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K-State Today

November 11, 2016

Wendy Ornelas receives alumni honors from California Polytechnic State University

Submitted by Thom Jackson

Wendy Ornelas

Wendy Ornelas, professor of architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, was awarded the 2016 Honored Alumni Award from California Polytechnic State University on Nov. 4.

The Honored Alumni Award is the highest honor given to alumni by the university's alumni association. The award was established more than 60 years ago to provide recognition for outstanding graduates and former students. While on campus, Ornelas also spoke at the College of Architecture & Environmental Design's Student Leadership Workshop.

Ornelas joined the faculty at K-State in 1989 and served as associate dean in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design from 2005-2016. She earned a Bachelor of Science in architecture from California Polytechnic State University, and a master's degree from Oklahoma State University.

Ornelas is a licensed architect in California and Kansas.

Elected to the American Institute of Architects' College of Fellows in 2005, Ornelas is the first and only female and Latina fellow in the state of Kansas.

Ornelas is the recipient of numerous awards, including distinguished professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She is a member of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, serving as president in 2009-2010, and is the faculty advisor for the college's Women in Design program.

She has served as the central states regional director for the American Institute of Architects, co-chair of the American Institute of Architects National Diversity and Inclusion Council and as the board liaison to the Young Architects Forum. She served two terms on the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions and received the 2015 American Institute of Architects Richard Upjohn Fellowship.

"Wendy has long been a champion of the profession, and of the design professions. In her many capacities here and at the national levels she has helped propel the importance of design leadership," said Tim de Noble, professor and dean of the college. "This recognition by her alma matter, one of the premiere programs in the United States, is fitting!"