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Alumni Updates

James Whaley (Architectural Engineering ‘62) is excited to share his Instagram account, where he showcases his ongoing architectural work as well as his art — mainly sketches and oil paintings. “Greatest profession!” Follow him online at @jameswhaleyarchitect.

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John Helm (Architecture ‘69) has been living in Italy, where he and his wife, Luisa Melacini, an Italian architect, operate the firm Helm & Melacini Architects. The couple worked together in California for about 10 years before relocating to Belluno, Italy. At 76, Helm continues to grow in his career knowledge keeping up with the latest BIM technology, doing 3-D work for an architecture firm that does much of its work in the cloud, and working with international architecture students studying in Italy. The couple still does some work in California, recently finishing up a 10-unit apartment project. "Architecture is a life time career that you don't need to retire from unless you really want to,” Helm says. “Becoming an architect becomes who you are. You will always look at the world through the eyes of an architect — that's a good thing.”

Edward Paul "Bud" Skibitzke (Architecture ‘69) is practicing architecture, along with educational curriculum development at the CICRIN Nicaraguan Christian Children's Center on Ometepe Island on Lake Nicaragua. He has designed and overseen construction of most of the school’s structures. He also continues to run BarroNica Building Products, Inc., manufacturing high temperature wood-fired terracotta clay roof and floor tiles that are made in a small town that has been making tiles the same way for more than 500 years.

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Donald Funk (City and Regional Planning ‘72) recently published a book, "Emilie's Burden: A Woman Struggles for her Rights." It tells the true story of his mother, a woman who in the 1950s was instrumental in changing U.S. laws protecting the rights of victims of domestic abuse.




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Richard Panos (Architecture ‘76) retired in January 2020 after 48 years working in the design and construction industry. He retired as vice president and senior director of Anser Advisory in Cypress, California, focusing on construction management. “I am looking forward to putting a bigger focus on my woodworking skills now building furniture,” Panos says. He and his wife will be moving to a small community in the mountains above Sacramento to enjoy retirement.



David Carbone (City and Regional Planning ‘77) shares a short poem he wrote to encourage today’s CAED students:

“Embrace Your Future”

Cherish your family,
Remember your past.

Find your passion,
Follow your dreams.

Push the envelope,
Have a Plan B.

Remember to smile,
Have some fun!

Debra McGuire (Architecture ‘79) won the 2020 North Bay Business Journal’s Women in Business Award. McGuire is director of practice at Quattrocchi Kwok Architects in Santa Rosa, California, where she has worked since 2000. She has previously worked as an architect in Fresno and Mt. Shasta. For her profile in the journal, McGuire says that she’s most proud of working with colleagues to establish a project management workflow at her firm, which has significantly improved the company’s project management capabilities.

Ron Witte (Architecture ‘85) has been appointed as professor in residence of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Witte had been a visiting professor there, and most recently was professor of architecture and Baker Institute Scholar at Rice University in Houston. He has held previous faculty appointments at Princeton, the University of Kentucky, Illinois Institute of Technology, and the University of Florida. Witte is widely known for his contributions to the practice and theory of architecture, and for a dedication to teaching that has involved numerous innovations in architectural pedagogy.

Vivian Lee (Architecture '91) is among 22 architects recognized this year by the American Institute of Architects for exhibiting noteworthy talent early in their careers. As part of the CAED’s Career Community series, she shows how exploring unexpected opportunities can help graduates shape their careers into their passion. As she embodies Learn by Doing, Lee takes us on her international journey, overcoming adversity, and advocating for diversity and inclusion in the field of architecture. Watch her 20-minute presentation here.

Josue Salguero (Architecture ‘95) currently works in the City of Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department as a senior housing inspector and emergency management coordinator. The Los Angeles Housing Department has about 650 employees.

Eric Flodine (Landscape '96) is the director of community development for Strata Equity Group, a San Diego-based real estate development company, with master planned community, mixed use and renewable energy projects throughout Southern California. He also serves as chair of the planning commission of San Marcos, a city of nearly 100,000 in northern San Diego County, where he lives with his wife Lu Flodine ('95) and two high school children. He is excited that his daughter Hannah started Cal Poly in fall 2020, carrying on the family tradition.

Michelle Paloutzian Maggi (Landscape Architecture ‘96) and her husband recently moved to Fresno, where she works for as a landscape associate for Caltrans District 6.

David Allen (Architectural Engineering ‘97) title principal at Allen Architectural Engineering in Oakland, California, is spearheading an historic project for the city: a new Museum of Jazz and Art. Last fall, the Oakland City Council began working with Allen, an Oakland native, and his team to develop plans for the new $90 million, 70,000-square-foot facility, which will include an education and exhibition center and a 400-seat performance venue.

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Michael Young (Architecture ‘97), assistant professor at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union in New York City, has received a 2019-20 Rome Prize in Architecture. The American Academy in Rome awards the coveted prizes annually in a variety of fields. He reports that fellow Cal Poly alumni David Brooks (Architecture ‘00) also received the prize in the Visual Arts category, and Marsha Ginsberg (Architecture '83) was awarded the prize in Design. The awards ceremony took place in the Great Hall in April. The Rome Prize has been awarded in many fields for over 100 years, but its origins make it especially meaningful for architects. The U.S. version of the prize began in 1896. Awardees recieve studio space at an exclusive campus in Rome, as well as room and board for 11 months in the same McKim, Meade & White-designed villa as the first U.S. recipients.

Ezra Ivey inage

Ezra Ivey (Architecture ‘01) is an architect and chief operations officer at Aspen Street Architects in Angels Camp, California. The firm focuses on healthcare, helping their clients develop hospitals and skilled nursing facilities and incorporating new technology to help clients improve senior patient care. Since working on a modular replacement of a hospital in Joplin, Missouri following an EF-5 tornado in 2011, the firm has continued to try to press the advantages of modular construction in healthcare. Ivey encourages students to see the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to hone problem-solving skills. “That is the true measure of an architect,” he said.

Jane-Marie Fajardo (City and Regional Planning ‘05) started her career as an urban designer and is now a senior planner for the city of San Diego. She says that a Cal Poly city and regional planning education prepares students for more than one specific career field. “The sky truly is the limit when you graduate from Cal Poly," she said. "Life has a way of supporting us through the tough parts when we trust the process."

Dan Weiss (City and Regional Planning, '05) is the deputy regional administrator for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, coordinating emergency management and response for Southern California. He has been involved in public safety for the past 15 years since graduating at Cal Poly, and accepted this current position in late 2018. While busy with response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he is also involved in planning and response operations for wildfires, public safety power shutoffs, earthquakes, terrorism incidents and other disasters. Weiss says his degree has been invaluable in helping him juggle the requirements of his job, including working with public and government figures, using GIS and mapping programs, understanding geological hazards, speaking on transportation and evacuation routes, and directing emergency responders.

Clemente Ulloa Macias III (Architecture '06) was recently promoted to regional program manager with Jacobs Engineering Group, servicing the Los Angeles Community College District, the largest community college school district in the world. He encourages architecture students at his alma mater to stay curious after graduation. “If you are passionate about architecture and design, continue to learn about the industry as a whole and you will discover some interesting careers within other disciplines or maybe create your own,” he said.

Kaitlin Murchison (Construction Management ’07) recently joined the CAED Dean’s Leadership Council. Murchison is vice president of construction and development at Heller Pacific, managing real estate development projects from the conceptual phase through entitlements, design and construction. Prior to assuming her current role, Kaitlin spent the first 9 years of her career with DPR Construction in the San Francisco Bay Area focusing on technologically complex projects such as data centers, research laboratories, corporate offices, and hospitals. She graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management in 2007 and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Kyu Young Kim (Architecture ‘08) finished teaching his first full year in the Interior Design Department as a lecturer at San Jose State University. Inspired by his own Cal Poly professors who were working professionals while also teaching in academia, Kim said he is excited to continue in Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing tradition. He is a managing parnter at ACS Architects Architecture & Planning in Palo Alto, California.

Scott Kaiser (City and Regional Planning '09) has been supporting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) as a GIS analyst since 2017, working in federally-supported disaster response and recovery missions in the agency's recovery division. He provides geospatial analysis and map products to aid in the allocation of disaster recovery resources. In addition, he identifies and prioritizes assistance to vulnerable populations, supports state and local recovery partners, and serves as technical lead on various special projects. During the federal government’s response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, he managed the U.S. government's daily medical resources and deployed personnel spatial products and reporting, and contributed to the common operating picture through the web-GIS platform, GeoHEALTH. Kaiser has served in this capacity as federal contractor under J&M Global Solutions as the company's GIS team lead.

Hilary Hodges Roverud (Master of City Planning ‘09) has been promoted to development services director for the city of South Lake Tahoe, California. Roverud has 20 years of city and regional planning experience, and has served South Lake Tahoe as a planner, planning manager and deputy director in her more than nine years at the city.

Roberto Ramirez (Architecture ‘10) launched his own architecture practice, R. Arch Design, in 2018. The Los Angeles-based firm focuses on residential and commercial developments. “Stick to your passion and seek mentors, at any stage in life,” he said.

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Selinda Martinez (Architectural Engineering ‘10) is a cofounder of Rbhu, an Bay Area engineering company specializing in large scale artwork. As festivals and art events around the world have been forced to close due to COVID-19, many artists are out of work and uncertain when things will pick up again. Earlier this year, Martinez and Rbhu launched an initiative to support artists working on monumental sculpture projects with $30,000 worth of engineering services — a project aimed at helping artists lift the human spirit.

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Michael Gillett (Construction Management '11) is project manager of facilities for Crothall Healthcare's Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, after working for a plumbing company, a general contractor, an architect, and a gas company. His work involves collaborating with several departments to keep the living building of a hospital healthy, a challenging task that often requires repairing and replacing facilities where people are continuing to do critical work. From repairs to projects, the size may be small to other PMs in CM, but the supply, demand, regulations and pressure to keep up while being courteous is high.

Kenny Lousen (City and Regional Planning ‘12) is the community planning liaison officer at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, California. The base is a diverse installation made up of three main facilities — Point Mugu, Port Hoeneme and San Nicolas Island — serving as an all-in-one mobilization site, deep water port, railhead and airfield.

Michael Heater (City and Regional Planning ‘13) and his wife, Grace, adopted a baby girl on March 17, 2020. Their daughter was born on Feb. 22, 2020. The family is living in Old City, Philadelphia, where Michael and Grace both work for the General Services Administration. Michael is a realty specialist working with federal agencies to find and lease office space.

Cameron Hempstead (B.Arch '14) and Kevin Schapansky (Business Management and Computer Science '14) were married on June 6, 2020, after meeting at Cal Poly freshman year. Hempstead is a project architect and associate at HGA Architects and Engineers in San Francisco. Schapansky, who also earned a master's in computer science at Cal Poly, is a GPU driver engineer at Apple.

Amirsalar Pardakhti and Nooshin Shafiee (both M.S. Architecture ‘20) have launched the startup CADU, a digital platform that centralizes all of the steps in building accessory dwelling units or other architectural projects, from initial design to furnishing. The venture is one of eight teams in Cal Poly's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s (CIE) most recent Summer Accelerator cohort. Read more at Cal Poly News.

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Nicolas Rademacher (Architecture ‘20) won the Accessories category in i-D Magazine and Vice Media’s Global Design Graduate Show with his entry, “Digital Couture.” This was the first time that the fashion showcase, co-sponsored by Gucci, has been held online and open to a public vote. More than four thousand entries were received. View more of Nicolas' winning entry.

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