Women in Architecture Forum & Awards

Celebrate Design Leadership
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Webinar On-Demand
Sponsored by Ornamental Metal Institute of New York and Steel Institute of New York
Presented by Julie Eizenberg, Stella Betts, Kimberly Dowdell, Lisa Gray, and Monica Ponce de Leon

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain how architecture can serve as a catalyst for positive social change.
  2. List different ways that the built environment can foster health and well-being.
  3. Describe how architectural education has evolved in response to the demands of the changing profession.
  4. Discuss urban design solutions for the most pressing issues facing US cities today.


1 AIA LU/Elective
AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia
This test is no longer available for credit

Five practitioners discuss the driving forces of their careers. Whether they explore innovation in cultural and civic projects, transmit knowledge through architectural education, advocate for equity in the field, these architects have deployed their skills and advanced the profession through varied means.

Photo © Eric Staudenmaier

The 28th Street Apartments, KoningEizenberg.


A founding principal of Koning Eizenberg Architecture in Los Angeles, Julie Eizenberg has given visibility to the design value and potential of community projects and people-oriented practice. With founding partner Hank Koning, Eizenberg received the AIA Los Angeles Gold Medal in 2012 and the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2019. Notable projects include the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 28th Street Apartments (record, March 2013), and the Pico Branch Library and Geffen Academy. A teacher and lecturer, she holds an honorary Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Melbourne.


Stella Betts founded her New York–based firm LEVENBETTS with her partner David Leven in 1997. An adjunct professor at Yale University School of Architecture, Betts has previously taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Cornell University School of Architecture, Art, and Planning; Cooper Union; Parsons School of Design at the New School; and Syracuse University. She holds a Master of Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College. Her office—a 2007 Architectural Record Design Vanguard—is working on its fifth public library in New York as well as a Life Sciences Building in Manhattan and several single-family homes in upstate New York. Betts serves on the board of directors of the Architectural League of New York.


The 2019–20 president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), Kimberly Dowdell is a licensed architect and frequent speaker on the topic of architecture, diversity, sustainability, and the future of cities, whose overarching mission is to improve the quality of life for people living in urban areas. Her career aspirations are rooted in her upbringing in Detroit, where she was initially driven to utilize architecture as a tool to revitalize cities. With the staff and board of directors at NOMA, Dowdell is working to increase the opportunities for women and people of color to gain more equitable access to the design profession. A LEED-accredited professional, she holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University. Dowdell is a principal in the global design firm HOK’s Chicago office.


A founding principal of Gray Organschi Architecture in New Haven, Connecticut, Lisa Gray’s work focuses on regenerative building. Ongoing research initiatives at the practice explore the potential of renewable, bio-based building materials and circular-economic construction techniques to transform the built environment from a significant source of greenhouse-gas emissions into a powerful tool to mitigate climate change. Recent built work includes Common Ground High School, the Ecological Living Module, the Henry David Thoreau footbridge, and the Mill River Carousel pavilion. Gray is a frequent instructor and lecturer at Yale University, where she has served as the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture. She and partner Alan Organschi received an architecture award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Gray holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Architecture from Yale College.


Founding principal of MPdL Studio, Monica Ponce de Leon became dean of the Princeton University School of Architecture in 2016, where she is also a professor. As dean and educator, Ponce de Leon has spent her career focused on diversifying the profession; linking research, pedagogy and practice; and increasing access to technology. From 2008 to 2015, she served as dean of Taubman College at the University of Michigan, and she taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design prior to that. She has been honored with the Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Award in architecture and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ academic award in architecture, and she was named a USA Target Fellow in Architecture and Design by United States Artists. In 2016, Ponce de Leon was inducted into the National Academy of Design.


The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York The Steel Institute of New York
Patron Firm
Ennead KPF Ramsa SOM
Originally published in November 2020