The Presidents Letter
SAMANTHA JOSAPHAT, RA, NOMA, NCARB, LEED GA
An unapologetically young and fabulous woman defeating the odds in both the STEM and construction industry, Samantha continues her commitment to her community in hopes of raising the percentage of black Architects in the field. Her involvement as the founder of Penn State's NOMAS chapter has flourished to where she rose to a leadership role on the nycoba NOMA board. Samantha served as the Corresponding Secretary from 2013-2016. Assuming the demanding leadership role, she passionately served as the voice of nycoba NOMA and served as a conduit between the executive board and the membership. Samantha then went above and beyond by spearheading nycoba NOMA's Project Pipeline, an architectural day camp for elementary students. Having another seat at the table as the 2019/2020 President, Samantha is excited to continue nycoba NOMA's legacy of championing diversity within the design professions by promoting excellence, community engagement, and the professional development for members.
In December of 2017, Samantha received the Jumaane Stewart Recognition Award, an award that recognizes a recently licensed Architect who's work and values align with the late Jumanne Stewart; a licensed architect who mentored students, guided and encouraged young professionals in the industry to become licensed registered architects. In March of 2018, some of her work was exhibited at the United Nations visitors center, as part of International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Representation matters at all levels, and as a studio professor at The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School or Architecture Samantha is able to connect by teaching and learning from her students.
Samantha Josaphat is the Principal of Studio 397 Architecture PLLC, a New York City based firm specializing in Architecture and Interior Design. A rare and extremely valuable talent, Samantha is a part of the mere 0.3% of Black Female Architects registered in the United States. More specifically, she is the 397th Black Female Architect in all of the US!
GREGORY T. SWITZER, AIA, NOMA, NCARB
Mr. Switzer founded SWITZER Architecture, P.C., a full-service architectural practice with emphasis on design and the management of the design process in 2003 as a response to the ever-changing architecture and interiors marketplace, in an effort to provide design conscious projects with the highest level of attention to detail and cost. He is responsible for day-to-day firm-wide operations as Managing Principal and CEO. Mr. Switzer’s extensive and unparalleled experience in multiple project situations allows him to work with clients and project teams to establish and maintain overall project direction with clarity and focused direction.
Firm projects encompass the perfect balance between creative thought and the leveraged use of technology with a true sensitivity and appreciation of process and their effects on the built environment. Committed to guiding clients through the often - tedious tasks of organization and understanding the impact of the built environment with respect to their unique projects. He believes every client’s unique needs are always addressed during the firm’s true hands on process of implementation.
Mr. Switzer is licensed in 16 states and is involved in numerous organizations which include the American Institute of Architects as well as and his local Planning Board. In addition to his in-house experience, he has extended experience with several notable architectural and design firms totaling more than 30 years of hands on practical knowledge.
He received his Bachelor Degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and a Bachelors of Interior Design from Louisiana State University. He was also a research fellow at Cornell University, a participant in the Affordable Housing Institute at the Harvard GSD and has authored several sections of various books and publications with his most recent contribution to the Interior Design Handbook of Professional Practice.
Mr. Switzer also received recognition in The Network Journal’s 40 Under 40 list, has lectured on master facilities planning for the American Management Association and recently received a Best for New York City Honorary Award.
ellen abraham, mba, NOMA, Assoc. AIA
Ellen Abraham aims to bridge the gap between ideation, design excellence and social awareness, all through her first love - Architecture.
This MBA graduate and Senior Project BIM/Technical Lead at Skidmore,Owings & Merrill LLP, nurtures her passions through leading various community building initiatives, design-based philanthropy and social impact advocacy groups. She serves her community through leading Low & Pro-Bono Design Initiatives and as a Board member and the Building Committee Chairwoman for the 100+ year old, landmarked Ephesus Church in Harlem, NYC. She is the newest addition to the ArchiteXX Executive Board - a 501c3 non-profit organization for promoting Gender Equity within the architecture profession.
Ellen hopes to be one of the first 500 Black licensed women architects in the United States.
MAYA MADISON, ASSOC. AIA, NOMA
Maya Madison is an architectural designer at a firm in Harlem called Think Wilder Architecture and has always designed with a sense of serving the community in mind. Maya is a product of a familial legacy of architects where both her parents, grandfather, and great uncle were architects, and she’s always had a natural ability and interest in the sciences, arts, and design.
Having graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, Maya has always viewed architecture as an art form that is essential to the everyday life and well-being of humanity. With over four years of post-graduate experience, and currently working on obtaining her architecture license, Maya has performed a variety of roles designing and detailing projects ranging from performing art centers to commercial skyscrapers. She is currently working on the renovation and rehabilitation of various residential buildings in Brooklyn.
When Maya is not designing she values and enjoys mentoring the youth through the Project Pipeline program and mentoring first generation college students part time on economic mobility through a nonprofit organization called America Needs You.
CAMILLE SHERROD, RA, NOMA, NCARB
Camille is a New York-based registered architect and Principle of the research and design practice Subterranean Architects in New York City, a firm committed to the balance of innovative design and integrated research, working with clients from conception to realization on built projects of all scales and problem solving needs. Prior to starting Subterranean Architects, Camille gained extensive experience in advanced technology, competition design, and collaborative practice models working with architecture firms in the US, South Asia, and the UK for over 10 years.
In addition to practice, Camille teaches architectural design studios, visual studies, and research courses in the undergraduate and graduate architecture programs at the Michael Graves College, School of Public Architecture in New Jersey, where her research and coursework centers on socially driven and environmentally sensitive approaches to public design. Camille is a graduate of the Architectural Association and holds 3 degrees in Architecture, Construction Management and Urbanism.
A current 2020 Architecture Fellow at Art Omi, Camille is excited to continue the parliamentarian role this year and is excited to keep getting things done and strengthening the organization.
MAIMOUNA SOW, NOMA
Maimouna "Mouna" Sow is a junior architect currently working on high-end residential projects in New York and is currently the 2019 Co-Chair of the nycobaNOMA Professional Development Committee. As Recording Secretary, Mouna hopes to further her involvement with nycobaNOMA while enhancing her leadership skills through serving the organization.