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Young Architects Forum

Networking and Advising for Emerging Professionals

The Young Architect's Forum (YAF) is a program of the American Institute of Architects and the College of Fellows (COF) and is organized to address issues of particular importance to recently licensed architects, within 10 years after licensure. YAF is an outgrowth of a 1989 AIA Grassroots program. The issues raised and potential benefits visualized at that meeting led to the 1991 formation of a national YAF advisory committee to encourage the development of national and regional programs of interest to young architects and the creation of YAF groups within local chapters.

YAF's mission is to:

  • Encourage professional growth and leadership development among emerging professionals and recently licensed architects through interaction and collaboration with AIA and allied groups

  • Build a national network, and serve as a collective voice for young architects by ensuring that issues relevant to young architects are properly addressed by AIA

  • Make AIA membership a valuable tool for young architects and encourage them to pursue leadership roles within the architecture and design community

2024 YAF Council Members


Chelsea Davison, AIA

AIA Board Liaison / Allied Socials


Caitlin Brooks

Construction Tours

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Tim Anzalone

NCARB Licensing Advisor


Isaiah Parod

YAF Socials


Emily Whitty, AIA

Chair / NCARB Licensing Advisor


Jacob Nentrup, AIA

YAF Socials


Ashley Feliu Rivera, AIA


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Amber Summers, AIA

Co-Chair / Mentorship


Sydney Stark

Allied Socials


Seva Nix

Construction Tours

Events to Foster your Professional Development

We would love to hear ideas for future YAF events or any questions you may have!

Email us at

Networking + Social Events

YAF hosts a variety of social events throughout the year including YAF happy hours, quarterly socials, allied socials, and the Drury Career Fair social.

Construction Tours

Committed to continuous learning, YAF partners with design teams to tour local construction sites.  


The mentorship program is designed to connect professionals with emerging professionals. This program is a cornerstone for professional growth, creating a supportive environment that empowers emerging architects to navigate the complexities of the field and embark on a trajectory of success.

Licensure Support

Architectural Registration Exam (ARE) Resources are available to all AIA Springfield + YAF Members. If interested, please contact: Emily Whitty at

ARE Success Teams

AIA Springfield wants to proactively support professionals seeking licensure. The task of passing all of the divisions of the ARE can be daunting for young professionals and candidates face many challenges in preparing for and passing the exam:

  • Coping with the high cost of study materials and preparatory seminars.

  • Finding time to study while working.

  • Maintaining the focus and energy required to pass all six divisions in a timely manner.

  • Feeling isolated by the process.

  • Feeling overwhelmed because there is no set structure for the tests.

AIA Springfield believes our ARE Success Teams will help future architects overcome these challenges through a supportive, small group setting. Our goal is to supply access to study materials, meeting space, and administrative support—providing candidates with the tools and support they need to make the ARE manageable and attainable.


The Process

Each ARE Success Team will be composed of three to six associate members. Team members will commit to taking one division in the month after the 9 week study period. They will also agree to meet once a week during the scheduled time to share tips, exchange information, offer support, and commiserate with colleagues. Each team member will be required to create a schedule, complete assignments, track their progress, and share with the group to keep each other accountable.

AIA Springfield will provide teams with meeting space, access to study materials, and administrative and emotional support. Materials will be available so that participants can “check-out” their own copy of any of the materials available for a given division.


The Goal

Each participant in the group will pass the ARE and become one step closer to becoming a licensed architect. Everyone in the group will continue to offer support to group members until the end of the 9 week period.


If you are interested in participating in this new “study group program”, please fill out the following questionnaire so that we can appropriately match you with a study group:

For more information or questions about ARE Success Teams please contact Emily Whitty at

NCARB Licensing Advisor

If you’re getting ready to start the path to licensure, or need some guidance along the way, please contact one of our licensing advisors for any AXP advice and/or mentorship.


Current licensing advisors:

Bruce Moore, AIA:

Emily Whitty, AIA:

Tim Anzalone, AAIA:

Ready to join?

We’re ready to welcome you! Other than the benefits listed above, and additional ones provided by AIA National, all new AIA members receive FREE registration to the upcoming AIA National Convention.

For up-to-date information, subscribe to the YAF newsletter by emailing us at!

Newly Licensed

Congratulations on becoming licensed! To upgrade your membership from Associate to Professional, please contact us at

AIA Emerging Professionals

Refer to the AIA National website for in-depth resources about

  • Continuing Education--track available courses on trending topics and utilize our transcript service

  • Knowledge Communities​--Connect, discuss and share your knowledge in 20+ interest areas

  • Targeted resources in the "Center for Emerging Professionals"--including licensure information, support for architecture students, and information for newly licensed architects

  • Scholarships & Grants--Information on Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships

YAF Program Roles:

AIA Board Liaison (third year of 3 year commitment)

Represents YAF on the AIA board, acts as an advisor to the council and leads sponsorship efforts.

YAF Chair (second year of 3 year commitment)

The YAF Chair is responsible for the newsletter, email, and overseeing the council.

YAF Co-Chair (first year of 3 year commitment)

This is an elected position that supports the YAF Chair, runs the social media and maintains meeting minutes.

Committees (2 year commitment)

YAF Socials

Allied Socials

Construction Tours


Licensure Support

Thank you to our Sponsors!

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