Rosanna Valencia (she/her) earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University at Buffalo and will receive her Masters in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design as a Presidential Fellow. As a student, she is interested in exploring design methods in architectural design that rely on the memory and lived experience of immigrant groups within cities. During her undergraduate studies she was selected to conduct research at the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, where she applied her interests in community engagement and people centered design. Her research focused on the effects of design on food accessibility in the cornerstones of an under-resourced neighborhood. As an undergraduate student she was a founder and served as president of AASAP, a student-led club catering to African American Students of Architecture and Planning and those of African descent. She was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Medal in recognition of her professionalism in leadership, service and merit.

Most recently, Rosanna worked at Architects FORA where she led efforts in the creation of the firm’s first Post-Occupancy Evaluation Report for a permanent supportive housing project catering to formerly homeless and elderly individuals in San Jose, California. In this role, she supported business development with the creation of newsletter, blog, and database design and was a project team member for a community center design. Rosanna is excited to be a Jim Diego Fellow, which will allow her to gain expertise in urban planning and engagement practices that she has been curious about throughout her educational journey. She is looking forward to being in community with mentors, and professionals from which to share knowledge and learn new skills from.