January 25, 2021
At their sold-out winter series, Young Architect announced their 2021 Conference Awards to Outstanding Members. The Young Architect Conference is the first Architecture Conference that focuses exclusively on the professional development of the NEXT generation of Practicing Architects.
According to YA Creator, Michael Riscica, AIA, “One of the things we want to do at all of our conferences is really acknowledge the members of this amazing community. From creating a conference around the simple idea of “for the community, by the community” to the “gold medals” we give the newly licensed architects. We ALSO like to give out Young Architect Conference Awards to outstanding members, that we have seen demonstrating exceptional contributions to the community!!!
Dedication Leadership Perseverance Trust Supporting and Volunteering
These are the words that came to mind when we were thinking about who this year’s YA Conference Awards should go to. We wanted to honor and celebrate a few individuals who always go above and beyond, are always willing to share knowledge, motivation, inspiration, and truly are working to help support the next generation of Architects. We are proud to have these people in our community and especially honored to present them with the Young Architect Conference Award. This year, we are excited to name Lauren Harris a recipient. Lauren Harris is a very passionate advocate for the next generation of Architects. Lauren has dedicated her time to helping Emerging Professionals within AIA New Jersey and the greater community. Her persistence and her ability to ask tough questions show her drive to bring positive change to the future of our profession.”
Libertad Lauren Harris, Assoc. AIA, CSI-EP, WELL® AP, GGP, currently serves as the 2020-2022 Regional Associate Director representing New Jersey’s Emerging Professionals at the National Associates Committee. Lauren also serves as the Chair of the AIA-NJ Women in Architecture Committee and a Trustee for the New Jersey Architects’ Political Action Committee. Lauren is the past section director for the AIA West Jersey Emerging Professionals Community and was recently honored with the AIA New Jersey Associate of the Year Award in 2019.
Upon receiving the award, Lauren commented, “Thank you so much to Michael Riscia, Joanna LaBounty, Destiny Berger and the entire Young Architect community for honoring me with the Young Architect Conference Award 2021 for my perseverance in my advocacy for the community. I am so honored and grateful to be chosen. All of you have been a support system for me and have inspired my perseverance. Each of you deserves this award for answering each other’s questions, for your consistent messages of encouragement, and for fighting for the successes of everyone in this community. Thank You!”
Along with her notable AIA volunteer resume credentials, Lauren also makes time to give back to the surrounding communities and proactively reaches out to local schools and students. She championed her office’s participation in the 2018 CANstruction Pennsauken event benefitting the Food Bank of South Jersey and has supported both local and state-wide STEAM initiatives for the past two years. Through her STEAM involvement, Lauren combines several of her passions and showcases the diverse knowledge of an architect by mentoring children of all ages. Lauren provides guidance on a variety of potential inventions from aquaponic farms to tiny homes, encouraging the children to think bigger and bolder.
Lauren graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology as an Albert Dorman Honors Scholar, Cum Laude, with a Bachelor’s of Architecture degree, and a minor in Environmental and Sustainable Studies. Lauren’s research in Bio-Enabled Facade Engineering, which proposes to mitigate carbon emissions and generate bio lipids for on-site energy production within the building facade, has received first place in the 2015 Dana Knox Research Showcase and was presented at the eCADDe conference in Finland. Her work in Soft Robotics and Emerging Architectural Materials appeared in Architectural Digest, January 2016 issue.
AIA New Jersey is very proud to have Lauren on our leadership team and all of our members are fortunate to have her looking out for their best interests and promoting professional best practices on their behalf.
Lauren, our most sincere congratulations to you! Your future is bright!
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in AIA West Jersey, Associates, Diversity, Emerging Professionals, Service Awards, Women in Architecture, Young Architects Forum | Tagged: #AIA, #AIANJ, #AIAWestJersey, #DestinyBerger, #diversity, #EDI, #equity, #Inclusion, #JoannaLaBounty, #LibertadLaurenHarrisAssociateAIA, #ServiceAwards, #womeninarchitecture, #YoungArchitect, MichaelRiscicaAIA | Comments (0)
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