Emerging Professional Awardees

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This award recognizes and supports emerging, graduate architects who have made outstanding,
innovative contributions to the discipline and/or profession and have rendered exemplary service in the public realm.
Candidates can be nominated by peers, mentors, allied professionals, or employers.


2021 Emerging Professional Awardees

Max Ernesto Ballardo, Assoc. AIA
Patriquin Architects

With a varied background in design and construction, Max Ernesto Ballardo has wholeheartedly embraced the architectural profession and leadership within it. Max grew up in Peru, coming to the US to attend Trinity College in Hartford, where he majored in Fine Arts. Following work as a design-build contractor, Max pursued his Master’s Degree in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. His studies focused on adaptive reuse – an area of expertise he has developed professionally through historic rehabilitation projects at Crosskey Architects in Hartford, and in his current role as Design Associate at Patriquin Architects in New Haven.

At Patriquin Architects, Max serves as a job captain on many commercial, historic, and multi-family projects. He is particularly skilled with construction detailing, drawing from his background as a contractor to help consult on details and constructability for many projects. A LEED Green Associate, he has a strong commitment to environmental performance, and plays a critical role in the firm’s Passive House projects.

In addition to contributing to many building projects, Max is an invaluable member of the local architectural community. He is the firm’s representative for the AIA CT J.E.D.I. Challenge and an active NOMA member. Currently, Max Ernesto serves as a Director of both the AIA CT and NOMA Boards of Directors. Max constantly finds ways to help the next generation of architects: he has been an advisor, mentor, and juror for students at University of Hartford, an active ACE Mentor, and graduate of the CT Professionals’ Leadership Academy.

Nominated by Karin Patriquin, AIA

Tom Barker, AIA
Amenta Emma Architects

Tom Barker, a Connecticut native, received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Cum laude, and Master of Architecture from Roger Williams University. He received several awards and recognitions during his academic career including a Master of Architecture Thesis Award and first place in the Urban Design Studio Competition. Tom continues to be involved at the University, serving as a guest juror for Design reviews.

At Amenta Emma Architects, Tom is a key member of the Senior Living team where he shares his exceptional design and visualization skills using Revit, SketchUp, Lumion, and post-production rendering techniques. He has a talent for creating thoughtful designs for small details, for example the CNC cut wood screen behind a nurse’s station for Southington Care Center’s memory care neighborhood. Tom also is an excellent communicator and team member who always puts in the extra effort. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, Tom spent extra hours in the office to 3D print over 150 headbands for face shields for Connecticut first responders.

Within the firm, Tom is a contributing member of the Sustainability Committee, the 2021 co-chair of the Design Committee, and is the 2021 co-chair of the office Fun Committee.

In the Professional Community, Tom serves as co-chair of the AIA CT Emerging Professionals Committee, is a member of the AIA CT JEDI committee (for which he moderated a virtual panel discussion) and is a member of the AIA Connecticut. Tom has recently completed his CT licensing exams.

Nominated by Myles R. Brown, AIA LEED AP

Alexis Hoff, Assoc. AIA
Amenta Emma Architects

Alexis Hoff, a native of Wisconsin, received her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with Concentration in Construction Management from NewSchool of Architecture & Design, San Diego, CA. She moved to Connecticut and received her Master of Architecture from the University of Hartford, as well as several awards including the Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit, the Regents’ Honor Award for Graduate Students, and the Walter Harrison Thesis Award. Alexis continues to be involved at the University, serving as a guest juror for Design reviews.

At Amenta Emma, Alexis works in the Senior Living studio, where she has made significant and thoughtful design contributions to projects throughout full continuum of care. An example of her recent work is a skilled nursing renovation for Jefferson House, where Alexis produced the full scope of design, documentation, and successfully guided the project through the DPH process. She shows poise and confidence beyond her years while presenting to clients and team members.

Within the firm, Alexis is a contributing member of the Sustainability Committee and the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee. One of her major contributions to the JEDI Committee has been to develop mentoring and job shadow programs designed to introduce architecture to K-12 Public Schools in Hartford.

In the Professional Community, Alexis serves on the Board of Directors and is the Programs & Outreach Committee Chair for NOMAct, is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), AIA Connecticut (Associate member) and the AIA Emerging Professionals. Alexis is seeking professional licensure and has completed two of the professional exams as of March 2021.

Nominated by Myles R. Brown, AIA LEED AP

Past Winners 

Katie Scanloncropped

Katie Scanlon, Associate AIA

AndrewG bw

Andrew Gorzkowski, AIA
Pickard Chilton


Emilia Baker
Atelier Cho Thompson


Emily Ky, AIA
SLAM Collaborative 


Kelsy Janus
Point One Architects

Alana Konefal

Alana Konefal, Associate, AIA


Antonia Ciaverella

Antonia Ciaverella, Associate AIA
Tecton Architects

Nina Caruso

Nina Caruso,
Associate AIA
Crosskey Architects, LLC

ATrahan Photo

Aaron Trahan, AIA
Centerbrook Architects and Planners, LLC


Alyssa Kent
Becker + Becker

Katelyn Chapin headshot bw

Katelyn Chapin, AIA
Svigals + Partners


Adrienne Nelson, AIA
Pickard Chilton


John Sepples, AIA
TLB Architecture