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    Alumni Awards

    2016 Alumni Award winners

    Congratulations to the 2018 BAC Alumni Leadsherip Awards Recipients!

    Click here to see a list of previous Recipients

    MAYA BIRD-MURPHY, M.Arch '17 - Emerging Designer

    Maya Bird-Murphy received her Master of Architecture degree from the BAC in 2017 through our first-of-its-kind distance program. She previously received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Ball State University in 2014.

    While a student at the BAC, Maya identified the privilege and lack of diversity often found in architecture, an issue that is at the core of the BAC's mission. For her M.Arch Thesis, Maya crated a business plan and a vision for a mobile learning space in order to bring architecture and design to minority and underserved young women in communities in Chicago. While working full time and completing her Master's degree, Maya founded Chicago Mobile Makers and transformed her thesis into a reality. Chicago Mobile Makers offers free and low-cost workshops in design, digital fabrication, architecture, basic construction, and place making in Chicago neighborhoods that would otherwise not have access to design education. Maya and Chicago Mobile Makers were a finalist for the Fast Company 2018 World Changing Ideas in Urban Design.

    Maya is a 2018 Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship Recipient and Design+Diversity Fellow. In addition to her work in diversifying the design professions, Maya has been a designer at Kil Architecture & Planning, Wheeler Kearns Architects, Landon Bone Baker Architects, and currently is employed at Valerio Dewalt Train Associates.

    OLIVIA STASIN, MLA '16 - Emerging Designer

    Olivia Stasin received her Masters in Landscape Architecture from the BAC in 2016. While enrolled at the BAC Olivia demonstrated her leadership abilities by becoming the President of the BAC Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architecture in 2015 and assisted with program documentation, marketing materials, and STEM research in an effort to seek the reclassification of the landscape architecture discipline which could facilitate federal recognition, and therefore funding. Olivia was selected as a Landscape Architecture Foundation Olmstead Scholar Finalist in 2016.

    Since her graduation from the BAC, Olivia has continued her reputation for design, leadership, and collaboration at the Halverson Design Partnership. In 2017 Olivia was a winner of the Anova National Grant Competition for Emerging Professionals in Landscape Architecture. She recently worked on the Climate Ready South Boston Report looking at urban infrastructure and coastal resiliency strategies. Her experiences include designing municipal parks and commercial developments. Olivia is an enthusiast who loves contributing to the artful articulation of experiential spaces.

    SARAH RITCH, M.Arch '03 - Distinguished Alumni in Service

    For 23 years, Sarah has practiced in Boston in the field of the architecture. Her experience ranges from residential and commercial to institutional and historic preservation projects. Today, her primary focus is adaptive-re-use and sustainability. After acquiring a Bachelor's degree from Skidmore College which focused on Architectural History, she earned Masters of Architecture degree from The Boston Architectural College in 2003. Charlestown Civic Hall, her Masters Thesis, was located on the historically-significant Town Hill, the site of Boston's first settlement, and was aimed at restoring a sense of community to an urban town center. While in Boston, Sarah has worked for several of Boston's prestigious architecture firms, including Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott, preservationist Jean Carroon, and sustainable design firm, Architerra. Before returning her focus to preservation, she spent 10 years in the world of commercial architecture and interiors.

    In 2007, she launched S.E.Ritch & Associates, an architectural consulting firm. She has worked for homeowners, property managers, real estate brokers, developers, facilities managers, commercial
    office tenants and landlords. Clients include GE, Mount Auburn Hospital, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, The Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, Related Beal, and the Christian Science Church. A 15-year resident of Charlestown, Sarah is an engaged citizen, and is actively involved with the Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston Harbor Now, and her alma mater, The Boston Architectural College.

    MATTHEW SCHIFFER, B.Arch '91 - Distinguished Alumni in Practice 

    Matt Schiffer received his Bachelor of Architecture from Boston Architectural Center in 1991, and was recognized with the Herbert A. Glassman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Work Curriculum, a Commendation for Outstanding Thesis, and the Award for Best Thesis Presentation. He has advanced this rigorous foundation with post-graduate courses in landscape design, photography and art history at the Massachusetts College of Art and Harvard's Graduate School of Design. After graduation Matt spent more than a decade working in the Boston area alongside his father, award-winning architect Joseph Schiffer, and at firms such as TAC, Tsoi Kobus, Drummey Rosane Anderson (DRA); and the Office of Michael Rosenfeld (OMR), where he managed a wide range of project types including commercial, educational, religious, and healthcare facilities.

    Matt is currently a Senior Associate at Hutker Architects, a full service residential architecture firm with offices in Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Boston. Matt's broad professional experience, superior design skills, and ability to collaborate with builders have established him as a critical leader in the firm with regard to project delivery systems. As a designer, Matt specializes in houses that begin and end with their natural context; maximizing opportunities for visual and experiential immersion in each site's unique environment. His work has been published in Boston Globe Magazine, New England Home, Design New England, Cottage Living, Custom Home, Fine Homebuilding, and Cape Cod Home. Matt's talent for hand drawing has served him well, allowing him to interpret his thoughts about program and design concepts quickly and effectively through this time honored medium. Matt is also passionate teacher and mentor, who has supported and encouraged many junior members of his team in their own professional development. Over the years, Matt has shared his enthusiasm with other BAC graduates via career events and one-on-one mentoring. In the community, Matt has volunteered his time with the Cape Cod Modern House Trust, Habitat for Humanity, and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

    MANUEL ZEITLIN, B.Arch '81 - Distinguished Alumni in Practice

    Manuel is a 1981 graduate from the BAC with a Bachelor of Architecture and then returned home to Nashville. Manuel established Manuel Zeitlin Architects in 1981. For over 30 years Manuel has played a key role in the "rebirth" of Nashville and in 2014 was named one of the "25 Nashvillians who've shaped the city for the better". His approach of reclaiming and accentuating the unique features in previously abandoned industrial and commercial spaces has changed communities and brought life back to deserted areas. Manuel is committed to bringing communities together to working through planning and design issues. This includes collaborating with local artists and performers on the design of a hotel and working across disciplines to carry out designs that are best for a community to preserve and expand, instead of simply starting new.

    With his wife, Manuel co-founded Zeitgeist Gallery in 1996. The Zeitgeiest Gallery features local and international artists and create a space for new and established artists to experiment and grow. Within his own firm, Manuel focuses on collaboration and encouraging designers to engage with their communities. Many of his firm's mission-focused projects involve sustainability and mixed-income housing. His outstanding work is always pushing boundaries and finding creative ways to deal with issues, such as climate change and social inequality, through design.

    VALERIE FLETCHER, Trustee - Selfless Labor

    Valerie Fletcher has been executive director since 1998 of the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD). Fletcher writes, lectures, and works internationally. She generates opportunities for IHCD and has broad oversight of all consulting and design services. She created the IHCD User/Expert Lab which has over 300 people engaged in the evaluation of places, products, and services. Her research focus is integrating data from contextual inquiry research findings into design solutions in higher education, public transit, culture, workplace, healthcare, multifamily housing, and the public realm.

    Fletcher's career has been divided between design and public mental health and she is the former deputy commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health where she oversaw the largest participatory planning process ever undertaken in a state mental health system. She was Principal of Fletcher Studio Design from 1978-1985. She is councilor for the International Association for Universal Design (IAUD) in Japan. She has created an international universal design benchmarking project for the government of Singapore. She led the creation of a new national digital cultural resource on accessibility and universal design for the US National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute for Museum and Library Services. Fletcher has a master's degree in ethics and public policy from Harvard University. The Boston Society of Architects awarded her the Women in Design award in 2005.

    Each year, we seek nominations for four awards that recognize exceptional BAC alumni and/or members of the BAC community for their achievements in their field and within the community. Award recipients are asked to provide a professional headshot and to attend our award reception and deliver a 3-5 minute presentation with 2-3 slides highlighting their accomplishments.

    For more information, please contact Alumni Relations at (617) 585-0146 or

    Emerging Designer

    Given to a recent graduate who demonstrates great promise and leadership within their field. They must be actively employed in the design field and be making an influential impact in their sphere of design. Candidates must be alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years from any of the disciplines currently taught at the BAC.

    Selfless Labor

    Given to a volunteer in the BAC community who has worked tirelessly for an extended period to advance the College's mission. The individual embodies the spirit and ideals of the institution and continues to selflessly dedicate their time to the BAC today. This award is named after Dean Arcangelo Cascieri's (1902–1997) "Selfless Labor" sculpture, which depicts worker bees working on behalf of the colony around a beehive. Candidates are individuals who have demonstrated exceptional volunteer leadership in support of the College.

    Distinguished Alumni in Service

    Given to a BAC alumnus who serves their greater community by advocating for social, environmental and/or policy change. Candidates should influence and empower others through design at the local, regional or global scale. Candidates are alumni from any of the disciplines currently taught at the BAC.

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice

    Given to a BAC alumnus who has made a significant impact in the design community while promoting and improving the design professions through their leadership. Candidates are to have served in a leadership role in the design community for a substantial period and have mentored younger members of the design community. Candidates are alumni from any of the disciplines currently taught at the BAC.

    Past Alumni Award Recipients

    Emerging Designer Maya Bird-Murphy, M.Arch '17
    Emerging Designer Olivia Stasin, MLA '16
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Sarah Ritch, M.Arch '03
    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Matthew Schiffer, B.Arch '91
    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Manuel Zeitlin, B.Arch '81
    Selfless Labor Valerie Fletcher, Trustee

    Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award Gerald Couto, '70
    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Jill M. Rothenberg, '89
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Brandy H.M. Brooks, BDS '06
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Anahita Kianous, MLA '15
    Emerging Designer Stephen Martyak, BDS '09
    Selfless Labor Ralph Jackson, BAC Adjunct Faculty Member

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Sylvia Mihich, B.Arch '89
    Distinguished Alumni in Service David Silverman, B.Arch '94
    Emerging Designer Daniel Zeese, M.Arch '15
    Selfless Labor David Jaquith, '69

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Monte French, B.Arch '06
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Michelle Stadelman, M.Arch '10
    Emerging Designer Lian Davis, BDS '09, M.Arch '11
    Selfless Labor Russ Feldman

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Stephen Messinger, M.Arch '11
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Felice Silverman, '92, MID '14
    Emerging Designer Arlen Stawasz, B.Arch '13
    Selfless Labor Marc Pelletier

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Anthony Frausto-Robledo, B.Arch '96
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Fay DeAvignon, B.Arch '78
    Selfless Labor Charles Redmon

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Jim Barrett, B.Arch '87
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Stephen Rich, B.Arch '71
    Selfless Labor Holly Cratsley, B.Arch '84

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Rudolph Bedar, '51
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Felice Silverman, '92, MID '14
    Selfless Labor Bernie Goba, '69, '07 (Hon.)

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Christina Oliver, '90
    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Stephen Sousa, B.Arch '92
    Selfless Labor Peter Steffian, '07 (Hon.)

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Corky Binggeli, MID '08
    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Stephen Tise, '70
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Leo McCormack, '70, B.Arch '83
    Selfless Labor Don Brown, '06 (Hon.)

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Allen Lieb, B.Arch '70
    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Taniya Nayak
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Carole Wedge, B.Arch '90
    Selfless Labor Robert Sturgis

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Deborah Drew, BID '05
    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Robert Verrier, '67
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Gabriel Petino, B.Arch '94
    Selfless Labor H. Morse Payne, '13 (Hon.)

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Paul Donnelly, '01
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Holly Cratsley, B.Arch '84
    Selfless Labor Hugh Shepley, '08 (Hon.)

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Laura Fitch, B.Arch '91

    Distinguished Alumni in Practice Mark Goldman, B.Arch '89
    Distinguished Alumni in Service Domenic DiGiorgio, '71

    Distinguished Alumni in Service Bernie Goba, '69, '07 (Hon.)

    Distinguished Alumni in Service Elizabeth Carr-Jones, B.Arch '93