Distinguished Alumni

Each year, the College of Engineering honors a select group of alumni at the Excellence in Engineering and Architecture Alumni Awards ceremony. Below, explore the winners and learn more about their contributions to the Knowlton School and their respective professions.

2016

George Acock, BS Arch ’63

George Acock, founder and president of Acock Associates Architects, received the Benjamin G. Lamme Meritorious Achievement Medal. During his 49 years of practice, he has designed more than $1 billion of construction and has been awarded 22 citations for excellence in commercial and residential design. His award-winning projects include Ohio State’s William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library, Columbus’ North Bank Park & Pavilion and Columbus’ Arena District.

Eric Lagerberg, MArch ’88

Eric Lagerberg is executive vice president at CallisonRTKL, as well as a member of its board of directors. With more than 25 years in the architecture industry, Lagerberg currently oversees CallisonRTKL’s retail practice group, directing the efforts of nearly 400 creative professionals across the globe.

Tobias James Rittner, MCRP ’00

Tobias Rittner is president and CEO of the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA). An expert on economic development finance, he is the author of CDFA’s highly acclaimed Practitioner’s Guide to Economic Development Finance and an adjunct faculty member at Ohio State and Carnegie Mellon University.

2015

George Kontogiannis

George was awarded the Meritorious Service Citation. He founded George Kontogiannis and Associates in 1966. The firm has designed and developed more than 350 projects since its inception, but the profound contributions George has made in Central Ohio go far beyond his successes as a practicing architect and entrepreneur. In Columbus, George is a member of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, is a founding and Board member of the Downtown South Task Force and is a lifetime member of both the North Columbus Jaycees and the United States Jaycees. Ohio Cancer Research associates recognized George in 2006 as their guest of honor for his extraordinary contributions toward finding a cure for that disease.

George has been a supporter of the Knowlton School for many years, and is a deeply committed mentor to many Knowlton students and alumni. He established a program to match donations to the Knowlton School’s Office Associateship Program (OAP), which provides financial support to deserving graduate student and links students to professionals in the field. George’s support for the OAP has been instrumental in the helping the program more than double in size in recent years. Currently, he serves on the school’s Campaign Committee.

Jeffrey Morosky, BS LArch ’81

Jeff has more than 30 years of experience as a landscape architect for large-scale international and domestic commercial projects. For the past 18 years, Jeff has been Director of Landscape Architecture at Walt Disney Imagineering. Representing more than 150 disciplines, Walt Disney Imagineering is responsible for the creation of Disney resorts, theme parks and attractions, hotels, water parks, real estate developments, regional entertainment venues, cruise ships and new media technology projects. Jeff’s recent projects include the landscape design and development for Downtown Disney, Anaheim, CA; Hong Kong Disneyland Governments Works, Promenade and Hotels; Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World; and Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, Oahu, HI.

His stellar career exemplifies the manner in which the landscape architecture program at the Knowlton School produces alumni, such as Jeff, who achieve successes in a profession that requires them to be experts within their own discipline, and organizational leaders in an evolving, global environment.

Mark Schendel, MArch ’87

Mark is the Managing Principal of Studio Gang Architects, where he has designed and influenced innovative built environments around the world. A small sampling of his work includes: the Aqua Tower, Chicago; Harbor Knot Maritime Cultural & Pop Music Center, Taiwan; Brooklyn College Graduate School of Cinema, New York; and Hyde Park Master Plan, Chicago. The firm’s work has been extensively published and won over 40 national design awards. Further, the firm as been recognized by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum with the National Design Award for Architectural Design and as an Emerging Vision by the American Institute of Architects. His list of work, including master planning buildings and landscapes, places Mark at the top of his field.

Mark has taught and lectured around the world. Since 1996, he has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

2014

Buss Ransom, BS Arch ’61

After graduating from Ohio State, Buss worked for a number of architectural firms before founding his own company, HR Ransom, Inc., in 1972. The firm was known for designing and building high-quality projects, including land and commercial development, single and multi-family residences and condominiums. His innovative designs led the way for riverfront development in and around Columbus. In recognition of his work, Buss has received the Building Industries’ Washburn-Schofield Award and the Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.Buss has been an industry spokesman for the building community presiding over the local and state associations representing the home building industry and, in 2009, was inducted into the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio’s Hall of Fame. In 1989, Buss received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Engineering. Beyond this history of service to the university and his profession, Buss and his wife Lou Ann Moritz Ransom have given to the local community by being long-time supporters of Columbus’ Homeless Families Foundation.

Bill Gerhardt, BS LArch ’78

Bill is the founder and president of GreenScapes Landscape Company, one of the largest commercial and residential landscape contractors in central Ohio. It’s a testament to Bill’s creative and entrepreneurial drive that he founded GreenScapes in 1977, while still a student at Ohio State. In May, Bill celebrated 37 years as an entrepreneur, landscape architect, and senior level executive. He is considered an expert and thought leader on the topics of horticulture, construction and sustainability both within the local community and across the nation.

In addition to his founding role at GreenScapes, Bill serves on the boards of The Ohio Chapter of The American Society of Landscape Architects and The Franklin Park Conservatory. He is an Ohio Certified Landscape Technician and has served as president of both the Columbus Landscape Association and The Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association (ONLA). Bill has received numerous awards throughout his career. Most recently, he was recognized by the ONLA with the inaugural Legislative Grassroots Award as well as the ONLA Distinguished Contribution Award.

David Biagi, BS Arch ’87

David’s career in architecture spans nearly three decades, and is characterized by a rapid and sustained progression to the top of the profession, both as a practitioner and educator. He became a registered architect in 1985 and, two years later, earned his Master of Architecture degree here at Ohio State where he also received the American Institute of Architects Medal as the highest-ranking graduate student in his class. Upon graduation, he spent several years practicing architecture in New York City at Eisenman Architects and Gwathmey Siegel Architects. In 1996, David was named to the once every ten-year list of “40 under 40” while at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. His design work appeared around the world in publications such as The New York Times and Architectural Record.

Paralleling his development as an architect, David’s career in higher education quickly evolved from an adjunct teaching position at the University of Kentucky in the late 1990’s to his appointment, in 2002, as the inaugural Director of the School of Architecture in UK’s new College of Design.  In his long tenure as Director at UK, David has proved to be an exceptional administrator and leader, overseeing major curricular transformations, the development of new degree programs, the nurturing and promoting of a research culture among his faculty and, in general, the building of a national reputation for the architecture program in Lexington.  Reflective of his status in Kentucky, David currently serves as president of the Kentucky Board of Architects.

2013

Phillip Markwood, BS Arch ’61

Since its founding in 1973, Philip Markwood Architects, Inc. has been the recipient of 33 design awards and the AIA Ohio Gold Medal Firm Award. In addition to his firm’s numerous examples of design excellence—including 181 churches, 160 schools, and 82 offices and retail facilities —Markwood serves the profession by volunteering his time. He has participated in and chaired many design award juries, including the national Religious Art and Architecture Jury. He is a former president of AIA Columbus and AIA Ohio. Markwood has served terms on the National Boards of the AIA, The American Architectural Foundation, and The AIA Trust, and was a National Vice President of AIA. He is a former chair of the National Ethics Council. In 1990, he was elected to the College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects, a lifetime honor that recognizes contributions that advance the profession of architecture.

Markwood not only gives of his time and talent to the architecture profession, he is a steadfast supporter of the Knowlton School and of The Ohio State University. As one of the longest supporters of the school’s Office Associateship Program—an annual giving program that funds Knowlton graduate students— Markwood is an exceptional example and role model for our current students and alumni.

Alan McKnight, BS LArch ’76

Alan McKnight is a 37-year veteran of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, where he began his career designing and managing park improvements. McKnight rose to the position of Planning and Design Manager, and, in 2007, was appointed to his current position of director of the department.

During his career, McKnight has managed the acquisition of land and the development of numerous Columbus parks, new recreation centers, expansion of the trail system and development of Genoa Park and North Bank Park. His professional history also includes 10 years on the State Board of Landscape Architects Examiners (serving as president twice), and membership of the American Society of Landscape Architects, where he served as president of both the Buckeye Section ASLA and the Ohio Chapter ASLA.

Most recently, McKnight was instrumental in the redevelopment of the Scioto Mile—the transformation and revitalization of the downtown Columbus riverfront. He was the driving force behind the project, collaborating with Ohio State alumni-led firms and supporters of the Knowlton School—including MKSK, 360 Architecture, and Schooley Caldwell Associates, among others—to complete the award-winning project. The Scioto Mile, with the Main Street and Rich Street bridges, has become an icon of the City of Columbus and is a key element in bringing a sense of community to the downtown area.

2012

Joseph A. Pobiner, BS Poli Sci '76 and MCRP '78

A master planning and urban design consultant, Joseph Pobiner has worked in the field since 1977. His planning approach embraces unique designs and responsible development patterns that respect local culture and create walkable neighborhoods and vibrant mixed-use urban areas. He has influenced responsible planning in communities in 24 countries worldwide and 40 U.S. states. He has led the global master planning practice for international firms with projects representing more than 250 million total acres and $52 billion in new constructions. Notable projects include NFL stadiums for the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings; healthcare projects throughout the United States, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East; mixed-use developments in Qatar and Libya; and numerous large-scale master plans including Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and the Superconducting Super Collider. He was inducted into the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows in 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science (’76) and his master’s degree in city and regional planning (’78) from The Ohio State university.

Dandridge “Drew” White, BS Arch '83

Drew White, FAIA, is a founding partner of Axis Architecture + Interiors in Indianapolis. White’s work has focused on community, non-profit and commercial-based projects. His projects have studied the possibilities of adaptation or addition to existing structures for new uses, and redesigning interior space and providing solutions for new construction. His approach to design is based on collaboration and a desire to form a singular vision with landscape, architecture, interior design and branding. His corporate clients include projects in the Guaranty Building and the Gibson Building for Exact Target, showroom and office space for Business Furniture Corporation, multiple office locations for Crowe Horwath, CB Richard Ellis and Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana. Civic projects include the Visitors Center at White River State park and the Chapel/Administration Building at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetary in Madison, Indiana.

White holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture (’83) from The Ohio State University and a master of architecture degree (’85) from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

2011

Bob Loversidge, BS Arch '74 and M Arch '76

Bob Loversidge is an architect and the president of Schooley Caldwell Associates. He has along and prestigious history of commitment to both the Columbus community and the Knowlton School.

Bob has been active in renovation and historic preservation for over 30 years: He was involved in saving Daniel Burnham’s Union Station Arch; is a founding member, past president and honorary trustee of the Columbus Landmarks Foundation; is a past president of the Ohio Preservation Alliance; and is a past chair of the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) National Historic Resources Commission.  He is a member of the Downtown Commission in Columbus and the Council of Advisors of the Institute for Preservation and Contemporary Design.

The AIA elevated Bob to its prestigious College of Fellows in recognition of his national contributions to preservation design.  In 1999, he was awarded the Outstanding Person award by the Columbus Landmarks Foundation for lifetime service to preservation in Ohio; in 2002, he received the AIA Ohio Public Service Award for significant service to the community.

Bob received a bachelor of science in architecture and a master's degree in architecture from Ohio State, and spent six years as an auxiliary assistant professor of landscape architecture.

Brian P. Kinzelman, BS LArch '77

Brian Kinzelman is founding principal of Kinzelman Kline Gossman with over 30 years of practice as a landscape architect and planner. His professional background includes extensive experience in large scale land use planning, campus planning, urban design and mixed use development, development guidelines and streetscape enhancement/corridor planning. 

Brian has been Principal-In-Charge and Project Manager on numerous downtown master and campus planning projects including significant projects for The Ohio State University and Medical Center, streetscape projects, transportation corridor revitalization studies, and riverfront development and enhancement projects throughout the Midwest, including the Scioto West Bank and Town-Rich and Main Street Bridge Redevelopments, and development planning for the Whittier Peninsula, here in Columbus.

His work has been recognized by the Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects with awards for The Ohio State University Landscape Master Plan, M.L. "Red" Trabue Nature Reserve Master Plan, The Medallion Club, Cuyahoga Regional Parkland Planning and the Ohio Expositions Center Master Development Plan, Eddie Rickenbacker/Tuskegee Airmen Memorial, and the Riverfront Commons Corporation Handbook for Development.