Gibbs College Honors Faculty and Staff During 2023 Awards Ceremony

Please join us in congratulating the 2023 Gibbs College Faculty & Staff Awards recipients. Recipients were honored by Dean Butzer during the Gibbs College Back to School Meeting on Thursday, Aug. 17. They were nominated by their colleagues via an open nomination process.

  • Community Engagement Award: Bryce Lowery (Regional + City Planning)
  • Creating Community & Belonging Award: Shooka Motamedi (Architecture)
  • External Service Award: Lee Fithian (Architecture)
  • Internal Service Award: Elizabeth Pober (Interior Design)
  • James L. Kudrna Professionalism Award: Chelsea Holcomb (Interior Design)
  • Jerri Hodges Bonebrake All-Around Staff Award: Mat Reed (Senior Program Manager / Creating_Making Lab Manager)
  • Scholarly & Creative Activity Award: Deborah Richards (Architecture)
  • Teaching Award: Negar Heidari Matin (Interior Design)

Read on to learn more about the recipients, including quotes from colleagues who nominated them.

2022 Community Engagement Award | BRYCE LOWERY, Regional + City Planning

“Bryce Lowery partnered with the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency to determine how to best deploy approximately $36 million to support unhoused and housing-insecure Oklahomans. The plan has been adopted by HUD and will be used to guide spending of this significant investment in Oklahoma’s unhoused and housing-insecure Oklahomans. That Oklahoma is taking such a rigorous, evidence-based approach to allocating this investment is in large part due to Dr. Lowery’s leadership.”

2023 Creating Community & Belonging Award | SHOOKA MOTAMEDI, Architecture

“In this role, [Gibbs College Diversity Liaison] she has kept Dean Butzer up to date on happenings in the DEI Division and she has also taken a leading role in jump starting our National Organization of Minority Architecture Students group in trips, conference and competition opportunities. She is genuinely caring and respectful of all of her colleagues, committed to promoting inclusion for our whole community.”

Lee Fithian Architecture Oklahoma

2023 External Service Award | LEE FITHIAN, Architecture

“Lee is on the International Code Council’s International Energy Conservation Code Envelope Embodied Carbon Subcommittee, the IECC Technical Committee of the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission and is serving as a Technical Jury Reviewer for the American Institute of Architects COTE Top Ten Awards. She is consistently promoting sustainability in regional and national arenas, giving of her time and expertise generously along the way.”

2023 Internal Service Award | ELIZABETH POBER, Interior Design

“Elizabeth Pober not only led the successful Interior Design accreditation process in 2022-2023, but she also collaborated closely with the other division directors to develop interdisciplinary programming and co-facilitated Gibbs College’s annual design camp. During the camp, 30 high school students from across Oklahoma were introduced to OU’s Interior Design and Architecture degree programs and associated professions.”

2023 James L. Kudrna Professionalism Award | CHELSEA HOLCOMB, Interior Design

“Chelsea is always thoughtful – giving her colleagues ample notice when something is coming up that needs their attention, thanking them after the fact, acknowledging them in passing, and always organized and kind. I cannot think of someone more deserving of this award!”

Mat Reed headshot

2023 Jerri Hodges Bonebrake All-Around Staff Award | MAT REED, Senior Program Manager / Creating_Making Lab Manager

“Mat’s contribution to the C_ML and tireless pursuit of ways to educate himself on software, equipment knowledge and better ways to serve the Gibbs College of architecture make him a perfect candidate for the Jerri Hodges Bonebrake Staff Award.” 

2023 Scholarly & Creative Activity Award | DEBORAH RICHARDS, Architecture

“Deborah works tirelessly to merge her design practice with community needs. She leads with her values, inspiring the next generation of architects to do the same. It can be hard for ‘design researchers’ to truly feel at home in academia and Deborah is setting a strong example for what that can look like.”

2023 Teaching Award | NEGAR HEIDARI MATIN, Interior Design

“Dr. Matin has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills by establishing the OU Eco-Sooner Team. She led the University of Oklahoma team for the 2023 Solar Decathlon and helped them become finalists for the first time in the history of OU. Her leadership skills have been an inspiration to her colleagues and students alike.”

Congratulations to all winners! We are so proud of the incredible work you are doing in Gibbs College and beyond.