2016 Honoree: Wendy Ornelas, FAIA


Image of Scott F. GaudineerWendy Ornelas, FAIA, is the college’s 2016 Honored Alumnus. Ornelas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1980. She is a licensed architect in California and Kansas and is a professor at Kansas State University. Elevated to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows in 2005, Ornelas is the first and only female and first and only Latina fellow in the state of Kansas. Ornelas is the recipient of numerous awards, including Distinguished Professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She is a member of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), serving as president in 2009-10, and is the faculty advisor for AP Design’s Women in Design chapter. She served as the central states regional director for American Institute of Architects (AIA); as co-chair of AIA National’s Diversity and Inclusion Council; as the board liaison to the Young Architects Forum; as academic advisor for Central States Region’s Emerging Professionals Committee. She served two terms on the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions, and in 2015 received the AIA Richard Upjohn Fellowship.

"One of the things that I believe is strong about Cal Poly is the notion that all the disciplines are together and we learn from each other...Cal Poly gave us a sense of community." - Wendy Ornelas.

"She is influencing architectural practice by being an advocate for inclusivity." - Dean Christine Theodoropolous.

Watch the video here​.

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