Event WiA - What to Expect When You're an Expecting Architect

May 6, 2021 - 1:00pm

This event has already occurred.


Join us for a casual and informative discussion with our panel of super archi moms and special guests about becoming our own best advocates in the workplace as parents and caretakers, as well as what our industry can do to retain some of its best talent: MOMS.

Panelists (see bios below):

Sara Alicia Costa, AIA - MODERATOR
Diana Su, AIA 
Samantha Holy 
Jennifer Ward 
Wendy Dunnam Tita, FAIA
Meeta Morrison, AIA 
Julia Harrod 
Agustina Rodriguez 
Melissa Hargis-Villanueva 

Cheese snack packs available for pickup at Antonelli's Cheese Shop. Limited availability. Order by 9:00am, May 4.



Sara has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas School of Architecture and became a Registered Architect in 2018. She is a LEED accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
Sara has worked in commercial and residential architecture with local firms Cushing Terrell, Hatch + Ulland Owen, Jameson Interiors and Place Designers. As well, she has worked in construction management with Tenney Construction and her own design build firm.
Sara’s commitment to the community can be seen in her work as a design committee member for the Magnolia Montessori for All campus in East Austin, and service on the Families of Magnolia Board. She’s currently serving as Treasurer for the Women in Architecture committee of AIA Austin. 
Sara is principal at Ocurrente Architecture and Design founded September 2020. She is also a mom of three kids, eleven, eight, and six. She enjoys dance, outdoor sports, and coaching her son's little league team.


Samantha Holy 

Samantha is currently an HR Regional Director for Gensler with 18 years of experiencing practicing HR within professional services firms.  Her career path focused on skillful development of people, processes and culture. As a strategy-driven HR Executive, she has extensive experience in all aspects of human capital management to guide and influence C-suite executives on mission-critical talent matters including leadership development, continuous process improvement, team alignment and talent acquisition and retention.  In her personal life, Samantha is a mother of two and an opera enthusiast.  


Jennifer Ward 

Jennifer Ward is Principal Attorney at Law Office of Jennifer D. Ward in Austin, Texas. Her practice focuses on employment law and general counsel services for employees, small businesses, and non-profits. She handles a range of legal issues from business formation to noncompetes to workplace disputes. She is licensed to practice in the State of Texas, the State of California, the U.S. Western District of Texas, the U.S. Southern District of Texas, the U.S. Eastern District of California, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2020, Ms. Ward was honored to be named one of Austin’s Top Attorneys in Business Law by Austin Monthly Magazine. She enjoys giving presentations and volunteers her time with the non-profit organization SCORE, where she advises entrepreneurs on a range of legal topics. Jennifer graduated from University of California, Davis School at Law with a Certificate in Public Interest Law. She participated in Moot Court and Appellate Advocacy, served as Research Assistant to Professor Lisa Pruitt, and was active in numerous organizations.  Prior to attending law school, Jennifer pursued a career in the Arts with the goal of becoming a music professor. She graduated cum laude from Rice University with a double major in piano performance and music history. She earned a Master’s of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in piano performance. She also founded a piano studio, working as an independent music teacher for a number of years. 


Wendy Dunnam Tita, FAIA  

For more than two decades, Wendy Dunnam Tita, FAIA has sought to integrate innovation and forward-thinking strategy with exceptional design quality. She is a Page Principal, and the firm’s market leader for Housing and Hospitality projects. As an architect, Wendy champions the conversation between design, craft, and people to advance and nurture this essential collaboration, and to enrich the human experience of architecture and its making. 


Julia Harrod 

President of MWM DesignGroup, a multi-disciplinary firm providing civil engineering, architecture, land surveying, landscape design, and permitting services in Central Texas. As a ‘recovering workaholic’, Julia believes passionately in maintaining and promoting work/life balance and personal happiness. Julia has established a strong corporate culture at MWM where people are engaged, challenged, and supported in their personal and professional lives. MWM provides plenty of opportunities to ‘play’ together while working hard, creating a connective community feel. Her husband and two kids (16 & 18) share her love of travel and board games.


Meeta Morrison, AIA   

Meeta is the owner and principal architect at MMD Architecture. She is interested in making buildings that address the needs of its inhabitants, while using the specific environmental characteristics of the site to design sustainable spaces.
Meeta holds a graduate degree in Architecture from the University of Texas, Austin. Her undergraduate is in Art and Art history from Rice University. She was a studio artist for many years, producing large scale figurative oil paintings. Painting, gardening, cooking, art, music and history continue to inform her design. A well designed building is like a custom garment, providing fit, comfort and ease in all the right places.


Diana Su, AIA   

Diana draws on a broad set of talents and skills to successfully deliver a range of projects to clients. At Page, she has amassed a portfolio that includes higher education, civic, healthcare, and hospitality projects. Her efforts in developing the AIA Austin Leadership Collective and shepherding of a new schoolyard master plan for her neighborhood elementary school helped earn her an AIA Austin 2019 Emerging Professional Achievement Award.
To date, she recalls a memorable project in her career as the North Pavilion – a new 5-storey, 180,000 SF surgery center at the Driscoll Children’s Hospital – for which she served as the design architect. Interweaving light, color, and materials, the design carefully considered the experience and well-being of patients and their families. Light shifting through colored glass elements layers onto a new playful wayfinding system, and the architecture creates moments of curiosity and discovery scaled to patients. 
Diana earned a dual Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Fine Arts from Amherst College and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.


Agustina Rodriguez 

Agi Miagi is Agustina Rodriguez, an Austin-based designer whose work explores connections between people and places through architecture and visual art. Agustina holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and works independently as a visual artist and architectural designer. She has extensive experience in commercial and residential architecture including medical offices and hospitality.  


Melissa Hargis-Villanueva 

Melissa was born in Princeton, NJ but grew up a Third Culture Kid, moving all over the world, from Saudi Arabia to Beijing.  She received her professional degree from The University of Texas.  After graduating, she went to Spain to complete a post-professional Master’s degree at La Universidad de Navarra. Upon completing her Master’s, she returned to Austin, Texas, to join local award-winning firm Miró Rivera Architects. She has been a registered architect in the state of Texas since 2017. Currently mommy of two boys (4 and 1) and 11 puppies! Working for Carina at restructurestudio part time and also principal and owner of mhv architects. 


The Women in Architecture Committee's mission is to promote, validate, and illuminate the role of women within the architectural field through fostering community, fellowship, education, and outreach. WiA meets on the third Friday of every month at 8:30am, in addition to hosting special events. To be added to the WiA mailing list, please sign up for their newsletter here.

2021 Chair: Nkiru Gelles, Assoc. AIA
2021 Chair-Elect: Stephanie Lemmo, Assoc. AIA
AIA Austin Staff Liaison: Julia Brown