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Selection Committee

Architecture and landscape architecture selection committee

This committee, along with Home Region Program Director Karen Minkel, will conduct an annual search for designers to create the pool from which the foundation can choose for upcoming Design Excellence projects. The selection committee was designed to have representation from an architect, a landscape architect, an urban designer, and the sitting dean at the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas – all of whom have demonstrated promise and talent in their chosen career.

Note: Applications to join the pool of architects for the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program will open in 2018. Please email to be notified when the application period opens. Walton Family Foundation board members, staff and selection committee members should not be contacted directly.

Karen Minkel
Home Region Program Director
Walton Family Foundation

Karen Minkel is responsible for work with grantees focused on quality of life initiatives in Northwest Arkansas and the Delta Region of Arkansas and Mississippi. Karen was previously a senior research officer in the Evaluation Unit at the foundation and provided analysis and evaluation of the Home Region Program’s grants and strategies. Before coming to the Walton Family Foundation, Karen worked for the City of Fayetteville as director of strategic planning and internal consulting, administering and evaluating myriad programs, policies and processes. She has also worked in public sector consulting and served as a Teach For America corps member in Harlem. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University.

Victor Dover, Urban Designer
Dover, Kohl & Partners

Victor Dover was among the founders who established Dover, Kohl & Partners in 1987 and serves as Principal-in-charge. Along with his partner Joseph Kohl, Mr. Dover’s practice focuses on the creation and restoration of real neighborhoods as the basis for sound communities. Victor has personally led over 100 charrettes worldwide. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech and a Master of Architecture degree from the Suburb & Town Design Program at the University of Miami. Mr. Dover lectures widely around the United States and internationally on the topics of livable communities and sustainable development.

Mr. Dover was cited by Architecture magazine as being among ‘‘the country’s best urban designers and architects.’’ Work by Dover & Kohl has been published in Southern Living, Urban Land, Metropolitan Home, and featured on HGTV, National Public Radio, CNN’s Earthwatch, and in BusinessWeek magazine. Their projects are also profiled in a number of planning textbooks, including The New Urbanism by Peter Katz, Community by Design by Kenneth Hall, Sustainable Urbanism by Doug Farr, and Retrofitting Suburbia by Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson.

Victor Dover was a recent Chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and was the Founding Chair of the CNU Florida Chapter, the first of its kind. He is a CNU-Accredited Professional. He was a key player in the creation of the Form-Based Codes Institute and the National Charrette Institute, both leading think tanks for sustainable urbanism and community-based planning. Victor is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He serves on the core committee setting sustainable urbanism certification standards for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development rating system (LEED-ND). Victor has successfully completed all portions of the Architectural Registration Exam.

Peter MacKeith, Dean and Professor
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
University of Arkansas

Peter MacKeith is the dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas. He has been an associate professor in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as adjunct associate curator of architecture and design for the university’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. He served as associate dean of the Sam Fox School until June 2013.

MacKeith directed the international Masters Program in architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology from 1994-99 and previously taught in design and architectural theory at Yale University and the University of Virginia. He has worked in practices in both the United States and Finland and has written and lectured extensively in the United States, in Finland, and across the Nordic countries on the work of Alvar Aalto, and contemporary Finnish and Nordic architecture in general.

A past editor of Perspecta, The Yale Architectural Journal (1988), he is also the author and/or editor of numerous other publications, including Encounters: Architectural Essays, a selection of essays by Juhani Pallasmaa (2005) and Archipelago, Essays on Architecture (2006). MacKeith’s analytical drawings of Aalto’s buildings were included in the 1998 retrospective of Aalto’s work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2009, he co-curated the exhibition On the Riverfront: St. Louis and the Gateway Arch and was the venue coordinator for Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future. He also adapted the exhibition Design with the Other 90%: CITIES – organized by Cynthia E. Smith, curator of socially responsible design at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum – for the Kemper Art Museum.

MacKeith is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, research grants from The Graham Foundation for Advancement in the Visual Arts, and active in both the ACSA and the EAAE. He also has received two Creative Achievement in Design Education Awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) in 2008 and 2014.

Elizabeth Meyer, Landscape Architect
Dean and Edward E. Elson Professor; Merrill D. Peterson Professor of Landscape Architecture University of Virginia

Elizabeth Meyer, a landscape architect, theorist and critic, joined the UVA faculty in 1993, and has served as Landscape Architecture Department Chair and Director of the Graduate Landscape Architecture Program. Previously, Meyer taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design and Cornell University. For the last three years, DesignIntelligence has recognized Meyer as one of the most admired design educators in the United States. Her teaching and scholarship have garnered honors, grants and awards from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Graham Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Virginia.

Meyer, a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, is a registered landscape architect who worked for EDAW Alexandria and Hanna/Olin (now, Olin Partnership) in Philadelphia before beginning her academic career. Since then, she has consulted with several landscape architecture firms including Chris Counts Studio, Michael Vergason and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and continues to advise firms working on significant historic and cultural landscapes. Meyer was part of the MVVA Team that won the City+Arch+River competition in 2010 that focused on revitalizing the context around the St. Louis Gateway Arch Grounds, a modernist landmark designed by Eero Saarinen and Daniel Kiley. She has served on 10 national design competition juries over the past 20 years; most recently she served on the jury for Rethink. Restore. Rebuild, the Trust for the National Mall’s design competition for three sites within the monumental core landscape. In 2012, President Obama appointed her to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the design review board for Washington, D.C.’s monumental core as well as major public buildings and public spaces within the boundaries of the 1902 McMillan Commission plan for the District of Columbia.

Amale Andraos
Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Amale Andraos is Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and co-founder of WORKac, a New-York based architectural and urban practice with international reach. Since becoming Dean in 2014, Amale Andraos is shaping Columbia GSAPP as a laboratory for learning that fosters the development of new types of practices and strives to reimagine the future of architecture, cities and the environment. Columbia GSAPP is home to pioneering experimentation among its students and faculty, who unite cutting edge design skills with incisive critical thinking in a diverse and energetic context.

Prior to becoming Dean, Andraos was assistant professor at GSAPP and taught at numerous other universities including Princeton University School of Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design, University of Pennsylvania Design School, and American University in Beirut. Her recent design studios and seminars have focused on the Arab City, which became the subject of a series of symposia and the forthcoming book The Arab City: Architecture and Representation (April 2016). Other publications include the recently re-issued 49 Cities, a re-reading of 49 visionary plans through an ecological lens; Above the Pavement, the Farm! and numerous essays.

WORKac is focused on re-imagining architecture at the intersection of the urban, the rural and the natural. The practice has achieved international recognition for projects such as the competition-winning designs for Hua Qiang Bei Road, Shenzhen, the Centre de Conferences in Libreville, Gabon, the New Holland Island Cultural Center in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Edible Schoolyards at PS216 in Brooklyn and PS7 in Harlem, New York, as well as the New York headquarters for Wieden+Kennedy. Current projects include a new storefront for a Parking Garage in Miami, a residential conversion of a historic New York cast-iron building, and a Master Plan for seven university campuses for Weifang, China in collaboration with Studio Pei-Zhu, SLAB, and SCAPE. WORKac was named the AIA New York State Firm of the Year in 2015 and, among other awards, received a 2015 Honor Award from the AIA NY for the Beijing Horticultural Expo Master Plan (in collaboration with Studio Pei-Zhu, SLAB and SCAPE).