July 8, 2024

ACSA Announces Cathi Ho Schar as 2024-2025 President


ACSA Announces Cathi Ho Schar as 2024-2025 President

For Immediate Release:

Washington D.C., July 8, 2024 –The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce Cathi Ho Schar, FAIA, as the organization’s 2024-2025 president. Ho Schar is an Associate Professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Architecture and the inaugural director of the University of Hawaiʻi Community Design Center (UHCDC), a public-interest-driven, public sector, hybrid practice.

As the director of UHCDC, Ho Schar integrates education, research, practice, and administration with government and community outreach. Over the past eight years, she has worked with legislators, state agency directors, and faculty principal investigators to establish UHCDC partnerships with over 30 public and non-profit partners. These relationships generated $8M in community-engaged research that has connected over 25 faculty across ten departments and hundreds of students on projects serving statewide needs. UHCDC’s public sector practice model and collective body of work earned the 2020 AIA/ACSA Practice and Leadership Award.

Prior to her current position, Ho Schar was the co-founding principal of a women-owned architectural practice based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, where she was born and raised.  “As an island-based educator and practitioner, I am shaped by Hawaiʻi’s Indigenous, immigrant, and multicultural community and aligned with ACSA’s commitments to equity and inclusion,” said Ho Schar. 

In her new role as president, Cathi Ho Schar has identified the following agenda items as priorities for the organization in alignment with ACSA’s 3-year Strategic Plan: 1) Continuing to connect the continuum of architectural education including community colleges, four-year programs, and accredited degree programs, through licensure, to advocate for the role and value of higher education across these different paths; 2) Furthering research and discourse on climate action and social justice through the Academy for Public Scholarship on the Built Environment and resources to assist with identifying funding and building relationships with collaborators, grantors, and other sponsoring agencies; and 3) Exploring mental health and wellbeing for students and faculty, across all position types, in consideration of equity issues, workloads, and burn-out. 

“I look forward to our conferences with our host institutions: the Administrators Conference “The Long View” with the University of Colorado Denver, ACSA/AIA Intersections Conference “New Housing Paradigms” with the University of Texas at Austin, 113th Annual Meeting “Repair” with Tulane University”, and ACSA/EAAE Teachers Conference “Conflict: Resolution” with Dalhousie University, which will allow us to come together around our deepening local and global social, political, and climate crises. It is an honor and deep responsibility to be serving our members, in this context.” 

Along with the 2020 ACSA Collaborative Practice Award which Schar received with the Waipahu TOD Collaboration team, in 2021 she received an ACSA Course Development Prize in Architecture Climate Change and Society with the Just Play team, the ACSA New Faculty Teaching Award, and the ACSA Annual Meeting Best Project Award. That year, Schar was also inducted into the AIA College of Fellows. Ho Schar’s presidency will strengthen the organization’s mission and support the strategic priorities of ACSA’s academic community. Her dedicated approach to building relationships and multiplying opportunities as vehicles for broader growth and impact will frame the work of the organization, and improve outcomes for students, faculty, professionals, and the communities they serve. 

About the ACSA

The mission of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is to lead architectural education and research. Founded in 1912 by 10 charter members, ACSA is an international association of architecture schools preparing future architects, designers, and change agents. Our full members include all of the accredited professional degree programs in the United States and Canada, as well as international schools and two- and four-year programs. Together, ACSA schools represent some 7,000 faculty educating more than 40,000 students.

ACSA seeks to empower faculty and schools to educate increasingly diverse students, expand disciplinary impacts, and create knowledge for the advancement of architecture. For more information, visit www.acsa-arch.org.


Hanifah Jones
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