Two NYIT faculty members in the School of Architecture and Design have been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects.
Frank J. Mruk III, associate dean and professor; and Jeffrey L. Raven, associate professor and director of the School’s graduate program in urban and regional design, are among the 147 AIA members elevated to its prestigious College of Fellows in 2015. Out of a total AIA membership nationwide of more than 85,000, only 3,200 members have been distinguished with this honor.
The Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.
The elevation to fellowship is conferred on architects with at least 10 years of membership in the AIA in one or more of the following nomination categories:
1. Promoted the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession.
2. Advanced the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training and practice.
3. Coordinated the building industry and the profession of architecture through leadership in the AIA or other related professional organizations.
4. Advanced the living standards of people through an improved environment.
5. Made the profession of ever-increasing service to society.
“I am thrilled for my colleagues and especially pleased with this acknowledgement of two of our faculty in the same year, as they are immensely dedicated to educating young architects at NYIT,” noted Judith DiMaio, FAIA, dean of NYIT’s School of Architecture and Design. A licensed architect, DiMaio was elected to AIA’s College of Fellows in 2013.
Mruk was elevated to FAIA based on his nomination in Category Five: Made the profession of ever-increasing service to society. He joined NYIT in 2006.
His reputation has earned him elite invitations to work with peers around the world to find solutions to problems that have an international context. He has practiced as a senior architect for a leading engineering design firm and has led strategic planning efforts for several Fortune 100 companies. He was founder and president of the New York chapter of the Association for Strategic Planning, and has seen his approach to strategic planning and strategic management widely disseminated through teaching, writing, public presentations, and interviews.
"I believe that architecting is a strategic activity and that architects, due to their unique education, make the best strategists,” Mruk noted. As such, he is passionate about collaborating with architects, urban planners, and students to enhance their work. For example, in 2013 he was faculty advisor for the student-led post-hurricane Sandy response effort, Operation Resilient Long Island, and the Comprehensive Coastal Community Competition, which resulted in NYIT students winning the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) community engagement award. His ability to architect strategic action has been commissioned by numerous organizations around the world, including governments in Sweden and India, to form strategies addressing large problems of international significance.
Under Raven’s direction, NYIT's graduate program in urban and regional design emphasizes physical design of the built environment. The program's three advanced design studios focus on integrated strategies across urban sectors, sustainability, and resilient communities in the context of their region. These studios explore the relationship of design across spatial scales, from individual buildings to regional infrastructure in ways that consider the impact of such intervention on interdependent human settlements.
Mark E. Strauss, FAIA, senior partner at FXFOWLE Architects, submitted a letter of sponsorship in support of Raven in Category Two: Advanced the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training and practice. In his submission, he wrote: “Jeffrey Raven is an internationally recognized thought-leader whose research-based practice in sustainable and resilient urban design impacts the profession while serving society through creating research in sustainable and resilient urban design; applying this research in his professional practice; and disseminating his expertise through his academic activities, speaking engagements and numerous publications.”
“I am honored by this AIA distinction and the recognition of the important intersection of research and practice,” Raven said. “My life has been in practice—research-based practice.”
Raven joined NYIT’s faculty in 2012 from Columbia University. In addition to his teaching, Raven is the owner of RAVEN A+U, a professional practice with focus on low-carbon communities, green buildings, smart growth, and green infrastructure.
The 2015 Fellows will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the AIA Convention 2015 in Atlanta.