Taubman College Alumni Receive Top Honors from AIA Michigan

Four Taubman College alumni are the recipients of the most prestigious annual awards from the Michigan Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAMI).

Stephen Smith, M.Arch, ’82, received the Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded to an individual by AIAMI in recognition of most distinguished service to the profession of architecture or to the organization. He is a recently retired managing partner of TMP Architecture, a suburban Detroit–based firm where he spent the majority of his career. He first started at TMP in 1985, where he assisted in the design and technical documentation of the Lansing Convention Center. From there, he rapidly ascended to be a lead designer on many projects and later shifted his focus to project management, where he led interdisciplinary teams on many award-winning, complex projects; collaborated on the design of outstanding learning environments; and focused the last 25 years on elevating TMP’s library design expertise. Among his peers, Smith has distinguished himself as an architect who has devoted his career to constantly giving back to the profession through his presidential leadership of AIA Michigan (2008) and AIA Detroit (2003 and 2004) plus involvement with the AIA Governmental Affairs committee. He also has been active with the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education, the American Library Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Jan (Jackson) Culbertson, FAIA, B.S. ’77, M.Arch, ’79, received the Robert F. Hastings Award in recognition of her effort and contribution to AIAMI and the profession. She is a senior partner at A3C, a multidisciplinary architecture and interior design firm in Ann Arbor that focuses on sustainable design. She also is active in the community. Her roles include service as Leadership Council chair for the Ann Arbor 2030 District and on the Ann Arbor Public Schools Sustainability Advisory Committee. In addition, she is active in Scio Township government, serving as vice chair of the township’s zoning board of appeals and as a member of the Scio Township Planning Commission. She also advocates at the state and national level for the architectural profession and the environment as the co-chair of AIA Michigan’s Government Advocacy Committee.

Erin (Sigelko) Andrus, B.S. ’05, M.Arch ’07, and Lisa Sauve, M.Arch ’11, M.S. ’14, are the co-recipients of the Young Architect Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.

Andrus is a senior associate at WTA Architects in Saginaw, Michigan, where she serves as project architect in the areas of education, commercial, and public design. She initially joined WTA as a summer intern in 2006 and became full-time with the firm in 2007. She holds a certification as a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in building construction and design and is a registered NCARB professional. Since joining WTA Architects, her work includes the renovated Health Professions Building at Delta College in University Center, Michigan, and the expansion to Zehnder’s Splash Village – A Wave of Excitement in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

With Adam Smith, M.Arch ’11, Sauve is co-founder of Ann Arbor-based Synecdoche Design Studio LLC. Sauve was named to Crain’s Detroit’s list of notable women in design in 2020 and to Forbes’ Next 1000 list in 2021, which “showcases the ambitious sole proprietors, self-funded shops, and pre-revenue startups in every region of the country — all with under $10 million in revenue or funding and infinite drive and hustle.” Her work has been featured in DesignBoom, Architizer, NYCxDesign, and ArchDaily. In addition, Sauve has taught undergraduate- and graduate-level courses at Lawrence Technological University (where she earned her bachelor’s degree), the University of Detroit Mercy, and Taubman College. She has served as a previous board member of arts and equity organizations in the area and is an appointed planning commissioner for the City of Ann Arbor.