in Temple’s business, liberal arts, art, and architecture schools in an effort to emphasize the value of inclusivity and diversity during design challenges.

Wandishin is currently working towards licensure and aims to practice in the public realm. She believes that architecture is civic pursuit, a belief which has fueled her passion for inclusive planning and public interest design. Her experience as a member of the inaugural AIANY Civic Leadership Program class informs her approach to practice and design. Wandishin continues to volunteer as a co-adviser to the 2018 Civic Leadership Program, where she helps a new cohort of leaders engage with agencies, officials, and community programs throughout New York City.

Ayo Yosef

Ayodele Yusuf, Associate AIA

Ayodele Yusuf is an Associate at Perkins Eastman with ten years of experience in key leadership and technical roles for a variety of large-scale projects, spanning waterfront redevelopment, transit-oriented development, institutional and medical buildings, and resiliency. As project manager of the New York Rising Program, Yusuf managed a multidisciplinary team to complete six community rebuilding and reconstruction plans, encompassing over 23 communities in Brooklyn, Nassau County, Queens, and Staten Island. The project garnered numerous awards and additional funding. Through a PE Traveling Scholarship, speaking engagements, and strategic partnerships with 100 Resilient Cities, he continues to develop the firm’s resilience expertise.

As an active Waterfront Committee member of the New York Chapter of the APA, Yusuf advocates for waterfront policies and practices that improve access to the New York Harbor. He served on the Advisory Board for the NYC Department of City Planning’s Urban Waterfront Adaption Strategies post-Hurricane Sandy, providing input on methodologies to address specific vulnerabilities, resiliency approaches, and evaluation frameworks. Yusuf earned a MAUD from Harvard University and a B.Arch from the University of Arkansas.


Our website has detected that you are using a browser that will prevent you from accessing certain features. An upgrade is recommended to experience. Use the links below to upgrade your exisiting browser.