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K-State Today

October 5, 2015



Professor Wendy Ornelas speaks at American Institute of Architects Women's Leadership Summit

By Thom Jackson

Wendy Ornelas, professor of architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, participated in the American Institute of Architects Women’s Leadership Summit Sept. 18 in Seattle.

The summit is a two-day conference to recognize, apprise and encourage women leaders in architecture. Ornelas also gave a presentation about alternative paths in the profession.

Audience member, Lindsey Perez, said about Ornelas' presentation, "Although I found her path in academia extremely intriguing, the most resonating aspect of her exposition was about the value of quiet leaders, 'Quiet leaders may not be the loudest voice in the room, but they are leading and they bring value. They are powerful.'"

Currently teaching a third-year architecture studio, Ornelas returned to teaching from a yearlong sabbatical during which she conducted research and traveled to Orvieto, Italy.

Ornelas earned her Bachelor of Science in architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and her master's degree at Oklahoma State University. She was the board liaison to the Young Architects Forum, academic advisor for Central States Region's Emerging Professionals Committee, instigator of American Institute of Architects Kansas' young architect's leadership program and faculty advisor for APDesign's Women in Design and AIAS chapters.

In 2005, Ornelas was elevated to American Institute of Architects' College of Fellows. She is the first and only female and first and only Latino fellow in the state of Kansas.

Ornelas was the central states regional director for  American Institute of Architects and co-chair of American Institute of Architects National's Diversity and Inclusion Council from 2012-2014. She was president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board from 2009-2010. She is one of three architecture representatives on the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions, served the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, or ACSA, as west central regional director and in, 2013, she was named distinguished professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

Ornelas and Bob Condia, professor of architecture, own Condia + Ornelas Architects, an award-winning office focused on designing small commercial projects.