New Administrative Appointments at USC Architecture

September 26, 2014

CONTACT: Allison Engel 213/740-1927

The USC School of Architecture is pleased to announce the appointment of Gail Peter Borden to the position of associate dean for academic affairs. In this position, he will oversee academic programs and faculty affairs.

“Gail has been a big part of the school’s ceaseless evolution and I am confident that the new energy and experience he brings to this role will match the school’s promise,” said USC School of Architecture Dean Qingyun Ma.

Borden, who is a tenured associate professor, began teaching at the School of Architecture in 2006. In 2011 he was appointed director of graduate architecture and in 2012 he became discipline head of architecture. Borden has been instrumental in making the graduate program one of the top programs in the nation and fostering a culture of innovation and cutting edge design.

In addition to Borden, Lee Schuyler Olvera, associate professor of practice in architecture, has been appointed the new assistant dean for communications and special projects, handling communications, publications, facilities planning and outreach. Since joining the school in 2000, Olvera has taught studio and elective courses throughout the curriculum, most recently concentrating on the fifth-year degree project design studios and critical theory. Previously, he was director of communications for academic programs.

Raquel Yarber, who has been part of the school’s administration since 2012, has been appointed assistant dean for finance and administration, overseeing school finances, human resources and staffing.

About the Three Administrators

Gail Peter Borden‘s research and practice focuses on the role of materiality and architecture in contemporary culture. He attended Rice University, simultaneously receiving three BA degrees in fine arts, art history and architecture. He returned to Rice for his professional BARCH, and completed a post-professional masters of architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Prior to joining the USC faculty, Borden taught at North Carolina State University, Catholic University, The Boston Architectural Center and Harvard University, and worked at Gensler and Associates, Frank Harmon Architect and The Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris, where he was a designer on the Potzdamerplatz Project and the renovation of the Centre Georges Pompidou. His full biography, with his many awards and recognition for design work, paintings, exhibitions, writing and teaching, is here.

Lee Schuyler Olvera earned a bachelor of environmental design degree from Texas A+M University and a master of architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

His professional practice centers on arts-related residential projects that investigate the typologies of house and studio, domestic and creative space. Formerly a design associate with Frederick Fisher and Partners, he was responsible for design projects including the Annenberg Community Beach House, the Annenberg Center and Gardens at the Retreat at Sunnylands, the Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research, and numerous private houses. He is currently a consulting design partner and art director at NA+AA in Houston, Texas. His complete biography is here.

Raquel Yarber has worked at the University of Southern California since 1995, providing support to several schools and departments with budget administration and business affairs. These units include the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Information Sciences Institute and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. At the USC School of Architecture, she has served as the senior business officer and human resources representative.

She holds a master of business administration from Woodbury University and a bachelor of science in business administration from University of Phoenix. Her complete biography is here.

[ABOVE IMAGE: Left to right, Gail Peter Borden, Lee Schuyler Olvera, Raquel Yarber]