Newsletter | Sep/Oct 2015

Art Project at the 2015 Retreat, photo by Jean Nilsson

Steering Committee Candidates' Statements

by Themselves
Following are statements from the five candidates for four positions on the Steering Committee for 2016-17. The election is October 20 at our annual meeting.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE VENUE FOR THE MEETING IS CHANGED TO 3676 20TH STREET in San Francisco, This is between Valencia and Guerrero, and equidistant from two BART stations, and just two block east of the J Church MUNI which stops at the top of Dolores Park at 20th Street. Parking is available at the 21st and Bartlet city garage.

Cynthia Bathgate

Designing has always been a part of my life, whether I knew it or not at the time. From having mini-meltdowns every time my parents made me clean up my Lego mansions, to pulling all-nighters just to make my school project posters look perfect, it was clear that architecture was my destiny. The dots didn’t fully connect until high school when a classmate accidentally signed me up to design and build a set for the school play. I dove into a world of designing space head first, and I never turned back. I proceeded to earn a Bachelors of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley in 2013, and now work at Christiani Johnson Architects.

I am excited to be applying for a position in the steering committee because I want to be more involved with in an organization of strong and inspiring women. I met some amazing women at this year’s retreat, and coming out of it I knew I wanted an opportunity to work more closely with them. What I will bring to the steering committee is a young energy, and will translate this to recruiting more young professionals to the organization. I will also bring my experience from running other organizations like American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and Alpha Rho Chi (APX, Architecture Co-ed Fraternity) into steering committee operations. In AIAS, I served as the Vice-President where I was in charge of organizing events like firm tours and portfolio critiques. In APX, I was the Secretary, where I was in charge of meeting minutes and tracking member participation. In addition to my leadership skills, I am currently building up my skills in web design, which will allow me to easily communicate with the web designer and assist with programming. I am excited by the opportunity to be a part of the Organization of Women Architects and Design Professionals, and hopefully the steering committee as well!

Rebecca Friedberg

I am a licensed architect living and working in Oakland. I have a M.Arch and BA in Psychology. Before entering architecture I was a high school teacher in SF and a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, Africa. My background in psychology, education and public health informs my conviction that good design is critical to our mental and physical well-being. I work as a project designer at Lowney Architecture, where I design and manage commercial, residential and community projects.

I have always cherished my relationships with the women in my life and I strongly believe networks of women can accomplish great things together. I look forward to becoming more directly involved with OWA and hope to help expand and deepen the organization as new members are integrated to guarantee its sustainability. I would love to see more events throughout the year, such as more architectural and hard hat tours, and also joint events with organizations of related industries. Hm..sounds like I'm interested in a Program Coordinator position.

Carol Mancke

I am an architect, artist and educator with more than 30 years professional experience in the US, the UK, Japan and Australia. I have worked in architecture practices in San Francisco, London and Tokyo and taught architecture at the University of California Berkeley (as a graduate student), the Nagaoka Institute of Design, the University of Western Australia and Kingston University London, where I ran the Master of Architecture (Design) program from 2004-2014. In 2004, I started my own art and architecture collaborative practice, through which, working at the intersection of art and cities, I seek to create thought-provoking interventions in situations and places of everyday life. My practice engages a variety of time frames – ephemeral, temporary and permanent – and ranges in scale from drawing and photography, sculpture and installation through to interior design, architecture and urbanism.

As a young architect starting my career in San Francisco in the 1980s, OWA gave me many invaluable opportunities to meet other women professionals of all ages and to hear and learn from their experiences. Over the course of my career, I have relied on many of the things I learned through OWA. And, I am now very happy that, if elected, I would be able to give back to the organization and its broader community by serving on the steering committee.

I bring lots of energy, extensive experience of working in various environments, knowledge of professional practice in different countries, lots of teaching experience and a heartfelt desire to be available as a mentor to younger members of the professional community.

Betty Woo

When I first came to the OWA it was a revelation to me to find so many women architects. Being a part of this organization has given me the encouragement to thrive in my career as an architect. If not for the direct encouragement of Sigrid Rup, Lisa Kleisner and many other OWA members I may never have had to courage start my firm, probably the best career decision I’ve ever made. I’m grateful for the personal and professional support. The OWA is important to me and I believe it is relevant to the future success of women in architecture. As a member of the steering committee, I hope to focus on positioning the OWA to offer support to women in their careers.
Although I’ve enjoyed the retreat for more than 20 years and have served on the 30th and 40th anniversary celebration committees, in all these years, I’ve never served on the steering committee. I’m running for a position on the steering committee because I’ve reaped the rewards and enjoyed the hard work of others. Its time I offered to serve.

Aziza Zare

I grew up in Saudi Arabia. My first degree is in International Business Management. While I was still living in Saudi Arabia I had an opportunity to work for a non-profit organization who reached out to impoverished communities and help support underprivileged women by providing knowledge and resources to help them develop and gain economic strength. I was responsible of the organization’s marketing and events planning. After a while I decided to move to the United States. Thus, in 2010, I enrolled in Dominican University’s English program. During this time at Dominican, I was given the chance to learn more about American culture and to share with my fellow students my culture as well. As a result of that experience, I started the school’s Muslim Student Association. In 2012, I enrolled in the interior architecture graduate program at the Academy of Art University where, ironically, I learned that space planning can’t be an administrative decision. Currently, I live in San Francisco and work as a designer at Barcelon Jang Architects.

I’m would like to be on the Steering Committee so I can share my knowledge and experience with OWADP members, but also to educate myself further as a designer and to participate in a great variety of well-established women architects and designers. I believe I can help invigorate membership in OWADP by enticing more members to join the organization. My strengths are my marketing and social media skills along with my ability to plan events/programs.

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