Architecture student earns
Souder Award for research

AIA/AHA Fellow's efforts focused on facility
designs for Alzheimer's Disease patients


A Texas A&M College of Architecture student was the first international student to win the James J. Souder Award presented annually by the American Institute of Architects/American Hospital Association in recognition of superior achievement by an AIA/AHA Fellow.

Prithi P. Venkatram, a 2003 Master of Architecture graduate and 2002 AIA/AHA Fellow, received the award for her research on the design of healthcare facilities for patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and other ailments causing dementia. Her paper was presented in November 2003, along with those of other 2002 AIA/AHA Fellows, at the organization’s annual meeting in Denver, Colo. She competed with students from Yale University and the University of Wisconsin.

The Souder Award comes with a $1,000 stipend.

Venkatram was the 17th A&M graduate student to be named an AIA/AHA Fellow since the College of Architecture established its health facilities design program in 1966. A native of India, she was also the second international student to gain the honor; the first was earned in 2001 by Bhargav Goswami in 2001, also from A&M.

Prior to attending Texas A&M, Venkatram graduated from the Sir J.J. College of Architecture in Mumbai, India and worked for 1.5 years with Hosmac India Private Limited, a pioneering firm in the field of hospital planning and management consultancy.

Venkatram said her interest in the care for the elderly began when her grandfather, with whom she lived over 20 years, became ill and died. As his caretaker, she gained appreciation for the challenges involved in the care of older patients.

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