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Student Profiles 2011-2012


  Cristina Alexander

Hometown: Florence, South Carolina
I am a returning senior in the Architectural History department. I came to SCAD in 2002 after earning an Associates Degree in Building Preservation from Belmont Technical College in Saint Clairsville, Ohio. After several years of working for Allegheny Restoration in Morgantown, West Virginia, I have returned to complete my degree. I have mainly used my background in Preservation and Architectural History in the area of stained glass restoration and am currently studying glass painting under Jon Erickson of Aurora Stained Glass in Savannah ( and plan to continue my work in this area after graduation. I came to the Architectural History department because I felt unable to adequately approach a restoration project without knowing what I was dealing with, and I feel that the program of study here at SCAD has more than answered that need.

  Kimberly Barnard

Hometown: Mentor, Ohio
I am second year M.F.A. graduate student majoring in Architectural History. I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Architecture with a minor in Art from Bowling Green University (Bowling Green, Ohio). During my undergraduate years I did a number of internships, which were required by my program. My interest in architectural history was peaked during an internship with the Cleveland Restoration Society, where I researched buildings for historic nominations. The interest was furthered when I began to volunteer with the James A. Garfield National Historic Site (JAGNHS) as an interpretive guide.
Since staring at SCAD I have completed two more internships, one with the JAGNHS and another with the Western Reserve Historical Society. I have also developed a strong interest in vernacular architecture. I also work as a tour guide at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. After graduation I hope to work with the National Park Service and possibly continue on to get my PHD.

  Ian Brathwaite

Hometown: Barbados

I was born and grew up on the island of Barbados in the Caribbean and spent a large part of my working career in  Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. I decided to return to college and picked SCAD, when my family relocated to Savannah. I wanted a career change after working for 15 years as an entrepreneur and engineer in the wireless network data industry. Since childhood, growing up in a former British island colony, I have always been fascinated with historic architecture and old colonial cities and towns. I have 3 wonderful young kids and enjoy anything to do with the beach, cricket, Caribbean food and southern BBQ.  I am currently a senior undergrad at SCAD and pursuing Architectural History with an Art History minor. My family is moving to San Francisco within a year and I hope to continue grad studies there and get into my new career in a multi- disciplined area that combines alternative and solar energy with thoughtful, efficient and respectful adaptive re-use of our current existing historic built environment and cities.

  Lindsay Cross

 Hometown: Nokesville, Virginia
I am a junior with a major in Architectural History and a minor in Interior Design.  I came to SCAD looking to complete a degree in Interior Design.  I enjoyed my classes for the most part but discovered that my favorite classes were not related to Interior Design, rather Architectural History.  I was hesitant to abandon the one reason that brought me here to SCAD but after going back and forth for some time I decided to go with the subject that truly interested me.  I completed my minor in Interior Design last quarter and am now concentrating on Architectural History. I am still undecided as to what I will do after I graduate; however, I am confident that if I am excited about my classes and enjoy what I am doing now it will lead to a successful future.

  Michela Davola

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
I am a first year graduate student majoring in Architectural History.  I attended Framingham State College in Massachusetts for my undergraduate career and graduated in May 2010. I majored in Art History and minored in Museum Studies. I became interested in Architectural History through my father, who is an architect, as well as during my undergraduate education where I found myself looking forward to the classes in which my professors would discuss architecture. In the spring of 2009, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy, and was able to spend 4 wonderful months visiting beautiful sites in Italy, as well as Germany, France and England. My experience abroad helped to fuel my passion for art and architecture. After returning from Italy, I worked with the Framingham Historic Society while they updated their register of historic buildings in the area and I also interned with the Boston Print makers, a local group of juried artists, where I helped to organize a gallery show titled thINK. Since starting SCAD in the Fall of 2011, I have taken tour leading workshops with Dr. Williams and have assisted on SCAD day, giving tours of Savannah. After graduation, I hope to get a job in the New England area working with historic organizations or house museums.


  Adam Eason

Hometown: Auburn, Alabama
I am an Auburn, Alabama native with a great appreciation for history, especially of historic places and technology. My interests are mostly in the field of public history, and I have helped design a couple of museum exhibits and edited a few books. I have a BA in history from Mercer University and an MA in history from the University of Alabama.  My interest in Architectural History originally began when I worked on an exhibit for the Columbus Museum that looked at common house types in the 1800s. This interest grew dramatically in my graduate career and ultimately my master’s thesis revolved around the history of three historic black churches in Birmingham. Outside of school I spend a lot of time listening to music, watching movies, and I am also a very big fan of the city of Savannah and work here as a tour guide.

  Amanda Gierke







Kimberly Irby, LEED AP

Hometown: Ashland, Virginia
I am an ongoing graduate student while maintaining a professional career. I have taken both a personal and professional interest in pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Architectural History.  My love for the environment and a great appreciation for history and its various cultures have inspired me to combine these interests in my studies as well as my work.  I have a strong interest in preservation planning groups to help restore and revitalize downtown areas, as well as help develop and implement programs to improve community living.  After graduation, I would like to apply my skills of managing, planning, training, and researching I have experienced through different facets of my business profession, to improving the quality and efficiency of the built environment and the community in which we live.  Through school and work I have become a member of Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (SESAH), National Trust for Historic Preservation, and American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA).  Outside the professional arena and school I enjoy volunteering with the local organization, Clean Coast and spending as much time outside as possible.

  Penny Clarke Johnson

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I’m thrilled to return to the Architectural History graduate program at SCAD. I first took classes all the way back in 2004, then took a few years off to pursue a graduate certificate in Interactive Design and have two very sweet kids. Now that they are both in preschool, I’m excited to return to my first academic love, the history of the built environment. I have a B.A. in History from the University of Pittsburgh where I took all of the local and architectural history classes that I could. I’ve lived in Savannah for almost 10 years and look forward to studying and working here for a very long time.

  Lauren McCardel

Hometown: Oneonta, New York
I am a first year graduate student majoring in Architectural History. I graduated in 2010 with my undergraduate degree in Art History from Messiah College in Pennsylvania. I became interested in studying Architectural History while living overseas in Orvieto, Italy, where I spent four months during my junior year. It was there that I fell in love with concepts of space and structure, and how they impact each of us in our day to day lives in ways we are not even aware of. The classes I have taken thus far at SCAD have already added greatly to the excitement I feel in studying the history of architecture and art. I am especially interested in art museum architecture, and I hope to work in a museum after graduation for some time before pursuing my Ph.D.x

  Erin McMahon

Hometown: Longwood, FL
I am a senior in the Architectural History department with a minor in Cultural Landscape. From my first year at SCAD until now I have changed my major three times, and that process dates back to high school. I was torn between English and Art History, as I loved writing and studying art. I applied to SCAD with the intent of being an Art History major, and quickly changed to Professional Writing after classes began. This still wasn’t the right place for me as I wanted something more substantial to actually write about. It struck me that when I was in my Art History classes my interest seemed to pique when the topic turned to Architecture. I took this as a cue to combine my interests and now write about the built environment. I was unaware of the Architectural History program and instead declared my major as Historic Preservation, but longed for a more cultural and contextual perspective. I eventually found Architectural History and in so doing found the exact fit for my interests: writing, architecture and history with social context. My specific interest is in historic gardens and garden design. After completing a summer internship in England working at Hampton Court Palace and a private estate near Stratford-Upon-Avon, I have decided to pursue historic horticulture through either restoration or design.

Olivier Maene
Hometown: Bruges, Belgium
I am a sophomore majoring in architectural history, with a minor in Museum Studies. I started college in 2009 at the University of Ghent, in Belgium, majoring in Civil Engineering-Architecture. However, after a year I decided to shift my focus from architectural design to research and started pursuing a career as a historian. I applied at SCAD and was accepted to start in Fall 2010. Ever since, I have made an effort to get as involved as possible with both SCAD and the architectural history department. Freshmen year, I started writing a weekly column for DISTRICT and took on the position of Vice President for the Architectural History Club. Shortly after, I started taking tour leading workshops with Dr. Williams in order to work on my public speaking and tour leading skills. Ever since Fall 2011 I have been assisting the department on SCAD Admission days, as well as other events like the majors and minors fair. I am currently PR manager for the Architectural History Club. As far as future careers go, I would like to get into teaching at some point, but only after having pursued a career in museum curatorship. I would also like to write architectural critique columns for either newspapers or magazines.


  Briana Nicholas

Hometown: Willingboro, NJ
Growing up near Philadelphia I would always be in awe of the historic buildings strewn across the city. Even when I walk around Savannah I find myself marveling at the old homes. History has always been a passion of mine. My aunt is an urban planner who had me do some volunteering with the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, and after volunteering at the Old House Fair I thought historic preservation was the perfect career for me. My introduction to architectural history came about during the majors and minors fair in Fall of 2011. I had first come to SCAD thinking I wanted to major in historic preservation, until I discovered that everything I thought historic preservation was, is actually architectural history. Buildings are the greatest evidence of history and my ultimate goal is to work with some form of historic society or museum as a way to share my knowledge and love of history with the masses!

  Dean Sawyer

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina
I was one of the first Architectural History Students at SCAD back in 1996.  In the fall of 2011 I moved back to Savannah from Brooklyn, New York, with my husband; he is in the MFA program for non-fiction writing at SCAD. After 14 years of working professionally as an architectural planner, interior designer and decorating editor it’s been a fascinating experience to be a student again. I plan on enjoying this beautiful town, this incredible college, and focusing on my revived interest in academia after a long period of professional work.


  Kathy Schnurr

Hometown: Queens, New York

I am a sophomore Architectural History major. I have an insane love of adventures, Bagel Bites, and triumphal arches. I was a Political Science major at Villanova University before I decided SCAD would be the best place to pursue these interests. I have always loved history and politics, but found myself fascinated by beautiful structures and the experience of space. Growing up in New York City, I have been culturally and visually spoiled, and living in Savannah has happily continued this tradition. I first explored my love of architecture at a summer architecture class at UPenn, and have continued doodling and being awestruck by almost everything ever since.  My interests are varied, but several specifics include fortifications, castles, revivalist movements, and the intersection and correlation between architecture and music. I hope to explore every aspect of the architectural world, and learn as much as I can.

  Mackenzie Woodley
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
My dad is an Architect and therefore I have always been interested in Architecture. My family travels all the time and so I have seen many famous buildings like Notre Dame, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Vatican as well as many others. I have always had a passion for history and loved learning about what happened throughout history. I t wasn’t until I read Ken Follett’s Pillars Of the Earth that I truly appreciated Architecture. It first started with Cathedrals then grew to all buildings. Architectural History is my passion and I am so happy that SCAD offers this major. I look forward to learning more about my passion.

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