February 28, 2024

The 2024 AIA Detroit Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Cohort

AIA Detroit is pleased to introduce the 2024 Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Cohort!


Braxton Dockery
Albert Kahn Associates

Braxton, hailing from Detroit, Michigan, graduated from Cass Tech High School and Bowling Green State University. With a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design from BGSU, he presently holds a position at Albert Kahn. Braxton eagerly anticipates applying for graduate school to pursue his Master of Architecture degree.

In his leisure time, Braxton engages in volunteering at the Circle of Brotherhood mentoring program, offering support to inner-city youth through bi-weekly sessions focused on homework assistance and life skills development. His personal interests include exploring new culinary venues and indulging in the appreciation of art and architecture.


Eric Meyers
Krieger Klatt Architects

Eric Meyers is a Registered Architect at Krieger Klatt Architects. He has a Master of Architecture from Lawrence Technological University and has been with his firm since 2016. Eric is excited to participate in the CKLDP and to develop leadership skills that will assist in coordinating with co-workers. He also has a desire to create more efficient workflows for projects from start to finish. He specializes in multi-family developments around the Detroit Metro Area with a recent focus on existing office-to-apartment conversions. In the past, he has also worked on hospitality and office projects.

On a day-to-day basis, Eric works with clients and consultants to facilitate communication, provide design opinions on potential changes, and implement creative architectural solutions to in-field construction issues. In his free time, he enjoys backpacking, making espresso, and serving as a deacon at his church.


Megan Murray
Megan Murray Interiors

Megan Murray, a seasoned professional in interior design and construction for over two decades, has served as the Principal Interior Designer at Megan Murray Interiors for the past eight years. Actively engaged in the design community, she holds the position of IIDA Michigan Vice President of Membership, keeping abreast of trends and local events while fostering connections with fellow designers and industry partners. Megan also contributes to the arts as a board member for Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts, a non-profit in Grand Rapids.

Residing in Grand Rapids with her husband, Craig, son, Trent, and dog, Collins, Megan combines extensive experience with active community involvement in both her personal and professional life.


Amanda Badgero

Amanda Badgero is an architectural lighting designer at SmithGroup striving to create beautiful and inviting places. With her architectural engineering background, she endeavors to create integrated designs with architects, engineers, and consultants. Her work has stretched across multiple fields some of which include Higher Education work for Johns Hopkins University, Community Center work for South San Francisco, Hospital work for Trinity Health, and even local Michigan restaurants. Her projects have been acknowledged for IES Awards of Merit, AIA Detroit Honor Awards, and AEI Awards of Merit.

Amanda leads the Detroit chapter of Women in Lighting and Design (WILD) bringing local lighting designers together for socialization and education. When Amanda is not working, she is enjoying time with her daughter; reading stories, playing with toys, and dancing in the kitchen.


Alina Osnaga
Alina Osnaga LLC

Alina Osnaga, Associate AIA, is a researcher and designer at Albert Kahn Associates. She combines a background in neuroscience and architecture to translate empirical science into design solutions for educational facilities, healthcare, and workplaces. Alina focuses on cross-disciplinary projects to improve human experience within the built environment. She has presented at IEEE, EDRA, ANFA, Planetree International, and European Healthcare Design, and was featured in Bloomberg. She is an EDRA Board Member and winner of multiple research awards.


Elizabeth Stanfel

Liz is a strategist with expertise at the intersection of business, design, and social impact. As part of AECOM’s Strategy+ consultancy, Liz brings a hybrid approach that integrates human-centered design, business strategy, and an understanding of place to create value for communities and organizations.

Liz graduated from Rice University with a Bachelors of Architecture in 2016, and Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management with a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters of Science in Design Innovation in 2022. Liz is an alumnus of the Challenge Detroit Fellowship program (2017) and has worked for design firms including ROSSETTI, Diller Scofidio Renfro, and Agency Agency.

Originally from Coronado, California, Liz lives in Midtown, Detroit with her dog Rouge. Liz has braved over five Midwest winters due to her love for Detroit – the people, communities, and design culture. She is driven to support local organizations including past projects with: Design Core Detroit, Live6, MACC Development, City Year Detroit, and the Downtown Boxing Gym.


Jenna Atkinson
Quinn Evans

Jenna Atkinson, Designer at Quinn Evans, explores new challenges that broaden her design perspective. She often finds herself thriving in collaborative thinking and problem-solving environments, especially when it comes to helping the people around her. Jenna believes design plays a pivotal role in eradicating the inequalities minority groups face. Her professional architectural experience includes Workplace, Residential, Historical, and Education.

In her spare time, Jenna works with non-profits to see how her design skills can contribute to community growth. A designer’s role is to ask questions that lead to community engagement, allowing the design to work with that community and not for them.


Nikola Gjurchinoski
HKS Architects

Nikola Gjurchinoski is a licensed architect and a design researcher focused on understanding the relationship between the built environment and people’s experiences and behaviors, in the design of buildings. In his work, he integrates design, research methodologies, and data analytics to deliver data-informed and outcomes-driven designs that elevate the human experience and foster well-being.

He is active in his community through various Citizen HKS projects and by serving on the leadership committee of AIA Detroit Computational Design Group. Currently, he works as an architect within the research group of HKS Architects. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Lawrence Technological University.


Nivin Boersma
GMB Architecture & Engineering

Nivin’s diverse experience has given her the ability to work seamlessly as part of a project team. Her project skills include retail, mixed-use, educational, historic facade renovation, and parks design to create innovative and sustainable spaces for clients. With over eight years of experience in the architecture industry, Nivin has taken projects from schematic design through construction administration, ensuring quality, efficiency, and compliance.

She is passionate about green building and environmental design and holds several credentials that demonstrate her expertise and commitment to the field. Nivin obtained a Master of Architecture from Lawrence Technological University. She’s a licensed Architect in Michigan, a LEED Accredited Professional, a Construction Document Technologist, and a member of the American Institute of Architects and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Her goal is to use her skills and knowledge to design spaces that enhance the well-being of people and the planet.


Sara Timberlake
Quinn Evans

Sara Timberlake is a Detroit-based designer with six years of design and research experience gained from diverse projects across the Midwest and East Coast. She’s left an indelible mark on these projects, which include the Allied Media LOVE Building and Woodbridge Neighborhood Infill Design Guidelines in Detroit, Dyett High School in Chicago, and the Federal Reserve Main Campus in Washington, DC.

Holding a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan, Sara continues to demonstrate her dedication to education and fosters opportunities for others in the field. She has completed a design fellowship through the Michigan-Mellon Project on Egalitarianism and the Metropolis, teaching a high school architecture studio and conducting research on the Black Church as a distinct architectural style. Additionally, Sara serves as the Youth Outreach Chair for NOMA Detroit and has directed the Detroit Project Pipeline camps for over five years.


Tanner Thaler

Tanner is currently a project coordinator at Fishbeck working towards becoming a licensed architect. He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Architecture from Lawrence Technological University. With more than 9 years of experience in residential design and retail architecture, he strives to wow clients with innovative “All in One” service solutions. Tanner is passionate about workplace culture and the supportive nature of his firm which enables him to pursue his goals and his growth within architecture.

In his spare time, he enjoys golfing with friends and spending time with his wife Tara, and one-year-old son Talon.


Valeria De Jongh

Valeria has over 6 years of multifaceted experience spanning residential, commercial, institutional, non-profit, and world-class sports facilities. She is a designer and the leader of the Sustainability Lab at ROSSETTI, where she actively cultivates a culture of collective learning and curiosity, instigating boldness and innovation within project teams.

In addition to her role at ROSSETTI, Valeria’s work as an independent contributor has been featured on Archinect, PLAT, the Venice Biennale exhibition, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Her extensive background in art and research profoundly shapes her approach to design, construction, and planning.

Beyond professional achievements, Valeria’s dedication extends to fostering positive change in the field. With a profound interest in the intersection of community, biodiversity, arts, culture, and enjoyment. She actively champions diversity and uplifts those around her, embodying a sincere passion for creating a more harmonious and equitable professional landscape.


Victoria Capranica
Kohler Architecture

Victoria has 10+ years of experience in the architecture industry. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy during her undergrad studies, and traveled to Dubai during grad school. From a very early age, she knew she wanted to become an Architect. Her experience includes construction documentation, presentations, 3D modeling, project management/organization, and other duties required to manage a project from conception through completion.

Not only is her career important to her, but so is her community and family. Even though it has been difficult in recent years, she is always willing to volunteer and give back to the community whenever possible.


Zachary Funk
City of Detroit

Zach is a licensed architect, having graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and from Lawrence Technological University in 2012 with a Masters in Architecture.

Zach has worked as an architectural designer for over 10 years with experience in large mixed-use developments, housing, higher education, and retail. Presently, Zach works in the Planning and Development Department for the City of Detroit where he completes design reviews for all new projects.

His diverse background in working in both the public and private sectors has allowed him to assist development teams in producing the best possible developments for the city and its neighborhoods.

In his spare time, Zach serves on the City of Plymouth Planning Commission, travels, and enjoys time with his wife and daughter.

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