Published October 16, 2014
Just a few years out of graduate school, Linsey Graff (MArch ’10) has already taken on such leadership roles as president-elect of the Buffalo Architecture Foundation and chairperson of its Architecture+Education program, which brings architecture and design education into Buffalo Public Schools.
This commitment to community outreach, education and diversity in the profession are among the accomplishments cited by the American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS), which just honored Graff with its 2014 Intern-Associate Award.
Presented last week at the AIANYS Design Conference in Saratoga Springs, the award recognizes notable contributions and accomplishments by an intern or associate member of AIANYS.
Since joining the University at Buffalo’s Capital Planning Group as an architectural planner in 2012, Graff has led the university’s Athletics Department Master Plan and supported the development of several major university planning studies, including UB’s Five-Year Capital Plan.
Timothy Rider (BPS ’96), president-elect of AIA Buffalo/WNY, wrote in his nomination of Graff: “In the early stages of what will surely be a successful career, Linsey has demonstrated professional acumen, leadership and integrity which belie her Associate status. Coupling those skills with her exuberance and commitment, Linsey has become a catalyst for betterment both locally and nationally.”
Added Kelly Hayes McAlonie, director of UB’s Capital Planning Group: "Linsey is a talented designer who is passionate about her profession and compassionate towards her clients – a rare combination in any person, regardless of the stage in their career. We are lucky to have her at UB."
Graff became involved with the Architecture+Education program in 2009, as a student at UB. Since then, she has helped teach design concepts to students from kindergarten through eighth grade in 17 Buffalo public schools. She assumed the role of chairperson in 2013, expanding the program’s student, school and volunteer base by 50 percent and adding such programs as biweekly Family Workshops, Youth Tours of Buffalo’s architecture and programming for Native American Summer Camps. Graff now serves on the AIA National Diversity and Inclusion Council to support such outreach throughout all AIA Chapter components.
“Linsey and her colleagues infused new energy into the Architecture+Education program, with such success that the Buffalo Architecture Foundation received the 2013 national AIA Diversity Recognition Program award for their efforts,” said Beth Tauke, associate professor of architecture and former coordinator of UB’s faculty and student participation in the program. “Under her leadership, the program thrived and has become the model that others follow.”
As a founding member of the Buffalo Architecture Foundation and now its president-elect, Graff has laid the groundwork for the nonprofit dedicated to education and public awareness of architecture. Most recently, she helped to develop the organization’s weeklong Festival of Architecture - Buffalo.
Graff is also active in the AIA Buffalo/WNY chapter as a member of its Buffalo Emerging Professionals and scholarship committees. She is also a teaching artist with Young Audiences of Western New York.
In addition to earning her MArch degree from UB, where she participated in the Inclusive Design Research Group, Graff holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design/Pre-Architecture from the University of New Haven.