At a presentation on Thursday morning, the AIA and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion celebrated three honorees in the 2011 Diversity Recognition Program. The program, now in its third year, recognizes architects, component chapters, and others who are committed to increasing diversity in the profession. This year's jury chair, Clarence Kwan, AIA, of NBBJ in Seattle, announced the three honorees: Carol Kurth, FAIA, a sole practitioner in Bedford, N.Y.; Dougherty & Dougherty Architects of Costa Mesa, Calif.; and Shepley Bulfinch of Boston. Kurth was lauded for setting an "outstanding example" for the profession through her teaching and mentoring. Dougherty & Dougherty was selected for its firm-wide focus on creating a diverse practice. And Shepley Bulfinch was praised for transforming a homogeneous, hierarchical firm into a diverse and collaborative one--50 percent of the firm's staff now are women, Kwan noted.
Betsey Dougherty, FAIA, a partner of Dougherty & Dougherty, observed while accepting the award that her firm's embrace of diversity is truly company-wide. "Pursuing this award originated from my staff," she said.