College honors six outstanding former students at annual event

[See the list of all Outstanding Alumni] (

Six 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 Nov. 14, 2019 banquet in the [Texas A&M Hildebrand Equine Complex ] (,-96.3719442,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x8646825219b8cda9:0xbe524b107003fbfd!8m2!3d30.6151846!4d-96.3700425) .

The banquet is the opening event of a three-day [celebration ] ( of the college's 50th anniversary.

The 2019 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 16,000-plus former students have been recognized as Outstanding Alumni, the highest honor bestowed by the college to its graduates.

This year’s Outstanding Alumni are:

Jim Brinkley ’64

Brinkley’s innovative career has produced a long list of widely published hospital designs that have brought design excellence to hospitals, improved healthcare delivery and earned 10 major awards. After he served as an Air Force officer, he earned a coveted American Institute of Architects/American Hospital Association Fellowship, then earned a Master of Architecture degree.

He has mentored students at Texas A&M and three additional universities, sponsored refugee families with his wife Kaye, and provided numerous volunteer services, including planning for five free and low-income health clinics in Seattle, substance abuse family counseling, serving meals in homeless shelters, and a design of a hospital in Kenya. In 2000, he received a Rotary International Community Service Award.

Omar Faruque ’71

Faruque has been a key contributor to innovative design and planning projects in several states and heads Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s [landscape architecture department] ( , which houses one of the nation’s top undergraduate programs.

A widely published author, Faruque penned “ [Graphic Communication as a Design Tool] ( ,” a book documenting his pioneering research on graphic exploration for design decisions that is cited by researchers worldwide.

Rahmawati (Ama) Husein ’11

A key disaster management strategy advocate to policymakers in Indonesia, Husein is also a member of the United Nations Central Emergency Response Funds Advisory Group, which provides timely humanitarian aid to those affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts. As a member of the [Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Centre] ( , she has assisted with recovery efforts in numerous nations.

She also conducts collaborative research as a member of the faculty at Indonesia’s Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, where she teaches urban planning, disaster management and research methods.

Roy Rafael Pachecano ’88

As the “hands-on” president of Portico Real Estate Investments, Pachecano helps create master plans, development strategies and cost analysis for prominent clients including The Carlyle Hotel for Rosewood Resorts/Hunt Family, SL Green Realty Corp., Deutsche Bank PWM, and the Tudor City Co-op Board in New York, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

His firm’s restoration of a historic dwelling in downtown San Antonio earned recognition from former Vice President Al Gore, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the U.S. Green Building Council for being Texas' first LEED-Platinum landmark. He is also a faculty member at Pratt Institute and a research adviser at Columbia University’s Design Lab.

Sue Ann Pemberton ’76

A leading advocate and steward of historic places in the Alamo City, Pemberton is the first architect to lead the [San Antonio Conservation Society] ( . A national leader in historic preservation education and practice, she is recognized for meticulous documentation of numerous historic structures such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s [Taliesin West] ( .

Pemberton is president of [Mainstreet Architects] ( Inc. and an assistant professor of practice at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she connects academia and the community as the head of the [Center for Architectural Engagement] ( . She is a Fellow of the [American Institute of Architects] ( , the [Association for Preservation Technology International] ( , and the college’s [Center for Heritage Conservation] ( .

Lorena Téllez Toffer ’04

A practicing architect, educator and social entrepreneur, Toffer is a senior project manager with [AECOM] ( Buildings + Places practice with 15 years of experience who has designed a range of widely recognized structures for a diverse group of clients that include the Bank of America, Ed Rachal Foundation, Panola College, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Dallas Holocaust Museum, and Sixth Floor Museum.

She is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington's College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, and co-founder of Dallas ISD’s [CityLab High School] ( , the first public institution of its kind with a design focus in downtown Dallas.

Richard Nira

posted July 26, 2019