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Alumni Awards

Outstanding Young Professional Award

Established in 2020 to recognize College of Design alumni who received their most recent degree from Iowa State University within the past 10 years and have excelled in their professions early in their careers.

Mariah C. Bakke2021

Mariah C. Bakke
BLA 2015 Landscape Architecture
Fort Myers, Florida

Mariah C. Bakke, PLA, ASLA, is the lead landscape architect and owner of Viva Landscapes, which provides landscape design services for projects at all scales, from residential renovations to retail landscapes to new construction. Her clientele spans from southwest Florida to San Francisco, where she completed the landscape design for a multimillion-dollar pool project.

Prior to founding her own firm in July 2020, Bakke was a landscape architect with R.S. Walsh Landscaping in Fort Myers for five years. After earning her professional license in 2017, she began specializing in waterfront properties and continues to do high-end estate landscape planning on Sanibel and Captiva islands as a contractor with R.S. Walsh. Through Viva Landscapes, Bakke also seeks to amplify communal spaces as development expands in the area, providing public access to more parks and green spaces.

A registered landscape architect in Florida, Bakke is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and was the Florida ASLA’s Southwest Florida Section Chair in 2017. She serves on the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association board of directors and is chairwoman of the Fort Myers Planning Board. She was named one of Gulfshore Life’s 2020 Men and Women of the Year.

Lana Fox2021

Lana Fox
BID 2014 Industrial Design
Urbandale, Iowa

Lana (Miller) Fox is the president and chief executive officer of ClinicNote, Inc., an electronic medical record company based in Des Moines. ClinicNote helps outpatient therapists streamline mandatory documentation, reporting, billing and communication, allowing them to focus on what they do best: work with their patients.

Fox uses her industrial design background to understand the needs of clients and synthesize conversations into design briefs for her developers to implement solutions. Under Fox’s leadership, ClinicNote has grown to serve private practice and university teaching clinic providers across the nation.

Prior to and following graduation from Iowa State, Fox was a product design intern with Kreg Tool Company. She also owned and operated a profitable College Pro franchise, which drove her passion for entrepreneurship. She was a founding member of the Iowa State University student chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America and a member of the ISU President’s Leadership Class. She joined ClinicNote in early 2016 and became president in 2017.

Fox is a member of LINC–United Way of Central Iowa and a co-organizer of Female Founders DSM. She serves as a Techstars Iowa Accelerator mentor and an ISU CYstarters mentor. She was named the Technology Association of Iowa’s 2020 Prometheus Awards Week Emerging Technology Leader of the Year.

Johnny G. Alcivar Zuñiga2020

Johnny G. Alcivar Zuñiga
BA 2010 Political Science & International Studies
MCRP 2014 Community & Regional Planning
Des Moines, Iowa

Johnny Alcivar is the director of workforce programs at Proteus, Inc., a multi-state nonprofit organization that assists agricultural workers. In this role, he is responsible for the delivery of the National Farmworker Jobs Program — funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration — in Indiana, Iowa and Nebraska. The program targets chronic unemployment and underemployment in agriculture by facilitating career and training services for farmworkers who seek to retain employment or gain new opportunities.

Alcivar started his career with the City of Cedar Rapids, where he served as education and outreach coordinator with the Civil Rights Commission and then became a Development Services Division specialist. Prior to joining Proteus, he worked as an assistant city planner with the Des Moines Community Development Department.

Alcivar is passionate about community involvement and representation. In 2019, he was recognized by the Iowa International Center as a Passport to Prosperity Honoree for exemplary leadership and for creating a positive impact on the lives of Iowans. In 2020, he was selected as a Des Moines Business Record “Forty Under 40” honoree.

He currently serves as secretary on the Street Collective of Greater Des Moines board of directors and recently joined the Iowa International Center board of directors. Additionally, he is an appointed member of the Des Moines Plan and Zoning Commission. Alcivar holds American Institute of Certified Planners certification through the American Planning Association.

Adrienne Nelson2020

Adrienne Nelson
BFA 2009 Interior Design
MArch 2013 Architecture
New Haven, Connecticut

Adrienne Nelson is an associate with Pickard Chilton, a global architecture studio based in New Haven, Connecticut, that designs innovative buildings and transformative environments. Highly experienced in the design of large-scale corporate and commercial projects that serve a diverse and sophisticated client base, Nelson currently serves as the project manager for a 1.25 million-gross-square-foot mass timber corporate campus headquarters in California.

Most recently, she was a designer for T3 RiNo, a heavy timber next-generation office building in Denver, Colorado, as well as the project manager for 325 Main Street, Google’s new headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Additional projects include 2+U, an office tower and public plaza in downtown Seattle, Washington; 1144 Fifteenth Street, a 40-story high-performance office tower in Denver; the Minnesota Senate Building in St. Paul; and the ATCO Commercial Centre in Calgary, Alberta.

Nelson has served on the board of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and is the current co-chair of the AIA Connecticut Women in Architecture Committee. She previously served as a mentor and team leader for the New Haven affiliate of the ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) Mentor Program. She received the 2016 AIA Connecticut Emerging Architect Award.

In 2020, Nelson was accepted into the inaugural class of the national AIA Leadership Academy and recognized among ENR’s National Top 20 Under 40. She is a member of the International Interior Design Association and a LEED Green Associate.