The Virginia chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has recently awarded the Emerging Professional Award to two notable architects, Sonny Joy-Hogg and Alec Yuzhbabenko, both of whom are Virginia Tech School of Architecture alumni.

Sonny Joy-Hogg (2016) has already established himself as a standout talent in human-centered architecture. After graduating from Virginia Tech, he worked at New Directions Services, a sober living community committed to sheltering those who would otherwise go unhoused. He has continued that work in Baskervill's Better Housing Coalition’s Colbrook Community, an affordable housing community intentionally designed to reflect the site's history as the only Green Book location listed in Chesterfield, VA. Joy-Hogg's outstanding work is explicit about honoring Black history, and serves to counter the ongoing erosion and desecration of that history. With projects like Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved at William & MaryThe Burying Ground at University of Richmond, and Twin Memorials at Emory University, Joy-Hogg demonstrates how centering community needs, justice, and equity yields effective, powerful, and transformative spaces. Joy-Hogg is also committed to mentorship; he is a founding member and current chairman of the Young Professionals Board of ART 180, volunteer at 6PIC and Oakwood Arts, and co-leader of Baskervill’s youth education and development initiatives.

Alec Yuzhbabenko (2015), has also quickly established himself as a highly regarded and talented practitioner, committed to investing in the Hampton Roads area, his home for many years. In his thesis work here at Tech, he imagined an innovative surf park proposed for 10 acres near the Virginia Beach oceanfront that could act as a hub for urban revitalization and development. The idea is no longer restricted to the pages of his thesis; The Wave is currently being implemented. At just 27, Yuzhbabenko was named lead architect, partnering with Pharrell Williams to transform Virginia Beach in a way that remains rooted in the region's longstanding culture. He is currently associate design principal at Hanbury, but maintains active engagement in the firm’s studio design critiques, the summer scholars program, and knowledge-sharing workshops and seminars he has offered to the profession and the public.

Sonny Joy-Hogg and Alec Yuzhbabenko will be celebrated at Visions for Architecture on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.