Alumni and Friends

New & Noteworthy

The following updates were submitted by alumni and/or their employers. To share your news with us, please go to Share Your News

Showing Alumni News from May 25, 2016 to Present [Show Archived News]


Peggy Bang (BA 1972 Art Education) of Mason City, author of The Melson House Revealed: An Owner's Perspective, recently spoke at two events sponsored by the Walter Burley Griffin Society of Australia. Bang presented the seventh annual Marion Mahony Griffin Lecture at the National Archives in Canberra, Australia. The first American invited to address the society in this prestigious lecture, Bang spoke about the history of the Melson House — designed by the Griffins — and its restoration. Bang also spoke about the house in a lecture in Castlecrag, an inner-ring suburb of Sydney, Australia. Bang is a board member of the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America and vice president of the MacNider Art Museum Foundation.


Cory Witt (BFA 2012 Graphic Design), a designer with Flying Hippo Brand + Digital in Des Moines, was recognized in the Print Magazine 2016 Regional Design Annual for a project completed for RAID (Ride Across Iowa in a Day). The project will be featured in the Print Magazine Winter 2016 issue, which ships in December, and the 2016 Regional Design Annual website.


A restoration project designed by Studio 31a under the direction of principal A. Elizabeth Ortner (BFA 1995 Interior Design), AIA, LEED AP, received a Chicago Landmarks 2016 Preservation Excellence Award. A Queen Anne-style single-family home in the Kenwood Historic District was restored to its intended beauty.


Jim Del Carpio (BLA 1997 Landscape Architecture / Environmental Studies), principal of JDC Designs and Consulting Services, is now the construction project manager of SQLA Landscape Architecture and Landsit Group in Los Angeles, Calif.


"Crossroads," a sculpture by Jo Myers-Walker (MA 1980 Art Education), has been installed in a section of skywalk on Third Street SE in downtown Cedar Rapids. Commissioned by Murals & More: The Cedar Rapids Mural Trail, the sculpture consists of shaped polycarbonate panels with a total of 40 painted figures designed to reflect the people, culture and spirit of Cedar Rapids.


Myers-Walker writes about the process of creating "Crossroads" in her September 2016 newsletter posted on her website. She currently lives, paints and teaches in Iowa City.


Shannon (Hoy) Gapp (BS 2011 Community & Regional Planning / MLA 2015 Landscape Architecture), Assoc. ASLA, is now a landscape designer with Bolton & Menk, Inc., in Des Moines, where she will assist with landscape architecture projects, including the design and development of graphics and construction documents and facilitate public meetings. She previously worked as an urban planner at Confluence in Des Moines for more than a year.


Marc Jensen (BA 1972 Applied Art – Advertising Design) has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of The Mint Museum, Charlotte, N.C. An internationally renowned institution, The Mint occupies two locations in Charlotte and features collections of ceramics, craft and design, contemporary American and European art.


David Lee Andersen (BA 1974 / MArch 177 Architecture), AIA, architect and consultant with Andersen by Design LLC, received the 2016 AIA Minnesota Louis Lundgren Award. The award recognizes one Minnesota architect annually for his/her dedication to the profession through community volunteer activities and professional leadership.


Lynn M. Ross (BS 1999 Community & Regional Planning) recently was named vice president for communities and national initiatives at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a national organization dedicated to fostering informed and engaged communities. She previously served as the deputy assistant secretary for policy development in the Office of Policy Development and Research for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C.


Zach Sunderland (BArch 2013 Architecture), AIA, passed the Architect Registration Examination and is now a licensed architect in North Carolina. He is an architect with Cline Design Associates in Raleigh, N.C.


Katherina Dimenstein (BFA 2011 Interior Design) is now working for US Senator Joni Ernst in her Washington, D.C., office as an adviser on veterans affairs, national security, defense and foreign affairs policies.


Lori Vierow (BLA 1992 Landscape Architecture), an award-winning designer with more than 24 years of professional experience in master planning, park and recreation planning, urban design and landscape architecture services for a wide variety of private and public-sector clients, has joined the Chicago office of GreenbergFarrow as senior landscape architect. Her responsibilities include expanding the firm's landscape architecture department as well as providing design and due diligence services to new and existing clients throughout the US and abroad. She will be based in Arlington Heights, Ill.

Vierow's experties lies in coordinating interdisciplinary teams in the design and construction of projects ranging from public parks and urban streetscapes to residential, commercial and sustainable developments. Her professional experience also includes working with clients and communities to develop open space master plans and park master plans that are unique and tailored to fit each community. She has assisted in preparation for analyzing service levels and forecasting recreation needs for these communities. Representative projects include Eagle View Park, New Lenox Community Park District Comprehensive Master Plan, Wenonah Tot Lot and Generations at Regency.


R. Todd Ashby (BS 1992 Community & Regional Planning), executive director of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, received the Walter Scheiber Leadership Award at the National Association of Regional Councils 50th Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, in June. The award recognizes the significant impacts an executive director has made at the local, state and national levels.


Chiaroscuro: Material Modalities and Immaterial Harmonics, an exhibition of work by Peter Goché (BArch 1991 / MArch 2005 Architecture), assistant professor of architecture at Iowa State University, will be exhibited Sept. 1-8 at the University of Florida School of Architecture Gallery. An opening reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, with a gallery talk by Goché at 5:30 p.m.


"Black Contemporary," an article by architecture Assistant Professor Peter Goché (BArch 1991 / MArch 2005 Architecture), has been published in "Material Vocabularies," the International Journal of Interior Architecture and Spatial Design (ii journal), Vol. IV.


David Lee Andersen (BA 1974 / MArch 1977 Architecture), AIA, principal of Andersen by Design (a division of CLH Architects PC: Minneapolis / Omaha), has been appointed to the Tien Gang University (Vietnam) School of Architecture's International Professional Advisory Board. A pioneering leader in responsible tourism planning and design, Andersen has completed new town planning work in Vietnam and has presented lectures on sustainable design in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. He will help advise the architecture school on curriculum content and sustainable design in tropical environments.


Matthew Corones: Hyperreal Spectacular, an exhibition of paintings by Matthew Corones (MFA 2012 Integrated Visual Arts), Ames, is on display July 7 through Oct. 24 in the Iowa State Memorial Union Pioneer Room.

Using a fusion of nonrepresentational brushstrokes and stenciled shapes, Corones painted on a clear film surface. The painted film shows detailed textures, interesting transparency and the artist's bold color relationships. Viewers can find shapes inspired by Henri Matisse, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Paul Klee and experience the overlay of ideas from a range of sources.


Lee Rainboth: Epicenters, an exhibition by Lee Rainboth (BFA 2007 Integrated Studio Arts), founder and executive director of Living Media International, is on display July through December 2016 in the Multicultural Center at the Iowa State Memorial Union.

Rainboth has spent his career traveling, researching and experimenting with global artistic traditions to see how people find ways to express what emanates from their spiritual core. Using friends in Haiti, he placed his subjects in iconic poses that reference representations of saints. Patterned sequin designs inspired by Haitian voudun flags and mandala art originating from Buddhist and Hindu practices surround each figure.

Rainboth's intention is to go beyond the stereotypes and to share a single, yet multi-layered story about who the people in the paintings really are.


Comedy for All, Tragedy for None, an exhibition curated by Alex Priest (BLA 2011 Landscape Architecture), will run from Sept. 2 through Oct. 28 at the Nebraska Arts Council's Fred Simon Gallery in Omaha, Neb. Priest, the exhibition manager at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, is the first curator to be awarded an exhibition at the Nebraska Arts Council.


Kathryn Finney (BA 1983 Art & Design), creative director of Live Happy magazine, received the top honor for Art Direction - Single Article/Feature in min's Magazine Media Awards for "A Joyful Juggling Act," a feature on actor Anthony Anderson.


Kate Schwennsen (BA 1978 / MArch 1980 Architecture), FAIA, director and professor of the Clemson University School of Architecture in Clemson, S.C., is the recipient of the 2016 Christian Petersen Design Award presented by the ISU College of Design. She will be honored during Homecoming Oct. 28 at the ISU Alumni Association's 85th Honors and Awards Ceremony. Read more


Michael C. Ludwig (BFA 2000 Art & Design - Drawing/Painting/Printmaking) is now the art director and project manager at I Work & Play in Clive, Iowa. He had been with Image Sport in Waukee.


Paulina (Coursey) Colton (BFA 2015 Interior Design) and Ben Colton (BS 2015 Mechanical Engineering) were married May 7 in Burlington, Iowa, and now live in the Kansas City area.


Courtney Long (BLA 2010 Landscape Architecture / MS 2012 Sustainable Agriculture), a research associate with the ISU Community Design Lab, received the Second Runner-Up for Outstanding Partnership Award in the 2016 Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovation Awards for the Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit program at Iowa State. Long leads a team that conducts food systems and health assessments for communities in Iowa. MarketMaker was the tool used to identify food-system gaps and assets around the state and identify opportunities for innovative projects that are complementary to existing agricultural enterprises. Long was recognized at the 18th annual National Value Added Agriculture Conference in Madison, Wis.


Becky (Murphy) Simpson (BFA 2010 Graphic Design) will be a featured speaker for the Adobe MAX 2016 Creative Careers Track Nov. 2-4 in San Diego.


Meghan Flynn (BFA 2011 Integrated Studio Arts) will join the faculty at Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, Wash., as an art instructor in September. She will teach drawing and design.


Lisa Orgler (BLA 1992 / MLA 2000 Landscape Architecture), a lecturer in horticulture at Iowa State University, will receive the 2016 ISU Award for Early Achievement in Teaching for non-tenure-eligible faculty Sept. 26 at the University Awards Ceremony.


Matthew Schultz (BArch 2012 Architecture), Assoc. AIA, an architectural intern with OPN Architects in Des Moines, is a member of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute's Community Leadership Program Class of 2017. Each year, 50 emerging and existing leaders from the private, public and nonprofit sectors of the community are selected to participate in this nine-month program, which offers a view of Greater Des Moines from different vantage points, heightens participant awareness of current conditions and issues, enhances individual and group leadership skills and helps class members see themselves as partners for change.


After 10 years as a K-12 classroom teacher and instructional coach, T.J. (Tyler J.) Purdy (BLA 2004 Landscape Architecture) is now the assistant principal at Curtis Senior High School in University Place, Wash. He received a Master of Arts in education from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Wash., in 2006.


Samantha (Abkes) Price (BLA 2009 Landscape Architecture) passed the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (LARE) and is now a licensed landscape architect with Ritland + Kuiper Landscape Architects in Waterloo, Iowa. She has been a design professional with RKLA since May 2011. She has remained involved with Iowa State University through her participation in the Iowa's Living Roadways Community Visioning Program, a partnership of ISU landscape architecture extension, the Iowa Department of Transportation, Trees Forever and local design professionals.


Michael Braley (BFA 1993 Graphic Design), creative director of Braley Design in Lexington, Ky., is a recipient of the 2016 Design Achievement Award presented by the ISU College of Design. He will be honored during Homecoming Oct. 28 at the ISU Alumni Association's 85th Honors and Awards Ceremony. Read more


Tom Gerend (BS 2000 Community & Regional Planning), executive director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority in Kansas City, Mo., is a recipient of the 2016 Design Achievement Award presented by the ISU College of Design. He will be honored during Homecoming Oct. 28 at the ISU Alumni Association's 85th Honors and Awards Ceremony. Read more


Matt Ostanik (BArch 2001 Architecture / MBA 2009 Business Administration), CEO of FunnelWise, is a recipient of the 2016 Design Achievement Award presented by the ISU College of Design. He will be honored during Homecoming Oct. 28 at the ISU Alumni Association's 85th Honors and Awards Ceremony. Read more


Anna Jones (BArch 2011 Architecture), Assoc. AIA, has been recognized as a 2016 STATEment Maker by the Iowa State University Alumni Association. An intern architect with Substance Architecture in Des Moines, she currently is involved with multiple renovation projects for a Fortune 500 company.


Samantha Barbour (MFA 2016 Graphic Design) has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Arts and Media at Louisiana State University Shreveport. She will teach basic design, digital photography, intro to computer graphics and Photoshop courses.


Terry L. Allers, AIA, NCARB (BArch 1970 Architecture), president and architect-of-record of Allers Associates Architects, Fort Dodge, was elected treasurer of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) at the council's 97th Annual Business Meeting in June. He had been elected secretary in 2015 and previously served as director of NCARB's Mid-Central States Conference (Region 4), which represents Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Read more


Graham Hanson Design won two awards in the prestigious 2016 Type Directors Club Communication Design competition. The agency, headed by J. Graham Hanson (BFA 1989 Graphic Design), was recognized for its work on Google New York (208. Exhibits – Google New York) and Capital One Labs (211. Exhibits – Maker Wall).


Jasmine Brown (BArch 2012 Architecture), LEED AP BD+C, passed the Architect Registration Examination and is now a registered architect with HOK in Houston, Texas. She has been a design professional with HOK since September 2012 and has served as the strategic initiatives coordinator for the HOK Gulf Coast Region since July 2015.


BNIM received a 2016 AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture and a 2016 Architectural Record Good Design is Good Business Award for work on the renovation of the American Enterprise Group national headquarters in Des Moines.

The following ISU graduates worked on the project: Rod Kruse (BA 1974 Architecture), principal; Kevin Nordmeyer (BA 1987 / MArch 1990 Architecture), prinicipal; Carey Nagle (BArch 2001 Architecture), associate principal; Josh Hemberger (BArch 2008 Architecture), now a project architect with DRAW Architecture + Urban Design, Kansas City, Mo.; Kayla Ohrt (BArch 2011 Architecture), graduate architect and building information model manager; Soumya Rao (MArch 2015), who was a 2014 summer intern; Levi Robb (BArch 2011), project manager; Jeff Shaffer (BArch 2002), associate; Dana Sorensen (BArch 2011), graduate architect; and Lana Zoet (MArch 2015 Architecture), graduate architect.


"If she got really quiet and listened, new parts of her wanted to speak," a chalk pastel portrait by Meghan Flynn (BFA 2011 Integrated Studio Arts), is a finalist for the 2016 Williams Prize in Drawing for Emerging Artists. The Williams Prize Exhibition will run June 28 through July 24 at the Silpe Gallery at the University of Hartford's Hartford Art School in West Hartford, Connecticut. Eleven award winners will be announced at the Flash Ekphrastic event from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 9, in the gallery.


Imagehaus, a Minneapolis-based design firm founded by Jay Miller (BFA 1989 Graphic Design), received the Founders Award from the Metro Independent Business Alliance at the 2016 Indie Business Awards. The award recognizes an independently owned business that demonstrates a long-term impact on the local community. Imagehaus has provided more than $4 million in creative services which have raised more than $35 million, making a direct impact on social change in the Minneapolis area.


Callah Nelson (BArch 2016 Architecture) has joined Neumann Monson Architects' Iowa City office as an intern architect.


Larassa Kabel (BFA 1992 Craft Design) received the first Dave Hurd Innovator of the Year Award from the Des Moines Arts Festival. The new award recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates the pursuit of innovation in the arts. Kabel is a Des Moines visual artist who uses photorealistic drawings, paintings and prints to address issues of loss, fear, gender and feminism. She recently founded Chicken Tractor, a nonprofit organization that creates professional development opportunities for artists.


Ed Mickelson (BS 1977 Landscape Architecture), FASLA, principal and landscape architecture and urban design practice leader at NBBJ in Columbus, Ohio, received the Delia White Vail Medal from the Cleveland Botanical Garden for the advancement of horticulture excellence locally and internationally.

Mickelson strives to combine artistic expression with social purpose and realize outdoor environments that respect the natural environment, enliven community and enhance life. During his nearly 40-year career he has won more than 30 design awards for his work in the planning and design of highly complex sites and campuses in the United States, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Jordan, Kuwait and Turkey. He has been actively involved in leading NBBJ's long-standing co-op program with Ohio State University's Knowlton School of Architecture. He has also served as an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at Ohio State and as a presenter and guest critic at Iowa State, the University of Iowa, the University of Buffalo and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Mickelson is a past president of the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a past member of the ISU Landscape Architecture Advisory Council.


"The darkest point, where there is no path is where a future begins," a painting from Jeremy Caniglia's (BFA 1993 Art & Design – Drawing/Painting/Printmaking) Tanks for Nothing series, will be part of the Summer Soiree 16 group exhibition July 9-23 at CoproGallery in Santa Monica, California. The show will open with a reception from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9.


Good at Being Me: Accumulated Wisdom and Cautionary Tales (Leftover Stardust Press, 2016) by David Lee Andersen (BA 1974 / MArch 1977 Architecture), AIA, will be available beginning June 13 online at and, and through selected independent book stores and gift shops. The book outlines Andersen's adventures and misadventures in the developing world, along with assorted personal side stories. Andersen is founding principal of Andersen by Design LLC in the Twin Cities.


The Roommate Book: Sharing Lives and Slapping Fives (Andrews McMeel, 2016) by Becky (Murphy) Simpson (BFA 2010 Graphic Design) will be available June 28 online at, and A full-time illustrator in Austin, Texas, Simpson recently completed an Adobe Creative Residency and launched an online store, Chipper Things, with more than 70 products featuring her illustrations. She is also the author of I'd Rather Be Short (Plume Books, 2013).