Current Board Members


Linda Young, CBT, CIT

President and Chairman

Linda Young

Ms. Young is a 29 year member of the National Association of Women in Construction. She is a Past National NAWIC President, a Past President of the San Diego Chapter #21, Past Administrator and Trustee of the NAWIC Founders’ Scholarship Foundation, Past National President of the NAWIC Education Foundation and current President of the NAWIC SD Future Construction Leaders Foundation.

Linda has spent 30 plus years working in the Construction Industry including Executive Director of the San Diego Chapter of the American Subcontractors Association, Executive Director of the Masonry Industry Training Association, and Accounting Manager and ISO 9000 Administrator for Dynalectric San Diego.

Ms. Young currently is co-owner of C-SOS Consulting Services with her husband, Frank. She is Co-Director of the San Diego Chapter Mentoring/Camp NAWIC Committee which is celebrating its 8th year of Camp NAWIC. She is currently the Chair of the Advisory Committee for The NewSchool of Architecture & Design Construction Management Program and President of the NewSchool Foundation.

Stephen Russell

Past-President and Trustee


Stephen Russell is President of the San Diego Housing Federation.

A 2005 graduate of the NewSchool of Architecture & Design, Stephen has a 20-year history working in community and economic development in the Mid-City region of San Diego.  He served as Executive Director of the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement District, where he was responsible for implementing an economic development strategy for an aging commercial district. He later served as an advisor to then-San Diego City Council member Toni Atkins on issues related to redevelopment, infrastructure financing, small business support, and the City’s General Plan (the “City of Villages”.)

Since then he has served as volunteer board member and President of the City Heights Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing, employment opportunities, and quality neighborhoods in the community of City Heights. Stephen has served on the NewSchool Foundation Board since 2009 and was President of the Board from 2011 to 2017.

Steve Codraro



Steve is a third generation residential builder and real estate developer specializing in sustainable urban infill townhouses. He is a licensed contractor and real estate broker. In addition to his work with the Foundation Steve is active in the North Park Community Association and San Diego Green Building Council. He joined the NewSchool Foundation Board in January of 2012.

Lucy Campbell

Secretary and Vice-President

Lucy is Librarian of the Richard Welsh Library at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design. Originally from London, England, Lucy moved to San Diego in February of 2011. She joined the Foundation as Secretary in January 2013. In addition to serving as Secretary she is on the Scholarship Committee and oversees the Dr. Steve Altman Pillars Scholarship with her Co-Chair Professor Miti Aiello. She also volunteers with the San Diego Architectural Foundation and the Friends of San Diego Architecture.

Miti Aiello

Director and Scholarship Committee Chair


Miti is Assistant Professor in the Architecture program at NewSchool of Architecture + Design in San Diego, California, and has taught there since 2005.  She holds the position of coordinator of the History of Architecture and Urban Design sequence and teaches First Year Studio Design (Undergraduate) and the History of Architecture and Urban Design courses at the Undergraduate and Graduate level.
She also teaches Freehand Drawing, Rendering and Delineation, Mixed Media and Art History courses. Miti has been associated with NSAD since 2006, where she started her career as a Professional Teaching Assistant, then becoming Adjunct Professor in 2007, Fulltime Lecturer in 2010 and was elevated to Assistant Professor in 2014.

Originally from Italy, Miti holds a Professional Bachelor of Architecture (BARCH),  and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from North Dakota State University.
She obtained a Post-Professional Master of Architecture and Urban Design (MARCH II) from Syracuse University in 2007, with a study abroad grant for the Syracuse campus in Florence, Italy.

Miti is a visual artist, a published poet and a practitioner with experience in architectural practices in the US and in Italy.

She is Principal Designer and owner of ArchistDesign Studio, responsible for projects ranging from residential remodels, to 3D visualization to, recently, permitting process for a nightclub, part of an urban infill project of a city block in Downtown San Diego.  She was awarded the AIA Associate Award in 2006 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Architecture for Humanity/Rebuild San Diego chapter and the NewSchool Foundation.

Miti is also the cofounder of Builtculture, an online repository for lectures, design events and cultural happenings in Architecture and Art in the Southern California and Baja region.  During the summers of 2013 and 2014, she was a Visiting Professor at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She co-taught a course, Myth of the City- Build Your Own, a laboratory for speculation on the relation between symbols, myth, narrative, architecture and urban design tailored to students of architecture and design disciplines. Miti is currently working on a book on visual notes for the study of History of Architecture. Her research interests include new ex-urban enclaves and games of urban activism in the critical city.

Mike Stepner

Director and Lecture Committee Chair


Michael Stepner’s career exemplifies the essence of planning. His vision and ability have inspired students, colleagues, community leaders and activists, resulting in an enhanced and invigorated quality of life in San Diego, nationally and internationally. He is a professor of architecture and urban design at NewSchool and a principal in Stepner Design Group. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the Institute of Urban Design, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Kevin deFreitas



As principal of Kevin deFreitas Architects, Kevin has had the good fortune of many exceptional collaborations resulting in a diverse portfolio of recognized projects, a public restroom on the sand in Ocean Beach for the City, a rammed earth chapel on the Rincon Indian Reservation, custom residences, urban infill rowhomes, and several commissions on the UCSD campus including Galbraith Hall, Warren College bridges, and Computer Science + Engineering renovations.

Joining the NewSchool Foundation board in 2017, Kevin is also an active board member of the San Diego Architectural Foundation and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Kevin greatly enjoys live music, sharing a meal with just about anybody, laughing out loud, and coaching a variety of youth sports that one of his four children happen to be playing.

Cynthia M. Malecha


In 1994, Cynthia M. Malecha, accepted a position at North Carolina State University, Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science to serve as an Administrative Assistant. She was promoted to Assistant Director of Finance in 2001. Cynthia also served as the University Fiscal Officer for the Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development (an initiative of the Kenan Institute Engineering, Technology & Science). Her duties included special events for both the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science and the Kenan Fellows Program. Cynthia retired from North Carolina State University after almost 22 years of service.

During her term of employment she served on the Leadership Team of the Council on the Status of Women at North Carolina State University, and chaired the 1999 professional development conference for women sponsored by the Council. She also chaired the Chancellor’s unit Award for Excellence committee. She was presented the Wings on Wings award by the College of Design at North Carolina State University by Design Guild President H. Clymer Cease, Jr. on behalf of the Design Guild Board for her contributions to the life of the College community.

Prior to NC State, she worked at the Claremont Colleges, Claremont, California and Cal Poly Pomona Kellogg Unit Foundation.  With more than thirty years of experience at colleges and universities she has established herself as an expert in financial management and event planning.

Ms. Malecha earned an A.A. in accounting from Citrus College, Azusa, California, and a B.S. in Business Administration, cum laude, from the University of LaVerne where she received departmental honors for her senior project entitled “The Availability of Opportunities and Sources of Success for Women in the Academy.”

Gil Cooke



Gil Cooke has enjoyed a long and varied career in the architectural world. He has been a draftsman, designer, principal architect and president with 8 different companies and holds his architectural license with the state of Maryland. Gil is a founding member of the Academy of neuroscience for Architecture, president of the Baltimore Chapter of AIA and has served as President and Dean of NewSchool. Gil has been with NSAD since 2002 and has served the Foundation for many years.

Nick Kawamoto

Exofficio Student Member

Nick is a class of 2018 alumni at Newschool of Architecture & Design. Along with being a board member for the Newschool Foundation, he also served as Student Council President in 2016. Having grown up in Seattle WA, Nick finds a lot of design inspiration in the beauty of nature. Spending a lot of his free time outside, he is pursuing an architecture career emphasizing the importance of nature within architecture. During his academic career at NewSchool, Nick was active in the planning and organization of student activities, as well as assisting in administrative tasks to further the growth and development of the school.