Alberto de Salvatierra, Co-CHair + Co-MC

Alberto de Salvatierra is an Assistant Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture where he founded and coordinates the interdisciplinary Global Studio Program, SoA’s first international design studio program; he also co-founded and co-coordinates at-LAS, a new interdisciplinary laboratory. He is also Founder and Principal of PROXIIMA, and former Curator of the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers Community—an initiative by the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland. A polymath, architectural designer, and landscape urbanist, de Salvatierra holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and both a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He is the past recipient of Cornell's Robert James Eidlitz Fellowship, Harvard Library's Inaugural May Crane Fellowship, and GSD's Penny White Prize. Prior to arriving at UNLV, he taught ecological design at Cornell University, architecture foundations at the Boston Architectural College, and landscape architecture at GSD’s Design Discovery. This past summer, he was a Visiting Professor at Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO), Mexico's most prestigious university.


Dr. Yvonne Houy, Co-CHair + Co-MC + Mentor

Dr. Yvonne Houy is Administrative Faculty for Learning Technology at the College of Fine Arts and an active member of the international Computer Science For All movement through her work as Professional Development (PD) Facilitator for the Computer Science Principles curriculum. Passionate about providing opportunities for anyone interested in learning computer science, her workshops have gotten rave reviews. Proud to come from generations of European farmers who were creative “Makers” by both necessity and for aesthetic expression, Dr. Houy was Co-Lead Producer of the 2016 Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (B.A) and Cornell University (M.A. & Ph.D.), her dissertation examined propagandist uses of fashion, and resistance to Fascism through fashion. She grows tomatoes in the challenging Las Vegas Valley environment, and practices the gentle martial art of Aikido.


Mentors + Speakers


Travis P. Allen, Mentor

Travis P. Allen is an Adjunct Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture, while also a Project Manager + Designer at Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects. He also currently serves on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Las Vegas Board of Directors as the Director of Emerging Professionals. Formally trained in the field of architecture, Travis believes design is a creative process that permeates disciplines and encourages an exploration of experiences. Taking this approach, he has blended his curiosities by working as an architectural/graphic designer, design/art director, video producer/editor and model maker on various projects that cross typologies from hospitality and commercial architectural projects to science and cultural museum exhibitions. Travis is a licensed Architect in the State of Nevada. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from UNLV, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado, Denver where he received the Richard Reindel Memorial Scholarship to study abroad in Rome.



Ashley Hairston Doughty is a visual storyteller, explaining personal experiences through verbal and visual language. Much of her practice deals with socio-economic, racial, and gender-based issues, particularly those relating to cultural misconceptions and the development of personal identity. Her distinctive perspective has grown through residing in nine different cities throughout her lifetime, mostly in the southeastern, Midwestern, and Southwestern United States. Although trained as a graphic designer, Doughty’s artwork often crosses multiple media, including typography, illustration, writing, fiber and materials, and book arts. She shares and encourages such art making as an Assistant Professor of Art at UNLV and through her design business and blog, Design Kettle. Her work is included in the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection in Chicago and has received awards from the Caxton Club, the College Book Arts Association and Arion Press. Doughty holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications from Washington University in St. Louis and an Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



Michael Fong is an Assistant Professor at the UNLV College of Fine Arts. A visual artist and designer from Las Vegas, Fong holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Design from UNLV and a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Syracuse University. Coming from a traditional materials background in sculpture, Fong combines material sensibilities with new and emerging technologies. With experience in woodworking, plastics, and ceramics, as well as new additive and subtractive manufacturing processes, Fong has the full gamut of fabrication experience. With experience in working with newer technologies, it was inevitable that the proximity of technology would be absorbed. Most recent pieces involved micro-controller regulated temperatures, Arduino-powered CNC machines, and Python-scripted 3D animations.


Daniel LEvine, MENTOR

Daniel Levine is a curious fellow who always dives wholeheartedly into his many interests. He recently graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where—having been a researcher for the MIT Media Lab—he received a Master of Media Arts and Sciences (Tangible Media). In the past, Levine has worked on assistive tongue controllers for quadriplegics, exoskeletons, shape-changing pasta, auditory feedback systems (that help people learn how to do back-flips), balloon-drone hybrids, and biosensors. He previously received a Master of Information Systems in Connective Media from Cornell’s NYC Tech Program, and dual Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Cornell University. In addition to his love of making animations and jumping into artistic space, Levine is an avid gymnast and an amateur pilot.


samantha solano, MENTOR

Samantha Solano is an Assistant Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture and Principal of JUXTOPOS. Her research interests include urbanization in arid territories, immersive representation technologies, and landscape design equity. Samantha aims to empower landscape architects practicing in arid regions—providing valuable, actionable strategies equipped to adapt to the sensitive desert ecologies that are in jeopardy due to rapid urbanization and climate change. At UNLV, she teaches courses in advanced digital media, landscape architecture theory, spatial mapping, and landscape architecture. Solano received her Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and—proudly—her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from UNLV.


Joshua vermillion, MENTOR

Joshua Vermillion is an Associate Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture where is he Coordinator of the Master of Architecture Program and Co-Coordinator of at-LAS. His teaching and research focuses on architectural applications of computational design methods, digital fabrication tools, and robotics and responsive systems. Prior to his appointment at UNLV, Vermillion taught design studios, seminars, and lecture courses at the Department of Architecture at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. While at Ball State, he co-founded i-MADE, an applied research + learning institute focused on projects utilizing design, computation, and fabrication. During the spring of 2014, Vermillion was the invited Taylor Seminar Lecturer in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. Joshua has published and presented peer-reviewed research at ACADIA, SIGRADI, eCAADe, ACSA, NCBDS, and ARCC conferences, as well as the International Journal of Architecture Computing. He co-authored/edited the recently published book "Digital Design Exercises for Architecture Students" with Jason S. Johnson (Routledge, 2016).





Glenn N. P. Nowak, Associate Professor of Architecture, is the founder and coordinator of the Hospitality Design (HD) Concentration at the UNLV School of Architecture.  Since the HD Studio’s inception in the fall of 2010, the entertainment capital of the world has become an extension of the academic studio for students interested in collaborative explorations in design research with leaders in the hospitality industry.   He teaches graduate studios and HD seminars.  Additionally, Glenn served four years as the graduate coordinator of the M. Arch program and continues to serve on the board of The AIA Las Vegas Chapter and other non-profit organizations. His work and design research often involve community-integrated projects that focus on social, environmental, and economic sustainability.  He earned his Master of Architecture from Cornell University and his Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from Ball State.  He is a licensed architect in Nevada.


Dr. Janet Runge, Judge

Dr. Janet Runge is a pioneer in creating challenging and unconventional ways for UNLV students to channel their entrepreneurial spirit. She is the architect and coordinator of the UNLV Lee Business School signature program, the Global Entrepreneurship Experience. Dr. Runge taught the first entrepreneurship course ever offered at UNLV. She founded and began operation of the UNLV Center for Entrepreneurship in 2006. She developed and established an interdisciplinary undergraduate entrepreneurship major in 2006 and followed that with a minor in entrepreneurship available to every student at UNLV. She also developed an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship concentration for the MBA curriculum and helped develop the Lee Business School's Executive MBA program. She is also active with Startup Weekend in Las Vegas, in co-organizer, judging, and coaching roles. Dr. Runge completed an MBA at the University of New Orleans and her Ph.D. at Louisiana State University. She consults with start-ups, small businesses, family firms, and not for profits.  


LISA SONG sutton

Lisa Song Sutton is a real estate investor and entrepreneur, holding ownership interests in several companies in the real estate, tech, retail and food & beverage industries, including Las Vegas' #1 alcohol-infused cupcake company:  Sin City Cupcakes. Song Sutton currently writes and speaks about entrepreneurship and business. Her work has been seen in Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other business publications. She shares her knowledge as a professional speaker and sits on the advisory boards for several companies including Bitcoin Nevada and Youngry. In addition to her professional careers, Song Sutton is actively involved in her community as a former Miss Las Vegas (2013), Miss Nevada (2014) and serves on the executive board of the Asian Community Development Council. She was named a Top 10 Social Entrepreneur to Watch by Inc. Magazine.
Song Sutton is a Las Vegas Global Shaper.



Jonathan Torn is a co-founder of Higher Ground Produce, a venture bringing fresh, affordable produce to Southern Nevada using pioneering Israeli technology. Prior to working with Higher Ground Produce, he worked internationally on project management and triple bottom line business plan development & implementation for Teatulia, Bangladesh’s first and largest organic tea estate and Biolite, a New York City-based renewable energy company. He has also worked as a consultant for the United Nations and the World Bank. He holds a BA from McGill University and an MA in International Business & Environmental Studies from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.


Check back soon with updates on mentors, facilitators and judges!