Alumni Awards - 2020 - University of Houston
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ANNOUNCING the 2020 Alumni Awards

August 27, 2020

The University of Houston Architecture and Design Alumni Association Awards have returned after roughly a decade hiatus in order to honor our distinguished and accomplished alumni changing the world through architecture and design. The relaunched awards come as the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.  The jury, consisting of alumnus David Bucek '90, Val Glitsch, and alumnus Mark Neal '93, accepted the challenge of selecting the 2020 award winners for five categories: Distinguished Alumni AwardLeadership Alumni AwardSuccessful Entrepreneur AwardInnovator Alumni Award, and Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Congratulations to our 2020 Alumni Award Winners! Scroll down to meet the winners and learn about their exemplary careers.

Meet the Jury

David Buck '90

David Bucek, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C ‘90

Founder & Principal, Stern and Bucek Architects

David Bucek is a principal with Stern and Bucek Architects specializing in new construction, adaptive reuse, renovation, and historic preservation. Bucek holds a B.Arch from the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design and an M.Arch from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He has taught architectural design at the University of Houston and the University of Texas at Austin. Bucek currently serves on the board of Architecture Center Houston Foundation, Houston Mod, Wharton County Courthouse Restoration/Preservation, and Wharton County Heritage Partnership. He also serves on the Advisory Council at the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park/Houston, as Vice-Chair of the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission, and formerly served on the board of Preservation Texas and AIA Houston, where he served as the 2016 AIA Houston President. His work has garnered awards from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Texas Society of Architects, Texas Historical Commission, Preservation Texas, and AIA Houston. Bucek and William Stern formed Stern and Bucek Architects in 1999, after many years of working together at William F. Stern & Associates Architects.

Val Glitsch

Val Glitsch, FAIA

Founder & Principal – Val Glitsch Architect

Val Glitsch, FAIA, practiced architecture as a sole proprietor with a small staff from 1984 to 2014 in Houston, Texas. In 1995, in recognition of her contributions to ‘the promotion of the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession,’ she was elected to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows. Her studio was dedicated to architecture as a creative and crafted endeavor that enhances our lives and the variety of our experiences. Professional recognition at national, state, and local levels focused on her work’s “clarity and sensitive fit within its contexts and responsibility to the environment.” Completed work included residential projects (both affordable housing and custom houses), community, commercial, and religious projects – both new construction and renovation. In 2015, she relocated to Oregon, where she remains active in art and architecture-related activities, including writing and illustrating a children’s book on the environment. She maintains an architectural license in Oregon. Education: Rice University 1976 BA, 1978 BArch, Harvard Graduate School of Design: 1979 MArch.

Mark Neal

Mark Neal ‘93

Regional Sales Manager (South Central) – Anderson Windows, Inc.

Mark Neal enjoys helping builders, remodelers, and architects create projects that clients love, as well as leading a world-class sales team to deliver the ultimate customer experience. Neal is invested in understanding the unique goals of each project, what the client wants, and finding solutions to meet those needs. He has more than 15 years in the building materials/windows industry and 30+ years in construction experience. As the manager of the 8-state region, Neal is committed to a collaborative effort with a diverse team where all voices, team and customer, are important. Neal is a native Houstonian and University of Houston alumnus (’93) with a BA in Journalism, and his wife, Carla, is a teacher in Spring Branch ISD for 30 years. Together they have two daughters, Kendall and Caroline. Caroline is a sophomore at Texas A&M University and Kendall is a 2020 grad from Texas A&M University.

2020 Alumni Award Winners

Fernando Brave, FAIA '88

Distinguished Alumni Award - Fernando Brave, FAIA ‘88

Principal – BRAVE / architecture

Fernando L. Brave, FAIA, graduated from the University of Houston with a Master of Architecture after completing an undergraduate architecture program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since the founding of his firm, Fernando has led his studio through the development of a portfolio of projects which continue to resonate with their communities – creating connections and enhancing experiences. Brave is a hedonist who delves into gastronomy, music, art, skiing, sailing, and other earthly pleasures. In recognition of his advancement of the profession through outstanding practice, Fernando was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2012. His firm, Brave / Architecture, received the Firm of the Year Award from the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2018.

“As a transplant to the City, the College’s impact on me was enormous. I learned a lot and was able to form long-lasting professional and personal relationships.”

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Catherine Callaway, AIA, LEED AP ’07

Leadership Alumni Award - Catherine Callaway, AIA, LEED AP ’07

Senior Associate – Kirksey Architecture

A senior associate at Kirksey Architecture, Catherine Callaway, AIA, is recognized for her talents as a designer, project manager, and community advocate. Her role as UH Student Representative on the Rice Design Alliance Board of Directors was a launching point for her leadership in the Houston A/E/C community. Catherine continues to give back to the University of Houston through mentoring students and her involvement in the popular UH Art & Architecture walking tour. As 2017 AIA Houston President, Catherine led the chapter’s response to Hurricane Harvey. She created opportunities for AIA Houston to lend their expertise to our suffering region and helped position the chapter in shaping a more resilient future for our city. Catherine recently earned young architect awards from AIA Houston, Texas Society of Architects (TXA), and AIA National. She is currently helping coordinate the Houston 2020 Visions exhibit and preparing for the opening of Architecture Center Houston and her role as 2021 ArCH President.

“I hope these awards will shine a spotlight on the many alumni doing inspiring, innovative work, and that the award program helps others take notice of the incredible caliber of people I am proud to call fellow alumni.”

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Mark Schatz, FAIA '02 and Anne Eamon '03

Successful Entrepreneur Award - Mark Schatz, FAIA '02 & Anne Eamon '03

Founders & Principals, m + a architecture studio

Mark Schatz, FAIA ’02 and Anne Eamon ’03 are founders and principals of their own practice, m + a architecture studio, established 16 years ago. Their firm was recognized as the AIA Houston Firm of the Year in 2014. Schatz was inducted to the AIA College of Fellows in 2019 and has also been honored as the Texas Society of Architects Young Architect of the Year and AIA Houston Young Architect of the Year, among a few other awards. Eamon is heavily involved as a principal instructor and co-director of the By Design program of Wonderworks opening the world of architecture to high school students.

Schatz and Eamon complement each other as they work side-by-side leading their firm’s exceptional projects with Schatz being the unpredictable dreamer and Eamon playing the role of the calm, collaborative partner.

"Our time at UH was a broad exposure to so many competing directions that taught us there are value and limitations in all things. The questions of 'what are we doing?' and 'why are we doing this?' are dynamic and ever-changing inquiries that merit a constant challenge and response."   

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Mardis Bagley '06

Innovator Alumni Award - Mardis Bagley, IDSA '06

Co-founder & Creative Director – Nonfiction

Mardis Bagley is an American Industrial Designer and Creative Director. Bagley has spent his career designing transformational technologies in the fields of neurotech, education, consumer electronics, lifestyle, soft goods, and sustainability. He is co-founder at Nonfiction, a San Francisco-based creative firm specializing in industrial design, user experience, architecture, engineering, branding, and strategy. The company’s exceptionally diverse team encourages innovation, collaboration, and cross-pollination of ideas. Nonfiction strives to turn science fiction into reality for a better future. Throughout his career, Bagley has worked on projects for Logitech, Nike, Dell, Intel, Facebook, Corning, Alpine, and many startups. He has had the privilege to work with some of the industry’s most prominent industrial design consultancies, including Ammunition, Lunar (McKinsey), Matter (Fjord), and more. Bagley is an Adjunct Professor in Industrial Design at the California College of the Arts where he teaches Sustainability & Social Impact, and thesis studios.

“Industrial Design is a very competitive and challenging industry. The Hines College helped me identify and develop the tools needed to successfully enter the industry. Beyond the hard skills of creating elegant designs and technical applications, I developed the soft skills needed to collaborate with others at a very high level to identify needs and opportunities. Ultimately, I have crafted a career that is as fulfilling for myself, as are the products and experiences I create for others.”

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Outstanding Young Alumni Award - Cate Black, AIA, NCARB, FORTIFIED, SEED ’10

Founder & Principal Architect, RISE Architecture + Design

A Houston native, Black proudly received her Master in Architecture in 2010 from the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design. She has professional experience in residential, commercial, civic, and educational architecture throughout the Galveston/Houston region. Before starting RISE in January 2018, she worked in both architecture and construction offices where she received varied experiences in the design and build industry. Black became a registered architect in 2016, received her SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design) certificate in 2017, and became a registered FORTIFIED–Wise Professional in 2019. She currently serves as Chair on the City of Galveston Planning Commission, action team member for VISION Galveston, co-founder/board member of Galveston’s Own Farmers Market, and sat on the Texas Society of Architects Convention Futures Committee from 2017 to 2019. Black was recently honored as a Galveston County 40 Under 40 recipient for 2020. She married her 2009 design studio boyfriend in 2014, and together they have a two and a half-year-old daughter who changes her world for the better every day.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by an institution that has given me so much. I am at a loss for words to fully convey how important this award is for me. I will push forward earnestly in both my professional and civic endeavors to positively represent the College.”

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