Graduate Architecture

[RE]ACTION: Empowering the Future Leaders in Design

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 10:00am5:30pm
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Meyerson Hall
210 South 34th Street, Philadelphia

RE]ACTION is a full day of workshops empowering the future leaders in design.  Organized by PennDesign Women in Architecture, the event presents opportunities for attendees to acquire a toolset to take charge of their careers and set themselves up for success.  Workshop topics will include Negotiating Offers, Networking for Impact, Knowing Your Rights, Navigating Construction Sites, and Vocal Empowerment. PWIA is committed to equity in design and welcomes all to join us.


9:30 - 10:00 Registrations and Breakfast

10:00 - 10:15 Introduction

10:15 - 11:00 Keynote

Karen Wong, Deputy Director of the New Museum, New York

11:00 - 1:00 Navigating the Design Field + Entrepreneurship Panel


Andrew Wit, Architect and co-founder of WITO*

Anne Papageorge, Landscape Architect and Vice President of FRES

Elizabeth Mahon, Architect and Managing Principal of HDR

Franca Trubiano, Architect and Associate Professor at Penn Design Architecture

Misako Murata, Architect, Landscape Architect and co-founder of LMNOP

Tina Delia, Interior Architect and co-founder of Delia Designs

1:00 - 2:00 Lunch

2:00 - 2:45 Session 1

Participants can pick one of the three workshops: 

Networking for Impact: A workshop focusing on networking skills in order to maximize the value of your connections. Workshop leaders - Joseph Barber and Marianne Lipa, Penn Career Services

Vocal Empowerment: An interactive workshop promoting communication tools which allow one to speak more powerfully and effectively and have greater influence in the workforce.  Workshop leader - Dr. Laura Sicola, professional leadership communication coach

Navigating Construction Sites: A panel discussion on various experiences on construction sites and ways of overcoming the challenges of field work.  Panel moderator - Franca Trubiano. Panelists - Monique McCray, Angelina Perryman, Erin Roark, Kelly Vresilovic and Marjorie Arendt

3:00 - 3:45 Session 2

Participants can pick one of the three workshops: 

Negotiating Offers: A presentation of different techniques to be used for influencing salary and benefit negotiation. Workshop leaders - Joseph Barber and Marianne Lipa, Penn Career Services

Knowing Your Rights: A presentation of women's rights in the workplace and tools to counteract workplace discrimination. Workshop leader - Dr. Sophia Lee, legal historian and professor of law at Penn Law School

Networking for Impact: A workshop focusing on networking skills in order to maximize the value of your connections. Workshop leaders - Joseph Barber and Marianne Lipa, Penn Career Services

4:00 - 4:45 Session 3

Participants can pick one of the three workshops:

Assertive Negotiation: A presentation of different techniques to be used for influencing salary and benefit negotiation. Workshop leaders - Joseph Barber and Marianne Lipa, Penn Career Services

Vocal Empowerment: An interactive workshop promoting communication tools which allow one to speak more powerfully and effectively and have greater influence in the workforce. Workshop leader - Dr. Laura Sicola, professional leadership communication coach

Navigating Construction Sites: A panel discussion on various experiences on construction sites and ways of overcoming the challenges of field work. Panel moderator - Franca Trubiano. Panelists - Monique McCray, Angelina Perryman, Erin Roark, Kelly Vresilovic and Marjorie Arendt

5:00 - 5:30 Closing Statements

5:30 - 7:00 Cocktail Hour / Social

Student Leaders:


Faculty Mentor: Franca Trubiano

PennDesign Women in Architecture gratefully acknowledges the workshop sponsors: The Office of the Dean at PennDesign, Penn Facilities & Real Estate Services, Penn Women's Center, GAPSA and the Community Impact Fund

Workshop Panelists and Leaders

Andrew Wit


Andrew John Wit holds a master’s degree from MIT and is an Assistant Professor at Temple University where he leads research, courses and workshops focused around novel building systems generated through light-weight composites, digital production tools and robotic systems. He is also a Co-Founder of the interdisciplinary research group WITO* Laboratory for Intelligent Environments, resides on the ACADIA board of directors where he is a technical co-chair for the 2018 conference in Mexico City and serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Architectural Computing.

Wit’s research and projects have been highly disseminated and recognized: UTenSAils (2007 AIA Best of Practice Award), the Advanced Fabrics Exhibition (2007 IFAI Outstanding Achievement Award), along with the widely-published tensegrity structure the Underwood Pavilion, the woven carbon fiber installations entitled rolyPOLY and carbon fiber kites of cloudMAGNET. Wit’s work has been featured at numerous galleries, international conferences and refereed publications.

Tina Delia


Tina Delia is the Founder and Principal Interior Designer of Delia Designs. For the past eight years, Tina has grown her design studio from the ground up and continues to develop herself personally and professionally. She is dedicated to excellence and insistence on forward thinking design. At the forefront of her designs is the idea that our spaces have the ability to transform our lives. She is looking to move us, inspire us to see, think and create freely. After all, it's not only about creating beautiful spaces.

Elizabeth Mahon


Elizabeth Mahon is the Managing Principal of HDR’s Philadelphia office. HDR is a global architectural and engineering firm with 40 architectural offices worldwide and 1,800 employees in the architecture group. The Philadelphia office has just celebrated its one year anniversary and is focused on healthcare, academic and civic projects. The firm’s current projects include the new Patient Pavilion for Penn Medicine and a new Library and Learning Commons for the Community College of Philadelphia.

Elizabeth’s professional career has focused on institutional and academic projects, included working for IM Pei and Partners in Paris, William Rawn Associates in Boston, and Ballinger in Philadelphia. Elizabeth attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a BA in Design of the Environment and a BS from the Wharton School, and Yale University, where she received a Master of Architecture.

Dr. Franca Trubiano


Franca Trubiano is Associate Professor in the Architecture Department at PENN Design and a Registered Architect with l'Ordre des Architectes du Quebec. She teaches in theories of building, environmental design, construction technology, emerging materials, integrated design, and high-performance buildings. In 2015, Franca was President of the Building Technology Educators Society (BTES) during which time she co-founded TAD (Journal of Technology, Architecture and Design), and acted as its Executive Editor until 2016. From 2014 -2016 she was a Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Architectural Education. She is presently completing a manuscript for Routledge which challenges the field of architectural theory to reclaim its origins in the art of building. Building Theories, a new Ethics for Architecture (Routledge), proposes an alternative definition of theory, one that valorizes the as yet untapped potential of ‘thinking through building’. Her edited book Design and Construction of High Performance Homes: Building Envelopes, Renewable Energies and Integrated Practice (Routledge Press 2012), was translated into Korean in 2014, by the Korean Research Institute of Environmental Architecture. And Franca’s essays have appeared in edited books Architecture and Energy (eds. Braham and Willis, Routledge Press, 2013) and Architecture and Uncertainty (ed. Benjamin Flowers, Ashgate Press, 2014).

Misako Murata


Misako Murata is a licensed Landscape Architect and Architect working in New York. She is a co-founder of the practice Lowder + Murata / Natures Objects Practices (LMNOP) located in Brooklyn. The work of LMNOP, an architecture and landscape architecture studio, actively seeks to integrate ecological systems of landscape and the built environment, searching for inter-, trans-, and extra disciplinary opportunities in order to speculate upon novel forms of practice and rescribe familiar disciplinary boundaries between architecture, urbanism, and landscape. In addition, Murata runs a Landscape focused practice and has teamed up with numerous architects as the landscape architect, including Young & Ayata for the first place entry for the Bauhaus Dessau Competition.

Before LMNOP, Murata spent seven years at Snohetta working on award winning projects including the Times Square Reconstruction, Ryerson Student Learning Center and the NCSU James B Hunt Library. She has worked extensively on the new Temple University Library (currently under construction and planned for completion in 2019). During her time at Snohetta, she also enjoyed working on small scale projects like the UrbaN-est Housing project (Multi unit bird housing), Bloombury House (Doll house) and the Edge-Effect Garden installation.

Anne Papageorge


Anne Papageorge is the Vice President for Facilities and Real Estate Services at the University of Pennsylvania. Anne joined the University in October 2006 and is responsible for: Planning; Design and Construction; Facilities Operations, Maintenance and Utilities; and Real Estate Operations and Development.

Anne is a licensed landscape architect and was previously the Senior Vice President and Memorial Design Director for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMCD), managing the planning, design and construction of the nearly $1 billion project encompassing the World Trade Center Memorial, Memorial Museum, Visitor's Center and related facilities.

Prior to joining the LMDC in 2004, she worked in design and construction for the City of New York, where she served as first deputy commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, managing a staff of 1,200 and overseeing 750 projects valued at $4.4 billion.

Anne holds a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry School of Landscape Architecture, where she currently serves on the Faculty Landscape Architecture Advisory Council, and an M.B.A. from the City University of New York – Baruch College.

Dr. Laura Sicola


Dr. Laura Sicola is a professional speaker, leadership communication coach and the founder of Vocal Impact Productions in Philadelphia, PA. Her mission is to help people confidently and authentically master the 3Cs of “Vocal Executive Presence”: to command the room, connect with the audience, and close the deal in any context.

She has presented to audiences in the US, Egypt, Japan, Spain, China and Germany, and provides 1:1 coaching for clients across the US and around the world.

Laura has spent over 20 years coaching, speaking, training, researching, teaching and publishing on language, cognition, culture, the voice and related effects on learning.

She has delivered keynotes, workshops, presentations, and training programs on topics ranging from leadership communication in diversity, persuasive speaking, conflict management, media training, intercultural business communication and presentation skills, to “managing up,” vocal empowerment for women, and delivering the business pitch.

Laura was also faculty in multiple programs at the University of Pennsylvania from 2001-2013, from which she also earned her PhD in educational linguistics.

Sophia Lee

Sophia Lee is a legal historian whose scholarship synthesizes constitutional and administrative law. She has written about administrative agencies’ role in shaping constitutional law; civil rights and labor advocates’ challenges to workplace discrimination during the early Cold War; and conservative legal movements in the post-New Deal era. Her book, The Workplace Constitution from the New Deal to the New Right, was published in 2014 by Cambridge University Press. Her articles can be found in the Yale Law Journal, the Virginia Law Review, and Law & History Review. She earned her J.D. and Ph.D. in history from Yale. Prior to joining the Penn Law faculty, she clerked for the Honorable Kimba M. Wood of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Joseph Barber


Dr. Joseph Barber is an Associate Director at Career Services serving graduate students and postdocs. He has a Ph.D. in animal behaviour from University of Oxford (UK), has previously worked as a Research Fellow at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and currently also teaches graduate students as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Hunter College (CUNY). Joseph enjoys thinking creatively to help people find and explore different career paths, and is always interested in hearing students and postdocs talk enthusiastically about their research.

Marianne Lipa


Marianne joined the Career Services team in fall 2015 providing career and internship guidance to undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences. She now advises graduate students and postdocs. She has worked at Penn since 2004, starting at the Wharton School where she was an academic advisor to undergraduate students and more recently, in their alumni relations office. Marianne is delighted to be back in the advising realm. She graduated from Bowdoin College with a double major in Romance Languages and History, and earned her master's degree in Higher Education Management from the Graduate School of Education at Penn.

Monique McCray


Monique McCray is an Assistant Project Manager at Perryman Building and Construction here in Philadelphia, PA. With over fifteen years in working as a project designer in architectural firms, she decided to pursue opportunities in construction management, which is proving to be a promising, positive experience for her career and professional development

Monique has been fortunate to work on commercial projects for most of her architectural career in the Education(K-12) and Public Safety markets. In addition to Monique's experience in architecture and interiors, she holds a CDT certificate from CSI, and is a LEED AP BD + C accredited professional.

Monique holds a Bachelor of Architecture Degree and Architectural History Minor from The Pennsylvania State University.

Angela Perryman


Angelina Perryman serves as the Vice President of Administration for Perryman Building and Construction Services Inc. Perryman Construction is one of the leading, full-service construction companies on the East Coast, self-performing project planning, management and construction for major projects in the region.

She is responsible for managing the administrative operations including human resources, risk management, and strategic planning for corporate growth.

Her expertise in planning and developing has led to corporate growth and corporate savings of over $500,000 while in her tenure. In the last 2 years she has overseen projects for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia South Philadelphia Family Health and Literacy Center, Merck Pharmaceuticals, and the 2016 Democratic National Convention totaling $85M worth of work. Her work was recognized by Engineering News Record (ENR) Magazine on the 2018 list of Top 20 Under 40 Young Professionals in the Construction Industry.

Ms. Perryman is the co-founder of the 3P Foundation which serves to cultivate skills and mobilize access to construction management. She currently serves as the Philadelphia chapter President of the National Association of Women in Construction and was Chair of the 2016 Student and Volunteer Engagement Committee for MAGIC Philadelphia Camp; a free camp for girls between 7th and 12th grade to gain hands on exposure to careers in construction.

She has served as a panelist for several events including, the City of Philadelphia How to Make it in America Conference, a presenter on Women as Millennial Business Leaders for the Greater Northeast Chamber of Commerce, and other numerous panels regarding careers in construction.

Ms. Perryman received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and Executive Leadership Education from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH.

Erin Roark


With over 20 years of practice in award-winning firms, Erin has a broad knowledge of building typologies in diverse environments and scales. As a project architect and project manager, she has the expertise to lead and organize project teams, set project goals and prioritize project budgets and schedules. Her role on numerous preeminent projects including the New College House at the University of Pennsylvania, the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons at Georgia Tech, and the iconic Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia has honed her expertise to lead and realize a design vision and organize project teams. Erin approaches design challenges through a lens focused on collaboration to find the best approach to realizing every project.

Kelly Vresilovia


After a 30-year career with a world-renowned design firm working on a wide variety of distinguished institutional, cultural and commercial projects, Kelly Vresilovic joined with Charles Capaldi in 2015 to form CaVA Architects. While CaVA is young, the leadership is very experienced and brings enthusiasm and gravitas to the table.

Kelly received a BA in Architecture from the University of Washington and a MARCH from the University of Pennsylvania. Long active in sustainable design, she was a founding member of the AIA National Committee on the Environment; winning a USGBC Leadership Award in 2009. Kelly is an Adjunct Instructor of Architecture at Drexel University Department of Architecture in the new URBN Center and serves on the Board of Directors for the AIA Philadelphia and The Center for Architecture and Design. . Kelly is an active member of The Carpenter’s Company. Long active with mentoring young architects, Women in Architecture, and the Community Design Collaborative; Kelly’s passion lies in strengthening the bond between people, community, and architecture.