Class Acts: Former student news

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The College of Architecture encourages former students to submit news items for the Class Acts section of the arch|one e-newsletter. This section highlights professional achievements, as well as news briefs about marriages, births, retirements, bucket list accomplishments or whatever else former students care to share with the college community and their former classmates. News and photos may be e-mailed directly to the editor .


Jack Herrington BARCH ’48 is retired and living with his wife in Salado, Texas where they lease a barn for weddings and celebrations. Before he retired, Herrington led public housing operations in New Orleans, Dallas, Nashville and Fort Worth.

During his career, he also worked on design projects in Washington D.C. for two federal agencies and taught architecture at what is now Oklahoma State University and Tarleton State University.

Herrington counts legendary architects William Merriweather Peña and [Wallie Scott] ( among his classmates at Texas A&M.


Bill Hensley BED ’73, MARCH ’75 , retired in 2015 after 23 years as an architect with the city of San Antonio, where he focused on urban and building project concept development and management.

Previously, Hensley was in private practice as a design and project architect. He is still designing, drawing, practicing architecture and periodically touring Europe with his family and his cameras.

His wife, Patrice, teaches piano at a premier private school; one of her students won a national ragtime competition in June 2016.

His son, Will, a music recorder and mixer in New York City mixed “ [Home] ( ,” by Tim Kubart, which won a Best Children’s Album Grammy award in 2015. Hensley’s daughter Victoria is a social worker who aids battered women and their families.


Phil Sims BDCR ’75 is an airline pilot with more than 30 years of experience. He recently began piloting the B787 Dreamliner, a Boeing-built airliner notable for the extensive amounts of composite materials used in its construction. Before flying commercial airplanes, Sims served as an active duty member of the U.S. Navy for 6 years and as a reservist for 24 years.


Alan Taylor BED ’76, MUP ’77 is a life member of the [Texas City Management Association] ( after a 34-year career as a municipal executive.

Taylor, who retired in 2010 as city manager of Amarillo, Texas, said he utilized the degrees he earned at Texas A&M throughout his rewarding public service career.

“He did a great job running a $200-million-a-year ‘company,’” said Amarillo Globe-News columnist John Kanelis in a 2010 [column] ( . “He has put up with the grief that comes with the job. He has persevered through difficult economic times. But all the while, the city achieved unprecedented financial standing a year ago when it received the highest bond rating in the city's history.”


Travis Stone BDCR ’81 is president of Aliana, a Houston land development company that creates premier master-planned communities. Throughout his real estate career, Stone has helped develop several of Fort Bend County’s most successful real estate developments as well as master-planned communities in Katy and Austin.


Clay Harrison BDCR ‘82 has been elected to the board of directors for [TEXO Association] ( , the largest commercial contractors group in Texas. Harrison, CEO for the [Skiles Group] ( , a Dallas-based general contractor, will work to unify, advocate, and advance the construction industry in North and East Texas during his three-year term, which begins in January 2017.


Christopher Cook BDCR ’83 is retired after a career as a construction superintendent, mostly in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Among his many notable residential, public and educational building projects is a nearly $100 million renovation of 42,500 square feet of living space in a compound owned by Dallas billionaire Tom Hicks.


Paul Pugh BED ’89 is co-founder and chief designer of [Airline Design] ( , a Tokyo-based firm that specializes in developing wearable technology and connected home products.

“Tokyo is an inspiring and challenging environment for a designer,” said Pugh. “Japan is the world's 3rd largest economy and there’s a real concentration of companies here doing interesting things.”

Pugh, whose background includes hardware and software development, has overseen global organizations and product teams with Under Armour, Amazon and frog design.


In a Rio Grande Guardian [article] ( , Pedro Ayala BED ’94 extolled the virtues of public spaces, such as a new downtown park in San Antonio, as well as upcoming events hosted by [Building URBAN Cultures] ( , an interdisciplinary design studio he heads.

By utilizing workshops, tours, grass-roots marketing and branding campaigns, Ayala’s organization focuses on urban renewal efforts that focus on reinvesting, repurposing and reintegrating structures in the Rio Grande Valley.


Rachel Preston Prinz BED ’95, MARCH 1998 , founding director of [Archinia] ( , an architectural design research and development cooperative based in Albuquerque, N.M., attended [South By South Lawn] ( , an Oct. 3, 2016 event hosted by the White House that showcased panel discussions, films and music by creative, innovative and organizational leaders throughout the U.S.

Prinz was invited by event organizers, who identified her as one of the nation’s leading creative thinkers and entrepreneurs.

One of Prinz’ creative initiatives, “ [Emergence: SkyCity Cultural Center] ( ,” is a film she directed which documents a century of architectural and cultural history of the Acoma, an indigenous people in New Mexico. The film’s world premiere took place Oct. 14, 2016 at the Toronto Community Impact Film Festival.

Prinz also heads an outreach initiative called [Architecture ForEveryBody] ( , which aims to provide New Mexicans with free, quality architectural design and preservation education from a group of architects, designers, preservationists, and builders.


Greg Miller, BLA ‘97, is president-elect of the [American Society of Landscape Architects] ( , which advances the profession through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship.

“I'm excited to be a part of the great work that ASLA is doing to position our members to be leaders in shaping our hometowns and global community,” said Miller, who will be sworn in at ASLA’s Los Angeles convention in October 2017. “This work is challenging, but the rewards are worth the effort.”

Miller is president of the firm [Morrow Reardon Wilkinson Miller] ( Ltd. in Albuquerque, N.M. The firm’s diverse range of project experience includes parks and recreation facilities, schools and campuses, complete streets and transportation corridors, healthcare facilities, and residential landscapes.


Byron Chambers, BED ’00, MARCH 2002 , was named principal in the south central region of [Gensler] ( , a global design firm.

A leader of Gensler’s sports practice, Chambers has designed NFL stadiums, major league ballparks, minor league facilities and collegiate venues.

His globe-spanning portfolio includes La Rinconada Stadium in Venezuela, the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center, Louisiana Tech Joe Aillet Stadium renovations, [Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park] ( on the Texas A&M campus, additional athletic facilities at Texas A&M and additional current projects.

“Chambers’ depth and breadth of insight and experience in sports design is driving the field’s direction,” said Genslera co-regional managing principal David Calkins.


Benjamin Johnston BED ’02, was featured on a recent episode of Million Dollar Decorating, a [podcast] ( that features interviews with leading designers, decorators and artisans who reveal their behind-the-scenes sources of inspiration and share stories that inspire and motivate homemakers around the world to make their home more beautiful.

In 2016, he launched [Ben Johnston Design] ( , creating distinctive, layered spaces that are luxurious reflections of clients’ personal tastes and histories.


Brandon Hepburn BED ’03, MARCH ‘07 built houses and led additional activities in an annual mission trip to Honduras June 25 – July 2, 2016. It’s the sixth [mission trip] ( to the Central American nation for Hepburn, an architect with Corgan.

Hepburn and his fellow missionaries also delivered food to and worshipped with residents of a municipal dump who make a living selling discarded items, and performed building maintenance at two orphanages.


Keyan Zandy, BDCR ‘05 presented tools to use, inspiring ideas and lessons learned at lean construction sites in “Utilizing Lean Tools and Methodologies on Small Projects,” a panel session at the recent [18th Lean Construction Institute Congress] ( in Chicago. Zandy, director of operations for the [Skiles Group] ( , a Dallas-based general contractor, will also offer the presentation at the Associated General Contractors’ March 2017 convention in Las Vegas.


G eorgina Davis MARCH ’08, Ph.D ARCH 2015 is in Antarctica’s McMurdo Station as a researcher in a geomagnetic study headed by Randall Davis, a marine biologist at Texas A&M University at Galveston. “Working on the sea ice each day can be challenging for researchers, but we are rewarded with beautiful skies and a unique chance to collect data during late winter,” she said.

Davis is also performing follow up research at the station regarding her [Ph.D. study] ( of occupant comfort and energy efficient buildings in extremely cold climates.


Kolby May, BDCR ‘08 is the incoming chairman of the Young Constructors Council of [TEXO Association] ( ,  the largest commercial contractors group in Texas. May, project manager for the [Skiles Group] ( , a Dallas-based general contractor, will head thecouncil’sleadership development, training, and networking programs for young professionals.


Morgan Harrison MARCH ’09 is a member of the 2017 class of the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ [Emerging Leaders Program] ( , in which she will join fellow young designers from prominent firms in monthly meetings with community and industry leaders.

Harrison is a senior project coordinator with GFF Architects’ [Church Works Studio] ( , where she teams with firm designers to create compelling worship, fellowship and education environments that are spiritually, environmentally and community driven.

CLASS of 2011

Yanyi Li MLA ’11 is a project manager at [Confluence] ( , a landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm in Des Moines, Iowa. She joined Confluence in June 2016 from the Fort Lauderdale, Fla. office of EDSA, Inc., where she worked on various projects across the globe, ranging from master plans of thousand-acre development to the landscape design of residential courtyards.


Jesse Lane BSVIZ ‘14 was named a [young artist to watch] ( in a summer 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Lane creates large-scale colored pencil portraits that capture subjects’ intimate moments and glimpses of their inner, private world that also provide a window to viewers' introspective thoughts and mysteries.

“I call my body of work ‘Anatomy of Light,’” he said. ”My figures emerge into light and disappear into darkness, both literally and figuratively. Black backgrounds isolate the figures and put them in their own world, the world of their thoughts.”

His first exhibit, “Face Reality,” is on display at the [RJD Gallery] ( in Sag Harbor, N.Y. through December 15, 2016. Lane was called a “quickly ascending star in the art world” by Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, one of many publications to feature his work.

posted June 1, 2017