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2018 Alumni of the Year

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Published on:

November 16, 2018


2018 Alumni of the Year

SAN DIEGO, CA – NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NewSchool) is proud to name Stephen Russell (’10) its 2018 Alumni of the Year Award recipient. The executive director for the San Diego Housing Federation received this prestigious award at NewSchool’s convocation on Oct. 10.

Russell has been committed to achieving lasting, positive changes in the urban communities of San Diego for more than 20 years. As executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation, he has worked tirelessly to create and implement policies that preserve and generate affordable housing options for San Diegans. Before that, he was a project coordinator at Platt/White Architects, Inc., and an adjunct faculty member and studio instructor at the University of Southern California. He serves on the boards of the California Housing Finance Agency, Housing California, and the NewSchool Foundation. He is former board president of the City Heights Community Development Committee.

Russell entered NewSchool’s Bachelor of Architecture program with impressive experience as a senior policy advisor in the Office of Councilmember Toni Atkins and as executive director of the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association. He graduated in 2010 as class salutatorian with an emphasis in Urban Design & Sustainability.

“Stephen Russell is bringing a much-needed level of human-centered design to the problems of housing an ever-growing population within our region,” said nominator and NewSchool Professor and Special Assistant to the President of NewSchool Leonard Zegarski. “His strong principles coupled with a fierce dedication to learning through doing and a relentless work ethic combine with his general love for life … to channel energy into everything he does.”

“Stephen Russell is a true leader and fountain of knowledge who pours his heart and soul into the neighborhoods of San Diego,” according to the Board and Staff of San Diego Housing Federation. “He is a trusted source as ‘the voice for housing’ in San Diego.”

For more information about the NewSchool of Architecture & Design Alumni of the Year Award, please contact Jessica Nielsen at

About NewSchool of Architecture & Design:

Located in San Diego’s design district, NewSchool of Architecture & Design prepares students for career success in design fields with an emphasis on human-centered design, including interdisciplinary and global design skills, industry collaborations and real-world projects. Programs include architecture, construction management, product design, graphic design & interactive media, and interior architecture & design. NewSchool is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission and offers Bachelor and Master of Architecture programs, accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NewSchool prepares students to successfully work in global and diverse organizations. For more information, visit