TORCH Mentorship Program: Forging Your Path

Event Pass Information

Event Pass Type
General Public   $10.00 USD
Student with Valid IDFREE
NycobaNOMA MemberFREE

Event Details

*This event is occurring as a live webinar. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the program.*

The TORCH Mentorship Program convenes a distinguished panel of Fellows and other exciting practitioners to share their extraordinary career paths.  The panel will explore motives and identify opportunities to help shape career choices in response to an increasing dynamic and elastic architecture profession. Their personal stories will form the basis for understanding the range of career options from the prescriptive to the unprecedented.

Daniel Aronberg, Assoc. AIA, Mancini Duffy

Illya Azaroff, FAIA, MFounding principal, +LAB architect PLLC and Associate Professor, New York City College of Technology (CUNY)
Karen Fairbanks, FAIA, Founding Partner, Marble Fairbanks Architects
Belinda Stewart, FAIA, Founder/Principal, Belinda Steward Architects, PA
Violet Whitney, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Presdervation


Daniel Aronberg, Assoc. AIA, has over 9 years of experience working on a variety of project types including, private residential, educational, commercial, institutional and athletic facilities. Working across different scales and project phases, he has exhibited comprehensive knowledge of the craft and communication skills required to make quality spaces. Daniel is passionate about the future of the profession and building the next generation of leaders in the industry. As the 2017-19 Co-Chair of the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee he oversaw the City of Dreams Pavilion design competition, the 2019 FutureNOW symposium for exploring the impact technology-driven advancements will have on the practice of architecture. He is a co-founder of the TORCH Mentorship program.

Illya Azaroff, FAIA is an Associate Professor at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) and the founding principal of +LAB architect PLLC, whose mission is to build resilient capacity and advance goals for a sustainable, regenerative future while giving underserved communities greater visibility. He is an internationally recognized leader in disaster mitigation, adaption, and resilient strategiesIllya regularly works with city, state, and federal agencies, professional societies, not-for-profits, community groups and foreign governments on building resilient capacity including participation in Resilient 21 a coalition advising the Biden-Harris teamHis office is advancing culturally significant community resilience hubs and regenerative cluster housing developments in several communities across the world.  With over 25 years of experience Illya has worked in Germany, Italy, Holland prior to New York. He is the founding co-chair of Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee and is pleased to be serving as the 2021 AIA New York State president.

Karen Fairbanks, FAIA is a founding partner of Marble Fairbanks Architects where she has focused on design and planning for both public and private educational clients. Marble Fairbanks Architects is a design-driven, research-based practice recognized for their cultural and institutional work. Recent projects include the Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Karen has been an active member of the AIA, most recently serving on the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter. Concurrent to the development of her practice, Karen built the architecture department at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she is the Claire Tow Chair Professor of Professional Practice and Chair of the Architecture Department.

Belinda Stewart, FAIA is the founder/principal of Belinda Stewart Architects, PA, a predominately female architectural firm based in Eupora, Mississippi. For 30 years, they have created and restored cherished landmarks, serving clients and communities throughout Mississippi and the Southeast. They specialize in historic preservation/rehabilitation and contextually inspired new design and construction, all with the goal of making a positive difference in the life of a person and a community. Belinda has been a Citizen Architect since the beginning of her career – persistently looking for ways to help communities and to help lead her own community.  She is the sixth term Mayor of the Village of Walthall, MS.

Violet Whitney is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, where she teaches urban data analytics and tangible computing courses, and is an advisor for an upcoming Master’s program Design and Computation in the Built Environment. She founded the Delve product at Sidewalk Labs where she applies her background in architecture and spatial data as a Senior Product Manager. She co-leads Architechies NYC a network which brings together architects and technologists in urban tech.


About the TORCH program: 
The TORCH Mentorship program partners emerging professionals and AIA Fellows over the course of the year to share personal strategies and paths to success in the architecture profession. TORCH includes public panel discussions plus one-to-one mentor matching for a longer term discussion. Learn more here.