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CHRIS LERMA

President

Chris received his Bachelors of Science in Construction Management in 2014. He has 8 years of experience working in construction, customer service, non-profit, and community relations. He is experienced in project scheduling, estimating, contract resolution, project planning and management, material and vendor procurement.

Board Member Since 2018

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STEVE CODRARO

Treasurer

Steve is a third generation residential builder and real estate developer specializing in sustainable urban infill townhouses. He is a licensed contractor and real estate broker. In addition to his work with the Foundation Steve is active in the North Park Community Association and San Diego Green Building Council.

Board Member Since 2012

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LUCY CAMPBELL

Secretary and Vice-President

Lucy is Librarian of the Richard Welsh Library at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design. Originally from London, England, Lucy moved to San Diego in February of 2011. In addition to serving as Secretary she is on the Scholarship Committee and oversees the Dr. Steve Altman Pillars Scholarship with her Co-Chair Professor Miti Aiello. She also volunteers with the San Diego Architectural Foundation and the Friends of San Diego Architecture.

Board Member Since 2013

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STEPHEN RUSSELL

Past-President and Trustee

Stephen is President of the San Diego Housing Federation. He graduated form NewSchool of Architecture and Design in 2005, and has a 20-year history working in community and economic development in the Mid-City region of San Diego. Stephen served as Executive Director of the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement District, where he was responsible for implementing an economic development strategy for an aging commercial district. He later served as an advisor to then-San Diego City Council member Toni Atkins on issues related to redevelopment, infrastructure financing, small business support, and the City’s General Plan (the “City of Villages”.) Since then he has served as volunteer board member and President of the City Heights Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing, employment opportunities, and quality neighborhoods in the community of City Heights. Stephen was President of the NewSchool Foundation Board from 2011 to 2017.

Board Member Since 2009

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MITI AIELLO

Director and Scholarship Committee Chair

Miti is Assistant Professor in the Architecture program at NewSchool of Architecture and Design, and has taught there since 2005. She holds the position of coordinator of the History of Architecture and Urban Design sequence and teaches First Year Undergraduate Design Studio, Undergraduate and Graduate level History of Architecture, Undergraduate and Graduate level Urban Design courses.
She also teaches Freehand Drawing, Rendering and Delineation, Mixed Media and Art History courses. Miti has been associated with NewSchool since 2006, where she started her career as a Professional Teaching Assistant, then becoming Adjunct Professor in 2007, Full-time Lecturer in 2010 and was elevated to Assistant Professor in 2014.

 

Originally from Italy, Miti holds a Bachelor of Architecture  and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from North Dakota State University. She obtained a Post-Professional Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Syracuse University in 2007, with a study abroad grant for the Syracuse campus in Florence, Italy.

Miti is a visual artist, a published poet and a practitioner with experience in architectural practices in the US and in Italy.

She is Principal Designer and owner of ArchistDesign Studio, responsible for projects ranging from residential remodels, to 3D visualization to, recently, permitting process for a nightclub, part of an urban infill project of a city block in Downtown San Diego. She was awarded the AIA Associate Award in 2006 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Architecture for Humanity/Rebuild San Diego chapter and the NewSchool Foundation.

Miti is also the cofounder of Builtculture, an online repository for lectures, design events and cultural happenings in Architecture and Art in the Southern California and Baja region.  During the summers of 2013 and 2014, she was a Visiting Professor at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She co-taught a course, Myth of the City- Build Your Own, a laboratory for speculation on the relation between symbols, myth, narrative, architecture and urban design tailored to students of architecture and design disciplines. Miti is currently working on a book on visual notes for the study of History of Architecture. Her research interests include new ex-urban enclaves and games of urban activism in the critical city.

Board Member Since 2005

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MIKE STEPNER

Director and Lecture Committee Chair

Mike's career exemplifies the essence of planning. His vision and ability has inspired students, colleagues, community leaders and activists, resulting in an enhanced and invigorated quality of life in San Diego, nationally and internationally. He is a professor of architecture and urban design at NewSchool and a principal in Stepner Design Group. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the Institute of Urban Design, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Mike also served as San Diego City Architect from 1988 to 1992 and later for the San Diego Economic Development Corporation as director of planning and housing.

Board Member Since 1999

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KEVIN DEFREITAS

Director

Kevin, as principal of Kevin deFreitas Architects, has had the good fortune of many exceptional collaborations resulting in a diverse portfolio of recognized projects, a public restroom on the sand in Ocean Beach for the City, a rammed earth chapel on the Rincon Indian Reservation, custom residences, urban infill rowhomes, and several commissions on the UCSD campus including Galbraith Hall, Warren College bridges, and Computer Science + Engineering renovations.

 

Kevin is also an active board member of the San Diego Architectural Foundation and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He greatly enjoys live music, sharing a meal with just about anybody, laughing out loud, and coaching a variety of youth sports that one of his four children happen to be playing.

Board Member Since 2017

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TOMMY HERNANDEZ

Board Member

Tommy Hernandez joined the faculty at NewSchool of Architecture & Design in 2020. As an undergraduate, he served as AIAS-NewSchool’s Chapter President for the 2018-2019 school year, earning the title of Chapter Leader of the Month for December 2018 as well as received the AIAS Chapter President Honor Award in 2019. His contribution to the AIAS chapter and his members was honored further with the AIAS Chapter Honor Award in 2019. Tommy’s activities vary widely including learning about experiential qualities of architecture through Neuroscience, sketching, and reading. In addition to teaching, Tommy works as a designer with De Bartolo + Rimanic Design Studios (DBRDS) and is a director for the Committee of One Hundred (C100).

Board Member Since 2018

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KAYLEE DREXEL

Board Member

Kaylee is a designer at BNIM. She graduated from NewSchool of Architecture and Design in 2020 with a Bachelor of Architecture and a double minor in Construction Management and Healthy Urbanism. As an undergraduate, Kaylee served as Student Council President from 2017 to 2019 and as NewSchool's AIAS chapter Vice-President from 2018 to 2019. During her vice-presidency, the AIAS chapter was awarded the Chapter Honor Award. Along with being a board member for the NewSchool Foundation, she works with several other organizations including the Committee of One Hundred (C100) and Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3).

Board Member Since 2018

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MICHAEL CINTRON

Student Ex-Officio

Mike is a student in the Bachelor of Architecture program pursuing a double minor in Healthy Urbanism and Graphic Design. Along with being a board member for the NewSchool Foundation, he has served on the AIAS-NewSchool board for the past two years and is part of the NewSchool Lecture Committee. Mike is an active member of AIA San Diego’s Urban Design Committee and enjoys volunteering with local architecture organizations. Before coming to San Diego, Mike worked with an architecture firm in Richmond, Virginia and his design work has been recognized and awarded at the 2017 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference.

Board Member Since 2021

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NICHOLAS HOOPLE

Student Ex-Officio

Nick is a 3rd Year Undergraduate in the Architecture Program . He is pursuing a Minor in Construction Management while serving as AIAS NewSchool Chapter President 2019-2020 and as a Student Council Member. Nick is a firm believer that taking an active role in one’s own education by staying engaged with personal work, professors, student organizations, and or the local professional community is a vital element of success.  

Board Member Since 2021

Past Board Members