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To Be, or Not to Be…Licensed?

September 7, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Free – $20.00


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To Be, or Not to Be…Licensed?

This is an in-person event. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination along with proof of identification. Please read and check the agreement and safety boxes in the registration. Additional information regarding general event information and check-in process will be emailed directed to registrants 24 hours before the event.

AIA|LA Committee: Emerging Professionals

CES Learning Units: 1 LU (Applying)

It’s a provocative title, and we hope it encourages lively discussion! AIA supports and promotes licensure for Architects. At the same time we recognize that there are many paths to the profession and a variety of experiences that shape a career. The focus of the conversation will be the journey the panelists have taken to get to this point in their professional lives, what obstacles they faced, and how they envision their future.


Alise Robles, Assoc. AIA – NBBJ; Associate Director, AIA Los Angeles
Alise Robles is a Healthcare Designer at NBBJ. Since graduating from USC’s School of Architecture, she has been involved in a variety of projects, from schematic design to construction documentation to construction administration. She has served as a key team member on multiple projects for top tier healthcare providers in the Los Angeles area. She contributed to the 2017 Patient Centered Design Conference and Innovation Summit where her presentation placed first in the Experiential Design Competition. Alise is dedicated to redefining welcoming and inclusive environments for patients and staff.


Leslie Sydnor, AIA – Cumming; VP/2023 President Elect, AIA Los Angeles
Leslie is a director at Cumming; currently working as a planning and development project manager for LAUSD. She has over 25 years of experience in the design of education, aviation, industrial, and low-income housing projects. Leslie is Vice President/President-elect of the AIALA Board of directors and past co-chair of the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) committee. She teaches Architectural Project Management at Cal Poly Pomona, is on the Woodbury University Construction Management Program Advisory Board and mentors emerging professionals. Leslie has a B.A. in Architecture from Yale and an M.Arch from UCLA.

Martha Ball, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C – HED
Martha has completed more than 30 buildings on 26 campuses, where she has created best practices in learning environments that manifest positive collaboration and connect people, celebrating the heterogeneous nature of today’s campus populations. Through inquisitive programming and strong design team leadership, she creates successful, inclusive, collaborative spaces that promote a variety of learning styles at a variety of scales and levels of social engagement, and provide options for students to choose how they want to learn, contributing to successful learning outcomes.

Joshua Foster, NOMA, Assoc. AIA – JAF Creative Solutions
A native of the Philadelphia area, a seasoned New Yorker, and now a settled Angeleno, Joshua A. Foster, NOMA, Assoc. AIA, has a strong passion for creating community-empowerment driven solutions. As the 2021 AIA California Associates Award winner and an architectural designer, Joshua spent the early years of his career focusing on the design and construction of affordable and market-rate housing projects in Los Angeles County. This passion has transformed into a powerful mission to impact communities of color through the founding of JAF Creative Solutions— a community impact focused strategic partnership and engagement consultancy firm. A vocal advocate for increasing diversity within the architectural design profession, Joshua is currently serving as the NOMA National Historian after completing 4 years of service as the SoCal NOMA Executive Board Historian and Partnership Liaison.


Miranda Gardiner, Assoc. AIA – Meta; Ex Officio Associate Director, AIA Los Angeles
Miranda Gardiner is the global manager of data center sustainability for Meta, focused on scalability of international sustainable strategies and opportunities. Prior to this role, she delivered green building certifications and climate action plans for projects ranging from campus to commercial mixed-use work in Greece, a research fellowship in Germany, and a secondment with the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. She previoulsy managed LEED technical development at USGBC, including LEED for Healthcare, LEED for Retail, and LEED Pilot Credit Library. She serves on the SDGBC Board of Directors, USGBC’s LEED Advisory Committee, and as the Vice Chair for AIA-LA COTE. Miranda holds a M. Arch from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Georgetown University.

Marcela Oliva – Los Angeles Trade Technical College
This year’s recipient of the AIA|LA Presidential Honors’ Educator Award, Marcela Oliva is a Professor of Architecture and Environmental Design at LATTC and founder of UCLA Extension Courses: Transforming Community and Design for Social Justice. For 10 years, she was the Knowledge Architect for the 9 billion Building Program at Los Angeles Community College District. She envisioned and implemented the largest Virtualization BIM/GIS System in the nation following National Intelligence Standards. At NASA’s Knowledge Management, she was a principal investigator for the Cyber-Physical Systems National Science Foundation Grant, and is a recipient of the California Governor’s Award in Geospatial Technologies and National Park Services. She has been a presenter for the California Higher Education Sustainable Landscape and serves as a founder and member of multiple organizations including STEAM, PANDO Populus, ENCOUNTER LA and UrbanRiver LAbs.

Learning Objectives:
+ Participants and presenters will explore the current situation for design professionals working towards licensure, and the panel will share their experiences with the registration process.
+ Participants will review factors that affect an individual’s licensing process (positively or negatively), such as financial conditions, life events and other variables.
+ Participants and panelists will discuss ways in which the licensing process can vary for candidates based on gender, ethnic and social background, and firm size, type and culture.
+ Participants will identify the resources that emerging professionals need to help them prosper, and what’s available to support their efforts.

Hosted by:


September 7, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT
Free – $20.00
Event Category:


AIA|LA Emerging Professionals Committee


550 S Hope St, Suite 2500
Los Angeles, CA 90071 United States
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