Eight former students from the Texas A&M College of Architecture who have distinguished themselves as leaders and humanitarians in their respective fields will be honored as Outstanding Alumni at a 6:30 p.m. banquet Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 at The George hotel.
Social distancing plans for the banquet will be developed in accordance with state and local pandemic guidelines.
The 2020 Outstanding Alumni were nominated by former students and selected for their outstanding achievements by a college committee.
Less than one percent of the college’s more than 16,000 former students have been recognized as Outstanding Alumni, the highest honor bestowed by the college to its graduates.
This year’s Outstanding Alumni are:
Anat Geva ‘95
Architect, educator, researcher and author Anat Geva holds a global reputation as a leading scholar of historic preservation and sacred architecture. Her many publications include: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sacred Architecture: Faith, Form, and Building Technology, Modernism and American Mid 20th Century Sacred Architecture, a co-edited volume with Inbal Ben- Asher Gitler, Israel as A Modern Architectural Experimental Lab, 1948-1978, and the soon-to-be-published Pushing the Envelope: American Modern Synagogues (1950s-1960s).
The founding co-editor of the Journal of the National Council of Preservation Education — Preservation Education & Research, Geva, whose numerous honors include the prestigious James Marston Fitch National Award for innovative research in historic preservation in America, retired from the Texas A&M faculty in 2020.
Tushar Gupta ‘00
As the managing principal in the Houston office of the design firm EYP, Gupta strategically leverages its business development, operations and design teams to optimize performance.
An award-winning designer of a new generation of empathetic, life-enhancing healthcare facilities, Gupta works closely with clients and teammates to create meaningful dialogue about architectural possibilities and impact. An inspiring leader, he influences the profession nationally, shaping the discourse on design for health.
Angela Hood ‘90
Hood is the founding CEO of ThisWay Global, an award-winning, venture-backed artificial intelligence company focused on matching people to jobs without ethnic, age, gender or other biases. She pursued a career in artificial intelligence and software engineering to address hiring challenges she encountered for more than 20 years in the construction industry.
An international keynote speaker and published author, Hood’s awards include Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Woman in Tech, Women in IT’s International Entrepreneur of the Year, the University of Cambridge’s Top Founder Award, and HR Technology Conference’s Innovation of the Year.
Greg Houston ‘79
Houston, who directs the recreation/sports practice at San Antonio-based Marmon Mok Architecture, has earned five Outstanding Sports Facilities design awards from the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association for his designs’ national impact.
In his designs, he applies environmental design principles with the adaptive reuse of existing facilities, natural light as a primary lighting source, and naturally ventilated building spaces to reduce energy consumption. His conversions of abandoned “big box” stores to health and wellness facilities in underserved areas of the Alamo City have earned national recognition.
Ruth Lusher ‘78
Lusher has helped make buildings throughout the U.S. accessible to millions of people with disabilities by helping a presidentially appointed access board craft enforceable Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility building design standards.
Also, as an ADA technical assistance program manager, she produced a searchable website with ADA regulations, standards and design guide handbooks, and an ADA information line that serves 100,000 callers a year. She was honored with an award for her work by former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.
Tim McLaughlin ‘90
McLaughlin oversaw a period of great growth and recognition as the inaugural head of the Texas A&M Department of Visualization. The department, which grew from 65 students and 12 faculty and staff at its 2007 inception to 450 students and 45 faculty and staff in 2020, earned a recognition of excellence from Texas’ Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Prior to heading the department, McLaughlin led teams of artists and engineers at Industrial Light & Magic and Lucasfilm Animation who developed digital creatures and award-winning visual effects for films such as “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” “Van Helsing,” and “War of the Worlds.” Their work earned science and technology awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences in 1998 and 2001.
David Preziosi ‘93
Preziosi, a staunch planning advocate for historic places, is a leader of Dallas historic building conservation as the executive director of Preservation Dallas. Previously, as a preservation leader in Mississippi, he placed more than 4,000 of that state’s buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, created historic design guidelines for cities, and worked to save historic places damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners’ College of Fellows, Preziosi has raised more than $1.5 million in preservation projects and is a regular guest lecturer in historic preservation classes at Texas A&M, where he is an active member of the Center for Heritage Conservation.
Jack Yardley ‘58
Several generations of College of Architecture students have spent many an hour in Langford A, which was designed by Yardley, then the head of design at HKS Inc. Yardley’s many notable designs also include Plaza of the Americas in Dallas and the world renowned Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He is also a member of the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows.
From 1966-68 Yardley teamed with legendary Texas A&M architecture professor Dik Vrooman and three additional Americans to establish the first school of architecture in Bangladesh, which still exists today as theBangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.