September 1, 2020 by 2019-2020 Equity & Diversity Task Force, 2019-2020 Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force, 2020-2021 Council of Global Representatives, 2020-2021 Learning & Teaching Culture Advisory Group, 2021-2022 Professional Development Advisory Group

Four years ago as part of the 60th anniversary of the AIAS, alumni members were nominated by their peers to be featured on the AIAS website, complete with biographies and interviews. As part of the 2020 Fall Membership Month we want to republish these highlights and share them with you again! Titles and work locations may have changed in the past years, but their advice and experiences are as pertinent as ever. We hope you are inspired by these AIAS Legacy Alumni and follow the links to their full interviews!



Jennifer Matthews

How have you overcome unforeseen challenges through your career?

“I find it troubling and a major challenge that we as a profession continue to struggle with achieving diversity in the sense of ethnicity. Instead, we are constantly provided numbers of how the profession has already and continues to achieve gender diversity, which is great but can be considered the first of many well overdue progressions towards diversity. We cannot truly say we have accomplished the meaning of diversity until all of our numbers are just as high as those of gender diversity, and I chose to assist with these challenges through much of my leadership involvement as an emerging professional.”

Click here to read the full interview.



Suzanna Kelley

What and/or who shaped you into who you are and what you do today?

“I have had a handful of mentors in my life who have shaped my life and my career over the years. I am indebted to them both personally and professionally for their advice and counsel. Rarely can you really pay it back so you must pay it forward. This is why I think it is so important to be a mentor to other people. Regardless of your age, you can do this. You may tap someone for a leadership opportunity, encourage someone to get involved or just listen to someone who needs to vent a problem they are struggling with. Often in the moment, you won’t realize what a difference you’ve made for that person, but if you actively seek opportunities to mentor others, the impact will be significant over time.”

Click here to read the full interview.


Thomas Fowler

What is a decision or action you made in school that influenced your trajectory?

Being open to ALL the possibilities and not having preconceived ideas of how thing work before your try it.”

How can someone best change the world?

“Get involved with AIAS! Focus on what you want to do and just do it. Have aspirations that are much larger than you.”

Click here to read the full interview.


Nick Mancusi

How did your experience with AIAS help you to achieve your goals?

“AIAS taught me something I never knew about myself–that I could be more than an average student. It taught me that I could make a difference in the world, in my peers’ trajectories, and that I could do things beyond what I had learned between the four walls of studio if I applied myself.”

How can someone best change the world?

“To change the world, one must always be ready to step-up with passion and conviction and commit to the long thankless fight for things that are greater than any one individual in any one lifetime. Changing the world never happens overnight and is never awarded with praise.”

Click here to read the full interview.