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Source: Wendy Ornelas, 785-532-5950,
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Diane Potts, 785-532-1090,

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Wendy Ornelas, associate dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at Kansas State University, is the new president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Her 2010 term began Oct. 24.

As president, Ornelas is responsible for implementing the new conditions for accreditation, which were revised in 2009. The first schools to be accredited under these new standards will submit their self-study reports in fall 2010 and be visited in spring 2011. K-State will be among the first schools visited.

The National Architecture Accrediting Board's membership comes from the American Institute of Architects, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the American Institute of Architecture Students and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Ornelas is one of three members nominated by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

Ornelas is a professor of architecture who joined the K-State faculty in 1989. In addition to serving as associate dean, she is director of the college's doctoral program in environmental design and planning, and is director of the department of architecture's internship program. She also has been recognized for her teaching.

Ornelas is the first woman and first Latina in Kansas to be named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She also received the 2006 Henry W. Schirmer Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes distinguished leadership and service to the Kansas chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The Condia + Ornelas architecture firm, of which she is a partner, has received multiple design awards for local projects including Gaia salonspa, Coco Bolo's Woodfired Grille and Cantina, and Thomas Joseph Studio One. The firm also designed della Voce Restaurant in Manhattan.

Ornelas earned a bachelor's in architecture from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and a bachelor's and master's in architecture, both from Oklahoma State University.

The mission of the National Architectural Accrediting Board is to establish educational quality assurance standards to enhance the value, relevance and effectiveness of the architectural profession. It is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture.