Alumni Awards 2023 - University of Houston
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The University of Houston Architecture and Design Alumni Association and the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design are pleased to celebrate another exceptional group of accomplished alumni award winners. The jury, consisting of Mardis Bagley ('06), Fernando L. Brave (M.Arch. '88), and Margaret Wallace Brown ('83), accepted the challenge of selecting the 2023 award winners for five categories: Distinguished Alumni Award, Leadership Alumni Award, Successful Entrepreneur Award, Innovator Alumni Award, and Outstanding Young Alumni Award. 

Congratulations to our 2023 Alumni Award Winners! Scroll down to meet the winners and learn about their exemplary careers.


Mardis Bagley ('06)

Mardis Bagley, IDSA ('06)

Co-Founder + Creative Director, Nonfiction

Mardis Bagley designs award-winning products and experiences in the field of medical devices, neuroscience, wearables, transformational technology, consumer electronics, lifestyle products, and many more. He has designed for Nike, Facebook, Logitech, Dell, Intel, Chevron, Jiffy Lube, Corning, Symantec, and many smaller innovation-driven companies. Mardis has 21 patents to his name and has garnered hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and venture capital funding for his clients.

As the co-founder and creative director with his wife Phnam Bagley at Nonfiction, a San Francisco-based design and innovation consultancy, he engages clients aligning with the studio’s vision: to turn science fiction into reality for a better future. This ethos aligns cutting-edge innovation with behavior change and manufacturing to produce products with impact.   

Bagley speaks internationally on the subject of design and sustainability. He believes a deep understanding of the object and all the related systems are needed to create products and experiences in balance with the environments they will be used. In addition to operating Nonfiction, Bagley is an adjunct professor in industrial design at the California College of the Arts. He teaches sustainability + social impact and thesis studios. 

Fernando Brave (M.Arch. '88)

Fernando L. Brave, FAIA (M.Arch. '88)

Principal, BRAVE/architecture

Fernando L. Brave, FAIA, graduated from the University of Houston with a Master of Architecture in 1988. Having completed his undergraduate architecture studies at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, he permanently relocated to Houston, Texas, in 1987. His professional experience includes the completion of projects for individuals, private companies and public institutions. He has been a key player in large master planning and development projects both in the United States and abroad. His portfolio also includes several pro-bono projects for non-profit institutions in need. Brave founded BRAVE/architecture in 2002.

A Registered Architect and LEED® Accredited Professional, Brave has lectured on many architectural topics and written for numerous publications. In 2017, he was invited to the International Architecture Biennial in Buenos Aires as a featured speaker. His works have been recognized with design awards by institutions, including the Texas Society of Architects and Houston American Institute of Architects, among others.

Fernando was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2012, a program honoring those who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.

Margaret Wallace Brown ('83)

Margaret Wallace Brown, AICP, CNU-A ('83)

Director, City of Houston Department of Planning & Development

After graduating from the University of Houston College of Architecture in 1983, Margaret Wallace Brown began her career in the private sector with Interfin Corporation. Later, inspired by John Ruskin’s quote in the Houston City Hall rotunda, “When we build, let us think that we build forever,” she became a public servant in 1986, joining the Planning & Development Department. She was appointed Director in 2019.

As Director, Margaret has a direct impact on improving Houston’s urban form. Currently, she is refocusing the City towards more walkable and context-sensitive developments. With support from the professional community, neighborhood activists, and elected officials, she is changing the City’s development regulations giving architects and developers more freedom and opportunities to design safer streetscapes and more compact, multi-modal developments. Because of her efforts, the City of Houston is creating new programs encouraging the preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing. It is also assessing rules to ensure that past inequities are not continued.

A died-in-the-wool Houstonian, she cheers on the Coogs and the Astros, and spends as much free time as possible walking the bayou trails with her family. 


Megan McCoy


Principal & Austin Operations Director, Page

Megan McCoy graduated from the University of Houston with her Master of Architecture in 2008. After working abroad, she returned to Texas and joined Page in 2011. At Page, she has worked as a Project Architect, Senior Project Manager and Studio Leader, overseeing a diverse range of large and complex projects, both stateside and abroad.

Megan is now the Operations Director for Page, the largest and most enduring architecture and engineering firm in Austin. She oversees day-to-day logistics of the 260+ person office where she manages business operations, staffing and comprehensive regional implementation of the firm’s operational goals. Megan’s mantra of ‘continuous improvement’ is a north star as the organization grows and evolves. Her driven yet humble approach to leadership has a transformative way of motivating staff and elevating the collective. Megan cites team fulfillment and client satisfaction as her greatest measures of professional success.

Megan initiated the local AIA Women in Architecture Committee, serving as the co-chair for its inaugural year in 2018. She was recognized as a 2022 Austin Business Journal Women in Business Nominee. In addition to university speaking engagements and student mentoring, Megan shepherds Page’s Meals on Wheels volunteer program and supports Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Desmond T. Doss Health Clinic at Schofield Barracks within Historic Medical Campus

Desmond T. Doss Health Clinic at Schofield Barracks within Historic Medical Campus

Desmond T. Doss Health Clinic at Schofield Barracks Indoor-Outdoor Physical Therapy Terrace

Desmond T. Doss Health Clinic at Schofield Barracks Indoor-Outdoor Physical Therapy

David S. Dalton


Executive Vice President, Director, Central Texas, Kirksey Architecture

As an Executive Vice President at Kirksey, David has helped grow Kirksey Architecture and expanded their presence in Texas. In 2018, he helped lead the expansion of the office in Austin and serves as a Director of the Central Texas market. David’s projects have won multiple awards, including an IIDA Interior Design Award for Sustainability, LEED Platinum certifications, and featured in Texas Architect magazine. The breadth of David’s professional and community service accomplishments continues to grow.

In 2021, David became a Board Member for the University of Houston Austin Alumni Association to stay connected to his hometown and his alma mater. Additionally, David has a long relationship with The Ability Experience, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness on behalf of people with disabilities through a variety of programs and shared experiences. He has participated in multiple cycling events hosted by the organization and recently completed over 900 mile-long cycling trek throughout Austin in 2020 during the pandemic and a 950 miles across the state of Florida in 2022 raising over $15,000 between both events.

Credit Human | San Antonio, TX

Credit Human San Antonio Pearl District Office


LINN Energy Oklahoma City Regional Base of Operations

Jason Tramonte


Owner + Principal, Tramonte Design Studio

For more than 25 years, Jason has progressively challenged himself with increased responsibility on regional projects based out of Houston. His enthusiasm and excitement for the industry has taken him from Page as a design intern to the current principal and owner of Tramonte Design Studio.

In these past rolls, Jason significantly increased firm revenues, exhibited a mastery of planning, design and management skills, and demonstrated a passion and energy for opening new markets for his firms. He excels at identifying project opportunities, working with industry specialists and coordinating the assembly of professional service teams to bring high quality, value-added services to clients.

Jason is an active participant with the Urban Land Institute, serves as district council vice chair in the organization locally and nationally, and has held over 13 leadership and commitee positions since joining. He initiated a scholarship fund-raising program to support the Bauer College of Business’ graduate real estate program; the program has raised over $50,000 in scholarships over the five years. He is also a member of the AIA Houston chapter, serving as the 2015 gala auction commitee member. He effectively balances his participation in these professional and civic organizations with his work and family.


Children's Safe Habor, 40,000 SF, Conroe, TX


Common Desk - City West, 52,000 SF, Houston, TX

Andres Pacheco


Senior Associate, VMDO Architects

A native of Ecuador, Andres earned his Bachelor’s in Architecture at Catholic University in Guayaquil and then his Master of Architecture at UH in 2003. His time as a designer at the ‘Guayaquil Historic Park,’ where innovations in bamboo, reclaimed wood, and other non-traditional construction were typical, taught him to value simplicity in design and economy in the material.

After finishing his Master’s degree, Andres joined William McDonough+Partners, and later joined VMDO Architects, and has now more than 20 years of experience working on multiple projects in varied climates and cultures like China, India, Ecuador, Europe, and the U.S. His experience working across a range of project types has nurtured his innate curiosity and drive to express the unique qualities of a project and its place through the medium of design.

Andres’s approach uses big ideas to push the boundaries of design opportunities, discovering holistic solutions that maximize existing site resources and reap healthy benefits for end users. He recently served as the lead Project Designer for Lubber Run Community Center, which was a recipient of an AIA National Architecure Award. The project implements an innovative site approach to preserve precious open space, embedding an array of community programming underground beneath a folding, green landscape.


George Washington University Thurston Hall, photo by Alan Karchmer


Lubber Run Community Center, photo by Alan Karchmer

David Edquilang


David Edquilang is a multiple award-winning industrial designer and recent graduate of the University of Houston. His honors include 2023 Red Dot: Luminary nominee; 2023 Red Dot: Best of the Best; 2023 iF Design Student Award: Best of the Year; 2022 IDSA Student Merit Award; 2022 IDEA Bronze Award; 2023 DNA Paris Design Award - Medical and Scientifics; 2023 DNA Paris Design Award - Design for People; 2023 Spark Design Award - Gold; 2023 IDEA Finalist; and publishing award-winning research on human factors.

He has been featured by designboom, in INNOVATION Magazine, and by Render Weekly. Prior to industrial design, David had a background in operating his own business, as well as studying in both the engineering and medical fields. Leveraging that knowledge, he enjoys designing consumer electronics and medical devices. He cares about the performance of a product, its impact with users, and its impact in business.


Lunet is a low-cost, fully 3D printable, modular finger prosthesis.


The NeuroExo headset is a brain computer interface headset designed to assist stroke patients.