As education practice leader for CannonDesign, Jenny is driven to create learning spaces that enrich campuses & celebrate diversity. She helps institutions create spaces that elevate their mission. She unpacks the nuances of serving students from all backgrounds and leads projects that advance DEI commitments. Jenny is proud of her Mexican roots, having immigrated to the U.S. early in her career. She chairs AIA LBSB's EDI Committee & has a passion for helping underrepresented architects succeed.
How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?
As a young girl, I spent time at my godmother’s house & her 2 brothers were architecture students. I recall them drafting & that together with the idea of making an impact on the fabric of my city sparked my interest in architecture design.
What do you do?
I’m the Education Practice Leader for CannonDesign’s LA office. I help colleges and universities create buildings and spaces that activate their mission. We engage students and guide sports, recreation and academic projects to successful outcomes.
What excites you in the work you do?
What excites me and gets me up every day is the idea that the design process, the built result are part of the transformation and evolution of our collective ideas and identities. Our spaces can impact the individual’s learning and behaviors.
Who or what inspires you professionally?
I’m inspired by clients & students who will occupy the spaces we design. Designing an inclusive space means listening to their concerns. That starts with our charrettes & community meetings. If we truly listen—the building will reflect inclusivity.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?
I I am proud that I received my CA architecture license while balancing life as a single mother. I’m showing my daughter what determination looks like and am so humble to have worked my way up to Principal at the firm.
Featured Project Name:
UC Riverside Rec Center Expansion
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Featured Project Description:
The University of California Riverside's Student Recreation Expansion project supports the physical well-being of students and creates a new campus hub for social and academic interaction. The expansion integrates seamlessly and transforms the site into a holistic recreation environment reinforcing the connection between mind and body, and addressing the challenges of context, environment and identity. The new space ignited a 40 percent increase in student usage & participation.