Honoring the 2022 GSD Alumni Council Award Winners
The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce Chelina Odbert MUP ’07, Donald Stull MArch ’62 (in memoriam) and David Lee MAUD ’71, and Allyson Mendenhall FASLA, AB ’90, MLA ’99 as the 2022 recipients of the Harvard GSD Alumni Award. The award, in its second year, honors outstanding leadership by GSD alumni, underscoring the essential role GSD graduates play in leading change around the world. Founded and led by the GSD Alumni Council, the award recognizes and celebrates the diversity, leadership, range, and impact of GSD alumni within their communities and across their areas of practice.
A celebration of the winners will take place on Friday, Sept. 16, during the GSD Comeback: Alumni & Friends Celebration, which will be Sept. 16-17, 2022. This event is free and open to all, and those interested in attending can register here.
“Chelina Odbert, Don Stull and David Lee, and Allyson Mendendhall are all outstanding leaders who have not only risen to excellence in their professions but who have played a leading role in changing their communities and the world,” said Brenda Levin MArch ’76, President and Principal of Levin & Associates and co-chair of the Alumni Award jury. “We believe the Alumni Council’s Alumni Award has been a significant contribution to the GSD in bringing focus to the incredible work of our alumni and highlighting the impact that the GSD has had across the globe.”
“This award is about the societal impact that GSD alumni are having on the world through design,” said Kristina Yu MArch ’95, Principal of McCLAIN+YU Architecture and co-chair of the Alumni Award jury. “It’s important that we elevate the exemplary work of our colleagues, and the impact of the work of Chelina, Don and David, and Allyson reverberates strongly in both their hometowns and globally.”
Chelina Odbert MUP ’07: An urban planner by training, Chelina is a Founding Principal and CEO of Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI), a nonprofit design practice committed to building a more just public realm. While still at the GSD, Chelina and 5 classmates launched the interdisciplinary initiative to expand equity and inclusivity in places that have long been overlooked or actively harmed by traditional design and planning approaches. She has written extensively about KDI’s community-engaged approach to planning and design in the U.S. and abroad, and has held teaching appointments at the GSD and UCLA. Chelina and her work have been recognized by notable institutions including the Van Alen Institute, Ashoka Changemakers, the Aspen Institute, and The Architectural League of New York.
Donald L. Stull MArch ’62 (in memoriam) and M. David Lee MAUD ’71: Donald, an African-American pioneer in architecture, established the award-winning Stull and Lee Inc. (S+L) architecture, design, and planning firm in 1966. Before his death in 2020, Donald was a member of the distinguished College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, and recipient of the Boston Society of Architects 1997 Award of Honor. With David at the helm as S+L’s president, the firm has continued its leadership in the design of multi-family housing, educational and health care institutions, office buildings, retail, and manufacturing facilities. David is a fellow in the American Institute of Architects and is a past president of the Boston Society of Architects. He was the recipient of the BSA’s 2000 Award of Honor.
Allyson Mendenhall FASLA, AB ’90, MLA ’99: Serving as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Sasaki, a landscape architecture, civil engineering, and ecology practice, Allyson is a LEED-certified licensed landscape architect. In addition to her role as past chair of the GSD Alumni Council, Allyson served on the Harvard Alumni Association Board Executive Committee as vice president of university-wide affairs and now serves as the president of the HAA — the first GSD alum to do so. She is also on the boards of the Denver Botanic Gardens and CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning.