Students & Partners

Ten students, accompanied by four advisors and the founder of Mercy Outreach Ministry International, traveled from the United States to Haiti. On the ground, students from Haiti’s architecture school at Université GOC aided the group. An eclectic mix of students from the US with varied international backgrounds interacted with numerous Haitian students over the two-week visit. Various methods of documentation and observation were used to help thoroughly understand the present conditions in Petite-Rivière-de-Nippes, such as the limits of existing infrastructure and planning efforts, the nature of education and entrepreneurial activity, local customs and culture, and the needs and desires of residents and government officials in the community. The final work of the studio ranged from considering various growth-pattern scenarios for the community, to design for a market, to designs for a media center and a farming co-op. These were developed and designed collaboratively among studio participants in order to achieve a comprehensive and integrated proposal for the town of Petite-Rivière-de-Nippes.


Jeremy Copley

Now a second year graduate student at the Illinois School of Architecture, Jeremy completed his undergraduate architecture education at University of Illinois at Chicago. He plans to complete his M. Arch. degree in July of 2015.

Kevin Grewe

From Palatine, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, Kevin is now a second year graduate student at the Illinois School of Architecture. He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Illinois in 2013.

Min Hoo Kim

From the Republic of Korea, Min Hoo completed his undergraduate architecture education at the Illinois School of Architecture in 2012. He is an active leader as an M. Arch. student and plans a May 2015 graduation.

Eric Ortega

Erasmo (Eric) Ortega is a second year graduate student at the Illinois School of Architecture, Eric graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois in 2013.

Vinee Pramod

Manasvinee (Vinee) Pramod is a second year student in the graduate architecture program at the University of Illinois, Manasvinee completed a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree in Madras, India. She worked in Madras for two years before enrolling in the University of Illinois.

Neris Sandoval

A senior in the undergraduate program at the Illinois School of Architecture, Neris is originally from Venezuela. She and her family are now residents of Texas. She plans for a May 2015 graduation.

Holden Scully

Holden graduated in August 2014 from the Illinois School of Architecture with a Master of Architecture, after completing a Bachelor of Landscape Design at Arizona State University. He currently works in Chicago, Illinois.

Shengxi Wu

From China, Shengxi started his education at Shenzhen University before transferring to the undergraduate architecture program at the University of Illinois. He continued in its graduate program. He previously worked on the Kay Fanm Yo project in Leogane, Haiti.

Lawrence Wyman

Lawrence is currently a fifth year student in the B. Arch. program at Howard University. Scheduled to graduate in May 2015, he has continued design work focused in Haiti through his B. Arch. thesis project.

Yang Yu

Currently a third year student in the 2+ Master of Architecture Program at the Illinois School of Architecture, he completed a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at the North China University of Technology. He is presently an architectural intern in Tokyo, Japan.


Lynne M. Dearborn

Lynne M. Dearborn, Ph.D. joined the faculty at the Illinois School of Architecture in 2001. Now Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, she currently serves as Chair of Architecture’s Health and Well-being Program and as Chair of the Ph.D. programs in Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Her research highlights adverse environmental and living conditions of low-income and other marginalized groups in the US and internationally. She addresses questions of power and agency in seeking to advocate for more supportive environments for these groups. Through the use of community-based participatory processes and evidence-based practices, her design studios seek to ameliorate inimical conditions in under served communities around the world.

Bradford C. Grant

Bradford C. Grant, is Professor and Director of the School of Architecture and Design and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences at Howard University, Washington DC. A registered architect, Grant has extensive experience in urban and community design, universal design, contemplative practices in design education and cultural identity in architecture. His community design work, research on the role of African American architects and his work on “Drawing as Meditation” has earned him numerous awards, including the Universal Design Education Award. He is on the board of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Dr. Judy Fisher

The Rev. Dr. Judy Fisher is a native of Washington, DC. She earned a BA in Sociology, a Master of City Planning, a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from Howard University. She is a trained and experienced lecturer in community issues ranging from human sexuality, teenage pregnancy, health and nutrition, AIDS, local and international community development, alternative technology, urban agriculture and food security. She is an ordained Bishop who has provided leadership to international projects in Haiti for the past 23 years and was a recent contractor with USAID to develop a model to assist in awarding grants to small and disadvantaged nonprofits.

Eric Wayne Ellis

Eric Wayne Ellis is the Senior Director of Operations and Programs at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) where, for over 15 years, he has overseen the association’s various conferences, awards, competitions and many other programs. ACSA conferences are a forum for discussion as well as for the exploration of a broad scope of research, scholarship, and creative activity. The meetings bring together architecture educators, administrators, practitioners and students who are eager to discuss the latest research, design, publications, and products. ACSA competitions offer unique opportunities to investigate, develop, and challenge systematic approaches to design. Eric holds a degree in architecture from the University of Houston and spends his personal time traveling, learn new things, hobbies and being creative.


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 2- and 4-year programs. Together ACSA schools represent some 7,000 faculty educating more than 40,000 students.

ACSA provides venues for international peer review and recognition in the form of scholarly journals, conferences, awards, and student design competitions. We provide intelligence and insight for our members through data collection and analysis, and we work to enhance teaching and research across the discipline through our volunteer members and often in partnership with peer organizations in education and practice around the world.

We design our activities to shape the future of architecture by empowering faculty to understand and act within a dynamic world. Similarly, we engage with prospective students and their families through, a portal to learn about the path into the profession and to connect directly with member schools.

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

The school is an academic unit within the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. It is one of the oldest and most distinguished professional degree programs in North America. The school strives to provide students with an aesthetically motivated and technically rigorous design-based education. The comprehensive and flexible core curriculum of the school’s graduate Master of Architecture program enables students to develop a specialized professional or academic focus in one of the program areas.

The school is committed to developing students with an informed worldview through global and local engagement. Students also benefit from an internationally distinguished faculty and from the school’s position in a world-class research university. The school enjoys a close relationship with many architectural firms in major cities around the world, enabling students to gain first-hand experience. The school’s many international studio projects augment its various study abroad programs to ensure that students have plentiful opportunities for international exposure while in school.

Howard University

The School of Architecture and Design at Howard University, with a tradition of excellence in Design offers academic programs and opportunities through lectures/seminars and studio/laboratory experiences.

Within the School of Architecture and Design, emphasis is placed on instruction, research/scholarly activities and activist community service. These are directed toward development and nurturing of problem-solving abilities, creative/critical thinking skills and professional expertise. The ultimate application of these is directed towards the preservation and enhancement of the environment through architecture, design, and planning.

The primary mission of the School is to provide professional design leadership in all sectors and at all levels of society through its professional architecture degree offerings.

Mercy Outreach Ministry

 Mercy Outreach Ministry (MOM) is a certified 501(c)(3) organization with over 20 years of experience working in the rural areas of Haiti. Founded and led by Reverend Dr. Judy Fisher, MOM has helped start, fund and run health and nutrition programs, and education services for the citizens of Haiti, in both urban and rural sectors. Work implemented ranges from educating children at the primary school level, to adult education, to community development projects. MOM works in partnership with the Haitian Université GOC, based in Port-au-Prince.

Projects in the health sector have ranged from water filtration to waste management; work in the housing sector has helped Haitian citizens develop construction capabilities and alternative technologies. MOM has an on-the-ground presence in the Southwest of Haiti in the Anse-à-Veau and Petite-Rivière-de-Nippes coastal regions and in the mountainous regions of Fonds-Verrettes. In these locations MOM supports economic development projects in agriculture, education and alternative and sustainable technologies.

Fetzer Institute

To foster awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in the emerging global community. People across the globe, from all cultures and traditions, embrace love and forgiveness in daily life. These values are universally viewed as central to the fabric of humanity. Yet, the emerging global community has few institutions dedicated to deepening the understanding and fostering deeper awareness of these values. In this context, the Fetzer Institute pursues a unique role—working to investigate, activate, and celebrate the power of love and forgiveness as a practical force for good in today’s world. We are interested in how people truly experience and understand love and forgiveness from their diverse points of view, especially from the perspective of their daily work in the world.

University G.O.C.

University G.O.C. was established on June 7, 1980, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, its vision being to educate students in numerous fields by offering a rich and virtually limitless curriculum. Thirty-five years in higher education says a lot. Several generations of students from our faculties, departments and schools are working in the labor market and abroad. These students are at the forefront of some of the most ambitious projects and demonstrate remarkable dexterity and ability in the pursuit of their duties. Whether it be in the Sciences and Engineering, Law, Economics, Agronomic, Environmental Sciences or another field of disciplines, these graduates are well represented and are highly sought after for their contribution to every aspect of development, both nationally and internationally.


Eric Wayne Ellis
ACSA, Senior Director of Operations & Programs