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Alumni Associations

Columbia GSAPP Alumni Association

MISSION STATEMENT:

The Columbia GSAPP Alumni Association serves as a vital link between GSAPP alumni, the University, professional practice organizations, and current students. The GSAPP Alumni Association’s mission is:

  • To foster and facilitate cross collaboration between alumni of GSAPP’s various programs
  • To provide support and guidance to GSAPP in order to promote its image and standing within the academic and professional communities
  • To serve as an important fundraising vehicle to support GSAPP

Board Members

Gustavo Berenblum

MSAAD '91

Heidi Blau

MARCH '83

Amy Boyle

MSUP '08

Lori Apfel Cardeli

MARCH '07

Hannia Gomez

MSAUD '84

Matt Gross

MSRED '05

Tiffany Lau

MSRED '09

Ryan LeVasseur

MSRED '11

Sharon Liebowitz

MARCH '91

Elizabeth Leber

MARCH '95

Carol Loewenson

MARCH '79

Deike Peters

MSUP '95

Sharon Sutton

MARCH '73

Stephen Yablon

MARCH '82

GUSTAVO BERENBLUM, AIA, MS.AAD'91

Principal, Berenblum Busch Architecture

Gustavo Berenblum is a Principal at Berenblum Busch Architecture, a design firm based in Miami focusing on high-quality architecture. Mr. Berenblum is a graduate from Columbia University and a nationally recognized architect leader in his field, with more than 20 years of experience in education, port, corporate, hospitality and residential projects worldwide. He has won numerous awards and his projects published extensively.


HEIDI BLAU, M.ARCH'83

Partner, FXFOWLE

Heidi Blau focuses her architectural passion on making cultural icons relevant.  Through transformations of space and counterpoints of contemporary design, she creates new learning communities for students of all ages.


AMY BOYLE, MS.UP'08

Assistant Vice President, New York City Housing Development Corporation Development Department

Amy Boyle is the Assistant Vice President of New York City Housing Development Corporation's (HDC) Development Department. Amy has held several positions in the affordable housing industry, including Project Manager of the New York Office of Vitus Group (an affordable housing developer) and Senior Project Manager / Underwriter at the New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA). Amy also served as a transportation, land use, and housing policy advisor in the United States House of Representatives in Washington, DC.
Amy earned an MBA from Columbia Business School, a Master's of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University, and a BA from Miami University (Ohio) where she studied architecture and political science.


LORI APFEL CARDELI, AIA, NCARB, M.ARCH'07

Architect at Anne Decker Architects, LLC

Mrs. Cardeli recently relocated to Maryland from New York and has experience in sustainable learning environments, high-end homes, and multi-family residential projects. She received a B.S. in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis (2004) and an M.Arch from Columbia University, GSAPP (2007), where she serves as an inaugural member of the GSAPP Alumni Association Board and Co-Chair of its Alumni/Student + Careers Committee. As an active member of the AIA, she is a two-time presenter at National Convention and a participant in YAF Summit20.


JONIE FU, MS.AUD'86

Director of Urban Design, AECOM New York

Since graduating GSAPP, Jonie has been practicing architecture with a focus in urban design.  She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.


HANNIA GÓMEZ, MS.AUD'84

Architect; President, Fundación de la Memoria Urbana

Hannia studied Architecture at the FAU Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas and Urban Design at GSAPP Columbia University in New York City. A writer, curator and architecture and city critic, she is also the founder and Vice president of the Venezuelan Chapter of Docomomo. She has worked as Curator of Gio Ponti's Villa Planchart for many years, and is author of the books The ITALIAS of Caracas (2012), El Cerrito: Gio Ponti's masterpiece in Caracas (2009) and Gego, Architect (2007).


MATT GROSS, MS.RED'05

Director of Real Estate Development, Urban Builders Collaborative

Matt Gross is the Director of Real Estate Development for Urban Builders Collaborative (UBC), an affiliate of Lettire Construction Corp. (Lettire). At Lettire, one of the largest open shop construction firms in the NYC metro area with 2MM square feet, containing over 2,000 multifamily units under construction and in the pipeline, Matt is an executive, involved in day-to-day and long term corporate planning and operations. At UBC, Matt is managing five (5) mixed-use, mixed-income projects with total development costs in excess of $500 million, containing 2,500 multifamily units. Two projects are large-scale multi-phased public-private partnerships, involving the revitalization of urban neighborhoods, that Matt is successfully leading through the entitlement phase. Matt previously worked in finance as a tax credit equity syndicator and construction lender, mostly recently at Citibank, underwriting, structuring and closing over $1 billion of multifamily mixed-use affordable housing projects, creating and rehabbing over 6,000 units throughout the NYC metro area. Most of these projects involved Low Income, Historic, Brownfield and New Markets Tax Credits, as well as various HUD programs. Matt has been living in Manhattan since attending NYU’s Stern School of Business, and later, Columbia University’s MSRED program. Matt is currently a board member of the Associated Builders and Contractors and the New York State Association of Affordable Housing and is very active with the Supportive Housing Network of New York.


TIFFANY LAU, MS.RED'09

Senior Associate, Development & Capital Markets, Jamestown Properties

As a Senior Associate of Development & Capital Markets at Jamestown Properties, Tiffany is focused on the 17-building, 6.5 million square foot, 30-acre waterfront industrial and mixed-use redevelopment of Industry City, Brooklyn, into a new hub for manufacturing and innovation. Prior to joining Jamestown, she was an Assistant Vice President and Chief of Staff in the Asset Management Group of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Tiffany earned a B.A. in Urban Design and Architecture from New York University, and a M.Sc. in Real Estate Development at Columbia University and is the current New York Co-Chair of Mission Advancement for the Urban Land Institute. She also sits on the ULI New York Management Committee, as well as the ULI Women's Leadership Initiative Steering Committee.


ELIZABETH LEBER, M.ARCH'95

Partner, Beyer Blinder Belle

Elizabeth (Liz) Leber, M.Arch ’95, is a Partner at Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners. Her particular expertise is adaptive reuse and planning projects for educational and institutional clients.


RYAN LEVASSEUR, MS.RED'11

Associate, Hines

Ryan LeVasseur is an associate in Hines’ New York City development office. He is currently working on a 600,000 square foot mixed-use development on Manhattan’s west side and also supporting new business opportunities. Prior to joining Hines, Ryan, was a Director at the New York headquarters of real estate development consulting firm, HR&A Advisors. Ryan’s understanding of the economic goals of both public and private clients combined with his experience in the design profession enabled Ryan to provide sound advisory services that lead to successful real estate and economic development. Assignments in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, Detroit, Michigan, New York City, and Up-State New York speak to Ryan’s broad understanding of the complexities and local nuances surrounding urban development. Ryan’s professional experience prior to joining HR&A includes ten years in real estate, architecture, and brand strategy. He has worked on master planning and architectural design projects for several firms including the Pritzker Prize winning Venturi Scott Brown and Associates. Ryan’s work in retail and brand strategy led to successful growth initiatives for several of the nation’s leading retailers. Ryan is a LEED Accredited Professional and a member of the Urban Land Institute. A proud alum of Columbia University’s MSRED program, Ryan was a recipient of the Kinne Traveling Fellowship and the Program Service Award and served as the research assistant for the Director of the real estate program. Ryan is now an adjunct professor in the MSRED program where he teaches the introductory market analysis course. Ryan also holds multiple degrees from Rice University. Ryan and his wife reside in the Borough of Queens with their young son.


SHARON LIEBOWITZ, M.ARCH'91

Vice President, Global Real Estate, JPMorgan Chase

Sharon's career has spanned across banking, real-estate and architecture.  She currently manages JPMorgan Chase's real estate portfolio in Manhattan and in addition to her 8 years in architecture, where she participated in the design of 4 Times Square (among other projects), she has worked extensively in technology design and use in Investment Banking. Sharon holds a Master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University, an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from Harvard University, and is a registered architect.


CAROL LOEWENSON, AIA, M.ARCH'79

Partner, Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, LLP

Carol Loewenson, a partner at Mitchell/Giurgola Arhitects, LLP, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College and a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University. Her expertise ranges from highly technical buildings to the complexities of renovations to the intricacies of work in both the private and public sector.  Ms. Loewenson's interests include the urban environment, historic preservation, and the development of new structures within both of these contexts.


DR. SHARON E. SUTTON, FAIA, M.ARCH'73

Professor of Architecture and Urban Design
Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture
Adjunct Professor of Social Work
Director of the Center for Environment Education and Design Studies
The University of Washington

With five academic degrees, Sharon has been a professional musician, an artist, and a practicing architect; she is now an architecture educator but works with students in many different disciplines. The author of numerous scholarly and popular publications, including The Paradox of Urban Space (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), Sharon's interwoven teaching, research, and service seeks to engage students, faculty, and disenfranchised communities in a collaborative transformation of the socio-spatial environment.


TROY CONRAD THERRIEN, M.ARCH'09

Chief Architect, Digital Communications and Research; Adjunct Professor, Columbia GSAPP
Partner, Therrien-Barley

Trained initially as a computer engineer, and later as an architect, Troy has worked as a creative technologist for Bruce Mau Design, as a research assistant in a human-computer interaction laboratory, and as an architect in New York, Paris and London. He is currently Chief Architect, Cloud Communication Software at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he received his MArch degree, earning the American Institute of Architects medal, the Goodman scholarship from the Temple Hoyne Buell Center, and the Kinne traveling prize. Also a graduate of the Architectural Association with an MA in Histories and Theories of architecture supported by the J.B.C. Watkins Prize awarded by the Canadian Council for the Arts, as a critic he has been published in Hunch, Volume, San Rocco and other journals, has contributed to books, curated exhibitions at MoMA/P.S.1, the Canadian Centre for Architecture and elsewhere, and lectured publicly at Columbia University. Troy holds a BASc. in computer engineering from the University of British Columbia, where he was an Academic All-Canadian football player and a National Science and Engineering Research Council Scholarship recipient for computational mathematics. He currently sits on the board of the Columbia University GSAPP Alumni Association.


STEPHEN YABLON, AIA, LEED AP, M.ARCH'82

Principal, Stephen Yablon Architect PLLC

Stephen Yablon is founder of Stephen Yablon Architect, a New York City based firm known for contemporary architecture attuned to identity and place. The firm has been extensively recognized for a wide range of projects for institutional, public, and private clients including Columbia University, the City of New York, SONY, and NYU Langone Medical Center.

Columbia MS.RED Alumni Council

MISSION STATEMENT:

The Columbia RED Alumni Association, under the umbrella of the Columbia GSAPP Alumni Association, serves as a vital link between the Real Estate Development Program alumni, real estate professionals and organizations, current students, and the alumni of other GSAPP programs. The Association has a three-part mission:

  • To provide a forum in which alumni and affiliates can network and interact for business, social, employment and educational opportunities.
  • To provide support and guidance to the Masters in Real Estate Development Program in order to promote its image and standing within the academic and business communities.
  • To serve as an important fundraising vehicle to support the Masters in Real Estate Development Program.

Council Members

Cynthia Moses-Manocherian

Co-Chair

Michael Chen

Maria Karageorgou

David Mackay

Dana Stone

Justin Toal

David Walsh

ADAM C. AASEN

Principal, Asilomar Co. LLC

Adam C. Aasen is a Principal in a California-based real estate private equity firm that targets value-add and opportunistic commercial and residential investment and development opportunities throughout the United States.


DEBBIE BHATT

The Hudson Companies, Senior Project Manager

Debbie Bhatt has been working in real estate development and consulting since 2001.  Prior to joining The Hudson Companies, Debbie was a Project Manager at Forest City Ratner Companies and a consultant at HR&A Advisors, and a Project Manager at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation at Development.  She completed her undergraduate studies at Brown University.


JOSE CRUZ

Senior Managing Director, HFF, LP (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler)

Mr. Cruz is a Senior Managing Director in the New Jersey office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler) with over 21 years of experience in commercial real estate. He specializes in investment sales in New Jersey, New York State and Connecticut.  Over the course of his career, Mr. Cruz has been involved in over $18.4 billion of office, industrial, retail, multi-housing and land sales.


JIM GILLESPIE

Managing Director, Centerline Capital Group

Mr. Gillespie is responsible for leading the production efforts and expansion of Centerline’s affordable housing debt platform.  Mr. Gillespie has more than 17 years of experience in the development, acquisition and finance of multifamily housing.


MONIKA MAJEWSKA

Senior Project Manager, Advance Realty

Monika Majewska, who joined Advance Realty in 2004, is Senior Project Manager for the Development Divison. In this role, she is responsible for financial analysis and underwriting of the Company’s commercial, residential and mixed-use development projects. Additionally she manages budgeting, forecasting and project cash flows, as well as coordinating land entitlements for the New Jersey Region’s development projects.